Whether you’re looking to expand your knowledge of cinema, for movie recommendations or for simply a way to make your commute seem shorter, there’s no shortage of terrific film podcasts out there. Here are five we at HeadStuff particularly recommend.
The A24 Podcast
Since launching in 2012, film production and distribution company A24 has become a stamp of quality in cinephile circles. This is down to them supporting smaller indie movies like First Reformed, Good Time, Lady Bird, Midsommar, Moonlight, The Witch as well as this year’s Irish horror The Hole in the Ground.
As such, it makes sense their podcast would be similarly impressive. Each episode centres on two major names in film sitting down and having a 45-minute conversation about their work and process. Always engrossing, guests in discussion have included Superbad alum Jonah Hill and Michael Cera catching up, filmmakers Ari Aster (Hereditary) and Robert Eggers (The Witch) talking horror, as well as Claire Denis (High Life) and Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi) discussing sci-fi.
However, the undisputed highlight of the podcast so far is Martin Scorsese in conversation with The Souvenir’s Joanna Hogg. On top of sharing details about his upcoming Netflix picture The Irishman, he tells a story about shooting the end of The Last Temptation of Christ that will give any true cinephile goosebumps.
For those interested in auteur theory and delving deep into director’s filmographies, there is no better podcast than Blank Check. A competitive advantage, the podcast is hosted by friends David Sims (film critic at The Atlantic) and actor Griffin Newman (star of Amazon’s The Tick), with producer and comedian Ben Hosley regularly chipping in. The show sees its presenters going through an entire filmmaker’s back catalogue, devoting each episode to one of their movies.
No other film podcast blends intellectual discussion and sharp insight with such crackling wit and absurdist comedy. Episodes often reach way over two hours, giving the hosts ample time to explore their subjects in depth. This is all the while indulging in endless funny tangents and in-jokes.
Previous directors covered have included the likes of Brad Bird, James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow, M. Night Shyamalan, Nancy Meyers, Paul Verhoeven and The Wachowskis, with the podcast currently working through Michael Mann’s oeuvre. While Newman and Sims’ vast knowledge of cinema could be overwhelming to casual movie fans, producer (or should that be ‘pro-doer’) Hosley functions as the everyman of the show, reeling the pair in when they get too insidery.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you to seek out the podcast, their high calibre of regular guests will. Usually these take the form of top American critics such as David Ehrlich (Indiewire), Emma Stefansky (Thrillist), Karen Han (Polygon) and Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair). Recently, however, they’ve landed some major directors to make appearances. These have included Alex Ross Perry (Her Smell), Chris Weitz (Operation Finale) and David Lowery (A Ghost Story).
I’m Obsessed With This
Hosted by the great Bobby Finger (Who? Weekly), this bi-weekly podcast is perfect for those always on the lookout for the next Netflix show to binge or film to watch.
Usually 30-45 minutes, the perpetually warm and cheery Finger chats with his guests about the buzz worthy content released to Netflix that fortnight, as well as some things you may have missed on the streaming platform. On top of this, the host occasionally speaks to some of the biggest names for the service. So far this has included Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker, High Flying Bird writer Tarell Alvin McCraney and Special’s Ryan O’Connell.
Casual and gentle in tone, the podcast feels like friends telling you about what they’ve been watching. All in all, it makes for easy listening. Plus, you always come away with plenty to add to your Netflix queue.
Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review
An edited version of a BBC live radio show, film critic Mark Kermode runs through the UK and Ireland Box Office Top 10 and reviews the week’s new releases. Meanwhile co-host and acclaimed radio presenter Simon Mayo interviews an A-list guest or acclaimed filmmaker.
Thanks to its live element, this podcast is pacier than many film shows. It never settles long enough on a topic to grow dull. Like with Blank Check, Kermode’s immense movie knowledge should alienate non-cinefiles. Yet, Mayo’s dry everyman keeps proceedings accessible to everybody. This is to the extent that some fans of the show claim not to like cinema. They just listen for the two hosts winning odd couple bantering.
Little Gold Men
Hosted by Vanity Fair, this podcast discusses new film and TV releases. Yet, it does so only through the prism of their chances come award season.
This sounds like it could only be a seasonal podcast. Typically joined by other Vanity Fair staffers Richard Lawson and Sonia Saraiya, however, host Katey Rich manages to release episodes weekly, all the while sticking to her show’s premise. After all, between the Emmy, Golden Globe and Oscar nominations and their actually ceremonies is months of build-up. Plus, there’s always a trailer, new movie/TV series release or festival premiere worth talking about in the context of picking up silverware.
As such, the podcast gets listeners excited about upcoming films and shows. It provides great insight into what elevates a movie or series into a major awards season player. Also, its hosts are always giving out well-thought out predictions, one’s which can make listeners look smart when talking about the Oscars with friends.