iTunes Podcast Series: Down in Front
One of the best things Apple ever gave us was iTunes. Among its many benefits, it has become a one-stop repository of fantastic podcasts covering a variety of topics. From writing to technology, from film to sports commentary, from education to video games… if you’re looking for some auditory excellence that manages to be entertaining as well as informative, chances are you’ll find them on iTunes.
Oh sure, podcasts have been freely available all over the internet for a while now. Heck, I’d been listening to quite a number of them myself long before I ever got my first iPod. But iTunes – and say what you will about Apple and its “closed system” – found the perfect balance between ease of use and proliferation to make it my favorite source of all my favorite podcasts.
And, boy, there are a lot of them. But there are a few in particular that I unabashedly label as “can’t miss” and whose every installment I eagerly await and consume as quickly as I do a bag of Brookstone Chocolate Covered Blueberry Acai Berries. Try them. They’re good. And try the podcasts too, while you’re at it.
Each week, I’ll give you a quick look at those I deem the cream of the crop.
There are many podcasts on iTunes dealing with the subject of film. Ranging in format from reviews and interviews to criticism and filmmaking, there’s a podcast for every cinephile out there. But my favorite is most definitelyDown in Front.
DIF, hosted by Teague Christie and bunch of other fun people who work in the industry, differentiates itself from the other film podcasts by presenting itself as an alternate commentary track on the film. The conceit is simple: Teague tells you what the movie of the week is, usually a genre film since they are all genre fans. Then, he sets up a synchronization point where you pause the movie once the studio logo fades to black, just as he will do, and after briefly talking about the movie and introducing the panel, he will do a countdown to let you know when to unpause so that you can watch the movie together in perfect sync.
Over the course of the movie’s duration, Teague and the gang provide a commentary that is usually more balanced, informative, funny, and critical than any studio-sanctioned one can be. They discuss the film as it unfolds from the perspective of viewers, fans, and people who actually know how movies are made. What is especially interesting is when they discuss sci-fi films, as most of them are quite knowledgeable about the field.
If you love film, and love discussing film with smart engaging people (or at least listening to them), give this one a shot.