Fresh Air

Weekdays at 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

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

After working mostly as a behind-the-scenes guy on Chappelle's Show and Inside Amy Schumer, Neal Brennan is now stepping out as a performer.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

These days, almost every new movie, TV show, album or book feels so anticipated and pre-packaged that we're already tired of it by the time it's released. This makes it especially thrilling when something dazzling just appears like that alien spaceship in Arrival, startling even those whose business it is be in the know.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, as anti-communist sentiment gained ground in the United States, paranoia and persecution swept through Hollywood. The House Un-American Activities (HUAC) began interrogating some of the country's most talented filmmakers and actors, accusing them of being communists or communist sympathizers.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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:

In 'Moonlight,' Actor Mahershala Ali Found Characters He Recognized: Ali has earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as Juan, a drug dealer who becomes an unlikely father figure to a boy who is being bullied at school and neglected at home.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. A new action movie shot in China by a Chinese director has a budget of $150 million and an American star. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

Big Little Lies, which begins Sunday on HBO, is a miniseries that begins with a murder scene, and investigation, in the close-knit oceanside town of Monterey. It's a seven-episode drama, and HBO made the first six available for preview. Even after watching all of them, I still don't know the identity of the murderer — or, for that matter, the victim. But that's on purpose.

In the recent film, Moonlight, Mahershala Ali plays an unlikely father figure to a quiet young African-American boy named Chiron. At school, Chiron is bullied. At home, he is neglected by a mother who is addicted to crack. Ali's character, Juan, is a drug dealer who takes Chiron under his wing in an attempt to provide him with some stability.

Ali, whose performance earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he knew men like Juan growing up.

It's been almost 20 years since Barbara Ehrenreich published Fear of Falling, her brilliant book on the anxious "inner life" of the American middle class. The book's title, "fear of falling," has become a catchphrase to refer to the cosmic jitters that afflict anyone whose lifestyle and sense of identity can be wiped out by the loss of a job or a plunge in the stock market.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The late James Baldwin was one of the most influential African-American writers to emerge during the civil rights era. During the late 1950s and 1960s, he traveled through the South and addressed racial issues head on.

I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day. Even when I was in a relationship, Valentine's Day was an invitation to feel embarrassed by the pressures of consumer culture, or let down because someone who professed to care about me had not managed to read my mind. I didn't want the clichéd gifts of chocolates or flowers, but I also didn't want to tell you what to get, because that would spoil the surprise.

I've spent a lot of Valentine's Days disappointed.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Count Basie's band from Kansas City reached New York in December of 1936. Musicians took note immediately. But the general public took a little longer.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

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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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Willie Lincoln was only 11 when he died in February 1862 of typhoid fever. The Lincolns' third son was said to be their favorite, and after Willie was interred in a borrowed mausoleum in Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, his father, Abraham Lincoln, returned to that cemetery several times. Newspapers reported that the president visited the crypt to open his son's coffin and hold his body.

In August 1966, a student and former Marine ascended to the top of the tower that housed the University of Texas' main library and began shooting at people below. He killed 14 people on the campus and wounded 31 more. Hours earlier, Charles Whitman had killed his wife and mother in their homes. He was eventually shot to death by police. A 15th victim died in 2001, from injuries sustained in the attack.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

There are two things viewers should know right from the start about Legion, which premieres Wednesday night on FX. One is that it doesn't look, or feel, like a drama based on a comic book — it's more like a next-generation version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, as filtered through H.P. Lovecraft or Edgar Allan Poe.

Lancaster, Ohio, the home of the Fortune 500 company Anchor Hocking, was once a bustling center of industry and employment. At its peak following World War II, Lancaster's hometown company was the world's largest maker of glassware and employed more than 5,000 town residents.

Though Anchor Hocking remains in Lancaster today, it is a shell of its former self, and the once thriving town is beset by underemployment and drug abuse. Lancaster native Brian Alexander chronicles the rise and fall of his hometown in his new book, Glass House.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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