Fresh Air

Fresh Air

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries. Subscribe to Fresh Air Plus! You'll enjoy bonus episodes and sponsor-free listening - all while you support NPR's mission. Learn more at plus.npr.org/freshair

Episodes

April 19, 2024 46 mins
Longtime PBS news anchor Robert MacNeil died last week at 93. He spoke with Terry Gross a few times over the course of his journalism career. We revisit those conversations.

Also, we listen back to Eleanor Coppola's 1992 interview about her documentary, Hearts of Darkness. It chronicles the chaotic filming of Francis Ford Coppola's movie Apocalypse Now. She also died last week, at age 87.

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Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser says mergers and acquisitions have created food oligopolies that are inefficient, barely regulated and sometimes dangerous. His new documentary with Michael Pollan is Food, Inc. 2.

Also, Justin Chang reviews the film The Beast.

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Alua Arthur works with families, caretakers, and people close to death who want to be intentional about the end of life. She's learned through her work and her own experiences with loss that facing the inevitable can help lessen the anxiety and fear so many of us have around death. Her new book is called, Briefly Perfectly Human.

Also, we remember painter Faith Ringgold, who died Saturday at the age of 93.

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Rushdie was onstage at a literary event in 2022 when he was attacked by a man in the audience: "Dying in the company of strangers — that was what was going through my mind." His new book is Knife.

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Growing up, when Diarra Kilpatrick watched murder mystery shows with her grandmother, she never saw Black women driving the narrative. Her new BET+ series seeks to change that. It's called Diarra From Detroit.

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Andrew Scott stars as a con artist with no conscience in the new Netflix series Ripley. It's an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. He spoke with Terry Gross about tapping into his darker side for the role — and playing the "hot priest" in Fleabag.

Also, we hear about how cars became our most gendered technology. Women used to be considered unqualified to drive, or just terrible drivers. Gla...
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April 12, 2024 46 mins
Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire is the latest film starring two of cinema's biggest monsters. Today we take a look at the first time they were introduced to audiences. Film historian Rudy Behlmer tells us about the 1933 film King Kong. And Steve Ryfle wrote a book about the making of the 1954 Japanese film Godzilla.

Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews Civil War.

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Atlantic journalist Stephanie McCrummen says foreign interests are acquiring Serengeti territory in Northern Tanzania, effectively displacing indigenous cattle-herders from their traditional grazing lands. McCrummen spoke with Dave Davies about the billionaires, conservation groups, and safari tourism in this story.

Also, John Powers reviews the TV adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Sympath...
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What happens to the body in the deep sea? You need oxygen to survive, but too much oxygen can be deadly. Also, if you rise to the surface too quickly, nitrogen bubbles can form in your body and kill you. We'll talk with author and scientist Rachel Lance, who has conducted research for the military, using a hyperbaric chamber in which the air and the pressure can be controlled to mimic what divers and submarines are exposed to. Her...
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Linguist Amanda Montell says our brains are overloaded with a constant stream of information that stokes our innate tendency to believe conspiracy theories and mysticism. Her book is The Age of Magical Overthinking.

Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Lionel Shriver's new novel, Mania.

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Andrew Scott (best known as "hot priest" from Fleabag) plays con artist Tom Ripley in the Netflix adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley. He says his job is to advocate for his characters, not judge them. He spoke with Terry Gross about finding soul in comedy and lightness in drama.

Also, Lloyd Schwartz shares a little-known history of "soundies."

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April 6, 2024 48 mins
NCAA/WNBA star Sue Bird spoke with Terry Gross about her career, coming out publicly, and fighting for equity in women's sports. A new documentary about her last season on the court is Sue Bird: In the Clutch.

Also, we hear from Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker, co-founders of the punk band Sleater-Kinney. While they were working on their latest album, Little Rope, Brownstein's mother died in an car accident. They'll tal...
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April 5, 2024 46 mins
HBO's Curb your Enthusiasm comes to an end Sunday night, after 25 years and 12 seasons. We're featuring our interviews with cast members Larry David, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin, Jeff Greene, Susie Essman and more.

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The Guardian's reproductive health reporter Carter Sherman says efforts are underway in a number of states to assign fetuses "some kind of rights that we would generally ascribe to a human person."

Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews Ripley starring Andrew Scott. Film critic Justin Chang reviews Woody Allen's new French-language drama Coup de Chance.

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April 3, 2024 46 mins
"A lot of things started going wrong from the very beginning," historian Hampton Sides says of Cook's last voyage, which ended in the British explorer's violent death on the island of Hawaii in 1779. His book is The Wide Wide Sea: Imperial Ambition, First Contact, and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook.

Ken Tucker reviews Beyoncé's album Cowboy Carter.

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A global pandemic, school shootings, climate change, war: Children and teenagers are experiencing and being treated for unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression. We talk with founding president of the Child Mind Institute, Dr. Harold Koplewicz, about screen time, suicidal ideation, and testing for ADHD. His latest book is Scaffold Parenting: Raising Resilient, Self-Reliant, and Secure Kids in an Age of Anxiety.

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April 1, 2024 45 mins
Retired point guard Sue Bird holds the record for most career assists in the WNBA, with 3,234 over the course of her 19-season professional career. She's also won four WNBA championships, five Olympic gold medals and two NCAA championships. She spoke with Terry Gross about playing overseas in Russia, staying cool under pressure, and her pump-up song for games.

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If you've ever wondered how directors convince stars to appear in their films, or what they do when an actor committed to a lead role suddenly starts throwing up roadblocks, you can ask Ed Zwick. He's a writer, director and producer who's been making TV and movies for decades. His new memoir is Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years in Hollywood.

Also, we'll hear from Eugene Levy. He's appeared in doze...
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March 29, 2024 46 mins
Beyoncé's highly anticipated country album, Cowboy Carter, is out today. One of the musicians on it is fiddle and banjo player Rhiannon Giddens. We'll listen to our 2010 in-studio performance with the group she was part of then, the Carolina Chocolate Drops. They played string band and jug band music of the '20s and '30s, music most people associate with a white southern tradition. But the members of the Carolina Chocolate Drops ar...
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March 28, 2024 45 mins
Author Nancy Nichols says that for men, cars signify adventure, power and strength. For women, they are about performing domestic duties; there was even a minivan prototype with a washer/dryer inside. Her book is Women Behind the Wheel: An Unexpected and Personal History of the Car.

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