Meet the woman behind the podcast adored by film buffs
“JOIN US, WON’T YOU?” Karina Longworth intones in the intro to her podcast You Must Remember This. Resistance is futile, with her deep dives into the famous and forgotten history of Hollywood in the 20th Century, essential listening for move fans.
Born and bred in Los Angeles, where she resides still, Longworth grew up in 1980s with Hollywood history all around her. “A lot of the big stars were still alive — it felt very close to me,” she says. “With Elizabeth Taylor, it was like we had a queen living amongst us in LA.”
Longworth did a Masters in Cinema Studies, co-founded blog Cinematical and until 2013 worked as a film critic for LA Weekly. But she got fed up with the treadmill. “What was frustrating was there was an expectation I would see every new film and have an opinion,” she says. “Even then, I only cared about 10 per cent of what came out. I found myself longing for the days when I was studying Hollywood cinema history. I was looking for opportunities where I could do stuff like that. It wasn’t like it was a sustainable career — talking about old movies — so I had to invent something.”
That something was YMRT, launched in 2014. Longworth says she didn’t have a plan, but rather simply taught herself to edit and put a podcast into the wild to see what happened. “Quickly people started listening and by the time I’d done a few eps Entertainment Weekly wrote about it. From there it got more press, and the audience grew exponentially. Now it’s as lucrative as a job would be.”
Longworth had now released over 100 episodes, each chalking up hundreds of thousands of downloads. Her latest season is a six-part chronicle of the lives and careers of
’30s horror icons Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff.
The depth of Longworth’s knowledge and passion shine through, with even familiar tales feeling fresh in the retelling thank to her droll wit and penetrating analysis. “Each ep becomes the most fascinating I’ve done as I’m working on it,” she confesses. But her favourites are “the ones that give me the opportunity to watch a lot of movies that I’ve never seen before.” Spoken like a true film obsessive.