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Friendship and Idealism in 'Reprise'

Fresh Air film critic David Edelstein reviews Reprise, the first feature film by Norwegian writer and director Joachim Trier.


Other segments from the episode on May 16, 2008

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, May 16, 2008: Interview with Gershom Gorenberg; Interview with John Hagee; Obituary for Chris Gaffney; Review of the film "Reprise."


TIME 12:00 Noon-1:00 PM AUDIENCE N/A

Interview: Journalist Gershom Gorenberg discusses the Christian
Zionist movement from a Jewish perspective

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, of Broadcasting & Cable magazine and, in for Terry Gross.

Ever since John McCain sought and won the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee, a
quote from Hagee's 2006 interview with Terry has appeared in many places,
including CNN, Newsweek, The New York Times and "The Daily Show." As you've
read or heard that sound bite, you may have wondered what else John Hagee had
to say in that interview; so we're going to play it back for you, and Terry
will explain the story behind it.

But first, here's part of that sound bite that's been used so frequently since
the endorsement. This is Pastor John Hagee on how Hurricane Katrina was, as
Hagee described, God's retribution for a homosexual parade that was about to
take place in New Orleans.

Pastor JOHN HAGEE: All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the
heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to
God, and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.

GROSS: Hurricane Katrina was not the focus of my 2006 interview with Pastor
John Hagee. The main subject was a lobby group Hagee had formed earlier that
year called Christians United for Israel, also known by its acronym CUFI.
CUFI follows what its Web site describes as a biblical obligation to defend
Israel and supports Israel's right to the land by biblical mandate. Hagee
also believes that the second coming of Jesus is imminent. There are 10
prophetic signs of the end time, he says, and Israel figures into at least
four of them: plague in the Middle East, the rebirth of Israel, the Jews
returning home and Jerusalem no longer being under gentile control. Here's an
excerpt of a sermon from Pastor John Hagee's collection "Jerusalem: Countdown
to Crisis."

(Soundbite from "Jerusalem: Countdown to Crisis")

Pastor HAGEE: In May 1948 Israel was reborn. How many of you were alive on
May 15th, 1948? It was the most important prophetic day of the 20th century.
Why? Because Jesus said in Matthew 24:32, "When you see the fig
tree"--national Israel-- begin to bloom again, know that my coming is nigh at
the door. Behold, one generation will not pass away until all things are
fulfilled." We are racing toward the end of time. We are not living in the
last days. We're not living in the last hours. We're living in the last
minutes of the dispensation of grace.

In 1967 the six-day war united Jerusalem under Jewish control. Why is that
important? Because the Gospel of Luke says when Jerusalem is no longer
trodden down by the gentiles, then shall the end come. The Bible says when
the Lord builds up Jerusalem, when he builds up Zion, he will appear in all of
his glory. So the Bible is screaming, `When you see Jerusalem united, when
you see it beautified, when you see it built up, the Messiah is coming.' And
when you see these signs in the heavens and the sun, the moon and the stars
and the waves of the oceans that are roaring, what did God say? He said,
`Lift up your heads and rejoice! Your redemption draws nigh!' I want you to
do it, Cornerstone. Rejoice! The King of Glory is on the way!

(Soundbite of cheering and clapping)

(End of soundbite)

GROSS: Pastor John Hagee organized a Washington summit in July 2006 to
introduce his group Christians United for Israel to senators and congressmen.
Speakers included Ken Mehlman, who was then chair of the Republican National
Committee, and Senators Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum. President Bush sent
a recorded greeting. Senator Joe Lieberman spoke at CUFI's second annual
summit last July.

Before I spoke with John Hagee in September 2006, I spoke with Israeli
journalist Gershom Gorenberg about why CUFI is controversial among many Jews.
Gorenberg wrote about the Christian Zionist movement in his book "The End of
Days." Here's a short excerpt of that interview with Gorenberg.

What is your understanding of Christian Zionism?

