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Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
52:30

Steven Spielberg was a fearful kid who found solace in storytelling

Steven Spielberg's new film "The Fabelmans" is a semi-autobiographical film based on his childhood and teenage years, and tells the story, in a fictionalized way, of how he fell in love with movies, and became a filmmaker.

Interview
Exclusively on
Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
08:42

See how a young Steven Spielberg fell in love with film in 'The Fabelmans'

Our film critic Justin Chang has this review of "The Fabelmans," which begins its theatrical run on Friday.

Review
40:39

Avant-Garde New York Poet David Lehman

Lehman is the series editor of "The Best American Poetry." His new book "The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets" (Doubleday) is a cultural history about a group of poets in the 1950s who he says helped to reinvent literature, like John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler. They took their cue from the Abstract Expressionistic painters of the time who were also in New York.

Interview
04:02

A Congenial Remembrance.

Book critic John Leonard reviews "New York in the Fifties," a new memoir by Dan Wakefield. (Published by Houghton Mifflin)

Review
04:17

A Novel Thirty Years in the Making.

Book critic John Leonard reviews "The Runaway Soul," the long-awaited first novel from writer Harold Brodkey. (It's published by Farrar Strauss).

Review
18:51

John Waters Discusses His New Musical Film.

Filmmaker John Waters. His latest film is "Cry Baby," a juvenile delinquent love story set in the 1950's, which brings together such performers as Patty Hearst, Johnny Depp (of Fox's tv show "21 Jump Street"), Ricki Lake, David Nelson, and Polly Bergen. Waters is known for his independent, off-beat films, such as "Pink Flamingos," "Female Trouble," and "Polyester." In 1988 Waters entered the mainstream with his popular film, "Hairspray."

Interview
06:54

Early Rock and Roll With a Message.

Rock historian Ed Ward takes on the notion that old-time rock and roll had no message or meaning, that it was simply fun. This is the message that the purveyors of collections of 50s and 60s hits are conveying in ads that recall the "fun" of the era without also evoking the harsher realities.

Commentary
03:44

Nostalgic Yearnings for Bygone Times

Guest critic David Marc looks at the growing popularity of 1950s TV sitcoms. He thinks the trend reveals a troubling desire for an idealized suburban culture where whiteness and paternal authority ruled.

Commentary
54:22

Edmund White and "A Boy's Own Story."

Novelist Edmund White's newest work, "A Boy's Own Story," follows a young gay man growing up in the midwest in the 1950s. The novel has some autobiographical elements. White joins the show to discuss his life, growing up as a homosexual person, and his novel.

Interview

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