Arts

Sunday Puzzle
1:02 am
Sun June 16, 2013

You'd Better Sit Tight For This One

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 12:08 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts SI and the second word starts with T. For example, given "unadorned set of facts," you would say, "simple truth."

Last week's challenge: Name a movie in two words — five letters in each word. Both words start with vowels. Take one letter in the first word, move it two spaces later in the alphabet, and rearrange the result. You'll get the second word in the movie's title. What movie is it?

Answer: After Earth

Read more
Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:03 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

The Movie Jesse Eisenberg Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 5:15 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:03 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Telling Stories About Ourselves In 'The Faraway Nearby'

Brian Jackson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:19 pm

Rebecca Solnit begins her new memoir, The Faraway Nearby, with a question: "What's your story?"

"It's all in the telling," she says. "Stories are compasses and architecture; we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of the world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice."

Read more
StoryCorps
6:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Following The Moon, Dad Seeks Military Son's Resting Place

Robert Stokely and his son, Michael, who died on deployment in Iraq in 2005.
Courtesy of Robert Stokely

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:40 pm

"While he was in Iraq, at night I couldn't sleep," Robert Stokely says of his son, Michael.

Sgt. Michael Stokely served in the Georgia Army National Guard. He was deployed to Iraq in 2005.

"I used to look at the moon a lot," Robert says, "and I told Mike, 'When you see the moon, know that eight hours later I'll see it too, and I'll think about you.' "

On Aug. 8, 2005, Michael called his father, and Robert asked if he would still be coming home in two weeks. "I can't take this anymore," he said.

Read more
Author Interviews
6:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Family Tragedy With A Hollywood Connection In 'Run, Brother, Run'

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:40 pm

David Berg is a big-name Texas lawyer who founded his own firm and has won cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He's also been a civil rights activist and a Clarence Darrow-style defender of the damned: disgraced politicians, grungy protesters and celebrities.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:24 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Gaiman's New 'Ocean' Is No Kiddie Pool

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:40 pm

Neil Gaiman, one of the world's most beloved fantasy authors, has won the Hugo and Bram Stoker awards, and the Newberry Medal — and now he's written his first novel for adults in eight years.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
1:51 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Not My Job: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin On Getting Mooned

AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 9:14 am

You probably know that Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. But that guy in all the pictures from the first moon landing? That's Buzz Aldrin. So here's a lesson for you all: It doesn't matter if you're the first guy out of the spaceship, just as long as you make the other guy hold the camera.

So sure, Aldrin has been to the moon, but what does he know about mooning? We've invited him to play a game called "Drop your pants and take a bow" — three questions about exposing one's buttocks.

Read more
Movie Reviews
1:22 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

It Takes A (Gay) Village In 'Call Me Kuchu'

David Kato, a teacher and LGBT rights activist — as well as the first openly gay man in Uganda — is at the forefront of Call Me Kuchu's story.
Cinedigm

Horrific and uplifting, the excellent documentary Call Me Kuchu is partly framed as a portrait of David Kato, Uganda's first openly gay man. An activist of enormous courage and persistence — against odds that make the U.S. fight for marriage equality seem like a cakewalk — Kato was a savvy political strategist, with wit, charm and joie de vivre to burn. And he loved a good party, with his friends in drag where possible. But he was terrified of sleeping alone on his farm.

Read more
Movie Interviews
11:18 am
Fri June 14, 2013

'Sound' Scares In An Homage To '70s Italian Horror

Toby Jones plays a solitary sound engineer working night shifts in Berberian Sound Studio, a cunningly structured, deftly executed love letter to the gory Italian scarefests called giallos.
IFC

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:25 pm

Horror films are filled with the things that nightmares are supposedly made of: monsters, madmen, murder, assorted blood and guts.

But those are really just the props of nightmares — representations of the psychological terrors that really plague us: our fears about mortality, isolation, abandonment and failure. Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio is one horror film that opts to skip the usual frolic among those metaphorical monsters in favor of a deeply unsettling dive into the subconscious.

Read more
BackTalk
9:24 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Decades Later, Her Fans Prove Buika's Teacher Was Wrong

Host Michel Martin and editor Ammad Omar open up the listener inbox for backtalk. This week, there's a lot of love for Spanish singer Buika.

Barbershop
9:24 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Kanye: 'Complete Awesomeness' Or Completely Overrated?

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Movie Interviews
9:24 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Pulitzer Winner's Personal Film About Being Undocumented

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:08 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
5:03 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Secrets Of The Universe: 5 Great SF And Fantasy Summer Reads

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 1:03 pm

This summer, you can expect to be profoundly haunted by some of the best works of speculative fiction the season has to offer. The protagonists in these novels are mobbed by the ghosts of history, by the re-awakened dead, and by their recollections of traumas so formative that they transcend personal experience to become species memory. They are also, somewhat humorously, dogged by all the secret truths that have been edited out of Wikipedia entries.

