The Dissolve Podcast is a technically the podcast I’ve wanted to review longer than any other… even though it’s only four episode in. How is that possible you ask? Well… it’s a bit convoluted… but let me try to explain.
For quite some time there was a podcast associated with The A.V. Club… actually there were at least two, A.V. Talk and the HateCast with Amelie Gillete. The HateCast ended when Ms. Gillete left The A.V. Club to go write for The Office… but A.V. Talk just sort of petered out. It began as a weekly review of movies and pop culture, then became sporadic and more film-centric… then one day, poof… it disappeared. I had wanted to review both of these podcasts, but didn’t get around to doing so because they had become too random and irregular to be able to suggest or recommend.
Shortly after A.V. Talk disappeared, the chief editor, Keith Phipps, resigned due (supposedly) to a new corporate overlord at the beloved A.V. Club that brought much more commercialism to the venerable site originally founded by N.P.R.’s own Stephen Thompson of Pop Culture Happy Hour. It wasn’t too long thereafter that a mass exodus occurred at The A.V. Club, virtually stripping the site of the talent that drew me to it in the first place, and specifically, everyone who previously appeared on their podcast: Tasha Robinson, Scott Tobias, Nathan Rabin, Noel Murray, Sam Adams, Geneveive Koski, and others.
It was quite a shocker to me, and if it weren’t for the fact that I follow many of the aforementioned writers on Twitter, I wouldn’t have known what came next… Phipps, in conjunction with Pitchfork, created a movie only site… The Dissolve. Basically, they took the DNA of the A.V. Club, cut out all of the genetic markers such as TV, books, games, and any other pop culture bits other than film, and voila… a new animal entirely dedicated to cinephiles.
If you love film, you will love The Dissolve. It’s a well laid out site with interesting features with all the snark and intelligence we’ve come to know from these amazing writers, all with a well placed finger on the pulse of what is current, upcoming, and a decided respect for the past and film’s place therein.
Imagine my glee when a little over a month ago, their first podcast appeared. As to why they chose to discuss the Patrick Swayze classic (?) Road House as their first topic of discussion, I don’ t know… they gave a reason, but I forget what it was… what I do remember is that it was a return to voices and personalities I have come to know and admire over the last few years.
There have now been four episodes as of today, and their structure seems to be firmly in place. They have a topic or two they will discuss, followed by a small game such as, “guess the movie based on a scene description from IMDB”. It can be fun, it can be goofy, and it’s always an intelligent and knowing discussion.
I won’t go into each of their personalities, that should be for you to discover… but I will say that these are people who are obviously very comfortable with one another after having worked together for so long, who have a fantastic rapport, and who seem to genuinely love what it is that they do.
If you love film… give The Dissolve Podcast a listen, and certainly go to the website itself and read some of the more thoughtful commentaries and reviews for movies both new and old. Plus, the site and the cast have a lovely Golden Age feel to it… very old timey.
If anyone at The Dissolve reads this and wishes to hire another writer, please contact,
Cornelius J. Blahg