Kristen Meinzer is an associate producer for The Takeaway and co-host of The Takeaway's Movie Date podcast.
Specializing in culture, she produces stories on contemporary social issues, history, health, science, arts, and entertainment. Kristen has also produced several stand-alone hour specials for WNYC and for The Takeaway, including one on time travel and a prime-time Oscar special, which she also co-hosted.
As one half of the Movie Date team, Kristen appears weekly on The Takeaway. She's also been a guest on Soundcheck, the Brian Lehrer Show, the Game Night Guys podcast, and the New York broadcasts of All Things Considered and Morning Edition.
Prior to working with The Takeaway, Kristen was a development producer for CBS News Productions; an associate research scholar with the Center for Media, Culture and History; and a freelance producer, editor, and writer for VH1's The Fabulous Life, The Discovery Channel's Anatomy of a Pandemic, The Brooklyn Review, and The Minnesota Daily.
Kristen holds a BA in cultural studies from the University of Minnesota, an MA in public history and consumer culture from New York University, and an MFA in fiction writing from Brooklyn College.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen hop into the WABAC machine for a trip to the rebooted world of "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" and the sword and sandal past of "300: Rise of An Empire." And bonus: to help them better understand the true identity of Mister Peabody, they are joined by Sarah Montague, WNYC's resident dog expert, who covers, among other dog-related events, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
There are currently 80,000 people being held in solitary confinement across America. Many of these prisoners have been there for years or decades without any human contact. In an effort to understand what these prisoners are feeling, Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Rick Raemisch submitted himself to 20 hours of “administration segregation,” more commonly known as solitary confinement. Three Oscar-winners also took action to explore how prisoners are feeling behind bars. Documentarian Alex Gibney, narrator Susan Sarandon, and producer Robert Redford, coalesced to create “Death Row Stories.”
In this very special Movie Date bonus podcast, listeners have a chance to re-listen to Rafer and Kristen's Oscar predictions from earlier in this year. Also, all three parts from The Takeaway series "Real People / Best Pictures" (produced by Kristen and hosted by John Hockenberry) are here, with some voices we don't normally hear on Oscar night (but maybe should).
This week's Movie Date podcast looks at the newest attempt to put the life of Jesus Christ on film, in "Son of God." The movie takes content from a ten-hour History Channel miniseries, produced by Mark Burnett (of "Survivor" fame). Does it work as a feature film? Is it a successful proseltyzing tool? Kristen and Rafer also review "Non-Stop," the newest Liam Neeson-led action flick, which asks listeners to "listen very carefully," and maybe shows you how to smoke in an airplane toilet. All that, plus a love letter to Rafer and some biblical movie trivia!
We've got 27 amendments so far, including the right to free speech and the right to bear arms. Should we add a 28th? What would it look like? Kerry Sautner, vice president of visitor experience and education the National Constitution Center, explains what it takes to get an amendment ratified, and what a 28th Amendment might look like.
Also on Today's Show: Concerns over a Russian-backed separatist movement in the Crimean region of Ukraine is giving the international community serious pause...First Lady Michelle Obama announced a series of proposed changes to U.S. food labeling rules yesterday. Will these new labels really change eating habits?...We're only two days away from the Superbowl of movies: Oscar night! Though you may not have seen all of the nominees, our Movie Date Team has and they give us their predictions.
Our Movie Date team has given us their predictions in the big categories for Oscar night, but there's another smaller category that's getting a lot of buzz this year: The original song category. In fact, the category has never been so modern, hip, and controversial. John Schaefer, host of Soundcheck on our partner station WNYC, walks us through the nominees.
Our "Real People/Best Pictures" series continues as we look at "American Hustle." The film tells the story of the FBI's Abscam sting investigation, which ended with the prosecution of six U.S. representatives, a U.S. senator, and many other public officials. Gregory Wallance was a member of the Abscam prosecution team as an assistant United States attorney. He talks about what the actual case was like, and how the movie differs from the real life events.
All this week on our "Real People / Best Pictures" series, we're looking at some of the films that are nominated for Best Picture, and exploring the stories with people who are intimately connected with the films. "12 Years A Slave" tells the story of Solomon Northup, who was enslaved until he was eventually able to regain his freedom 12 years later. The film is based on Northup’s memoir, which was a bestseller during his time. Today we talk to Clayton Adams, the great-great-great-grandson of Solomon Northup.
