Much of what we think we see in a movie is based on what we hear. To this day, much of what we expect of how a movie will sound is because of the indelible impacts made by such legendary composers as Max Steiner and Bernard Hermann. Steven Smith is a prolific documentary filmmaker, an historian, a lecturer and the author of books detailing the lives and careers of these two giants of motion picture music. Steven is also a good friend Phil Leirness AND he is the guest on this week’s installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!
If you have listened to our last few episodes, you know that conversation has really started to focus on great movies, great directors AND on silent film being appreciated as its own art form. On this week’s show, Dean and Phil really drill down into each of these topics by focusing on the careers, artistry and legacies of two formative giants of the motion picture industry: Mack Sennett and Charlie Chaplin. Even if you don’t like silent movies or know much about them, trust us, this episode is a blast!
The USA celebrated its independence this weekend, but the fireworks continue on this brand new installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour! Dean shares a hysterical story about the making of a film he did many years back. Then he and Phil discuss in detail a wide array of movies, including a silent classic from Hitchcock, a current horror sequel, a masterpiece of surrealism from a Swedish filmmaker who has emerged as a titan of world cinema, and a low-budget sci-fi film from last year that was among 2020’s best. Plus, Phil wants to talk about a new TCM neo-noir series and a classic from 1967 starring Lee Marvin, but even more than that, he wants to talk about a conversation he had with longtime TCM host Ben Mankiewicz at a memorial for 106 year old legend Norman Lloyd. Phil also shares anecdotes involving many of the notables in attendance, including an Oscar-winning director, and the great grandson of one the most famous artists of all time, and Elliot Gould! All that, plus Dean is doing a show about haunted houses?!
This week’s show begins with birthday wishes for Page Branson and Dean Haglund, both of whom turn one year older this week! Then, the show makes the ol’ Chillpak pivot from celebrating birthdays to “Celebrity Deaths”! The fascinating lives and careers of two-time Oscar-winning Best Actress Olivia De Havilland and perennial television host Regis Philbin get discussed before Phil and Dean remember Phil’s friend of more than 20 years, John Saxon, who appeared in more than 200 movies and TV shows, including Phil’s 1998 film The Party Crashers. In the second half of the episode, your friends in podcasting pick up on a conversation from a couple weeks back about the all-time greatest Canadian films. Dean and Phil each share five Canadian movies that might not be worthy of that august list, but are certainly worth your time!
Dean may be in the Motor City, and Phil may be conveniently located “between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge”, but they definitely still put the “Hollywood” into YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour. Of course, first they will share their latest thoughts on the social unrest and social evolution taking place, including what Phil terms his “7 percent solution” and Dean describes as “Quantum Life”. From there, and in the wake of some truly disturbing deaths and disappearances in California’s San Bernardino county, Dean and Phil will offer a “Black Lives Matter” edition of “Celebrity Deaths”, remembering the lives of a trailblazing screenwriter, a chart-topping singer, an award-winning dancer and choreographer, and an Olympic bobsledder who once helped inspire a Hollywood box office hit. Then the show becomes all about movies … And car culture! Drive-in theaters are having a moment. Will that moment continue? What will happen to theater chains, especially AMC which is close to going out of business? This year’s The Invisible Man, about which Dean has a compelling theory, will get discussed, as will the 1920 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Thoughtful, elevated discourse on the evolution of society, insightful analysis on two movies 100 years apart and irreverent banter from your friends in podcasting – Who could ask for more?
Phil Leirness is joined by music journalist (and friend of the show) Yoshi Kato, who briefly fills in for a tardy Dean Haglund, to discuss the lives and legacies of six notables from the world of music in “Celebrity Deaths”, as well as to set the table concerning a later discussion of Asian Pacific American Heritage month and the 1961 film Flower Drum Song. Dean then arrives just in time to remember a prolific character actor, the decorated police officer who played Eddie Haskell on TV’s “Leave it to Beaver”, and the great Fred Willard. Dean and Phil then answer an email from a loyal listener about an upcoming Michael Bay film set in the world of Covid-19. This leads to a fascinating discussion and argument before attention is turned to the ramping up of film and TV production and the announcement that the Venice Film Festival will go ahead as planned this September. Dean then sings the praises of two different television series, Phil sings the praises of two classic movies about gambling. Then the conversation turns to the careers of Sessue Hayakawa, one of the first heartthrobs of the silver screen, the hilarious and brilliant Jack Soo, and the tragically overlooked Reiko Sato.
As they begin their 14th year of changing the way you listen to the internet, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness have never seen times quite like these. As if shelter-in-place quarantines and global pandemics weren’t enough, now we’ve got murder hornets?! This week, your friends in podcasting will try to make sense of both, while also remembering several of the notable people who died this past week. They will celebrate one of the women upon whom A League of the Their Own was based, a beloved character actor from TV’s “Scrubs”, a golden age of TV’s private eye sidekick, a legendary poet who helped launch the counterculture beat generation, and one of the truly indelible soul voices of the 1970’s. In fact, it’s been a particularly troubling time for lovers of music, and in “Celebrity Deaths”, Dean and Phil will also remember a Was (Not Was) vocalist, a co-founder of Kraftwerk, a chart-topping Jamaican ska singer, one of the true fathers of rock n’ roll, a great Mexican protest singer, and an illusionist who headlined one of the most successful shows in the history of Los Vegas. Dean will also provide an update on his long-awaited graphic novel, and he and Phil will compare notes on all the movies – new and old, foreign and domestic – they have been devouring during lockdown, including the Back to the Future movies, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, film noirs (films noir?!), and a couple Japanese classics, as well as a new Netflix series Dean is “maybe” finding interesting. Irreverent, insightful, and insightful, it’s what long-time listeners have come to expect!
Another show 10 years in the making! Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness ring out 2019 by counting down their Top Ten lists of the Greatest Films of the Decade! Get that popcorn ready (and keep those Netflix queues handy) because we’re going to the movies …
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.
Dean regales us with details of his trip to Knoxville, Tennessee, and updates us on his teaching of improv. Phil updates us on his recovery from multiple eye surgeries, and regales us with details of a Hollywood Bowl “Live Event of the Week” before previewing an upcoming presentation at The Los Angeles Breakfast Club about silent film great Harold Lloyd and his love of 3-D Photography. Phil also sings the praises of two terrific Asian-American performers – Maya Erskine and Awkwafina – as he recommends their most recent movies, the romantic comedy Plus One and the indie drama The Farewell. Dean and Phil revisit the great Denis Villeneuve sci-fi pic Arrival, answer an email from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU) about the Manson family murders and provide updates and analysis on the CBS-Paramount merger and Netflix’s efforts to purchase the landmark Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. That a whole lot of entertainment for one hour (plus)! Of course it is YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour.