This week’s Canadian Thanksgiving installment features follow-ups on several topics from past episodes: Are the most important pop culture figures of the last quarter of the 20th century all named “David”? Why is contemporary art so abundant with creativity and so full of joy? What are some of the most thrilling aspects of Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia? And speaking of Savannah, why is The Pirate House so darn haunting? In addition to those follow-ups, Phil has been researching “Trainee” programs offered by the Writer’s Guild in the wake of their (tentative) deal with the producers. And a loyal listener has thoughts about the best/worst actors to play Hercule Poirot on the big screen. This last leads into Dean’s thoughts about Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice before three films starring the great Dirk Bogarde, the soulfulness of Oliver Reed and a brilliant, unheralded masterpiece by the late William Friedkin all get discussed. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, a beloved star of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (and “NCIS”) gets remembered.
This week’s show covers a lot of ground thematically AND geographically! The death of João Donato takes us to Brasil and the era of bossa nova. The death of Dianne Feinstein takes us back to San Francisco of 1978. The death of Jane Birkin inspires discussion of her daughters, fashion, Hercule Poirot, Dirk Bogarde, and Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania! And the death of Sir Michael Gambon inspires Phil to get up on his soapbox railing against those who think of the great actor as “Dumbledore”! The charms of Savannah, Dean’s ongoing battle with Covid after-effects, the end of the Writer’s Strike, and murder mystery dinners are all on the menu as well!
Dean was still battling Covid and Phil was heading to Savannah, Georgia, so this week’s installment of was recorded several days early. In it, Dean offers suggestions to Phil of sites he should visit in the Hostess City of the South and Phil regales Dean with the history of the place where he would be staying. Dean and Phil preview what they expected to happen in the ongoing labor strife in Hollywood. A deep discussion of improv leads to Dean recounting a particularly hilarious scene in which he once performed. This leads to a preview of Richard Linklater’s new movie, Hit Man, and that leads to a discussion of two classic films celebrating anniversaries this year: the Hong Kong actioner Executioners (aka Heroic Trio 2) starring Anita Mui, Michelle Yeoh, and Maggie Cheung, which turns 30 this year, and perhaps the greatest concert film of all time, Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense, which turns 40 this year and which has inspired Talking Heads reunions. Finally, a beloved English folk singer and a former piano prodigy get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.