This week’s show will pick up right where last week’s Season 4 Episode 6 left off, with a pre-recorded segment wherein Dean Haglund reveals his top two films of 2023, and Phil Leirness reveals his number one choice. Then, Dean and Phil hook up live on digital audio to discuss a wide array of topics, including: the choreography of Pina Bausch, the German nominee for the Best International Film Oscar, the Mardi Gras jazz of Delfeayo Marsalis (and a real-life backstage mystery!), the Houdini Estate in Hollywood, “Bicycle Thieves”, the French classic “Diva”, and why February 10 was a terrible day for breakfast!
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.
Welcome to part one of a two-part installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour wherein Dean and Phil will discuss the best in cinema of the year 2023. This is no ordinary “Top Ten” show. Ultimately, dozens of films and just as many topics will get explored. This week’s show actually begins with discussion of atmospheric rivers, of spreading a loved one’s ashes, of comparisons between the original Cape Fear and the Martin Scorsese remake, and the beloved athlete-turned-actor Carl Weathers gets remembered. Then, before setting their sights on the cinematic year that was, your friends in podcasting (and broadcasting) examine something last week’s guest (Luke Y. Thompson) said about what an all-time great year for movies 1999 was. It turns out he could not have been more right, and so Dean and Phil wonder, when looking back at 2023 many years hence, will it be as impressive as 1999 is now in the rearview mirror? That serves at the springboard into discussions of Wim Wenders, editing, Imax, and such films as Anselm, Perfect Days, Napoleon, Cocaine Bear, A Haunting in Venice, Oppenheimer and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. And, of course, the best thing about this week’s show is that it is “to be continued …”!
The bulk of this week’s show is comprised of two pre-recorded interviews with special guests. The first was a conversation between Phil and Eric Kurland, the pre-eminent authority on the art, science and history of 3-D. The second was recorded last weekend on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood outside the Broadwater Plunge (with a live audience of one, who ends up playing a supporting role), as Dean and Phil hoped to catch up with their friend Eric Mark about his recent trip to the Sundance Film Festival, the successful sci-fi podcast he produces, his many game show appearances and the harrowing health travails he has endured. Only the last of these really gets much coverage in a freewheeling, head-spinning, hilarious conversation on the mean streets of Hollywood.
During this week’s cold open, Dean and Phil finish up their discussion of Marlon Brando and Jack Lemmon, offering up some final movie recommendations. Phil is back after a lengthy trip to the east coast and he returns with tales of a Shakespeare Theater production about Leonardo Da Vinci and thoughts inspired by Hurricane Ian about how human beings become fixated on the statistically anomalous and he also shares with Dean the exciting way in which their former podcasting home – the Eastern Columbia Building – had a starring role in the new season of Amazon’s fashion competition show “Making the Cut”. Loyal listener Maurice Terenzio checks in with a thought-provoking email that brings the conversation back to Marlon Brando before the return of Lawsuit of the Week focuses Dean and Phil’s attention onto the ill-fated Alec Baldwin western Rust. Celebrity Deaths begins by bringing the conversation once again back to Marlon Brando (!) with a remembrance of activist and artist Sacheen Littlefeather. Many other notables get remembered as well, including an Oscar-winning actress, a comedic “love goddess”, a comic book artist who dazzled live audiences, and a chart-topping rapper-turned-reality star. Finally, two movies get reviewed: the current whodunit theatrical release See How They Run and the 2020 Netflix offering from Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things.
This week, Dean and Phil pick up right where they left off … With Dean enjoying the weather in Michigan, Phil in COVID isolation in Los Angeles, and Robert Blake’s Cinefantastique interview about David Lynch’s Lost Highway providing the basis for a “cold open”. The themes of transition, embracing what wants to come forward, emotional intelligence and more get explored deeply in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal-themed discussion doesn’t end there, as Pablo Lorrain’s Princess Diana biopic Spencer goes under the microscope. That just starts the movie talk, though, as after raving about Joanna Hogg and her films The Souvenir and The Souvenir: Part II, Phil previews her new film, a mysterious ghost story, The Eternal Daughter, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Praise gets heaped upon filmmaker Steve McQueen and two of the films he made for his “Small Axe” series available on Prime: Mangrove and Lovers Rock. Finally, Dean and Phil wrap things up by analyzing three comic book movies (and the industry built on comic book movies): Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, Daniel Espinosa’s Morbius, and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (NOT a comic book movie, you say? Just listen – you might change your mind!).
If you’re in the USA, we hope you are having/had a wonderful Labor Day. If you are elsewhere in the world, we wish you a wonderful Monday! Either way, we think this installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour will help you get the week off to a good start! Phil is playing hurt, battling COVID, migraines AND the intense L.A. heat wave, yet nevertheless brings his “A” game as he and Dean take their talk of “transitions” to a whole new level, thanks to a beautiful email from a listener like you (yes, YOU!). Dean saw Bullet Train and has a lot of thoughts. Phil weighs in on The Souvenir: Part II and shares a wonderful story about acting based on Robert Blake’s experiences making David Lynch’s Lost Highway.