Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 266 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.
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On this week’s show, the critics discuss 12 Years a Slave, a new drama—already an Oscar front-runner—from director Steve McQueen. Based on the 1853 memoir of Solomon Northup, a free black northerner kidnapped and sold into slavery for the titular 12 years, the film brings visceral immediacy to a violent history. Next the gabbers grapple with Alec Baldwin’s new talk show Up Late on MSNBC. Does Baldwin’s celebrity facilitate his interviews or dominate them? And finally, the critics are joined by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the creators of the cult podcast Welcome to Night Vale to discuss the wild popularity of their program and the return of the radio drama.
Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:
- Dana’s review of 12 Years a Slave on Slate
- Peter Malamud Smith’s Slate piece on 12 Years a Slave’s “Hero Problem”
- Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir
- Schindler’s List
- Dana’s review of Shame on Slate
- Patriotic Gore by Edmund Wilson
- Up Late With Alec Baldwin on MSNBC
- 30 Rock
- Here’s the Thing on WNYC
- Alec Baldwin’s “homophobic twitter rant”
- Fresh Air with Terry Gross
- Charlie Rose
- WTF with Marc Maron
- Welcome to Night Vale
- Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor
- The New York Neo-Futurists
- Welcome To Night Vale Tumblr fan art
- The Grapes of Wrath
- The Tiny, featured on Welcome to Night Vale’s “weather segment”
Julia: White Flower Farm’s spectacular catalog
Joseph Fink: Trick ‘r Treat, a Halloween-perfect horror film, directed by Michael Dougherty
Jeffrey Cranor: The Read’s hilarious, Beyoncé-loving pop culture podcast
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This podcast was produced by Sally Herships and engineered by Chris Wade. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.