Podcast Review: The Eclipse Viewer

the eclipse viewer

Isn’t staring into an eclipse bad for you?

The Eclipse Viewer

The Gist

The final podcast from The Criterion Cast family of podcasts, The Eclipse Viewer has been around close to a year. Episodes are released on a somewhat monthly schedule, and can run anywhere between an hour and a half to two hours. The hosts of The Eclipse Viewer are David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett. The format of the podcast is simple, each episode features in-depth discussion of one of The Eclipse Series box sets from the Criterion Collection.

Episodes Listened To

#10: The Delirious Fictions of William Klein
#11: Aki Kaurismäki’s Proletariat Trilogy
#12: Lubitsch Muscials

My Thoughts

The Eclipse Viewer is very, very dry. That’s the one caveat I feel anyone looking to listen to the podcast should know. It didn’t bother me much as I’ve grown to appreciate a dry approach to analytical film discussion, but I can see it rubbing some people the wrong way. The dryness stems from said analytical approach. The hosts of The Eclipse Viewer are having a good time discussing movies, but their good time is that of analysis. For some this may lead to a dull experience, but I found the way the hosts tackled film to be informative in a way I could relate to.

I enjoyed The Eclipse Viewer the most when the hosts really dug deep into their analysis. I wasn’t that big a fan of the plot breakdowns, and in fact I wish those would be completely removed from the podcast. I also appreciated the format in terms of them covering an entire box set and looking for themes that possible tie the films together. I wouldn’t say that The Eclipse Viewer breaks any new ground in its critical analysis, but it does provide the sort of analysis that a cinephile can grab a hold of and roll around in their head.

My vote is to subscribe to The Eclipse Viewer. The dry nature of the podcast may not be for everyone, but there is plenty of great film discussion to be found in this podcast. This is, I believe, the final podcast of The Criterion Cast family. I’ve given every one of their podcasts a subscribe vote, and that makes for a lot of quality content. The Eclipse Viewer adds to that quality content through rich film analysis. The sun need not shine for great film discussion to take place, The Eclipse Viewer is proof of that really bad attempt at an analogy.

The Bottom Line


Bill Thompson

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