In recent years, I've gotten into the habit of downloading podcasts, loading them up in my iPod and listening to them incessantly during long trips, daily commutes and even downtime at work. They can be very entertaining and occasionally even informative. I'm particularly fond of film-related (surprise!) or comedy podcasts. Here's a short list of the film podcasts I listen to:
01. Doug Loves Movies - Formerly known as I Love Movies with Doug Benson, it's hosted by comedian and professional pot smoker Doug Benson. Often taped in front of a live studio audience in the Upright Citizen's Brigade theater in LA, he along with two or three guests (or more), usually fellow stand-up comics or even actors and TV personalities, riff about movies and movie-related topics, often going on unrelated (and hilarious) tangents. At the last 20 minutes or so of the podcasts, him and the guests usually play the Leonard Maltin Game, a movie trivia game that uses Leonard Maltin's Video Movie Guide, where using a particular category and some vague clues lifted from Leonard Maltin's review, a player has to guess a movie by bidding how many names from the cast list (starting from the bottom going up) he or she can name the movie. It is pure joy from any film geek. Notable guests have included Patton Oswalt, Jon Hamm, John Lithgow, Edgar Wright, Elisabeth Shue, Anna Kendrick, Michael Cera, Ellen Page, Simon Pegg, Rainn Wilson, Amy Poehler, Samm Levine and Leonard Maltin himself!
02. Battleship Pretension - For those of you who want their film talk to be just a tad more serious, this is the podcast for you. Hosted by film enthusiasts David Bax and Tyler Smith, this is simply a podcast where they talk about film usually focusing on a particular topic like the career of an actor, director, writer, even behind-the-scenes artisan or a particular genre. They too would often have guests, usually an independent filmmaker, a fellow podcaster or also a stand-up comic (both David and Tyler are comedy nerds as well).
03. And the Nominees Are... - This is another fun film podcast. Three college film geeks namely Keith Jackson, Kenny Jones and someone I happen to know online, Austin Lugar decide that they want to watch each and every film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar from the beginning of the Academy Awards to the present and review them in a podcast. Each year is kicked off with a "history lesson" where they talk about the historical events that happen in that particular year and then they proceed to share their thoughts on all the Best Picture nominees alphabetically (Years with 10 or more Best Picture nominees are usually divided into two podcasts). It is of course a long-term project. Since they are college kids with lives, the podcast doesn't come in weekly doses. They've been doing this for over a year, only now have begun to review the films from the 1940's. It is a fascinating podcast, a must for any fan of film history.
04. The Criterion Cast - This is another film podcast which review films exclusively included in the Criterion Collection (see post below) hosted by Ryan Gallagher, Travis George, Rudie Obias and a revolving door of podcasters and contributors. Since they are part of the Criterion Collection, they're often older, foreign, landmark films of the history of cinema. It's probably one of the more highbrow film podcasts out there. But they're not all that stuffy. They have bonus miniepisodes where they review current films and other aspects of pop culture as well.
05. Comedy Film Nerds - This is not quite as wacky and irreverent as Doug Loves Movies, although also not quite as serious as The Criterion Cast or even Battleship Pretension. This is somewhere in between. This podcast is hosted by comedian Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini where they and a special guest, usually another comedian where they talk about movies coming out in the theaters and DVD, and riff on movies in general, at times concentrating on a particular topic the guest is interested in though there is often no fixed topic. It's basically equal parts funny and informative.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Comedy Bang-Bang (formerly Comedy Death Ray), not a film podcast but a comedy one and an often hilarious one at that. Hosted by Scott Aukerman, comedians and comedic actors are interviewed and often do characters, skits and improv games to hilarious results. WTF with Marc Maron, hosted by comedian Marc Maron is a great interview podcast. In it, Marc interviews different comedians, actors and writers in rather revealing interviews, far more revealing and informative than any TV interview could ever get. If your favorite comic or actor is in this show, it's a must-listen.
So, what's in your iPod?