Movie Podcasts review part 1: UK podcasts

There are dozens of sites out there providing the internet with movie themed podcasts. Too many to listen to with so little time available. I have created a list, in no particular order, of the ones that I listen to on a regular basis. The list is obviously not a best of the net list as I haven’t the time to investigate very far. Most of the podcasts came to my attention through web site recommendations, iTunes reviews and recommendations from other podcasts. All of the mentioned podcasts can be found on iTunes or via the links below.

Film weekly from the Guardian newspaper is hosted weekly from London by the journalist Jason Solomons. In its 45 minute format it generally features a couple of  interviews with a film maker, film star of other significant film name. There is a review section where Jason is joined by another Guardian journalist, usually Xan Brooks, to review the pick of the weeks releases. It is very informative with the obvious enthusiasm Jason has for cinema shines through. Most of the major European film festivals are covered by Jason with insights on the red carpet events and anything of note.

From Mike Dawson comes Left Field Cinema. A weekly podcast that clocks in at a brisk 15 minutes or less. Mike came to my attention as a contributor to the movies you should see podcast. He departed to concentrate on his own venture. The podcast he left behind rapidly went downhill and his contributions were sorely missed in my opinion. Left Field Cinema covers many aspects of cinema, usually as part of  a series, assessing a particular film maker, overlooked gem, guilty pleasure, or TV special among other varied subjects. He has a keen insight into cinema and an obvious passion for his subject. Mike´s podcast is one of the reasons I am writing on moviescramble.

The BBC Radio 4 film programme is a twenty-eight minute broadcast weekly from London. It is presented by Francine Stock. A lot is packed into the programme with interviews, analysis and features on all aspects of serious film making. There are no film reviews as such. That is not to say that it is lacking in any way for this.  There are a number of regular features covering particularly interesting aspects of film including discussions on the best independent cinemas in the country to the use of music in films by the pianist Neal Brand. Varied and always interesting.

Finally for the UK podcasts there is Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s film reviews. The flagship movie programme on BBC radio has been on the go for over ten years although they have been broadcasting together since Simon Mayo’s Radio One days. Their podcast is a 90 minute show that follows a fairly standard format. They have the top ten rundown followed by a couple of interviews with various big names or rising stars in global cinema. The interviews are always good as Mark and Simon are both excellent in making their guests open up and talk at ease. The second half of the podcast covers reviews. There have been a few classic Kermodian rants with Sex and the City 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean 3 coming in for justified criticism. Justifiably award-winning stuff.

John McArthur
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