Arts

Movies
1:02 am
Fri June 13, 2014

'How To Train Your Dragon 2' Is More Growly And Snarly (And Wise) Than Ever

Advanced animation and audio software help bring Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his pet dragon, Toothless, to life in How to Train Your Dragon 2.
DreamWorks Animation

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:20 am

The dragons are more fantastic. The stakes are higher. And protagonist Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III still wants humans and dragons to live together in peace. How to Train Your Dragon 2 — one of the most anticipated family movies of the summer — opens Friday.

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Code Switch
5:43 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Ruby Dee: An Actress Who Marched On Washington And Onto The Screen

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee at the 1989 Cannes Festival for the showing of Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing.
Courtesy of David Lee/All Rights Reserved

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 6:58 am

Born Ruby Ann Wallace in the early 1920s in Cleveland, actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee most identified with the part of New York City where she was raised.

"I don't know who I would be if I weren't this child from Harlem, this woman from Harlem. It's in me so deep," Dee told NPR's Tell Me More in 2007.

She died Wednesday of natural causes at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y., surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She was 91.

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Poetry
3:29 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

New Poet Laureate: 'The Meaning Has Always Stayed The Same'

Charles Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia, has been named the nation's next poet laureate.
Holly Wright Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 5:43 pm

The Library of Congress announced Thursday that the nation's next poet laureate will be Charles Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia.

"I'm very honored and flattered to be picked, but also somewhat confused," the poet told The New York Times. "I really don't know what I'm supposed to do. But as soon as I find out, I'll do it."

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Movies
3:03 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

In 'Manuscripts,' A Barred Filmmaker Considers Dissident Art

One of the uncredited members of the cast of Manuscripts Don't Burn.
Kino Lorber

Iranian writer-director Mohammad Rasoulof is known for such lovely yet elusive allegories as White Meadows, but his response to being barred from filmmaking has not been to recede further into symbolism. His Manuscripts Don't Burn, smuggled out of Iran last year, is direct and unflinching.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

'Burning Bush' Finds The Fuel For A Desperate Act

Jenovéfa Boková (as Vlaďka Charouzová), Adrian Jastraban (as Vladimír Charouz), and Tatiana Pauhofová (as Dagmar Burešová) in Burning Bush.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:09 am

I was a college sophomore in London when Jan Palach, a shy young Czech student, set himself on fire in Prague's Wenceslas Square in January 1969. The British campus revolt was in full flow, but the images of Palach's burning body, and the mass silent vigils that followed his death a few days later, made me feel how puny were the stakes of our revolution next to the failed protest against Soviet occupation, following the Prague Spring, that triggered Palach's desperate final act.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

The Sons Of The Father, Trapped In Grief

Josh Wiggins and Aaron Paul star in Hellion.
IFC Films

Jacob and Wes, the two child protagonists in Kat Candler's uneven Hellion, are models of the drastic transition between childhood and adolescence. Jacob (Josh Wiggins) is only a few years older than Wes (Deke Garner), but the difference in their temperaments — one is impertinent and prone to acts of reckless violence, the other impressionable and adorable — makes you want to hold tight onto Wes before his inevitable evolution takes place.

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Author Interviews
3:02 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Former BP CEO: 'Glass Closet' Still Holds Many Gay Workers Back

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 6:30 pm

"It was time to leave the building."

So begins a new book by John Browne, former CEO of the energy giant BP. But that sentence could easily have read: "It was time to leave the closet."

During his 12 years as CEO, he never discussed his sexuality in the workplace. That changed in 2007, when his relationship with a male escort was exposed and Browne resigned amid an ensuing scandal. At the time, he said in a statement, "I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private."

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Politics
2:07 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Hillary Clinton: The Fresh Air Interview

Hillary Clinton's new memoir, Hard Choices, outlines her four years as secretary of state under President Obama. She talks about her vote for the Iraq War, women's rights and political "gamers."
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 10:40 am

Hillary Clinton is on a national book tour for her new memoir, Hard Choices. The book outlines her four years as secretary of state during President Obama's first term, when she met with leaders all over the world.

One of her priorities was to campaign for gay rights and women's rights. She says she saw the "full gamut" on how women were treated, and in some cases it was "painful to observe."

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Parallels
1:38 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

In A Sunny Britain, Would We Read Classics Like 'David Coppertone'?

