Should the Allegations Against Woody Allen Affect How We Feel About His Movies?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Jan. 22 2014 12:01 PM

The Culture Gabfest “(Picnic, Lightning)” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Lena Dunham’s Vogue shoot, Woody Allen’s lifetime achievement award, and the wonders of punctuation.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 279 with David Haglund, Stephen Metcalf, and Julia Turner 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 Lena Dunham’s photoshopped Vogue pictures and the $10,000 bounty that Jezebel offered for unretouched versions of the shoot. Why is this scandal of post-production beautification any different from the dozens before it? Next the critics turn to Woody Allen, whose receipt of the Golden Globes lifetime achievement award unearthed allegations of sexual abuse from his past. Do these allegations diminish his cinematic achievements? And finally, inspired by Kathryn Schulz’s New York magazine piece about the “5 best punctuation marks in literature,” the critics discuss the subtleties of punctuation: When did exclamation points become cartoonish? Are em-dashes hackneyed? And when, if ever, is it OK to use a semicolon?

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

Endorsements:

Julia: A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett.

David: “My Adorable One” off of Lee Moses’ 1971 album Time and Place.

Steve: Philip Larkin’s poem “Church Going.”

Outro: “My Adorable One” by Lee Moses

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Chris Wade. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.

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

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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

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

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