This week’s show covers a lot of ground thematically AND geographically! The death of João Donato takes us to Brasil and the era of bossa nova. The death of Dianne Feinstein takes us back to San Francisco of 1978. The death of Jane Birkin inspires discussion of her daughters, fashion, Hercule Poirot, Dirk Bogarde, and Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania! And the death of Sir Michael Gambon inspires Phil to get up on his soapbox railing against those who think of the great actor as “Dumbledore”! The charms of Savannah, Dean’s ongoing battle with Covid after-effects, the end of the Writer’s Strike, and murder mystery dinners are all on the menu as well!
Welcome to an excellent installment of your Chillpak Hollywood Hour that begins with tales of springtime before a couple of great soapbox moments courtesy of the “sensitivity editing” of Agatha Christie and newspaper headline treatments of black men in the media. An actress who starred in many beloved projects, a screenwriter behind crowd-pleasing movies, a singer in a legendary doo-wop band and the designer responsible for the way Phil smelled throughout his teens and twenties (!) all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. Dean champions Cocaine Bear, Elizabeth Banks, and the return of Nicolas Cage (not that he went anywhere). Phil regales with amazing original casting choices for a couple of popular recent films before launching into an appreciation of the fable-making on display in John Wick: Chapter 4.
This week’s show opens with a brief interview with one of the stars of a “Live Event of the Week”. Dean is in Washington, D.C. and he gives a full report on one of the most beautiful road trip sights he has seen and an exhibit at the National Gallery focusing on Joseph Singer Sargent. Phil has just returned from his (penultimate?) trip to Turlock to finalize “family business” and he is in an exhausted, tormented, philosophical mood, opining on family, marriage, and alternate universes. The comedy of the Marx Brothers, Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe and See How They Run gets dissected, and in “What We’re Reading” the art of Edward Hopper, the comedy of Martin Short and the poetry of Betsy Holleman Burke get discussed. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, the lives and legacies of a Canadian voice actor, a Japanese star of an American miniseries, a blues singer, a sitcom producer and a law student-turned-best selling novelist all get explored.
During this week’s cold open, Dean and Phil finish up their discussion of Marlon Brando and Jack Lemmon, offering up some final movie recommendations. Phil is back after a lengthy trip to the east coast and he returns with tales of a Shakespeare Theater production about Leonardo Da Vinci and thoughts inspired by Hurricane Ian about how human beings become fixated on the statistically anomalous and he also shares with Dean the exciting way in which their former podcasting home – the Eastern Columbia Building – had a starring role in the new season of Amazon’s fashion competition show “Making the Cut”. Loyal listener Maurice Terenzio checks in with a thought-provoking email that brings the conversation back to Marlon Brando before the return of Lawsuit of the Week focuses Dean and Phil’s attention onto the ill-fated Alec Baldwin western Rust. Celebrity Deaths begins by bringing the conversation once again back to Marlon Brando (!) with a remembrance of activist and artist Sacheen Littlefeather. Many other notables get remembered as well, including an Oscar-winning actress, a comedic “love goddess”, a comic book artist who dazzled live audiences, and a chart-topping rapper-turned-reality star. Finally, two movies get reviewed: the current whodunit theatrical release See How They Run and the 2020 Netflix offering from Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things.
This weekend, Dean and Phil got together in-person on the “American Riviera” for a fascinating discussion inspired by a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!). The conversation involves the importance of awards not only recognizing and rewarding great work, but also rewarding the great stories surrounding the making of that work! Somehow that inspires Phil to reappraise the entire filmography of James Mason. That great Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot, gets more time in the spotlight, as Dean and Phil take a little more time giving both a doff of the cap and a wag of the finger to Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile and Phil, who took the time during the week to unearth the final Peter Ustinov performance as Agatha Christie’s protagonist, has some thoughts about Appointment with Death from the infamous Cannon Film Group. Finally, in a riff on their usual “Celebrity Deaths” section, Dean and Phil discuss three non-celebrity friends who died recently.
This week’s show will be action-packed and an especially fun show for movie-lovers. In “What We’re Reading”, Dean will update us on his Da Vinci-esque “Mind Maps”. In “Celebrity Deaths” a chart-topping singer and an iconic TV star of the 60s who went on to star on-screen and on-stage for more than 60 years will be remembered. Cinemas are re-opening in the U.S., but should they? Not according to filmmakers whose movies are actually going to play in those theaters! Dean and Phil will discuss, and they will analyze both the controversy surrounding Netflix’s “Cuties” and the changes the Oscars will be making to its “Best Picture” category to promote greater diversity in front of and behind the camera. Finally, a whole mess of great films will get celebrated, with a particular emphasis on the greatest British filmmaking team of all time. And if that’s not enough, there’s even a new Chillpak Hollywood Hour drinking game!
Your friends in podcasting have been teasing episode #568 for weeks! They had really been looking forward to counting down their all-time favorite Mystery films and the final results prove to be a lot of fun. So, get those Netflix queues handy, because Dean and Phil will hit you with more than two dozen movies they discuss at length with four films actually finding a place on both their Top Tens. There are comedy “whodunits” from the 1930’s, foreign language allegories from the 2000’s, independent films that launched careers, classics from international masters that launched entire sub-genres, mysteries based on books, mysteries based on plays, mysteries set in the farthest reaches of space, mysteries full of post-war romance and cold war anxiety. The biggest mystery of all is after almost eleven years, how do Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness keep managing to provide an hour (plus) of free audio entertainment each week?!
With how much ground your friends in podcasting cover on this week’s show, you’ll forgive them going almost eight minutes overtime, won’t you? The show starts with a “Live Event of the Week” as Phil regales Dean with tales of his 49th birthday celebrations on a day that involved marionettes, Norse mythology and the oldest restaurant in Hollywood. Then, for the first time in ages, Dean and Phil discuss what they’re reading. After that, it’s onto “Celebrity Deaths” which contains a correction of a correction from last week, as well as remembrances of a former teen idol, a jazz great, a country music great, a gospel great and two award-winning actors. Then, a few more thoughts about the latest news involving toxic masculinity, the United States Senate and “Whataboutism” before Dean and Phil roll up their sleeves to discuss almost a dozen movies, including both the 1974 and 2017 versions of Murder on the Orient Express, Orson Welles’ 1952 Othello, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, and this year’s award hopefuls Last Flag Flying, Call Me By Your Name,Lady Bird, Mudbound, Hostiles and The Disaster Artist.