When America entered World War II, some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors enlisted and risked their lives. But they weren't fighting — they were filming combat.
Through the 1930s, Hollywood and the federal government held a mutual suspicion of each other. But after Pearl Harbor, the War Department asked Hollywood directors to make short documentaries that could be presented in theaters before the featured films. The ideas was to show Americans what was at stake, give them a glimpse of what our soldiers were going through and stir up patriotic feelings.
In "Reno County Girl," Chuck Mead serenades us with a tale about a young woman with whom his narrator fell in love. It's a loping country song, Mead's version of cowboy music, but as its pretty melody unfurls, you realize that its scenario is bleak: Mead's character urged her to leave home despite the objections of her father, and it turns out Daddy was right — this guy leaves her all by her lonesome much of the time.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts a new TV series called <em>Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey.</em> It's an update of the influential 1980 PBS series <em>Cosmos: A Personal Journey, </em>hosted by Carl Sagan.
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:
Colm Toibin's novel,<em> The Testament of Mary,</em> imagines the life of the mother of Christ in her later years.
Credit Steve Heap / iStockphoto
Irish writer Colm Toibin's other novels include <em>The Maste</em>r, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction<strong> </strong>in 2004, and <em>Brooklyn</em>, which won the Costa Novel Award in 2009.
In his novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish writer Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after the crucifixion. She is struggling to understand why some people believe Jesus is the son of God, and weighed down by the guilt she feels wondering what she might have done differently to alter — or ease — her son's fate.