Mr. GERSHOM GORENBERG: Well, I would say that, in the first place, it's
something of a contradiction in terms because the people who promote the idea
of Christian Zionism are looking at Israel in mythological terms. They're
seeing the Jews as actors in a Christian drama leading toward the end of days.
Real Zionism, as a Jewish movement, is a movement aimed at taking Jews out of
the mythological realm and making them into normal actors in history,
controlling their fate and acting for pragmatic reasons connected to the here
and now. So what's called Christian Zionism is actually very distant from

GROSS: What are the specific political and territorial goals that you think
Christian Zionists have for Israel?

Mr. GORENBERG: Well, they take a position on Israel and on the Middle East
that would put them at the far age of the radical right within Israeli
politics. They're opposed to any concession whatsoever of land for peace.
They tend to treat any process leading toward peace as an illusion, if not a
conspiracy. Some of their leaders, at various times, have spoken explicitly
of the idea of expelling the Palestinians from the West Bank. These are all
positions that, as I said, would put them on the radical right within Israel.
They're deeply opposed to the idea of a Palestinian state. They tend to
support military action over diplomacy. It's worth stressing that this puts
them far from the mainstream of Israeli politics.

GROSS: I've spoken to some Jewish Americans who consider themselves, you
know, aligned with Christian Zionists and I asked, `Well, do you think it's in
your ultimate best interests to be aligned with groups whose ultimate goal is
the second coming of Jesus?' To which they've responded, `Well, we as Jews
know that that's not the real truth, that's not going to happen. So why not
have an alliance with people who support the same goals for Israel that we do?
You know, the same kind of political goals. And why not support people who
just are going to back Israel and back the protection of Israel?' What would
you say to that?

Mr. GORENBERG: I think that, first of all, there's a tremendous disrespect
implied here, strange as it may seem, for the beliefs of the Christian
Zionists. These are people who live very much by their theology, and this
attitude says, `Their theology is irrelevant to me. I'm not relating to them
as believing people.' So I find that ironic.

The second thing is I think that there's a misunderstanding here of what an
apocalyptic vision is. When somebody says that they're hoping for the end of
history, for God to come and fix the world, they're saying that they see
something broken in the world as it is today. Part of the end-of-days vision
of the Christian Zionists is that the Jews will die or convert to
Christianity. So what they're saying about the world today is they don't see
Judaism as a legitimate religion, and I think it's strange for Jewish groups
to align themselves with people who show, shall I say, a theological hostility
for Judaism.

GROSS: When you say that, you know, in this scenario of the rapture, Jews
will either convert or die, my interpretation of that--my understanding of
that is that, in this version of the rapture, that all Christian believers
immediately ascend to heaven and everybody else is--they can either convert
and ascend to heaven, too, or they remain on earth for the tribulations, which
is a series of plagues and famines and wars and other catastrophes.

Mr. GORENBERG: Yes, that is true. This is a view of all so-called
nonbelievers, but normally in the documents of this religious stream there's a
particular focus on the Jews because, for this form of theologically
ultra-conservative Christianity, one of the great scandals remains that the
Jews have not accepted Christianity. They believe that a literal reading of
the Bible necessarily, in their eyes, leads to an acceptance of Christianity.
The Jews are the keepers of the Hebrew Bible, and it's stunning that the Jews
continue to refuse to read the Bible in what they consider to be its simple
meaning that would lead to Christianity. This is the cognitive dissonance
which is at the core of their beliefs, and they expect the end of days to
resolve this dissonance.

I would add one more thing about these kind of scenarios. If you read their
literature, they inevitably end up with the battle of Armageddon on Israeli
soil. All events are expected to lead to this immense conflict which will
take place in Israel. The verse that's cited over and over again is, `The
blood will flow as high as the horse's bridle.' So they're expecting war and
conflict, and they're seeing this as something positive. Everything that
would lead toward Middle East peace, they see as an illusion. For Israelis
looking toward their country's security and future in this world, in history
as it continues, the most necessary step for us is finding a way to peace. So
the people who are proclaiming their support for Israel are actually working
at cross-purposes to Israeli interests and needs.

GROSS: Gershom Gorenberg, thank you very much for talking with us.

Mr. GORENBERG: It's been my pleasure.

