Your friends in podcasting (AND broadcasting!) have quite the week to discuss! As the holidays approach, and Covid-19 dashes Dean’s travel plans, Awards Season in Hollywood gets underway. The National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle announced their winners of the best in cinema for 2021, and a consensus has begun to form through critics Top Ten lists about the best of the year in television. Dean and Phil discuss it all. They also try to make sense of the latest in the accidental shooting on the set of “Rust”. A whole lot of classic films get discussed, including which films may have best depicted what life in America was really like in the mid-1980’s. A new documentary series about The Beatles from Peter Jackson gets reviewed and four actors and a musician get remembered in our penultimate installment of “Celebrity Deaths” for 2021. If nothing else, you will learn that the movie Beau Geste is NOT the movie Gunga Din and director Wim Wenders is NOT director Werner Herzog.
Is Dean Haglund embracing his madness with a new sleep schedule? And what is his favorite episode of “The X-Files”? These are but two of the questions asked and answered on this week’s show, which also features celebrations of the great comedian (and comedy writer) Paul Mooney and the great comic actor (and provocateur) Charles Grodin. Phil hates when old white guys (like himself) complain about “woke” culture so he gets out his soapbox to rant about it before shining a spotlight on the insidious global conspiracy to … convert people to Hinduism? Apparently in Alabama, elected officials think that’s a thing! After that journey down the rabbit hole, which includes discussion of yoga, meditation and desserts, Dean and Phil tackle three overlooked movies from 2020: Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, the documentary Dick Johnson is Dead, and the “weird western” from Brasil, Bacurau. Are movie theaters going to make a comeback? And if so, will projecting movies on FILM actually play a part in this comeback? Your friends in podcasting having thoughts about this!
The first half of this week’s show is all about the art and craft and future of podcasting! Storyteller Dave Pickering joins us from his home in Lancaster in the north of England to talk about his brilliant podcasts (“Getting Better Acquainted”, “Down to a Sunless Sea”, “The Family Tree” and more), about college lectures he gives about podcasting, about where he sees the art form at present, and what he thinks the future might hold. Actress Lily Holleman drops by in the second half of the show to reveal her Screen Actors Guild Awards ballot and to discuss what she looks for in performances. A whole bunch of great movies and performers get discussed. Great podcasts and great movies – truly two of our favorite things!
After a cold open in which Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness celebrate the fact that YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour becomes a teen-ager this week, they launch into what they do best, trying to make sense of a (Covid-19) world gone wild with humor, insight, irreverence and inspiration. In the return of “Wingnut of the Week”, Dean and Phil offer a wag of the finger at Covid-19 conspiracy theorists and a doff of the cap to UFO “truthers”. In “Celebrity Deaths”, they pay tribute to a true titan of comedy publishing and filmmaking, an international star who broke big in both Bollywood and Hollywood, a character actor-turned-casting director, an influential folk singer, and the musician who turned Hugh Grant into a pop star! Then, your friends in podcasting tackle how Covid-19 will affect the up-coming television season, and how it will affect the Oscars, before turning their attention to what years in cinema might rival 1962 as the best year ever for movies!
Sure, Covid-19 may be no laughing matter, but Phil Leirness gets things started with a quarantine lockdown joke nonetheless before he and Dean Haglund dig down into the protests surrounding stay-at-home orders, the hopes they have for how society might change in the long-term, and about the dangers of placing your faith in “distrust”. Ageism in Hollywood gets discussed, and then “Star Trek: Picard” and season 2 of “Star Trek: Discovery” get compared and get praised before the commercial break. In the back half of the show, Phil regales Dean with “Star Trek”-related tales involving the likes of JJ Abrams and … Toshiro Mifune?! In “Celebrity Deaths”, two of the all-time great character actors, three legendary jazz musicians, a ground-breaking sculptor, a pop-culture influencing illustrator, an award-winning cinematographer, and a glass-ceiling breaking animator get remembered. Keep calm, stay safe, and enjoy YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!
As loyal listeners know, Phil darn near went blind. As a result, he and Dean have not discussed books in a long time! Well, Phil’s eyesight is back, thank you very much, and so is “What We’re Reading” on this week’s show! In fact, Phil’s selection ties in very much to TWO conversations Dean and Phil will have this week. One about Buster Keaton’s “The General” (which will re-visit last week’s theme of “failure”). The other about what television your friends in podcasting are watching right now. Comedy, drama, mystery and the paranormal are all on the small screen menu! And before your friends in podcasting depart from the small screen, they discuss the current SNL controversy surrounding the firing of a recently-hired performer.