Your friends in podcasting and broadcasting start the show with a “cold open” about some greats of Italian cinema and the genius of Jennifer Coolidge and the cinematographer of “The White Lotus”. Then, after Phil regales with tales of a one-day, 650 mile road trip to Turlock and back, Dean and Phil spend the bulk of the show doing a deep dive into analyzing the year in movies 2022. They take the 10 nominees for the Best Picture Oscar and compare/contrast that list with both the critics’ choices for the top dozen or so films of the year and the top ten box office releases of the year. What emerges is an analysis of the present, and perhaps the near future of moviemaking and movie-going.
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.
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!
This week’s show opens with a brief interview with one of the stars of a “Live Event of the Week”. Dean is in Washington, D.C. and he gives a full report on one of the most beautiful road trip sights he has seen and an exhibit at the National Gallery focusing on Joseph Singer Sargent. Phil has just returned from his (penultimate?) trip to Turlock to finalize “family business” and he is in an exhausted, tormented, philosophical mood, opining on family, marriage, and alternate universes. The comedy of the Marx Brothers, Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe and See How They Run gets dissected, and in “What We’re Reading” the art of Edward Hopper, the comedy of Martin Short and the poetry of Betsy Holleman Burke get discussed. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, the lives and legacies of a Canadian voice actor, a Japanese star of an American miniseries, a blues singer, a sitcom producer and a law student-turned-best selling novelist all get explored.
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!).
This week’s show runs the gamut culturally, from a production of “Uncle Vanya” in “Live Event of the Week” and a discussion about whether the play is a comedy, to stories of jury duty prompted by a “Lawsuit of the Week”, from an excellent documentary recommendation by a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) to a deep dive analysis of the U.S. box office (including a quiz!). The success of Where the Crawdads Sing gets paid particular attention, as does the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. The once-every-ten years Sight and Sound poll of the greatest films ever made leads to a discussion of the Daniels, Edgar Wright and Roy Andersson. Finally, great stories about the making of David Lynch’s Dune, Blue Velvet and The Straight Story get shared.