Jon Hamm, Ryan Coogler and Molly Shannon are among the luminaries headlining a new podcast that reunites former Sundance Film Festival directors John Cooper and Tabitha Jackson.
Titled “The Film That Blew My Mind,” the first season of the podcast will have 20 episodes and will be co-hosted by Cooper and Jackson. Each episode centers around a guest revealing one film that has affected them profoundly, with Cooper and Jackson examining the ways the film intersects with the guest’s own work and life.
Guests and their selected films for the first season include: Gregg Araki on David Lynch’s “Firewalk with Me” (1993); Ryan Coogler on Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet” (2009); Bridget Everett on Robert Wise’s “The Sound of Music” (1965); Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Byron Howard and Jared Bush’s “Encanto” (2021); Jon Hamm on Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso” (1988); Sterlin Harjo on Robert Altman’s “The Long Goodbye” (1973); Kirsten Johnson on Bob Fosse’s “All That Jazz” (1979); Jinkx Monsoon on Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s “About Eve” (1950); Molly Shannon on Victor Fleming’s “The Wizard of Oz” (1939); and Michael Showalter on Joan Micklin Silver’s “Crossing Delancey” (1988).
Cooper’s 30-year Sundance career culminated in a decade-long run as festival director. Jackson, after stints at the U.K.’s BBC, Channel 4 and Film4, went on to lead the Sundance Documentary Program in 2013 before serving as Sundance festival director from 2020-2022.
“As recovering festival directors, we knew that we wanted to celebrate the cultural power of cinema. But the intimate details that come from the stories of our guests make this feel unexpected. What this is really about is the crazy messy business of being human,” Cooper and Jackson said.
“With these conversations, we can celebrate the heart, soul, and history of cinema,” said Jackson. “Discovering what these particular films have meant to such a great group of makers has been a moving, funny, and surprising experience that continues to remind us that films (not ‘products’ or ‘content’) are experiences that even for an audience of one illuminate what it means to be alive. And that’s kind of wonderful, isn’t it?”
“It has been a real joy to reconnect with so many of my favorite artists,” Cooper added. “Coming out of the frenzy of the festival world, I like the simplicity of this project. We go in-depth on a wide range of movies, because our only rule is that no film is off limits.”
“The Film That Blew My Mind” will be available on all podcast platforms from Oct. 23, with new episodes dropping weekly. The executive producer is Jessica Buzzard. Producing partners are Goat Rodeo, whose executive producers are Ian Enright and Megan Nadolski. Creative producers are Max Johnston, Isabelle Kerby-McGowan, Rebecca Seidel and Jay Venables. Engineering and mixing is by Rebecca Seidel, intro music by Wayne Jones, graphics by Lee Fenyves and publicity by Stephen Raphael of Required Viewing.