The Slate Culture Gabfest also takes on America to Me and “The Morality Wars.”

The Mythic Melodrama of A Star Is Born

The Mythic Melodrama of A Star Is Born

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Oct. 10 2018 11:16 AM

The Culture Gabfest “Just Wanted to Take Another Look at You” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on A Star Is Born, America to Me, and “The Morality Wars.”

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Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Warner Bros.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 525 with Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and Stephen Metcalf with the audio player below.

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On Slate Plus, the hosts’ continue their conversation with New York Times critic-at-large Wesley Morris.

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This week, the critics tackle A Star Is Born, the new movie starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. What does this old-fashioned remake tell us in 2018? Can we still appreciate the classic Hollywood myth for what it is? Next, the gabbers unpack the Starz docuseries America to Me, which follows students at an outwardly progressive public high school where racial inequity remains a serious problem. Finally, they’re joined by friend of the podcast Wesley Morris to discuss “The Morality Wars,” his essay for the New York Times Magazine that has sparked a larger debate on the intersection of art, criticism, and social justice.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:



Julia: Tana French’s The Witch Elm


Steve: Taylor Swift (following her endorsement of two Tennessee Democrats) and “Advice to a Prophet” by Richard Wilbur

Outro: An edited version of “Luminescence” by Trevor Kowalski

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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our production assistant is Alex Barasch.

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