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Fresh Air

Weekdays 12:00 pm

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics.

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Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Mike Mills Grapples With His Mother's 'Tricky Ghost' In '20th Century Women': The director's latest film is inspired by his desire to understand his mother. Set in Santa Barbara in 1979, it stars Annette Bening as a woman struggling to raise her teenage son on her own.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TV critic David Bianculli says that 2016 wasn't a great year for broadcast TV — but that's OK, because audiences had a lot of streaming, cable and Web options to make up for it.

"The things we're getting out of Amazon and out of Netflix and out of Hulu, it's increasing our options and they're trying some pretty good stuff," Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Film critic David Edelstein estimates that he saw 400 films this year — more than enough to fill "a couple of 10-best lists," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. His favorite? The fantasy musical, La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

"Everything — the movement of the camera, the colors of the set and the costumes, the rhythms of the actors — harmonizes with everything else," Edelstein says. "It's a beautiful combination of an homage to the past and something entirely new."

It's been an unusual political year, to put it mildly, and you could write most of its story just by tracking its effects on the lexicon — the new words and new uses of old ones, some useful, some that we could do without.

I'll come to some of these in a minute. But for my word of the year, I'll go with "normal" and its sister "normalize." That may seem perverse for a year like this one, but when people are talking a lot about normal it's a sign that we're living in extraordinary times.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Ever since he was a kid, director Mike Mills has yearned to understand his mother. Mills, who was born in the '60s, describes his mother as a "secretive soul" who was different from all the other moms he knew.

"She was 40 when she had me, [and] she really did sort of walk and talk like Amelia Earhart and Humphrey Bogart put together," Mills tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I was always trying to figure out what her deal was."

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

America's attitude toward pain has shifted radically over the past century. Psychiatrist Anna Lembke says that 100 years ago, the medical community thought that pain made patients stronger.

"Doctors believed that pain was salutary," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "meaning that it had some physiologic benefit to the individual, and certainly some spiritual benefit."

It's the great pleasure of my work that I get to spend my days watching and reading — and it's the great frustration that every year I'm haunted by all the terrific things I haven't talked about on Fresh Air. I call this collection my "ghost file," and as 2016 comes to an end, I want to un-haunt myself by sharing six of my favorite ghosts. They range from the cosmic to the comic.


Dekalog

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Growing up, Billy Eichner was fascinated with the entertainment industry. He poured over Variety magazine and watched all the award shows with his parents, often making lists beforehand of who would be nominated and who would win.

"Entertainment, Hollywood, award shows — these are the things that really captivated me," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Back when I was drinking, I loved the holiday season, because it was a time of year when getting blasted was perfectly acceptable.

Eat, drink and be merry? Hey, I'm just following the rules here.

Between open bars, champagne toasts and office parties, the month of December was one long pub crawl for me, and if I drank too much — and I always drank too much — I could absolve myself on Jan. 1, when I swore to a bunch of resolutions I would inevitably break about two weeks later.

I've made so many false promises on New Year's Day, you'd think I was running for office.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

'New York Times' Executive Editor On The New Terrain Of Covering Trump: Dean Baquet talks about covering tweets as news, his decision to use the word "lie" in a headline about Trump and why he's not worried about libel suits from the new president.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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