Phil’s unexpected need to spend summer away from Los Angeles took another turn on Friday when his father died. On this week’s show, he shares memories of his dad. He and Dean also celebrate the lives of the director of numerous box office blockbusters, a giant in animated filmmaking, a legendary comic book artist, and an influential novelist. They will discuss a couple great television series that may be worth your time. Finally, they champion the absurdist cinema of Roy Andersson. From the heartfelt to the absurd, we trust there will be something for everyone on this week’s installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!
From the inner space of quiet, self-quarantine lockdowns, to the outer space of “Star Trek: Picard”, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness take you on quite the journey this week! It starts with their latest observations about themselves and others in the wake of another week of isolation. Sadness, quiet and dehumanization are on the thematic menu! They then compare notes on their respective Easter celebrations, which leads to a discussion of a couple of classic musicals: 1934’s Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers vehicle The Gay Divorcee and 1948’s seasonal staple Easter Parade, starring Astaire and Judy Garland. The recent, modern classic, Uncut Gems gets championed by Phil, who tries to get Dean to overcome his trepidation surrounding Adam Sandler performances (and yet, Dean once championed You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, so go figure!). The second half of the show consists of Dean and Phil comparing the years in cinema 1973 and 1974, discussing all the notable films from those two halcyon years, in hopes of determining which year might challenge 1962 as the greatest year in cinema. Finally, your friends in podcasting beam up to the La Sirena to discuss and debate what went right and what went wrong in season one of “Star Trek: Picard”, a show so successful that a big-screen movie version is already in the planning stages.
Those of you who have been longtime listeners know that Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness have a lot of practice in trying to make sense of a world seemingly gone wild, and having witnessed them do that for almost 13 years on YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour, you know that they can bring insight, irreverence and the inspirational no matter the circumstances. On this week’s show, they will discuss how they had apparently been preparing to be on lockdown for a year or more, what they have witnessed in the wake of Covid-19’s rapid spread and what’s right about it all. They will discuss the potential future impacts on movies and television. They will discuss what they have been watching of late. They will remember a great comedic TV actor, an Oscar-nominated actor, a ground-breaking radio host, and a trailblazing playwright. Oh, yeah, and they have a fascinating discussion analyzing the marketing of a Matthew McConaughey movie that bombed in 2019!
Dean and Phil discuss Leap Day, tackle the challenges and joys of teaching (improv and acting respectively) and then open the Chillpak morgue to remember a novelist-turned-adventurer, a talk show host-turned-soap opera producer, a quick draw specialist-turned-western star, a psych-rock innovator-turned-dream pop icon, and a mathematician-turned-space program hero in “Celebrity Deaths”. Dean offers up analysis on the “38%” in “Explanation of the Week”. Then, after some appreciation of a Canadian television series (available on Hulu), John Mulaney, David Byrne (and the “Sack Lunch Bunch”), the gents tackle an email from a loyal listener and frequent contributor about the recent practice of releasing “de-colorized” modern movies. Finally, a couple more great movie monologues performed by women get discussed. Something for everyone? We like to think so!
Seven important notes about this week’s show:
1) It’s our 600th episode!
2) It features a brand new version of the theme song appropriate to Dean’s relocation to the Motor City.
3) A horrible recording problem leads to a few choppy transitions at the start of the show and to an extremely bad electronic hum during the first 25 minutes or so of the show.
4) We have done the best we can to get rid of the hum and to at least make these first 25 minutes listenable, and you will want to bear with us as those minutes contain very personal conversation between Dean and Phil about things they love lost in the current SoCal fires, what they love that is seriously threatened by those fires, and about a great Canadian actor of Dean’s acquaintance who died this month. There is also a great story about baby diapers!
5) Several amazing movies get discussed – including the Sandra Bullock starring post-apocalyptic, action-horror vehicle Bird Box, the Coen Brothers rather amazing Western anthology feature The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Alfonso Cuaron’s seminal black-and-white memory piece Roma and Dean and Phil’s very own The Lady Killers, which Dean has finally seen!
6) The show is 72 minutes long, with about 45 minutes of that boasting clean audio!
7) We wish you all a “Malkovich Hug”!
In many ways, this week’s show is a sequel to last week’s episode #534, with the promised celebration of Jeanne Moreau’s life and career, an email from a listener about Tom Jones’ “The Young New Mexican Puppeteer” and more from the British Film Institute List of “the 50 films you should see by the age of 14”.
Unlike most sequels, however, this show is even more irreverent, insightful and informative than last week’s!
The festivities commence with a clip of Dean on Australian television telling a (bestiality?) joke, and then after a special opening (a tribute to Glen Campbell), Dean comes out guns blazing, ranting about the internet speeds of his adopted land. After Phil calms him down, they discuss the news of David Letterman’s new show, they urge people to save the Salem Cinema (a jewel of the Pacific Northwest), they talk about an interview they did with the late Jim Marrs and they continue their discussion about the “death of discernment”, this time focusing on an appalling memo crafted by a then member of the National Security Council.
From there, it’s onto “Celebrity Deaths”, where, in addition to the Femme Fatale of the French New Wave and Glen Campbell, your friends in podcasting remember a Tony-winning star of Broadway’s “The Music Man”, the star of an early television western series turned right-wing anti-government activist, and the man inside the Godzilla costume.
Finally, Dean and Phil discuss a 1982 Australian western, a 1954 western that influenced the likes of Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah, the original King Kong, and the Will Rogers comedy Life Begins at 40.
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!