GROSS: That was Israeli journalist Gershom Gorenberg, originally broadcast on
September 18th, 2006.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Interview: Pastor John Hagee discusses his foundation Christians
United for Israel and his beliefs for the last days

Just before my interview with John Hagee. Hagee says the rebirth of Israel
and the restoration of Jerusalem is a prelude to what else needs to happen in
Israel before Jesus returns. In this excerpt from one of Hagee's sermons, he
describes what will happen just before the end of days and the second coming.

(Soundbite from "Jerusalem: Countdown to Crisis")

Pastor JOHN HAGEE: In two minutes, let me tell you where we're going from
here. This prophetic portrait paints the following sequence of event for the
future. America and Europe become weakened and cannot respond to Israel in
the time that Russia and the Arab invasion begins against Israel. This is
God's plan. Why? Because he wants the Jewish people in Israel and around the
world to know that he, the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob saved them, not

Secondly, Russia with Arab allies will plot and plan Israel's destruction.
That's happening right now. It has been happening for 10 years. Iran's
nuclear weapons have been produced with Russian scientists. The Islamic Arabs
are using the road map to peace to get all of the land of Israel they can get.
And when Israel finally says, `Enough!' you're going to see the beginning of
the implementation of Ezekiel's war in 38:39. The critical point is the
church is raptured before this war begins. I am telling you that makes this
message one of the most thrilling prophetic messages you've ever heard in your
life. You could get raptured out of this building before I get through
finished preaching. We are that close to the coming of the son of man.

(Soundbite of cheers, clapping)

(End of soundbite)

GROSS: Here's my 2006 interview with Pastor John Hagee.

Pastor Hagee, you say that when Israel finally says `enough' to attempts to
take its land, you'll see the beginning of the implementation of Ezekiel's
war. What is Ezekiel's war?

Pastor HAGEE: Ezekiel's war in chapters 38 and 39, it's known in the Bible as
the war of Gog and Magog. And in Ezekiel 36, God gives the promise to the
Jewish people that he's going to bring them out of their gentile graves. This
was given through the prophet Ezekiel when the Jewish people were in
captivity. In 37, there is the dramatic presentation of the Valley of Dry
Bones that come together to become an exceeding great army. This is a
physical portrait of the nation of Israel that has been, if you will, in Death
Valley for almost 2,000 years because, from the diaspora of 70 AD until the
re-entrance into Israel May 15th, 1948, they were in gentile graves.

And then in Ezekiel 38 and 39, the prophet Ezekiel very explicitly describes
the war that's going to happen at some point in our future where Russia
organizes Islamic nations to come against the state of Israel, and the end
result of that war is that God himself is going to stand up and defend Israel,
and the enemies of Israel are going to be crushed in such a dramatic fashion,
quite similar to Pharaoh and the Red Sea, that all of Israel will recognize
that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is indeed the Lord.

GROSS: In your interpretation of biblical prophecy, what has to happen in
Israel before the rapture?

Pastor HAGEE: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. There is no Bible prophecy that
needs to be fulfilled before the rapture of the church.

GROSS: But there's things you don't want to happen. You've said that you
don't want Jerusalem to be divided as part of any peace plan. You didn't want
Israel to withdraw from Gaza, and you don't want it to give up any territory
in the West Bank. Why not?

Pastor HAGEE: Because the Bible has a very specific verse in Joel, the third
chapter and the second verse that says almost verbatim what I'm going to quote
to you, based on which translation you will be reading, and the Bible says,
that `I the Lord will cause the nations to come down to the valley of
Jehosephat for judgment, and the reason that I'm going to judge the nations is
because they have divided up my land and my heritage, the people of Israel.'
So that verse very clearly says that any nation that forces Israel to divide
up their land will experience the judgment of God.

GROSS: And what will happen during the rapture?

Pastor HAGEE: What will happen during the rapture is--Paul writes in the New
Testament--that in a moment in the twinkling of an eye the dead in Christ
shall rise and we which are alive and remain shall be caught up to be with the
Lord in the air. That means instantaneously every believer will leave this

GROSS: Now, most Christians who believe in the rapture believe that the
believers who will be raptured are Christian believers.

