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: 51 min 34 sec ago

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.

High Glamour Infuses A Forbidden Love Affair In 'Carol'

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 12:29pm

Todd Haynes' new film chronicles a lesbian affair between a middle-aged married woman and a young store clerk. Critic David Edelstein says Carol captures the thrill of a once-forbidden subculture.

Broadway Composer John Kander Reflects On A Career Of 'Hidden Treasures'

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 12:29pm

Kander and his partner, Fred Ebb, wrote the songs for a number of musicals, including Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Cabaret. His new double album is John Kander: Hidden Treasures.

ISIS Is Trying To Create A Doomsday Bomb, But Is The Key Ingredient A Myth?

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 1:51pm

New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers discusses efforts by ISIS to weaponize a mysterious substance known as red mercury. "It's never been seen," he says. "It essentially is an urban legend."

Gaitskill Spins A Swirling Tale Of Love, Delusion And Horses In 'The Mare'

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 1:30pm

Mary Gaitskill's new novel chronicles the complex relationship between a poor black girl from Brooklyn and her middle-aged white benefactors. Maureen Corrigan calls The Mare a "raw, beautiful story."

The Man And The Mistakes That 'Invented Rock 'n' Roll'

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 1:24pm

In his new book, Sam Phillips, music writer Peter Guralnick profiles the founder of the Sun Records label. Guralnick says Phillips rejected perfection in favor of spontaneity and individuality.

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Good Dinosaur'; Amazon's 'High Castle'; 'Brooklyn'

Sat, 11/21/2015 - 8:03am

Peter Sohn talks about his inspiration for The Good Dinosaur. David Bianculli reviews the drama series, The Man in the High Castle. Director John Crowley and actress Saoirse Ronan discuss Brooklyn.

'Mockingjay — Part 2' Ends The 'Hunger Games' Series With A Potent Anti-War Message

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 12:33pm

Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss in the final film adaptation of Suzanne Collins' dystopian Hunger Games novels. Critic David Edelstein says that the saga ends "less with a bang than a whimper."

Outlaw Willie Nelson Opens Up In Two Classic 'Fresh Air' Interviews

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 12:33pm

The singer has written 2,500 songs and has won seven Grammys. He is now the recipient of the Gershwin Prize for American Popular Song. Originally broadcast on July 16, 1996 and May 25, 2006.

Laurie Anderson Reflects On Life And Loss In 'Heart Of A Dog'

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 1:03pm

Multimedia artist Laurie Anderson talks to Fresh Air's Terry Gross about her late dog, Lolabelle, her mother's death and the accident that nearly killed her. Anderson's new film is Heart of a Dog.

Photographer Abbas Chronicles 'What People Do In The Name Of God'

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 1:02pm

Abbas became interested in religion while covering the Iranian Revolution. "I could see that the waves of passion [that were] raised by the Revolution were not going to stop at the borders," he says.

Amazon's 'High Castle' Offers A Chilling Alternate History Of Nazi Triumph

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 1:27pm

The Man in the High Castle, a new Amazon Prime series set in 1962, takes place in an America occupied by German and Japanese forces. Critic David Bianculli calls the show "breathtakingly original."

In 'Good Dinosaur,' Director Peter Sohn Helps An Herbivore Conquer His Fears

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 1:27pm

Arlo the dinosaur is scared of a lot things, and that's something Sohn says he can relate to. "That test has been with me my whole life — trying to find ways to get through these little fears."

Soul-Sucking Vampires Of David Mitchell's 'Slade House' Started On Twitter

Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:01pm

Mitchell compares tweeting the story of his latest novel to escaping a straitjacket. "I like what I had to do to circumvent [Twitter's] restrictions," he says.

'Brooklyn' Chronicles The Heartache Of The Irish-American Immigrant Experience

Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:01pm

Director John Crowley and actress Saoirse Ronan join Fresh Air to discuss Brooklyn, a film about a homesick immigrant forced to choose between her familiar hometown and an unpredictable new life.

Rocker Wreckless Eric Brings Nostalgia To A New Solo Effort

Mon, 11/16/2015 - 2:49pm

The British singer-songwriter who came to prominence during the punk-rock era of the late 1970s sings about his adopted homeland in his new album, amERICa. Critic Ken Tucker has a review.




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