On a glorious but rare day, a woman relaxes on a bench in the rose garden in Hyde Park on Monday in London, England. The book she's reading might have turned out much different if London were known for fair weather rather than fog.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 2:48 am

I'm not sure that cities like Miami and Rio de Janeiro truly appreciate the sun. They clearly enjoy the sun, what with their beach volleyball games and their fruity cocktails. But to really appreciate the sun, I think you have to live in a place that gets dark by 4 p.m. in the winter. A place where a typical summer day involves drizzle. A place, in short, like London.

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Shots - Health News
12:11 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Cool Kids Lose, Though It May Take A Few Years

As Lindsay Lohan's character (far left) learned in the movie Mean Girls, popularity comes at a price.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:07 am

Parents, teachers and cheesy after-school specials have long tried to convince kids that being cool and popular isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Now scientists are chiming in as well.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Legendary Actress Ruby Dee Dies At 91

Actress Ruby Dee and director Spike Lee attend a special 20th anniversary screening of Do the Right Thing, in New York, in 2009. Dee died Wednesday at age 91.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 12:58 pm

Editors' Note: An earlier version of this post, as well as an accompanying breaking news alert, incorrectly stated that Ruby Dee had won an Oscar for her role in American Gangster. Dee was nominated for the award but did not win.

Ruby Dee, an actress and civil rights activist who built a career on stage and screen at a time when African-Americans had few such opportunities, has died at age 91.

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Ask Me Another
7:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

This Means Wiki-War

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 9:31 am

There have been so many Wikipedia "edit wars," that there's an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to them. ("The Eagles" vs. "Eagles"?) In this game about notable edit wars, however, everyone's a winner.

Heard in Episode 319: Two Can Slay That Game

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Ask Me Another
7:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Compound Fractures

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 9:31 am

Compound words combine shorter ones, like "milkshake." The answers in this game seem compound, but aren't: you get a floor covering ("carpet") by combining a vehicle (car) with the family dog (pet).

Heard in Episode 319: Two Can Slay That Game

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Ask Me Another
7:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

I Sense A Theme Music

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 9:31 am

Who could forget Celine Dion's Titanic's love anthem, "My Heart Will Go On"? We wish we could. In this game, identify movies from their famous soundtrack moments.

Heard in Episode 319: Two Can Slay That Game

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Ask Me Another
7:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Emily Nussbaum: A Critical Mass Of Good TV

Emily Nussbaum's critique on Lena Dunham's HBO show, Girls, for The New Yorker: "Like any groundbreaking TV, it shows the audience something new, then dares it to look away."
Neilson Barnard Getty Images for The New Yorker

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 6:09 am

Emily Nussbaum — the New Yorker critic — has a keen eye out for TV shows that tend to go off the beaten path. "Sometimes those are the shows that feel off-putting and disorienting, like Louie, or shows that do things that haven't been done previously, so people don't know how to watch them," says the writer who's unafraid of a small screen challenge. "I try to find those kinds of shows. But I've changed my mind about things a million times."

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Ask Me Another
7:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

This, That Or The Other VII

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 3:12 pm

We give you a word; you tell us which of three categories it belongs to. This week's categories: animals, world capitals, and (lest we forget to be nerdy) Lord of the Rings characters.

Heard in Episode 319: Two Can Slay That Game

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Ask Me Another
7:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Emily The Puzzle Slayer

Through the wonders of technology, actor Tom Lenk — who played Andrew on Buffy the Vampire Slayer -- serves as V.I.P. Emily Nussbaum's lifeline during her quiz at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY.
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 9:31 am

We quiz Emily Nussbaum, TV critic for The New Yorker, on her favorite show: Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Why Buffy?

"Buffy was the first show that I actually became a deranged fan that would frighten the people involved with the show," said Nussbaum.

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Ask Me Another
7:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

P.S. I Love You

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 9:31 am

The final round is a postscript to our show, so in this game, we took that idea literally: all the answers are two-word names or phrases with the initials "P.S." Which gal "got married" in a 1986 film?

Heard in Episode 319: Two Can Slay That Game

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Book News: Charles Wright, Who Writes Of God And Nature, To Be Poet Laureate

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Standing 2 Feet From The President Ought To Be More Exciting

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 8:13 am

Picture the following scenario: you are a Secret Service agent being paid to protect the President's life, when suddenly you feel an urgent call of nature. Well, that's exactly what happened to Dan Emmett on a state visit to Europe with Bill Clinton during the 1990s.

