Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 273 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.
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On this week’s episode, the critics discuss Inside Llewyn Davis, a new film from Ethan and Joel Coen, set in the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the early 1960s. With help from Carl Wilson, Slate’s music critic, the gabbers discuss the film’s soulful soundtrack and ambiguous relationship to both misanthropy and satire. Next, inspired by Tom Scocca’s anti-smarm polemic on Gawker, the critics discuss the threat of “smarm”: What distinguishes it from “snark,” and which is more toxic? Finally, the critics talk to Amelia Peck, chief curator of “The Interwoven Globe,” an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores the 16th- to 19th-century textile trade to redefine globalization in pre-Internet terms.
Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:
- Dana’s review of Inside Llewyn Davis on Slate
- The original soundtrack to Inside Llewyn Davis
- O Brother, Where Art Thou directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
- The Big Lebowski directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
- “On Smarm” by Tom Scocca on Gawker
- Snark: It’s Mean, It’s Personal, and It’s Ruining Our Conversation by David Denby
- Heidi Julavits’ book-review manifesto on The Believer
- “Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500–1800” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Steve: Sucking on Altoids while chopping onions
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This podcast was produced by Chris Wade. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.