Arts

My Big Break
3:51 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

The Unforgettable Performance Ed Harris Doesn't Remember

Actor Ed Harris has been nominated for four Academy Awards.
Carlo Allegri Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 6:23 pm

As part of a new 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.

Actor Ed Harris, whose new film The Face of Love is out in select theaters, has taken on some indelible roles: from the controlling creator of the tiny universe in The Truman Show, to abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock.

But his most memorable acting experience came long before these Oscar-nominated performances.

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Religion
3:51 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

A Frat Of Their Own: Muslims Create A New Space On Campus

The brothers of Alpha Lambda Mu come from a variety of backgrounds and religious upbringings. "We meet at this middle ground we call brotherhood," says ALM founder Ali Mahmoud.
Dylan Hollingsworth

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 6:23 pm

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Books News & Features
5:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

From Uganda To The Midwest, 'All Our Names' Draws Portraits Of Love

creacart iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 9:31 am

In his latest book, Ethiopian-American writer Dinaw Mengestu explores the nature of loneliness, violence and love. Mengestu is known for his novels about the immigrant experience in this country, but this book, All Our Names, is something of a departure. Much of the story unfolds in Africa and there are two narrators: One is a young man who flees violence and revolution to seek refuge in America, the other is a white woman who has never left the Midwest.

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Author Interviews
5:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Meet The Murdering, Kidnapping Imposter Who Fooled Walter Kirn

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:46 am

Walter Kirn has written insightful, best-selling novels — including Up in the Air and Thumbsucker, which were made into movies. He's an expert in the art of fiction.

So why did he fail to see the signs of falsehood in real life?

When Kirn was just starting his novel-writing career, he met a man who was a bold financier, an art collector, a fussy eccentric, a dog lover and a Rockefeller. They became friends.

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Health Care
5:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Affordable Care Act Isn't Perfect, But It's A 'Pretty Good Structure'

Courtesy of Public Affairs

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 10:20 am

For the Affordable Care Act to be considered a success years down the road, Ezekiel Emanuel believes that all Americans must have access to health coverage, and it must be better quality and lower cost. "And I think it's well within our grasp," he says.

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Movie Interviews
3:24 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Hollywood Bug Man Understands How Cockroaches Think

Entomologist Stephen Kutcher has wrangled insects for more than 100 films, commercials and music videos.
Courtesy of Stephen Kutcher

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 11:33 am

When most people see bugs on the big screen, they squirm, panic or squeal. But not Steven Kutcher. Kutcher is the man responsible for getting those insects on the screen. He's been Hollywood's go-to bug wrangler since the 1970s, handling, herding and otherwise directing insects in over 100 feature films.

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Author Interviews
3:23 am
Sat March 8, 2014

'Night In Shanghai' Dances On The Eve Of Destruction

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 9:31 am

A lot of talented jazz musicians in the 1930's couldn't buy a drink in the places they played. They were the African-American musicians who helped create the era's signature sound — but still had to live under the sting of segregation. Unless they went elsewhere.

Author Nicole Mones' new Night in Shanghai centers on classcially trained Baltimore pianist Thomas Greene, who's recruited to play jazz — a music that's new to him — in a new place: not Harlem, or the south side of Chicago, or even Paris, but Shanghai.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:20 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Not My Job: Drummer Stewart Copeland Gets Quizzed On Police Tactics

Mark Mainz Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:03 am

In the late '70s American drummer Stewart Copeland was living in England and joined up with guitarist Andy Summers and a singer named Sting. They formed a band called The Police, and then basically provided the soundtrack for the 1980s. Since then, Copeland has scored movies, theater performances and occasionally gotten the old band together again.

We've invited Copeland to play a game called "You have the right to wonder what the heck I'm doing." Three questions about questionable police tactics.

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Movie Reviews
2:44 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

'Particle Fever': Thrills, Chills And High Subatomic Drama

Yes, that is a man standing there, in the middle of this one small fraction of one experimental node of the Large Hadron Collider.
CERN

All you really need to know about Particle Fever is that it includes footage of physicists rapping. About physics. Wearing giant Einstein masks.

