After appearing in supporting roles in more than 50 films, actor Richard Jenkins takes the lead in The Visitor, Tom McCarthy's film about a solitary economics professor whose world opens up when he discovers an apartment he rented in New York is already occupied.
Fans of NBC's Friday Night Lights might want to look into DirecTV; the show, about a small Texas town and its high-school football team, begins its third season exclusively on DirecTV's "The 101," and won't hit broadcast TV until 2009. David Bianculli has a review.
Twitchy undertaker, cubicle fiend, sassy convenience-store clerk — Rainn Wilson has long gravitated toward eccentric characters. But is The Office actor attempting the leap to sex symbol through his titular role in The Rocker? Given the hair-metal coif and the still-goofy humor, probably not.
In the Japanese anime series Death Note, high school student Light Yagami is in possession of a super-powered notebook that allows him to kill anyone, simply by writing down the victim's name. Critic-at-large John Powers offers a commentary.
David Simon, creator and executive producer of HBO's series The Wire, joins Fresh Air to talk about his career and the genesis of the show. Simon writes many of the episodes — and some story lines come from his former job as a police reporter for the Baltimore Sun.
A bomb explodes in the campus office next door, and Lee, a math professor, becomes the primary suspect. Is he being targeted for revenge by someone in his past? Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews A Person of Interest, a new novel by Susan Choi.
Frank Burd and Ed Klein are Philadelphia public school teachers who were attacked on the job. Both Burd, a math teacher, and Klein, a music teacher, talk about the difficulties of teaching in inner city schools.
Comic actress Amy Sedaris offers a prequel to her Comedy Central series in the film version of Strangers with Candy. Amy, sibling of author David Sedaris, co-wrote the script with Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello, friends from her days in the Second City improvisational theater troupe in the late 1980s.
Michael Farris is the co-founder of Home School Legal Defense Association and the president of Patrick Henry College, the first university in America for Christian home-schooled children. The school, located in Purcellville, Va., grooms its students for leadership.
When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, it also disrupted the education of thousands of students. While many schools remain closed, Benjamin Franklin High School is one of the few operating charter schools in New Orleans. We talk with two teachers.
Evan Hunter died Wednesday at the age of 78. Under the pen name Ed McBain, he was best known for his finely detailed "87th Precinct" novels. Mystery fans call McBain's books "procedurals" for their close attention to police procedures.
In 2002, a federal judge ruled that the "under God" portion of the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional because it violated the separation of church and state. An uproar ensued. But as Richard J. Ellis, author of To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegiance, points out in his book, those words were not included in the pledge when it was written in 1892 — they were added in 1950. Ellis is the Mark O. Hatfield Professor of Politics at Willamette University in Salem, Ore.