Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

From PRI

The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI and WNYC, is public radio's smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.More from Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen »

Most Recent Episodes

Tilda Swinton, JFK the Opera, & Yeasayer Plays Live

In a career full of surprises, the actor Tilda Swinton has become an icon — but she's never thought of what she does as acting. Also, we hear from the team behind a new opera about John F. Kennedy's last night. And the band Yeasayer brings its experimental brand of indie pop to our live studio.

A Master Class in Musical Theater & The Origin of the World's Sexiest Song

This week, Kurt Andersen gets a master class in musical theater from veteran Broadway producer Jack Viertel. Also, we hear from the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Anna Quindlen about how she managed a midlife career switch with aplomb. And the surprising story behind one of the greatest R&B songs ever.

All Shakespeare All the Time

On the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, we look at the ways his work continues to change and adapt to the culture we live in. In the 19th century, Shakespeare's work got caught up in minstrel shows — and African-American actors are still struggling to claim the Bard as their own. Also, we find out how a father-son team is changing the way Shakespeare sounds by bringing back his original pronunciation. And we go inside the pioneering immersive theater experience "Sleep No More," which might be the longest-running Shakespeare adaptation ever.

Enya, Enterprise, & A.O. Scott

Enya started out in her family's traditional Irish band, Clannad, before she discovered the layered vocal sound that launched her pop career. Plus, the Starship Enterprise seeks out new life and new civilizations in Washington, DC. And movie critic A.O. Scott sticks up for all the haters out there.

Artists Talking to Artists

In this week's special episode of Studio 360, we'll hear artists in conversation with other artists. The actor, author, and singer Molly Ringwald talks with pioneering photographer Laurie Simmons. Teen style blogger turned magazine editor turned Broadway star Tavi Gevinson talks with the actor Ben Whishaw, her co-star in "The Crucible." And the actor and memoirist Alan Cumming sits down with his friend, the pop legend Cyndi Lauper.

Molly Ringwald Hosts: with Lauren Groff, Kiki and Herb

Guest host Molly Ringwald sits in for Kurt Andersen this week. She interviews author Lauren Groff, whose novel "Fates and Furies" tells the story of a marriage twice — once from each spouse's perspective. And boy, their versions do diverge. Then, we hear a live performance from the cabaret legends Kiki and Herb, the characters brought to life by Justin Vivian Bond and Kenny Mellman. They've been on hiatus for almost a decade, but they haven't mellowed a bit.

Finishing School

As Kurt Andersen prepares to finish his latest book, we ask: What are the challenges with finishing a creative project? How do you know when it's really done? Artists Maria Schneider, Tony Kushner and Alejandra Deheza tell us about their experiences trying to finish work. We'll also hear from psychologist Adam Grant about the art of procrastination and neuroscientist Heather Berlin about what our brains are doing when we're being creative.

Do Animals Have Culture?

The old ad said "StarKist don't want tunas with good taste — StarKist wants tuna that taste good." But some animals may have good taste after all. Scientists are recognizing cultural traits and behaviors in a growing number of species. We'll hear from an ornithologist whose radical new definition of art includes the activities of birds and flowers. In the 1970s, whale songs showed up on the pop charts. But how do whales pick their own song of the summer? And we'll visit a very exclusive concert: wolves only. (Originally aired December 11, 2014)

Jeff Daniels, David Foster Wallace, & Shilpa Ray Plays Live

No one plays a lovable jerk like Jeff Daniels — but it's hard to love the jerk that he is in his latest role, as a pedophile in Broadway's "Blackbird." Plus, we hear from David Foster Wallace's biographer D.T. Max about why "Infinite Jest" is still so important, 20 years after it first came out. And the punk-rock songwriter Shilpa Ray draws on her classical Indian music training in a live performance.

360 Directors' Cut: Ridley Scott

The director Ridley Scott is one of a very rare species: a director of influential films that have also been commercially successful. His movies have covered a huge range of settings and genres, from "Thelma and Louise" to "Gladiator" and "Black Hawk Down." But some of his most beloved movies are science fiction. His breakout film, "Alien," is still scary now, nearly four decades after it came out. Scott went on to make another science fiction classic, "Blade Runner," in 1982. But after that, he mostly stayed away from sci-fi — until "Prometheus," a prequel to "Alien," came out in 2012. Now Scott is embracing the genre again. In his latest movie, "The Martian," Matt Damon plays a marooned astronaut who has to figure out how to survive on Mars. Scott has two more "Alien" prequels in the works, along with a "Blade Runner" sequel. In a special podcast-only edition of Studio 360, Kurt sat down with Scott to talk about sticking to his directorial vision — and how seeing Stanley Kubrick's "2001" in an empty movie theater convinced him to change careers.

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