Fresh Air on WUTC

Weekdays, Noon - 1pm
Terry Gross

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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12:08pm

Fri May 10, 2013
Interviews

Jenna Fischer: Keeping It Real At 'The Office'

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 2:37 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on June 3, 2008.

For nearly a decade, Jenna Fischer has played Pam, one of The Office's most recognizably real characters.

If you've ever worked in a clerical position in an alienating office, you'll relate to what Pam goes through. In this interview, Fischer tells Terry Gross about creating all those pained looks and knowing smiles — and about how her five years as an office temp helped to prepare her for the role.

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12:08pm

Fri May 10, 2013
Interviews

Rainn Wilson: 'The Office' Drone Outside Of Work

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 2:37 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on July 30, 2008.

While his Office character always took himself seriously, actor Rainn Wilson seems to be all about the laughs. For the entirety of the series, Wilson has played beet-farming, archery-loving middle-management kook Dwight Schrute on the NBC hit television series.

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12:08pm

Fri May 10, 2013
Interviews

Ricky Gervais On The Original 'Office'

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 2:37 pm

Ricky Gervais, co-creator and star of the BBC series The Office, speaks during the 2013 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour in January 2013.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

This interview was originally broadcast on April 12, 2004.

Actor Ricky Gervais starred in, co-wrote and co-directed the hit BBC sitcom, The Office, with his partner Stephen Merchant. It was their BBC series from which the hit NBC series drew much inspiration.

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1:51pm

Thu May 9, 2013
Author Interviews

'The Woman Upstairs': A Saga Of Anger And Thwarted Ambition

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 2:59 pm

Picture of an old attic
Minas Panagiotakis iStockPhoto.com

"How angry am I? You don't want to know. Nobody wants to know." Those are the opening lines of Claire Messud's new novel, The Woman Upstairs. The novel is about a single woman, Nora, who hasn't fulfilled her dreams of being an artist and having children. Nora's plight is complicated when she befriends a woman who has done both.

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1:29pm

Thu May 9, 2013
Television

In A Cluster Of New Sitcoms, 'Family Tree' Stands Tall

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 2:29 pm

In the new HBO series Family Tree, Chris O'Dowd (above left, with the series' writer-director-producer Christopher Guest) stars as a guy who has just lost his job and girlfriend and fills the void by looking into his family genealogy.
HBO

Christopher Guest, co-creator with Jim Piddock of the new HBO comedy series Family Tree, obviously is having a good time making this show — and it's contagious. It's several shows in one, and every element is a self-assured little delight.

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12:20pm

Thu May 9, 2013
Remembrances

Remembering Monster-Maker Ray Harryhausen

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 2:19 pm

Medusa from 1981's Clash of the Titans is among legendary animator Ray Harryhausen's many creations.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Ray Harryhausen, who died Tuesday in London at age 92, became fascinated with animation after seeing King Kong in 1933. He went on to create some of the most memorable monsters of old Hollywood, from dinosaurs to mythological creatures.

His monsters, however, were never completely divorced from the real world.

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1:27pm

Wed May 8, 2013
Economy

Nearly Three Years After Dodd-Frank, Reforms Happen Slowly

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:06 pm

loveguli iStockPhoto.com

On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly known as the Dodd-Frank bill. Reporter Gary Rivlin says "the passage of Dodd-Frank was something of a miracle." But to the chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, a lobbying group that represents 100 of the country's largest financial institutions, it was just "halftime."

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11:30am

Wed May 8, 2013
Movie Reviews

Natalie Maines: A Country-Music Rebel Rocks On Her Own

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:06 pm

Natalie Maines, former singer for the Dixie Chicks, placed the group at the center of controversy in 2003, when she publicly criticized George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Natalie Maines doesn't hesitate to make audacious moves, and wresting away "Mother" — Roger Waters' hymn to oppressive maternal authority figures from Pink Floyd — is the biggest one on her first solo album. Maines takes the "Mother" from Pink Floyd's The Wall and deconstructs it, emotional brick by emotional brick.

