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.
A Journey Through The American South
Princeton African American Studies professor Imani Perry says the South can be seen as an "origin point" for the way the nation operates. Her book, South to America, reflects on the region's history and traces the steps of an enslaved ancestor. "The South in some ways becomes the repository for the nation's sins, right?" she says. "And then it allows the rest of the country to conceive of itself as relatively pristine."
Also, Justin Chang reviews the Finnish film Compartment No. 6.
The Genius Of Buster Keaton
We explore the subtle genius of a man often remembered for pratfalls and sight gags. Buster Keaton was a silent film star in the 1920s, but he was far more than an actor and stuntman. He conceived and directed his films, cited by some of America's leading filmmakers as inspirations. We speak with Slate film critic Dana Stevens, whose new book examines Keaton's work and influence, and chronicles his colorful life. Her book is Camera Man: Buster Keaton, the Dawn of Cinema, and the Invention of the 20th Century.
Best Of: Benedict Cumberbatch / Brian Cox
Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Jane Campion's Western The Power of the Dog as Phil Burbank, a hyper-masculine cattle rancher living on the plains of Montana in the 1920s. We talk about how body odor helped him channel the character, toxic masculinity, and filming on location in breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand.
Maureen Corrigan reviews one of this year's most anticipated books, To Paradise, by Hanya Yanagihara.
Succession actor Brian Cox says ruthless business tycoon Logan Roy is one of the most extraordinary roles he's ever played: "He is a misanthrope [who] is very disappointed with the human experiment."
Remembering André Leon Talley / Ronnie Spector
André Leon Talley, titan of the fashion world, died this week at 73. He was Vogue editor-at-large from 1998 until 2013. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2018 about his journey from the Jim Crow South to Paris ateliers.
Also, we remember Ronnie Spector, the leader of the '60s girl group the Ronettes, best-known for their hit "Be My Baby." She died last week at 78.
Also, David Bianculli reviews the HBO series The Gilded Age.
A Marine-Turned-Journalist Returns To Afghanistan
Thomas Gibbons-Neff served two tours in Afghanistan in the Marines, and is now a New York Times reporter and Kabul bureau chief. He recently interviewed a high-level Taliban commander about a battle they had both been engaged in.
Ken Tucker reviews Neil Young's new album Barn.
Cumberbatch stars in Jane Campion's Western The Power of the Dog as Phil Burbank, a hyper-masculine cattle rancher living on the plains of Montana in the 1920s. We talk about how body odor helped him channel the character, toxic masculinity, and filming on location in breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand. Cumberbatch also shares stories from his past — like his experiences teaching English at a Tibetan monastery and getting kidnapped in South Africa in 2005.