Arts

Movies
3:32 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Kids' Films And Stories Share A Dark Theme: Dead Mothers

Sarah Boxer is the author of Ultimate Blogs and the graphic novel In The Floyd Archives.
Sarah Boxer

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 4:22 pm

The death of Bambi's mother has moved — and horrified — generations of children. The fleeing, the gunshot, the desperate search and then the gut-wrenching words: "Your mother can't be with you any more."

For many, that scene was traumatizing; for some it was the very first experience of loss. But Bambi is far from the only animated film featuring a mother's tragic death.

Just ask Sarah Boxer.

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Author Interviews
3:32 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

William T. Vollmann Explores The Afterlife In 'Last Stories'

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 5:10 pm

William T. Vollmann has been called a "unique and essential voice in American letters." He's the author of novels, story collections, a memoir and massive works of nonfiction.

His latest book, Last Stories and Other Stories, is his first work of fiction in nine years. And he says at the book's beginning that it will be his final work — as a living human, at least. "Any subsequent productions bearing my name will have been written by a ghost," he writes.

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NPR Story
7:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Founders Claimed A Subversive Right To 'Nature's God'

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 11:14 am

The U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation, says historian Matthew Stewart. He tells NPR's Arun Rath about his book Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic.

Sunday Puzzle
6:03 am
Sun July 13, 2014

A Puzzle With Ch-Ch-Changes

NPR

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 9:47 am

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes." Every answer is a word starting with the letters "ch," and your clue will be an anagram of the word.

Last week's challenge: Name a famous actress of the past whose last name has five letters. Move the middle letter to the end to name another famous actress of the past. Who are these actresses?

Answer: Greta Garbo/Eva or Zsa Zsa Gabor

Winner: Craig Moreland from Okemos, Mich.

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My Guilty Pleasure
3:25 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Confessions Of A Former 'Sweet Valley High' Addict

Often, when people ask me what I read as a young girl, I lie. Or, I should say, I lie by omission. I tell them about my brilliant fourth-grade teacher, Miss Artis, who assigned us Johnny Tremain and Where the Red Fern Grows and Tuck Everlasting, all books that made an impression on me. And people nod in approval.

But the answer I don't usually give is that my favorite books, the ones I read and re-read until the covers were creased and the pages were loosed from the spine, were Sweet Valley High.

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Arts & Life
2:54 pm
Sat July 12, 2014

Wounded Bull-Runner: 'If You Run Long Enough, You Get Gored'

U.S. runner Bill Hillmann is gored on his right leg during the running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, on Wednesday.
Daniel Ochoa de Olza AP

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 4:30 pm

When Bill Hillmann joined this year's running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, he knew exactly what he was signing up for. After all, he co-wrote the book on it.

Hillmann was a contributor to Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona. But his expertise didn't protect him from harm this year: A lone bull, or suelto, gored him through the right leg.

From his hospital bed, Hillmann tells NPR's Kelly McEvers that he feels fine. "They've got me on some really good painkillers, so I'm just kind of floating here," he says.

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Author Interviews
2:54 pm
Sat July 12, 2014

'Fightshark' Recounts His Struggles, In Kickboxing And Beyond

HarperCollins

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 4:30 pm

In the kickboxing ring, Mark Miller goes by "Fightshark" — a name he chose, he says, because when he smells blood, he attacks.

The legendary super heavyweight kickboxer first made his name in fighting in the early 2000s.

"In the early part of the decade, I was 6'4, 230 [pounds], and I was small for heavyweight kickboxing," he tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "It's a lot of speed and power involved."

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Music Games & Humor
5:39 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Tracking The World's Famous Most Unread Books

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

TAMARA KEITH, HOST:

We've all done it - bought an important timely book with great intentions of tearing through it. But then reality sets in. We find ourselves less and less motivated to make it to the end. Author and mathematician Jordan Ellenberg wanted to quantify this phenomenon and has come up with a way to measure when exactly a reader gives up. He's with us from his office at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Welcome.

JORDAN ELLENBERG: Hi. Thanks for having me.

KEITH: So you call your index the Hawking Index. Why is that?

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Movie Interviews
5:38 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Ellar Coltrane Speaks Of Growing Up On Screen In 'Boyhood'

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

TAMARA KEITH, HOST:

The film "Boyhood," which opened last night in LA and New York, was shot over 12 years. The result is a time lapse of childhood. No special effects, just the sometimes dramatic changes that can take place from year to year - both physically and emotionally. We are joined now by Ellar Coltrane who plays Mason, Jr. - the boy of "Boyhood" - the main character who we see grow up on screen. And let's get something out of the way. This is not a documentary, right?