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Television
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

From One Dream To Another, 'The Returned' Shows Promise

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 8:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's something most writer only dream of, but Jason Mott is living the dream. ABC has turned his first novel into a TV series. "Resurrection" premieres Sunday night. As NPR's Eric Deggans reports, it explores one transition just about everyone faces sooner or later.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: For Jason Mott, it all started with a vision about life after his mother's death.

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This Week's Must Read
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

A Ukrainian Conscience Lost By Complicity, Recovered By Remorse

An anti-government protester sits on the Founders of Kiev monument during clashes with riot police in central Kiev.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Anthony Marra recommends Everything Flows by Vasily Grossman as a way to understand the events unfolding in Ukraine.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Fine Art
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Too Many Artists, Too Little Time: The Problems And Promise Of The Whitney

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The art show everyone loves to hate opens today in New York City. Every two years, the Whitney Museum of American Art hosts a show that's billed as an overview of art in America. The Whitney Biennial inevitably gets trashed by art critics, museum visitors and artists alike. As Karen Michel reports, this is the last biennial before the museum moves to a new building.

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Movie Reviews
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Review: 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Filmmaker Wes Anderson makes movies that are eccentric, pointedly artificial and, to his fans, very funny. From his early comedies "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tannenbaums," to last year's Oscar-nominated "Moonrise Kingdom," Anderson's movies have looked and sounded different from everyone else's in Hollywood. And critic Bob Mondello says that streak continues with his spoof of extravagant 1930s melodramas. It's called "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

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Movie Reviews
2:02 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

'Grand Budapest Hotel': Kitsch, Cameos And A Gloriously Stylized Europe

Ralph Fiennes plays Gustave H., a hotel concierge given to bedding his elderly guests, in Wes Anderson's latest film.
Bob Yeoman Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 2:46 pm

Wes Anderson has his share of groupies and his somewhat smaller share of skeptics who find him a tad precious. As someone who leans toward the precious view, but is open to his grace notes, I found The Grand Budapest Hotel mostly delightful.

It's a madcap comedy, but with hints of tragedy lurking outside the usual Anderson dollhouse frames. The central character is Gustave H., played by Ralph Fiennes. He's the concierge of a kitschy, opulent, high-class European hotel between World Wars I and II.

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Barbershop
10:05 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Barbershop Guys Dig Into Hollywood Beef

Screenwriter John Ridley won an Oscar for 12 Years A Slave, but he's being criticized for an old essay about black people. The barbershop guys give their own speeches on the topic.

TED Radio Hour
7:16 am
Fri March 7, 2014

How Can We All Listen Better?

Julian Treasure speaking at TED.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Extrasensory.

About Julian Treasure's TEDTalk

Sound expert Julian Treasure says we are losing our listening in a louder world. He shares ways to re-tune our ears for conscious listening — to other people and the world around us.

About Julian Treasure

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TED Radio Hour
7:16 am
Fri March 7, 2014

How Do You Construct A Voice?

Rupal Patel speaking at TED Women.
Marla Aufmuth TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Extrasensory.

About Rupal Patel's TEDTalk

Speech scientist Rupal Patel creates customized synthetic voices that enable people who can't speak to communicate in a unique voice that embodies their personality.

About Rupal Patel

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TED Radio Hour
7:16 am
Fri March 7, 2014

What's It Like To Hear Color?

Artist Neil Harbisson speaking at TED Global.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Extrasensory.

About Neil Harbisson's TEDTalk

Artist Neil Harbisson was born completely color blind. But thanks to a device attached to his head, he can now "hear" color, which allows him to experience an element that was once invisible.

About Neil Harbisson

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Monkey See
6:45 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Oscars, 'Drag Race' And Shut-Ins Edition

NPR

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:11 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

When we taped this show on Tuesday, we had all had quite a lot of the Oscars, to be honest. And we secretly suspect that with the all-out pile-on that continues for months before the ceremony, you might not require an all-out assault on the whole thing. So this week, you'll hear a quick wrap-up of how we felt about the hosting, some of the speeches, some of the great moments of Adele Nazeem-ing it up, and then we'll bid the entire thing farewell until next year. Next year, Oscars.

