5 Podcasts Every Young Film Fan Should be Listening to
The most underrated medium of entertainment is the podcast. Podcasts can not only serve as a great form of entertainment on your daily commute or during a work break, but it can also teach you genuine insights about topics that you are passionate about, and for me that is movies. So here’s a quick rundown of what’s currently on my queue and what I think deserves to be on yours.
Josh Larsen and Adam Kempenaar co-host this weekly podcast that usually focuses on the major release of the weekend or the latest indie film. Along with an in-depth but spoiler-free review, they count down a top five that coincides with whichever film they are discussing (i.e. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom = Top 5 Movie Chrises).
While the two could easily become pretentious because of their deep film knowledge, the conversation stays basic enough for anyone to understand while still being relevant for the most hardcore cinema buffs. Aside from their weekly show, they have two annual awards that are unique to their show: The Golden Brick and Filmspotting Madness. The Golden Brick is awarded to an independent movie from a new filmmaker on the scene. Previous winners include Sean Baker for Tangerine and Duncan Jones for Moon.
Filmspotting Madness is a March Madness style tournament in which films face off against each other to see which will prevail. Each week in March, listeners vote on which movies they want to advance to the next round in the tournament bracket and which movies they want eliminated forever. 2018’s tournament was a battle of the best movies of the ‘90s, in which the final saw Fargo pull off a shocking upset against Pulp Fiction.
Steve Morris and John Rocha co-host this weekly podcast that focuses on a classic film and dives into a deep analysis of it. Steve Morris is a filmmaker and directing instructor in Los Angeles. John Rocha is a voice-over artist and one of the hosts on Collider, the self-proclaimed SportsCenter for movies.
As of this writing, they are just passed 100 episodes so there is enough diversity in content to ensure that there are episodes for just about everyone. The conversations do not just center on what happens within the frame. They talk about everything from the cultural impact of the movie to the ideology of the filmmaker that is on display. Their episode library is rivaled only by film school classrooms in terms of depth and quality of film analysis. For some of the more critically acclaimed films, such as 2001: A Space Odyssey or Taxi Driver, the episode is split into two parts or they have other film critics or personalities as guests, so things are always fresh if you tune in weekly. If you want to gain an appreciation for the art of film-making, there is no better place to start than with Steve and John on The Cine-Files.
Critically Acclaimed is co-hosted by William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold. Each week, in addition to providing their unique perspectives on the week’s new releases, they pair together a bad movie chosen by the listener base with a good movie chosen by them. Pairings include Battlefield Earth and The Master or Green Lantern and The Untouchables.
Within the first few minutes of hearing Bibbs and Witney, two things becomeblatantly obvious. The first is that these two critics know their stuff. They are constantly referencing film history (both recent and older) and use that knowledge to help inform or give context to their feelings on films being released today. At first, this might seem intimidating as a young film fan, but rather than hold this knowledge over your head, Bibbs and Witney do a fantastic job of acting more as a guide on your cinema journey. The second fact that becomes obvious soon after turning on your first episode of Critically Acclaimed is that these two men have a genuine love for movies. Even when they dislike something or disagree about a certain point, they always convey their opinions with a certain respect that is not seen often in today's film media landscape. And this vast knowledge paired with a genuine love for cinema is something every film fan needs more of in their life.
The Top 10 Show
The Top 10 Show has mastered the art of radio chemistry. The podcast is co-hosted by John Rocha and Matt Knost as they count down the Top 10 movies in a given category that normally coincides with a new release for that week. This format allows them to get into a large amount of different movies that span across a variety of decades all over the course of a single podcast. This often leads their listeners to leave each week with 2-3 movies to add to their watchlist after hearing Matt and John so passionately vouch for them.
Just as impressive as their movie knowledge, however, is their ability to connect with their audience on a personal level. Every week they take the first 5-10 (sometimes 15) minutes to talk about what’s going on in their individual lives. This leads to some of the highlights of the podcast as you quickly feel like you’ve known these guys your whole life, even if it’s your first time listening. While the lists are fun, the banter and tangents of the hosts will keep you coming back to The Top 10 Show each and every week.
Now Playing Podcast
The Now Playing Podcast has a rotating group of hosts who each bring a different level of depth to the movie conversation. The format for the podcast differs by being in the form of a retrospective series. The retrospectives range from all of John Carpenter’s filmography to every video game movie ever made. By podcasting in this manner, they are able to discuss decades of hits-and-misses.
And for those who refuse to watch movies that came out pre-2000, they do their best to keep up with the latest releases from Hollywood. While the weekly reviews are free, you can add to the amount of content you consume by joining their tiered level of donations for tons of bonus material. With archives going back over ten years, it is unlikely you will run out of shows to listen to. This is by no means the definitive list of movies podcasts, but if you have never listened to a podcast before, this is a great place to start. Leave a comment after you've listened to one of these, or leave a suggestion for other podcasts that are out there.