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Five podcasts for cinephiles

From Hollywood’s forgotten stories to the films of the three Khans, here is a shortlist of cinema podcasts

Paul Thomas Anderson in conversation with Elvis Mitchell for The Treatment podcast
Paul Thomas Anderson in conversation with Elvis Mitchell for The Treatment podcast

There are so many podcasts on films and film-making by now that you can find your specific brand of cinephilia serviced, whether it’s Italian slasher films or pre-Code romantic comedies. Some offer reviews and discussions of recent films, others more ambitious serial storytelling. Here are five podcasts worth your time.

The Treatment

One of the most reliable film interview podcasts. Host Elvis Mitchell has one-on-one discussions, each clocking 29 minutes, with creators about recently released films. His convivial style masks an ability to zero in on essential truths; more than once, you will hear a guest remark that Mitchell has said something about their work they had never thought of.

The Film Comment Podcast

With Film Comment sadly on hiatus, the podcast is too. But there are 298 episodes you can listen to, ranging from appraisals of new films to festival roundups and discussions about everything from art and fascism to desire at the movies. They are consistently thoughtful and smart; if you are starting out, I would recommend any episode hosted by the infectiously enthusiastic Violet Lucca.

You Must Remember This

Karina Longworth’s storytelling podcast looks at “the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century”. Uniquely, it’s structured into seasons—the excellent, recently concluded nine-episode arc focused on the life and career of set designer and producer Polly Platt; earlier ones have covered the Hollywood blacklist and Charles Manson’s brush with the film world. The research is painstaking, the production stellar, and Longworth’s narration full of character.

The Director’s Cut

This podcast by the Directors Guild of America has the unbeatable advantage of access to top-flight film-makers. Its main format is half-hour episodes featuring the director of a recent film in conversation with a peer, usually another film-maker. The pairings are delicious: Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee discussing The Irishman, Alfonso Cuarón talking about Roma with his friend Alejándro Iñárritu. Their annual DGA Meet the Nominees episodes are collector’s items—the Best Picture Oscar-nominated directors of the year in a long freewheeling discussion.

Khandaan: A Bollywood Podcast

Indian film podcasting has been picking up steam lately. A relative veteran on that scene is the Khandaan podcast, which is 75 episodes and counting (disclosure: I have been a guest on it). As the name indicates, each episode focuses on a film by one of the three Khans—Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman—in addition to a roundup of recent releases and Bollywood news. Hosts Asim Burney, Sujoy Singha and Amrita Rajan have an easy, chatty rapport.

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