Baumbach's new film 'The Meyerowitz Stories' mixes comedy with deep emotional pain. It revolves around three adult siblings whose father is a self-absorbed sculptor. Baumbach's previous films include 'Frances Ha' and 'The Squid and the Whale.' Also, film historian Noah Isenberg talks about the making of 'Casablanca,' and why it endures 75 years later.
'New Yorker' writer Dexter Filkins says Sec. of State Rex Tillerson is a diplomat in an administration that doesn't value diplomacy: "Rex is a sober, steady guy, and the president is anything but that." Filkins also talks about the possibility of war with North Korea, and the consequences of having an understaffed State Department. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead shares an appreciation of Thelonious Monk, on his 100th birthday.
In the early 1930s Stalin orchestrated a famine to suppress the nationalist movement in Ukraine, and strengthen Russian influence. Millions of people died. Anne Applebaum says, "so much of why the Ukrainian famine was possible was because of the way in which the Soviet Union used disinformation, propaganda, and what we would now call hate speech to encourage people to do terrible things." Her book is 'The Red Famine.' Applebaum also discusses Russian interference in recent elections. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the short story collection 'The Obama Inheritance.'
Jonathan Eig talks about his new biography of Muhammad Ali, which draws on hundreds of interviews and previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department files. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says 50 years after the 'Summer of Love,' we're still using language popularized by hippies. Roz Chast talks about her new book of cartoons, 'Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York.'
Journalist Mike Spies says the NRA's push to allow guns on college campuses, in daycare centers and in bars is part of an effort to "normalize gun carrying as much as possible in public life." Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the album 'Trip' from singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko. Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Blade Runner 2049' starring Ryan Gosling.
Jonathan Eig's new biography of Ali draws on hundreds of interviews and previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department files. "I don't think we do Ali any good by treating him as a saint," Eig says. "He was a human being, and he was deeply flawed, but ... he had the spirit of a rebel." Also linguist Geoff Nunberg says 50 years after the 'Summer of Love,' we're still using language popularized by hippies.