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Weekdays at 3:00pm
Terry Gross

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

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Movie Interviews
2:14 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

'Life Itself': An Unflinching Documentary Of Roger Ebert's Life And Death

Roger and Chaz Ebert attended a benefit awards dinner in Chicago in October 2011. Just over a year later, Ebert agreed to be filmed for a documentary. And then his cancer returned.
Daniel Boczarski Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 4:05 pm

Roger Ebert was often considered the most famous film critic of his generation. Now filmmaker Steve James has produced a documentary about his life and death, called Life Itself.

In 2002, Ebert was diagnosed with cancer. Four years later, he had surgery to remove part of his lower jaw. It left him unable to eat, drink or speak. For the rest of his life, he was fed through a tube.

But his popularity seemed to only increase as he blogged and tweeted about films. Ebert loved movies and went out of his way to champion filmmakers he believed in — including James.

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Politics
2:50 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

As Supreme Court Term Ends, Journalist Examines Its Decisions

The Supreme Court term ended Monday. The New York Times correspondent and lawyer Adam Liptak talks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about what the decisions reveal about the nine justices.

Book Reviews
2:49 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

'Friendship': A Startlingly Nice Novel By A Tough-Girl Blogger

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Our book critic, Maureen Corrigan, has a review of the new novel "Friendship" by Emily Gould who made her name in the blogosphere. A recent profile in the New York Times Sunday style section described Gould as a forerunner to Lena Dunham and other confessional female bloggers, writers and filmmakers or whom over-sharing has become an art form.

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Music
2:49 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Strand Of Oaks: Songs Heal All Wounds

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:49 am

If you're going to be downbeat, glum, or morose, it's best to do it the way Timothy Showalter does it. Which is, with an energy and purpose that doesn't contradict the melancholy, but rather frames it as various stories — studies in seriousness. He records under the name Strand of Oaks, he writes and performs nearly all of the music on this new album himself. It's titled Heal as in "healing a wound," something Strand of Oaks frequently seems in need of.

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All Tech Considered
3:46 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Do Feelings Compute? If Not, The Turing Test Doesn't Mean Much

Vertigo3d iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 4:20 pm

To judge from some of the headlines, it was a very big deal. At an event held at the Royal Society in London, for the first time ever, a computer passed the Turing Test, which is widely taken as the benchmark for saying a machine is engaging in intelligent thought. But like the other much-hyped triumphs of artificial intelligence, this one wasn't quite what it appeared. Computers can do things that seem quintessentially human, but they usually take a different path to get there.

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The Salt
3:46 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply

Paul Greenberg says the decline of local fish markets, and the resulting sequestration of seafood to a corner of our supermarkets, has contributed to "the facelessness and comodification of seafood."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 12:09 pm

What's the most popular seafood in the U.S.? Shrimp. The average American eats more shrimp per capita than tuna and salmon combined. Most of that shrimp comes from Asia, and most of the salmon we eat is also imported. In fact, 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad, but one-third of the seafood Americans catch gets sold to other countries.

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Pop Culture
3:18 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Comedian Joel McHale Talks Dyslexia, Bad TV And Filming A Thriller

Comedian Joel McHale spoke at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in May. He says everyone wanted to see his jokes ahead of time, but he likes keeping them a secret.
Olivier Douliery-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 10:19 am

Update: Since this story was published, Sony Pictures Television — which produces Communityannounced that Yahoo will be picking the show up for a sixth season. This story has been updated to reflect that development.

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Fresh Air Weekend
12:27 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Mary Gauthier, Miranda Lambert, The Women Behind 'Obvious Child'

Director Gillian Robespierre (left) co-wrote Obvious Child as a short film in 2009 with an empowered lead female in mind. Jenny Slate, who starred as Donna in the feature film, says she was excited about the role.
Courtesy of A24 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:

Mary Gauthier De-Romanticizes Romantic Love: Trouble & Love is about a relationship that went bad. "I think that this is one where Mary finally gets the lesson," Gauthier tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Author Interviews
11:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

After The Rapture, Who Are 'The Leftovers'?

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 1:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic, David Bianculli, sitting in for Terry Gross. Our next guest, Tom Perrotta, is a novelist whose latest book, "The Leftovers," is being turned into an HBO series of the same name which premieres Sunday. Perrotta adapted it along with Damon Lindelof, one of the stars of ABC's "Lost." The story of HBO's "The Leftovers" is the same as in Perrotta's novel.

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Movie Reviews
11:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

In The Mood For Apocalypse? Skip 'Transformers,' See 'Snowpiercer'

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 1:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Opening today, in many theaters, is the fourth in Michael Bay's "Transformer" series, "Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction." It's inspired by the Hasbro toys that turn mostly cars and trucks into robots. Another very different kind of apocalyptic, action movie that rolls out today is "Snowpiercer" by South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, who made the acclaimed giant monster film, "The Host." Film critic David Edelstein has these reviews.

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Remembrances
11:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Actor Eli Wallach

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 1:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
2:49 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

The Women Behind 'Obvious Child' Talk Farts, Abortion And Stage Fright

Director Gillian Robespierre (left) co-wrote Obvious Child as a short film in 2009 with an empowered female lead in mind. Jenny Slate, who stars as Donna in the feature film, says she was excited about the role.
Courtesy of A24 Films

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 4:16 pm

When director Gillian Robespierre co-wrote the new romantic comedy Obvious Child, she says she wanted to bring attention to an empowered, funny woman who has a realistic, safe abortion.

"We ... wanted to combine a lot of things that we felt our culture was suppressing," Robespierre tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In the movie, Jenny Slate stars as Donna, a 27-year-old stand-up comic who still doesn't think of herself as an adult. After a drunken one-night stand, she finds out she's pregnant and decides to have an abortion.

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Music
2:09 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Lana Del Rey's 'Ultraviolence' Has A Firm Grasp On Pop History

Lana Del Rey is a figure of some controversy for her suggestive lyrics, and critical debate as to the extent of her vocal talent versus her talent for publicity. She recently caused a stir when she gave an interview in which she said, quote, "I wish I was dead already," and drew criticism from, among others, Kurt Cobain's daughter Frances Bean.

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Book Reviews
2:09 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

'Most Dangerous Book': A Rich Treasury Charting James Joyce's 'Ulysses'

There are many heroes in the tale of how James Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses, which was banned for over 10 years throughout the English-speaking world, finally won its long battle to be legally published, sold and read. Kevin Birmingham tells that extraordinary story in his new book about Ulysses, called The Most Dangerous Book.

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Interviews
3:54 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Dexter Filkins On ISIS And The 'Bitter Consequences' Of The Iraq War

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 4:42 pm

The journalist who covered the war in Iraq, and its aftermath, details the militant Sunni Islamist group, the power it has in Iraq and Syria and how its war is destabilizing neighboring countries.

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