Recorded late last week from a certain “historic building in downtown Los Angeles”, this episode begins with Phil doffing his cap about what Dean got right in discussing Sarah Polley’s Women Talking a few weeks back AND wagging his finger at what Dean got wrong while discussing Netflix’s “Wednesday” this past week. Phil then hails Joel de la Fuente (of “Man in the High Castle” and most recently “The Mysterious Benedict Society”) as his favorite actor. At that point, Dean and Phil switch gears for a show ten years in the making, analyzing the just-released, decennial Sight and Sound poll of all-time greatest films! What Dean and Phil were expecting and what surprised them leads to what promises to be an ongoing conversation about re-contextualization and the importance of learning how works of art resonate with different groups and different cultures.
This week’s show runs the gamut culturally, from a production of “Uncle Vanya” in “Live Event of the Week” and a discussion about whether the play is a comedy, to stories of jury duty prompted by a “Lawsuit of the Week”, from an excellent documentary recommendation by a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) to a deep dive analysis of the U.S. box office (including a quiz!). The success of Where the Crawdads Sing gets paid particular attention, as does the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. The once-every-ten years Sight and Sound poll of the greatest films ever made leads to a discussion of the Daniels, Edgar Wright and Roy Andersson. Finally, great stories about the making of David Lynch’s Dune, Blue Velvet and The Straight Story get shared.
From the sublime to the ridiculous, from the cosmic to the deeply personal, Dean and Phil are going deep on this week’s show! Remembering the haunting, ethereal “voice” of “Twin Peaks”, Julee Cruise, leads into ruminating about the afterlife, hauntings, consciousness, and moral underpinnings to the universe. This, naturally, involves analyzing two new Netflix comedy specials – Ricky Gervais’ “SuperNature” and Norm MacDonald’s “Nothing Special” – and two fascinating and troubling cinematic releases of the late 60s – Otto Preminger’s Skidoo and Richard Brooks’ In Cold Blood.
Your friends in podcasting (AND broadcasting!) have quite the week to discuss! As the holidays approach, and Covid-19 dashes Dean’s travel plans, Awards Season in Hollywood gets underway. The National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle announced their winners of the best in cinema for 2021, and a consensus has begun to form through critics Top Ten lists about the best of the year in television. Dean and Phil discuss it all. They also try to make sense of the latest in the accidental shooting on the set of “Rust”. A whole lot of classic films get discussed, including which films may have best depicted what life in America was really like in the mid-1980’s. A new documentary series about The Beatles from Peter Jackson gets reviewed and four actors and a musician get remembered in our penultimate installment of “Celebrity Deaths” for 2021. If nothing else, you will learn that the movie Beau Geste is NOT the movie Gunga Din and director Wim Wenders is NOT director Werner Herzog.
A lot of post-production work went into making this one of our best shows of the year! Dean regales with stories of drinking and jury duty, Phil remembers dear friend and true iconoclast Konrad Monti. Dean and Phil discuss Amazon’s “The Boys” (a show Dean might have actually influenced!) and the dire future of movie-going in the wake of James Bond and “Black Widow” being pushed again, which led to the 2nd largest U.S. theater chain closing, while the first largest still hasn’t fully re-opened! A terrific, and highly musical “Celebrity Deaths” involves celebrations of a great jazz musician (and subject of an awesome Netflix documentary), songwriter-singer-turned-actor Mac Davis, and 70’s-pop-queen-turned-therapist Helen Reddy! Finally, we transport you back to a certain rooftop in the historic L.A. neighborhood of Los Feliz for the conclusion of Dean and Phil’s ruminations on what filmmakers might make the list of their all-time favorites.
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?!