Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright

Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright keep shop talk to a lean 3 hours on The Empire Film Podcast

Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright
Photo: Gareth Cattermole (Getty Images), Dimitrios Kambouris (Getty Images)

Griefcast
Ruth Coker Burks

Illustration for article titled Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright keep shop talk to a lean 3 hours on The Empire Film Podcast
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Each week on Griefcast, comedian Cariad Lloyd invites a guest to talk about the death of someone close to them and how they coped with the pain. This week, it’s the amazing Ruth Coker Burks, who speaks about the nearly 30 years she spent administering care to dying AIDS sufferers from her home in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Burks’ story begins in 1984, when she was horrified by the scorn and neglect shown to a young man succumbing to the AIDS virus by the nursing staff of a hospital where she was visiting a friend. She took it upon herself to care for the frightened man, who had seemingly been abandoned by everyone (including a family who already considered him dead because he was gay). From there, word spread of the compassionate woman who was not afraid to help AIDS patients in a society where the government, medical establishment, and church had all turned their backs on the sick. It is an emotionally draining listen—Burks recounts having to attend up to three funerals a day—but her warmth, humor, and message of kindness will inspire listeners, especially right now. [Anthony D Herrera]


Reply All
The Test Kitchen, Chapter 1

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

As Reply All rounded out 2020 with post-election coverage (including multiple noteworthy installments from new co-host Emmanuel Dzotsi), producer Sruthi Pinnamaneni was hard at work following up on the reckoning at luxury food publication Bon Appetit that had begun back in June. In an effort to understand the experiences of those who had been marginalized within BA’s “high school” office culture, Pinnamaneni spoke with “all the people of color who worked there, like almost all of them, going back ten years ago, to the moment when the modern version of Bon Appetit was first launched.” In the first chapter, she details how former editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport had been brought aboard to revive Conde Nast’s anemic cooking magazine, lending his GQ sensibilities to food in a way that revitalized the brand. But every decision that was made thereafter only reinforced an age-old problem: the centering of white voices, “traditional” American cuisine, and the opinions of higher-ups who outright considered certain foods “smelly” or otherwise undesirable. It’s a close, uncomfortable look at an internal unraveling that started slowly, then unspooled faster the more America paid attention to it. Pinnamaneni is giving the story all due proofing time—and the series even includes the chefs’ recipes in the show notes for all to enjoy.


Tales Of Our Sisters
Expression Is Our Birthright

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Cynthia Francillon’s new storytelling podcast is gorgeous audio by a Black woman, about and for Black women, showcasing their stories and their genius, across time and place. This episode is a flowing audio essay inspired by Stephanie Fields’ “Solange Beats The Deadly Clock Constraining Black Women Creatives.” Francillon guides the audience through Fields’ essay about how Solange and artists like her have had to create faster than anyone else—particularly the amazing Kathleen Collins—because they simply did not have as much time. It’s followed by a passionate and exhilarating foreword to a podcast Francillon has made, one that will bring Black women storytellers to the table in order to talk about their history and their future. If you are seeking a masterclass in emotional narrative, in linking past and present, Francillon’s portrait of how “it shouldn’t be a privilege to express yourself” is required listening. Crucially, however, this is for every Black woman who is seeking some support in the push to create: “What stories are you holding onto out of fear that your voice isn’t big enough to speak?” [Elena Fernández Collins]


The Empire Film Podcast
A Celebration Of Cinema: Edgar Wright and Quentin Tarantino In Conversation

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Film Twitter was in hog heaven when British film mag Empire dropped an epic three-hour podcast featuring the voices of filmmakers/devoted film nerds Edgar Wright (who guest-edited the latest issue) and Quentin Tarantino (coming in from an iPad in Tel Aviv). Tarantino was also dragged a bit in the media for saying how the climactic showdown between Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro in Joker was a profound cinematic experience for him. (Hey, nobody’s perfect.) But mostly, as you would expect, it’s basically two film junkies having a grand ol’ time riffing on what they love about movies and moviegoing, with moderator Chris Hewitt occasionally chiming in with topics of discussion. QT is his usual, pontificating self, dropping lengthy anecdotes about his first time seeing Aliens and his undying love for the ’70s revenge flick Rolling Thunder (a.k.a. the film Tarantino named his short-lived film distribution company after). Wright brings up what bothers him about watching movies on streaming sites and how Martin Scorsese made him check out more classic films from Wright’s own British homeland. [Craig D. Lindsey]


You Can’t Handle The Genre
Boogie Nights

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

For every movie, it seems there’s at least one podcast dedicated to obsessively unpacking it. On You Can’t Handle The Genre, hosts Ndegwa McCloud and John Ortegon instead make the clever decision to curate their cinema commentary based on how a movie fits into a greater cinematic genre. This month, the genre of choice is drama, and McCloud and Ortegon turn their attention to Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights. Despite the movie’s central plot about pornography, both hosts agree that the film itself is ultimately about family, and their passionate discussion is like overhearing a pair of film fanatics in the lobby of a movie theatre or in line at a film festival—something many of us feel nostalgic for, to say the least. (In a very cathartic sidebar, the hosts also air some justifiable annoyance with folks who use their phones while watching movies.) [Jose Nateras]