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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.