Pastor HAGEE: It's a misnomer for the Baptists, the Presbyterians, the
Catholics, the Pentecostals, the Methodists, whomever. I know when you hear
their preachers preach, you get the idea they're the only ones going to
heaven. That's one of the reasons I have a nondenominational church. I was
raised in a denomination, and many times I heard the exploits of the
denominations being touted more highly than the exploits of God himself. But
there is no market on who's going to heaven. Only God himself knows who those
people are who are walking and living as they should.

GROSS: But everyone else who I've heard talk about the rapture believes that
it's Christian believers who will go to heaven. Jews, Muslims, nonbelievers
will be left behind to face the tribulations on earth.

Pastor HAGEE: Well, there are Jewish people who believe in Jesus Christ, and
there are Arabs who believe in Jesus Christ, so you don't have to be a gentile
to be a believer.

GROSS: But you do have to believe in Jesus Christ?

Pastor HAGEE: Yes you do, to be a part of the rapture.



Pastor John Hagee has been in the news since his endorsement of Senator John
McCain. Let's get back to Terry's 2006 interview with Hagee, the interview
from which his comment about Hurricane Katrina was excerpted. Hagee is the
founder of Christians United for Israel.

GROSS: You opposed the road map for peace, which required land for peace.
You've said that giving up the West Bank or part of Jerusalem violates the
word of God. How does it?

Pastor HAGEE: Joel 3:2 says do not do it. Those who divide up the land of
Israel will come under the judgment of God. Therefore, don't do it. It's
just that simple.

GROSS: What about Israelis who want a practical solution to living in peace
in the Middle East and who believe that land for peace might be a viable,
perhaps the only really viable solution. Would you say `you can't do that
because of what the Bible says'?

Pastor HAGEE: No. No. I'm not saying I'm forcing my beliefs on you. But
look at it from a basic analysis of common intelligence. You only do
something because it benefits you. You negotiate something because you get
something from the negotiation. Show me one time in Israel's history in the
past 58 years when giving land has brought them peace, and I'll say that they
would have point in logic. But at this point in time, they've given away
Jordan, they've given away the Sinai Peninsula, they have given away Gaza,
they have backed out of Lebanon. It has benefited them not one iota. It
hasn't brought them one day of peace. It has brought them nothing but
additional military confrontation. We've given these land bases away to
become nothing but a base for global terrorism 1,000 yards from the walls of

GROSS: Would you like to convince American Christian groups that Israel
should be a more important part of their agenda?

Pastor HAGEE: I would like to convince American Christians that they have a
Bible mandate to support Israel, to pray for Israel, to speak up for the peace
of Israel, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and to be a blessing to the
Jewish people because that is the biblical mandate that we have. We may have
a political difference with the prime minister, and I have made this very
clear to Prime Minister Olmert. I wrote him a letter shortly after he was
elected and wished him well and told him that he was be in my prayers and my
thoughts, and I wished him every success and this was before the war began.

But I said in that letter very specifically that `I must disagree with your
policy of giving land away to the terrorist organizations,' and he has a
political philosophy that disagrees with the biblical position that we have,
and we'll just agree to disagree. But meantime, we're going forward, we're
doing everything that we can to benefit the people of Israel, to bless the
people of Israel, because they are, in fact, the nation.


BIANCULLI: This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli sitting in for Terry
Gross. Let's get back to Terry's 2006 interview with Pastor John Hagee, the
founder of the group Christians United for Israel, also known by its acronym,
CUFI. In addition to lobbying elected officials, CUFI educates Christians on
what CUFI's Web site describes as the biblical and moral imperatives of
supporting Israel. Pastor Hagee believes that the rebirth of Israel is one of
the signs that the second coming of Jesus is imminent. Hagee has been in the
news since his endorsement of John McCain. Many news publications and TV
shows have quoted Hagee's statement that Hurricane Katrina was God's judgment
against the city of New Orleans for a gay pride parade that was about to be
held. The statement is from Terry's interview with Hagee, which we're
rebroadcasting today. Here's another excerpt from one of Pastor Hagee's
sermons, included in his collection "Jerusalem: Countdown to Crisis."

