Over the last decade, the podcast has become a serious player in the entertainment world, as living with effortless access to audio has made them as convenient as music. With so many programs in existence though, it can be hard to know what to listen to.
Podcasts range far and wide, from sports to business to society and everything in between. In particular, there is an abundance of film podcasts. There is no scale to measure cinema fanaticism, but anyone who dabbles in the field will definitely enjoy these five podcasts. These five hand-selected podcasts might only scratch the surface of the cinema podcast genre, but they are a great start. Enjoy, explore and have fun listening. (All podcasts listed are accessible with the free app “Player FM.”)
1. “I Was There Too” by Matt Gourley
Famously known for his inebriated role on Comedy Central’s “Drunk History,” Matt Gourely is sober and talkatively passionate about film. His podcast, “I Was There Too,” picks the brains of fly-on-the-wall figures fortunate enough to be part of cinema and television history. Gourely also interviews famous actors like Jenette Goldstein, from “Aliens,” who has been his favorite interviewee to date. On the podcast, Goldstein shares her origin story, what it was like playing a character of a different race and her experience carrying heavy equipment for her role as Private Vasquez in “Aliens.”
He interviews a lot of other types of film influencers throughout the podcast as well, including Yeardley Smith, who is the voice actor of Lisa Simpson on “The Simpsons,” and Dale Dye, a Vietnam War veteran who is a military technical advisor for war movies like “Saving Private Ryan” and “Platoon.”
“I Was There Too” is a lovely hour of fun conversation, spilled cinema secrets and a fantastic host worthy of listening to. There are 21 episodes ranging from 60 – 90 minutes, and Gourely’s knack for effortless, flowing conversation makes them fly by.
2. “Classic Film Jerks” by Michael DiGiovanni and Andrew Bloom
If you consider yourself a critical jerk about classic cinema and enjoy other jerks’ critical analyses, you will absolutely enjoy “Classic Film Jerks.” Hosted by Michael DiGiovanni and Andrew Bloom, the pair discuss the “classicalness” of famous classic films in American cinema history.
With 89 episodes ranging from 45 – 60 minutes long, the podcast covers a variety of films, all of which the hosts frustratingly argue about or happily agree upon. The heavily opinionated production looks at films like “Citizen Kane,” “Double Indemnity,” classic Hitchcock films and my personal favorite classic, “Some Like It Hot.”
However, despite the podcast’s exclusive-sounding name, don’t be discouraged by the fact that the hosts might know more about film than you. The great part about this podcast is the incredibly low level of cinematic understanding needed to enjoy its commentary. It’s even better if you watch the films discussed before listening to the podcast so your opinion isn’t too heavily influenced going into them.
3. “Now Playing: The Movie Review Podcast” by Venganza Media, Inc.
Where “Classic Cinema Jerks” critiques classics, “Now Playing: The Movie Review Podcast” is opinion-heavy on movies currently showing. Hosted by Venganza Media, Inc., listener discretion is advised — spoilers and colorful language are the status quo of every episode.
The group reviews movies in theaters at the moment, with their latest pieces including “Suspiria,” “Halloween” and “Hereditary, but the podcast has been around for nine years and has logged 578 total episodes, all of which range from 45 – 70 minutes long.
The team started off reviewing horror flick series like “Friday the 13th,” “Halloween” and “Saw,” but they’ve made it a point not to pigeonhole themselves as horror buffs. Every episode has a great mix of opinion, behind the scenes and history sure to pique the interest of any movie lover.
4. “The Treatment” by Elvis Mitchell
My personal favorite cinema podcast is “The Treatment” with KCRW’s Elvis Mitchell, an American film critic who started the podcast in 1996. The production stimulates my imagination, transporting me to a world where I feel like I am in on the conversations he is having with his interviewees, all of which are rich with cinema factoids.
His library of episodes not only has a healthy balance of male and female interviews, but a steady balance of well-known and independent figures. He interviews famous innovators of cinema and pop culture, such as Guillermo del Toro, Collin Farrell and George Miller, as well as film vanguards like Boots Riley, Ruben Ostlund and Lena Waithe.
With virtually 22 years of Elvis Mitchel at your fingertips, you can find something worth listening to easily. Though Player FM does not offer all his episodes, KCRW is a free, exclusive online platform where you can listen to all of Mitchell’s worthwhile interviews.
5. “The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith” by Jeff Goldsmith
Structured in a Q&A style like podcast picks one and four, Jeff Goldsmith’s agenda is simple: He tries to create interviews that offer “in-depth insight into the creative process of storytelling,” and it doesn’t get any simpler than that. Goldsmith is a down-to-earth pleasure to listen to. He interviews famous contemporary directors and storytellers like Michael Moore, Brad Bird and Steven Rogers, and generally is the embodiment of the fangirl interviewer.
Many of the podcasts above tend to review the same movies, so it’s up to you to find the perspective you want to hear. One thing I would like to see in the future is more woman hosts. In my search to provide recommendations, I was unable to find any film podcasts hosted by women, but that just means there is a lot of opportunity for the future.