Is cinephilia contagious, because I may have contracted it some time ago!
Peter Labuza, the lone host of The Cinephiliacs, has been putting out bi-weekly episodes of the podcast since the summer of 2012. Episode length tends to be a shade under an hour and a half. The idea behind the podcast is that every episode Mr. Labuza will bring in a different film critic or cinephile to discuss how they got into film, they way they view film, how they go about formulating their criticism, etc.. The guest will also pick a film for Mr. Labuza and the aforementioned guest to watch and then discuss. The Cinephiliacs also has a section where Mr. Labuza recommends a film to his listeners, and a weekly game for the listeners.
Episodes Listened To
#26: Jordan Cronk (Repo Man)
Special: The 51st New York Film Festival #1 (Carson Lund)
Special: The 51st New York Film Festival #2 (Monica Castillo)
It should go without saying, but The Cinephiliacs is a podcast tailor made for my sensibilities. Whether or not I agree with Mr. Labuza or any of his guests on a specific film, film theory, or whatever does not matter. The Cinephiliacs is not a podcast about agreeing, rather it is a podcast about exploring the relationship between cinephiles and film (as well as the relationships between fellow cinephiles). Even the special episodes that don’t deal directly with the hows and whys of a cinephile’s film world manage to get into the mind of a guest in the way that very few podcasts manage. It only took a few minutes for me to realize that The Cinephiliacs was something special and that I was really going to enjoy listening to Mr. Labuza’s podcast.
It’s important to note that Mr. Labuza isn’t really an interviewer. He’s not asking questions of his guests as much as he is promulgating a back and forth conversation. He digs into the thoughts of the guest, but I never got the impression that Mr. Labuza was conducting an interview. He’s having a conversation, an enlightening and thought provoking conversation, but a conversation nonetheless. I think it helps that Mr. Labuza is a critic and cinephile himself. This allows him a personal connection with the role his guests have chosen to take on in the world of film. He’s not an outsider looking in at their world, he’s a part of their world, and he can use his own experiences and opinions to produce fascinating conversation.
The only aspects of The Cinephiliacs that didn’t really work for me were the clip section before Mr. Labuza and guest would review the guest’s selected film, and the introduction to the beginning of the conversation with the guest. The clips are a personal thing, as simply put clips don’t do much for me. I don’t have any need for them and the longer a clip section goes on the more bored I get. It didn’t really hurt the podcast and I understand why they are present and why people like them. However, for me clips don’t need to be present, but their inclusion wasn’t a major negative or anything like that. The reason the intros bothered me was because they sounded like Mr. Labuza was reading off a script. The rest of the conversations took on such an organic feel that they made the introductions stand out like a sore thumb. Again, not a major negative, but the overly produced nature of the intros never felt at home with the conversations that followed.
I’ve only listened to a few episodes of The Cinephiliacs, but I’ve already found a podcast I really dig. I can’t wait to see what else Mr. Labuza has to offer me down the road. I’m also looking forward to tracking down some past episodes that featured a handful of my favorite film critics. The Cinephiliacs offers something unique in the world of film related podcasting. Stars, new releases, and the news of the week are not the order of the day when it comes to The Cinephiliacs. Great conversation and a peek into the ever growing culture of cinephilia and film criticism are what The Cinephiliacs brings to the table. Mr. Labuza has made himself a great podcast, one that every cinephile needs to seek out. For all the reasons listed above, my vote is to subscribe to The Cinephiliacs, and that was one easy vote to cast.
The Bottom Line