(Soundbite from "Jerusalem: Countdown to Crisis")

Pastor HAGEE: For those of you who are in Washington, Jerusalem is not up for
negotiation with anyone for any reason at any time in the future, regardless
of what your road map for Peace calls for. There are people in this nation
who still believe the Bible takes precedent over Washington, DC.

(Soundbite of claps, cheers)

(End of soundbite)

GROSS: Pastor Hagee, if you believe that the Bible takes precedence over
Washington, DC, I would assume maybe you'd think the Bible takes precedence
over the Israeli government as well. If you use the Bible as the basis of
policy, is there any room for compromise? And if you use the Bible as the
basis for policy, then shouldn't Muslims be using the Quran as the basis of
their policy? And again, what possible room for compromise is there at that

Pastor HAGEE: There's really no room for compromise between radical Islam

GROSS: I'm not talking about radical Islam, I'm just talking about Islam in

Pastor HAGEE: Well, Islam in general, those who live by the Quran, have a
scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews. Now, I had an Islamic on my
television show last week. His name is Walid Shoebat. He was raised as a
Palestinian terrorist, and at one time was--placed a bomb and was supposed to
walk into a bank. And I said, `Walid, I'm trying to understand the definition
of what is a radical Islamic person because I've read many books, many
magazines and I can't come up with a good definition of what constitutes a
radical Islamic.' And he says these words, and I'll quote them, he said,
`Anyone who truly believes the Quran is willing to kill Christians or Jews.
That's waging jihad.' He said, `Now, those people who are willing to go into
another country and start a war will only be about 15 to 20 percent of Islam.'

There are 1.3 billion people who follow the Islamic faith, so if you're saying
there's only 15 percent that want to come to America or invade Israel to crush
it, you're only talking about 200 million people. That's far more than Hitler
and Japan and Italy and all of the Axis powers in World War II had under arms.
That is a massive number of people. So while we may define radical Islam as a
minority, because there are so many it is still an overpowering military

GROSS: But what you said is that all Muslims have a mandate to kill
Christians and Jews. Do you believe that?

Pastor HAGEE: Well, the Quran teaches that. Yes, it teaches that very

GROSS: So for you, there's absolutely no way of tolerating Islam at all? I'm
not talking about extreme Islam. I'm just talking about the Muslim religion.

Pastor HAGEE: Well, no, there are Islamics who want peace, but they don't
have center stage right now. And whenever Islam, radical Islam does things
that make the headlines, like getting on a bus with a bomb strapped around
them and killing people, the moderates do not speak up because they're afraid
that they will be killed by the radicals. So it gives the appearance that
there are no moderate Islamic people.

I've been to Israel 21 times. I've gone to visit Islamic people who I
consider to be peaceful; they want peace as much as I do. And they're
terrified. The particular businessman that I talked to has sent his five
children to California because he's afraid that he will be burned out of his
business because he's not extreme enough. And he asked me if I would pray
with him, but would I please come into his office, shut the door and put the
blind down before I did so because he's afraid of being seen in any kind of an
association with a Christian. Now, that's not what you call an environment of

GROSS: Are there wars in the Middle East prophesied in the Bible, do you
think, before the rapture and the second coming?

Pastor HAGEE: The Bible makes a very general statement that there will be
wars and rumors of wars, and then, in another instance, it refers to the wars
as being like a woman who is in the process of having a baby. In other words,
where the contractions begin, and once the contractions begin in these series
of wars, just as in having a baby, the contractions become more severe until
the baby is born, so will the contractions--so will these military wars become
more severe before the end of the age. So I believe that we have entered into
this point of time and where there will be one war that follows another, and
each one of them will be more severe than the other until we finally reach the
battle of Armageddon, where there is a massive military entourage fighting for
global supremacy in the Middle East.

GROSS: I just wanted to ask you one question based on one of your sermons
that--and this isn't about Israel. You said after Hurricane Katrina that it
was an act of God, and you said "when you violate God's will long enough, the
judgment of God comes to you. Katrina is an act of God for a society that is
becoming Sodom and Gomorrah reborn." Do you still think that Katrina is
punishment from God for a society that's becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah?

