Podcast Review: East Screen West Screen

A peculiar podcast that manages to always be interesting!

East Screen West Screen

The Gist

Coming at the listener from Hong Kong are hosts Paul Fox and Kevin Ma. Every week on East Screen West Screen they deliver around an hour of film related content. They sometimes discuss movie news, and they always review a movie or two. The twist to East Screen West Screen is that being from Hong Kong the hosts focus heavily on Eastern cinema, specifically Hong Kong and Chinese cinema. They still review movies from the Western hemisphere on an almost every episode basis, but the focus of the podcast is decidedly on the Eastern side of things.

Episodes Listened To

#85: Animal Kingdumbs
#86: More Bean Than Bond, More Fake Than Snake
#87: Eastravaganza

My Thoughts

I don’t know what I expected when I subscribed to East Screen West Screen, but what I ended up listening to was most certainly not within those expectations. I became enamored with East Screen West Screen right from the start simply because the subject matter they were tackling felt so fresh. Let’s face facts folks, there are a lot of film related podcasts out there. There are so many that it is nigh impossible to stand out from the crowd. Certainly East Screen West Screen is probably not the only film related podcast to deal with Eastern Cinema as its main talking point. It is, however, the first such film related podcast I discovered and I am very happy to have done so. Everything about East Screen West Screen felt very fresh to me, and that made me a fan from the get go.

The way the hosts, Mr. Fox and Mr. Ma, go about discussing the world of film isn’t exactly revolutionary. What they are is very easy going and great entry points into a world of cinema where I am an outsider. I love a lot of Eastern cinema, but that by no means makes me an expert on that region of cinema. More to the point I do not watch movies from the East in the mindset of someone from that region. Mr. Fox and Mr. Ma do and that fascinates me. They have a different world view than I do because of how different their surroundings are and this bleeds into their discussion of film in every episode. They look at films in a way that I can’t, they introduce me to films that aren’t on my radar and they do so in a congenial and welcoming manner. I absolutely love those facets of East Screen West Screen, they are not often seen in the great majority of film related podcasts.

The only real negative I have experienced in my short time with East Screen West Screen is that when they do have a guest host on they too often shrink into the shadows. This isn’t truly a fault of the show or the regular hosts mind you. I think this falls more on the shoulders of the guests, they simply need to speak up and jump into the ongoing discussion more frequently.

With no real faults, East Screen West Screen stands as a podcast I am super happy to have discovered. Who knows what I was expecting when I first subscribed to East Screen West Screen. What I do know is that I ended up adding a new podcast to my regular rotation. A new podcast that features smart, engaging and friendly hosts. A new podcast with great production values that offers a level of insight into a part of the cinematic world where I am a true outsider. East Screen West Screen is a definite subscribe, it’s not a podcast for everyone because of its region specific content, but it is a podcast that should be liked by everyone who has an interest in world cinema.

The Bottom Line



6 responses to “Podcast Review: East Screen West Screen

  1. Sounds great, Bill! I haven’t heard of this one, and now I’m looking forward to checking it out.

  2. Cool, hope you like it, I think the tone of Paul is especially up your alley.

  3. Do you recommend any episode in particular to start with?

  4. Hmmm, maybe episode 94. That’s the start of their newest season, of which they are only four episodes into. It covers the first major Hong Kong release of the year and the American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Both reviews do a good job of showing how their cultural context creates differences between what we would look for in a film and what they look for.

  5. Thanks – I’ve been busy the last couple of days, but I’ll give #94 a listen soon and let you know what I think!

  6. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. 🙂

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