Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 9:00 am
Step aside, home chefs! The kitchen of the future draws near.
No, there's no hydrator from Marty McFly's kitchen in Back to the Future II. Right now, the chef of the future looks like a pair of robotic arms that descend from the ceiling of a very organized kitchen. And it makes a mean crab bisque.
As part of a series called My Big Break, All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
It's taken the street-racing movie Furious 7 only 17 days to reach $1 billion in worldwide box office grosses, according to Universal Pictures. On its opening weekend, the movie reportedly made $143.6 million in the U.S. It's the last in the Fast and Furious franchise to feature the late actor Paul Walker.
Universal says the movie is the studio's first to cross the billion-dollar mark during its first run in theaters, putting Furious 7 above films such as Jurassic Park, Despicable Me and the Jason Bourne movies.
Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 9:32 am
Everybody knows the Boston Red Sox are unique — in that they have the most pretentious, literary fans in all of baseball. Sure, the Yankees may have more World Championships, but only Red Sox fans routinely compare their team to the tragic heroes of Greek Drama.
So it's fitting that they have an official poet. Dick Flavin is an Emmy-award winning broadcaster, a PA announcer at Fenway Park, and, yes, the Poet Laureate of the Boston Red Sox.
Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 9:00 am
Advertisements don't need any words to say a lot about a culture.
That's one of the messages that shines through in the work of artist Hank Willis Thomas. In 2008, Thomas removed the text and branding from ads featuring African-Americans, creating a series he called Unbranded, which illustrated how America has seen and continues to see black people.
Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 8:59 am
Next Friday, Armenians commemorate the events that took place 100 years ago, when the Ottoman Empire began forcibly deporting Armenians from their homeland, which lies within an area that is now Turkey. It was the beginning of a massacre that left more than one million Armenians dead. Armenians call it genocide; Turkey says the killing was not systematic, but part of widespread fighting at the time.
Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 8:23 am
In his home in Lahore, Pakistan, Saleem Khan holds up his late father's violin. There are no strings, the wood is scratched and the bridge is missing.
"There was a time when people used to come to Lahore from all over the world to hear its musicians," the 65-year-old violinist says in the new documentary, Song of Lahore. "Now we can't even find someone to repair our violins."
Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 8:05 pm
It's 1992, shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union in the Oscar-nominated Tangerines, and in a bleak, northwest corner of the Republic of Georgia called Abkhazia, the world has more or less come apart. Warring factions — Chechen separatists, Georgian troops — patrol rural roads in jeeps outfitted with bazookas and machine guns. The locals have mostly fled for more urban areas.
Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 2:32 pm
The opening moments of Good Kill, a new drama starring Ethan Hawke and written and directed by Andrew Niccol (who also directed Hawke in Gattaca), almost eerily resemble the opening moments of American Sniper. A man watches and tries to interpret the movements of a woman and child who don't see him, deciding whether to kill them. This man, however, isn't concealed nearby. The woman and child are in Afghanistan and the man is piloting a drone from an air conditioned trailer on a military base in Nevada.
Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 9:28 am
Listen To The Show
Last Friday, Netflix dropped its latest 13-episode bundle of original programming: the grim and occasionally grisly superhero drama Daredevil, based on the Marvel Comics mainstay of the same name. Starring Charlie Cox and a large supporting cast, the show takes place in a bleak New York City neighborhood that's ruled by a murderous crime syndicate and defended by blind lawyer Matt Murdock, whose other heightened senses make him an oft-overmatched but extremely resourceful crime-fighter.
Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 1:25 pm
For fans of BBC America's majestically complicated drama Orphan Black, this might be the toughest task they face all year: Explaining to newbies what the heck is going on just before the new season starts on Saturday.
Spoiler alert: Several plot points from the new season are discussed below
The series started with Sarah Manning, a con artist and onetime street urchin, stumbling upon a well-dressed woman who looked exactly like her, crying on a train platform — just before jumping in front of an oncoming train.
Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 2:44 pm
As much fun as a tree full of toque macaques, Monkey Kingdom is arguably the most entertaining of Disneynature's eight features. But purists will recoil as soon as The Monkees theme enters, and there are times when the story told by narrator Tina Fey probably doesn't reflect the extraordinary images directors Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill captured.
In the 2012 drama Fill the Void, Israeli actress Hadas Yaron was incandescent as an Ultra-Orthodox Tel Aviv girl who, following the sudden death of her beloved older sister, is pressured by rabbis and relatives to marry her brother-in-law in order to preserve family unity. She suffers agonies over the decision, but never doubts the legitimacy of the Hasidic community that sustains her.
Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 1:25 pm
A long time ago, in a place far away, a manuscript was created with an enigmatic figure who looks a great deal like a certain little — and yet powerful — green guy from the Star Wars films. It's an unlikely connection between a religious tome and science fiction.
Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 2:20 pm
If you ask people in the city of Mexicali, Mexico, about their most notable regional cuisine, they won't say street tacos or mole. They'll say Chinese food. There are as many as 200 Chinese restaurants in the city.
North of the border, in California's rural Imperial County, the population is mostly Latino, but Chinese restaurants are packed. There are dishes in this region you won't find anywhere else, and the history behind them goes back more than 130 years.
Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 8:16 am
In April 1944, a Nazi commander on the island of Crete was somehow mysteriously and miraculously kidnapped right under the nose of the Germans. No shots were fired, there was no bloodshed and no sign of a struggle. General Heinrich Kreipe simply vanished.
I saw the title of Benjamin Percy's new book Dead Lands and I immediately thought, Oh, another zombie book. I read the synopsis — super-flu, nuclear bombs, a post-apocalyptic re-telling of the Lewis and Clark story — and I thought, yeah, but there's gotta be zombies in it, right?
Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 3:58 pm
In the new FX series The Comedians, Billy Crystal and Josh Gad star as satirical versions of themselves. The show is about how the two comedians are hesitant to work together and share the spotlight, but they do, and they begin a strained relationship, in which they're separated from each other by a generational comedy gap.
But in real life, when Crystal and Gad met, they hit it off.
"Even though there's 30-something years between us, there's a lot of commonalities and a lot of interesting parallels in our careers," Crystal tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 3:00 pm
The title of Courtney Summers' latest young adult novel, All The Rage, doesn't quite earn its seeming double meaning. It's a single entendre — "all the rage" really does just refer to anger, though the book could also have been called All the Confusion, All the Defiant Loneliness or All the Sublimated Self-Destruction.
Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 10:19 am
"Omi-Ala was a dreadful river," explains Ben, the young narrator of Chigozie Obioma's The Fishermen. "Like many such rivers in Africa, Omi-Ala was once believed to be a god; people worshipped it." But everything changed when Europeans colonized and Christianized the part of Nigeria where the river lay. "[T]he people, now largely Christians, began to see it as an evil place. A cradle besmeared."