Pastor HAGEE: All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the
heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to
God, and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper
carried the story in our local area--that was not carried nationally--that
there was to be a homosexual parade on the Monday that the Katrina came, and
the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality
never demonstrated before in any of the other gay pride parades. So I believe
that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people
who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you
violate the law of God that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of
judgment, and I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment
of God against the city of New Orleans.

GROSS: So I know you're very opposed to homosexuality, but you think that the
whole city was punished because of things like the forthcoming gay pride

Pastor HAGEE: This is true. All of the city was punished because of the sin
that happened there in that city.

GROSS: You've said that we could get raptured any second. In one of your
sermons you basically said `we could get raptured before this sermon is even
over.' What are you doing to prepare?

Pastor HAGEE: I'm doing what I do every day. I live right, I read the Bible,
I pray, I try to treat other people like I would like to be treated. And I'm
going to leave the rest to the grace of God.

GROSS: And do you still believe it's imminent?

Pastor HAGEE: Oh, I do. I do. I do, I do.

GROSS: And by imminent, any second? Any moment?

Pastor HAGEE: I would not be at all surprised if I saw the Lord before the
day ended today. But if he doesn't come today, 10 years from now I'll be
looking for him with the same intensity.

GROSS: Pastor Hagee, thank you very much for talking with us.

Pastor HAGEE: Thank you, Terry. Thank you for the opportunity.

BIANCULLI: John Hagee is founder of Christians United for Israel and the
pastor of Cornerstone Church, a megachurch in San Antonio. His interview with
Terry was recorded in 2006. Since the part about Katrina has been quoted in
so many places, we thought you'd like to hear the entire interview.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Interview: Musicians Chris Gaffney and Dave Gonzalez of the band
The Hacienda Brothers talk about how they began their music career
and their latest CD "What's Wrong with Right?"

Chris Gaffney, guitarist, singer and accordion player for the Hacienda
Brothers, died last month at age 57 after suffering from liver cancer. Yet he
and group co-founder Dave Gonzalez have a new CD, their fourth, set for
release next month. It's called "Arizona Motel."

Variety described their music as, quote, "fusing elements of Mexican border
music, American soul and Bakersfield honky-tonk country," unquote. The
Hacienda Brothers describe their music as Western soul. Here's a taste from
the most recent Hacienda Brothers CD, "What's Wrong with Right?" which
includes "It Tears Me Up," a song from the album's producer, Dan Penn.

(Soundbite from "It Tears Me Up")

Mr. CHRIS GAFFNEY: (Singing) I see him kiss your lips
Squeeze your fingertips.
And it tears me up
It tears me up
And I feel like I'm dying
That I must be dying

It's a cold, cold world I'm living in
I turn my back and there you are with my best friend
Sometimes we pass on the street, darling
You look at me as if to say `I'm sorry, my sweet'

Baby, by saying sorry ain't good enough
But you look at me with that certain smile

And now, baby, it tears me up...

(End of soundbite)

BIANCULLI: In addition to his recordings as one of the Hacienda Brothers,
Chris Gaffney played with Dave Alvin's Guilty Men and with his own band, Cold
Hard Facts. Terry spoke with Chris Gaffney in 2006, and asked what led him to
the hybrid of soul and country music.

Mr. GAFFNEY: Well, I'd listened to soul music all my life when I grew up.
Basically, I was like a big Otis Redding fan, played in a few bands, Western
bands, played a little while with Webb Pierce and Ferlin Husky. I just played
bass then, never sang. But when it came time to sing, I like country and
soul. If you live long enough, you're going to hear a lot of music, and those
are the two favorite types of music that I like.

GROSS: Before we get to some originals from "What's Wrong with Right?" I want
to play another song that will be familiar to a lot of our listeners. So this
is "Cowboys to Girls" that was a hit for The Intruders in 1968. It was
written by Gamble and Huff, two of the guys behind the Philly sound. So why
did you choose to do this song?

Mr. GAFFNEY: I graduated in 1968, and it was one of those songs. It was a
magic song that year. It was one of those songs that got people on the dance
floor, and if you had your lady with you that was the one you wanted to dance
to. I have been known to go out on the dance floor by myself.

GROSS: Which is particularly hard to do with a slow dance, isn't it?

