Arts

Movies
11:20 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Scorsese Talks 'The Language of Cinema'

Animated as ever when it comes to the topic of film, director Martin Scorsese delivers the 2013 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities at the Kennedy Center on April 1.
NIcholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 12:34 pm

Martin Scorsese is a legend of a director — and he's also a great film teacher, a man who balances a passion for the medium with a deep knowledge of its history. Delivering this year's installment of the National Endowment for the Humanities' prestigious Jefferson Lecture — a talk he titled "Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema" — Scorsese demonstrated his speaking chops as well.

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Monkey See
10:54 am
Tue May 7, 2013

These Dogs, Cats And Robots Have A Few 'Tiny Confessions'

Penguin

Let me tell you a quick story from NPR's move from our old headquarters to our new one.

When I was emptying out my old desk and workspace, in addition to all the shoes under my desk and an alarming number of vessels designed to keep coffee warm, I had quite a lot of books lying around. Some were upcoming books, most were old books, and a few were books I neither had any use for nor could bear to get rid of. One of the tests I applied was that if I picked up a book and the first page I opened to made me laugh, it survived.

Tiny Confessions survived.

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Monkey See
9:16 am
Tue May 7, 2013

So Much For Bowling Scenes: What Is And Isn't Wrong With Number-Crunching Scripts

iStockphoto.com

The words "grossed out" evoke enough of a watery 1980s vibe that they need to be saved for the times when they really apply: movie scenes where somebody sticks something in somebody else's eye, sewage spills, and so forth.

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Monkey See
6:30 am
Tue May 7, 2013

MTV's Musical Legacy: How 'Unplugged' Sold The Radio Star

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City in November 1993.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

It's generally understood that something about MTV was revolutionary. Perhaps it was the music video, perhaps it was the short attention span, perhaps it was The Real World, but something about MTV had enough cultural permanency that it made for a fine oral history from Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, called I Want My MTV, in late 2011.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Book News: Freud's Couch Succumbs To Despair, Ennui

The famous couch used by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud was on display at his former home in London in 1986.
Anne Purkiss AP

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Postgraduate Post-Mortem In A Smart, Literary Mystery

There are many things to savor about Elanor Dymott's debut suspense novel, Every Contact Leaves a Trace -- among them, its baroque narrative structure and its clever manipulation of the stock, husband-who-hasn't-got-a-clue character. But Dymott really won me over when she pulled Robert Browning out of her crime kit. Nobody reads Robert Browning anymore, do they? As far as I can tell, high schools have thrown in the towel when it comes to teaching Victorian poetry; dissertations on Browning's dramatic monologues have all but dried up.

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Fine Art
3:43 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Family Fights Sale Of Iconic Thomas Cole Painting

Thomas Cole completed Portage Falls on the Genesee in 1839.
Courtesy Seward House Museum

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

A celebrated 19th century landscape painting by Thomas Cole is at the center of a 21st century fight: The Seward House Historic Museum in upstate New York wants to sell a painting that belonged to former Secretary of State William Seward, but on Tuesday Seward's great-great-grandson will be in court to try to block the sale.

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Europe
2:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Crowdfunding Effort Seeks To Save Venice's Everyday Gondolas

Nicolo Zen, director of Traditional Boat Museum of Venice, launched a crowd funding project to save one of the last traghetto gondolas — everyday boats used by the city's locals.
Christopher Livesay

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

Even if you haven't been to Venice, you're probably familiar with the city's famous tourist gondolas: With baroque silver ornaments, shiny black lacquer, and sumptuous red seat cushions, they're unabashedly fancy, not to mention ubiquitous. A ride with a gondolier costs at least 80 euros (about $105), rain or shine (and it's 110 — $144 — more to be serenaded).

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Book Reviews
2:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Safety Is Relative: A Moving Account Of Life In Chechnya

Russian troops patrol Minutka square in the Chechen capital on Monday, Feb. 28, 2000.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

How do you write an absorbing novel about unspeakable things? It's always a tricky business, and an editor I know once described the dilemma this way: "A reader needs to want to go there." What "there" means is the self-contained world of the book. And what would make a reader want to go deeply into a world of hopelessness and seemingly perpetual war, a world of torture and intimidation and exploding land mines? There are many answers. One of the most obvious, of course, is the language.

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The Salt
1:47 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Fried Peanut Butter And Banana

Melissa approaches with caution.
NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:58 pm

It's strange to find a Fried Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich, famous as Elvis Presley's favorite, on a restaurant menu, given its effect on Elvis. It's like finding a store selling an Isadora Duncan commemorative scarf.

