Fresh Air on WLRN

Monday - Thursday at 12:00pm
Terry Gross

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics.

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Pop Culture
3:43 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

A-List Celebrities Flock To Late-Night 'Graham Norton Show'

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Now that the late-night talk show wars have settled down again, our TV critic David Bianculli says there's a talk show we should be watching that's not broadcast by CBS, NBC or ABC or even Comedy Central. It's "The Graham Norton Show," imported by BBC America and shown on Saturday nights. Here's David's review.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Supermensch,' Conference Calls And John Waters

In addition to managing careers, Gordon (left) was also instrumental in creating personas — he was the one who dreamed up some of Alice Cooper's (right) onstage antics.
Dogwoof Films

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 12:00 pm

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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Author Interviews
2:58 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

'Lawrence' Of Arabia: From Archaeologist To War Hero

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 11:34 am

Scott Anderson's book explains how British officer T.E. Lawrence used his knowledge of Arab culture and medieval history to advance British causes. Originally broadcast Aug. 19, 2013.

Movie Reviews
2:58 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

'Obvious Child': A Momentous Film Of Small, Embarrassing Truths

Jenny Slate plays Donna, a standup comic who gets pregnant after sleeping with an earnest, Vermont-bred business student named Max (Jake Lacy).
Courtesy of A24 Films

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 4:33 pm

Obvious Child centers on Donna Stern, an aspiring standup comic in her late 20s who's out of her depth in the grown-up world. After getting smashed and having unprotected sex with a guy she barely knows, Donna discovers she's pregnant and decides to have an abortion. It shouldn't be a particularly earthshaking turn. But in a world of rom-coms like Knocked Up and Juno, in which the heroines make the heartwarming decision to go ahead with their pregnancies, this modest little indie movie feels momentous.

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Politics
4:07 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Hillary Clinton: The Fresh Air Interview

Hillary Clinton's new memoir, Hard Choices, outlines her four years as secretary of state under President Obama. She talks about her vote for the Iraq War, women's rights and political "gamers."
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 12:40 pm

Hillary Clinton is on a national book tour for her new memoir, Hard Choices. The book outlines her four years as secretary of state during President Obama's first term, when she met with leaders all over the world.

One of her priorities was to campaign for gay rights and women's rights. She says she saw the "full gamut" on how women were treated, and in some cases it was "painful to observe."

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The Fresh Air Interview
3:43 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

In Big Bill Broonzy's Blues, Brothers Find A Way To Sing Together

Dave (left) and Phil Alvin.
Beth Herzhaft Courtesy of the artist

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Author Interviews
4:04 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, And Lives To Write About It

"My early films look terrible!" says filmmaker John Waters. "I didn't know what I was doing. I learned when I was doing it. I never went to film school." Waters, who is known for films such as the outlandish Pink Flamingos and Hairspray, has written a new book, Carsick.
Kathy Willens AP

Film director and writer John Waters has broken many taboos and created intentionally perverse scenarios in his films — most notably in Pink Flamingos, about a competition for the title "the filthiest person alive."

Waters, who is now 68, was looking for an adventure he could write about. So he decided to hitchhike cross-country from his home in Baltimore to his co-op apartment in San Francisco.

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Book Reviews
3:31 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

'Rise And Fall' Carries On Vagabond Adventure Tale Tradition

guldfisken via Flickr

Any novel that opens on a young American woman running a bookshop in a small town nestled in the Welsh countryside promises a glimpse into a life lived far from the madding crowd. That's the quaint plotline Tom Rachman's new novel tells uninterruptedly for the length of one brief chapter. Thereafter, Rachman returns only occasionally to the World's End bookshop and its shelves sporting idiosyncratic labels like: Artists Who Were Unpleasant to Their Spouses; History, the Dull Bits; and Books You Pretend to Have Read but Haven't.

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Movie Interviews
3:33 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Invisible 'Supermensch' Avoided The Spotlight While Making Others Famous

In Supermensch, talent agent Shep Gordon recalls arriving in Los Angeles in 1968, dropping acid and getting slugged by a woman who later identified herself as Janis Joplin.
Dogwoof Films

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 4:48 pm

Shep Gordon's job is managing musicians and chefs and turning them into stars. Gordon created celebrities out of the likes of Alice Cooper and Anne Murray, but he says fame isn't necessarily a good thing.

"I made excuses to myself for how I made a living and tried to do it as honorably as I could, but I can't say that I'm proud," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " ... If you make someone famous, they have to pay a price."

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:35 am
Sat June 7, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Raisin In The Sun,' 'Orange Is The New Black,' China's 'Ambition'

Denzel Washington plays Walter Lee, the role played by Sidney Poitier in the 1959 Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun. Sophie Okonedo, known for her Academy Award nomination for Hotel Rwanda, plays Ruth Younger in her New York stage debut.
Brigitte Lacombe

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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Movie Reviews
1:02 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Beautiful Acting Aside, It Isn't Hard To Find Fault In 'Our Stars'

Ansel Elgort (Augustus) and Shailene Woodley (Hazel) star in The Fault in Our Stars, the film adaptation of John Green's bestselling young adult novel about two teens with cancer.
James Bridges Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 3:40 pm

I know people who cried at the trailer of the romantic teen cancer movie The Fault in Our Stars — at the movie they'll need a life preserver to keep from drowning in a flood of tears. Me, I didn't cry, though at times my tear ducts tingled; I was on the verge. The film is a little slick for my taste, too engineered. But it's gently directed by Josh Boone and beautifully acted. Whatever the faults, it's not in the stars.

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Television
1:02 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

New Season Of 'Orange Is The New Black' Has A Strong, Unsettling Start

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 5:31 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Sports
3:35 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

For Jockey Donna Barton Brothers, Horse Racing Runs In The Family

Brothers rides down the front stretch before the 88th Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2012, in Baltimore.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

When the thoroughbreds burst out of the starting gate at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, fans will have their eyes on California Chrome as a potential Triple Crown winner. And there to interview the winner on horseback will be Donna Barton Brothers, an analyst for NBC Sports.

Before she was an analyst, Brothers had a distinguished career as a jockey, winning more than 1,100 races before retiring in 1998. When she retired, Brothers tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, she knew it was time to get out in part because it started to feel dangerous.

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Theater
3:19 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

1936 'Show Boat': A Multiracial, Musical Melodrama, Now Out On DVD

Allan Jones plays debonair leading man Gaylord Ravenal and Irene Dunne is the enchanting Magnolia in the 1936 film version of Show Boat, which has just been released on DVD.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:32 am

Broadway had never seen anything like it when Show Boat arrived at the Ziegfeld Theatre in 1927. The score was unforgettable and the story tackled complex racial issues. There have been three movie versions, but the best one — James Whale's 1936 production — has only just been released on DVD.

Show Boat was the first great serious Broadway musical. Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, who wrote the songs, and Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., who produced it, departed from typical musical comedy material, with its chorus lines and songs showcasing star performers.

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Music
3:28 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Miranda Lambert's 'Platinum' Has Backyard Swagger

Miranda Lambert's new album is called Platinum. Lambert has become one of the best-selling artists in country music, and one of the most critically acclaimed. Rock critic Ken Tucker says her new album continues Lambert's ongoing project to create songs about women who are complex, fun-loving, and assertive.

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