Mr. GAFFNEY: Yeah, I'm slow dancing with myself.

GROSS: So, let's hear "Cowboys to Girls." This is the Hacienda Brothers from
their latest CD, "What's Wrong with Right?"


(Soundbite from "Cowboys to Girls")

Mr. GAFFNEY: (Singing) I remember
I remember
When I used to see you jumping rope
Jumping rope
Up and down, baby
I remember when you got your first baby coat
But you were young, you didn't understand
Now you're a woman and I'm a man
It's my little trick, you see,
Ain't it fun reminiscing

Our lives are not the same
My whole world has been rearranged
I went from cowboys to girls...

(End of soundbite)

GROSS: That's the Hacienda Brothers, from their CD, "What's Wrong with

Chris, I read that you were a boxer before you became...

Mr. GAFFNEY: Uh-huh.

GROSS: ...a professional musician, and you actually won a Golden Gloves
tournament? Is that right?


GROSS: What year?

Mr. GAFFNEY: You can call me--1967.

GROSS: That's great. So, how did you start boxing?

Mr. GAFFNEY: I started awkwardly. Boxing is very unnatural, but I had a
slick trainer. And then later on I hooked up with Jackie McCoy, who had five
world champions. And so I got to be in a ring with some great people, and
since I wasn't much of what they call a one-punch knockout artist, I just
learned how to work hard and make moves and slip and move and give angles.
I've never been a handsome man, but my nose is not all jacked up, and if you
look at the pictures...

GROSS: Right.

You have a song that you wrote on the new CD, "What's Wrong with Right?",
that's about boxing. It's about a boxer.

Mr. GAFFNEY: Uh-huh.

GROSS: It's about...

Mr. GAFFNEY: I wrote that about the great Barry McGuigan from Belfast. We
have--well, he had a world championship belt. I don't have that. But his dad
used to sing "Danny Boy" before each and every one of his fights. My dad
would come to all my fights, and in the dressing room, he would sing things
like "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime," you know, because my dad was a
partier. Pat McGuigan, Barry's dad, would sing "Danny Boy" before each and
every fight, and he passed away a month before Barry fought Stevie Cruz from
Fort Worth for the title. And I could see it in the way Barry moved in the
ring that he was just not all there. He went the whole 15 rounds, but it was
pathetic. All his strength had been sapped from him, you know, and, of
course, I had to throw in a line about Las Vegas, but that's not what took it
out of him, you know.

GROSS: Mm-hmm. Well, this is a great song, and I'd like to play it. And the
song is called "If Daddy Don't Sing `Danny Boy' Tonight," and it's written and
sung by Chris Gaffney.

(Soundbite from "If Daddy Don't Sing `Danny Boy' Tonight")

Mr. GAFFNEY: (Singing) I was a fighting champion from Belfast, Ireland,
When I kissed my mother goodbye
Daddy'd gone one month before
I looked in her red eyes
She said `I know you're strong and I know you're brave'
And in my heart you're mine.
But I fear for you down in my soul
If Daddy don't sing "Danny Boy" tonight

Las Vegas heat, it sapped my strength
Beneath the ringside lights
And a brown-skinned boy from Fort Worth, Texas,
Is trying to take my life
But my title, it's worth more to me
Than even drawing breath
So in memory of my dear old dad
I'll fight him to the death

Some fight for love...

(End of soundbite)

GROSS: So how did you get onto music from boxing?

Mr. GAFFNEY: I guess I got lucky.

GROSS: Well, you said, you know, you used to play--well, you still play
accordion. But I think you started playing it when you were a boy. What were
you playing--why was accordion your instrument?

Mr. GAFFNEY: Well, this is an odd story, but I'll synopsize it. There are
those people that come in the neighborhood--well, this is in the '50s--that
either sell you accordion lessons or there's a guy with a Shetland pony you
can get your picture taken on. My parents couldn't afford a piano so they
thought that I should go to Joe Vandervox Central School of Music to learn
accordion. And it was a bummer because I'm very much into sports, and looking
out your window at people throwing the football while you're playing "Lady of
Spain" is a bummer. That's how I got into it.

GROSS: So when you started playing in bands, did you see a place for
accordion in it?

