Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Look What You Made Richard Dreyfuss Do” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Taylor Swift in the age of Trump, and fan fiction.

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 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:


Dana: The work of director Kogonada on Vimeo, including “Mirrors of Bergman,” and “Linklater // On Cinema & Time

Julia: “Days Like This” by Van Morrison

Stephen: Walter Becker’s music and other work, and the poet John Ashbery, including his videos at the Kelly Writers House and his book The Tennis Court Oath.

Outro: “Days Like This” by Van Morrison

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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our intern is Daniel Schroeder.

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