This week’s Canadian Thanksgiving installment features follow-ups on several topics from past episodes: Are the most important pop culture figures of the last quarter of the 20th century all named “David”? Why is contemporary art so abundant with creativity and so full of joy? What are some of the most thrilling aspects of Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia? And speaking of Savannah, why is The Pirate House so darn haunting? In addition to those follow-ups, Phil has been researching “Trainee” programs offered by the Writer’s Guild in the wake of their (tentative) deal with the producers. And a loyal listener has thoughts about the best/worst actors to play Hercule Poirot on the big screen. This last leads into Dean’s thoughts about Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice before three films starring the great Dirk Bogarde, the soulfulness of Oliver Reed and a brilliant, unheralded masterpiece by the late William Friedkin all get discussed. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, a beloved star of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (and “NCIS”) gets remembered.
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!
This week, Dean and Phil follow up on one of their best episodes ever by discussing the importance of manners as they relate to masks, shoes, and award shows! They have some bracing words about the nature of “safety” in show business. Then, they turn their attention to the Oscar-winning documentary Summer of Soul before discussing Oscar-winner George Chakiris and what he thought made original West Side Story choreographer Jerome Robbins so great. They also discuss the importance of representation, which leads to a discussion of an early Vincente Minnelli film, Cabin in the Sky from 1943, featuring an incredible all-black cast. That leads to a discussion of the version of A Star is Born produced by and starring Minnelli’s one-time wife, Judy Garland. It was a remake, of course, and has been remade twice more. And speaking of remakes, Dean and Phil conclude by analyzing Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile, why it failed as a movie and what is being blamed for its failure at the box office.
After a cold open in which Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness celebrate the fact that YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour becomes a teen-ager this week, they launch into what they do best, trying to make sense of a (Covid-19) world gone wild with humor, insight, irreverence and inspiration. In the return of “Wingnut of the Week”, Dean and Phil offer a wag of the finger at Covid-19 conspiracy theorists and a doff of the cap to UFO “truthers”. In “Celebrity Deaths”, they pay tribute to a true titan of comedy publishing and filmmaking, an international star who broke big in both Bollywood and Hollywood, a character actor-turned-casting director, an influential folk singer, and the musician who turned Hugh Grant into a pop star! Then, your friends in podcasting tackle how Covid-19 will affect the up-coming television season, and how it will affect the Oscars, before turning their attention to what years in cinema might rival 1962 as the best year ever for movies!
Lily Holleman joins Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness for 80 minutes (plus!) of wedding talk, wine, Time’s Up, the 4 Percent Challenge, BAFTA Awards and a no-holds-barred, highly competitive round of “Celebrity Deaths”!