87 episodes

Join a lively transatlantic conversation about culture. Financial Times editors Griselda Murray Brown (in London) and Lilah Raptopoulos (in New York) get together to interview people who are shifting culture, dissect how social changes play out in books, art, music, online and on screen, and bring you behind the scenes of FT Life & Arts journalism.

FT Culture Call Financial Times

    • Society & Culture

Join a lively transatlantic conversation about culture. Financial Times editors Griselda Murray Brown (in London) and Lilah Raptopoulos (in New York) get together to interview people who are shifting culture, dissect how social changes play out in books, art, music, online and on screen, and bring you behind the scenes of FT Life & Arts journalism.

    Our 2019 cultural roundup: the biggest and best of the year

    Our 2019 cultural roundup: the biggest and best of the year

    From Lizzo and Fleabag to Greta Thunberg and the Impossible Burger, Lilah and Gris look back at the biggest themes, people and moments of the year. How did we go from talking about 'global warming' to the 'climate crisis'? How has technology opened up the generational divide? And how is culture reflecting the changing conversation around gender, race and representation?

    Plus: we asked our FT colleagues for their stand-out moments of 2019! Melissa Ingabire takes on the surprising ascendance of country music, via Lil Nas X and Kacey Musgraves. Alec Russell describes meeting the 89-year-old Irish novelist Edna O'Brien. Jo Ellison explains why Karl Lagerfeld's death marked the end of an era in fashion. And Anna Nicolaou argues that 2019 was a great year for movies - thanks, in part, to streaming platforms like Netflix. The episode rounds out with reader recommendations to help you with your holiday gift list.

    We're taking a short break -- we'll be back in late January 2020! Let us know who we should interview and which subjects we should tackle in our second season. You can get in touch on Twitter @FTCultureCall or by email at culturecall@ft.com. And if you like the show, the kindest gift you could give us is a review on Apple Podcasts.

    ***Links from the episode, arranged by theme:***
    Gris's Lunch with the FT with superstar violinist Nicola Benedetti (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/33ed2b6e-1b3e-11ea-97df-cc63de1d73f4

    Climate:
    Greta Thunberg has Lunch with the FT: https://www.ft.com/content/4df1b9e6-34fb-11e9-bd3a-8b2a211d90d5
    Why renting your wardrobe makes fashion sense: https://www.ft.com/content/f8b1b96c-ffb7-11e9-be59-e49b2a136b8d
    Review of Eco-Visionaries exhibition at the Royal Academy (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/25e8d842-1684-11ea-9ee4-11f260415385

    Technology:
    Anna Nicolaou on TikTok and how video shaped a generation: https://www.ft.com/content/dd7234e8-fcb9-11e9-98fd-4d6c20050229
    John Thornhill's review of Shoshana Zuboff's book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: https://www.ft.com/content/43980f9c-0f5b-11e9-a3aa-118c761d2745
    Review of Euphoria on HBO: https://www.ft.com/content/bed942be-b2aa-11e9-bec9-fdcab53d6959

    MeToo and female creators:
    Rebecca Traister on the toll of MeToo: https://www.thecut.com/2019/09/the-toll-of-me-too.html
    Gillian Tett's review of She Said, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey's account of breaking the Weinstein story: https://www.ft.com/content/02b579fc-d480-11e9-a0bd-ab8ec6435630
    Review of Fleabag series two on BBC/Amazon Prime: https://www.ft.com/content/443bcecc-35c9-11e9-bb0c-42459962a812
    Review of Russian Doll on Netflix https://www.ft.com/content/ef66cb66-1d79-11e9-b2f7-97e4dbd3580d
    Profile of Lizzo from The Cut: https://www.thecut.com/2019/02/lizzo-flute-pop-star.html

    Race and representation:
    Review of Stormzy's headline performance at Glastonbury: https://www.ft.com/content/ee3303d6-9b23-11e9-9c06-a4640c9feebb
    A clip of Stormzy's performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX4Anwyzhmw
    Review of Kara Walker's water fountain at Tate Modern: https://www.ft.com/content/73573e6a-e44e-11e9-b8e0-026e07cbe5b4
    Review of Fairview at the Young Vic (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/d7f135d8-1b44-11ea-9186-7348c2f183af
    Gris's podcast interview with George the Poet: https://www.ft.com/content/5a8e2aa2-1eaf-4f4d-b12e-f536d17075ea
    Review of Bernadine Evaristo's Booker-winning Girl, Woman, Other: https://www.ft.com/content/8b808cac-7587-11e9-b0ec-7dff87b9a4a2
    Op-ed by Bernadine Evaristo on being a black woman in 2019 (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/156f5a42-155b-11ea-8d73-6303645ac406

