Studio 360

Each week on PRI's Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, guests and the host entertain listeners while examining, commenting on, and providing insight into cultural ideas and trends. American newspapers and general-interest magazines today devote less and less of their coverage to the most ambitious and important new literature, filmmaking, music, dance, theater, visual art, and design. If it isn't a current mass-media phenomenon — a Hollywood movie, a hot TV show, a big videogame, or pop music release — it probably isn't covered at all on the airwaves. This is the context in which PRI's Studio 360 rises to fill that gap left by mainstream media. No other U.S. broadcast program covers the whole culture — "high" as well as "low," classical and vernacular, the challenging and the pop — in such fresh, smart, deep, incisive, idea-driven fashion.

Sunday 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM on WUSF 89.7

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Kurt Andersen

Kurt Andersen is a novelist. His latest book, Heyday, has been called "delightful, intelligent," and "a true novel of ideas" by Publishers Weekly, and "a terrific," "utterly engaging novel" by Library Journal. His earlier novel, Turn of the Century, was a New York Times Notable Book that Times reviewers called "wickedly satirical," "outrageously funny" and "the most un-clichéd novel imaginable," and that The Wall Street Journal called a "smart, funny and excruciatingly deft portrait of our age." 

He is also author of The Real Thing, a book of humorous essays. He has written and produced prime-time network television programs and pilots for NBC and ABC, and co-authored Loose Lips,... Read More...

From Studio 360

  • Handmaid in America
    <p>This week, why Margaret Atwood dedicated “The Handmaid’s Tale” to a woman known as Half-Hanged Mary. Plus, the Kinks’ Ray Davies shares his playlist of his favorite American songs, and the story behind that album with George Carlin’s classic bit, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.”</p>
  • Fan Overboard!
    <p>This week, Studio 360 gets obsessed about fandom: a look inside the world of black cosplayers at ComicCon, Kurt visits a Japanese pop culture paradise, and an atheist proselytizes “Jesus Christ Superstar.”</p>
  • How Sweet the Sound
    <p>How a church hymn became an American anthem: the surprising and complicated story behind “Amazing Grace.” Plus, a conversation with novelist Yewande Omotoso about her book, “The Woman Next Door.” And Aimee Mann reveals her biggest influences and performs live in the studio. </p>
  • American Icons: Superman
    <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt="Superman Feature Card_Big"></div> <p>Disguised as a mild-mannered reporter, Kurt Andersen explores the history of Superman with cartoonists Jules Feiffer and Art Spiegelman, director Bryan Singer, novelists Michael Chabon and Howard Jacobson, and the 1978 Lois Lane, Margot Kidder. Is this strange visitor from the planet Krypton derivative of Jewish mythology? Can one superhero wield ultimate power for a moral good? And what’s up with the blue tights?</p> <p><em>(Originally aired July 11, 2008)</em></p>
  • “Shaft” and Present
    <p>This week, the story of “Shaft.” Plus, learn the lingo in a TV writers’ room with “Veep” showrunner David Mandel. And Kurt talks to author Osama Alomar about his collection of very short fiction, “The Teeth of the Comb &amp; Other Stories.”</p>
  • Pet Projects
    <p>This week, Kurt heads to a dog park and learns how to take the perfect pet portrait. Plus, the story behind “Share A Smile Becky,” Mattel’s attempt at creating a Barbie doll that used a wheelchair. And Carter Burwell, who scored the music for films by directors including Sidney Lumet and the Coen Brothers, defines the lexicon of film composers. </p>
  • Magnetic Feels
    <p>This week, Kurt talks to comedians Kate Berlant and John Early about their absurdist new series, “555.” Plus, how filmmaker Garry Fraser went from being a heroin addict in Scotland to working on “T2: Trainspotting” — a movie about heroin addicts in Scotland. And Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields plays live in our studio.</p>
  • American Icons: Monticello
    <p><strong>The home of America’s aspirations and deepest contradictions.</strong></p> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt="Monticello feature new"></div> <p><span>Monticello is home renovation run amok. Thomas Jefferson was as passionate about building his house as he was about founding the United States; he designed Monticello to the fraction of an inch and never stopped changing it. Yet Monticello was also a plantation worked by slaves, some of them Jefferson’s own children. Today his white and black descendants still battle over who can be buried at Monticello. It was trashed by college students, saved by a Jewish family, and celebrated by FDR. With <a href="" target="_blank">Stephen Colbert,</a> filmmaker James Ivory, and artist <a href="" target="_blank">Maira Kalman.</a></span></p> <p><em><span>(Originally aired October 22, 2010)</span></em></p> <p><strong>Monticello Update: </strong></p> <p>Monticello <a href="">plans to re-create or restore spaces</a> where Thomas Jefferson's slaves worked and lived. This $35 million project includes the room where Sally Hemings likely lived, which was turned into a restroom in a 1940s renovation.</p> <p><span>American Icons: Monticello was produced by </span><a href="" target="_blank"><span>Amanda Aronczyk</span></a><span>. The Jefferson family graveyard story was produced by </span><a href="" target="_blank"><span>Ann Heppermann</span></a><span>. The actor </span><a href="" target="_blank"><span>David Strathairn</span></a><span> </span><span>was the voice of Thomas Jefferson. </span><a href="" target="_blank"><span>David Krasnow</span></a><span> </span><span>edited the show.<br></span><span>Music was provided by<span> </span></span><a href="" target="_blank"><span>David Prior</span></a><span>, with John Matthias for Small Design Firm, and can also be heard at Monticello's interactive exhibition,<span> </span><em><span>Boisterous Sea of Liberty</span></em>.</span></p>
  • Getting into “Get Out”
    <p>This week, Kurt talks to writer/director Jordan Peele about his new horror film “Get Out.” Plus, how Leonard Bernstein brought classical music from the concert hall to the living room. And Afropop band Sinkane performs live in our studio.</p>
  • Political Art
    <p>This week, a look at artists — from the left to the right — getting political.  Conservative painter Jon McNaughton talks about creating art in the era of the Trump administration. Plus, the Black Panthers' brief foray into the music business. And Philip Roth talks to Kurt about his eerily timely novel "The Plot Against America." </p>

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