Best laid plans … Phil had to hit the road for an emergency trip this week, which inspires him to ask Dean whether “plans” are a thing of the past, a luxury one is foolish to consider in our contemporary world. Of course plans are being made to re-start motion picture and television production, and your friends in podcasting will analyze these plans and how movies and TV shows will be different both on-screen and behind-the-scenes as the industry moves forward. A headline-making shakeup in show business occurred at the vaunted comedy institution Second City in the wake of recent social justice protests. This will get discussed in depth, as will America’s empathy deficit, with some insightful analysis and heartfelt and hilarious stories about empathy, or the lack thereof, from Dean and Phil. So, buckle up, and if this week’s show seems a bit all-over-the-map topically (technically?), well rest assured, that’s because it IS coming at you from … all over the map!
Longtime listeners know that Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness are often at their best when things in the world seem their worst. If an hour of insightful, inspiring, heartfelt and humorous conversation is something your soul could use at present, give a listen as your friends in podcasting try to make sense of a world torn apart by pandemic, shaken to the core by violence, and held spellbound by explorers slipping the surly bonds of earth, as for the first time in a decade, America sent astronauts into space. Dean and Phil discuss all of it and share an essay by a good friend of the show about a passage in history more than 50 years old that seems more relevant than ever. They also tackle the important question, “Can a puppet show provide healing?” And that leads to Dean’s detailed analysis of a particular song. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Dean and Phil remember one of Phil’s very favorite character actors, a man who began and concluded his acting career with Best Picture Oscar winners. They also remember a groundbreaking playwright, screenwriter and activist, as well as an Asian-American pioneer for civil rights and social justice. Finally, they commend Netflix for their social stance and for a brand new comedy series.
Because this show was recorded early Sunday morning, before America awoke to the horrific news of a 2nd mass shooting in a handful of hours, your friends in podcasting only address their thoughts concerning the El Paso shooting – thoughts that concern conspiracy theories, their film The Truth is Out There and more. 12 years ago, Dean and Phil were discussing the “dog days” of summer, “slow news weeks”, the stars that Entertainment Weekly were in love with, a true-life nightmare plane flight, and great sci-fi movies. All those topics get revisited, and a clip of CHH #14 gets shared, in an hilarious segment. Dean and Phil finally answer two emails from listeners, one about an interesting documentary and the other about the lost (?) art of long-form conversation on TV as well as the “rebirth” of Detroit, and the rebuild of one of that city’s icons. All that, plus a great voice performer and a Broadway legend (perhaps THE Broadway legend) get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
Dean previews this weekend’s X-Fest convention all about “The X-Files”, and discusses the latest on his streaming comedy series “Gravity Hole”. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Dean and Phil celebrate the great singer Leon Redbone, the last of the Mohawk code talkers from World War II, and the socialite whose conviction and subsequent acquittal of murder formed the basis of the Oscar-winning Reversal of Fortune. Phil hips Dean to the breaking news about the Canadian genocide of indigenous women, and they commiserate over the latest mass shooting in the USA. They share an email about the (non-existent) Bowling Green Massacre. They assess the current state of movies in theaters, on HBO, via Netflix, and more, especially through the prism of reviewing two new comedies, a western revival, and one of the longest-developing projects in recent Hollywood history. Because next week’s show might be a mostly a pre-recorded interview, this week’s show is an extra 12 minutes long, offers something for almost everyone, and is jam-packed full of podcasty goodness!
The great film theorist André Bazin described the genre of the movie western as “the American film par excellence.” Your friends in podcasting could not agree more! That’s why on this week’s show (their 2nd of 10 “Top Ten” shows commemorating this, the 10th year of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour), Dean and Phil count down their Top Ten All Time Westerns.
What films will make the list? What films won’t? Will Dean have difficulty numbering 10 to 1?
These questions and many more will be answered during the next 75 minutes. Enjoy!
Things get serious as “Captivity” continues to irk Phil. Letter writing and petitions ensue.