Here at Fandor, we eat, breathe, watch, and listen to films. And a healthy dose of film podcasts is a big part of our balanced movie diet. We’ve polled the office, and come away with a list of some of our most listened-to insightful and funny shows. The one thing they all have in common? The hosts of these shows love cinema, and they all bring a unique voice and perspective to the collective film conversation that we use, in part, to consider movies both at the box office and at home.
You Must Remember This
You’re going to want to settle in and get cozy in order to fully appreciate the greatness that is Karina Longworth’s podcast because this is the cinema equivalent of storytime. Here, Longworth retells the stories from the Golden Age of Hollywood in a combination of styles that mixes research, investigation, and tabloid-Esque exploitation. Covering such topics as the Manson murders and the famous “Dead Blondes” that have graced the silver screen. There is nothing quite like You Must Remember This, and since Longworth arranges her seasons around a common theme that builds as she goes along, we guarantee you won’t be able to listen to just one episode.
The Important Cinema Club
From the title, you can tell that co-hosts Will Sloan and Justin Decloux’s opinion of their own movie tastes is both self-serious and self-effacing. Beyond their humor and film knowledge, the best thing about The ICC is its breadth. From week to week they may cover anything from the unappreciated mastery of Wes Craven to the works of Lina Wertmüller or Paul Schrader. And though Sloan and Decloux might, by their own description, subscribe to an auteur theory that we here at Fandor vacillate over, they gladly pass around the love (and hate) when it comes to appreciating both the low and high art of cinema.
The Poster Boys
This monthly podcast, which sometimes pushes the two-hour mark in length, might technically be considered “film-adjacent,” but nevertheless it fills an otherwise empty niche. The hosts, Brandon Schaefer and Sam Smith have a familiar banter that feels more like two longtime friends talking over the phone about a shared passion rather than a high-level discussion about film posters. That’s not to say that they aren’t professional. As both adoring fans of poster art and extremely talented designers in their own right, their analysis and opinions about design are endlessly interesting to follow. After listening to this podcast, you’re sure to have a new appreciation (or disdain) for the line of posters adorning the walls of your local theater.
How Did This Get Made?
Hosted by comedians Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas, this podcast asks the same question we’ve all asked ourselves as we suffer through the interminable runtime of a bad movie: It’s in the title! It might be true that the best podcast hosts tend to be comedians because this three riff with the best of them. But if How Did This Get Made? limited itself to pure snark alone, it would be a bit of a one-note show; instead, Scheer, Raphael, and Mantzoukas don’t just rip movies to shreds, but they also indulge in what they love most about their favorite stinkers, reveling in schlock, laughing at cash-grabs, and marveling at the bizarre. There’s nothing better than listening along as they eviscerate a bad movie that you’ve secretly (or not-so-secretly) loved forever! If you’re a fan of things like Mystery Science Theater 3000, then this is the podcast for you.
Filmspotting is the closest you’ll get to a “talking heads” take on the film in podcast form. Hosts Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen have a “sound” reminiscent of something like an NPR podcast (think Car Talk, but for a film). Perhaps no other hosts on this list analyze contemporary film with the same level of clarity and high-mindedness as Kempenaar and Larsen. Their episodes, which push an hour and a half in duration, review current films by picking them apart scene by scene, and they also design interesting and accessible content around those reviews, like their “Top Five Uses of Color in Film” in honor of Suspiria. With a huge back catalog of episodes and hundreds of movies on Filmspotting’s list of subjects, you’ll feel like a walking film encyclopedia after listening.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a film culture podcast, but it still manages to say a lot about movies, and in a really fun way. Based on the tabletop card game of the same name by comedian Carolyn Main, who also hosts, Pitch Please gathers four contestants to play “the game of the sixty-second screenplay” live. Here’s how it works: Contestants draw cards based on movie tropes — everything from “mismatched partners” (à la Turner and Hooch or Rush Hour) to “coveted tchotchkes” (Indiana Jones, much?) to “fish out of water” (looking at you, The Shape of Water!) — and combine them to create a pitch for a brand new movie. It’s kind of like Cards Against Humanity, but for cinema. With a different lineup of comedian contestants each week, the possibilities are endless, and hilarity inevitably ensues.