One of the wonders of our modern age is that it allows for fairly intense, asymmetrical digital relationships. That is, we can all have personalities online that we follow and listen to and read, but these people may have no idea who we are. One of the means by which this takes place is through podcasting, where every week, voices and conversations and personal moments are piped through to our ears from thousands of miles away. These strangers we listen to may not know us, but in some small way, we know them. And maybe knowing them makes us feel slightly less alone.
This week, Matt Singer and Alison Willmore announced that they would no longer be recording the IFC News Podcast (Alison will be moving on to greener pastures from IFC, and I wish her the best. She’s an amazing, thoughtful writer and I can’t wait to see what she does next). I’ve previously named the IFC News Podcast as one of the podcasts I can’t live without. Back then, I wrote that “this podcast is a movie geek’s dream come true, with tons of thoughtful references to movies past and present.” I am really going to miss this show, as it has kept me company on many a car ride and through many a long walk. It was a rare episode that didn’t cause me to rethink a classic movie formula/trope, or inform me of some amazing film gem I had yet to see.
The show’s sudden departure is a reminder that, for the most part, podcasts are total labors of love, and that many of them only stay on the air through fortuitous circumstance and sheer force of will. (The IFC News podcast joins the Spout podcast, the Film.com podcast, and the Scene Unseen podcast as recent film podcasts that have permanently been downloaded to that great iPod in the sky). It sounds weird for me to say this (especially since I’ve had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Matt and Alison since I started listening to the podcast), but in many ways, losing the podcast feels like losing a dependable friend, one who would always be there to regale me with weekly stories of obscure movies and interesting observations. That their voices have left such an indelible impression on me is a testament to their skill, their intellect, and their likability.
A toast to the IFC News Podcast. You will be missed.