Writer Nick Flynn was working in a homeless shelter in his 20s when his father – an alcoholic and self-proclaimed writer who left when Flynn was a baby – showed up as a client. Flynn wrote about the experience in his 2004 memoir, Another B------- Night in Suck City.
His story is now a movie called Being Flynn, starring Paul Dano as the young Nick Flynn and Robert De Niro as his father, Jonathan.
On Wednesday's Fresh Air, Nick Flynn and Paul Weitz, the film's director, talk about adapting Flynn's memoir for the big screen.
"Linsanity" is the magical byword of this basketball season. As anyone who is even semi-conscious knows, Jeremy Lin, the NBA's first Taiwanese-American player by way of Harvard, was passed over for college athletic scholarships and ignored in NBA drafts. Then, he landed with the New York Knicks and has since proved to everybody that athletic prejudice against Asians is Lincredibly stupid. Except, as journalist Jim Yardley points out in his new book on basketball fever in China, Chinese players and coaches happen to endorse that prejudice.
Unlike Ebola, which infects and kills people quickly — and then disappears just as quickly — the HIV epidemic has become so good at killing people in part because it moves so very slowly, says journalist Craig Timberg.
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:
The Singing Detective is the story of a writer of pulp-fiction novels, hospitalized for a horrible skin condition that has his entire body flaking and raw, and his mind slipping in and out of fever dreams.
Some of those hallucinations have the people around him breaking into song, or shifting into other places and times and characters, or both. He tries to maintain his sanity by rewriting, in his head, one of his old novels into a Hollywood screenplay — and, in his mind, he's the healthy, good-looking protagonist — the singing detective.
Orange You Glad We Wound Up Here? George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) play an unemployed Manhattan couple who stumble into a hippie farming commune whose denizens include characters played by Justin Theroux and Alan Alda.
Credit Universal Pictures
The Elysium Bed and Breakfast where Linda and George land contains a motley assortment of hippies who look like they've come directly from a time capsule.
In sophisticated comedy, what's funny is the tension between proper manners and the nasty or sexy subtext. Whereas in low comedy, there are no manners, and the nasty or sexy subtext is right there on the surface.
And then there's Wanderlust, in which the subtext is blasted through megaphones — the characters say so insanely much you want to scream. The satire is as broad as a battleship and equally bombarding. But it takes guts to do a comedy this big without gross-out slapstick, and the writers and the actors are all in.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays J. Edgar Hoover in J. Edgar, a biopic written by Dustin Lance Black.
Credit Warner Bros. Pictures
"There are certain biographers who are more liberal with the truth, and want to give an impression of the truth," says Dustin Lance Black. "For me, I wanted to get as close to the truth as possible. Because I knew that this film would go under attack — and I wanted to be able to defend it."
In the first part of his career, J. Edgar Hoover was often hailed as a hero. As a young man, he helped reorganize the cataloging system at the Library of Congress. Later on, after Hoover became the first director of the FBI, he introduced fingerprinting and forensic techniques to the crime-fighting agency, and pushed for stronger federal laws to punish criminals who strayed across state lines.
This interview was originally broadcast on Apr. 9, 1991.
Publisher Barney Rosset, who championed the works of beat poets and Samuel Beckett and who defied censors with the publication of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover and Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, died on Tuesday. He was 89.
Republican and Democratic SuperPACs, empowered by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, can collect unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions. Potter became a celebrity when he signed on as Stephen Colbert's lawyer and advised the satirical TV host on how to create his own SuperPAC.
James Bopp is the lawyer who first represented Citizens United in the case that ended up in the Supreme Court, which ruled that corporations and unions could give money to political committees active in election campaigns. That decision and subsequent lower court decisions have led to SuperPACs, which allow corporations, unions and individuals to make unlimited contributions, pool them together, and use the money for political campaigns.