Fresh Air

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This one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.
Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

In 'Bastards Of The Reagan Era' A Poet Says His Generation Was 'Just Lost'

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 12:48pm

After being convicted of carjacking as a teenager, Reginald Dwayne Betts spent eight years in an adult prison. Since his release, he has become a poet and a Yale law student.

From 'Scarface' To 'Sopranos': Remembering Character Actor Robert Loggia

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 12:24pm

Best known for his roles as cops and outlaws, Loggia died Friday from complications related to Alzheimer's disease. He was 85. Originally broadcast in 1987.

Percussive Piano And Rollicking Swing Float Matthew Shipp's 'Conduct Of Jazz'

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 11:07am

Shipp, a mainstay of New York's downtown free jazz scene, likes big blocky chords and loud piano sounds. Critic Kevin Whitehead says the new album by the Matthew Shipp trio is "heavy in a good way."

A Downtrodden Protagonist Reveals Himself Room-By-Room In 'Hotels Of North America'

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 11:07am

Rick Moody discusses his new novel, which is told solely in the form of online hotel reviews. The narrator of Hotels Of North America is increasingly down on his luck — and may even be homeless.

Maureen Corrigan's Best Books Of 2015: Short(ish) Books That Pack A Big Punch

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 11:07am

This year, short stories and fragmented intense memoirs — along with the incredible true story of a short-haired dog — dominate Maureen Corrigan's best books list.

Fresh Air Weekend: HBO's 'Leftovers'; Adele's '25'; Broadway Composer John Kander

Sat, 12/05/2015 - 8:04am

Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, the co-creators of The Leftovers, discuss the series. Rock critic Ken Tucker weighs in on Adele's popularity. John Kander reflects on a career of Hidden Treasures.

Spike Lee Pits Sex Against Guns In A Powerful Message Movie

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 1:12pm

Lee's new film, Chi-Raq, is an adaptation of the Greek comedy Lysistrata, in which women withhold sex to get their men to stop fighting. Critic David Edelstein calls it a "sexy, brash and potent."

'New Yorker' Cartoon Editor Explores What Makes Us Get It

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 1:12pm

Humor is both a creative and a cognitive process, says Bob Mankoff, who has contributed cartoons to The New Yorker since 1977. Originally broadcast March 24, 2014.

Netflix Wishes You A 'Murray Christmas' In A Cheerful, Irony-Free Holiday Special

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 12:42pm

Critic David Bianculli says A Very Murray Christmas, directed by Sofia Coppola, is "an unexpectedly tender little TV jewel from the man who built his early career on being a wisecracking cynic."

Top CIA 'Spymasters' Agree: We Can't Kill Our Way Out Of Terrorism

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 12:42pm

Filmmakers Chris Whipple and Jules Naudet discuss their Showtime documentary, Spymasters, which features 12 former CIA directors discussing the tough choices they've had to make in fighting terrorism.

Adele Returns, With A Restrained, Emotionally Controlled '25'

Wed, 12/02/2015 - 1:20pm

Rock critic Ken Tucker discusses the British singer's popularity and her new album, 25. "In a pop world overflowing with singers who want to blow you away, Adele wants to talk with you," he says.

From 'Lost' To 'Leftovers', Show Creators Embrace Ambiguity And The Unknown

Wed, 12/02/2015 - 1:20pm

Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of HBO's The Leftovers, says he is drawn to "real-world stories where the supernatural can and often does occur." He and author Tom Perrotta discuss the series.

Actress Niecy Nash Is 'Getting On' Just Fine

Tue, 12/01/2015 - 12:54pm

Perhaps best known for her work on Reno 911, Nash talks to Fresh Air contributor Anna Sale about playing a nurse on HBO's Getting On, a series about an extended care facility for elderly women.

'Hitchcock/Truffaut' Unspools The Artistry Of The Master Of Suspense

Tue, 12/01/2015 - 12:54pm

Director Kent Jones discusses his new documentary, which was inspired by a 1962 series of in-depth interviews between French filmmaker François Truffaut and the legendary director Alfred Hitchcock.

5 Sisters Struggle With The Shackles Of A Conservative Culture In 'Mustang'

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 12:42pm

Five Turkish teens are censured by a culture threatened by their burgeoning sexuality in Deniz Gamze Ergüven's debut film. Critic John Powers says Mustang brims with "the zing and energy of life."

From Gladiator Duels To Caesar's Last Words: The Myths Of Ancient Rome

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 12:42pm

Historian Mary Beard says many of our popular notions about the empire are based on culture — like the play Julius Caesar or the film Gladiator — rather than fact. Her new book is called SPQR.

Fresh Air Weekend: Singer Cecile McLorin Salvant; 'The Danish Girl'; Sam Phillips

Sat, 11/28/2015 - 8:04am

Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant says she likes the "husky lows" of jazz. Justin Chang reviews The Danish Girl. Peter Guralnick profiles the founder of the Sun Records label in his book, Sam Phillips.

Richard Carpenter Weighs In On How To Craft The Perfect Pop Song

Fri, 11/27/2015 - 8:27pm

In the '70s, Richard Carpenter and his sister, Karen, made up the pop duo the Carpenters. On Dec. 5, PBS will begin airing Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters. Originally broadcast Nov. 25, 2009.

'Better Call Saul' And 'The Great American Dream Machine' Shine As DVD Box Sets

Fri, 11/27/2015 - 12:16pm

TV critic David Bianculli shares his enthusiasm for two newly released DVD box sets: season one of Better Call Saul and a four-DVD set of the 1970s PBS variety show, The Great American Dream Machine.

For Iris DeMent, Music Is The Calling That Forces Her Into The Spotlight

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 8:04am

DeMent describes herself as extremely shy, but says that "when the songs started coming to me, I felt I didn't have the option to hide and avoid" the stage. Originally broadcast Oct. 21, 2015.

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