FLAW IN THE IRIS: The Film Podcast… so far

My sporadically active podcast launched a little more than two years ago to scratch an itch that I’d had going back to my radio broadcast about movies on CKDU 88.1FM in Halifax, The Love & Hate Movie Show (2005-2009).

The idea is that a lot of the best things about film appreciation are the conversations you have after you’ve watched the movie. As FITI guest James Covey said, you experience a movie twice — the first time watching it, and the second time in the hours and days afterward, as you digest what you’ve experienced. That’s when the best conversations happen.

This is what I aim for with these recorded exchanges with a variety of film lovers near and far.

Here’s the list of episodes to date, in case you haven’t had a chance to listen yet — maybe there’ll be something here to help you occupy your time in the days and weeks ahead.

They’re all available on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

Episode 1: Dave Howlett on the Superhero movies of 2017 | 23 min

Dave Howlett is a movie lover, a manager of a comic book emporium, and a writer and comic book artist. He’s my go-to assessor of what’s good on the superheroes-in-cinema scene. In this episode — with apologies for some sound issues as I learn to work with technology — films discussed include Logan, Wonder Woman, and Justice League.

Episode 2: Tara Thorne’s Top 5 of 2017 | 26 min

Tara Thorne is a writer, broadcaster, editor, and musician, and she watches a lot of movies. Without spoiling her picks for the best of 2017, I can confirm that one is the story of an infamous skater, and two are dark comedy-dramas set in the southern United States. You’ll have to listen to get the full list.

Episode 3: James Covey’s Top 5 of 2017 | 22 min 

James Covey is a cineaste who writes a blog about the best new, independent, and international films opening locally with an art-house perspective. His appreciation for films from 2017 includes great work by directors including Luca Guadagnino, Jordan Peele, and Agnes Varda.

Episode 4: Sharon Murray on Molly’s Game | 25 min

Aaron Sorkin’s thriller prompted a lot of post-film discussion between film-lover Sharon Murray and myself. Talking it out brought forth a better sense of what we liked, and what we didn’t like, about the movie.

Episode 5: Stephen Cooke’s Collection | 25 min

My co-host of the podcast LENS ME YOUR EARS is Stephen Cooke, a longtime collector of physical media. On this episode, we check out some of his DVDs, Blu-Rays, and even Laserdiscs.

Episode 6: Luckas Cardona-Morisset on Soundtracks | 18 min

Luckas Cardona-Morisset is a versatile polyglot filmmaker, working in English and French, directing television series and short films, as well as developing animated series. He’s also a past host of a radio broadcast on CKDU 88.1 FM — on his show he played music from movie soundtracks. He and I discuss the work of Hollywood composer Jerry Goldsmith, the music in David Fincher films, the iconic score by Queen for Flash Gordon, and how the score from the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service makes it better.

Episode 7: Lisa Buchanan on the 2018 Academy Award nominations | 26 min

Lisa Buchanan told me at the time she’s too practical a person to become a filmmaker, and yet since this conversation was recorded she’s produced a short film! Her passion for movies is self-evident, and here she dissects the Oscar nominees — the ins and outs of Three Billboards, The Shape of Water, and the solid selection of films in contention for what was then called the Best Foreign Language Film award.

Episode 8: Cineplex’s Brad LaDouceur on Flashback Film Fest | 12 min

The Vice President of Event Cinema at Cineplex, Brad LaDouceur, and I spoke about the inspiration of Earnest Cline’s Ready Player One — which was imminently due in a film version by Steven Spielberg — on the Flashback Film Fest, which took place in February 2018.

Episode 9: Zack Miller on #52FilmsByWomen | 22 min

Film and film-festival programmer Zack Miller talks about his effort to spend the year watching films by women filmmakers, including  Shirley Clarke and Marielle Heller.

Episode 10: Hillary Titley on Period Dramas | 25 min

Filmmaker and writer Hillary Titley and I share an interest in period dramas, especially those out of the UK exploring the lives of repressed Brits of days gone by. Here we use PT Anderson’s Phantom Thread as a jumping-off point for a conversation about movies with corsets and other fine, frilly costumes.

Episode 11: Jesse Hiltz on Annihilation | 25 min

Jesse Hiltz is a science-fiction fan, scholar, and filmmaker with his first short arriving in 2020. He and I discuss Alex Garland’s Annihilation, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, and the New Weird — where science fiction in film looks like it’s going.

Episode 12: Siloën Daley on Carbon Arc Cinema | 21 min

The director of the local independent cinema — where I volunteer and program — speaks about the history of independent cinema in Halifax, including the late, lamented Wormwoods Dog & Monkey Cinema, and her ambitions for what Carbon Arc could be.

Episode 13: Sam Worthington on Buckaroo Banzai | 28 min

This is a wide-ranging discussion, about the 1984 cult picture The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension in light of its reference in Ready Player One, that explores being a fan of movies outside the mainstream.

Episode 14: Stephany Tlalka on Kaiju Movies | 27 min

Longtime monster-movie fan Stephany Tlalka and I explore the epic wonder of Pacific Rim, its somewhat disappointing sequel, and the appeal of Godzilla movies, especially 2016’s Shin Godzilla.

Episode 15: Hillary West on Tom Cruise | 28 min

Hillary West, while being a serious appreciator of art house and international cinema, also holds a special place in her heart for Tom Cruise. We talk about the broad appeal, and achievement, of Thomas Cruise Mapother IV.

Episode 16: Michael Melski on The Child Remains | 29 min

Nova Scotian playwright and filmmaker Michael Melski and I talk about his 2018 horror, The Child Remains, and with his other films so far a documentary, a thriller, and a comedy, his restlessness with genre.

