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W. Eugene Smith was a famous photo essayist for LIFE magazine and a suburban family man when he left it all in 1957 and moved to a rundown loft in Manhattan. The building had already become a popular hangout and jamming space for jazz players both prominent and obscure, and Smith spent the next decade documenting the music, conversations and personalities that passed through. This program, produced and hosted by Sara Fishko and originally heard as a 10-part radio series in 2009, pulls from t ...
 
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It's 125 years since the birth of Dziga Vertov, the Russian documentary film and newsreel director. That's a good excuse, says WNYC's Sara Fishko, to look at his remarkable and pioneering 1920s film Man with a Movie Camera, the subject of this Fishko Files. (Produced in 2011) Man with a Movie Camera is streaming on Kanopy and Vudu and available to …
 
In the last many months, television has been our WFH window into a disastrous pandemic as well as a deeply divisive presidency. In this special edition for On the Media, WNYC's Sara Fishko takes us back to November 22nd, 1963 - the Friday before Thanksgiving, when the medium was feeling its way, for the first time, through a devastating tragedy. (P…
 
In the run-up to the election, we’re all listening to speeches - and many of them are grappling with the very idea of America: what do we want America to be? This episode of Fishko Files goes back to the World War II era, when, as WNYC's Sara Fishko tells us, Hollywood movies were asking the same question - or rather, answering it. Jeanine Basinger…
 
After nearly 70 years on newsstands, Playboy Magazine has ended its print run. In this archival episode produced for The United States of Anxiety, WNYC's Sara Fishko tells the story of Hugh Hefner, whose notion of the "Indoor Man" made Playboy a midcentury staple. The United States of Anxiety is coming to radio this Sunday, August 23 at 6pm, airing…
 
The artist David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) was recently honored with a quilt created by friends and admirers in his memory. Wojnarowicz, who made art that captured his own decline during the AIDS crisis, was the subject of a Whitney Museum show that inspired this Fishko Files. (Produced in 2018). Cynthia Carr's book Fire in the Belly: The Life and Ti…
 
The death of actress and star Olivia de Havilland a few days ago has stirred many memories and considerations. WNYC's Sara Fishko chimes in for this episode of Fishko Files. William Wyler's The Heiress (1949) airs on TCM next month and is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from Criterion and Amazon. From the New Yorker: a consideration of the "last lione…
 
A cultural movement of Black writers and artists was flourishing a century ago in uptown New York, and it’s being remembered now with various virtual events. As WNYC’s Sara Fishko tells us in this episode of Fishko Files, the Harlem Renaissance movement was rich with ideas. Emily Bernard is a professor at the University of Vermont and the editor of…
 
Composer and arranger Johnny Mandel died last Monday at the age of 94. In the sixty years prior, he gave us standards such as “Emily” and “The Shadow of Your Smile,” and ushered in an era of jazz-inflected movies with his 1958 score for the film “I Want to Live.” WNYC’s Sara Fishko spoke to him about that period in this archival Fishko Files, produ…
 
Some of the major struggles and victories of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s coincided with a most active period for jazz music. WNYC's Sara Fishko looks at a few cases where the movement and the music came together, in this edition of Fishko Files. Featuring music by Max Roach, Duke Ellington, and Dave Brubeck, among others. Max Roach's We …
 
The Depression-era novel Miss Lonelyhearts, by Nathanael West, has been called "the purest expression of despair that American literature has produced, in any era." As WNYC's Sara Fishko tells us in this Fishko Files, 80 years after the author's death the book - about the descent into darkness of an advice columnist - still rings true. Miss Lonelyh…
 
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