Hitting the Road? Enjoy our podcast recommendations from AFS staff

‘Tis the season to pack up and hit the road for the holidays. There’s no better time than now to start listening to new podcasts to keep you entertained along the way. We asked the staff here at AFS for podcast recommendations to hold you over for the next six weeks. Shameless plug: you can always listen to the AFS Viewfinders podcast here and anywhere else you can stream podcasts (iTunes, Spotify, etc).

P.S. On December 6, we’ll be joined by Karina Longworth, one of the top podcasters around. Longworth’s You Must Remember This podcast delves into stories of classic Hollywood and its idols, including Jane Fonda, Joan Crawford, Jean Seberg, and many, many more. Longworth will host a rare 35mm screening of WAIT TILL THE SUN SHINES, NELLIE, then sit down for a conversation with Richard Linklater. This is a can’t miss event. Get your tickets here.

Without further adieu…

Lars Nilsen, Lead Film Programmer

You Must Remember This is in the top rank of movie podcasts, and Karina Longworth is bringing the literature and lore of Hollywood to the masses in new ways, and making new connections with audiences. Classic Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes dramas are often as compelling as the onscreen ones, and Karina brings that to life.

Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast can be maddeningly juvenile, but the guests are a pretty amazing cross-section of the film and TV nostalgia circuit. Expect to hear a lot of well-rehearsed stories/lies from people who have spent a lot of time on the convention floor signing autographs, but in-between enjoy the hourlong conversations with some fairly fascinating people who are scarcely interviewed elsewhere – people like Rosanna Arquette, Keith Carradine, Richard Donner and others.

The Best Show with Tom Scharpling is the podcast outgrowth of Scharpling’s earlier WFMU show of the same name. Scharpling, a comedy writer and director, is very quick and funny, and his shows are a master-class in how to do comedy without a trace of hackishness. There are call-ins, special guests from all disciplines, and regular “character” call-ins from the mind of Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster. It’s a long (3-4) hour hang-out type show, and, for me anyway, has become an unmissable weekly routine.

The Carson Podcast is totally not for everyone. Every week a different guest is interviewed about Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” run. One week it will be Angie Dickinson, another week it will be Carson’s cue-card man, the next week it is Ed McMahon’s daughter. I don’t even especially care all that much about Carson or the show but the stories are super-interesting. From listening to this podcast for a year and a half, I feel that a virtual hologram of the show’s 30 year history has been etched into my brain, and I like it.

Cole Roulain and Ericca Long, hosts of The Magic Lantern Podcast, are sort of the Nick and Nora Charles of movie podcasting. They are a married couple whose enthusiasm and respect for each others’ opinions and feelings is the animating spirit of the show. There are no facile opinions here, no parroting of publicity angles; these two engage with films both old and new with open minds and open hearts. It’s a joy to hear this much sincerity and intelligent consideration of films. After listening to two or three of these, Cole and Ericca begin to feel like treasured, trusted old friends whose advice and opinions we look forward to immensely.

Christine Lee, Director of Marketing and Communications

I recommend Homecoming, a narrative podcast with A-list talent including Catherine Keener and David Schwimmer. The story lures you in and keeps you guessing throughout — it makes for compelling and fun listening. It reminded me of my Serial (season one!) addiction. An Amazon Original TV adaptation just launched, with Julia Roberts as the lead. Can’t wait to see how it compares to the podcast!

Shannon Kors, Sales Manager

The DGA Director’s Cut is an intimate conversation usually between a filmmaker (writer/director/actor, etc) and a currently released film director. It’s a great conversation with some behind-the-scenes of the creative process with an audience Q&A section as well. Very similar to a Rick-moderated conversation with another filmmaker.

Max Benitez, Production Services Specialist

Like many cultural phenomena, what was once niche programming is now an NPR podcast. Stretch and Bobbito had global reach before the internet and their 90’s radio show discovered artists like Jay Z and Wu-Tang Clan. Kids in my Chicago high school would pass around bootleg tapes of their show recorded off the New York City airwaves. Now Stretch and Bob’s interviews range from filmmaker Jonah Hill to singer Erykah Badu to graphic novelist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez.

I also listen to Fresh Air (WHYY) and The Business (KCRW) faithfully, too. But it’s also nice to hear boisterousness that sounds like hanging out with old friends.

Michael Thielvoldt, Program Manager

I love Karina Longworth’s show You Must Remember This. Additionally, though, I listen to Film Spotting, Slate’s Spoiler Special, and the film relevant episodes of Studio 360 and The Turnaround. For anyone with the ambition to hunt down a retired podcast there used to be a great series titled Watching the Directors, created and hosted by Joe and Melissa Johnson, that looked at a different director and her/his auteur signature per episode. This is definitely worth listening to if you can find it.

Chris Engberg, Manager, Austin Studios

I Was There Too with Matt Gourley is great. Interviews with people involved in some way or another in giant films, classics, etc. Matt Gourley also hosts podcasts with Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Daly, and other big comedy types — all great but not as film centric as this.

Austin Culp, Marketing Strategist

I’ve been making it a weekly habit to listen to Unspooled, hosted by Amy Nicholson (of the Canon) and Paul Scheer (from “The League” and many other projects). They’re doing a week-by-week review of the AFI Top 100 list from 2007, going behind-the-scenes of film and interviewing fans, friends, and those tangentially related to the film (the current owner of the boat from THE AFRICAN QUEEN).

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