Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Amour, Self-Help, and Maria Bamford’s Special Special Special!

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Jan. 16 2013 11:36 AM

The Culture Gabfest: Love and Death in a Fabulous Apartment Edition

Slate's podcast about Michael Haneke’s Amour, self-help, and Maria Bamford’s comedy Special Special Special!

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 226 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, 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 Audible.com. Go to Stamps.com and use the promo code “CULTUREFEST” for your no-risk free trial and bonus offer. Get a free audiobook from Audible’s collection of more than 100,000 titles and a subscription to a daily audio digest when you sign up for a 30-day free trial at www.audiblepodcast.com/culturefest.

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 discuss the incredible performances in Michael Haneke’s Amour and how the movie departs from the confrontational style that has become Haneke’s hallmark. The Gabfesters then delve into Kathryn Schulz’s New York article about the self in “self-help,” pondering the genesis of the modern self-help movement and the efficacy of its accompanying literary genre. Finally, the critics discuss Special Special Special! the new stand-up comedy hour from Maria Bamford. They consider her dark wackiness and how her material about her own mental illness makes for a compelling (though not necessarily laugh-out-loud-funny) set.

Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:

Endorsements:

Dana’s pick: “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art about the alteration of photographs from the beginning of photography to the digital era. And Stephen Colbert on Fresh Air talking with Terry Gross about his most meaningful musical moments.

Julia’s pick: Really excellent cornbread with just right density and heft. This recipe from the Cambridge restaurant East Coast Grill, reprinted by Sam Sifton in the New York Times, will make you feel like a prairie frontierswoman.

Stephen’s pick: English singer songwriter Labi Siffre whose 1970’s songs have been sampled by Kanye West and Eminem.

Outro: “I Got the …” by Labi Siffre

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Julia Furlan. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.

Follow us on the new Culturefest Twitter feed. And please Like the Culture Gabfest on Facebook.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate's critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast.

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