In the immortal words of Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson, the best things in life are free, and that’s certainly applicable to the burgeoning world of the podcast.
As any fool knows, podcasting is the greatest thing to come out of the digital age, catering to a vast array of interests with the decent ones (and there are many) supplying endless hours of compelling and informative content. All of this is particularly a godsend when making that slog to work as the long dreary winter months close in.
Below is a selection of our favourite film-related podcasts.
These guys have great chemistry together but they’re not afraid to passionately defend or demolish a film if there’s a clash of opinion over a new release. Each episode is rounded off by a ‘top 5 list’ from a subject derived from that week’s big screen review, and this is where the duo really show their cineastes credentials.
If this isn’t already amongst your weekly downloads, it deserves to be.
Another weekly treat, again lifted from a public radio station (KCRW) although this one is based close to the movie industry heartland in Santa Monica, Los Angeles.
The Treatment sees renowned film critic Elvis Mitchell conducting probing and meticulously researched interviews with key creative figures from film and TV. Mitchell’s deep love of the medium really comes though during his interviews, where he’s relaxed and good-natured, getting the very best from his subjects (his past chats with Quentin Tarantino are akin to listening to two giddy and vocal film geeks revelling in their passion).
The Treatment page on the KCRW website
KCRW have a great collection of podcasts culled from their broadcasts (also worth checking out is a film review segment with Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Joe Morgenstern) but The Business offers an indispensible guide to the latest industry news and developments.
Content-wise, after a brief breakdown of Hollywood’s top stories with co-contributor John Horn, presenter Kim Masters then turns her attention to a longer interview segment. Masters is a tenacious interviewer, who doesn’t let her subject off lightly (pre-Cosby scandal, she took to task the biographer of the comedian’s book after those serious past allegations were skimmed over).
Required listening for anyone interested in what happens behind the glamorous facade of Tinseltown.
The Business page on the KCRW website
Happy Sad Confused
Who doesn’t want to hear iconic industry figures playfully shoot the breeze? The newest podcast in this list, MTV News movies correspondent Josh Horowitz hosts a weekly interview podcast with an eclectic list of contributors (he even managed to land the famously reticent Woody Allen for one session).
Horowitz’s loose and low-key interview style is perfectly matched to the intimate one-on-one podcasting milieu, and past contributors have included (a surprisingly animated) Al Pacino, Michael Fassbender, Richard Linklater and Darren Aronofsky.
Happy Sad Confused website
Here’s The Thing With Alec Baldwin
Having been off-air for a year or so (the actor has been laying low since his unsavoury run-in with paparazzo) Alec Baldwin’s New York Public Radio show is back and the podcast world is all the better for the return of this classy interview series.
Owing to Baldwin’s connections through his profession, not only has he landed some impressive guests in the past (a post-cancer Michael Douglas on the mend, Jerry Seinfeld, Lena Dunham) but he’s also able to chat with these figures from the unique vantage point of actually living in that rarefied world of celebrity.
Sit back and let the silky vocal tone of Baldwin luxuriate your ears.
Here’s The Thing page on the WYNC website
Bret Easton Ellis Podcast
Former 80’s literary brat Bret Easton Ellis presents this weekly show which, unsurprisingly, happens to be one of the most intelligent and thought-provoking podcasts out there.
Ellis does have the tendency to spin off into a mini pop culture thesis during some point in each episode, but this is the guy who wrote American Psycho, and his sociological insights are shrewd, almost always on the money, and eminently listenable.
Coupled with the always interesting artists he gets in to interview (a recent chat with Rose McGowan was electrifying, revealing an impassioned and unflinchingly pro-feminist side to the actress previously unknown) this is unmissable for your ears.
Bret-Easton-Ellis-Podcast page on the PodcastOne site
How Did This Get Made?
Q: What happens when you get three respected US comedic actors (plus a guest) to comment upon the selection of gloriously bad films?
A: This terrific, often uproariously funny, fortnightly show from the Earwolf network.
Hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas have great chemistry together (the former two are married, while the latter duo star together in FX comedy The League) but the key to the show is rather than doing a snarky takedown of their subject, they’re much more good natured and irreverent in the critiquing.
Their epic deconstruction of Superman 3 in front of a live audience is utterly hilarious and is arguably the greatest HDTGM? podcast, thus far.
How Did This Get Made? page on the Earwolf website.
Now – over to you. Let us know what we’re missing out on…