Czech-born filmmaker Milos Forman is an Academy Award-winning director, but his life story, as Forman tells Terry Gross, is no less dramatic than his cinematic success. Born in 1932 in a small town near Prague, Forman experienced war at a young age, when Nazi armies marched on his country. Though Forman continued to live in Czechoslovakia under Gestapo rule, his Jewish father and Protestant mother were sent to Auschwitz, where they perished. After the war, Czechoslovakia came under communist rule, and Forman attended the Prague Film Institute. He began his film-making career during the “new wave of Czech cinema” that coincided with a liberalization of the communist regime. After Warsaw Pact tanks invaded the increasingly liberal Soviet satellite in 1968, Forman took refuge in the U.S. year later. By then he was an experienced director. His second American film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, earned him widespread fame and an Oscar for best director. Forman went on to win an Academy Awards for directing Amadeus, a loose biography of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and received an Oscar nomination for The People vs. Larry Flint. In recent years, Forman has directed films in Germany and Spain. His latest film, Goya’s Ghosts, will be released on DVD, February 26. Currently, the Museum of Modern Art in New York is running a two-week retrospective of Forman’s films.
(Rebroadcast tonight at 11)
Did Rendell play the race card? The Pennsylvania NAACP wants Governor Ed Rendell for comments he made to a newspaper that there are some voters in Pennsylvania that might to be ready to vote for a black candidate. We’ll try to get to the crux of this, we’ll hear from CHUCK ARDO the Press Secretary for Ed Rendell, TONY NORMAN whose column on Rendell’s comments has sparked the current controversy, JERRY MONDESIRE the President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the NAACP Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
The work of our guests, DAVID HARRISON and GREGORY ANDERSON is the subject of a new film which was screened at Sundance, “The Linguist.” The film tells the story of their travels and research around the globe do document endangered languages. Anderson and Harrison both are affiliated with the “Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages.” Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
Whether singing for Led Zeppelin or on his own, Robert Plant has done more to establish the iconic image of a “rock god” than perhaps any other frontman. Led Zeppelin was, and still is, one of the most successful rock groups in history; its combination of impeccable musicianship, earth-shattering live performances and innovative songwriting helped ensure its place as a towering influence in rock ‘n’ roll. Alison Krauss is one of the most accomplished bluegrass musicians of the last few decades. As a singer and fiddler, Krauss has been instrumental in bringing folk and bluegrass music to a wide audience. Together, Plant and Krauss have released Raising Sand. Recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles with producer T Bone Burnett, the album features the two singers interpreting blues, R&B, folk and country songs by classic songwriters such as Townes Van Zandt, Mel Tillis and Doc Watson.
ROBERT PLANT & ALISON KRAUSS: Killin’ The Blues
This is now officially OUR FAVORITE SONG OF 2007. Written by Rowland Salley, this version from Raising Sand just fucking slays us every time. And speaking as former teenage Zepheads, it does our heart good to hear Robert Plant doing something we can both be proud of at our advanced age. Seriously, this is as timelessly classic as anything Led Zeppelin ever did. And Alison Krauss is a force of nature. Mark Ribot’s guitar sounds like underwater moonlight piercing the spectral murk of T-Bone Burnett’s elegantly antiqued production. Like butter, it is. Because there was no official video for this song, we went ahead and made our own. Special thanks to the dudes who shot this footage on the way to Alberta, and to The Wookified Crue for tweaking, editing, and synching to the music.