Podcast Review: The AuteurCast

A podcast that on paper sounds like it’s right up my alley!

The AuteurCast

The Gist

With weekly episodes clocking in at around an hour The AuteurCast focuses on directors. The premise of the podcast is pretty simple, the hosts choose a director and they spend a series of episodes talking about the works of that director. Each film gets an episode, and when they have gone through the entire filmography of a director they spend one episode giving their general thoughts about the director. The AuteurCast has only been around for a little under a year, the hosts are West Anthony and Rudie Obias.

Episodes Listened To

#38: Cameron Crowe’s “Jerry Maguire
#39: Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous
#40: Cameron Crowe’s “Vanilla Sky

My Thoughts

I’ve been familiar with The AuteurCast for some time now, mainly thanks to the shows connections to The Criterion Cast. West Anthony has guested on that show before, while Rudie Obias I do believe used to be a regular host of The Criterion Cast (if I’m mistaken in this area feel free to let me know as I’m not one hundred percent sure my information is correct). The general idea behind The AuteurCast greatly intrigued me. On the surface the premise is exactly what I am looking for in my film talk. I love the idea of tackling the complete work of a director and thoroughly looking over his filmography. I was never scared of The AuteurCast not delivering on its premise because if nothing else West Anthony has shown a impressive attention to detail in all of his appearances on The Criterion Cast and Battleship Pretension. The real question was whether that detail would be complimented by Rudie Obias, and whether the show would have a true quality of depth to it.

I’m happy to report that The AuteurCast ended up being a great podcast to listen to. The two hosts live up to the premise and thoroughly explore the works of the director in question. They offer their thoughts on each individual movie they look at, but they also offer a longer reaching view on the director’s entire body of work. It was enjoyable to listen to The AuteurCast and felt like I was with a group of hardcore film fans taking a truly deep look at a director. I didn’t always agree with what Mr. Anthony or Mr. Obias had to say, but that didn’t matter, the enjoyment of the conversations is what mattered.

From a technical standpoint The AuteurCast is top notch, it’s not a podcast that has any audio issues or anything of that ilk. With that being the case it allowed me to focus on the discussion, the easy going and questioning nature of the hosts. I also like the format of the show because it allows me to pick and choose what I want to listen to. For instance they already covered the careers of Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino, and I know I can avoid those discussions because I’m not interested in entire episodes devoted to two of my least favorite directors. The general format of the show allows an ease of access that is refreshing and creates an atmosphere that is a piece of cake to get into.

If you’re looking for some good discussion about directors from a pair of hosts who know their stuff, then you need to subscribe to The AuteurCast. It’s a podcast with a simple premise that is easy to get into and have fun with. The AuteurCast is such a good podcast that I have nothing ill to say about it, give it a listen and enjoy the quality discussions on a bevy of directors that await you.

The Bottom Line

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Cheers,
Bill

Addendum

I’ve been listening to The AuteurCast for some time now, but I shall be listening no longer. There comes a time when the realization hits that a person isn’t discussing film but rather he is telling you what to think about film. I began getting uneasy when West Anthony professed his pleasure that Claude Rains died of a particularly painful malady. I understand the man turned others in as Communists, but being happy that he died painfully, that’s unwarranted and despicable. But, the final straw was how over time I realized that Mr. Anthony didn’t want to discuss films with me he wanted to tell me what to think about film, and any given topic really. So many times I heard him refer to an opinion of his as indisputable, or how a film was an unarguable classic. That simply does not jive with the subjective nature of film and the opening attitude that is needed for good film discussion. Rudie Obias never upset me in the same way, but his passive attitude and the way he allows Mr. Anthony to control the show and run roughshod over his opinions is not an appealing facet of the podcast.

Another aspect of the podcast that has turned me off is the focus on male and American/British directors. With the rare exception of four or five foreign directors the show has exclusively focused on directors who happen to be American, British, and male. Here he have a podcast about the supposedly great auteurs that is over one hundred and sixty episodes in and they have yet to talk about a single female director. I find that sad, and along with the lack of love given to foreign film directors I have yet another big reason to no longer continue listening to the podcast. There’s also the issue of my definition of auteur and the definition given by The AuteurCast not matching up. The hosts follow the definition that is exclusive, where only certain directors meet the criteria. I find it to be the case that every director, no matter critical opinion of him/her, fits the criteria because every director has their own style. It’s not a major issue, but it’s yet another reason for my continued lack of interest in the podcast.

For all the reasons listed above my new vote is to unsubscribe from The AuteurCast, there are much better film related podcasts out there. Podcasts that engage in discussion instead of telling you what to think, what a novel idea!

The Bottom Line

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Cheers,
Bill

5 responses to “Podcast Review: The AuteurCast

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  3. The Crimson King

    I think The AuteurCast is pretty good; it reminds a lot of a older podcast, Watching the Directors, which has been sadly defunct and unavailable for at least a couple years now. I agree with your thoughts on West Anthony (and Rudy’s passivity), but it doesn’t bother me as much, and still think it’s a solid show. I was just listening to their Billy Wilder’s “One, Two, Three” episode; it’s probably my personal favorite Wilder film, but how often can you find any podcast episode about “One, Two, Three?” Their format and discussion I find pretty interesting/entertaining. The only thing that bothers me sometimes is when West Anthony goes off on some political tangent that has very little to do with the film in discussion (and Rudy will just kind of diplomatically ignore his rants). The minor quibbles I have don’t negate the very solid discussion they give 98% of the time. Truthfully I wish some other podcasts followed their format.

  4. I agree with the majority of your thoughts, but for me it turned into a case of not being able to stomach West Anthony. If he’s not on a rant about politics, or telling me why a certain person deserved to die, then he’s lecturing me about his opinion being the only right opinion when it comes to film. Glad you dig it, and I did for some time, but ultimately not for me.

  5. Pingback: Podcast Review: The Director’s Series | Bill's Movie Emporium

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