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Author Interviews
5:38 am
Sat July 12, 2014

'Angels' Find Pre-Civil War Home In Idyllic Interracial Enclave

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

TAMARA KEITH, HOST:

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Author Interviews
5:03 am
Sat July 12, 2014

History In The Groove: Q&A With Author (And 78 Collector) Amanda Petrusich

Amanda Petrusich and the beginnings of her 78 collection.
Bret Stetka

If you've ever enjoyed the ghostly weird-old-America wail of Robert Johnson, the deep blues of Charley Patton or Skip James' guitar wizardry, you can thank the 78 collecting community — those dedicated (okay, obsessive) folks who hunt down the rare old shellac records that hold so much of our musical past.

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Author Interviews
3:35 am
Sat July 12, 2014

A Marriage In Crisis Is The Model For This 'Drawing'

Robin Black is also the author of If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This.
Picasa Random House

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 10:12 am

Life Drawing is a novel that will make you want to hug the person you love and never let go.

It's a thriller and a love story. But it isn't about over-the-moon, happy, young love; it's about love when the marriage is no longer easy, when every move the couple makes is haunted by a betrayal.

Life Drawing is Robin Black's first novel. She tells NPR's Tamara Keith why she chose to explore a marriage in crisis and the challenge of writing about Alzheimer's when she had no experience with the disease.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:56 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Not My Job: Skier Mikaela Shiffrin Gets Quizzed On Downhill Cheese Races

Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 10:23 am

Wait Wait is at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre this week, and so we've invited Colorado native Mikaela Shiffrin to play Not My Job. Shiffrin grew up in Vail, and this year at the Sochi Olympics, she became the youngest person ever to win an Olympic medal in slalom.

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This Week's Must Read
2:54 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

In Aftermath Of Brazil's World Cup Defeat, A Poem To Numb The Pain

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 6:21 pm

Any time you're facing big failure is a good time to revisit the 1888 poem "Casey at the Bat." It's the classic story of dashed optimism, of an entire city putting its hopes on the result of one single, heartbreaking at-bat. Here are the last stanzas. It's down to the wire. The Mudville team has two outs, two strikes, and they're hoping Casey will save them.

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Fine Art
2:54 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

After Decades In Storage, Damaged Rothko Murals Get High-Tech Restoration

Panel Five of Rothko's Harvard Murals hangs in Holyoke Center in January 1968.
Courtesy of Harvard University Archives

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 6:21 pm

Paintings by postwar abstract artist Mark Rothko are highly coveted — in May one of his works sold at auction in London for $50 million. But oddly enough, Harvard University has had a handful of Rothkos — faded by sunlight and splattered with food and drink — in storage. Now, new technology has led to a potentially controversial restoration.

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Movie Reviews
12:54 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Oh, 'Boyhood!' Linklater's Cinematic Stunt Pays Off

Eller Coltrane — pictured here with screen family Ethan Hawke and Lorelei Linklater — grows from boy to man on-screen in Richard Linklater's new Boyhood.
IFC Productions

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 6:21 pm

Filmmaker Richard Linklater breezed through plenty of genres in his career, establishing that he's comfortable making loose comedies like Slacker, animated sci-fi thrillers like A Scanner Darkly, and even messing with longer-form studies in time with his Before trilogy, Before Sunset, Before Sunrise and Before Midnight.

Still, it's safe to say that he's never done anything even remotely like Boyhood, his latest film, because neither has anyone else.

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Movie Reviews
12:28 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

In A Remarkable Feat, 'Boyhood' Makes Time Visible

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Our film critic David Edelstein has a review of the new film "Boyhood." It was written and directed by Richard Linklater, who also made the movies, "Slacker," "Dazed And Confused," "School Of Rock," "The Before Sunrise" Trilogy and "Bernie." "Boyhood" covers a dozen years and was shot over a 12 year period. It stars Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and newcomer Ellar Coltrane as the boy we watch grow up.

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Goats and Soda
10:52 am
Fri July 11, 2014

It's 'Etsy,' Kenyan Style: Making Art Out Of Flip-Flops And Bottle Tops

Apollo Omondi Omware couldn't find a white-collar job, so he created his own business, weaving baskets and training others to weave as well.
Ryan Kellman NPR

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 12:37 pm

Sure, it's tough to earn a living as an artist. But it helps if your materials don't cost a lot. At the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, several of the Kenyan craftspeople work wonders with discarded beer bottles and flip-flops.

Jonathan Lento: He Fashions Flip-Flops Into Funky Fauna

Jonathan Lento grips a slender knife in one hand and a colorful block made of glued-together flip-flops in the other.

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Barbershop
10:24 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Avoiding The Border: Is This Obama's Hurricane Katrina?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Music
10:24 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Expat Producer Finds A Sense Of 'Home' In Music

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now as this program winds down - the last broadcast is scheduled for August 1 - we thought it would be nice to hear about the music members of our staff are listening to as part of our series, In Your Ear. Producer Freddie Boswell has spent most of her life living and traveling outside of the U.S. from Kenya and Tanzania to (unintelligible) and England, and that definitely informs what's on her playlist.