    FT colleagues recommend:
    Alec Russell interviews novelist Edna O'Brien: https://www.ft.com/content/e31a1164-15db-11ea-9ee4-11f260415385
    Jo Ellison's obituary of Karl Lagerfeld: https://www.ft.com/content/cf64d152-344c-11e9-bd3a-8b2a211d90d5
    Anna Nicolaou on online streaming in 2019: https://w

    • 58 min
    Why astrology is thriving in 2019

    Why astrology is thriving in 2019

    You may have noticed the revival of astrology in recent years, as meme accounts accrue millions of followers, horoscope apps raise millions of dollars in venture funding, and Americans spend more and more on 'mystical services' (it's currently a $2.2b market). Lilah and Gris explore what this growing trend says about our culture, digging into the renaissance of birth charts and moon signs with the help of some Culture Call listeners. Plus: one of New York's most prominent astrologers, Rebecca Gordon, stops by the show to discuss her growing clientele and her predictions for Brexit and the US presidential race. She also takes a look at how compatible Culture Call's co-hosts really are.


    Also: we are putting together an episode of our cultural highlights from 2019, and we’d love to include yours. Which books, films, TV shows and other trends have you been recommending to your friends? Let us know on Twitter @FTCultureCall or by emailing us at culturecall@ft.com.


    Here are some links from this episode:


    – Lilah's article on astrology: https://www.ft.com/content/2816a0ec-000c-11ea-be59-e49b2a136b8d
    –Suzy Feahy's review of The Crown Season 3: https://www.ft.com/content/767e6b32-fefb-11e9-b7bc-f3fa4e77dd47
    –Meghan Markle's interview on ITV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo9G91QWMQs
    –Liz Jobley's piece on artist Dora Maar, whose work is on view at the Tate Modern in London until March 15 (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/0ee21c42-05a6-11ea-9afa-d9e2401fa7ca
    –Picasso's 1937 painting, Weeping Woman: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/picasso-weeping-woman-t05010
    –Witch, a book of poetry by Rebecca Tamás: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43842058-witch
    –Recap of the Broad City episode Witches: https://www.vulture.com/2017/10/broad-city-recap-season-4-episode-6.html For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 40 min
    Novelist Ben Lerner on angry white men and the origins of Trump

    Novelist Ben Lerner on angry white men and the origins of Trump

    Ben Lerner is one of the most acclaimed American writers working today. Gris meets him to discuss good parenting, male rage and why "autofiction" (fiction infused with autobiography) isn't narcissistic, despite what people think. 


    One of the biggest books of 2019, Lerner's new novel The Topeka School is arguably his most ambitious to date. Set partly in Kansas in the 1990s, it tells the story of one family -- and of the US at large. Can it help us understand how we got here?


    Get in touch! We’re putting together an episode of our cultural highlights from 2019, and we’d love to know what yours have been. Which books, films, TV shows and other trends have you enjoyed this year? Let us know on Twitter @FTCultureCall or by emailing us at culturecall@ft.com. And if you like the show, you can help us out by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or recommending it to your friends!


    Links from the episode:  
    - FT review of Ben Lerner's novel The Topeka School  (paywall) : https://www.ft.com/content/5147ef78-fa37-11e9-a354-36acbbb0d9b6  
    - Gris' podcast interview with Sheila Heti, another great writer of autofiction: https://www.ft.com/content/8dd9fc2d-9172-47ea-bbd7-0256d4ee4c4d
    - Lilah's piece on the rebirth of astrology for the FT (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/2816a0ec-000c-11ea-be59-e49b2a136b8d  
    - India Ross's piece on the "OK boomer" meme for the FT (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/52d858a0-06da-11ea-9afa-d9e2401fa7ca
    - FT's NextGen package, featuring pieces about the post-millennial generation: https://www.ft.com/nextgen   For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 49 min
    Esther Perel on surviving (and thriving) at work

    Esther Perel on surviving (and thriving) at work

    Psychotherapist Esther Perel shot to fame with her TED talks and podcast on sex, infidelity, and the secret to long-term relationships. Lilah meets her in New York to learn about her latest podcast – How's Work? – which puts a microphone in her therapy sessions between co-founders. They discuss how the same dynamics that exist in our romantic relationships also exist in our professional lives – and how best to navigate them. Gris and Lilah also dissect how therapy has been depicted in culture over the years.

    As always, we'd love to hear from you. We are still looking for your thoughts on astrology – record an audio message and email it to us at culturecall@ft.com. You can also always tell us about your favorite cultural trends on Twitter @FTCultureCall. And if you enjoy the show, please recommend us to your friends!