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1:53pm

Tue May 7, 2013
Author Interviews

'Shocked': Patricia Volk's Memoir About Beauty And Its Beholders

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 3:18 pm

Patricia Volk is an essayist, novelist and memoirist. She recounts her experiences growing up in a restaurant-owning family in New York City, in her memoir Stuffed.
Random House

Patricia Volk's mother was beautiful in a way that stopped people on the street. Strangers compared her to Lana Turner and Grace Kelly. She was stylish and vain: Her beauty and its preservation mattered to her. "She had an icy blond beauty, an imperious kind of beauty," Volk tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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1:20pm

Tue May 7, 2013
Movies

Scorsese Talks 'The Language of Cinema'

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 2:34 pm

Animated as ever when it comes to the topic of film, director Martin Scorsese delivers the 2013 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities at the Kennedy Center on April 1.
NIcholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Martin Scorsese is a legend of a director — and he's also a great film teacher, a man who balances a passion for the medium with a deep knowledge of its history. Delivering this year's installment of the National Endowment for the Humanities' prestigious Jefferson Lecture — a talk he titled "Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema" — Scorsese demonstrated his speaking chops as well.

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1:54pm

Mon May 6, 2013
Television

Linney Mines 'The Big C' For Serious Laughs

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:20 pm

Laura Linney and Alan Alda star in The Big C, now in its fourth season on Showtime. Linney took on the role not long before her own father died of cancer.
Showtime

From a young age, Laura Linney knew what she wanted to do with her life: act. There was no question.

She was a drama nerd in high school, and went onto Juilliard to study theater. But film acting was never the dream, and movie stardom definitely wasn't the goal.

"I was always completely intimidated by film," she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "I was not the sort of person who grew up thinking, 'Oh, I want to be in the movies.' I loved movies; I just didn't think I particularly belonged there."

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12:56pm

Mon May 6, 2013
Book Reviews

Godwin's 'Flora': A Tale Of Remorse That Creeps Under Your Skin

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:20 pm

Gail Godwin, whose latest novel is Flora, has been a finalist for the National Book Award and a Guggenheim fellow.
David Hermon Bloomsbury Press

Gail Godwin says one of the inspirations for her new novel, called Flora, is Henry James' ghost story The Turn of the Screw. Both stories take place in isolated old houses, and both revolve around mental contests between a governess character and her young charge. There are ghosts in Flora, too: specters that arise out of what our narrator calls her "remorse." Godwin had me at that word, "remorse": It's such a great, old-fashioned word, and it suggests that there'll be a lot of awful things going on in this novel that will need to be atoned for.

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11:39am

Mon May 6, 2013
Music Reviews

Caitlin Rose: A Singer Grounded In The Details Of Yearning

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:20 pm

Caitlin Rose's newest album is titled The Stand-In.

"Pink Champagne," a song on Caitlin Rose's second album The Stand-In, presents Rose's voice in its sparest purity and veiled shrewdness. She sends her voice skyward, the notes as buoyant and light as the bubbles of the pink champagne she's singing about. Her high trills could, with only a slight shift in tone and attitude, become self-conscious with a Betty Boop coyness, as they do once or twice on The Stand-In. But most of the time, Rose keeps her music grounded in the details of yearning, heartache and a welcome sense of gratefulness and enthused energy.

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9:03am

Sat May 4, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Maron, Violent Minds And A Classic Documentary

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 12:44 pm

Marc Maron, whose latest book is Attempting Normal, is also the author of The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life As a Reluctant Messiah.
Leigh Righton Spiegel & Grau

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:

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12:37pm

Fri May 3, 2013
Movie Reviews

'Iron Man 3': Tony Stark As Homebrew Hero

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 4:01 pm

In Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), and Gwyneth Paltrow reprises hers as his girlfriend, Pepper Potts.
Paramout Pictures

The third time might be the charm for some things, but the number three after a movie title is typically shorthand for a deal with the devil.

The studio thinks there's more money to be squeezed from a particular property, and voila: Spider-Man 3, Superman III, The Godfather — God help us — Part III. OK, The Godfather's a special case. Most other threes, though, are what happens when a too-thin plot meets a too-fat budget.

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