It’s Halloween season, so this week, Dean and Phil will get into the spooky spirit of things by celebrating “All of the Them Witches” – programming a dream film festival of witch-themed double-features! Of course, there is a ton of spooky, unsettling and downright terrifying show biz news for them to cover as well, including the potential resolution of the IATSE conflict with the AMPTP prior to almost all film and television productions getting shut down, the messy publicity slaughterhouse that continues to ensue following Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos’ response to it, and a little bit of “inside” info regarding Marvel’s Black Widow. All that, plus really good box office news and a pioneering animator, a chart-topping bassist, and a best-selling YA novelist get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
Last week, Dean and Phil ran out of time while discussing a vampire show from Norway that Dean has discovered and is enjoying. They kept recording, however, so this week’s show starts (as a cold open!) with that brief and hilarious discussion. Once the show proper starts, your friends in podcasting send love and best wishes to a dear friend who is having surgery this week. Then, they leap into discussions of the latest show business news, including the IATSE strike authorization vote that might lead to the halt of most television and film production, the resolution of Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney, James Bond saving the global box office, Venom: Let There Be Carnage setting the domestic box office ablaze, and the #1 worldwide box office hit of 2021 that neither Dean nor Phil have seen or even heard of! Phil and Dean then discuss Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and the importance of taking the time to do “nothing”, and what “Loki” season 1 might be telling us about the existence of multiverses. Finally, Dean and Phil celebrate the lives of a pioneer of Japanese anime, one of the best funk and soul bandleaders of all time, a character actor beloved on both the small and big screen, a groundbreaking singer-turned-activist, and two very popular comedians.
Saturday was International Ghost Hunting Day and Dean was at the forefront of it. Phil has been thinking a great deal about Buster Keaton, his influence, and other films and filmmakers that might have influenced the making of his beloved Wings of Desire. Phil asks Dean about legendary actress Ruta Lee, and an episode of “The Twilight Zone” in which she starred. One of the greatest banjo players of all time, a giant of reggae, and a founding member of a chart-topping UK pop band all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. In the return of “What We’re Reading”, Dean discusses an artist who was once the most popular in Amsterdam and who has fallen into obscurity. This leads into a fascinating discussion about communicating with the future. Phil is reading a novel that explores two different timelines in the marshes and on the coastline of North Carolina in the 1950s and 60s. Dean and Phil then re-visit last week’s Emmy Awards and do an analytical deep dive into the furor surrounding “Ted Lasso” season 2 and the concept of “public ownership” before reviewing season 1 of “Hacks”. Finally, we want to wish our sponsor, Empire State Gas, Many Happy Returns! Thanks for sponsoring us all these years. You’ve got great gas!
Dean fills us in on his spooky adventures at MIParacon (the Michigan Paranormal Convention), including the hilarious new one-man improv show he performed for the first time. He and Phil discuss the return of conventions in the wake of Covid-19. Then Phil regales with a little story about David Duchovny’s new music that took place in Montecito. After that, Dean and Phil get personal, remembering three friends who died recently: the enchanting character actor Howard Fong, the luminous singer Pamela Lillard and the delightful researcher, reviewer, and journalist Skylaire Alfvegren. This leads into a thoughtful conversation about “magical thinking” and “blood sports”. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths” the most Emmy-honored actor, a groundbreaking musical theater performer, an influential rock drummer, a trailblazing rock vocalist and the story of one of rock’s most iconic songs get celebrated.
After their most drunken episode ever, this week’s show finds Dean back in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham and Phil in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. Thanks to an email from a loyal listener and frequent collaborator, they will be revisiting a discussion of Wu Tang Clan from two weeks ago. And thanks to developing news, they will follow up on last week’s discussion of the movement to remove tributes to D.W. Griffith’s legacy in Hollywood. There will be further analysis on the state of the box office in the U.S. and there will be reviews of two new movies: The comedic DC comic book actioner “The Suicide Squad” and a feature documentary about AND photographed by Val Kilmer. Yet another “Night Court” star will get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”, along with the actress daughter of an iconic filmmaker, an award-winning folk music star, and a beloved cast member of TV’s “Sherlock”. Plus, we still have many celebrity death memories (of a Clint Eastwood collaborator, a legendary voice actor, and a best-selling sci-fi author) recorded during last week’s red wine bacchanal that we include at the end of this week’s show!
