Five Essential Podcasts for Cinephiles

If you’re anything like me, the next best thing to watching a movie is listening to a good movie podcast. For the uninitiated, here are five great shows worth giving a listen to in your spare time — spoiler alert on all of them.

1. You Must Remember This: I’m newer to this show, so I can’t claim the same familiarity I have with the rest of the recommendations, but Karina Longworth’s informative and tightly produced exploration of Hollywood’s seediest stories is a great listen for anyone with an affinity for gossip and celebrity dirt.

Where to start: “23: Mia Farrow in the 1960s, Part One: Mia & Frank.” In discussing the early years of Hollywood icon and lifelong scandal-magnet Mia Farrow, podcasts-07Longworth combines research with dramatization, history with storytelling. It’s not the most insidious episode, but it’s certainly compelling and it showcases Longworth’s talents in tremendous form.

2. The Canon: While currently on hiatus for rather disturbing reasons, Amy Nicholson’s program is set to return to the airwaves this spring with a new co-host. The show’s premise revolves around the discussion of generally well-regarded films with the goal of determining whether or not they belong in the canon of all-time great movies. The film of the week is then offered up to the public to vote and determine the film’s fate.

Where to start: “89: Blazing Saddles.” You’d be best to pick an episode about a movie you’ve seen and love, but if you wanted to get a feel for the show’s style, Nicholson and former co-host Devin Faraci’s gushing analysis of the Mel Brooks classic provides both articulate criticism and fan love.

3. The Faculty of Horror: In a sea of male-driven movie podcasts, The Faculty of Horror can be considered an island of lost souls. Hosts, horror addicts and academics Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West, take the time to critically analyze scary movies and their themes through a sociological and feminist lense.

Each episode comes with “required readings” — typically a film or two along with some related critical essays — and you’d be wise to come to class prepared as they never hesitate to go in-depth in their discussions.

Where to start: “4. Do you like scary movies?” In an early outing, Subissati, West and fellow podcasters look back to what scared them as children. The format is abnormal when compared to their typical episodes, but there’s something about it that makes a striking impression on the listener.

4. The Important Cinema Club: I might argue that the title of this show is a little bit misleading. While hosts Justin Decloux and Will Sloan undoubtedly know their stuff when it comes to arthouse and international cinema, this energetic and ever-so-catty program is far from the snobbish circle-jerk that its name makes it out to be.

With a generally loose format, they cover plenty of obscure films, filmmakers and actors, but they always keep it interesting and balance those episodes out with ones on actors like Sylvester Stallone and the Friday the 13th series — so don’t let them ever fool you into thinking they’re too fancy for you.

Where to start: “#23 — What the Hell is Canadian Cinema?” If you’re a self-loathing Canadian like me, this deconstruction of our country’s film industry and inferiority complex is a hilarious and brutally honest listening experience.

5. We Hate Movies: Bad movie comedy podcasts are a dime a dozen, so We Hate Movies sits atop a very high throne. Regular hosts Andrew Jupin, Stephen Sajdak and Eric Szyszka use the show as a platform to reminisce not only about bad movies, but about adolescence and growing up as a movie nerd.

They have a back-and-forth charm that only the best of friends could have and their now-vast catalogue of episodes covers everything from shit they loved as kids to atrocious blockbusters and movies they love but love to mock even more.

Where to start: “Episode 205 — Space Jam.” Again, it’s hard to recommend any one episode, as your favourite will likely be the one on the movie you’ve seen the most times, but their scorned skewering of Space Jam warrants repeat listenings to this day.

Image: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor