Wow, I’m writing about podcasts again, weird, huh?
I love listening to film related podcasts, that’s not a secret to anyone who reads me on a regular basis. I have a weekly Podcast Review column, and I spend a good chunk of my time listening to podcasts, most of which are film related. A while back I wrote a piece about critics I think are worth checking out. I decided it was time to revisit that well one more time. This time I’m putting the focus on the podcast hosts whose opinions I love to hear. I’m not focusing on any podcast in particular in this column, but rather the hosts, or frequent guests, who present film opinions that I highly value. In no order, here are the five podcast critics who create interesting and deep film discussion that I look forward to on a consistent basis,
Co-host of They Shot Pictures and The George Sanders Show, Sean Gilman is an individual I have know for a few years now. I regularly sought out his opinions on film well before he started podcasting. I disagree with Mr. Gilman far more often than I agree with him, but I greatly enjoy the way he approaches film discussion. Coming away from hearing his opinions I feel better informed and like I’ve been given the chance to really dig deep into the film or person being discussed. Basically, if there was one podcast critic who I would recommend people get a film education from, it would be Mr. Gilman.
When it comes to interviews there isn’t a critic alive who comes close to matching what Elvis Mitchell does on a weekly basis for The Treatment. His interview style is effortless, the type where he’s asking thought provoking questions of his guests at every turn and without any deep prodding. There’s an ease to the way Mr. Mitchell interviews a subject, and I always feel like Mr. Mitchell is getting me the best information and the best answers out of his subject. His podcast is the go to podcast when it comes to interviews and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
A frequent guest host, and former regular host, of Sound On Sight Radio and Sordid Cinema, there’s no one as individualistic as Justine Smith. I pride myself on not conforming to the path most often tread by cinephiles. Such pride creates the constant risk for being contrarian without reason. I disagree vehemently with a lot of what Miss Smith has to say, but I believe every word she utters. Honesty is important to me, and when Miss Smith makes a point on a film I know she’s being honest. Miss Smith brings a different mindset to film criticism, and I greatly appreciate her deeper way of looking at film. One thing is for sure, on a film by film basis I never know what I’m gonna get from Miss Smith, and that is highly refreshing in our homogenized critical world.
I like Eric D. Snider a lot as a print critic, but I like him even more as a podcast critic. As co-host of Movie B.S. he infuses his critical thoughts with a sense of fun that is often missing from film criticism. Intellectually I enjoy what Mr. Snider has to say, but I also get a kick out of the energy he brings to his opinions. There’s never a dry moment when listening to Mr. Snider, and that’s an approach that I find easy to get behind. I have grin on my face a lot when listening to Mr. Snider speak about film, his complete lack of stuffiness sets him apart from most critics.
The person with the best voice in podcasting is probably Adam Sherlock, co-host of A Damn Movie Podcast. But, that’s not a reason to seek out someone’s film criticism. The golden tones of Mr. Sherlock are an added bonus to his thought provoking opinions on film. Mr. Sherlock is a bit of a kindred spirit in that he’s willing to look deep in places where others have already moved on. His opinions aren’t always a home run, but he’s always willing to look longer and harder at the elements of a film that most people don’t think twice about. Most importantly I always feel like I’m having a conversation with Mr. Sherlock. He never takes a lecturing tone, and when he’s busy going down a rabbit hole I feel like I’m right there in the rabbit hole along side him.
I haven’t taken the time to read much of Alison Wilmore’s print criticism, but it would have to be damn great to match her podcast criticism. As co-host of Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit Miss Wilmore brings a highly discerning voice to the film related podcast scene. She’s often willing to incorporate other criticism into her thoughts and I find that to be a valuable tool in truly exploring a film. Simply put, Miss Wilmore never comes across like she has all the answers. She knows what she’s talking about, but she’s more than willing to look to other critics for springboard ideas or support structures for her own opinions. We are a film community, and Miss Wilmore seems to understand that more than most.
There are plenty of names that could have been on this list, and if I were to write this list next week I’m sure that there would have been some changes. The reason I spend so much time listening to film related podcasts is because they provide valuable criticism through a newer media form. I’m always trying to get people to explore more film related podcasts because it’s an avenue of criticism that more people need to enrich their cinephile minds with. The people I listed in this column are great podcast critics, and by taking the time to explore the world of film related podcasts you’ll find other critics to enjoy. And that is the name of the game when it comes to film and criticism, enjoyment, whether that be critical or otherwise.