Much of what we think we see in a movie is based on what we hear. To this day, much of what we expect of how a movie will sound is because of the indelible impacts made by such legendary composers as Max Steiner and Bernard Hermann. Steven Smith is a prolific documentary filmmaker, an historian, a lecturer and the author of books detailing the lives and careers of these two giants of motion picture music. Steven is also a good friend Phil Leirness AND he is the guest on this week’s installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!
If you have listened to our last few episodes, you know that conversation has really started to focus on great movies, great directors AND on silent film being appreciated as its own art form. On this week’s show, Dean and Phil really drill down into each of these topics by focusing on the careers, artistry and legacies of two formative giants of the motion picture industry: Mack Sennett and Charlie Chaplin. Even if you don’t like silent movies or know much about them, trust us, this episode is a blast!
Phil is back from another emergency trip to Turlock, and Dean is safely ensconced back in Detroit after a trip to Virginia, and after adopting another kitten! Cats get discussed, of course, and in an almost weekly occurrence, “Lord Turlock” issues proclamations. Then your friends in podcasting continue to tackle the appalling, ongoing wave of violence being directed against member of the AAPI community, which somehow leads to a discussion of just one of the problems Phil had with Godzilla vs. Kong. Dean and Phil share a text message from a loyal listener, and celebrate the show business lives of the actor who played “Cousin It”, a country-rock hitmaker, and a prolific country songwriter, and wax rhapsodic about the pedal steel guitar! Friend of show Jon Lawlor has another single out and it inspires a conversation about mental health and the messy business of having feelings. Dean and Phil both have feelings about the death (?) of the Arclight and Pacific movie theater chains, and about the controversy surrounding this year’s Oscar front-runner for Best Picture, Nomadland. Finally, speaking of the Oscars, Dean and Phil close the proceedings with an Oscar-themed edition of their recent (and apparently popular?) vintage movie ad game!
Your friends in podcasting follow up on last week’s conversation about how the response to hatred and violence directed at the AAPI community might shape the current movie awards season and in the second half of the show, they welcome a great friend, journalist and member of the AAPI community, Yoshi Kato, who weighs in on a year of hate crimes, as well as a year of pandemic and the toll it has taken on the music business and on the business of writing about the music business! He also weighs in on Dean’s Doberman, the Paramount Network and both his favorite and least favorite superhero movies! In the show’s first half, Dean discusses a new Korean sci-fi film, and Phil discusses a classic German sci-fi miniseries! There are also 4 vintage movie ads discussed in connection with four “celebrity deaths” as the careers of two great performers, one leading French filmmaker, and a best-selling, award-winning novelist get celebrated.
This week’s toe-tapping, funny bone-tickling, mind-expanding, Atlantic Ocean-crossing epic installment gets started with perhaps the most pleasant surprise surrounding today’s Oscar nominations. From there, it’s onto an amazing email from loyal listener Maurice Terenzio, who instead of focusing on “Celebrity Deaths” inspires Dean and Phil to celebrate the final four performers of the silent era who are still alive! After that, Dean and Phil welcome good friend and intrepid investigative journalist Mark Bennett to discuss his health travails of the last year, Oak Island and Nazi UFOs! In fact, Mark has launched a very cool crowd-sourcing campaign for his proposed documentary Nazi Flying Saucers: Hunting Hitler’s Secret UFOs. The second half of the show is a check-in with Jon Lawlor, who has provided many Chillpak Hollywood Hour theme songs thru the years, as well as the awesome theme song to The Truth Is Out There, and who first lent his vocal talents to a Phil Leirness-directed project in 2002! Jon reveals the hardest part of pandemic life for him, discusses living with depression, describes the changes he would like to see as we emerge from pandemic and discusses his new music. All that, plus he joins Dean in playing the latest round of the vintage movie ad game! If you are looking for the heartfelt, the hilarious, and “exoskeletons of desire”, you have come to the right place!