Podcasts are terrific because they allow for multi-tasking and accomplishing two things at once always feels good! These are a few of my favorite film podcasts:
Screen Talk by Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson
Streaming on: SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts
Eric Kohn is the executive editor and chief film critic at IndieWire while Anne Thompson is the editor-at-large. He is based in New York and is a lover of more eclectic, arty fare. She lives in Los Angeles and is an expert on awards season. Together, they cover every aspect of the movies – from festivals to industry trends to the Oscars. Anne has decades of experience covering Hollywood. She uses her astute knowledge to read the tea leaves and forecast winners and losers. They don’t always agree but the arguments make the conversation lively. The weekly podcast keeps me updated on all that’s exciting and important in the movies that week. Both are great lovers of film festivals (they do a Screen Talk Live from the Cannes Film Festival), which makes me an even bigger fan.
Team Deakins by Roger and James Deakins
Streaming on: Teamdeakins.libsyn.com, Apple Podcasts, Spotify
The Oscar-winning cinematographer and his collaborator and wife speak to guests about their craft, journey and how they do what they do. The podcast is wonderfully diverse – so one episode can focus on the role of composition in storytelling; another will be a conversation with director Denis Villeneuve (with whom Roger collaborated on Prisoners, Sicario and Blade Runner 2049, all three of which earned Deakins Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography – he finally won for Blade Runner); a third will be Roger and James chatting with cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, who shares his experience of working with directors like Christopher Nolan. These conversations are enriched by the experience, knowledge of film and deep relationships that the hosts bring to the table. There is an informality and shared passion. When Roger and Denis talk about shooting the ending of Sicario (which they consider their best scene), you feel like giants are in conversation and somehow, you get to eavesdrop.
You Must Remember This by Karina Longworth
Streaming on: Youmustrememberthispodcast.com, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher
This podcast is my favorite lockdown discovery. You Must Remember This is, as the official website tells us, “dedicated to exploring the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century.” But this isn’t easy nostalgia or tedious hagiography. With meticulous research and terrific storytelling skills, Karina takes us back in time. The podcast, which relies heavily on narration and interviews, is described as “creative nonfiction.” ou might want to begin with the 10-episode series on Polly Platt, who was an Oscar-nominated production designer, producer and writer and the first woman admitted into Hollywood’s Art Director’s Guild. Polly was a woman with exceptional talent and exquisite taste, who is widely credited for her ex-husband Peter Bogdanovich’s early success. She also greatly influenced the careers of Barbra Streisand, Cameron Crowe and Wes Anderson. The podcast retraces her tumultuous personal and professional life and gives us a front row seat into the many battles women in film have fought.
The Director’s Cut by the Directors Guild of America
Streaming on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud
Ram Madhvani recommended this podcast and I was immediately hooked. Each episode features a leading director being interviewed by his or her peer on a specific film. The conversation has camaraderie and ease because it’s two artists in conversation. You can listen to Spike Lee discuss The Irishman with Martin Scorsese or Paul Thomas Anderson chatting about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Quentin Tarantino or Jon Favreau drilling Ridley Scott on Blade Runner: The Final Cut. When I listen, I’m always struck by the warmth and the admiration between two artists. The DGA also does a terrific Meet the Nominees podcast in which the nominees for the DGA awards are interviewed – the 2019 one featured Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) and Scorsese, who joined via video. It’s a joy to listen to these stalwarts – I wish though that at least one female director had made the cut.
Awards Chatter by Scott Feinberg
Streaming on: Hollywoodreporter.com, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher
Scott Feinberg is the awards columnist at The Hollywood Reporter. Awards Chatter features interviews with artists and assorted talents in showbiz. The conversation is expansive, usually starting with the questions: Where were you born? And what did your parents do? Scott then takes his guests through the highlights of their career, eliciting colorful stories, insights into their biggest challenges and finding the essence of what enables them to be who they are. His questions are probing without being intrusive. You come away feeling like you know the artist.