Calling all film lovers who, like me, have recently not had enough time to invest multiple hours sitting in a movie theater or in front of your computer screen. Summer’s supposed to be the time of relaxation and, certainly, I’ve had my fair share of coffeeshop-sits, walks along the Charles River, and nights out with friends. But I’ve also been bogged down by internships, summer jobs, normal housekeeping duties, and prepping for another school year to come. When the evening hits, I usually find myself only having time for a short TV show(currently, Only Murders in the Building) before I inevitably fall asleep with my laptop still on.
While I’m trying to catch back up with recent films—including Nope, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, and even Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness—I’ve satisfied my film craving in the meantime with a round-a-bout approach to the medium: film podcasts. Blockbusters is one of the most well-known film podcasts, aptly focusing each episode on digging deep into the films and careers of some of the biggest films and filmmakers around. Making It: Women in Film is also a great one to catch up on if you want to hear more about the past and present of women in the filmmaking industry.
Currently, though, my favorite film podcast—and arguably my favorite podcast in general at the moment—is Brett Goldstein’s Films to be Buried With. After absolutely devouring the first two seasons of Ted Lasso last year, I immediately searched the internet to find everything there is to know about the actor that played the grumpy, yet heart-of-gold, player-turned-coach Roy Kent. I was so pleased to find that he not only is not only an award-winning actor, but also a writer, comedian, and full-time film lover who has designated an entire podcast to cinephilia.
Films to be Buried With certainly catches your attention just by nature of Goldstein’s demeanor being entirely different from the brooding Roy Kent that he’s most famous for. But once you get past that initial shock that he is (seemingly) actually humbly sweet and sarcastically hilarious, the entire premise of the podcast is also incredibly intriguing: he tells different podcast guests that they have died, discusses with them the concept of death and the afterlife, and then asks them questions about films.
The beginnings of each podcast are certainly thought-provoking to hear what each guest has to say about their fear of death and their belief in the afterlife. While some answers are certainly more silly and sound like the plot to a comedy/action film, other musings are more reflective and cause you to pause and consider what your own thoughts are on these introspective subjects.
Once Goldstein and his guests discuss death and the afterlife, they then shift into conversations about film. The guests are prompted with questions, but the answers usually extend beyond simple answers and into a lively discussion by each guests about each of the films themselves and the very medium of film. The episodes always starts with asking what the first film was that the guest ever remembers seeing and the questions usually follow along a superlative-style, such as which film is objectively the best film, which film made the guest cry the most, which film made the guest laugh the most, and, as a real crowd-pleaser, which film is the sexiest film.
What’s great about the 45-minute to 60-minute conversations about films is that the guests come from all walks of life, professions within the entertainment industry, and age-groups. The films that are discussed cover a broad range of genres, styles, and eras and are approached from a perspective of absolute love and adoration rather than any technical or critical prowess. Don’t get me wrong, I think there are obvious benefits to lists made by high-profile film institutions and I love awards shows perhaps more than the average person, but I also love to just appreciate film for how it makes people feel rather than if it’s critically considered to be a hit or worthwhile of attention. It’s great to hear the reverence that so many people have for film because it’s simply enjoyable or emotional or resonant.
Beyond simply being a great reminder of the simplistic joys of films, Films to be Buried With is also a great platform to give insight into the personalities of various celebrities: some who themselves have often graced the big and small screens and others who I have originally never heard anything about, but leave the podcast being a big fan of. With over 200 episodes, Brett has interviewed a wide variety of people that he’s worked with in comedy or in television as well as other actors, directors, comedians, and celebrities that he is a fan of.
Some of my favorites have been his episodes with Brendan Hunt(#174), Bill Hader(#202), and Punkie Johnson(#195). Brendan Hunt’s episode is great not just of the golden camaraderie between him and Goldstein by nature of them working on Ted Lasso together for the last several years, but also because of the deeply emotional discussion of how film and entertainment has helped Hunt through several difficult times in his life. I’ve been a longtime fan of Bill Hader, so it was great to hear him talk about some of my own favorite films and get some behind-the-scenes info about his SNL days. Punkie Johnson has also been on my radar recently because of SNL and it was inspiring to hear a little more about her life as a Black woman in comedy and entertainment.
At the heart of it all, though, is how Films to Be Buried With prompts you as a listener to think of your answer to these questions. You’re called back to the films that you grew up watching, take notes and compile a list of great films that you should be watching, and fondly remember some of the films that mean the most to you emotionally. It’s a podcast that touches on the greatness of films throughout the years, but also the personal connections that almost everyone has to that wonderful, often indescribable sense of, well, movie magic.
Each episode ends with Goldstein asking guests what the one film is that they would take with them into the afterlife to watch for the rest of eternity. As a listener, you can’t help but sit back and think about yourself, your life, and that one great film that defines you and excites you more than anything else in the world. For me, that film would definitely be Monsters Inc…how about you?
Check out all episodes of Films to be Buried With on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Acast. New episodes released weekly.