Fresh Air

Weekdays, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. Every weekday she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns.

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12:42pm

Tue November 25, 2014
Movie Reviews

Benedict Cumberbatch Lifts Above Biopic Formula In 'Imitation Game'

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 5:25 pm

Keira Knightley, Matthew Beard, Matthew Goode, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Allen Leech in The Imitation Game.
Jack English The Weinstein Company

Major studios once churned out scores of great-person biographical pictures. But now you rarely see them except during awards season. They're prime Oscar bait. The new Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory Of Everything, is a perfect specimen. It's a letdown, finally, but Eddie Redmayne is amazingly tough. He captures the fury inside Hawking's twisted frame.

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12:52pm

Mon November 24, 2014
Books

Decades Later, Laurie Colwin's Books 'Will Not Let You Down'

Colwin was known for making her own baby food for her daughter, Rosa, pictured here in 1985.
Courtesy of Open Road Media

Many years ago, Laurie Colwin began an essay she wrote about the magic of roast chicken like this: "There is nothing like roast chicken. It is helpful and agreeable, the perfect dish no matter what the circumstances. Elegant or homey, a dish for a dinner party or a family supper, it will not let you down." Substitute the phrase "Laurie Colwin's writing" for the words "roast chicken," take some poetic allowances with the word "dish," and you'll have an approximate description of Colwin's own elusive magic.

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12:52pm

Mon November 24, 2014
Author Interviews

The Rise And Fall Of Comedian Bob Hope

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 4:55 pm

Bob Hope performs for servicemen at Munda Airstrip, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, in 1944.
U.S. Army AP

For his first book, Comedy at the Edge, about standup comedy in the 1970s, Richard Zoglin interviewed comedians like Steve Martin and Jerry Seinfeld about who influenced their careers. He says he was surprised that none of them mentioned Bob Hope.

"It was very strange," Zoglin tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It made me realize how off the radar he was."

The comedians instead mentioned people like Lenny Bruce, Groucho Marx and Jack Benny. Zoglin says he thought that it was "unjust" and that Hope wasn't getting the credit he deserved.

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10:07am

Sat November 22, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Norman Lear, A Review Of Basement Tapes, Jon Stewart

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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11:23am

Fri November 21, 2014
Remembrances

Fresh Air Remembers Film And Broadway Director Mike Nichols

Nichols directed such movies as The Graduate and Birdcage and Broadway musicals such as Spamalot. He won nine Tony Awards. Nichols died Wednesday at 83. He talked with Terry Gross in 2001.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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11:23am

Fri November 21, 2014
Performing Arts

For Alan Cumming, Life Is (Once Again) A Cabaret

This is the third time Cumming has starred in the musical. He talks about the new production — everything from his costume (which he calls a "Wonder Bra" for men) to the darker themes of the show.

Originally aired April 28, 2014.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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1:09pm

Thu November 20, 2014
Politics

Sen. Mitch McConnell's Political Life, Examined, In 'The Cynic'

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 2:35 pm

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will take over as Senate majority leader in the new term in January.
Win McNamee Getty Images

When Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) first entered politics in the 1960s, he started out as moderate — pro-abortion rights, pro-union, in support of the civil rights movement. With time, McConnell shifted to the right as the Republican Party shifted.

"I was just really startled by this when I started looking into it," Alec MacGillis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I knew that he had started out as somewhat more moderate — but I didn't realize just how moderate he really was."

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1:09pm

Thu November 20, 2014
Book Reviews

'Redeployment' Explores Iraq War's Physical And Psychic Costs

In his short story collection, former Marine Phil Klay takes his experience in Iraq and clarifies it, lucidly tracing the moral, political and psychological curlicues of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Wednesday, he won the National Book Award for fiction for the collection.

This review originally aired March 26, 2014.

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11:48am

Wed November 19, 2014
Television

Jon Stewart On The 'Daily Show': 'I'm Still Really Proud Of The Work We Do'

Stewart talks about his future hosting the show known for its political satire.

