Critic-at-large Laurie Stone reviews this year's batch of theater festivals in western Massachusetts. She was especially taken by a production of Bertolt Brecht's Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, which recasts Nazis as Chicago gangsters.
Film critic Stephen Schiff says the new movie, with its darker tone, still retains the satirical edge of the Cohens's earlier work. Set in the prohibition era, Miller's Crossing features a cerebral plot and performances of a lifetime.
Film critic Stephen Schiff reviews Sylvester Stallone's new movie "Oscar," a 1930s gangster comedy that feels like a 1960s French stage play. Schiff says it lacks the over-the-top approach needed to make farce succeed.
Martin ("Mar-teen") Sánchez-Jankowski, a professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, lived among ethnically diverse street gangs in New York, Boston and Los Angeles from 1978 to 1988. His observations are contained in his new book, Islands in the Street: Gangs in American Urban Society (Univ. of Cal. Press).
First-time film director John Singleton. His new film is "Boyz N the Hood," which is set in South Central L.A. where Singleton grew up. A number of theatres across the country have cancelled the showing of "Boyz N the Hood," because of violent outbreaks at or near theatres where its been shown. Over 30 people have been injured and one killed. But the film itself is plea to stop the violence and killing.
Counselor Alvin Cater founded the Al Carter Foundation at Cabrini Green, a housing project in Chicago of 6000 people. The foundation is a hands-on intervention program that reaches youth by going into the streets, and makes referrals to the 13 human service agencies within Cabini Green. He tells Terry about the recent truce brokered among gangs at the project, and the effect recent gun violence has had on the community.
Guest host Marty Moss-Coane talks with three young drug dealers from Camden, New Jersey. They're members of the 6th and Ferry gang, and go by aliases: Eddie Bauer, 16 years old, Kevin Madison, 20, and Sampson Riley, 18.
Poet, journalist, and critic Luis Rodriguez's new book, "Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A." is about his participation in gang life in the 1960s in East L.A., which began at age 12. By the time he was 18, 25 of his friends had been killed. After a stint in the county jail, Rodriguez turned his back on that lifestyle. He became involved in the Chicano movement, and was encouraged to write. "Always Running," is in part an attempt to save his 16-year-old son Ramiro from gang life. Ramiro joins the conversation later in the segment.
Officer Jim Galipeau works with gangs in Los Angeles, and is currently trying to raise money for a program for older gang members. He'll talk with Terry about the truce between gangs that began last spring, just before the riots; the differences between Hispanic and Black gangs, and inner city and suburban gangs; the impact of the riots, and the possibility of riots in the future. Galipeau has been a probation officer for 27 years. He's a Vietnam vet, and when he was a teenager, he was a street fighter and drug addict.
Allen and Albert Hughes, 21-year old twins, and directors of "Menace II Society." Their mother steered them away from drugs and gangs when they were twelve by buying them video equipment. After making several music videos and short films, they've made their first feature. It's firmly in the gangster genre, an unflinching film about young men growing up in Watts. The film's 23-year old screenwriter Tyger Williams explains: "For every 'good' kid that makes it out of the ghetto, there are five more who don't.
Biographer Laurence Bergreen has just written a biography of Al Capone, called "Capone: The Man and the Era," which challenges many of America's popular beliefs about the famous gangster. Bergreen reveals the complexity of Capone's life by focusing on the personal details of his life -- his marriage, his role as a loving father, and generous giver. Bergreen has also written biographies of James Agee and Irving Berlin.