Arts

Movie Reviews
3:37 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

'Miss Lovely' Exposes The Underbelly Of India's Film Industry

Zeena Bhatia plays Poonam, an aging actress, in the new film Miss Lovely, which exposes India's underground porn industry.
DADA Films

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 4:19 pm

The Indian film industry produces more than the glitz of Bollywood musicals. It has a sordid underbelly, too: the underground world of sex horror films.

Director Ashim Ahluwalia wanted to capture that reality, but had to turn to fiction to do it.

The new film Miss Lovely follows two brothers who produce soft-core porn in the 1980s, shooting in one-hour hotels and racing to keep one step ahead of the cops who would shut them down. Pornography is illegal in India; getting caught means a minimum of three years in jail, with no option of bail.

Read more
Arts
12:00 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

STATE OF THE ARTS: Border Museum Association’s Scavenger Hunt

Dr. Marshall Carter-Tripp, former Director of the UTEP Centennial Museum and former President of the Border Museum Association previews the 6th annual Scavenger Hunt, which encourages participants of all ages to learn more about the area’s history, art, desert and other subjects while exploring the region’s museums.

Information:
(915) 533-5147
visitelpaso.com

Simon Says
7:17 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Buried By Picasso, The Man Beneath 'The Blue Room' Tells A Story

Picasso's The Blue Room, painted in 1901, hung in the Phillips Collection for decades.
AP

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 12:45 pm

What's behind the man who is below The Blue Room?

This week, conservators at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., revealed that underneath Pablo Picasso's noted 1901 painting The Blue Room is another painting of a mustachioed man in a jacket and bow tie, resting his face on his hand.

Experts have long suspected something more must be below, as there were brushstrokes that didn't match the composition of the nude, bluish woman. Now, advanced infrared technology has revealed the man with the mustache, who also wears three rings on his fingers.

Read more
Art & Design
6:00 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Chicago Girl Designs A Parkinson's-Proof Cup

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 9:52 am

Lily Born, 11, has designed a spill-proof cup for people with Parkinson's disease. She and her dad, Joe Born, talk with NPR's Scott Simon about the invention she's named Kangaroo Cups.

Games & Humor
6:00 am
Sat June 21, 2014

How To Catch A Chess Cheater

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 9:52 am

Ken Regan could be called a chess detective. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the computer scientist and chess master whose algorithm reveals whether players are cheating at the game.

Television
6:00 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Two High-Born Hipsters Are 'Almost Royal'

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 9:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more
Book News & Features
3:29 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Magically Romantic Reads For A Short Solstice Night

The midsummer sun rises over Stonehenge.
Stonehenge Stone Circle

You need not be a druid to feel a sense of magic on Midsummer, the shortest night of the year. As far as we can tell, ancient civilizations around the world celebrated summer and winter solstices as some of their highest holidays, and it makes sense that people who lived off the land would be tuned in to the changing seasons. Winter has the longest night, when the landscape seems most bleak and barren.

Read more
Books
3:27 am
Sat June 21, 2014

A Former Prisoner Out Of Step With Modern China In 'Night Heron'

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 12:29 pm

Adam Brookes' new novel, Night Heron, starts with an act of almost impossible bravery.

A man named Peanut escapes from a prison camp in north-western China. Peanut is a a powerfully-built man — despite his nickname — who witnessed the Cultural Revolution as a small boy, and whose father was an intellectual savaged by the Chinese regime.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:05 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Not My Job: We Quiz A Member Of The '7 Up' Series About The Number 8

The men and women from the "Up" series pictured in their 20s. Nick Hitchon is on the far right.
First Run Features

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 9:32 am

Back in 1964, a British TV company filmed a group of 7-year-olds basically being 7, for a half hour special called 7 Up. Then, every seven years, filmmaker Michael Apted went back and made another film about the group: 14 Up, 21 Up, and most recently, 56 Up. One of those kids was Nick Hitchon, and — spoiler alert for 63 Up — he is now a professor at the University of Wisconsin.

Since Hitchon's life has been chronicled in increments of seven, we've invited him to play a game called "8 Up." Three questions involving the number 8.

Read more
Television
2:20 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Sputtering On Fumes, 'True Blood' Has Outstayed Its Welcome

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:08 pm

HBO's True Blood, which returns for its final season Sunday, is a prime example of a TV show that kept going long after it should have ended. It's not alone, though: Other shows have stayed too long at the party, including Dexter and Law & Order: SVU. Why is it that some shows stay on air well after they've run out of creative juice?

Read more
Movie Reviews
2:08 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

A Leap Too Far? 'Venus' And 'Jersey Boys' Bounce From Stage To Screen

Mathieu Amalric as a Roman Polanski look-alike and Emmanuelle Seigner — the director's real-life wife — play psychosexual mind games in Venus in Fur.
Mars Distribution

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:07 pm

An intellectual play about sadomasochism, a musical about a '60s pop group, and a pair of famously cinematic directors. There's always going to be a bit of a leap when a play moves from stage to screen — but Roman Polanski's Venus in Fur and Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys leap a little further than usual.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:00 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

A Reclusive Novelist Reckons With His Legacy '& Sons'

David Gilbert tells the story of a famous, aging writer whose children do not feel as warmly toward him as his readers do. Originally broadcast July 23, 2013.

