Podcast Review: The VCinema Show

Another lengthy podcast about Asian cinema, those two appear to go hand in hand with my recent reviews for this project!

The VCinema Show

The Gist

Around since, I believe 2010, The VCinema Show, sometimes also referred to as The VCinema Podcast, covers the world of Asian cinema one film at a time. The schedule of the show is erratic, but that is the case with most film related podcasts. Each hour and a half to two hours plus episode features a review of one specific film and discussion of random subjects within the world of Asian film. The hosts of The VCinema Show are Coffin Jon, Stan Glick, and Josh Samford.

Episodes Listened To

#35: Exte
#36: Corpse Mania
#37: Moss

My Thoughts

For me an odd aspect of the podcast listening experience is that I need to feel like I am involved in the discussion. When a podcast brings me into the episode, and makes me feel like I am right there with the hosts fully immersed in their discussion that’s when I know I’m listening to a good podcast. I spent my time listening to The VCinema Show waiting for that to happen, but it never did. The way they discussed Asian cinema made me feel like an outsider. This isn’t something I fault Josh Samford, Coffin Jon, or Stan Glick for, they certainly aren’t intending to discuss Asian cinema from an alienating viewpoint. They love Asian film, in fact it’s obvious that they love film in general, and that shines through in the podcast. At the same time their discussions are peppered with inside comments that always served to remind me that I was listening to others speak about a topic as opposed to having a conversation with me about said topic.

When the show spent a large portion of episode 35 talking about upcoming Asian oriented film festivals I understood why they were doing so. I’m not going to say it’s a bad thing for them to discuss upcoming Asian film festivals, or segments of larger film festivals devoted to Asian film. At the same time when the hosts spent so much time talking about film festivals that I knew I wouldn’t be attending I had a hard time being interested in what I was hearing. I’m all for getting the word out on film festivals and any topic within the world of film. However, so much time was devoted to an area I can not partake in that I felt like a freshman waiting for the seniors to leave the table.

Once The VCinema Show gets into actual film discussion I found myself liking the films they delved into. There did not appear to be any sort of specific Asian films that they focused on, the hosts discussed the entire world of Asian cinema and I appreciated that. However, within the actual reviews I once again found that the podcast left me with an alienated feeling. The hosts employed a style of conversation that wasn’t so much about back and forth banter as it was about one host saying his piece and then falling silent for ten minutes while the other host said his piece, and so on. Occasionally the hosts would interact in a more conversational manner, but there was always a distance between the hosts that left me with the impression of the hosts talking at one another as opposed to engaging in discussion.

The VCinema Show never clicked for me, but I wish it had. The hosts clearly know their stuff and they obviously have a healthy devotion to Asian cinema. There are others who will come to The VCinema Show and love what they hear, I am sure of that. I didn’t like The VCinema Show because I never felt like the show was engaging me, but for others this probably won’t be an issue. My vote is to unsubscribe from The VCinema Show, but your mileage and opinion may end up very different from mine, because alienating issues aside The VCinema Show isn’t a terrible podcast and I can see where others would gain the enjoyment from the show that eluded me.

The Bottom Line




4 responses to “Podcast Review: The VCinema Show

  1. Thanks for the review. We appreciate the honesty! 🙂

  2. Thanks for the feedback, and I appreciate that you’re willing to put out a podcast, something I know I’d be inept at doing.

  3. I appreciate your comments and the way you expressed them. While some listeners no doubt share some or all of your views, I think it was very balanced of you to note that others may feel differently. I’d like to make two points. First, while we (especially me) may go on a bit about festivals you and others won’t attend, I’ve mentioned the importance of them on several occasions. Asian film festivals in NY often feature International and North American premieres, sometimes even World premieres. Knowing about hem allows the listener to be aware of websites they might want to visit (japansociety.org, filmlinc.com, etc) and read more about the films, or at least some of them. Films shown at these festivals often are screened elsewhere at a later date, or subsequently get released theatrically. To say nothing of the fact that DVDs of many can be ordered over the Internet. Sceondly, your feeling that there’s a “distance between the hosts” is, in my opinion, an inevitable one given our situation. Coffin Jon is in San Francisco, Josh is in New Orleans, and, as I’ve indicated, I’m in New York. The interaction would be quite different I’m sure if we were in the same room. Still, your points are all well taken, and I’m sure the three of us will do all we can to make the show better. (P.S. – I think if you listen to Episode 42: Goodbye, Dragon Inn, you’ll find us engaging in much more banter, especially me going at guest host Marc Saint-Cyr’s opinions.)

  4. Thanks for the reply Stan. Offering up a relatively positive opinion of your show wasn’t a hard thing to do, you have a good podcast on your hands. I’m sure that while it didn’t click for me it will click for many others, that’s the beauty of there being so many film related podcasts for one to listen to.

    I appreciate your take on your coverage of festivals. I think it may just be that I’ve never been much of a festival person, but like I said I appreciate your reasons for focusing on them so much.

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