Nonetheless, freelance radio producer Melissa LaCasse and I decided to try the one offered by The Breslin in New York, listed as "fried peanut butter & banana sandwich with bourbon & vanilla."

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Television
11:54 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Linney Mines 'The Big C' For Serious Laughs

Laura Linney and Alan Alda star in The Big C, now in its fourth season on Showtime. Linney took on the role not long before her own father died of cancer.
Showtime

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:20 pm

From a young age, Laura Linney knew what she wanted to do with her life: act. There was no question.

She was a drama nerd in high school, and went onto Juilliard to study theater. But film acting was never the dream, and movie stardom definitely wasn't the goal.

"I was always completely intimidated by film," she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "I was not the sort of person who grew up thinking, 'Oh, I want to be in the movies.' I loved movies; I just didn't think I particularly belonged there."

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Book Reviews
10:56 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Godwin's 'Flora': A Tale Of Remorse That Creeps Under Your Skin

Gail Godwin, whose latest novel is Flora, has been a finalist for the National Book Award and a Guggenheim fellow.
David Hermon Bloomsbury Press

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:20 pm

Gail Godwin says one of the inspirations for her new novel, called Flora, is Henry James' ghost story The Turn of the Screw. Both stories take place in isolated old houses, and both revolve around mental contests between a governess character and her young charge. There are ghosts in Flora, too: specters that arise out of what our narrator calls her "remorse." Godwin had me at that word, "remorse": It's such a great, old-fashioned word, and it suggests that there'll be a lot of awful things going on in this novel that will need to be atoned for.

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Monkey See
9:55 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Entirely Real Photos: Greetings From These ABBA Puppets

Puppets of the ABBA members await you at what is, believe it or not, the world's first permanent ABBA museum.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Of all the museums opening tomorrow that are devoted to supergroups of the 1970s, surely none is more hotly anticipated than ABBA The Museum.

You can dance. You can jive. You can visit the gift shop.

And you can see these puppets, which also appeared in a video in which you can see them in action. Are these more or less creepy than wax museum figures? It's a toss-up.

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New In Paperback
9:19 am
Mon May 6, 2013

May 6-12: An Apocalypse, A Trip To Malawi And Anne Boleyn

Cover of The Lower River

* Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Books
9:17 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Wendy Williams Dishes Her Own Dirt

Karl Giant

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:35 pm

Daytime television talk show host Wendy Williams is known for pushing the envelope and dishing the dirt on celebs. She got her start over 20 years ago, as a radio DJ and host. Williams quickly became known in New York as a "shock jockette" who never bit her tongue.

Her quick humor has made The Wendy Williams Show one of the most popular in daytime talk. But Wendy's road to stardom had its bumps.

On Drug Use

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Monkey See
7:53 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Shut The Door, Have A Suite: 'Mad Men' Steps It Up

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men.
Michael Yarish AMC

[CAUTION: This is all about Sunday night's Mad Men. Obviously, if you haven't seen Sunday night's Mad Men and you still intend to, you might hold off.]

It's reductive to conclude that on far too many episodes of Mad Men, nothing happens. Of course something always happens: someone feels something, or learns something, or is locked in a continuous internal struggle with something. A dynamic continues to simmer, a memory comes to the surface, angels and demons battle for somebody's soul.

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Monkey See
6:10 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Armor And Anxiety: Tony Stark Is The New Captain America

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man 3.
Marvel/Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:37 am

Meet Tony Stark at the opening of Iron Man 3: insanely wealthy, possessed of every toy, and traumatized by an attack on New York that has left him restless, anxious, belligerent, and given to both hunker-down security measures and fate-tempting swagger. He declares his total lack of fear, then builds the fortress walls higher.

Let's step back.

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The Two-Way
5:24 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Book News: Harper Lee Says Literary Agent Exploited Her Health

Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

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

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Religion
2:08 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

A Search For Faith In 'Godless' Washington

The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C, is one of the world's largest cathedrals, and the seat of the Episcopal Church.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:03 pm

War has brought the act of faith to the forefront for those who occupy the White House. President Lincoln famously issued a call to prayer during the Civil war. Franklin Roosevelt announced D-Day to the nation with a prayer.

Today, President Obama receives a daily spiritual meditation. The man who sends those messages is a Pentecostal minister named Joshua DuBois.

