Podcast Recommendations

good podcast can be a very enjoyable way of getting  your film fix. A bad podcast can be rather a waste of time. From the seemingly hundreds that are available I have four that I regularly listen to and can happily recommend all of them. Each provides good film discussion and highlight films that are worth catching up with.

1. Filmspotting

Adam Kempenaar and Matty “ballgame” Robinson produce the best film podcast I have come across. Each week they review a new release but they offer more than the usual plot synopsis and vague thumbs up/down comments. Instead they successfully bring a critical eye to film and look at how and why a film succeeds or fails. They do this in a highly entertaining way with wit and charm.
In addition to their reviews of new releases there are regular features such as movie marathon’s (during which a particular filmmaker or genre is investigated over the course of a number of weeks, for example the heist films marathon looked at a different classic from the genre each week), massacre theater (in which the hosts perform a scene from a beloved screenplay, if you can identify the film you may win a prize), and a top five list (for example Adam and Matty list their top five dream scenes or films of the year etc).

2. Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews

A podcast of Mark Kermode’s weekly film review segment on Simon Mayo’s BBC radio five program. Mr Kermode is well known for his amusing rants, frequently becoming agitated about the ridiculousness of films such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers. While his hands may flap about and his voice may rise his points are usually well argued. It is refreshing to hear such passion about film.

You Tube: Mark reviews Transformers

3. The /Filmcast

Hosts David Chen, Davindra Hardawar, and Adam Quigley discuss one of the weeks new releases. As with Filmspotting they aim to bring a more critical eye to their discussion however they tend to talk about more mainstream releases than Filmspotting and have a more irreverant style. In addition to the main show there is an “after dark” show during which they are more open to spoilers (giving away a films plot details) and a wider variety of discussion topics.
The /Filmcast often brings in quests and interviews which can enliven proceedings and provide some new insight. One recent show featured Armond White, a critic well known for his different opinions (for example liking Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and disliking Inception).

4. Film Weekly

Jason Solomons, a regular contributor to The Observer, presents a weekly podcast that tends to spend more time on interviews and features than the previously mentioned shows. It is a more formal format and style but remains entertaining and often includes a greater number of “name” guests (for example Martin Scorsese). A regular segment of the show does run though the weeks releases during which Jason provides brief critical comments (usually with Xan Brooks chiming in as well).

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