The guitarist, composer and arranger died in his sleep Tuesday at 83. Hall was known for a subtle, lyrical playing style, a gift for innovation and collaborations with a host of talented musicians in a career that stretched more than seven decades. Hear an interview from 1989.
A pair of con artists and their FBI wrangler go after political corruption in American Hustle, inspired by the Abscam scandal of the '70s. Critic David Edelstein says the film, directed by David O. Russell, is "a bit of a hustle itself" — and still a hell of a ride. (Recommended)
Redford says filming All Is Lost was a "pure cinematic experience — the way films used to be." He talks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about how it's been "sort of weird" being known for his good looks, and about how he nearly wasn't cast in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Fresh Air's book critic says it's just a fluke that nine of the 11 titles she picked this year were written by female authors. Her favorites include a jumbo-sized Dickensian novel, a biography of Ben Franklin's sister, a comedy of manners, a stunning Scandinavian mystery, and more.
In 2012, the band became another rock group that was celebrating its 50th anniversary. This year, it released Made in California, an eight-hour, six-disc retrospective of their career that, perhaps inadvertently, shows how this once-great force in American popular music faded from public view.
Leaked internal documents reveal new insights into the goals and finances of the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC brings together state legislators and representatives of corporations to develop model bills that lawmakers try to pass in their state legislatures.
At 44, the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann may be the most popular tenor of his generation in the international opera world, and one of the most versatile. Among his recordings this year are albums dedicated to both Verdi and Wagner, celebrating the bicentennials of their birth.
Novelist Delia Ephron says that losing her older sister Nora was like "losing an arm." But for all their collaboration and closeness, Delia writes about the complications of sisterhood in her new collection of autobiographical essays, Sister Mother Husband Dog (etc.).
Brothers Joel and Ethan Coen continue to mine American pop culture in their latest film. It's 1961 in Greenwich Village and a homeless folk singer is trying desperately to break out. Critic David Edelstein says the overarching tone of the film is snotty, condescending and cruel.
The New York Times calls Stephen Sondheim the "greatest and perhaps best-known artist in American musical theater." Sondheim composed the music and lyrics for, among others, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Company. In 2010 he joined Fresh Air to discuss his career in musical theater.
New York City is home to more paintings by Johannes Vermeer — eight — than any other city. And until mid-January, it's playing host to one more: the world-renowned Girl with a Pearl Earring. Critic Lloyd Schwartz says, since the painting's 1994 restoration, "It's even more breathtaking than I remembered."
How close are TV interrogations to the real thing? Not very, says Douglas Starr. In a New Yorker article, he explores the "gold standard" of interrogation methods, developed in the 1940s. But there's concern that this technique is based on outdated science, and may produce false confessions.
Smartphones and the Internet have made it easier than ever for people to share photos of their friends, family, pets and children. But sharing personal photos raises technological and ethical questions. Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madrigal recently became a father and has some tips for navigating the world of online photo sharing.