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On this week’s Culturefest, our critics gab a little differently by answering listener questions on a wide range of topics, including the difference between actors and be-ers and how to evaluate movie performances, the hit video “Gangnam Style,” and what resemblance, if any, Steve bears to Niles Crane. (Spoiler alert: not much.) They also discuss their own favorite coming of age movies, last reads on hypothetical death row, and sexiest moments on film.
Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:
- The following be-ers (as opposed to actors): Marilyn Monroe, Cher, Vin Diesel, and Marlon Brando.
- The Jack Nicholson movies One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Chinatown, and Five Easy Pieces, and Ron Rosenbaum’s 1986 New York Times profile of its star, Jack Nicholson.
- The movies Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, The Graduate, Fast Five, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
- Dana’s review of Silver Linings Playbook for Slate.
- David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane in Frasier.
- Gabfester death row reading selections: Pride & Prejudice (Julia), Moby Dick (Dana), The Henriad, Shakespeare’s second historical tetralogy (Richard II, King Henry IV, Part 1, King Henry IV, Part 2, and King Henry V) or The Collected Poems of Philip Larkin (Steve).
- The subversive messaging about economic inequality in South Korea in Psy’s song “Gangnam Style” and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s own video homage.
- The movie The Ister which features French philosophers Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy.
- Richard Rorty, the American philosopher and Steve’s professor at UVA.
- Gabfester favorite coming of age movies: Dazed and Confused (Dana), The Breakfast Club (Julia), Flirting (Steve), and Risky Business (Steve).
- Gabfesters’ selections of sexiest moment in film: The George Clooney-Jennifer Lopez hotel seduction in Out of Sight, the implied tryst between Dorothy Malone and Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep and the immortal Phoebe-Cates-emerging-from-the-pool scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Dana’s pick: The New York Times Magazine’s process piece about Jerry Seinfeld and the theory and making of comedy by Slate pop critic Jonah Weiner.
Julia’s pick: “The Innocent Man,” Pamela Colloff’s incredible and anguishing two-part article in Texas Monthly about a man who spent 25 years in prison after being falsely convicted of murdering his wife.
Stephen’s pick: From the golden age of Jack Nicholson, a movie that never broke through as one of his iconic performances but is well worth watching, The Last Detail.
Outro: “Spanish Pipedream” performed by The Avett Brothers
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This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.