Slate Culture Gabfest discusses: The Lego Movie, the Sochi Games and U.S. perception of Russia, and historical photos on Twitter.

Is The Lego Movie Profound … or Sinister?

Is The Lego Movie Profound … or Sinister?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Feb. 12 2014 12:33 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Piece of Resistance” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on The Lego Movie, how the Sochi games affect U.S. views of Russia, and historical photos on Twitter.

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Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 282 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 The Lego Movie, a new animated film from writers/directors Chris Miller and Philip Lord. With attention to detail and a self-conscious wit, Miller and Lord create a vivid Lego universe and a narrative that seems to vilify mega-corporations while hawking Lego toys. Next, the gabbers welcome journalist, gay rights activist, and Russian émigré Masha Gessen to talk about the Sochi Olympics and Russia’s global reputation in the Putin era. Finally, Rebecca Onion, the editor of Slate’s history blog The Vault, joins the critics to talk about the scourge of Twitter accounts circulating historical photos online without dates or attributions. What’s the appeal—and risk—of reducing history to 140 characters?

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



Rebecca Onion: Hild by Nikola Griffith, a historical novel about the seventh-century nun Saint Hilda of Whitby.


Julia: Duolingo, the “game-ified” language learning app that’s super fun, edifying, and free!

Outro: John Cale’s “Graham Greene” from his album Paris 1919

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This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.

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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, the former editor in chief of Slate, is a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.