Read more
Movie Interviews
12:45 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Zack Snyder, Making Superman Over For Our Era

Actor Henry Cavill and director Zack Snyder confer on a shot for an early sequence in Man of Steel. Cavill is the first British actor to wear Superman's iconic red and blue — though not the first to play a D.C. comics superhero.
Clay Enos Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 9:04 am

The quintessential American superhero — the one who forged the genre — returns to the multiplex this weekend: Superman. The latest big-screen iteration, called Man of Steel, explores the birth of the character (played as an adult by British actor Henry Cavill), delving into why he came to Earth, his inner conflicts growing up, and how he resolves them.

Read more
Movie Reviews
10:05 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

'Bling Ring': When Fame-Obsessed Teens Go Rogue

Taissa Farmiga (left) and Israel Broussard are key players in the five-person posse (otherwise known as the "Hollywood Hills Burglar Bunch") targeting celebrity homes in The Bling Ring, stealing clothes, jewelry and cash from the likes of Lindsay Lohan.
EPK

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 9:43 am

What it came down to in the end were "the beautiful, gorgeous things."

That's how Marc (Israel Broussard) explains the Bling Ring, a gang of teens who, over a span of 10 months in 2008 and 2009, robbed a series of celebrity homes, including those of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom. Along the way, they accrued more than $3 million worth of jewelry, clothing and accessories — not to mention that inevitable tabloid-headline nickname.

Read more
NPR's Backseat Book Club
3:32 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Meet 'Ivan': The Gorilla Who Lived In A Shopping Mall

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:00 pm

The school year is drawing to a close, but NPR's Backseat Book Club has plenty of reading lined up for the summer. Our June pick is The One and Only Ivan, a Newbery Medal-winning book by Katherine Applegate. It tells the story of a gorilla who spent 27 years in a shopping mall in Tacoma, Wash. — and it's based on a true story.

Read more
The Salt
3:28 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Saving Grandma's Strawberry Cake From The Clutches Of Jell-O

Jeremy Jackson wanted to rethink his grandma Mildred's famous Strawberry Cake recipe, which uses boxed cake mix and Jell-O. His updated cupcake version is shown on the right.
Jeremy Jackson for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:35 pm

Jeremy Jackson's grandma Mildred was famous for her strawberry cake. Legend has it that one of the families in her small Missouri town loved the dessert so much, they "commissioned" her to make it for them once a week.

Jackson is the author of Good Day for A Picnic: Simple Food that Travels Well. He shared two versions of his Strawberry Cake for All Things Considered's Found Recipes series.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

'More Than Honey' Sees A World Without Bees

In More Than Honey, Attica Boa's striking close-up photography helps visualize a story whose urgency needs no amplification: With global honeybee populations threatened, the world's food supply could be seriously endangered.
Kino Lorber

An amiably shaggy combination of science lesson, whimsical musing and alarm bell, More Than Honey isn't as urgent as its eco-catastrophic subject — the possible destruction of the world's critically important honeybee populations — might seem to require. But the documentary's most memorable vignette is suitably unnerving: a visit to northern China, where the threatened disappearance of bees has already come to pass, leaving workers to pollinate fruit trees ... by hand.

Read more
Movie Reviews
2:50 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

'Steel' Trap: Snyder's Superman, Between Worlds

Henry Cavill plays the title role in Zach Snyder's expensively earnest iteration of our most recognizably American superhero. An "alien" aesthetic — which ironically owes plenty to the Industrial Age and to the metallo-organic curves of art nouveau — informs everything from the film's palette to its interpretation of Superman's iconic costume.
Clay Enos Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 5:12 am

Take heart, ye spandex-haters: Zack Snyder's steroidal yet sensitive Man of Steel is not a superhero film.

Full disclosure: Over the past two years, this reviewer has spent a great deal of time thinking about superheroes in general and Superman in particular. Less than some, perhaps, but more — it's safe to say — than most of you reading these words, as you debate whether or not to duck out of the heat this weekend to take in Snyder's latest summertime smash-em-up.

Read more
Remembrances
12:58 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Israeli Writer Yoram Kaniuk, 83, On Pain And Peace

Yoram Kaniuk speaks in 2008 at the AFI Fest premiere of Adam Resurrected, based on a novel he wrote.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 1:34 pm

Born in Israel in 1930, Yoram Kaniuk wrote novels and articles that explored war, the Holocaust, Israel, and the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians. He was an outspoken proponent of the need for Israelis and Palestinians to understand that both groups of people deserve sovereignty.

