Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 468 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.
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On this week’s Slate Plus, Dana, Julia, and Stephen ask Jody Rosen five questions about his new book. Go to slate.com/cultureplus to learn more about Slate Plus and join today.
On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, the critics discuss Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The film was one of Steven Spielberg’s first and defined him as an auteur director, but does it still hold up today? Next, Jody Rosen joins the conversation to talk about Mark Harris’ New York magazine essay about Taylor Swift’s new song, “Look What You Made Me Do.” They argue the merits of his criticism and question whether Swift’s new song really is the first piece of Trump-era art. Finally, the gabbers bring on Laura Miller to explore the world of fan fiction.
Links to some of the things we discussed this week:
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- Jean Renoir’s letter to François Truffaut about Close Encounters
- “Look What You Made Me Do”
- “Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ Is the First Pure Piece of Trump-Era Pop Art” by Mark Harris in Vulture
- Top Gun
- “The Promise and Potential of Fan Fiction” by Stephen Burt in the New Yorker
- “You Belong to Me” by Laura Miller in Vulture
- The Fanfiction Reader by Francesca Coppa
Julia: “Days Like This” by Van Morrison
Outro: “Days Like This” by Van Morrison
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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our intern is Daniel Schroeder.