90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
‘Gatsby’ On The Big Screen

“The Great Gatsby” is back. On the big screen. We’ll revisit the tale, from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Great Gatsby is back.  F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great novel has never left high school reading lists or the minds of millions.  Now it’s back on the big screen.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby.  Baz Luhrman of Moulin Rouge fame as director of a whirling, swirling new production.  Jay-Z’s fingerprints all over the soundtrack.  Think hip hop meets Jazz Age.  But at the heart of it is still the story.

Daisy Buchanan.  Nick Carraway.  And Gatsby.  Up from nothing.  Rich as sin.  Chasing the American dream.

This hour, On Point:  Looking again at Gatsby.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

A.O. Scott, film critic for The New York Times. (@aoscott)

Anne Margaret Daniel, instructor of English, American and Irish literature at the New School who also served as a historical adviser on the film. (@venetianblonde)

Jay McInerney, novelist. (@JayMcInerney)

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: Shimmying Out of the Literary Mantle: ‘The Great Gatsby,’ Interpreted by Baz Luhrmann — “The best way to enjoy Baz Luhrmann’s big and noisy new version of ‘The Great Gatsby’ — and despite what you may have heard, it is an eminently enjoyable movie — is to put aside whatever literary agenda you are tempted to bring with you. I grant that this is not so easily done. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s slender, charming third novel has accumulated a heavier burden of cultural significance than it can easily bear. Short and accessible enough to be consumed in a sitting (as in ‘Gatz,’ Elevator Repair Service’s full-text staged reading), the book has become, in the 88 years since its publication, a schoolroom staple and a pop-cultural totem. It shapes our increasingly fuzzy image of the Jazz Age and fuels endless term papers on the American dream and related topics.”

Hot Press: The Great Gatsby — “When F. Scott Fitzgerald began ‘The Great Gatsby’ in 1922, he told his editor at Charles Scribner’s Sons, Max Perkins, that he wanted to “write something new – something extraordinarily beautiful and simple & intricately patterned.” Living between a Minnesota yacht club, St. Paul, New York hotels, and Great Neck, Long Island in the early 1920s, Fitzgerald was physically scattered but mentally remarkably focused. He worked hard on the first draft of this new novel, despite recent fatherhood and a wild life of celebrity and excess.”

Guardian: Why Gatsby Is So Great — “At that time, ‘Gatsby’ seemed like the relic of an age most wanted to forget. In the succeeding years, Fitzgerald’s slim tale of the jazz age became the most celebrated and beloved novel in the American canon. It’s more than an American classic; it’s become a defining document of the national psyche, a creation myth, the Rosetta Stone of the American dream. And yet all the attempts to adapt it to stage and screen have only served to illustrate its fragility and its flaws. Fitzgerald’s prose somehow elevates a lurid and underdeveloped narrative to the level of myth.”

Soundtrack Sampler

Parental advisory: Contains explicit content

Additional Trailer

An extended TV spot featuring Lana Del Ray’s “Young And Beautiful”:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 3, 2015
A group of community activists in San Francisco, CA celebrate that city's February 2014 embrace of the Fair Chance Campaign's efforts to alter background checks on employment and housing for convicted criminals. (Courtesy All of Us Or None)

Is it time to stop asking job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime? We’ll look at employment and unemployment after prison.

Mar 3, 2015
This July 21, 2014 photo shows strawberry banana chia breakfast smoothie in Concord, N.H. Breakfast habits in America are changing, leading to dramatic shifts in business strategy. (AP)

Food guidelines are changing. So is what we eat for breakfast. Cereal? Out of favor. Eggs? Maybe OK. And all kinds of new menus. We’ll look at Americans and breakfast.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

 
Mar 2, 2015
In this Tuesday, March 4, 2014 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, right, speaks before the screening of the television documentary "Israel: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (AP)

On the eve of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, we look at the US-Israel falling out over Iran nuclear negotiations.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment
 
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

More »
1 Comment