Fresh Air on Xtra HD

Weekdays at 3:00pm
Terry Gross

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

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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
11:33 am
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

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 12:00 pm

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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Author Interviews
2:59 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 3:06 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
2:59 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
2:59 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 3:06 pm

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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