This week's show was taped while Stephen and I were still recovering from live-blogging the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, so that was still fresh in our minds. Trey and Glen saw the show as well, so we spend some time this week talking about the awards, the performances, and whether we learned anything. You will experience my new way of tormenting Stephen, and perhaps you'll want to join in!
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 9:55 am
Hundreds of years into the future, in a post-apocalyptic world, there's a beautiful city in a steel-and-glass pyramid, perched on a Brazilian bay. It's Palmares Tres, founded and run by women after men made a wreck of the world, and named for a famous 17th century city founded by escaped slaves. The city runs on a combination of futuristic technology and ancient, bloody ritual: Every five years, a Summer King is elected by the people and sacrificed at the end of the year.
Alaya Dawn Johnson has written a number of novels for adults (including the delightful Zephyr Hollis series), and now she's venturing onto the young adult shelves with The Summer Prince, a complex science-fiction narrative set in post-apocalyptic Brazil. The action takes place in the city of Palmares Tres, which is entirely contained in a giant pyramidal structure on a bay, surrounded and fed by giant algae vats.
The film No revisits the moment in Chile's history when 56 percent of the country voted to oust a dictator from power. It's the tale of the ad campaign that helped persuade Chileans to cast their ballots against Gen. Augusto Pinochet in a national referendum.
"This is an epic story, the story of a triumph," says Director Pablo Larrain. "It's how they defeat a dictator — probably one of the biggest bastards that we ever had in humankind."
"<em>Jung</em> is a portable meal, wrapped in bamboo leaves," says Jidan Koon. She and her now-husband, Bryant Terry, created their own multicultural version of the traditional dish when they got engaged.
Bryant Terry and Jidan Koon's relationship evolved over cooking. So much so that when they got engaged, they created a special dish: Afro-Asian jung, based on the savory Cantonese treat Koon enjoyed as a child in San Francisco's Chinatown. Koon shared the recipe for All Things Considered's Found Recipe series.
In 1988, Chile's brutal military dictator, Augusto Pinochet, was facing international pressure to legitimize his regime. Confident that the opposition was splintered, and that state-run media could control the political dialogue, his administration agreed to a simple yes-or-no vote on extending his rule.
It was a vote that even Pinochet's opponents expected to go his way — but it didn't, for reasons made both compelling and instructive in Pablo Larrain's rousing Oscar-nominated drama, No.
As Ugly Americans go, Manhattan corporate attorney Sam Chao (Daniel Henney) has a lot going for him. He's a handsome dude with perfectly symmetrical features, a toned bod we get to peek at all but naked, and facile charm to burn.
Don't you just love pointing out when others are wrong? In this game, contestants hear fictitious reports from actual NPR correspondents, and must identify which piece of information is inaccurate. This game is unpossible!
Audience, this is what we've all been waiting for. It's our Ask Me One More final round. This final elimination round will determine this week's ASK ME ANOTHER champion. So let's bring back the winners from all of our previous rounds.
EISENBERG: From "Happy and You Know it" we have Brice Gaillard. From "Forward and Backwards" Ken Stern. "Down at Downton Abbey," Tom Miller and "Spot the Mistakes" Sam Meyer.
Jonathan Coulton quizzes contestants on the lost verses of "If You're Happy and You Know It," in which the lyrics hint to certain things. The song should really be re-titled, "If You're An Inanimate Object And You Know It." Clap your hands.
The massively popular Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood started humbly about 20 years ago. Nollywood movies were shot as cheaply and as quickly as possible, then released straight to VHS.
Nollywood caught on globally, and piracy was a major factor in the industry's growth, as copies of copies of Nollywood tapes sold on street corners from Lagos to Harlem. In the early 2000s, Nollywood distribution shifted from VHS to discs — and now, the movies are also beginning to stream online.
Calling Beautiful Creatures a Southern-fried Twilight wouldn't be an unfair claim, at least based on its marketing campaign — which highlights that, yes, this movie centers on a teen romance between a couple of star-crossed kids, one of whom, yes, is all kinds of supernatural. And, yes, their love puts the fate of the world in danger, because, well, why not?
As the civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1960s, Ku Klux Klan activity boomed. That fact itself may not be surprising, but in the introduction to his new book, Klansville, U.S.A., David Cunningham also reveals that, "While deadly KKK violence in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia ha[d] garnered the lion's share of Klan publicity, the United Klan's stronghold was, in fact, North Carolina." North Carolina, Cunningham writes, had more Klan members than the rest of the South combined.
In a dark, dusty vault beneath a studio back lot, are there stacks and stacks of unproduced Cold War-era screenplays? A pile of untapped bad movie potential, like a hidden stockpile of enriched uranium, just waiting for a film crew that's looking to make a quick buck with a dirty bomb of a movie?
A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth entry in the annals of hard-to-kill New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis), is not that explosively bad movie. It's the decaying radioactive wreckage left behind after that bomb goes off.
Whitney Young spent most of his in the civil rights movement, but he focused on changing business as much as changing law. As head of the National Urban League, he had the ear of some of the nation's most powerful leaders. Host Michel Martin speaks with Young's niece, filmmaker Bonnie Boswell, who chronicles her uncle's story in the documentary, "The Power Broker."
By the time Wendy Plump learned from a friend that her husband had a longtime mistress and an 8-month-old son living just a mile away, their union was already pockmarked with the scars of adultery — both his and hers. She divulges all this and more in Vow, her at times jaw-droppingly frank but ultimately instructive post-mortem on their 18-year marriage.
This Valentine's Day, if you're feeling lonely, heartbroken, or just a bit jaundiced, we've got some archive treasures for you — tempestuous relationships, cartoon heartbreak, and a few books that may make you feel less alone — plus a bonus playlist from our good friends at NPR Music.
I know plenty of people out there think Valentine's Day is an overly commercial faux holiday, and to some extent I can see why. After all, it is a day when people (especially men?) can feel forced to celebrate romance. Call me an overly sentimental romantic if you want to, but I still adore the idea and practice of a day devoted to romance and love.
Hollywood's biggest night is in just a few weeks. People tend to focus on the glitz, the glamour and — of course — the gowns. But we thought we'd take a moment to focus on the gags.
Or rather what goes into writing both the jokes that fall flat and the jokes that soar. For a bit of Oscars Writing 101, NPR's All Things Considered turned to Dave Boone, who has written for the Academy Awards eight times.
Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 2:42 pm
The Dead Sea Scrolls are the ancient manuscripts dating back to the time of Jesus that were found between 1947 and 1956 in caves by the Dead Sea. Since they were first discovered, they have been a source of fascination and debate over what they can teach — and have taught — about Judeo-Christian history. In his new book, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography, Yale professor John J. Collins tells the story of the scrolls, their discovery and the controversies surrounding the scholarship of them.