Del Toro's new movie, Nightmare Alley, is a film noir starring Bradley Cooper as a murderer who joins a traveling carnival, first as part of the crew, and then as part of a clairvoyant act. The Oscar-winning Mexican director talks about researching psychics, his feelings about mortality, and why he relates to Frankenstein's monster. Del Toro also directed The Shape of Water, the Hellboy movies and Pan's Labyrinth.
The book Geek Love is about carnival performers who intentionally take drugs during pregnancy in order to give birth to deformed children. Author Katherine Dunn says she used deformity as a metaphor to make a larger point about body image and disability.
Part II of the Fresh Air interview with Penelope Spheeris. Terry Gross asks the filmmaker about growing up in a carnival, the prophetic power of rock music, and making movies about youth culture. Spheeris's new documentary is The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.
Actor Meinhardt Raabe tells Terry Gross about his experiences as a little person, how he earned a living in carnivals and circuses, and what it was like to portray a Munchkin in the film The Wizard of Oz.