If you love film as much as I do, chances are you listen to a film related podcast. Five years ago I didn’t even know what a podcast was, but then, as it happens when you surf the web, you discover all kinds of interesting things. I only listen to literally a handful of podcast (as in five) and they’re all film related. I wanted to start my own podcast at some point, but I never did, because I couldn’t find a co-host. I did record a couple of episodes, but that was so last year and it was in Italian, and I didn’t think I was particularly good at it.
Why do I think podcasts are important? Well, first of all that’s partially the reason I started blogging: My fascination with podcasts. Since I’m not a film student or professional filmmakers most of my knowledge of film comes directly from watching films, special features on dvds and blu-rays and podcasts. And now you’re probably wondering: What about reading? Since I read a lot for school, I don’t read much in my free time, other than subtitles of course. So without further ado: Here are my three favorite podcasts.
3. The Golden Briefcase (Tim Buel & Jeremy K. Kirk)
The Golden Briefcase podcast is the first podcast I ever discovered, which is the reason why it’s still very near and dear to my heart (and ears). It’s a weekly show, you can listen to it on Firstshowing.net and it’s a lot of fun. Every week Tim Buel and Jeremy K. Kirk recommend a film they’ve seen recently, they discuss major new film releases and then chat about a topic related to whatever film is coming out that weekend. I love this show, because of the hosts and their dynamic. They’re like old friends discussing the films they enjoy.
They’re both actually filmmakers themselves (check out Tim’s short films here), which means they know a lot about film. While they prefer genre cinema and therefore talk a lot about action flicks (which I don’t necessarily care about), they’re very funny and it helps me to hear what other people are into and not become a total snob. That being said they know a great deal about foreign cinema and it always surprises me when they come up with a great indie gem that played at Fantastic Fest (their favorite festival).
Who will enjoy this podcast? I think every film fan would and should, because they discuss very mainstream films, but they also find these obscure titles. They have great guest on, so that should help you discover other podcasts. They’re always honest, so that’s refreshing and useful, because they only recommend films they genuinely like. I think they have great taste in film and their enthusiasm is contagious. They’re entertaining and thought-provoking, just like the best kind of cinema.
2. The AuteurCast (Rudie Obias & West Anthony)
The AuteurCast is the podcast that has had the biggest influence on how I view movies. It changed my moviegoing experience completely. The concept of this podcast is to pick a filmmaker and discuss all their films in chronological order, one film per episode. At the end of the filmmaker’s filmography they talk about the filmmaker and his work overall. What makes him or her an auteur? What are their characteristic stylistic and thematic trademarks? Who are their key collaborators? That’s their approach.
I love the one film per episode aspect, because it allows you to really speak in-depth about a it. Before listening to the AuteurCast I decided what films to watch based on the marketing (trailer, poster, synopsis). A much more efficient and satisfying way to pick films is based on the director. Much like film franchises an auteur can be a brand. When you go into any iconic director’s film you know what you’re going to get (more or less). There’s a certain safety in that, but also a guarantee that you’re going to see something worthwhile.
Who will enjoy this podcast? This is a podcast for real film fans, people who truly love cinema. West Anthony and Rudie Obias discuss filmmakers from all over the planet. Yes, that means you’ll have to read subtitles sometimes boo fucking hoo! Thanks to these guys I discovered filmmakers I had never heard of, I watched little known films by big name directors and I got a better appreciation of my own favorite filmmakers like David Lynch, Sofia Coppola and Stanley Kubrick. You can check it out right here.
1. More Than One Lesson (Tyler Smith & Josh Long)
The More Than One Lesson podcast (click here) is a Christian film podcast, which means that they watch and analyze films from a Christian perspective. How does that work exactly? Well, Tyler Smith and Josh Long pick a film and then review it, first from a filmmaking standpoint (plot, characters, mise en scène), but then also try to extrapolate the main themes. From those themes they draw lessons and parallels with teachings from the Bible. What can we learn from a film like Her? How does it apply to our lives?
The fascinating thing is that more often than not any film will have some sort of idea or thought that is in line with Christian thought. It’s amazing how sometimes I didn’t even realize what a film was about, until listening to the episode. Most of the times they discuss a recent film and then compare it to a classic that shares a lot of similarities and could make a great double feature. My favorite thing about this podcast is how they show multiple viewpoints and discuss different ideas and never offer ready-made solutions.
Who will enjoy this podcast? I think both Christians and non-Christians can get something out of this. As a Christian I think there’s always something valuable to be learned from other religions, that’s why I’d recommend to anyone. The only prerequisite is that you love cinema and are interested in spirituality. To me this is more than a podcast and it’s about more than movies. Every time I listen to it it’s inspiring, uplifting and important for my (spiritual) life. It changed how I interpret and read films and it makes want to be a better human being.