The Eagle Explains: Starting the District of Cinema Podcast

By: Tristan Au, Spenser Hoover and Olivia Kozlevcar (

We met at the very beginning of this year through the Life section of The Eagle where each of us regularly picked up film-review pitches. Coming off of a year of independence and isolation, we were all ready to pack ourselves into a small podcast studio and discuss our thoughts about the movies we’d watched in quarantine. 

And so, “District of Cinema” was born.

The podcast cycled through a few different titles before we landed on the current iteration. Tristan had some mundane ideas — “American Film Institute'' and “Flik” — and Spenser contributed absolutely nothing, with the exception of “How to Train Your Eagle (in Good Taste).” However, Koz’s witty wordplay swept in to save the day and provide the trio with a brilliant name.

Here’s our take on the podcast that has brought us fame beyond our wildest dreams.

Tristan Au:

I started thinking about doing some sort of film podcast ever since I joined The Eagle in January. I had just become a Life staff writer and I was ready to try something new. Beyond the average article, I wanted to bring more multimedia to The Eagle with the video and audio experience I had.

The Eagle was the outlet for my writing passion and I poured my heart and soul into every review I wrote under the previous Silver Screen editor, Grace George, who guided me in so many ways and really helped me become the writer I am today. When I became the Silver Screen editor over the summer, I knew that the podcast was the next step at what I wanted to do with the section. 

I envisioned the podcast as a space for genuinely thoughtful film commentary while also being an absolutely chaotic, hilarious and ultimately raucous endeavor for us. I’m glad to say that after our first six episodes, we’ve accomplished that vision and more. The dynamic between the three of us is oddly amazing and I love every minute we’re in the studio. 

We don’t just talk about new releases every week; we’re there to explore the different film topics and questions that have always lingered in our minds. Is Wes Anderson a fraud or a genius? What films actually make you cry? Who can do their best Owen Wilson-esque “wow?” Truly thought-provoking cinematic head-scratchers

What’s next for District of Cinema? Well, the logical direction for a filmmaker like me would be incorporating video somehow. You already know we’re going all out for our Halloween episode. 

For the movie lovers, who I call “cinefreaks,” I hope you enjoy the show. 

Olivia Kozlevcar:

Most people that know me know that I spend way too much time at the movies. It’s a habit that began during my freshman year of college and has yet to resolve itself. But along with being a solid form of escapism, seeing films is a great way to explore the boundaries of art and emotional creation. And I usually do get a Blue ICEE out of it. 

Frankly, I think that there’s a great deal of power that lies in cinema. It gives us a way to explore the world views of other people, while investigating our own. This power is only intensified by the act of collaborative film discussion, which provides us all with a method in which we can better understand the way our peers independently process emotion. On many levels, this can help us to build stronger, more compassionate communities.

On a less dramatic note, I have a fun time messing around in the studio with Tristan and Spenser. It's a really great space to remove ourselves from all the hardships of the world and work together to create something so frivolous and fun. At this moment in time, I feel like such projects are low in prevalence and high in necessity. 

Like Tristan mentioned, I’d love to see District of Cinema continue to grow. Because of my own vanity, I think it would be great to one day incorporate a video aspect. You guys wouldn’t know this yet, but I like to come to sessions in costume. 

Spenser Hoover:

I began my burgeoning career as a “cinefreak” around my junior year of high school, a time when I spent countless hours lying in bed very late into the night watching whatever movies looked interesting to me that particular day. Little did I know that this physically harmful habit was in fact the first step on my path to becoming one of the three pioneers, nay, musketeers, who would establish The Eagle's first film-focused podcast: District of Cinema.

When I joined the podcast, I honestly had little idea of what to expect. Was I really qualified to do this? Would Editor-in-Chief Clare Mulroy love us unconditionally? Would the three of us become famous all around campus? 

The answer to these questions were obviously all yes, but ultimately I just wanted a fun, engaging space to talk about movies with my friends, and that's exactly what I ended up receiving.

Our format really allows Tristan, Koz and me to talk about whatever thoughts come into our minds, whether they are brilliant or half-baked. Our conversations cover topics ranging from the neo-noir and Western motifs of the Coen brothers' films, all the way to our favorite hometown restaurants that have been visited by the one and only Guy Fieri. As tweeted by Dan Papscun, The Eagle's Investigations Editor and a good friend of the show, "Come for the criticism, stay for the Alvin and the Chipmunks commentary and Timothee Chalamet ASMR."

As for the future of the show, I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen, but I can guarantee that there are still many movies to be discussed, impressions to be performed and costumes to be worn.

And please, feel free to come to join us in the recording studio at any time. We don't know what we're doing there either.