Fresh Air

Weekdays 3-4 pm
Terry Gross


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About the Show: This Peabody Award winning program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with authors, musicians, politicians, activists, experts and everyday people, providing a look at our contemporary culture. In 2003, WHYY'S Terry Gross, Host of Fresh Air, was honored with the Prestigious Murrow Award, for 'Outstanding Contributions to Public Radio'.

IT'S MOVIE TIME:Every Friday afternoon at 3:01pm, you can also hear WCBE's award-winning module, "It's Movie Time", with John DeSando and Carolyn Bruck. You can also find "It's Movie Time" on Facebook.

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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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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.

The Fresh Air Interview
2:28 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Mary Gauthier De-Romanticizes Romantic Love

"Music and books, I think, were the two things I trusted the most as a child," Mary Gauthier says.
Jack Spencer Courtesy of the artist

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History
3:14 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

50 Years Ago, Students Fought For Black Rights During 'Freedom Summer'

Fannie Lou Hamer was an activist who spoke out for black rights during Freedom Summer.
Courtesy of Ken Thompson/General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 4:50 pm

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a movement to open the polls to blacks in Mississippi and end white supremacy in the state.

Freedom Summer was organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, which recruited 700 college students — mostly white students from the North — to travel to Mississippi and help African-Americans register to vote. The organizers, the students and the black people trying to register were all risking their lives, a measure of how pervasive racism was at the time.

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Interviews
3:14 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Writer And Middle East Scholar Fouad Ajami

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 2:49 pm

In 1988, Ajami spoke with Terry Gross about an essay he'd written about how political catastrophe came to Beruit, Lebanon, and how the city where he grew up became a land of cruelty and hatred.

Fresh Air Weekend
12:00 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: John Oliver, Parquet Courts And Joshua Ferris

John Oliver's new political satire Last Week Tonight airs on HBO. Oliver says the network gives him an almost "confusing amount of freedom."
Eric Liebowitz Courtesy of HBO

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:

John Oliver Is No One's Friend On His New HBO Show: The comedian who was a correspondent on The Daily Show for 7 1/2 years now pokes fun on Last Week Tonight. Oliver talks about tasing his leg, temping for a thief and remaining an outsider.

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Author Interviews
3:00 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

A Reclusive Novelist Reckons With His Legacy '& Sons'

David Gilbert tells the story of a famous, aging writer whose children do not feel as warmly toward him as his readers do. Originally broadcast July 23, 2013.

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
3:00 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

'Jersey Boys' And 'Venus In Fur' Are Just As Intense On Screen

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Film critic, David Edelstein, reviews two movies based on shows he saw on Broadway - the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons musical, "Jersey Boys," directed for the screen by Clint Eastwood and the David Ives play "Venus In Fur," filmed by Roman Polanski.

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Music
3:00 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Remembering Horace Silver, Hard Bop Pioneer

Jazz pianist, bandleader and composer Horace Silver died Wednesday at age 85. Fresh Air critic Kevin Whitehead says that Silver had been off the scene awhile, but his influence is as strong as ever. Hear an appreciation.

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

Television
1:38 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

John Oliver Is No One's Friend On His New HBO Show

John Oliver's new political satire Last Week Tonight airs on HBO. Oliver says the network gives him an almost "confusing amount of freedom."
Eric Liebowitz Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 2:37 pm

After serving as a correspondent on The Daily Show for 7 1/2 years — and hosting it last summer while Jon Stewart took a break to direct his movie — British comedian John Oliver now has his own show.

Last Week Tonight, a political satire, airs on HBO on Sunday nights.

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Health
3:08 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Someday Soon You May Swallow A Computer With Your Pill

The company Proteus has developed a computer that attaches to a pill and tracks the pill's absorption into the body. The technology has passed clinical trials.
iStock

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:24 am

What if you could swallow a computer the size of a poppy seed, and it could report back exactly if and when you took a medicine while recording how your body responded to the drug?

It sounds crazy, but the tiny computers exist. It sounds dangerous, but they were approved by the Food and Drug Administration. And the company that makes them, Proteus, has tens of millions of dollars and relationships with some of the biggest drug companies in the world, including Novartis.

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Music
3:06 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

A Double Dose Of Ronald Shannon Jackson's Free-Funk

Two fine albums by drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society, Man Dance and its sequel Barbeque Dog, are now available again as downloads, after being out of print for ages. Fresh Air critic Kevin Whitehead says they're prime examples of the 1980s' so-called "free-funk" movement.

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Author Interviews
3:06 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Writer Reflects On Aircraft Carrier's Mission To The Persian Gulf

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Music
2:36 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Parquet Courts' Misery Is Exhilarating

Parquet Courts is a Brooklyn by way of Texas band that has just released its new third record, Sunbathing Animal. The quartet has drawn comparisons to New York rock and punk acts as various as the Velvet Underground, the New York Dolls, and Sonic Youth, but rock critic Ken Tucker says this album proves Parquet Courts is an original.

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Author Interviews
2:36 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Joshua Ferris Takes On Atheism In 'To Rise Again'

Joshua Ferris has written two other novels — The Unnamed and Then We Came to the End.
Beowulf Sheehan Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 4:11 pm

Staring into the mouths of his patients all day, the dentist in Joshua Ferris' new novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, becomes obsessed with decay and death. He wishes he had religious faith and could believe in something larger than himself, but to him church is "a dark bus station of the soul."

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Remembrances
3:43 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Jazz Singer Jimmy Scott

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:19 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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