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Read more
Movie Reviews
1:00 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

'Jersey Boys' And 'Venus In Fur' Are Just As Intense On Screen

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Film critic, David Edelstein, reviews two movies based on shows he saw on Broadway - the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons musical, "Jersey Boys," directed for the screen by Clint Eastwood and the David Ives play "Venus In Fur," filmed by Roman Polanski.

Read more
Monkey See
7:45 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Buddy Movies And First Impressions

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week, the recent opening of 22 Jump Street — among many others — gets us talking about the buddy film. Not just the buddy-cop movie, but the buddy-frat movie, the depressingly rare female-buddy movie, and whatever else they come up with to create what Glen calls "the background noise of American popular culture." We talk about whether the straight-man/comic dynamic is going away, the long history of buddies, and the "bromance" idea with which not all of us are entirely comfortable.

Read more
TED Radio Hour
6:55 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Does Technology Make Us More Honest?

Jeff Hancock explains why technology might actually keep us honest.
Jeremy Hiebert Courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Why We Lie.

About Jeff Hancock's TEDTalk

Who hasn't sent a text message saying "I'm on my way" when it wasn't true? But some technology might actually force us to be more honest, says psychologist Jeff Hancock.

About Jeff Hancock

Read more
TED Radio Hour
6:50 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Where's The Line Between Cheating A Little and Cheating A Lot?

Behavorial economist Dan Ariely speaks at TED.
Asa Mathat Courtesy of TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Why We Lie.

About Dan Ariely's TEDTalk

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains the hidden reasons we think it's okay to cheat or steal. He says we're predictably irrational — and can be influenced in ways we don't even realize.

About Dan Ariely

Read more
TED Radio Hour
6:50 am
Fri June 20, 2014

How Do Magicians Manufacture Reality?

Eric Mead speaks at TED.
Michael Timmons Courtesy of TED

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Why We Lie.

About Eric Mead's TEDTalk

The power of the placebo has been consistently proven in medicine. Magician Eric Mead extends that idea to magic, pulling off a gruesome trick that's so convincing, you'll cringe.

About Eric Mead

Read more
TED Radio Hour
6:50 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Why Do We Believe In Unbelievable Things?

Michael Shermer speaks at TED.
James Duncan Davidson Courtesy of TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Why We Lie.

About Michael Shermer's TEDTalk

Michael Shermer says the human tendency to believe strange things boils down to two of the brain's most basic, hard-wired survival skills.

About Michael Shermer

Read more
TED Radio Hour
6:50 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Can You Learn To Spot A Liar?

Pamela Meyer explains how to spot a liar.
James Duncan Davidson Courtesy of TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Why We Lie.

About Pamela Meyer's TEDTalk

We're surrounded by deception: in politics and pop culture, in the workplace and on social media. Pamela Meyer points out manners and cues that can help us suss out a lie.

About Pamela Meyer

Read more
Author Interviews
1:36 am
Fri June 20, 2014

In 'Fever,' Town's Teen Tic Epidemic Gets A Chilling Novelization

Megan Abbott's other books include Queenpin, The Song Is You and The End of Everything.

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:50 am

Sometimes real life is stranger than fiction, so it makes sense that novelists get some of their best stories from the headlines. That's what happened with mystery writer Megan Abbott. A few years ago, she was one of the millions of people captivated by news stories about a strange illness that seemed to consume a town in upstate New York. Now, Abbott has taken pieces of that true story and turned it into a chilling new novel.

Read more
Poetry
1:33 am
Fri June 20, 2014

How Rhythm Carries A Poem, From Head To Heart

Irish poet William Butler Yeats makes a recording for the radio. Scroll down to hear him read his poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree."
Culture Club Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 1:15 pm

Poetry, perhaps more than any other form of writing, delves deep into emotions. And rhythm, from the haunting repetitions of "Annabel Lee" to the taunting questions of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," plays a big part in evoking those feelings.

Read more
Monkey See
4:03 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Hey, Emmy Voters, Stop Ignoring 'Orphan Black' — And Other Suggestions

Tatiana Maslany wasn't even nominated for an Emmy last year, despite her star turn as clones Sarah and Rachel (and Allison and Cosima and Helena and Katja and Tony).
BBC America

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:37 am

Emmy nominations are a tough time for a TV critic.

That's because much of the work involved in choosing the best achievements for television's highest award is done in the nominating process.

Tatiana Maslany, the talented Canadian actress who plays a multitude of clones on BBC America's mind-bending sci-fi drama Orphan Black, found that out the hard way. She wasn't even nominated for an Emmy last year, despite nailing the most difficult role in one of TV's most challenging new series.

