Arts

Arts and culture

Filmmaker Jacques Audiard bristles when you ask him about news coverage of Europe's "refugee crisis."

"I don't think we really see migrants ... " Audiard says. "It takes a baby washed up on the beach for us to ask: What was his name? It's terrible. I wanted to give them a name; to give them a face."

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

If you have a favorite sports photo from the past 60 years, it's very possible Neil Leifer took it: There's Muhammad Ali standing victorious over Sonny Liston ... Or there's Baltimore Colt Alan Ameche plunging over the goal line in 1958 to beat the New York Giants in the so-called Greatest Game Ever Played.

Of Dubious Origin

May 6, 2016

We made-up origin stories for people whose names end with "MAN." For example, "This "X-Men" actor developed his superpowers from manually changing car tires," you'd answer, "I'm Hugh Jackman!"

Heard on C2E2: Rose McGowan

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Meet the Expert: Andi Gutierrez

May 6, 2016

Our expert Andi Gutierrez is the social media connoisseur for a galaxy far, far away. She's the Digital Communications Manager for Lucasfilm. On the first day of her job at Lucasfilm, she got an interesting homework assignment. "They just handed me the scripts and said, 'Ok go, read them.' All of them." Gutierrez says to Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg at C2E2 in Chicago. "The cool thing is that it's my job, so I can watch Star Wars at work and people are like 'Good job! Stay on target!'"

Moves Like Frogger

May 6, 2016

Scrounge up your quarters because we're heading to the arcade! In this game, Jonathan Coulton tweaks Maroon 5's song "Moves Like Jagger" to be about classic video games.

Heard on C2E2: Rose McGowan

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This, That, Or The Other

May 6, 2016

For the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, we crafted a special version of our favorite game. The categories are: racehorse, roller coaster, or Marvel villain.

Heard on C2E2: Rose McGowan

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Who Are You Wearing?

May 6, 2016

Our producers went out onto the C2E2 convention floor and asked some cosplayers, "Who are you wearing?" In this game, cosplayers describe their outfit and you have to guess who they are.

Heard on C2E2: Rose McGowan

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It sounds like a Hollywood cliche, but a teenage Rose McGowan was discovered in 1995 on the street corner of Beverly and Sweetzer in Los Angeles. Her "angry girl" demeanor landed McGowan the leading role in Gregg Araki's The Doom Generation, and launched a movie career in films such as Jawbreaker and Grindhouse. On the lighter side, she spent five seasons as the witch Paige on the TV show Charmed.

Stop And Go

May 6, 2016

Red light, green light! Every answer in this final round will contain one of these three words: red, yellow or green.

Heard on C2E2: Rose McGowan

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Captain America: Civil War, our 13th spin around the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is such a satisfying Problems In 21st Century Superheroics seminar that I'd be humming its theme for days if only I could remember it. Does Captain America have a theme? Does Iron Man? What about Black Widow? Haven't they each earned one by now?

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Case For Optimism

About Mia Birdsong's TED Talk

Activist Mia Birdsong says the stories we tell about poverty don't reflect reality. She describes people in her community who are optimistic about their futures — even if the larger society is not.

About Mia Birdsong

Are We Natural Optimists?

May 6, 2016

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Case For Optimism

About Tali Sharot's TED Talk

Cognitive neuroscientist Tali Sharot makes the case for why humans are wired to have what she calls an "optimism bias."

About Tali Sharot

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Case For Optimism

About John Hunter's TED Talk

Educator John Hunter describes how he finds hope and inspiration in his fourth grade students — and their ability to solve big problems.

About John Hunter

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Case For Optimism

About Al Gore's TED Talk

Vice President Al Gore says that — despite the dismal news on climate change — he's optimistic.

About Al Gore

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Case For Optimism

About Tania Luna's TED Talk

In describing her experiences of immigration, poverty, and homelessness, psychologist Tania Luna explains that gratitude for the small things creates a rich and hopeful life.

About Tania Luna

Part 6 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Case For Optimism

About Al Gore's TED Talk

Vice President Al Gore explains how human ingenuity can solve our climate crisis.

About Al Gore

Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day, the comics industry's yearly attempt to bring new readers into the fold, is 15 years old. It's a peevish teen that smells of Speed Stick and Clearasil and a practiced, performative surliness. It demands that you drop it off a block away from school.

For the past eight years, I've written a preview of the comics on offer on Free Comic Book Day for NPR. So I'm kind of like Free Comic Book Day's annoying third-grade little brother, always chasing after him and telling everyone how cool he is.

In 2009, French director Jacques Audiard won the Grand Prix (equivalent to second place) at the Cannes Film Festival for A Prophet, a gripping thriller about a 19-year-old Algerian inmate who slowly rises to power in a prison where Muslims and Corsicans are engaged in mob warfare. Chief among the film's many virtues is Audiard's sly narrative strategy: Through the vessel of a tough, violent genre picture, he could smuggle a movie that's really about the difficulty persons of color and cultural disadvantage have in a system that's stacked against them.

When you know the backstory behind Being Charlie, the wounds this film opens become so raw you can still see them bleeding. It follows the troubled 18-year-old addict son of an emotionally frigid movie star and politician. It's directed by Hollywood legend Rob Reiner, from a script co-written by his son Nick, who himself had fallen in and out of rehab centers as a teen.

Inspiration in Hollywood movies is often a matter of one plucky individual taking on a "system" and winning. For the Brits, such triumphs come deeply embedded in class, region, and national pride, and winning is neither guaranteed nor especially prized. The wonderful 2014 drama Pride re-enacted a gratifyingly improbable, real-life alliance between gay Londoners and displaced Welsh miners during the bruising national strike of 1984.

For an "authentic" Mexican meal, why not cook up crepes?

¿Que qué?! You ask. Hear me out.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

When you first wrap your head around its plot, the new film Captain America: Civil War seems to have abandoned most of the pointed political content of Marvel's 2006 comics series Civil War, on which it's based. ("Loosely based"? Let's say "semi-loosely based.")

'The Queue' Carries On A Dystopian Lineage

May 5, 2016

In an unspecified Middle Eastern city, a doctor is drawn to and troubled by a particular patient file. The file documents the injuries of a man named Yehya, sustained after a skirmish called the Disgraceful Events. Not only are the events shrouded in mystery; Yehya himself does not know who shot him. And the doctor would have already removed the bullet, except for the fact that in that aftermath of the Disgraceful Events, the government has made it illegal to do so without a certain permit. Yehya must get that permit so the doctor can do the surgery.

Novelist Richard Russo heard a story once: A cop discovers a garage door remote in his wife's belongings, so he goes around town pointing the remote at different garages. The idea, Russo tells NPR's Steve Inskeep, is "if he could find the house where the garage door went up, he would have found his wife's lover."

Growing up in Pennsylvania coal country, writer Jennifer Haigh learned that a lot of what matters in the state can't be seen. It lies beneath the surface, in the form of potential energy. She saw how the boom and bust cycles of mining affected the people of her hometown, which is now poised on the brink of fracking.

She's taken what she knows and turned it into a new novel, Heat and Light. But Haigh says she doesn't think of it as a book about fracking.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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