Fishko Files Since 1999, Sara Fishko has been producing personal essays on music, art, culture and media. Fishkos pieces provide an insightful and accessible look into culture by mixing colorful sound, intimate interviews and thoughtful commentary. The comprehensive archive examines everything from obscure figures in film history to the masterpieces of the greatest classical composers.
Fishko Files

Fishko Files

From WNYC Radio

Since 1999, Sara Fishko has been producing personal essays on music, art, culture and media. Fishkos pieces provide an insightful and accessible look into culture by mixing colorful sound, intimate interviews and thoughtful commentary. The comprehensive archive examines everything from obscure figures in film history to the masterpieces of the greatest classical composers.More from Fishko Files »

Most Recent Episodes

Miklós Rózsa

It's 65 years since film composer Miklós Rózsa composed his violin concerto, written in response to Jascha Heifetz's request. In honor of Rózsa's command of both movie music and classical composition, here's this archival Fishko Files. (Produced in 2000)

Vorkapich

This week, our thoughts turn to a behind-the-scenes Serbian cinematic poet whose contribution to film fit in between the major scenes of Golden Age Hollywood movies. Sara Fishko, with commentary by the late film critic Andrew Sarris, considers the master of the old-school "montage," Slavko Vorkapich.

Practice

It's nearly 20 years since the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition created a "spin-off": The Van Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition, a formidable contest for certified non-professionals. Sara Fishko went to visit the Cliburn in Fort Worth, Texas, and this Fishko Files on practice is the result. (Produced in 2000) The next edition of the Cliburn Amateur competition will be held in 2020.

Rachmaninoff

The Russian-born composer Sergei Rachmaninoff died in the spring of 1943, 75 years ago, in Beverly Hills. In this archival edition of Fishko Files, three concert pianists celebrate the beauty and the alarming technical difficulty of this Russian musician's compositions - as well as his own spellbinding piano playing. With Ruth Laredo, Earl Wild, and Misha Dichter. (Produced in 2001)

Strange Fruit

At the club Café Society in 1939, Billie Holiday would regularly send a hushed chill through the crowd with her celebrated rendition of a controversial song about lynching. In honor of the recent opening of the Legacy Museum in Alabama, highlighting slavery and lynching: this archival Fishko Files - with Lena Horne and others on the historic song "Strange Fruit." (Produced in 2000)

Remembering Film Editor Anne V. Coates

The acclaimed film editor Anne V. Coates died yesterday at the age of 92. Born in England in 1925, Coates began training as an editor in the late 1940s and went on to work in Hollywood with numerous renowned directors including David Lean, Steven Soderbergh, and Sidney Lumet. In addition to her Oscar win for "Lawrence in Arabia" (1962), Coates received scores of BAFTA and Oscar nominations for her work on films like Erin Brockovich, The Elephant Man, Becket, Murder on the Orient Express, In the Line of Fire, and Out of Sight. In 2016, she was awarded the Academy's Governor's Award, as well as the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's award for career achievement. She is survived by her three children, all of whom also work in the film industry: Anthony Hickox, Emma E. Hickox, and James D.R. Hickox.

Andy Warhol in New York

This weekend, the Museum of Modern Art celebrates a new book on the incomparable Andy Warhol and his film Chelsea Girls with 10 days of related screenings. In this archival Fishko Files, WNYC's Sara Fishko leads us through another Warhol book - one that traces Andy's ritual of daily walks through Manhattan. (Produced in 2011) The Chelsea Girls Exploded begins at MoMA Friday, May 4 and continues through Sunday, May 13. Andy Warhol's New York City: Four Walks, Uptown to Downtown is available on Amazon.

Arnold Schoenberg

In 1918, Arnold Schoenberg founded the Society for Private Musical Performances with the aim of making new music, excellently played, available to the then-modern audience. In this archival Fishko Files, composer and author Allen Shawn reflects on his own efforts, in his book Arnold Schoenberg's Journey, to demystify the composer himself for our own era. (Produced in 2002)

Improvisation

The documentary Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes has its premiere Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival. In the course of talking about the history of the label, musicians in the film muse more generally about the art of jazz and the nature of improvisation. In this archival Fishko Files, Oscar Peterson, Bill Charlap, and others try to describe the indescribable. (Produced in 2003)

Kenneth Fearing

The movie The Big Clock was released in April of 1948, adapted from a book by the radical, Depression-era poet Kenneth Fearing. As WNYC's Sara Fishko tells us, Fearing's work zeroed in on advertising and media long before it was the thing to do. In honor of poetry month: this edition of Fishko Files. Jeanine Basinger is the Chair of Film Studies at Wesleyan University and the author of numerous books and articles on film. Geoffrey O'Brien is the author of Hardboiled America: Lurid Paperbacks and the Masters of Noir, among many others. Robert Polito is a professor of writing at the New School and edited the Library of America's Kenneth Fearing: Selected Poems. Fearing's book "The Big Clock" (1946) and the film The Big Clock (1948) are available on Amazon.

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