Read more
Arts & Life
3:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Never Tell Them The Odds: Cities Vie To Host 'Star Wars' Collection

While cities are still competing for the not yet built Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, parts of the collection are already on display. The "Star Wars Identities" traveling exhibition, currently at the Cite du Cinema in Saint-Denis, France, features 200 objects from George Lucas' collection — including the costumes of Chewbacca, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

A short time ago, in a city not far away, Star Wars creator George Lucas decided to build a museum to house his movie memorabilia and his art collection.

There's just one looming question: Where should it go?

Lucas says he'll spend $300 million of his own money to build the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum and will provide a $400 million endowment after his death. In addition to holding Skywalker artifacts galore, the museum would also host Lucas' private art collection, featuring works by Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth, among others.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

'The Last Sentence': A Man Making History, But Made By It As Well

Actor Jesper Christensen plays Swedish journalist Torgny Segerstedt in The Last Sentence, a biographical film that highlights the journalist's stance against Hitler and fascism during World War II.
Nille Leander Music Box Films

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:19 am

Like his magnificent 1996 film Hamsun, Swedish director Jan Troell's latest bio-pic is a richly detailed portrait of a great man riddled with flaws and undone by adulation.

On the face of it, Torgny Segerstedt seems the very inverse of Knut Hamsun, the Norwegian writer revered, then reviled during World War II for his Nazi sympathies. Segerstedt, a former theologian turned high-living editor of a Gothenberg newspaper, made it his mission to put out the word about the threat posed by Hitler to his country, and to liberal democracy everywhere.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Justice Proves Elusive In The Sprawling 'Norte'

Norte, the End of History sets three characters adrift in the dangerous waters of justice and morality.
Cinema Guild

For someone who clings desperately to absolutes, Fabian (Sid Lucero), one of three central characters in the Filipino film Norte, the End of History, is remarkably prone to getting stuck in the moral murk. "If we really want to clean up society," Fabian proposes at one point, "the solution is simple. Kill all the bad elements." Only a few scenes earlier, though, he was debating the ethics of sleeping with his friend's girlfriend, albeit somewhat belatedly — he had already done it.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

You're A Little Flat, 'Boys'

Tommy Devito (Vincent Piazza), Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen), Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young) and Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) make up the scrappy Four Seasons quartet in Jersey Boys.
Keith Bernstein 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.and RatPac Entertainment

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:40 am

For the final credits of Jersey Boys, director Clint Eastwood sends the whole cast into a backlot street to dance to the Four Seasons' most recent chart-topper, 1976's "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)." Hmmm, the confused viewer might wonder, perhaps this is supposed to be a musical....

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Writer, Wrong: A Complicated Road To Nowhere In 'Third Person'

Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde in Paul Haggis' Third Person.
Maria Marin Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:03 am

Third Person announces itself in a messy tangle of people and locations, an unsolved Rubik's cube of disparate lives waiting for a hand to start turning. There's a harried woman running late for an appointment in New York. A stereotypical ugly American receiving a secretive envelope in Rome. A shapely woman changing clothes in a cab in Paris. A woman scared to jump in her pool, an artist teaching his son to finger-paint, and, most importantly, a Writer.

Read more
Movie Interviews
2:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Viewed In 'Third Person': A Puzzle With Some Tough-To-Find Pieces

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

Robert Siegel speaks with Oscar-winning writer and director Paul Haggis about his new film, Third Person. Haggis is joined in the conversation by actress Moran Atias. The film has drawn some scathing reviews, but Haggis and Atias defend the film as a puzzle — one story told with three sets of characters.

Read more
Television
11:38 am
Thu June 19, 2014

John Oliver Is No One's Friend On His New HBO Show

John Oliver's new political satire Last Week Tonight airs on HBO. Oliver says the network gives him an almost "confusing amount of freedom."
Eric Liebowitz Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:37 pm

After serving as a correspondent on The Daily Show for 7 1/2 years — and hosting it last summer while Jon Stewart took a break to direct his movie — British comedian John Oliver now has his own show.

Last Week Tonight, a political satire, airs on HBO on Sunday nights.

Read more
The Salt
10:18 am
Thu June 19, 2014

It's Not Tennessee Whiskey If It's Aged In Kentucky, State Says

New regulations on what can be called "Tennessee whiskey" have sparked a fight between the makers of Jack Daniel's and George Dickel, two best-selling brands.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:10 am

Tennessee whiskey comes from Tennessee, Scotch comes from Scotland, and tequila hails from Mexico.

Simple, right?

Well, actually, no. The latest chapter in the Tennessee whiskey wars revolves around the finer points of making whiskey in the Volunteer State — specifically, where you take the spirit to age.

The kerfuffle began in 2013, as NPR's Scott Simon explained earlier this spring, when the state Legislature decided to specify what exactly qualifies as Tennessee whiskey.

Read more

Pages