Why Movie Podcasts are Vital to Experiencing Movies in a COVID world.

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I like movies. Coincidentally, I also like podcasts. Movies tickle the soft part of my brain that seeks escapism from the mundane. Thanks to movies, I can witness adventures from a hundred years ago, visit far away fantasy worlds, or watch Arnold Schwarzenegger get an astounding amount of mileage out of a single one-liner. And podcasts are… Well, the same (sans Schwarzenegger).

So, and this one’s gonna shock you even more, it’s only obvious and natural that I like movie podcasts, right? I mean, I host a retro/obscure movie and TV review podcast!

I love movie podcasts, and I’m not ashamed of it. And why should I be? . While I think that watching movies and studying filmmaking are a fun solitary activity, there’s no denying that watching movies is almost always better with friends. One of the best parts of the film-watching experience is discussing movies with others after you’ve watched it; that communal aspect of the medium is what makes watching Marvel movies, experimental cinema or your run-of-the-mill romantic comedy so fun And honestly, that’s something that I feel has been lost in some capacity ever since the various societal lockdowns started back in March due to the coronavirus. And that sucks.

I know, I know, there are definitely more important things out there than talking about movies with your friends, especially nowadays, but I often find myself missing those conversations everyone inevitably has with their friends about a movie when they’re walking out of a theater, or while you’re putting a DVD back into its case after a movie night. I also miss noticing and listening in on the collective glee of an audience, excitedly waiting in line to watch a brand new blockbuster. And though we can still technically have these conversations over Zoom or Facetime (again, I literally have a movie podcast that is more or less those exact conversations), one of the best replacements for losing that communal aspect of watching movies that I’ve found is listening to movie podcasts.

That sounded pretty dramatic, I know, but if you love movies and feel like you’re missing a part of what makes the movie-watching experience so special, podcasts do a pretty great job of compensating for that loss. Getting to listen to amateur movie critics (and professionals!) chat about their experiences watching a movie, vocalize their thoughts on what the film represents, or just ramble about something only tangentially related to the film their episode is about honestly really helps fill that void in my life!

Take How Did This Get Made, Earwolf’s incredible live movie podcast that’s hosted by Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas. Even when they’re covering movies that I’ve never seen before, I feel like I’m being welcomed into a conversation that is equal parts hilarious, and informative. I genuinely feel like I can listen to an episode of How Did This Get Made and walk away feeling like I had just been entertained learning something.

Even on the more informative side of movie podcasts, like with shows such as The Rewatchables, I feel welcomed into a conversation that I might have had after a trip to the movies that led to sharing trivia/thoughts on the film from the back of a bar.

Even non-mainstream movie and TV podcasts scratch that itch for me really well, though often in a different way. While it’s a lot of fun to listen to people who either work in the industry or make a living critiquing it, there’s also something special and enjoyable about hearing people who simply enjoy visual media share their passion for it. That enthusiasm towards something is refreshing and, honestly, much needed (especially these days, given current events) and the availability of a more everyman perspective on film is something that I tend to prefer over that of an esteemed critic. But that’s probably another post for another day.

Look, at the end of the day, movie podcasts rock. They rock when you’re listening to them while you’re cooking, they rock when you’re listening to them while you’re on a run, and they rock when you’re listening to them while you tune out playing video games or are cleaning. Speaking as a person that loves movies and also loves podcasts, it’s my favorite podcast genre, and I feel fortunate to be able to work on one myself. If you love filmmaking and wanna learn more about the craft in a fun conversational way, or just wanna hear people talk about movies you might wanna check out, movie podcasts are the answer you’re looking for!

So like, maybe give them a shot if you haven’t before? I dunno, you might dig them.

I hope you enjoyed this article! If you did and wanna hear more from me, why not check out my movie podcast, Media Obscura? It’s available on every major podcast player, as well as on YouTube as full videos!

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