Who doesn’t love a sequel?! Your friends in broadcasting & podcasting return with part 2 of their celebration of the best in cinema from 2023. If you listened to part 1, you know this is no ordinary “Top Ten” show. Ultimately, dozens of films and just as many topics will get explored. This week the topics include editing, black and white, curated experiences, gender identification, feminism, entertainment and films from a wide variety of filmmakers and genres, including Past Lives, Poor Things, The Holdovers, The Creator, All of Us Strangers and many more.
In a cold open, this week’s show begins where last week’s show left off, with Phil delighting Dean with some surprising facts about the late comedic genius Tommy Smothers. After that, Dean and Phil dive into “Awards Season” news, offering up thoughts on the recent Emmy Awards, the forthcoming Oscar nominations, and on how viewing of awards shows might change in the years to come. Suffice it to say, your friends in podcasting and broadcasting have both bones to pick and things they hope to see. Speaking of “see”, Phil saw The Zone of Interest in the recently remodeled and re-opened movie theater where he was married. Dean saw the highly acclaimed romantic comedy from Finland, Fallen Leaves, and explains why he did not enjoy it. He also takes the time to explain why Phil does not enjoy the all-time classic screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby! Dean and Phil also weigh in on their thoughts regarding Alec Baldwin (once again) getting charged with involuntary manslaughter for the on-set death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. All that, plus Phil turns “Celebrity Deaths” into a game, quizzing Dean on his cultural literacy, and there is a crackerjack production meeting on the air!
Last week, Dean and Phil said hello to 2024 and said goodbye to “Season 3” by welcoming a special guest and discussing their creative intentions for the year. This weekend, Dean and Phil got together in the nation’s capital to get “Season 4” underway by swapping stories about art galleries, historic battlefields, historic D.C. clubs, the James Webb Space Telescope, New Jersey restaurants, Wim Wenders and his 3D documentary about the artist Anselm Kiefer, and a whole lot more. A whole lot of laughs ensue!
A question from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) leads to a passionate and thoughtful discussion about what television and movies you should be watching while no new television and movies are being made due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes. Moreover, Dean and Phil will discuss the ways all of us can greatly improve the chances of an equitable outcome to the contractual impasses. In honor of the actors, four frequently overlooked films boasting excellent performances by major stars will get remembered. And two of the greatest films of all time will get analyzed. Plus, this week’s show includes more on Raging Bull, further insights into “wabi-sabi”, and the return of “The Live Event of the Week”.
This week’s show begins with a cold open about Spanish film star Carmen Sevilla. It continues with Dean and Phil previewing an email from a loyal listener (that they will answer on NEXT week’s show). The email involves the ongoing Writer’s Guild strike and Dean and Phil use it as a springboard to discussing the latest labor negotiation news in Hollywood and to ponder the question “Is Ryan Murphy (once again) the worst person in the world?” Last week, the life and career of Oscar-winner Glenda Jackson was celebrated. This week, Phil reveals tidbits from her final (?) still-to-be-released movie, The Great Escaper (starring Michael Caine). After that, Dean and Phil offer up remembrances of three more great stars of the silver (and small) screen: Julian Sands, Frederic Forrest, and Treat Williams. The second half of the show is all about Indiana Jones (and “The Dial of Destiny”), Akira Kurosawa (and two of his independent films), and the Martin Scorsese classic Raging Bull.
This week’s show begins with Dean and Phil discussing one of Dean’s all-time favorite films and filmmakers: My Winnipeg by Guy Maddin. Phil hails it as perhaps the greatest film NOT to be on the Sight and Sound poll of the 250 greatest films ever made. From great movies to great television, your friends in podcasting and broadcasting shift gears to discuss the end of “Succession”, the end of “Barry”, the end of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, the end of “Ted Lasso”, Season 1 of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”, and Season 2 of “Star Trek: Picard”. And speaking of “Picard” the actress who played the Borg Queen will get remembered in Celebrity Deaths, as will a beloved French-Canadian actor, an incredible Mexican character actor, the stunt man who inspired Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” … And the lead character in that film has also died?!
