This week’s show picks up where last week’s show left off, in a cold open about Godard’s Contempt and Scorsese’s Raging Bull. Then, Dean and Phil talk about the importance of supporting movie theaters, and Dean offers up another vintage TV title ripe for viewing/re-viewing during what promises to be a very lengthy halt in television production. Phil shares deeply personal thoughts about two remarkable people who died this year. That leads to an edition of “Celebrity Deaths” dedicated entirely to great writers. Then, it’s back to Robert De Niro (and Raging Bull) as Dean celebrates what he believes to be the all-time five greatest performances by the multiple Oscar-winning legend.
A cold open about a … melon festival (?!) … inspires a story about racial hostility in Turlock in the early 20th century. From there, Phil is inspired to pick up on a brilliant observation Dean made last week about Mike Nichols’ Working Girl and apply that observation as a potential thru-line for this celebrated director’s career. Alec Baldwin gets into hot water for tweeting support for Anne Heche and Salman Rushdie gets stabbed on-stage right before hailing the USA as the last bastion of freedom of speech. Dean and Phil try to make sense of both of these events. The return of “What We’re Reading” sees Dean learning how to sketch people’s hands and Phil learning what the next World War will be like! In “Celebrity Deaths”, a good friend and frequent collaborator of Stanley Kubrick, a popular and inspiring painter, a legendary French movie star, and the composer of one of the most indelible theme songs of all time all get remembered. Finally, Dean and Phil discuss the finely-tuned instincts Marlon Brando possessed as a great entertainer, and Phil hails the allegorical storytelling on display in Jordan Peele’s Nope.