    ––––


    Links from the episode:


    –Lilah's written piece on Esther Perel (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/aaa3b29a-ffb0-11e9-be59-e49b2a136b8d
    –How's Work? on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0P13JasQfVZ1RiDCMZMYNU
    –Tom Faber's piece for the FT on London's club scene (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/9e45e870-f668-11e9-bbe1-4db3476c5ff0
    –FT NextGen, a package of stories about how the next generation lives: https://www.ft.com/nextgen
    –Tickets to the FT's NextGen festival, in London on November 16 (where you can hang out with Gris!) https://www.ftnextgen.com/
    –Lilah and James Fontanella-Khan's story on why it’s time to stop ignoring mental health at work: https://ft.com/mentalhealth
    –More about Flights, by Olga Tokarczuk: https://www.ft.com/content/076bb888-372b-11e8-8b98-2f31af407cc8
    –The rise of Succession, TV’s new must-watch show (Vox): https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/9/24/20870750/succession-hbo-review-season-2-recap For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 50 min
    Chef Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese: "we're living in a post-authentic world"

    Chef Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese: "we're living in a post-authentic world"

    Award-winning chef Danny Bowien has never fully fit in. Adopted from Korea, Bowien was raised by a white, Christian family in Oklahoma, in "the buckle of the Bible Belt." In 2010, a young new chef in San Francisco, he started the first pop up restaurant ever as an experiment – it became wildly popular for turning Szechuan Chinese food upside down. He now runs two successful Mission Chinese restaurants in New York.


    Bowien is known in the food world for subverting not just Chinese cuisine, but also what chefs should look like and the rules they should follow. He speaks with Lilah about why authenticity is no longer the benchmark for good food, what it has been like to publicly fail, and how a restaurant becomes an institution.


    Also: we want to hear your stories about astrology! Do you have a memorable experience to share with us? When do you turn to it? And if you're a skeptic, what doesn't sit right? Record an audio message with your thoughts, and email it to culturecall@ft.com. You can also chat with us on Twitter @FTCultureCall.

    ––––

    Links from the episode:

    –Patricia Lockwood's hilarious essay on John Updike in the London Review of Books https://www.lrb.co.uk/v41/n19/patricia-lockwood/malfunctioning-sex-robot

    –Tickets to the FT's NextGen festival, in London on November 16 (where you can hang out with Gris!) https://www.ftnextgen.com/

    –Danny Bowien's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dannybowienchinesefood For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 41 min
    Artist Mark Bradford peels back layers. Plus: is Netflix losing steam?

    Artist Mark Bradford peels back layers. Plus: is Netflix losing steam?

    At almost seven foot tall, Mark Bradford is one of the most towering figures in the art world, in every sense. Gris asks him how it felt — as a gay, black artist — to represent the US at the Venice Biennale in the era of Trump. Mark also discusses growing up in his mother's beauty salon in Los Angeles, his new exhibition in London, and how his foundation makes art accessible to everyone — not just privileged communities. Later in the episode, Lilah speaks to the FT's US media correspondent Anna Nicolaou about Fortnite, the digital streaming wars and why Netflix keeps paying millions for 90's sitcoms.


    As always, we'd love to hear from you. Chat with us on Twitter @FTCultureCall, and tell us about the cultural trends you can’t get out of your head at culturecall@ft.com. 


    Links from the episode:


    Mark Bradford's exhibition Cerberus is at Hauser & Wirth in London until December 21 - https://www.hauserwirth.com/hauser-wirth-exhibitions/25237-mark-bradford-cerberus 


    Lilah's piece on visiting Armenia for the first time - https://www.ft.com/content/2e2f38b0-e7a1-11e8-8a85-04b8afea6ea3


    Anna Nicolaou's piece on Fortnite - https://www.ft.com/content/f2103e72-b38f-11e9-bec9-fdcab53d6959


    Anna Nicolaou's piece on the future of Netflix (paywall) https://ig.ft.com/netflix-future/


    Is Broadway ready for Slave Play? (New York Times) https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/theater/slave-play-broadway-jeremy-harris.html For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

Flick Harris ,

Wonderful George

Adored “George The Poet” episode articulate uplifting amazing man lovely interview with a good dynamic between interviewer & interviewee.
Could only listen to part of the podcast because the pitch & tone of Lilahs American accent grates on me so badly that I had to fast forward through her narrative-

camilla bell ,

Brilliant, concise brain food

Culture call has a knack of massaging my brain and getting my synapses cracking and popping-mainly because it's not at all a long waffly podcast, but really concise and thoughtful. I love the choice of interviewees and the conversations have a great structure and insight. Also I could listen to both their voices forever, please start recording audiobooks too!
When I wrote to them they got back to me which was realy lovely, although as they gain more popularity and get more emails they might not be able to do that for everyone. Thank you both! x

christinaadeles ,

Love this podcast

I feel so lucky to have access to this podcast, thank you for making my commute much more enjoyable.

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