Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Blue is the Warmest Color, the French television drama The Returned, and Claudia Roth-Pierpont’s new book Roth Unbound.
Can Americans Endure TV With Subtitles? Slate’s Culture Gabfest Discusses.
Slate's weekly roundtable.
Nov. 6 2013 12:01 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Two-Thirds French” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Blue is the Warmest Color, The Returned, and Claudia Roth-Pierpont’s new book Roth Unbound.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 268 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and June Thomas with the audio player below.

And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:


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On this week’s episode, the critics discuss the Palme d’Or-winning film Blue is the Warmest Color. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, the film follows Adele, an aspiring teacher in Lille, and her sexual awakening with Emma, an art student-cum-sophisticate. With guest Bryan Lowder, assistant editor of Slate’s Outward blog, the critics discuss the film’s depiction of lesbian sex, its fidelity to the graphic novel on which it was based, and the flurry of post-production controversy that surrounded its American release. Next, in keeping with the day’s Francophilia, the critics discuss The Returned, a macabre French TV show, now airing on the Sundance Network. Can American television viewers embrace the pouty languor of this French drama? Can we learn to love TV with subtitles? And finally, the gabbers welcome Claudia Roth-Pierpont, New Yorker staff writer and the author of Roth Unbound, a new book about Philip Roth’s prolific and polarizing career.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:


June: BBC Radio 4’s General Knowledge Quizzes, especially the fiendish and cryptic Round Britain Quiz

Steve: The Fall, an Irish-British crime drama starring Gillian Anderson, now streaming on Netflix

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Sally Herships. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.

Follow us on Twitter. 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.

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

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