Last year, HeadStuff recommended five film podcasts for those looking for movie recommendations or to expand their knowledge of cinema. Now, as much of Ireland is on lockdown due to the Coronavirus, here are five more shows for cinephiles to savour and pass the time with.
FNI Wrap Chat
First off is one from HeadStuff’s own podcast network. Presented by Paul Butler Lennox and Paul Webster, FNI Wrap Chat is Ireland’s finest film industry podcast. Each episode sees its hosts have a casual but revealing chat with a mover and shaker in the Irish film scene. Guests can be anything from actors to filmmakers, producers to festival programmers.
A must for Irish film fans, as well as anyone looking to break into the industry, topics frequently discussed include what led the guests to pursue their craft, the difficulties they faced early on and what they are working on today. To coincide with last month’s Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, recent episodes have featured Calm With Horses director Nick Rowland and Rose Plays Julie filmmaking duo Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy.
I Know That Face
Being the co-host of I Know That Face, I am being a bit cheeky in including the show on this list. That said, for film fans who appreciate the art of acting and are always seeking new movie recommendations, the podcast should be right up their alley. Fellow HeadStuff editor Andrew Carroll and I every fortnight select a character actor – those we know even though we can never remember their name – and watch five of their movies each. We then discuss their career in depth and what makes them such a great performer.
Our diverse list of subjects includes so far young stars like Barry Keoghan and Mia Goth to current blockbuster heavies Ben Mendelsohn, Karl Urban and Viola Davis to legends such as Bob Hoskins. On top of this, we’ve also released special bonus episodes including my chat with legendary director of character actors Abel Ferrara and a look at South Korean cinema more generally – the latter in preparation for our most recent entry on Parasite star Song Kang-ho. With more fascinating episodes coming down the pipeline, now is the time to start tuning in.
Quentin Tarantino’s Feature Presentation
The only miniseries on this list, the three part podcast sees legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino in conversation with film critic and podcast host Amy Nicholson (LA Weekly, Unspooled). The subject of their talks are five films programmed by Tarantino at his Los Angeles movie palace, the New Beverly Cinema. These are Point Blank, Enter the Dragon, Valley Girl, Hollywood Shuffle and Boogie Nights. Nicholson uses these picks to discuss Tarantino’s influences, his career and his latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The unique lens Nicholson uses to frame her interviewee’s work through, combined with Tarantino’s infectious enthusiasm and knowledge for cinema, makes this a memorable listen despite its brevity. Also noteworthy is the seemingly high production value. Alongside the interviews are narration, movie clips, music samples and more making Quentin Tarantino’s Feature Presentation one of the most dynamic sounding film podcasts out there.
In the podcast article I wrote last year, I spotlighted Vanity Fair’s terrific Little Gold Men podcast. However, equally strong is their sister show Still Watching. For the most part, it sees Little Gold Men’s frequent hosts Joanna Robinson and Richard Lawson recapping popular TV series week by week.
Not only are the shows they pick to cover terrific – recent examples have included Succession, The Mandalorian and The Outsider – but Lawson, Robinson and the various other Vanity Fair staffers who appear on the podcast are incredibly knowledgable and witty. In fact, their conversations are so in-depth and rich that listeners will want to rewatch episodes with their commentary in mind. The next season of television they are covering is Westworld season three. For fans of HBO’s sci-fi, Still Watching will be a solid resource for theories regarding which character is secretly a robot.
Produced by streaming service Shudder, this is a must for horror fans. Hosted by Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah – founders of production company SpectreVision (Color Out of Space, Mandy) – Visitations sees the two dropping in to filmmakers at their home or workshop to discuss all things horror. Interviewees have included Ana Lily Amirpour, Guillermo del Toro, John Landis, Mike Flanagan, Richard Stanley, Taika Waititi and more.
The fact that the series is recorded in an intimate setting and that the hosts are themselves very familiar with the film industry results in conversations that go to some emotional and personal places. Topics often covered include how the interviewees became interested in cinema and horror, how they navigate a healthy work life balance and what truly scares them. For horror fans looking to know more about the genre’s cult icons, this is a great place to start.