Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen


Arts, Design, Visual Arts, Society & Culture, TV & Film

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The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI and WNYC, is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.


American Icons: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

December 31st, 2015

Episode 101 of 153 episodes

This is the story of America’s fight against authority. Ken Kesey had worked in a mental hospital, but his first novel was really a parable of what happens when you stand up to the Man — a counterculture fable that doesn’t end well. Despite his far-reaching influence, Kesey was shut out by filmmakers who turned the story into an Oscar-sweeping phenomenon.Cuckoo’s Nestchanged how many people thought about mental illness and institutions. Sherman Alexie debunks the myth of the silent Indian; we visit Oregon State Hospital, where the director played himself on screen; a psychiatrist explains how the movie gave mental hospitals a bad name, with tragic consequences; and actress Louise Fletcher takes us into the mind of one of the most fearsome movie villains, the sweet-faced Nurse Ratched. “She doesn’t see her behavior as it really is. Who does? Who sees that they’re really evil?” (Originally aired September 20, 2013) Passages from the audiobook narrated by Ken Kesey were provided courtesy of HighBridge Audio. Bonus Track: Kurt Andersen's full interview with Louise Fletcher Hear Kurt's entire conversation with Fletcher, including why "no studio in town would touch this movie," and how she was cast in the role for which she won an Oscar. Behind-the-scenes of the film The novel is told through the eyes of Chief Bromden. When "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was adapted into a film, the Chief becomes a silent secondary character (portrayed here by Will Sampson). ( 1975 The Saul Zaentz Company, All Rights Reserved.) Jack Nicholson as R.P. McMurphy, a new patient in the Oregon State Mental Hospital. ( 1975 The Saul Zaentz Company, All Rights Reserved.) Jack Nicholson and another actor play a scene while director Milos Forman watches. ( 1975 The Saul Zaentz Company, All Rights Reserved.) Louise Fletcher plays Nurse Ratched, a "perversion of feminity" according to scholar Leslie Horst who sees the character as a warning about "the danger of women who have power." Fletcher won an Oscar ( 1975 The Saul Zaentz Company, All Rights Reserved.) Louise Fletcher on the set of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with the cast and director Milos Forman (at right). ( 1975 The Saul Zaentz Company, All Rights Reserved.)