Recommendations for film and pop culture podcasts
March 30, 2024 7:53 PM   Subscribe

I've been listening to the last two seasons of You Must Remember This, which focuses on sex and gender in 1980s and 1990s movies and have found it incredibly compelling. Do folks know any other podcasts that focus on analysis of past pop culture, preferably with a focus on movies?

My favorite thing about You Must Remember This is the well-informed and very feminist analysis of the past that frames each episode. The podcast has also clued me into a lot of great movies from the 80s and 90s that I'd never heard of before. What are other good film and pop culture history podcasts? Film analysis or criticism podcasts that don't focus so much on the historical context are fine too.
posted by lizard2590 to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
The podcast “Kill James Bond” is great at this. They spend a lot of time deconstructing the gender identities in the James Bond series, then move on to studying many other films.
posted by nickggully at 8:17 PM on March 30 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I'm not familiar with that podcast, it looks very serious and academic.

What definitely immediately came to mind though, is Kill James Bond

Kill James Bond is a comedy film review/ pop culture commentary podcast about the eponymous English spy, James Bond.

November Kelly, Abigail Thorn, and Devon watch a different Bond movie every fortnight in an attempt to give 007 the socialist, feminist comeuppance he so richly deserves.

Is the tag line, although they ran out of James Bond films and have gone on to do largely other spy / action movies since then. Definitely not just recent, modern stuff either.

It's definitely more comedy than rigorous analysis, but I think the core politics would line up. They ask "what does this film have to say about masculinity", sometimes they're more serious about answering than question than other times.

There's usually more significant things to say about empire and Charlie Wilson's War, or gender in James Bond than there is about Cars 2, but then again, what does it mean for some cars to be genetic "lemons"?
posted by Audreynachrome at 8:20 PM on March 30

I like Norm Wilner's Someone Else's Movie podcast.

Karina Longworth is a top-notch film scholar (and YMRT is great) but goddamn her vocal cadence on the podcast is awful.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 8:21 PM on March 30 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Also - the horror genre is fertile ground for sociological analysis. Faculty of Horror is certainly worth a listen.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 8:27 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]

I'm spamming - sorry - another entertaining one is 80s all Over - a month-by-month review of films released throughout the 1980s. It was only a partial series though.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 8:39 PM on March 30

Best answer: Unclear and Present Danger uses political thrillers of the 90s to talk about the politics of that decade. It's hosted by author John Ganz and New York Times opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie.
posted by dunhamrc at 9:04 PM on March 30 [5 favorites]

I endorse 30 20 10, a weekly podcast about popular culture exactly one week ago, in 1994, 2004, and 2014. There's a deep archive at this point, but the most charming effect of watching it is being able to pitch a movie to your friends with the seasoning of "it came out X0 years ago this month!"
posted by 4th number at 9:22 PM on March 30 [1 favorite]

Historians at the Movies: RSS feed link with episode summaries
posted by the primroses were over at 11:25 PM on March 30

“And The Runner Up Is” worked through all the Oscar Best Picture nominees year by year, discussing each and trying to guess which would have been the runner up. Currently they are working through the Best Actress nominees and are up to the mid-90s.

I like it because it is well-informed conversation— the guests are usually film critics or writers — and I learn something every week. It’s not quite as historically/sociologically framed as You Must Remember This but I really like it.
posted by profreader at 1:57 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's about music, not film, but I've been hugely enjoying A History Of Rock Music in 500 Songs, which is exactly what it sounds like. The podcast is meticulously researched, unflinching about just how awful a lot of the people involved were, and makes every effort to give credit to all the women and people of color who were steamrolled by white dudes who stole their ideas.
posted by Mournful Bagel Song at 3:43 AM on March 31 [6 favorites]

Not an audio-only podcast, but Mikey Neumann's FilmJoy (Nebula, or YouTube) is pretty great.
posted by xedrik at 8:21 AM on March 31

Another enthusiastic vote for A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs!

You might like The Plot Thickens -- the two most recent seasons are deep dives into the lives and careers of Pam Grier and Lucille Ball.
posted by paper scissors sock at 10:07 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]

I enjoy the podcast You Are Good hosted by Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed. They bill it as "A feelings podcast about movies."
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 10:39 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]

The Bechdel Cast has been doing this for a really long time. Also, I strongly recommend Failure to Adapt. They compare written works to the film adaptations. The selected topics vary widely in terms of genre and hosts Red Scott and Maggie Tokuda Hall are great, but I particularly enjoy any episode that includes guest Sarah Gailey. Their delightful evisceration of the twilight books and movies is a joy. Did you know Top Gun was an adaptation? I didn’t.
posted by chuke at 5:53 PM on March 31

Best answer: I really enjoyed You Must Remember This, and I think Articles of Interest hits many similar notes. It's about fashion, and it's so very smart. Avery Trufelman is always coming at clothing history from a unique, sort of side-long angle, as Karina Longworth does with film. There's a whole episode on the many misogynies of pockets, there's a great one that tracks paisley's migration from India to Great Britain, back to India, then to the US... I always find it a great listen.
posted by marlys at 7:52 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for all these great suggestions! I'm marked the ones that are most interesting to me but they all sound great. I'd heard of Bechdel Cast and You are Good (I love Sarah Marshall!) but Kill James Bond and Faculty of Horror are new to me and I'm very intrigued by the political thriller podcast.
posted by lizard2590 at 7:40 AM on April 1

YMRT is great and I love Karina Longworth's cadence.
posted by Text TK at 6:03 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Hi, this thread has been included in a roundup of recent Ask Me recommendations, on both the sidebar and Best Of blog!
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 6:11 AM on April 5

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