This week’s show begins with plenty of mystery as Phil riddles Dean about a hidden Japanese teahouse and a vintage movie ad from the late 1970s! Then, Dean and Phil tackle a wide array of topics including a commemoration of Japanese internment, the latest lawsuit involving Alec Baldwin and Phil’s encounter with Malcolm McDowell. In “Celebrity Deaths” the brilliant comedic character actor Barry Humphries and the accomplished classical musician-turned-journalist/memoirist Blair Tindall get remembered. Haven’t heard of them? Trust us, you know their work! Finally, Dean and Phil have three movie recommendations, including new films from China and Korea, and an unearthed and restored excellent film noir from Argentina.
Dean and Phil commiserate about power outages in Dean’s Michigan neighborhood and about snow in Los Angeles! More important than winter season weather, however, are which way the winds are blowing in Hollywood’s award season and they discuss the latest news and how it affects handicapping this year’s Best Picture Oscar race. Long before it was called “Best Picture”, the top Oscar was called “Best Production” and Phil analyzes one of its earliest recipients – Cimarron, one of the only westerns ever to win the top prize from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Another western also has Phil’s attention: Red Sun starring Charles Bronson, Toshiro Mifune and Alain Delon. Phil follows up on last week’s remembrance of Raquel Welch, by sharing thoughts on and stories about one of her earliest films, Lady in Cement starring Frank Sinatra. Finally, Phil saw a screening of the great Italian classic The Conformist and discussion of this leads to appreciations on the art of editing and some of its greatest practitioners, as well as an appreciation for the great production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti. Dean also saw a movie this week – the current (modest) box office hit 80 for Brady and Dean actually sings its praises! Dean also has two personal stories about the great stand-up comedian-turned-actor Richard Belzer (with whom he starred in and episode of “The X-Files” exploring the origin of the Lone Gunmen). Other notables remembered in “Celebrity Deaths” include a big screen star of the 60s and 70s, and a 6 time Emmy-nominated television actress of the 80’s and 90s.
Next Monday, your friends in broadcasting and podcasting will return with a brand new “live” show that will catch you up on all the news of the season. This week, it’s part two of the road trip adventure Dean and Phil recorded on Friday December 9 when they drove from downtown Los Angeles to Montecito and back. The Sight and Sound poll of the greatest films ever made, the #16 film on that poll, surrealism, dream logic, and the works of Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali are the topics that open the proceedings. Then, after a shift to the (very loud) Summerland Beach Café, Phil tackles two films making a lot of Top Ten Lists this year: the donkey adventure tale EO and the latest from auteur Robert Eggers, The Northman. Please bare with the difficult audio, for soon Dean and Phil will be back in the car, riding alongside the sparkling blue Pacific and discussing the Netflix series “1899”, the improv collaborations of Jonathan Winters and Robin Williams, and whole lot of casting “what-ifs”. There is also analysis of a law-change benefiting sexual assault survivors, and a fascinating “trash talk” interaction in the National Basketball Association. Hop in and buckle up!
Although summer hasn’t officially begun in the northern hemisphere, it sure feels like it has what with Dean and Phil discussing Dean’s new sandbox and the state of the summer box office! Not only that, but there’s a message from Agent Summer (“Summer” – get it??) that gets discussed! An on-air production meeting yields an outstanding idea for a future show all about movies, while on this week’s show, such movies as Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm and Skidoo, the time travel movie Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, the World War II classic Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, and the wizarding world entry Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore all get discussed. Such popular performers as Kim Novak, Van Johnson, Jude Law and Jessica Williams get discussed as well. Plus, loyal listener Maurice Terenzio shares a great story about the wonderful character actor Richard Kiel. On the small screen, Phil offers up a mea culpa on “Hacks” season 2, and he and Dean share a message from friend of the show Mattie Giles all about “Station Eleven” and “Made for Love” on HBO Max, “The Book of Boba Fett”, season 2 of “Picard”, and the brand new “Strange New Worlds”. Finally, the return of “Lawsuit of the Week” focuses on Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, defamation, libel, toxic relationships, social media reactions and the cycles of abuse and violence.