Episode 17: Dave Howlett on Avengers Infinity War | 20 min     

This podcast’s first guest, comic book expert Dave Howlett, returns for a spoiler-heavy conversation about the 2018 MCU blockbuster.

Episode 18: Cory Bowles on Black Cop | 27 min

Cory Bowles is a Nova Scotia hyphenate — musician, choreographer, actor, writer and director — who talks about his feature debut, the potent Black Cop.

Episode 19: Luckas Cardona-Morisset on Solo: A Star Wars Story | 24 min

Filmmaker Cardona-Morisset returns to the podcast to make a case for the Han Solo origin story. My take was a lot more critical with the exception of Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian — he’s perfect.

Episode 20 and 21: Josh MacDonald on Stephen King | 86 min

The actor, writer, and director shares his passion for Stephen King, in print and on film, by offering his five favourite adaptations on screen, and five least favourite. A conversation that just couldn’t be contained in a single podcast.

Episode 22: Ryan Turner on Two For The Road | 20 min

Halifax author Ryan Turner is a longtime Audrey Hepburn fan, and we discuss her 1967 time-shifting comedy drama with Albert Finney, Two For The Road.

Episode 23: Yolana Wassersug on Shakespeare in Film | 23 min

A Shakespearean scholar, Yolana Wassersug has strong opinions on what works and what doesn’t when adapting the Bard for the big screen — here’s a chance to benefit from her wealth of research and knowledge.

Episode 24: Lisa Buchanan on Disobedience | 33 min

Sebastián Lelio’s same-sex romantic drama was one of the best films of 2018, and filmmaker Lisa Buchanan and I talked about it when it was released on DVD.

Episode 25: Mark Palermo on Teen Movies | 21 min

Filmmaker, critic, and screenwriter Mark Palermo, who cowrote Detention (2011), talks about his work on that film and his passion for the American teen movie.

Episode 26: Seth A Smith on The Crescent | 19 min

Artist, filmmaker, and musician Seth A Smith discusses his supernatural drama, The Crescent.

Episode 27: Damien Webb on miniatures in film | 21 min

Damien Webb is a miniaturist and model maker, and he and I discuss his work and great miniatures in film and pop culture.

Episode 28: Tara Thorne’s Top 5 Films of 2018 | 36 min

Tara Thorne returns to the podcast to talk about the best movies of the year, including ones starring Charlize Theron, Bradley Cooper, and Melissa McCarthy.

Episode 29: Mark Palermo’s Top 5 Films, etc, of 2018 | 38 min

Screenwriter Mark Palermo returns to FITI: The Film Podcast to discuss his picks for the best films of the past year, and his list includes an outstanding drama he calls “an incredible brutal film.” He’s not wrong.

Episode 30: James Covey’s Top 5 Films of 2018 | 35 min

James Covey kindly returned to be on the podcast to speak about a group of really interesting films, including one he loved a lot more than I did — but we agreed on stellar Mads Mikkelsen appearance. (Are there any other kinds?)

Episode 31: Dave Howlett on 2018 in Superhero Movies | 32 min 

Dave Howlett returns to discuss a great year in superhero movies, including Black Panther, Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse, and Aquaman, amongst many others.

Episode 32: Hillary Titley on her blog, Who Speaks Of | 21 min

Writer and filmmaker Hillary Titley returns to the podcast to discuss a new project, a satiric essay blog about erotic thrillers of the 1980s and 1990s.

Episode 33: Aaron Larter on Cinemas in Halifax | 22 min

Librarian Aaron Larter worked at the Empire Cinemas chain, the precursor to Cineplex in Nova Scotia, and has studied the many cinemas that once existed in Halifax — he shares with me his research, and the historical materials available at the Halifax Central Library.

Episode 34: Stephany Tlalka on Godzilla: King Of The Monsters | 17 min

Having already established her credentials as a monster movie fan, Stephany Tlalka returns to the podcast in a conversation we recorded in the backseat of a car on the way home from a screening of Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. Neither of us liked it much.

Episode 35: Jesse Hiltz on Ad Astra | 23 min

Science fiction scholar and filmmaker Jesse Hiltz on one of his favourites of 2019, James Gray’s science fiction drama, Ad Astra.

Episode 36: Lisa Buchanan on Carol | 25 min

At the end of 2019, I asked cinephiles in the Halifax community whether they’d talk about their favourite films of the past decade. Lisa Buchanan chose Todd Haynes’ Carol, and went so far to host a screening of the film before the year’s end.

Episode 37: Dave Howlett on the Best Films of the Decade | 58 min

Dave Howlett has established his superhero culture expertise on this podcast, but his interest in film goes beyond men, women, and aliens in capes. Check out his thoughts around non-superhero films of Christopher Nolan, Kathryn Bigelow, and the Coen Brothers.

Episode 38: Helen O’Hara on the Best Films of the Decade | 27 min

Empire Magazine’s Editor-at-Large, freelance film journalist and author Helen O’Hara met me at the Picturehouse Cinema in central London and, despite not really being a listy person, generously shared a few of her picks for the best films of the past 10 years including a couple Marvel movies and a feature by New Zealand filmmaking phenomenon Taika Waititi.

Episode 39: Ryan McNutt on Star Wars: The Last Jedi | 39 min

Pop culture writer Ryan McNutt is big fan of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars movie, while I preferred The Rise of Skywalker. We both make our cases, and I gotta admit, he swayed me.

Episode 40: Jesse Hiltz on the Best Sci-fi Films of the Decade | 35 min

Now a regular guest on FITI: The Film Podcast, Jesse Hiltz goes deep into science fiction features both popular and obscure while talking about fantasy trends in the culture.

About the author


Carsten Knox is a massive, cheese-eating nerd. In the day he works as a journalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At night he stares out at the rain-slick streets, watches movies, and writes about what he's seeing.