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On this week’s Culturefest, our critics discuss the movie Argo, its political topicality and Hollywood satire, and the career resurrection of director Ben Affleck. The Gabfesters are then joined by Gawker writer Adrian Chen to discuss his recent article which revealed the identity of Violentacrez, one of the most controversial members and moderators of the popular social news site Reddit. Finally, they consider the magazine Cook’s Illustrated and how its ascetic cooking ethos and emphasis on scientific rigor in the kitchen have influenced culinary culture.
Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:
- Dana Stevens on Argo for Slate.
- Like Argo, a movie that was highly topical for its time, 2009’s Up in the Air.
- The 1995 Hollywood satire, Get Shorty.
- Steven Spielberg’s 2002 movie, Catch Me if You Can.
- Gone Baby Gone and The Town, two other movies directed by Ben Affleck.
- The Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau onscreen chemistry of John Goodman and Alan Arkin.
- Grantland’s Zach Baron on Ben Affleck’s career resurrection.
- Ben Affleck on KCRW’s The Business discussing his escape from “movie jail.”
- Matt & Ben, the play co-written by Mindy Kaling that parodies the writing of Good Will Hunting and the rise to fame of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
- Gigli, the 2003 movie co-starring Ben Affleck that was a critical flop and box office bomb.
- The leading men Warren Beatty, Robert Redford, and Paul Newman.
- Argo’s cast of great actors including Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, and Chris Messina.
- Adrian Chen’s Gawker article “Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, the Biggest Troll on the Web.”
- Internet troll, defined. Also, lulz.
- Deanna Zandt for Forbes on online anonymity and journalistic accountability.
- Whitney Phillips, whose dissertation looked at trolling, on the Violentacrez controversy for the Atlantic.
- President Obama’s Reddit IAmA, “I Am Barack Obama, President of the United States, Ask Me Anything.”
- New York’s July 2012 profile of a Reddit meetup in Central Park.
- The New York Times Magazine profile of Christopher Kimball, the founder, editor, and publisher of Cook’s Illustrated and host of the PBS show America’s Test Kitchen.
- The Cook’s Illustrated line of cookbooks, many a kitchen’s most used and food-smeared cookbooks.
- Cookbook author and host of the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.
- Harold McGee, whose 1984 book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen brought industrial food science to the home cook.
Dana’s pick: The 1945 movie Brief Encounter, a small, intimate portrait of a convention-busting love starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard, directed by David Lean, and based on the Noël Coward play Still Life.
Julia’s pick: An exhortation to the creators of the Showtime series Homeland (which rocketed to wild acclaim but lately tiptoes into the realm of the preposterous): Don’t jump the shark.
Stephen’s pick: A re-endorsement that comes to mind after the discussion of Cook’s Illustrated: Peter Robb’s, Midnight in Sicily: On Art, Food, History, Travel, and la Cosa Nostra, an anthropological, sociological, gustatory, sensual account of Italian cuisine, its history, and its inextricable ties to that country’s history of Mafia violence.
Outro: “What Will We Do Next” by The Orchids
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This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.