All this week, our series "Real People/Best Picture" looks at some of the films that are nominated for Best Picture, and talking with people who are intimately connected with the stories behind those films. Today, our subject is Dallas Buyers Club. William Waybourn was the President of the Dallas Gay Alliance in the 1980s, which served the gay community and people living with AIDS. He tells us about that time and his thoughts on the movie.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen discuss how, if they were in a Hollywood blockbuster, they'd most want to be killed. The options: volcano ('Pompeii'), middle aged assassin ('Three Days to Kill'), or sinister lovers ('In Secret'). Rafer and Kristen also discuss the controversy around this year's Oscar nominees for best original song. And, as always, there's trivia!
Also on Today's Show: The Takeaway's Movie Date team—Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzma—reviews this weekend’s new releases which include the Victorian Era film noir "In Secret," the action film "Three Days to Kill," and the over-the-top popcorn flick "Pompeii."... Composer Michael Hearst has written a dozen songs for a new PBS Digital series that focuses on unusual creatures. From the Jesus Christ Lizard to the blobfish, the songs help to explore some of the world’s most mysterious animals.
Rosanne Cash just released her first new album in four years, called "The River and the Thread." Seeking the inspiration for truly great songwriting, beyond Grammy's, pop hits and genre classics, has been a lifelong journey for Cash. The inspiration for her latest album came from a trip back to the South, which put her back in touch with her roots. Rosanne Cash discusses the process she went through to breathe life into her new music—and what she learned about herself along the way.
Sir Ian McKellen stopped by The Greene Space at WNYC yesterday for a live lunchtime chat with a studio audience and our host John Hockenberry. He discussed his life and work in theater and on screen, from the Broadway stage play "Waiting for Godot," to X-Men and his friendship with Sir Patrick Stewart. Here you'll find selected audio and video clips of McKellen's interview, as well as a link to the full conversation.
Early Friday morning, Netflix released the entire second season of its show "House of Cards." Though Netflix refuses to release the viewership numbers, when looking at the hype online, and the estimates by one internet provider that 15 percent of their Netflix subscribers watched the show over the weekend, it's safe to say that the show is a hit. But just how realistic is the show about a corrupt majority whip? A real former whip—Congressman David Bonior—joins us today to share his insights.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, the 1980s are back in full force, as Kristen and Rafer review three remakes of 80s movies and one adaptation of an 80s novel. On the chopping block: 'Endless Love' (based on 1981's 'Endless Love'), 'Robocop' (based on 1987's 'Robocop'), 'About Last Night' (based on 1986's 'About Last Night'), and 'Winter's Tale' (based on the 1983 novel 'Winter's Tale). Also, Rafer and Kristen offer some movie therapy to a listener who wants some Valentine's Day films that aren't sickeningly sweet. So cozy up, and grab your chocolate, because there won't be any sugar in this week's Movie Date podcast!
Also on Today's Show: At least half a dozen states are looking to change their laws around alcohol this year, including allowing grocery stores in some states to sell either liquor and/or wine, reducing taxes, and eliminating mandatory “Sunday closing,” among other things...Our Movie Date team reviews this weekend’s releases, which include: “Winter’s Tale,” “Robocop,” “Endless Love,” and “About Last Night.”
Red-headed women are often perceived as fiery and dangerous. But their male counterparts are associated with different stereotypes - they're clownish, weak and maybe a bit hefty. Scott Harris, director of "Being Ginger," and Anne Margaret Daniel, a professor and blogger for the Huffington Post who specializes in the social history of red-heads, discuss why people across the world judge those with red hair.
This week, just nine months after the Boy Scouts of America lifted their longtime ban on openly gay scouts, 17-year old Pascal Tessier became the first openly gay member to be officially recognized as an Eagle Scout. But in six months, Pascal will no longer be allowed to be a part of the Boy Scouts of America. That’s because he’ll be turning 18, and according to the BSA guidelines, openly gay adults are not welcome.
From the unusual origins of Craigslist's "Missed Connections" to the science behind eHarmony, we take a look at the tech powering online dating sites.