Not all James Bond films are equal – CinePunked explores the psychedelic cinema of the original Casino Royale from 1967 and its lasting influence on popular culture.
Sleeve notes are below.
With Robert JE Simpson, Dr Rachael Kelly, Ben Simpson
Produced by Ben Simpson
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Episode URL: https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=648689
We’d planned a series of spy themed programming to tie in with the release of the new James Bond film No Time To Die, which was scheduled for release in April 2020. As we prepped for our four-episode marathon record, the Covid19 pandemic was developing and the Bond distributors pulled the film from the schedule (something I was up in arms about, but which quickly proved sensible -oh how quickly things changed). We resolved to record the first two linked episodes anyway.
Too Much For One James Bond takes its name from the tagline used for the frankly bizarre 1967 ‘unofficial’ Bond film Casino Royale starring David Niven and Ursula Andress. Like Daniel Craig’s finale, it was beset with production problems, but remains arguably one of the most interesting films in the franchise.
Neither Rachael or Ben had seen this before, but they had seen Austin Powers (which is the subject of the next podcast), and I wanted to tease out that connection for them. Plus, there’s this idea that all James Bond films are the same – friend of the show Neil Sedgewick literally made this same joke on Twitter a couple of days before we recorded – which I use this to argue they aren’t.
While we disagree within CinePunked about the idea of the auteur, we do have particular directors and actors who we keep returning to. Casino Royale offers us one of our favourites – Orson Welles – in a non-directorial role. It also offers Peter Sellers, and through him a line to Mike Myers who we’ve featured recently. Significantly, this is also the first time we’ve looked at a Woody Allen film on the show – albeit outside the context of a #MeToo conversation.
Hopefully the pod will serve as a reminder of how much a certain strand of British cinema in the 60s felt like the inmates were running the asylum – a cinema of excess. And with any luck, it’ll encourage you to dig out this incarnation of Bond.
For me, there’s a lightbulb moment towards the end of the show when Ben makes a connection, and that for me is pure joy – its those moments when the pieces start to come together that make this worth doing, when the fun and the education come together.
We’re releasing this in the week of Orson Welles’ 105th birthday – which seems like as good a time as any.
Recorded in studio at Comber, Northern Ireland on 15 March 2020.
Engineered and mixed by Ben Simpson in studio, April 2020. Final edit by Robert and first published on 8 May 2020.