I return across the border to review another podcast from the land that gave me hockey!
If there’s anyone out there who is following along with my podcast reviews you may remember that I reviewed Sound On Sight Radio a while back. Sordid Cinema is like the baby sister of that podcast, it’s only been around for about two years and it is a part of the Sound On Sight Radio family. The hosts are the familiar voices- usually Justine Smith, Ricky D., and Simon Howell- from Sound On Sight Radio. New episodes come out every once in a while, there really is no set schedule to Sordid Cinema. Each episode of Sordid Cinema is usually around an hour to an hour and a half. The podcast appears to be about films more off the beaten path, as well as the occasional spotlight on the films of a lone director.
Episodes Listened To
#26: Fantasia 2001 Wrap-Up: Part Two
#27: James Gunn
#28: Best of Canadian Genre Film 2011
A part of me almost wishes that Sordid Cinema had different hosts than Sound On Sight Radio. I don’t say this as any sort of comment on the quality of the podcast, rather I make mention of this wish because of how the similarities between the two shows is affecting my review. Everything I said in my previous review of Sound On Sight Radio applies to Sordid Cinema as well. I am typing this out before I go to class and I figured, “Well, I like this podcast, it should be easy to write about.” This has turned out to not be the case, because every train of thought I come up with is something I previously said about Sound On Sight Radio. However, seeing as I like to pretend I am a professional, mostly when others aren’t looking, I’m gonna give this the ole college try and see what happens.
One of the facets of Sordid Cinema that I like is that they do tend to look at a wide variety of films. They also reference a wide variety of films and I appreciate that. They don’t restrict themselves to just indie films, or genre films, or films that are accepted as classics. When they talk about a movie they have no problem reaching into any part of cinematic history for a reference and I find that refreshing. I also find their conversations laid back and easy to get into, which is another refreshing aspect of the show. Too often I find that film related podcasts, even the best of them, come across as stuffy. They turn what should be a fun enterprise into a classroom lecture, but I’ve never found that to be the case with Sordid Cinema. They have an easy conversational style, they make talking about movies fun, and they aren’t afraid to talk about any type of movie. I’d buy that for a dollar!
Having listened to Sordid Cinema for a while now I can say that I don’t always agree with what the hosts have to say. I am almost always at odds with Justine Smith for instance. Still, I greatly respect the way they go in-depth about their thoughts on a particular film or subject. One thing I do wish the podcast would do more, is to not have a particular host talk about a subject it’s almost guaranteed they will not like. Maybe this is an unreasonable request, heck it probably is, but I liken it to me making an appearance on the podcast to talk about Christopher Nolan. Everyone who reads my work, or knows me at all, knows that I will have almost nothing positive to say about the man. Maybe a one time appearance is okay, but if I keep coming back and keep saying the same negative things then what’s the point? It’s not that I have any problems with the hosts, but if the subject they are tackling is the work of Steven Spielberg, then why have Justine Smith on when she has a natural predilection towards disliking Mr. Spielberg? Like I said earlier, I’m probably crazy in even bringing this up, but it’s something that has nagged at me about Sordid Cinema, and by extension Sound On Sight Radio.
The above being said, I have no other real complaints with Sordid Cinema. The production value is top notch, and the hosts are both professional and casual in the best ways. I’ve been very positive towards Sordid Cinema, but that’s because they are my type of podcast. Sordid Cinema offers insightful film criticism, with a dash of enthusiasm often thrown in that I like to hear. I realize, based on my interaction with the online cinephile community, that the folks at Sordid Cinema aren’t for everyone. They are for me, and that’s why I can easily tell you to subscribe to Sordid Cinema.
The Bottom Line