Monday, November 16, 2009
The Omid e Mehr Center in Iran is a rare and unique facility that helps girls from the country’s underclass recover after being discarded by their families and society. The Glass House is the title of a new documentary that follows the hidden lives of four girls. Bob talks with the Iranian woman who founded the center, Marjaneh Halati. Then, Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a film about a group of Liberian women, led by Leymah Gbowee, who banded together and used non-violent protest methods mixed with some of their own ideas (sex strike, for one) to get rid of Charles Taylor and sweep out most of the warlords in Liberia in 2003. Their efforts paved the way for the country’s first female head of state. Bob talks with Gbowee and the film’s director, Abigail Disney (niece of Walt), about their film which won Best Documentary at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Douglas Gayeton, a multimedia artist and champion of the Slow Food movement, combined his two passions in his new book Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town. With an introduction by Alice Waters, this illustrated memoir and lesson in regional cuisine, focuses on the small villages in Tuscany where the Slow Food Movement (a back-lash against fast food) is simply a way of life. Then, Hal Holbrook is best-known for his iconic portrayal of Mark Twain. His first solo act as Twain was in 1954. More than fifty years later, he’s still at it and nobody can bring Mark Twain alive like he can. During his most recent Broadway run, Holbrook was 80-years-old, older than the character he was portraying. Now Holbrook stars in That Evening Sun, a Southern Gothic film about a man refusing to face the waning years of his life and his worth.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Perhaps no one in the history of American entertainment is more influential and tragic than Orson Welles, the young auteur who created shocking dramas on stage, on the air, and on screen. Welles struggled to live up to his early successes, and at the end of his life was seen as a caricature, lending his famous voice to TV commercials, and releasing few films in this country. Bob talks with Chris Welles Feder about her father – his devotion to his art, and his distance from his family. Welles Feder is the author of the new book, In My Father’s Shadow. Then, Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis talks about Blues and Chaos, a collection of pieces written by legendary music critic Robert Palmer. The articles, which appeared originally in Rolling Stone and the New York Times, were arranged thematically and edited by DeCurtis.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Werner Herzog’s film career began in the mid-60s and includes more than fifty films. His newest is a drama titled Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. The film is a loose remake of a 1992 film, although besides the title, Herzog says the two share little in common. Still, the director of the original, Abel Ferrara, is not happy about the new version saying, “As far as remakes go, … I wish these people die in Hell. I hope they’re all in the same streetcar, and it blows up.” Then, within the art world, American photographer Robert Bergman has long been known for his intimate, often surprising street portraiture. As interested in his subjects’ psychological state as in their physical look, Bergman’s portraits reveal the strength and even power of ordinary people. The National Gallery of Art will host Bergman’s first major solo exhibition in Robert Bergman: Portraits, 1986-1995 through January 10th, 2010.
Friday, November 20, 2009
David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics. Next, a quick search in Amazon Books for “John F. Kennedy” produces almost 55,000 results. One of the most recent – and potentially one of the more detailed – is titled Jack Kennedy: The Illustrated Life of a President featuring Intimate Photos, Personal Memorabilia, and History-making Documents. It features a CD of JFK’s most famous speeches, replicas of his handwritten letters and medical exams, an agenda for his meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, and, of course, many photos. Presidential scholar and author of the book Chuck Wills discusses his research and the numerous pieces of paper that, together, help define the late Kennedy. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with executive director Dan Gediman about the essay from Barry Bingham, Sr., He was the long-time owner, editor and publisher of The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times. His family’s leadership of the newspapers as well as radio and TV properties in Kentucky led to numerous journalism awards including multiple Pulitzer Prizes.