Arts

Arts and culture

Actor and writer Gene Wilder, who brought his signature manic energy to films such as The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and the role that forever ensconced him in the collective memory of a generation of children, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, has died. He was 83.

Wilder died today at his home in Stamford, Conn., of complications from Alzheimer's disease, according to a statement from his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman.

In Seattle, blackberries are as much a part of the view as the Puget Sound — the twisting brambles so ubiquitous, they're as likely to vex gardeners as delight them.

The tale behind the city's blackberries turns out to be equally tangled. It starts at the end of the 19th century, at a time when American life was changing dramatically.

People were moving from rural areas to towns and cities, including Seattle. Industrialization was creating a new middle class.

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As many have heard by now, Mexican music giant Juan Gabriel passed away on Sunday at age 66. Gabriel was one of Mexico's biggest superstars — a singer and songwriter who sold tens of millions of records and is adored by millions.

A Beautiful Edition Of The Abridged 'Erudition'

9 hours ago

"We discussed the musk gazelle in the third chapter of the second section of the Third Book, which is the ninth volume of this work, so there is no need to repeat it here."

We're not going to bury the lead here: Bob Ross' hair was actually straight. Just ask his longtime business partner Annette Kowalski, who knew Ross better than anyone — he had just gotten out of the Air Force, and was unsuccessfully trying to make a living as a painter, she says.

"He got this bright idea that he could save money on haircuts. So he let his hair grow, he got a perm, and decided he would never need a haircut again," Kowalski explains.

The AfroPunk Festival in Brooklyn has grown since the annual event began in 2005. As it has expanded, so have the choices it offers: you can see everyone from Ice Cube to George Clinton, to Brit Rockers Skunk Anansie. There's a lot to catch, so here are five artists to keep an eye out for, at the festival and beyond.


Jasmine's picks:

Laura Mvula

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Constance Zimmer has built a long career playing tough, unsentimental women, including a shady operative on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a hard-nosed journalist on Netflix's House of Cards.

And the role which earned Zimmer her first Emmy nomination this year — reality TV producer Quinn King on Lifetime's UnREAL — could be TV's most caustic villain.

So it's a little surprising that when you ask the actress how she feels about the meaning of her nomination, she almost cries.

Herman Koch Gets Meta In 'Dear Mr. M'

Aug 28, 2016
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Typically superheroes spend their summertime helming big budget franchises for movie studios. This year, with blockbuster season winding down and schools opening their doors, Marvel's following up its summer at the multiplex by giving its superheroes a new assignment.

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One of America's most distinguished men of letters says he believes that speech, not evolution, has made human beings into the creative, imaginative, deliberate, destructive, and complicated beings who invented the slingshot and the moon shot, and wrote the words of the Bible, Don Quixote, Good Night Moon, the backs of cereal boxes, and Fifty and Shades of Grey.

In the 1920s and '30s, Langston Hughes was at the heart of the Harlem Renaissance. After the movement ended, he didn't go far: The writer moved into a brownstone on Harlem's 127th Street, where he lived for the last 20 years of his life.

The building is a national landmark, but it's been mostly empty for decades. In that time, Harlem has begun to gentrify. Now, in an effort to keep Hughes' former home from becoming one more high-end co-op, a neighborhood nonprofit is raising money to lease the building as an arts center.

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Art can enlighten, soothe, challenge and provoke. Sometimes it can transform a community.

Case in point: a 5.5-square-mile island called Naoshima in Japan's Seto Inland Sea.

Once upon a time, the biggest employer on Naoshima was a Mitsubishi metals processing plant. Actually, it's still the biggest employer, just not nearly as big as it once was.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and in The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

I write this as if surfacing from deep water, or looking up to find a bright world dimmed around me. I have just put down The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe and it is dark outside, a rush of wind constant as surf, and I find myself wondering if the stars will be uncountable millions or if there will be only ninety-seven of them studding a thickly textured sky.

Good news: We've got a Code Switch podcast extra for you this week — Karen Grigsby Bates sat down with NPR's movie critic, Bob Mondello, to talk about Southside with You, a new independent film about Michelle and Barack Obama's very first date, back in the summer of 1989.

The film takes place over the course of a single afternoon, and, as the title suggests, is set on the South Side of Chicago.

In Baton Rouge, La., people are using whatever tools they have to help their community recover from the flood.

That includes cameras.

Four photographers have been creating portraits of those affected. Their project, "Humans of the Water," focuses not on what people lost, but on what they saved.

One of those photographers is Collin Richie. He says documentary photography isn't typically his style. Most of his work involves snapping photos for weddings, magazines and corporate advertisements.

It's 1989 in the new movie Southside With You, and two attractive young lawyers are going out for the first time. Were their names not Michelle and Barack, we might not be along for the ride. But they are, and the ride is sweet in the idyll constructed by first-time feature-writer/director Richard Tanne.

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This is FRESH AIR. Barack and Michelle Obama's first date in Chicago back in 1989 is the subject of a new movie called "Southside With You." Film critic David Edelstein has a review.

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On this week's episode of the Code Switch podcast, Karen Grigsby Bates sat down with some folks to talk about the upcoming film The Birth of a Nation, and a recently resurfaced, 17-year-old sexual assault case against Nate Parker, the movie's highly lauded newcomer director.

Mystery Guest

Aug 26, 2016

Ophira and Jonathan become the contestants in a round of Mystery Guest. Rebecca McMackin works in Brooklyn, and she has hired some temporary workers to help her out with an interesting problem. Ophira and Jonathan must ask yes or no questions to figure out who these workers are, and what they do.

Heard on Naturi Naughton & Omari Hardwick: Power Puzzlers

Pie In The Skymall

Aug 26, 2016

There was once a time when airlines didn't allow you to use electronic devices during taxi, landing and takeoff. The only entertainment bored passengers had was an in-flight catalog filled with absurd products no one would ever need. It was called "SkyMall." In this game, contestants tell us if something is a real or fake SkyMall product.

Heard on Naturi Naughton & Omari Hardwick: Power Puzzlers

Considering the many dramatic plot twists and turns, you'd think that actors Omari Hardwick and Naturi Naughton from the Starz show Power would race to the end of the script to make sure their characters make it through the episode alive. Hardwick plays Ghost, a nightclub owner leading a double life as a drug kingpin trying to go straight. Naughton plays his wife, Tasha, who is power hungry in her own right. But now that the show is in its third season, they are not as anxious to read the scripts. "Sometimes you don't wanna know that far ahead.

House Hunters Intergalactic

Aug 26, 2016

Andromeda Dunker, narrator of HGTV's House Hunters and House Hunters International, lends her voice to this game. For one day only, she'll be narrating House Hunters INTERGALACTIC. Andromeda reads a real estate ad and contestants identify what celestial body she's describing.

Heard on Naturi Naughton & Omari Hardwick: Power Puzzlers

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