When he first moved to Washington, D.C., DuBois says he had already formed an impression about the spiritual life of the town.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
1:47 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

The Movie Derek Cianfrance Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Actors Ray Liotta (from left), Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino and Joe Pesci in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas.
Warner Bros. Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 5:20 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Author Interviews
1:43 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

A Tale From The Delta, Born Of The Blues

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 5:20 pm

Bill Cheng's new novel, Southern Cross the Dog, is deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta. It follows the story of one boy after he survives the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and spends the next few decades as a refugee, an abandoned orphan and then an itinerant laborer.

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Television
5:45 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Pat Sajak: 'I Didn't See Myself As A Game Show Host'

Wheel of Fortune has been a part of American culture since 1975. The show has been in syndication since 1983 and since then there has only been one host, Pat Sajak. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Sajak about his early years in broadcasting, the military and hosting one the nation's most popular game shows.

You Must Read This
3:54 am
Sun May 5, 2013

A Chatty, Pensive, 'Rude As A Goat's Beard' Child Soldier

A. Igoni Barrett is the author of Love Is Power, Or Something Like That: Stories.

The reign of the child soldier in African literature is over.

Now, in the aftermath of its decline, the props of the regime — as with the downfall of your common blood-and-flesh despot — are being dismantled. The discerning reader has long grown weary of dead and dying stereotypes of the modern African novel: Civil wars. Black magic. Vulture-stalked refugees. In life as in literature, the stranglehold of these banal memes on African narratives is broken.

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Author Interviews
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Paul Rudnick On His 'Gorgeous' Adventure

Cover of Gorgeous

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 4:38 am

Paul Rudnick has made a name as a playwright, novelist, columnist and screenwriter. Now he's turned his attention to the Young Adult market with a kind of Cinderella story starring a young woman named Becky, who's grown up in a trailer park.

When Becky's mom dies, she discovers a mysterious phone number. Calling it, she receives a mystical offer: A legendary New York fashion designer will make her three dresses, one each in black, white and red, and if she'll only wear them — and do everything he says — she'll become history's most beautiful woman.

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Sunday Puzzle
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Two Last Names For The Price Of One

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 4:39 am

On-air challenge: Every answer today consists of two people, either real or fictional, whose last names are anagrams of each other.

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Food
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

How To Dip Without Breaking The Chip

Claire O'Neill NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:13 am

The Mexican army's May 5 victory in 1862's Battle of Puebla is a pretty small holiday in Mexico. But in the U.S., Cinco de Mayo has grown into a kind of Mexican St. Patrick's Day. So this weekend, in honor of that holiday, thousands of Americans will be dipping tortilla chips into guacamole, and when they do they'll have an important decision to make: how best to dip without breaking the chip.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:28 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

The Movie Paula Patton Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Adam McKay's Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 4:24 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen a Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

The movie that actress Paula Patton, whose credits include the films Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Jumping the Broom and Disconnect (currently in theaters) could watch a million times is the comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Star Wars Fans 'Use The Fourth' To Celebrate

Fans are celebrating Star Wars Day today, May 4. Here, actor David Prowse (center), who played Darth Vader in the first Star Wars trilogy, poses with costumed fans in France last week.
Thierry Zoccolan AFP/Getty Images

Today is May 4, unofficially known as Star Wars Day — seemingly for the lone reason that it presents an opportunity for people to tell one another, "May the Fourth be with you." But fans of the George Lucas films are also using the day as an excuse to break out costumes and photos, and generally let their Jedi flag fly.

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Sports
10:07 am
Sat May 4, 2013

A 'Decadent And Depraved' Derby With Hunter S. Thompson

When illustrator Ralph Steadman accepted an assignment with writer Hunter S. Thompson at the Kentucky Derby, he never imagined the weekend that would ensue. Here, Steadman depicts the race's winner, a colt named Dust Commander.
Ralph Steadman

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 4:27 pm

In the spring of 1970, a British illustrator named Ralph Steadman had just moved to America, hoping to find some work. His first call came from a small literary journal called Scanlan's. It was looking for a cartoonist to send to the Kentucky Derby. Steadman had heard of neither the race nor the writer he was to accompany, a fellow named Hunter S. Thompson.

Steadman hadn't read any of Thompson's work, and he certainly didn't know that the writer had a bit of a drinking tendency, but he agreed to go.

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Author Interviews
5:03 am
Sat May 4, 2013

A Look Inside The Garage: A Q&A With Marc Maron

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:23 pm

With his newest book, Attempting Normal, released on April 30, and a TV show, Maron, that premiered on IFC on May 3, comedian Marc Maron is having a busy spring. Maron considers himself primarily a stand-up comic, but he's also an actor, author and host of the popular podcast WTF with Marc Maron. The podcast has a simple premise: Maron interviews another comic. But the resulting product is complex and compelling.

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