"It is unclear to me," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "The minute I say I'm not going to do it anymore, I will miss it like crazy."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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11:48am

Wed November 19, 2014
Music

Bob Dylan's Atmosphere Captured In New Basement Tapes

A batch of lyrics that Bob Dylan wrote in the late 1960s were given by Dylan to producer T-Bone Burnett, who came up with the idea to have some contemporary musicians set the words to music. Burnett gathered Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Taylor Goldsmith from Dawes, and Rhiannon Giddens from the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and they recorded an album over the course of two weeks in L.A. It's called Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, and Showtime will air a documentary about the making of the album on November 21.

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11:48am

Wed November 19, 2014
Movie Interviews

Bennett Miller On Making The True-Life Crime Film 'Foxcatcher'

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 2:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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1:35pm

Tue November 18, 2014
Author Interviews

Norman Lear Looks Back On His Long Life In 'Even This I Get To Experience'

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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1:35pm

Tue November 18, 2014
All Tech Considered

How A Feud Between Two Russian Companies Fueled A 'Spam Nation'

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 1:58 pm

Don't install software from the Web unless it's directly from the company that made it. If you do install software, make sure you update it. And whatever you do, don't open attachments emailed to you by spammers.

These are just a few warnings from Brian Krebs, an investigative journalist and cybersecurity expert.

Krebs learned the ins and outs of how the spam industry works when he was given documents in the aftermath of a feud between two Russian companies — two of the largest sponsors of pharmaceutical spam.

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11:25am

Mon November 17, 2014
Author Interviews

An In-Depth Look At The U.S. Cyber War, The Military Alliance And Its Pitfalls

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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11:25am

Mon November 17, 2014
Television

Holy Smokes 'Batman,' The '60s Series Is Out On DVD

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 2:31 pm

Unlike later incarnations of Batman, the '60s version was tongue-in-cheek.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

If you're an impressionable young kid hitting your teens right now, chances are pretty good you've been watching and enjoying some Batman — either Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan's just-completed Dark Knight trilogy, or the prequel series, Gotham, now showing on Fox. If you came of age a generation ago, your Batman of choice was likely to have been the big-screen caped crusader played by Michael Keaton or George Clooney. Or maybe even Val Kilmer.

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10:13am

Sat November 15, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Jon Stewart, Peter Mendelsund And A Review Of Bob Dylan

Rosewater is Jon Stewart's directorial debut. He filmed much of the movie in Jordan, and he says he grew a beard because after wearing a suit and shaving for most of his career, he wanted to let his "freak flag fly."
Laith Majali Courtesy of Open Road 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:

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11:56am

Fri November 14, 2014
Music

Eric Hofbauer Takes On Stravinsky, Messiaen

Boston jazz guitarist Eric Hofbauer's quintet has two new CDs out, playing 20th-century classics. One is the year's second jazz version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, following the Bad Plus' trio version. The other is Olivier Messiaen's very unjazzy Quartet for the End of Time. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead likes them a lot.

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11:56am

Fri November 14, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Foxcatcher': A Bloated True-Crime Story Based On Wealthy Heir John du Pont

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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11:56am

Fri November 14, 2014
Television

'Getting On' With It: A New HBO Show Doesn't Tiptoe Around Death

Set in the geriatric extended-care wing of a California hospital, Getting On is a different kind of workplace comedy. Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer adapted the show from a BBC series of the same name, and added new material largely inspired by experiences they had with their own mothers.

Originally aired Dec. 23, 2013.

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11:34am

Thu November 13, 2014
Movie Interviews

Jon Stewart's Debut Film Shows 'Humor Survives' In The Bleakest Conditions

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 1:00 pm

Rosewater is Jon Stewart's directorial debut. He filmed much of the movie in Jordan, and he says he grew a beard because after wearing a suit and shaving for most of his career, he wanted to let his "freak flag fly."
Laith Majali Courtesy of Open Road Films

When asked about how he reacted to learning that one of his Daily Show satires was used as evidence to torture a journalist in Iran, Jon Stewart says, "I might have uttered the phrase: 'Are you — with some profane adjective — are you kidding me?' "

"It's so surreal and it's so absurd that it's hard to imagine it as not farce," Stewart tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

That discovery led to Stewart making his first film, Rosewater, adapted from a memoir by journalist Maziar Bahari.

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