News of the World' is a Western set five years after the end of the Civil War. It stars Tom Hanks as a former Confederate captain who travels from one small poor Texas town to another, reading aloud from newspapers to townspeople who gather, paying ten cents apiece to be informed and entertained by these stories. We talk with director Paul Greengrass, who also directed Hanks in 'Captain Phillips.'
Also, Ken Tucker reviews the new HBO documentary about the Bee Gees, and a new album by the only one of the three Bee Gee brothers still alive, Barry Gibb.
Historian Kerri Greenidge tells the story of William Monroe Trotter, a Black newspaper editor who was a forceful crusader for civil rights in the early 20th century. He built a national following in his time as a fierce advocate for the full citizenship rights that had been promised to former enslaved people after the Civil War. Trotter organized mass protests, confronted presidents, and openly challenged leaders such as Booker T. Washington who took a more cautious approach to Black empowerment. Greenidge's new book is called 'Black Radical.'
Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Promising Young Woman' and 'Pieces of a Woman.'
Adam Jentleson traces the history of the filibuster, which started as a tool of Southern senators upholding slavery and then later became a mechanism to block civil rights legislation. His book is 'Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and The Crippling of American Democracy.'
The Netflix docuseries 'Pretend It's a City' features Lebowitz's conversations with Martin Scorsese on many topics, Manhattan in particular. "If I dropped the Hope Diamond on the floor of a subway car, I'd leave it there," she says. Lebowitz also talks about getting expelled from school, working for Andy Warhol, and why she loves living alone.
Also, John Powers reviews the book 'The Liar's Dictionary' by Eley Williams.
CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks about how learning new skills can optimize brain health. His new book is 'Keep Sharp.'
Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Outlawed,' a novel by Anna North, which she describes as 'Handmaid's Tale' meets 'Butch Cassidy.'
Journalist Maria Ressa has faced criminal charges and death threats because of her coverage of the populist, authoritarian Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. We talk about her work in the Philippines and the threats she's faced. Ressa is the subject of a new PBS FRONTLINE documentary, 'A Thousand Cuts.'
We remember the award-winning writer Barry Lopez, who wrote evocatively about nature, and in turn shed light on truths about the human experience. He died Christmas day at the age of 75. Lopez lived among the Arctic's Inuit people for five years, and raised a wolf pup for his book about the relationship between wolves and men.
Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album by Chicago bassist Joshua Abrams. Then David Bianculli remarks on the live TV coverage of the insurrection led by Trump rioters on Wednesday.