Culture Gabfest

“Climb Inside My Fur” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Hustlers, Ken Burns’ Country Music, and Caroline Calloway.

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About the Show

New York Times critic Dwight Garner says, “The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the highlights of my week.” The award-winning Culturefest features Slate culture critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop.

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Episode Notes

This week on the Culture Gabfest, Stephen Metcalf, Julia Turner, and Dana Stevens, discuss Hustlers, the new film from Lorene Scafaria starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu, about a ripped-from-the-headlines clique of strippers who cleverly defrauded financial types in and out of the strip club. Jennifer Lopez’s performance is commanding, but the movie’s parable of post-2008 revenge falls a little bit flat compared with its larger themes of maternity and female friendship. Then, Ken Burns’ new epic-length documentary on country music is airing on PBS. The panel is joined by Slate’s Carl Wilson to help puzzle out the strengths and weaknesses of the documentary and its perhaps overly rosy treatment of one of America’s great art forms. Finally, the panel discusses the saga of Caroline Calloway and her ghostwriter, Natalie Beach, who wrote a long-form exposé about their relationship in the Cut.

In Slate Plus, the panel discusses the life and work of photographer Robert Frank with Slate’s Fred Kaplan.

Endorsements:

Dana endorses seeing Joanna Newsom in concert

Julia endorses Nicholas Britell’s Emmy win, and remembering the work of journalist Cokie Roberts.

Steve endorses the music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys

Outro is Bob Wills, “Keep Knockin’ & Bring It on Down to My House”, from the Tiffany Transcriptions

Podcast production by Benjamin Frisch.