Dean (in Detroit) and Phil (in Los Angeles) celebrate the lives of three amazing women: Performer-turned-novelist Echo Brown, Pilot-turned-architect Beverly Willis, and Detroit’s very own screen legend Piper Laurie. The latest implosion in the negotiations between the actors and the studios gets discussed, analyzed, and what it means for TV and Film production gets predicted. Where television is concerned, your friends in podcasting and broadcasting offer up thoughts on the recent social media furor surrounding Martin Short, and the merits of “Only Murders in the Building” season 3, “Reservation Dogs” season 3, and “Our Flag Means Death” season 2. Where movies are concerned, Dean checks in with a review of The Creator, while Phil weighs in on William Friedkin’s final film and Wes Anderson’s brand new Roald Dahl adaptations for Netflix.
This week’s episode is quite the mélange and it begins with a cold open featuring a musical duet recorded late at night in Dean’s Motor City-adjacent home last week while Phil was visiting. Then, it is back to the “now” with Dean previewing his forthcoming trip to Minneapolis for a convention celebrating the 30th anniversary of “The X-Files” and Phil reveals the challenges he faced getting home from Detroit. Then, Phil reveals the latest show business strikes news and Dean offers up another vintage television series, this one an exemplar of Scandinavian Noir. In the return of “What We’re Reading”, Dean and Phil reveal the books that have garnered their attention, including a memoir, classic literature, historic fiction, poetry, music analysis and a guidebook. The phenomenon that is Oppenheimer gets discussed, as does large format film exhibition. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, Jimmy Buffett gets remembered (as do his cafes and hotels!).
Dean previews his upcoming improv show. Phil previews his forthcoming travels with his cat. Dean and Phil analyze the latest news in the escalating showdown between the Hollywood studios and the creative unions, including the terms of the tentative agreement between the studios and the directors. Then, the rest of the show is about a handful of the greatest films of all time, including Casablanca (with fascinating and surprising stories about its making), Seven Samurai, Pickpocket and Out of the Past, and a couple of truly awful ones (a musical version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Kirk Douglas?!). Discussion of great actors, great editing, great cinematography, and Wabi-Sabi ensues!
After three special theme shows celebrating their 16 years of changing the way people listen to the internet, your friends in podcasting and broadcasting are back doing whatever the heck it is they usually do! Dean and Phil discuss all the news coming out of the Cannes Film Festival and the latest in the ongoing labor turmoil in Hollywood. They discuss art, comedy, and Disneyland. They offer up reviews of three new or recent releases. They celebrate the lives and legacies of a chart-topping singer-turned-actor, the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll, a groundbreaking filmmaker, and an award-winning novelist.
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.
This week’s show begins with Phil trying to surprise Dean with details of a very famous person who lived in what is now Dean’s hometown of Birmingham, Michigan, and then, Phil tries to stump Dean with a vintage movie ad (from 55 years ago!). Then, because they have been falling behind in discussing “Celebrity Deaths”, Dean and Phil will open the Chillpak morgue to discuss the huge amount of notables who shuffled off their mortal coils in the past week! In part 2, Dean and Phil discuss Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, the latest awards season news (including the SAG, DGA and Producers Guild nominations), and then they conclude with reviews of several films including The Kitchen Brigade, After Yang, Crimes of the Future and Bones and All.
It’s the midst of the holiday season. Travel plans are ramping up and the awards season is starting to heat up! The American Film Institute has revealed its honorees as the top (ten) films of 2021 and a consensus has begun to form through critics Top Ten lists about the best movies of the year as well. Dean and Phil discuss it all. They analyze (and “contextualize”) three new award-hopeful releases from major directors: Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth and Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog. They also celebrate foreign films, the Oscars, country rock, The Monkees, the Bronski Beat, New Orleans, The Beasts of the Southern Wild, Interview with the Vampire, telenovelas and more in “Celebrity Deaths”.
In the first half of this week’s show, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness celebrate the lives of several show biz luminaries who shuffled off the mortal coil these past few weeks. They also analyze the list of the 10 best films of the decade according to the legendary Cahiers du Cinema, especially their top choice. Finally, Dean and Phil reveal a newfound opponent to the Department of Justice’s plan to end the Paramount Consent Decree. Then, after a commercial break, your friends in podcasting welcome to the program, lifelong broadcaster and educator Alex Lewczuk of the University of Lincoln in the UK, Siren FM, and Southside Broadcasting. He discusses the past and present of sci-fi, as well as the importance of futurism.
Today’s breaking news: Heath Ledger, Oscar announcements, and strike talk. All for you!