Fresh Air with Terry Gross | KALW

Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Monday - Friday at 9am and Monday - Thursday at 6pm

Interviews & reviews from contemporary culture and newsmakers. Plus, Garrison Keillor's "Writer's Almanac" at the top of the 9:00 a.m. hour. Find more at the Fresh Air website.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

During the Cold War, the movies we saw from the Eastern bloc were steeped in politics. They critiqued, more or less obliquely, life under communism. More than 30 years later, the Berlin Wall is long gone, but the films from Eastern Europe haven't lost their political edge. These days, they're critical of post-communist societies that remain harsh and oppressive.

In the 1840s, Elizabeth Blackwell was admitted to a U.S. medical school — in part because the male students thought her application was part of an elaborate prank. She persisted and got her degree, becoming the first American woman to do so. A few years later, her younger sister Emily followed in her footsteps, earning her own medical degree from the institution that would become Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

When Nadia Owusu was 7 years old and living in Rome with her father, stepmother and younger sister, two events occurred on the same day that upended her world.

The first was a disaster she didn't experience personally, but heard about on the radio: a catastrophic earthquake in Armenia, where her mother's family had lived before they sought refuge in America. The second was the sudden appearance of her mother, standing nervously at the front door, gripping a pair of red balloons in her hands.

From the March on Washington in 1963 up until his assassination in 1968, the FBI engaged in an intense campaign to discredit Martin Luther King Jr. and his work. Film director Sam Pollard chronicles those efforts in the new documentary, MLK/FBI.

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:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

If you didn't know what they were about, you'd be forgiven for confusing the striking new movies Promising Young Woman and Pieces of a Woman. They do have similarities that go beyond their titles: Each is an intense but uneven film about the lingering effects of trauma and tragedy. And each one centers on an American woman played by an English actor doing her strongest work in some time.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Iconoclastic humorist Fran Lebowitz used to be known as a writer. Back in the late 1970s and '80s, she released two popular collections of essays featuring her cutting observations and opinions about life. But that part of her career was cut short by a decades-long case of writer's block — now she's known for talking.

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:

Remembering Nature Writer Barry Lopez

Jan 8, 2021

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Talking to friends this past week, I've described Anna North's new novel, Outlawed, as The Handmaid's Tale meets Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. That's a glib tagline, but there's some justification for it.

Security cameras and facial recognition technology are on the rise in China. In 2018, People's Daily, the media mouthpiece of China's ruling Communist Party, claimed on English-language Twitter that the country's facial recognition system was capable of scanning the faces of China's 1.4 billion citizens in just one second.

Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the creators of NBC's new sitcom Mr. Mayor, were deep into the run of their hit 30 Rock when they came up with a promising idea for a spinoff. How about taking Jack Donaghy, the corporate executive played by Alec Baldwin, and have him run for mayor — and win?

Interested in learning a new skill in the new year? CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta says that will also improve your brain health.

"The act of experiencing something new — or even doing something that's typical for you, but in a different way — can all generate these new brain cells," says Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon and associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. "We want to constantly be using new paths and trails and roads within our brain."

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:

Nina Totenberg On Amy Coney Barrett, Anita Hill And Saying Goodbye To RBG: NPR's legal correspondent has spent decades covering major shifts in the Supreme Court. "Often, in the beginning, I was the only woman in the newsroom," Totenberg says.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Happy New Year. It seems most New Years, at least one cable channel shows "The Godfather" films. In a weird way, I've come to think of it as a holiday film. For the 30th anniversary of "Godfather III" (ph), Francis Ford Coppola has released a restored and reedited version of the film. It has a new title, too - "Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone" - spoiler. It's available on video on demand.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

Happy New Year. We're happy to say goodbye to 2020, and we want to end it with something enjoyable and entertaining, so we're going to listen to a performance and interview we recorded earlier this month. Here's that show.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

GROSS: Over the past few months, I haven't been able to listen to as much music as I'd like because so much of my listening time has been devoted to shows and podcasts about politics, the election and COVID.

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