James-Bonding with Kempenaar & Larsen on Filmspotting No. 563

Underheralded 007 flick "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," from 1969, starring adequately-heralded 007 George Lazenby.

It’s been a few years since I sat in on an episode of Filmspotting, the great Chicago-based radio show and podcast devoted to dissection of movies new and old, famous and obscure, foreign and domestic. But now I can reveal that earlier this week, founding host Adam Kempenaar sent me a highly classified diplomatic cable inviting me to join him an regular co-host Josh Larsen for the Top Five segment of this week’s SPECTRE-themed show, devoted to Favorite Bond Things. I regret only that I did not refer to Diana Rigg’s character from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by her full name, Contessa Teresa Di Vincenzo.

I supposed I might also have expounded more insightfully on how the big parkour chase at the top of Casino Royale (v. 2006) isn’t just one of the most fluidly choreographed, masterfully shot-and-edited action set pieces of the 21st century; it shows us plenty about the brutal, clumsy nature of this film’s younger, less seasoned 007, too. Or how my favorite “Bond girl,” from that same film — Eva Green’s British Treasury official Vesper Lynd — is Bond’s equal not only in resolve and intelligence, but in cunning, too. She’s playing him, the same way Bond uses sexuality to manipulate women in just about every Bond adventure to follow. (And they all follow this one.) Finally, had I mentioned the marvelous cold-open car chase from Quantum of Solace, that would’ve been another chance to stick up for that oft-maligned sequel. But I already did that in my S.P.E.C.T.R.E. essay in The Atlantic last week.

Anyway. Listen to the episode here.

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