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Fine Art
1:08 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Meet The Models: Exhibit Explores The People Behind The Paintings

In 1930, Grant Wood had his sister Nan pose for American Gothic. "The public reaction to the painting was so rough on her that her brother Grant felt bad for her," curator Elizabeth Botten says.
Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 12:17 pm

An artist friend, Virginia Isbell, once asked me to pose for a quick pastel sketch in her Paris studio. I was flattered — and amazed to be on that side of a work of art. Never have I been looked at so intently, except by a parent or a lover. I was being fixed, examined, absorbed. And, for all the intensity, there was absolutely nothing personal about it.

I was an object to be replicated. Her eyes went from my face to her sketchpad, my nose, my eyes, mouth, chin — sketched in pastel in 20 minutes. It was fun. But it felt as if something had been taken from me.

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Book Reviews
2:18 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Summer Reading: Three Books To Take You To New Frontiers

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 4:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. You don't need a ticket to travel this summer. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, has packed a small bag of books that he says will send you to Alaska, Siberia and Tasmania. Here's Alan on three debut works.

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Author Interviews
2:18 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

In The Cockpit, Gazing At Stars: Saint-Exupéry's Life In Pictures

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 2:20 pm

Children's book author and illustrator Peter Sís takes grand adventures on the page. He's done books about Galileo, Charles Darwin, Christopher Columbus — and now, he's turned his pen and brush to the life of the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, best known for his book The Little Prince.

Saint-Exupéry was also famous as a pioneering aviator who wrote several adult books on the theme of flight. But after he disappeared during a reconnaissance mission over southern France in 1944, it was The Little Prince that lived on after him.

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Author Interviews
10:24 am
Wed June 11, 2014

The Difficulty And Drama Of Building A Top Black Magazine

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 3:10 pm

This year marks the 50th anniversary of many pivotal events in the civil rights movement, and to commemorate "Freedom Summer," Tell Me More is diving into books that explore that theme.

Back in 1969, faces of color doing any job in major media were few and far between. But that was the year an unlikely group of businessmen and salesmen decided to create a magazine specifically for black women: Essence.

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Beauty Shop
10:24 am
Wed June 11, 2014

What Does Cantor's Loss Say About The Republicans' Future?

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 2:23 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
6:01 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Book News: Appeals Court Rules Digital Library Doesn't Violate Copyright Law

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed June 11, 2014

'Girl With All The Gifts' Is A Thriller With (Sharp, Scary) Teeth

Warning: Mild spoilers ahead!

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Law
3:43 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Court OKs Universities' Quest To Turn To More Digital Copies Of Books

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:43 am

A U.S. appeals court has ruled against a group of authors, deciding in favor of a consortium of universities in a case that hinged on copyright law and provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The universities had allowed Google to make digital copies of more than 10 million books so that they could be searchable by specific terms.

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Television
2:46 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Larry Wilmore Knows: Heavy Lies The Late-Night Mantle

"When I'm working on The Daily Show, I understand that I'm having a dialogue with the audience about something that is pretty charged," says Larry Wilmore. "And I'm always trying to work on: What is this really about?"
Comedy Central

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 12:50 pm

Larry Wilmore just landed the second-toughest job in TV.

The toughest gig falls to Stephen Colbert, who will replace late-night talk icon David Letterman on CBS next year. But Wilmore has been named to replace Colbert, leading a show that will tackle topics barely referenced on television: race and diversity.

And Wilmore admits to just one teeny, tiny concern about replacing Colbert: He might screw it up pretty badly. And then they'd never let another black guy host another late-night TV talk show.

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Author Interviews
2:04 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, And Lives To Write About It

"My early films look terrible!" says filmmaker John Waters. "I didn't know what I was doing. I learned when I was doing it. I never went to film school." Waters, who is known for films such as the outlandish Pink Flamingos and Hairspray, has written a new book, Carsick.
Kathy Willens AP

Film director and writer John Waters has broken many taboos and created intentionally perverse scenarios in his films — most notably in Pink Flamingos, about a competition for the title "the filthiest person alive."

Waters, who is now 68, was looking for an adventure he could write about. So he decided to hitchhike cross-country from his home in Baltimore to his co-op apartment in San Francisco.

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