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Faith Matters
10:24 am
Fri July 11, 2014

In Troubled Times, Find Freedom Through Faith And Forgiveness

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Fly Like An Eagle: Site Picks The Best Aerial Drone Photos

An eagle flies over Bali's Barat National Park, in this award-winning image taken by a camera attached to a drone.
capungaero Dronestagram

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:15 am

An eagle soars above a national park in Bali, Indonesia. A waterfall in Mexico is seen from above its shelf of cascading water. Those are the top two finishers in a contest held to find the best images captured by cameras mounted on aerial drones. The winners were recently unveiled by the site Dronestagram.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Book News: Singapore Pulls 2 Children's Books With Gay Couples From Libraries

And Tango Makes Three, co-written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole.
AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Monkey See
5:03 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Snubs And Successes: 6 Lessons Learned From This Year's Emmy Nominations

Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announce nominations for The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards Thursday morning.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 5:27 pm

There are things you could quibble about in the array of nominations announced today for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.

No best drama series nomination for CBS' The Good Wife, though several stars got acting nods. No acting nomination for Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, though she plays about eight different roles on BBC America's clone-focused adventure drama. No best variety show nod for John Oliver's increasingly stellar Last Week Tonight on HBO. And a best TV miniseries nod for Lifetime's dreadful Bonnie and Clyde?

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Clerical Error Puts Church On New York's 'George Carlin Way'

George Carlin opens the 13th annual U.S. Comedy Arts Festival at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colo., in 2007, a year before his death at age 71.
E. Pablo Kosmicki AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 9:41 am

The Corpus Christi Church in Manhattan, where iconoclastic comedian George Carlin once attended school and which he later ridiculed in some of his monologues, has a new street address: George Carlin Way.

The New York Times calls what's being described as a clerical error "an irony of Carlinesque proportions." The church fought a street named after the comedian since the idea was proposed three years ago.

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Movie Reviews
3:31 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

'Land Ho!' Takes An Agreeable Stroll Through Familiar And Unfamiliar Terrain

Mitch, a vulgar and cheery retired surgeon played by Earl Lynn Nelson, buys two plane tickets to Iceland, reviving the friendship between and sense of adventure in him and his ex-brother-in-law.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:49 am

In a more market-driven neighborhood of the movie business, Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz's comedy about two retired gents let loose on Iceland would surely be released under the title Geezers Do Geysers. And the modestly budgeted, charming Land Ho! is a caper of sorts, made less in snooty-indie opposition to the Grumpy Old Men franchise than as a fond goosing of the buddy movie, plus kooky innovation.

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Movie Reviews
3:27 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

'Apes' For A New Age, With Little Use For Us

In a post-apocalyptic battle for dominance over Earth, human survivors of a deadly virus face off against an army of highly evolved apes, led by Caesar (Andy Serkis).
20th Century Fox Film Corp.

Originally published on

It's the end of the world as we know it, and the apes feel fine. As for humanity? Not so much, but Dawn of the Planet of the Apes doesn't care so much about their feelings. This dawn is well past mankind's twilight.

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Code Switch
3:23 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

In Stories Of Muslim Identity, Playwright Explores Fault Lines Of Faith

Between Eli and Zarina (Greg Keller and Nadine Malouf), a family's Muslim faith undergoes rupture and renewal.
Erin Baiano Courtesy of Lincoln Center Theater

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:18 am

Ayad Akhtar is a novelist, actor and screenwriter. And when his first play, Disgraced, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2013, he also became one of the most talked about new voices in American theater.

Long before this buzz, though, Akhtar grew up in a Muslim family with roots in Pakistan. He mines this background to bring the inner lives and conflicts of Muslim Americans to the stage. His plays often feature cutting dialogue and confrontations steeped in the tension between Islamic tradition and personal evolution.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

A 'Closed Curtain' Conceals A Director's Real Confinement

Filmmaker Jafar Panahi wrote, directed and produced Closed Curtain — a film based off his own personal experiences in hiding with his dog from the Iranian government.
Celluloid Dreams Variance Films

Banned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi could hardly have found a more engaging surrogate than the four-legged co-star of Closed Curtain, the second movie Panahi has directed since he was officially forbidden from doing so. Making his entrance by hopping from the duffel bag that's hidden him, the dog called Boy embodies Iranian outcasts at their friskiest.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

'Empty Hours' Pass, But Little Is Said

The Empty Hours follows 17-year-old Sebastián, played by Kristyan Ferrer, as he meets and begins a game of seduction with a woman named Miranda while running his uncle's motel in Vera Cruz.
Strand Releasing

There's a beautifully revealed detail early in Aarón Fernández's The Empty Hours. It comes soon after the film's protagonist, 17-year-old Sebastián (Kristyan Ferrer), arrives in Veracruz, Mexico, to look after his uncle Gerry's motel for a few weeks. Gerry (Fermín Martínez), who has to leave town for a series of medical tests, gives Sebastián a tour of the premises, shows him where he keeps the cleaning supplies, takes him into one of the rooms, and explains an essential part of the cleaning process: There must always be a box of paper tissues next to the bed.

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