Fresh Air on Xtra HD

Weekdays at 3:00pm
Terry Gross

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

Genre: 
Composer ID: 
5187f4dfe1c809b502d2743c|5187f4c7e1c8a450fdefbbd8

Pages

Movie Reviews
12:13 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Two New Stories With A New-Wave Vibe

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprise their roles as Jesse and Celine in Before Midnight, the latest in Richard Linklater's series about a couple's relationship over the years.
Despina Spyrou Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 12:31 pm

Lately I've been re-watching vintage Truffaut movies, and I've been struck by the resurgent influence on American independent films of the French New Wave of the late '50s and '60s.

The Truffaut borrowings are fairly explicit in Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, while Richard Linklater's Before Midnight takes its cues from Eric Rohmer's gentle but expansive talkfests. That's not a criticism: With mainstream movies seeming ever more machine-tooled nowadays, the impulse to reach back to an age of free-form filmmaking feels especially liberating.

Read more
Interviews
11:11 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Remembering Ray Manzarek, Keyboardist For The Doors

The Doors at London Airport in 1968. Left to right: John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek. Manzarek died May 20 of bile-duct cancer.
Express Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:04 pm

This interview was originally broadcast in 1998.

The mythology surrounding The Doors has centered largely on its lead singer, Jim Morrison, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1971. Morrison is still considered one of rock music's tortured poets and sex gods, but instrumentally, The Doors' distinctive sound was based on Ray Manzarek's keyboard playing. His are the riffs made famous in such songs such as "Riders on the Storm," "Break on Through" and "People Are Strange."

Read more
Interviews
10:55 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Marcus Samuelsson: On Becoming A Top Chef

James Beard award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson has been a judge on Top Chef, Iron Chef America and Chopped.
Courtesy of Marcus Samuelsson

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 12:31 pm

A longer version of this interview was originally broadcast on June 28, 2012.

Marcus Samuelsson owns two restaurants in New York City and two restaurants in Sweden. He's cooked for President Obama and prime ministers, served as a judge on Top Chef and Chopped, and recently competed against 21 other chefs on Top Chef Masters. (He won.) He's the youngest chef ever to receive two three-star ratings from The New York Times.

Read more
Movie Interviews
4:03 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Julianne Moore, Relishing Complicated Characters

Moore (photographed at New York Fashion Week in February 2013) has earned Oscar nominations for her roles in Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, Far From Heaven and The Hours.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

In the film What Maisie Knew, Julianne Moore plays a troubled rock star whose young daughter witnesses her parents' volatile behavior as they argue over custody during their rocky separation.

On the surface, Moore's character, Susanna, might seem to be an entirely terrible one — a self-involved person and inappropriate mother who's not paying attention to her child. But Moore makes her more complicated than that.

Read more
Television
1:49 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Douglas, Damon Illuminate HBO's 'Candelabra'

Michael Douglas stars as the flamboyant pianist and entertainer Liberace in Steven Soderbergh's new HBO biopic, Behind the Candelabra.
Claudette Barius HBO

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:43 pm

Before you see any of Behind the Candelabra -- when you just consider the concept of the TV movie and its casting — this new HBO Films production raises all sorts of questions: How much will be based on verifiable fact, and how much will be fictionalized? On an anything-goes premium-cable network such as HBO, how graphic will the sex scenes be?

And the most important questions involve the drama's two leading men, playing an ultra-flamboyant piano player and the wide-eyed young man who becomes his behind-the-scenes companion for five years. Michael Douglas? Matt Damon?

Read more
Author Interviews
1:08 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Fictional 'Mothers' Reveal Facts Of A Painful Adoption Process

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:38 pm

After years of trying to conceive, novelist Jennifer Gilmore and her husband decided to pursue a domestic open adoption. They were told they'd be matched within a year; it took four. And along the way they faced complicated decisions and heartbreak.

