Fresh Air with Terry Gross
Director Alexander Payne talks about his new film Nebraska. Alexis Madrigal explores the best way to share photos of his new baby. And Ben Bradlee Jr. talks about The Kid, his new biography of baseball player Ted Williams.
HBO's new TV special is part biography, part music-appreciation lesson and part performance piece. Critic David Bianculli says it's a superbly compiled work, overseen by two of the people most intimately familiar with the composer himself.
Brothers Joel and Ethan Coen continue to mine American pop culture in their latest film. It's 1961 in Greenwich Village, and a homeless folk singer is trying desperately to break out. Critic David Edelstein says the overarching tone of the film is snotty, condescending and cruel.
The New York Times calls Stephen Sondheim the "greatest and perhaps best-known artist in American musical theater." Sondheim composed the music and lyrics for, among others, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Company. In 2010 he joined Fresh Air to discuss his career in musical theater.
New York City is home to more paintings by Johannes Vermeer — eight — than any other city. And until mid-January, it's playing host to one more: the world-renowned Girl with a Pearl Earring. Critic Lloyd Schwartz says, since the painting's 1994 restoration, "It's even more breathtaking than I remembered."
How close are TV interrogations to the real thing? Not very, says Douglas Starr. In a New Yorker article, he explores the "gold standard" of interrogation methods, developed in the 1940s. But there's concern that this technique is based on outdated science, and may produce false confessions.
With six concerts spread over eight discs, Wood Flute Songs documents the bassist's exhaustive and creative live output.
Smartphones and the Internet have made it easier than ever for people to share photos of their friends, family, pets and children. But sharing personal photos raises technological and ethical questions. Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madrigal recently became a father and has some tips for navigating the world of online photo sharing.
The smart songwriter behind the much-beloved "Hey Sandy" returns after eight years. Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You is full of smart wordplay and Mulcahy's unmistakable voice, but it's also driven by loss.
South Africa's Mponeng gold mine is a 2.5-mile-deep network of chutes and tunnels that employs about 4,000 miners. Of course, that number doesn't include the miners who wander its tunnels clandestinely, stealing and refining ore. In a new book, journalist Matthew Hart investigates why gold and crime sometimes go hand in hand.
The hitter had a swing so pure and flawless that Mickey Mantle would watch him take batting practice. But he was also a tormented soul who hurt a lot of people, including himself. Ben Bradlee Jr. delivers a deeply personal account of Williams' life in The Kid.
Payne tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he first read Nebraska — a film about an old man who is beginning to show signs of dementia — as a comedy "with moments of gravity." Payne also directed Election, About Schmidt, Sideways and The Descendants.
The actor's new memoir, A Story Lately Told, ends just as her Hollywood career is taking off. Critic David Edelstein calls Alexander Payne's latest film a "superb balancing act." America's Test Kitchen shares tricks for buying, seasoning and cooking your bird this year.
Crystal isn't happy about turning 65, but at least he's finding a way to laugh about it. The actor and comedian's memoir — Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? — is on the best-seller list.
Oldboy, the director's remake of a 2003 film of the same name, follows a man who's held captive for 20 years — and out for revenge after his release. Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Samuel L. Jackson star.
Ronstadt recently revealed that she has Parkinson's disease and can no longer sing. Her memoir, Simple Dreams, reflects on a long career. In this conversation with Fresh Air's Terry Gross, she offers frank insights on sex, drugs, and why "competition was for horse races."
Between 1962 and 1965, The Beatles were featured on 53 BBC radio programs. For The Beatles: The BBC Archives, executive producer Kevin Howlett had to search for many of these recordings, and they weren't easy to find.
For critic Maureen Corrigan, this year's hybrid family holiday may be best celebrated by escaping into a book. Her recommendations include a kids' book about Russian Jews who identify with the Pilgrims, and a novel that contemplates class divides during wartime through the lens of a football game.
Jack Bishop and Bridget Lancaster of the public TV series share tips for buying, seasoning and cooking a turkey (hint: bigger isn't necessarily better, keep lots of salt around, and give the bird a break before carving). They also give advice on how to make some of their favorite side dishes.
Live at Carnegie Hall captures a riveting experience with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and a beloved conductor, James Levine, who has been plagued with a variety of medical troubles.