Mr. GAFFNEY: No, I hadn't--no, no. I wanted to be in UFO. I wanted to be
in a rock band.

BIANCULLI: Chris Gaffney speaking to Terry Gross in 2006. He died last month
at age 57. His fourth CD with the Hacienda Brothers, "Arizona Motel," will be
released next month.

Coming up, film critic David Edelstein reviews "Reprise." This is FRESH AIR.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Review: David Edelstein on the film "Reprise"

The freewheeling Norwegian film "Reprise" is about two budding novelists whose
pipe dreams of cult stardom crash into the realities of growing up. The
movie, the feature film debut of 34-year-old Joachim Trier, played to rave
reviews at the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals. It opens today in New
York and Los Angeles with a national roll-out to follow. Film critic David
Edelstein has a review.

Mr. DAVID EDELSTEIN: At a screening in New York of Joachim Trier's marvelous
film "Reprise," Trier mentioned that one of his greatest influences is "Annie
Hall." On the surface, "Reprise" is nothing like that Woody Allen comedy, but
there is a connection. When it came out, "Annie Hall" was the perfect
expression of Allen's sensibility: essentially a stand-up routine with
flashbacks and free associations and jokes that exploded the realistic
surface, yet somehow deepened the emotion.

In "Reprise," the two male protagonists are 20-somethings who've written first
novels, and in the opening they go together to a mailbox and drop in their
manuscripts. The film that follows has the spirit of a rambunctious first
novel. It's a weave of memory, fantasy, digression and wry narration. But
the trickiness doesn't distance you, because "Reprise," like "Annie Hall," has
a core of feeling. It's as if you're pinging around the hero's imaginations,
darting in and out of the real world.

After Phillip, played by Anders Danielsen Lie, and Erik, played by Espen
Klouman-Hoiner, mail off their work, the narrator spins a fantasy of what they
expect to happen with quick illustrations. They'll be published to commercial
indifference but cult success. They'll struggle with celebrity. One will run
off to Paris and have a tragic love affair with a gorgeous depressive.
Finally, after a separation, they'll bump into each other at a cafe and
collaborate on a novel that inspires a revolution in Africa.

What actually happens is not quite that. Phillip's book is accepted right
away, but bouts of mania and depression and an affair with a student named
Kari, played by Victoria Winge, sends him to a mental hospital for six months.
Erik's novel is rejected, but after a rewrite he's inducted into a world of
madly pretentious and ambitious authors and editors.

Broadly, "Reprise" is a coming of age story in the mode of Barry Levinson's
"Diner." It tracks Phillip and Erik and a few of their pals as they stagger
into a world that can't be adapted to suit their male adolescent expectations,
especially in regard to women. But the movie's content is inseparable from
its voice. When a man jogs by them in a park, we get a digression on that
stranger's sad relationships. We don't see the face of Erik's girlfriend, who
he takes for granted, until she breaks up with him for being a cliche, and
suddenly becomes real.

"Reprise" skips along, but when it stops, it stops. Because these are
Scandinavians, and it's not in their character to pirouette on the surface.
Erik, who's gangly and earnest, tries to pull his morose friend out of the
depths, but Phillip is out of synch with the real world. When he reunites
with his ex-girlfriend after his hospital stay, he tries to recreate their
first vacation in Paris, dressing and posing her like she was then, as in
Hitchcock's "Vertigo." But the soundtrack almost never matches the images.
The words are behind or ahead. It's a little arty, but like the great scene
in "Annie Hall" where subtitles spell out the awkward subtext, "Reprise"'s
cinematic gimmicks, its very syntax, spring straight from the characters'

"Reprise" features a Salinger-like author whom Erik reveres, who had huge
success but became a recluse. The writer praises Erik's novel, but adds he
didn't like the last part. He says, `Don't try to be poetic.' Trier himself
takes that old novelist's advice. He tackles poetic themes, like chance vs.
determinism, but they're not what keep you watching breathlessly. What's
liberating about this film isn't so much the content, it's the voice of a
young artist both disciplined and unfettered. You'll come out humming the

BIANCULLI: David Edelstein is film critic for New York Magazine.
Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

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