Read more
Music Reviews
11:14 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Daft Punk: Accessing Electronic Music's Humanity

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter are the two men behind Daft Punk.
David Black Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 1:08 pm

I freely admit that, until the new Random Access Memories, I wasn't much of a Daft Punk fan. I could appreciate the craft and imagination that went into creating the French duo's mixture of electronic genres — techno, house, disco — but the mechanical repetitions and heavily filtered vocals didn't turn me on in any other way.

Read more
Movie Interviews
12:51 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Soderbergh's Liberace, 'Behind The Candelabra'

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star as Liberace and his young lover, Scott Thorson, in Steven Soderbergh's new HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra.
Claudette Barius HBO

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:45 pm

Director Steven Soderbergh had been looking for a way to frame a film about the extravagant entertainer Liberace for years when a friend recommended the book Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace.

The book — a memoir — is by Scott Thorson, who for five years was Liberace's lover, though that wasn't publicly disclosed at the time.

Read more
Television
1:40 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Brooks: "I'm An EGOT; I Don't Need Any More"

Once vehemently opposed to the idea of being the subject of a documentary, Brooks had a change of heart. The result is a new American Masters episode, Mel Brooks: Make a Noise.
WNET/American Masters

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 11:54 am

Over the 60 years that Mel Brooks has been in the entertainment business, his name has become synonymous with comedy. He is the man who broke Broadway records for most Tony Award wins with The Producers (an adaptation of his own movie); who satirized Westerns and racism in Blazing Saddles; and who poked fun at monster movies with Young Frankenstein.

Read more
NPR Story
1:01 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Sarah Vaughan: A New Box Set Revels In Glorious Imperfections

Sarah Vaughan performs during the International Jazz Festival of Nice in southeast France in July 1984.
Raph Gatti AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 5:43 pm

Singer Sarah Vaughan came up in the 1940s alongside bebop lions Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, starting out in Earl Hines' big band. Hines had hired her as his singer and deputy pianist, while Gillespie praised her fine ear for chords as she grasped the arcane refinements of bebop harmony.

Read more
Fresh Air Weekend
1:09 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Gerwig, Baumbach, Dawes And Polley

For her latest film, Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley turns her camera on her own family.
Roadside Attractions

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

Read more
Music Reviews
1:29 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Jerry Lee Lewis: Live, Singing As If Life Depended On It

Jerry Lee Lewis shot to fame in the 1950s with hits such as "A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:49 pm

It was April 4, 1964, and Jerry Lee Lewis had officially bottomed out. He hadn't charted a record in years, and now, on tour in England and Germany, he was getting paid so little that he couldn't afford to bring his own musicians. Instead, he was forced to use pickup bands in England, and then, when he arrived in Hamburg, a British band called the Nashville Teens was waiting for him. The venue was the Star Club, where The Beatles, who had just leaped into stardom in America, had played not long before.

Read more
Television
12:39 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Bill Hader On Sketch Comedy, Classic Hollywood

Bill Hader was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Stefon on Saturday Night Live.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:49 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 22, 2012.

Comedian Bill Hader is adept onstage and doing live TV. But he's scared to death of standup.

He remembers watching Chris Rock's 1996 HBO special, Bring the Pain, and thinking, "I don't know how people do that."

"I need a character," Hader tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I need people out there with me."

Read more
Your Money
2:04 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

The Tricky Business Of Retirement: Hidden 401(K) Fees

iStockPhoto.com

A couple generations ago, when older Americans retired they could rely on pension plans to support them. Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many companies switched their retirement plans over to 401(k) accounts. The security of workers' retirement savings suddenly became subject to the vagaries of the stock market.

Read more
Music Reviews
12:48 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

100 Years Of Woody Herman: The Early Bloomer Who Kept Blooming

American jazz musician Woody Herman rehearses in London during a tour of England.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:04 pm

Woody Herman, who would have turned 100 on Thursday, bloomed early and late — and then later still. He turned pro by age 9, singing and dancing in movie theaters on summer vacation. He'd perform one song deemed too risqué for radio when he recorded it decades later: "My Gee Gee From the Fiji Isles."

Read more

Pages