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

American Icons: The Wizard of Oz

This is America's dreamland. It's been 78 years since movie audiences first watched "The Wizard of Oz." Meet the original man behind the curtain, L. Frank Baum, who had all the vision of Walt Disney, but none of the business sense. Discover how "Oz" captivated the imaginations of Russians living under Soviet rule. Hear how playwright Neil LaBute, filmmaker Nora Ephron, novelist Salman Rushdie, and musician Bobby McFerrin all found magic, meaning, and inspiration in "Oz." (Originally aired: November 19, 2005)

Marilyn Monroe's Long-Lost Skirt Scene

Marilyn Monroe's most iconic moment — standing over a subway grate as her white dress billows up — was originally filmed in Manhattan in 1954. But a crowd of onlookers forced the producers to reshoot the scene in a Hollywood sound stage, and footage from that night was thought to be lost forever. Until now. Bonnie Siegler, a graphic designer in New York, tells Kurt how she discovered the film — hidden in her grandfather's house for over 60 years — that captured the moment that became synonymous with Marilyn Monroe. Watch a clip of the lost footage at The New York Times

POTUS as Tastemaker

Our inauguration special: A review of Barack Obama's arts legacy, how fashion goes from inside the beltway to the runway, and "Game Change" co-author John Heilemann talks about the cultural tastes of Donald Trump.

How to Remember

This week, Kurt talks to Adam Driver, an architect tries to build a museum in Iraq, how Sly and the Family Stone created a pop music masterpiece, and Taylor Mac does a decade-by-decade revue of American pop.

Kurt's Favorite Conversation of 2016

Jack Viertel is a human encyclopedia of musical theater. He's the producer of hit Broadway shows like "Hairspray," "Kinky Boots," and "The Producers." And he's also the artistic director of Encores, a New York series that resurrects vintage musicals. Viertel's book "The Secret Life of the American Musical—How Broadway Shows are Built," reveals the essential elements of a musical. This spring, he joined Kurt in the studio to give us all a master class in the genre. (Originally aired April 21, 2016) More of Kurt's favorite conversations of 2016 can be found here.

Designing Life

From "Semi-Living Dolls" to glowing florescent illustrations, artists are using the tools of synthetic biology to grow their own materials and create works of art that are, essentially, alive. It's one thing to wag our fingers at big scientific institutions for "playing God," but isn't it uncool to tell artists they shouldn't do something, even if it creeps us out? (Originally aired May 28, 2015)

The Eerie Familiarity of "Man in the High Castle"

The Man in the High Castle, the Emmy Award winning TV series, imagines a world in which the Nazi's won WWII. Set in the 1960s, the show blends actual pop cultural imagery and artifacts with fictional interpretations of an alternative ending to the war. When its first season debuted, the show's ad campaign in New York City subways hit a little too close to home. And the show's second season, which dropped last week, is resonating in a similar way, although this time not so intentionally, just as white nationalists gain exposure in the lead-up to the Trump presidency. "But if it would be hyperbole to treat the series like a documentary, it would be denial to say it plays no differently now than it did before," says James Poniewozik the chief television critic for The New York Times. He joined Kurt in the studio to talk about his most recent article on the series which points to the parallels between fiction and reality.

Get a Clue

This week, Kurt creates a crossword with a New York Times puzzle-maker, a neuroscientist explains why so many people share the same false memory, and a theater company brings August Wilson back to his boyhood home.

Human Intelligence: A Holiday Tale

Kurt Andersen's version of a Christmas story doesn't have your typical talking snowman or mistletoe. Instead, this holiday tale involves extraterrestrial surveillance and melting polar ice caps. "Human Intelligence," was produced for radio by Jonathan Mitchell, and stars Melanie Hoopes, John Ottavino, and Ed Herbstman. The unabridged version was published in "Stories: All New Tales," an anthology edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio.

Close Encounters

This week, a stereophonic odyssey into the Amazon, the otherworldly nature of octopuses, and why a theater critic thinks Shakespeare is much ado about nothing.

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