Fresh Air | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Fresh Air

Weekdays noon and 10:00 pm

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

Ways to Connect

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

When Frans de Waal started studying nonhuman primates, in the Netherlands more than 40 years ago, he was told not to consider the emotions of the animals he was observing.

"Thoughts and feelings — the mental processes basically — were off limits," he says. "We were told not to talk about them, because they were considered by many scientists as 'inner states' and you only were allowed to talk about 'outer states.' "

One of the most joyous, true life, "on-the-road" adventures in literary history took place in the summer of 1927. It began in Mobile, Ala., when a young Langston Hughes, who was traveling in the South, stepped off the train from New Orleans and ran smack into Zora Neale Hurston.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. There's a new recording of two familiar concert works, piano concertos by Mozart and Beethoven, that are performed in an unfamiliar way that our classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz finds very exciting. Here's his review.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

As head of New York City's correctional health services, Dr. Homer Venters spent nine years overseeing the care of thousands of inmates in the jails on Rikers Island. Though he left Rikers in 2017, what he witnessed on the job has stayed with him.

"What's important to consider about jail settings is that they are incredibly dehumanizing, and they dehumanize the individuals who pass through them," Venters says. "There is not really a true respect for the rights of the detained."

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 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Aidy Bryant mourns the time she lost in her teens and early 20s feeling self-conscious about her body. The Emmy-nominated comic and actor says she lived in fear of judgments about her weight.

"I felt like the worst possible thing that anyone could ever do would be to think that I was fat, to call me fat," she says.

Bryant began to direct her energy into her writing and comedy career. She moved to Chicago to pursue comedy at Second City, and in 2012, became a cast member on Saturday Night Live.

It is the dream of every neglected artist that their work will be redeemed by posterity. And sometimes it is. Back in 1970, for instance, the big movie was Patton — a box office hit that won the Best Picture Oscar. But today, it's overshadowed by another film from that year that almost nobody saw, a gritty story about a drifting woman.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

"Lost Hollywood." The phrase conjures up starlets in silver lamé and lunchtime gimlets at The Brown Derby; it does not bring to mind slimy swamp creatures or screwball surrealists starring in movies featuring walking melons. But two new books that retrieve forgotten moments in Hollywood history expand our sense of La La Land's long legacy of magic and bad behavior.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. You probably know my guest, the New York Times deputy general counsel David McCraw, from a letter he wrote that went viral. It was in response to a letter from Donald Trump's lawyer threatening to sue the Times for libel. McCraw will read that letter in a minute.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

It has become the nature of television to ramp up everything, even things that don't need it — like murder. We've grown so accustomed to seeing hot-button crimes and high-powered cops that it feels almost radical when a crime show goes in the other direction and plays it straight.

From an early age, Barbara Brown Taylor knew that she wanted to live a spiritual life.

"It started early in my life," she says, "a hunger for the beyond, for the transcendent, for the light within the light, the glow within the grass, the sparkle within the water."

Taylor went on to become an ordained Episcopal priest, working as rector of a church. But she later left her job with the church and began teaching the world's religions at Piedmont College in Demorest, Ga.

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:

'Never Look Away' Asks: Why Make Art? Who Is It For?: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's new film tells the story of an artist who grows up in Nazi Germany, comes of age in East Germany and travels to the West to find freedom for himself and his art.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. This week marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Mario Puzo's "The Godfather." A new edition has just been released with an introduction by Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola and Puzo co-wrote the screenplays for all three "Godfather" films. This is from the opening scene of the first one.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE GODFATHER")

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

In July 2018, former Fox News co-President Bill Shine joined the White House staff as deputy chief of staff for communications and assistant to President Trump.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The new film "Never Look Away" is about an artist, a painter, who's first exposed to modern art as a child growing up in Nazi Germany. He's taken by his aunt to an exhibit of modern art that was curated by the Nazis to show what degenerate art looks like - the kind of art the Nazis are banning. By the time the boy is an art student, the Russian Communists have taken over East Germany, where the boy lives. And all art is expected to be propaganda, showing images of happy, working people.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Dr. Thomas Boyce, an emeritus professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, has treated children who seem to be completely unflappable and unfazed by their surroundings — as well as those who are extremely sensitive to their environments. Over the years, he began to liken these two types of children to two very different flowers: dandelions and orchids.

It was a cold December night in 1972 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A 38-year old widowed mother of 10 named Jean McConville was with her children in their apartment in the Divis Flats, a labyrinthine public housing project that one critic described a "slum in the sky."

There was a knock at the door and a gang of masked intruders burst in. They ordered Jean to put on her coat and began pulling her out of the apartment. The children went nuts, screaming and grabbing.

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:

Pages