Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 216 with Stephen Metcalf, John Swansburg, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:
And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:
The sponsors of today’s show are Stamps.com and the Emmy-winning PBS series Independent Lens, the weekly series that showcases the best in documentary film every Monday night at 10PM on PBS. Go to Stamps.com and use the promo code “CULTUREFEST” for your no-risk free trial and bonus offer.
Culturefest is on the radio! “Gabfest Radio” combines Slate’s Culture and Political Gabfests in one show—listen on Saturdays at 7 a.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. on WNYC’s AM820.
On this week’s Culturefest, our critics are joined by Slate Editorial Director John Swansburg to discuss Flight, the new Robert Zemeckis movie starring Denzel Washington, and whether it’s a deft and emotionally complex genre mashup or a cliché-laden addiction movie. The Gabfesters then discuss Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm: Does it mean doom or rescue for the Star Wars franchise? Finally, they consider the poetry and comedy of the Twitter hashtag, its pithy functionality, and its potential future as a marketing super tool.
Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:
- Manohla Dargis’ review of Flight for the New York Times.
- Ian McEwan’s novel Enduring Love.
- Forrest Wickman for Slate on addiction and ambiguity in Flight.
- The sale of Lucasfilm to Disney by Forrest Wickman for Slate.
- An original trilogy Star Wars fanboy for Slate on embracing Episode VII.
- Another classic tale of a pilot with a drinking problem, the 1980 movie Airplane!.
- An explanation in the Washington Post about why the Lucasfilm-Disney deal is “priceless.”
- George Lucas movies that preceded the Star Wars trilogy: his directorial debut, THX 1138 (1971) and American Graffiti (1973).
- American Zoetrope, the film studio founded by George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola.
- The classic short novel by Henry James, The Turn of the Screw.
- The epic directorial style of David Lean
- Julia Turner on the poetry of hashtags for the New York Times Magazine.
- John Swansburg’s tweet linking to an article about 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell.
- The Twitter feed of comedian and idiosyncratic hashtagger Marc Maron.
- Twitter’s top hashtags of 2011.
- The hashtag memes #muslimrage and #sorryfeminists.
John’s pick: The opera The Rake’s Progress, written by Igor Stravinksy, based on William Hogarth’s engravings, with libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman. This is an approachable introduction to opera for the nonbuff.
Julia’s pick: The song “In a Big City” by Titus Andronicus, the band that sounds like what the Pogues would sound like if they were from New Jersey in the early 1990s.
Stephen’s pick: The Tim Allen movie Galaxy Quest which lovingly spoofs Star Wars and the space movie genre.
Outro: “In a Big City” by Titus Andronicus
You can email us at email@example.com.
This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.