Fresh Air

News & Information: Mon-Fri • 3pm-4pm | 6pm-7pm
Terry Gross

A weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues featuring in-depth yet intimate conversations with top news makers. Interviews are complemented with contributions from well-known critics and commentators.

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Movie Reviews
11:42 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch Lifts Above Biopic Formula In 'Imitation Game'

Keira Knightley, Matthew Beard, Matthew Goode, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Allen Leech in The Imitation Game.
Jack English The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 4:25 pm

Major studios once churned out scores of great-person biographical pictures. But now you rarely see them except during awards season. They're prime Oscar bait. The new Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory Of Everything, is a perfect specimen. It's a letdown, finally, but Eddie Redmayne is amazingly tough. He captures the fury inside Hawking's twisted frame.

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Music
11:42 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Four Holiday Goodies, Including 'Christmas At Downton Abbey'

In the record industry, it's not too early to be releasing Christmas albums, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has been listening to a lot of them. He's narrowed down his list of goodies to these four: A Merry Friggin' Christmas soundtrack, Christmas at Downton Abby, Earth Wind and Fire's Holiday and the Living Sisters' Harmony is Real.

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Books
11:52 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Decades Later, Laurie Colwin's Books 'Will Not Let You Down'

Colwin was known for making her own baby food for her daughter, Rosa, pictured here in 1985.
Courtesy of Open Road Media

Many years ago, Laurie Colwin began an essay she wrote about the magic of roast chicken like this: "There is nothing like roast chicken. It is helpful and agreeable, the perfect dish no matter what the circumstances. Elegant or homey, a dish for a dinner party or a family supper, it will not let you down." Substitute the phrase "Laurie Colwin's writing" for the words "roast chicken," take some poetic allowances with the word "dish," and you'll have an approximate description of Colwin's own elusive magic.

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Author Interviews
11:52 am
Mon November 24, 2014

The Rise And Fall Of Comedian Bob Hope

Bob Hope performs for servicemen at Munda Airstrip, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, in 1944.
U.S. Army AP

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 3:55 pm

For his first book, Comedy at the Edge, about standup comedy in the 1970s, Richard Zoglin interviewed comedians like Steve Martin and Jerry Seinfeld about who influenced their careers. He says he was surprised that none of them mentioned Bob Hope.

"It was very strange," Zoglin tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It made me realize how off the radar he was."

The comedians instead mentioned people like Lenny Bruce, Groucho Marx and Jack Benny. Zoglin says he thought that it was "unjust" and that Hope wasn't getting the credit he deserved.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:07 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Norman Lear, A Review Of Basement Tapes, Jon Stewart

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Remembrances
10:23 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Fresh Air Remembers Film And Broadway Director Mike Nichols

Nichols directed such movies as The Graduate and Birdcage and Broadway musicals such as Spamalot. He won nine Tony Awards. Nichols died Wednesday at 83. He talked with Terry Gross in 2001.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Performing Arts
10:23 am
Fri November 21, 2014

For Alan Cumming, Life Is (Once Again) A Cabaret

This is the third time Cumming has starred in the musical. He talks about the new production — everything from his costume (which he calls a "Wonder Bra" for men) to the darker themes of the show.

Originally aired April 28, 2014.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
12:09 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Sen. Mitch McConnell's Political Life, Examined, In 'The Cynic'

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will take over as Senate majority leader in the new term in January.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 1:35 pm

When Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) first entered politics in the 1960s, he started out as moderate — pro-abortion rights, pro-union, in support of the civil rights movement. With time, McConnell shifted to the right as the Republican Party shifted.

"I was just really startled by this when I started looking into it," Alec MacGillis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I knew that he had started out as somewhat more moderate — but I didn't realize just how moderate he really was."

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Book Reviews
12:09 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

'Redeployment' Explores Iraq War's Physical And Psychic Costs

In his short story collection, former Marine Phil Klay takes his experience in Iraq and clarifies it, lucidly tracing the moral, political and psychological curlicues of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Wednesday, he won the National Book Award for fiction for the collection.

This review originally aired March 26, 2014.

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Television
10:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Jon Stewart On The 'Daily Show': 'I'm Still Really Proud Of The Work We Do'

Stewart talks about his future hosting the show known for its political satire.

"It is unclear to me," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "The minute I say I'm not going to do it anymore, I will miss it like crazy."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Music
10:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Bob Dylan's Atmosphere Captured In New Basement Tapes

A batch of lyrics that Bob Dylan wrote in the late 1960s were given by Dylan to producer T-Bone Burnett, who came up with the idea to have some contemporary musicians set the words to music. Burnett gathered Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Taylor Goldsmith from Dawes, and Rhiannon Giddens from the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and they recorded an album over the course of two weeks in L.A. It's called Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, and Showtime will air a documentary about the making of the album on November 21.

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Movie Interviews
10:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Bennett Miller On Making The True-Life Crime Film 'Foxcatcher'

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 1:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
12:35 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Norman Lear Looks Back On His Long Life In 'Even This I Get To Experience'

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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All Tech Considered
12:35 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

How A Feud Between Two Russian Companies Fueled A 'Spam Nation'

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 12:58 pm

Don't install software from the Web unless it's directly from the company that made it. If you do install software, make sure you update it. And whatever you do, don't open attachments emailed to you by spammers.

These are just a few warnings from Brian Krebs, an investigative journalist and cybersecurity expert.

Krebs learned the ins and outs of how the spam industry works when he was given documents in the aftermath of a feud between two Russian companies — two of the largest sponsors of pharmaceutical spam.

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Author Interviews
10:25 am
Mon November 17, 2014

An In-Depth Look At The U.S. Cyber War, The Military Alliance And Its Pitfalls

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
10:25 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Holy Smokes 'Batman,' The '60s Series Is Out On DVD

Unlike later incarnations of Batman, the '60s version was tongue-in-cheek.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 1:31 pm

If you're an impressionable young kid hitting your teens right now, chances are pretty good you've been watching and enjoying some Batman — either Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan's just-completed Dark Knight trilogy, or the prequel series, Gotham, now showing on Fox. If you came of age a generation ago, your Batman of choice was likely to have been the big-screen caped crusader played by Michael Keaton or George Clooney. Or maybe even Val Kilmer.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:13 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Jon Stewart, Peter Mendelsund And A Review Of Bob Dylan

Rosewater is Jon Stewart's directorial debut. He filmed much of the movie in Jordan, and he says he grew a beard because after wearing a suit and shaving for most of his career, he wanted to let his "freak flag fly."
Laith Majali Courtesy of Open Road Films

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Music
10:56 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Eric Hofbauer Takes On Stravinsky, Messiaen

Boston jazz guitarist Eric Hofbauer's quintet has two new CDs out, playing 20th-century classics. One is the year's second jazz version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, following the Bad Plus' trio version. The other is Olivier Messiaen's very unjazzy Quartet for the End of Time. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead likes them a lot.

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Movie Reviews
10:56 am
Fri November 14, 2014

'Foxcatcher': A Bloated True-Crime Story Based On Wealthy Heir John du Pont

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Television
10:56 am
Fri November 14, 2014

'Getting On' With It: A New HBO Show Doesn't Tiptoe Around Death

Set in the geriatric extended-care wing of a California hospital, Getting On is a different kind of workplace comedy. Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer adapted the show from a BBC series of the same name, and added new material largely inspired by experiences they had with their own mothers.

Originally aired Dec. 23, 2013.

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