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Books News & Features
5:03 am
Fri March 7, 2014

The Professionally Haunted Life Of Helen Oyeyemi

Svetlana Alyuk iStockphoto

Being haunted seems like it might be an occupational hazard for Helen Oyeyemi. Her books are re-worked fairy tales, the gruesome kind, with beheadings and wicked stepmothers and ghosts and death, death, and more death (though, once dead, her characters don't always stay that way).

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Books
3:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Publisher Releases Lullabies From 'Goodnight Moon' Author

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Goodnight stars. Good night air. Good night noises, everywhere.

A woman named Margaret Wise Brown wrote those words. And you probably recognize them. You've probably read them out loud many times. It's from her book, "Goodnight Moon." Margaret Wise Brown died in 1952. But much of what she wrote was never published, including her songs and poems.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

A Panicky Pianist, Playing Like His Life Depends On It

Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) is a renowned concert pianist who's literally under the gun in Grand Piano, a Hitchcock-style thriller that plays out in real time.
Magnet Releasing

A world-renowned pianist known for cracking under the pressure of performance sits down to play a concerto before a packed hall. Then he sees the message scrawled in red on his sheet music: "Play one wrong note and you die." The movie almost writes itself.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Wes Anderson's New Hotel Proves Pretty Grand Indeed

Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes, with Saoirse Ronan and Tony Revolori) is a hotel concierge in an Eastern Europe falling under Hitler's shadow — a man pining for the Old World sensibility that's fading all around him.
Bob Yeoman Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 6:07 am

Chances are you've already made up your mind about Wes Anderson. Either you're willing to go with the meticulous symmetry of his dollhouse compositions, the precious tchotchke-filled design sensibility and the stilted formality of his dialogue, or you check out of his storybook worlds in the first five minutes. On the evidence of his eighth feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, it's clear no one is more aware of his idiosyncracies than Anderson himself — and he's not apologizing.

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Book Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

'300': An Empire Rises, Dripping In Gore And Glamour

The goth-glam Artemisia (Eva Green) is one of the more memorable characters in 300: Rise of an Empire — and not just because she's commander of the Persian navy.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 7:21 am

Talk about meeting cute: The first time they're alone together, the protagonists of 300: Rise of an Empire rip each other's clothes off. But then Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) and Artemisia (Eva Green) can't decide if they want to make love or war.

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Arts & Life
2:16 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

A Lifelong Radio Man Wins New Fans With 'Big Broadcast'

The Today Show; Walker stuck with radio." href="/post/lifelong-radio-man-wins-new-fans-big-broadcast" class="noexit lightbox">
From 1952 to 1974, the "Joy Boys" — Walker (left) and Willard Scott — provided D.C. radio listeners with a daily dose of comedy. Scott went on to work in TV, where he can still be seen on The Today Show; Walker stuck with radio.
Publicity photos from the WRC Graphics Department TheJoyBoys.Com

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:50 pm

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Monkey See
8:40 am
Thu March 6, 2014

A First Look At Quvenzhané Wallis In The New 'Annie'

Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie.
Screenshot

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 10:23 am

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The Salt
8:14 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Moo-d Music: Do Cows Really Prefer Slow Jams?

The Ingenues, an all-girl band and vaudeville act, serenade the cows in the University of Wisconsin, Madison's dairy barn in 1930. The show was apparently part of an experiment to see whether the soothing strains of music boosted the cows' milk production.
Angus B. McVicar/Wisconsin Historical Society

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 1:46 pm

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Monkey See
7:05 am
Thu March 6, 2014

David Cameron Calls, And The Internet Answers

Patrick Stewart jumped into a quick-growing meme on Wednesday night.
@sirpatstew

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 10:25 am

Oh, Internet.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Book News: George Saunders Wins The Story Prize

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu March 6, 2014

'Black Moon' Imagines A Sleepless American Nightmare

"It was a great time for storytellers," says Matthew Biggs, the central character in Kenneth Calhoun's haunting debut novel, Black Moon. The irony of his comment comes with a horrific aftertaste: The world is suffering from a sudden, unexplainable pandemic that's made everyone a perpetual insomniac. Biggs is one of the few who can still sleep. Humanity's state of chronic wakefulness has caused mass insanity — in the noonday sun, dreams overflow and chaos reigns.

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