"Both sides are right, and both sides are so strong about the rightness," he told Fresh Air's Terry Gross in August 1988. He believed that arguing over "who suffered more" wasn't productive.

Read more
Author Interviews
11:55 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Florida-Grown Fiction: Hiaasen Satirizes The Sunshine State

As with many of his novels, Hiaasen sets his latest — Bad Monkey — in his home state of Florida.
Knopf

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 2:45 pm

As a columnist for the Miami Herald and a prolific novelist of books such as Strip Tease, Lucky You and Star Island, Carl Hiaasen has a subject: Florida. Hiaasen grew up in the state during the 1950s and has lived and worked there his entire life, watching it morph from a rural backwater with abundant natural beauty and resources to one struggling with the effects of development and tourism.

Read more
Music Interviews
11:27 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Flamenco Sensation Buika Embraces Her 'Animal' Voice

Buika blends flamenco with African rhythms, jazz, blues and soul.
Javi Rojo

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 2:20 pm

Spanish flamenco singer Concha Buika says the key to her music is singing with a "beautiful idea" and "really big desire." Born on the Spanish island of Majorca to parents who fled their home in Equatorial Guinea, Buika performs music that transcends boundaries of language and race.

Read more
Music Reviews
10:03 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Slaid Cleaves: 'Still Fighting' With Smart Lyrics And Stories

Slaid Cleaves' music is influenced by singer-songwriters such as Woody Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash.
Karen Cleaves Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 1:34 pm

Raised in South Berwick, Maine, and residing in Austin, Texas, Slaid Cleaves is no one's idea of a music-industry insider. He writes and sings songs primarily about working-class people and romantics both hopeful and hopeless. That said, it's also not difficult to hear another element of the fortysomething Cleaves' past: He was an English and philosophy major at Tufts, and his lyrics are underpinned by both a fine sense of meter and moral perspicacity.

Read more
Monkey See
7:51 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Let's Rush To Judgment: 'The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug'

Sir Ian McKellen in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.
Warner Brothers Pictures

Well, here it is: the trailer for the next Hobbit movie in the series of three Hobbit movies that will be made out of a single medium-length book.

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug doesn't come out until December, but you can already delve into the dragons and mountains and birds (oh my).

Read more
Books News & Features
7:39 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Amid Dropping Test Scores, Teen Writers' Creativity Soars

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 8:58 am

NPR correspondent Joseph Shapiro and his daughter Eva spent the weekend at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Eva, 15, won the "Best in Grade" award, one of two for ninth-grade writers, for a short story. She takes writing classes with Writopia Lab in Washington, D.C.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:20 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Book News: Inmate Fights For His Right To Read Werewolf Erotica

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

Read more
NPR's Backseat Book Club
5:04 am
Thu June 13, 2013

The Complete List: What NPR's Backseat Book Club Has Read So Far

Carina Jaffe, 3; Larissa Jaffe, 9; Denali Jaffe, 10; Zahra Jaffe, 6; and their friend Christina Tonnu, 8, read The Phantom Tollbooth together in Philadelphia.
Courtesy the Jaffe Family

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 2:22 pm

Ever since we launched NPR's Backseat Book Club in 2011, our young listeners have been busy reading — classics like The Wizard of Oz, Black Beauty and The Phantom Tollbooth, and newer tales, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Graveyard Book. If you know a kid age 9-14 who's looking for a great read, look no further: Here are all the books we've read so far. (And here's the list in printable form.)

Read more
Book Reviews
5:04 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Reader Advisory: 'Shining Girls' Is Gruesome But Gripping

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 4:18 pm

Borrow from Stephen King a house with a wormhole that somehow allows for time travel, re-create the monstrous chilliness of scenes between a serial killer and his female victims in The Silence of the Lambs, and you could easily end up with a pretty derivative thriller. But talented Cape Town writer Lauren Beukes has managed to turn such borrowing and theft into a triumph in her new novel, The Shining Girls. It's her third book, and a marvelous narrative feat that spans the history of Chicago from the 1930s to the 1990s.

Read more
Digital Life
2:33 am
Thu June 13, 2013

From Seinfeld, A Second Season Of 'Coffee' Talk

Jerry Seinfeld won a 2013 Webby Award for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Bryan Bedder Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 9:01 am

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is exactly what it sounds like — a show about three things Jerry Seinfeld loves.

Each individual episode of the stand-up comic's Web series features him talking to a fellow comedian while driving across town to get a cup of coffee.

While the premise is simple enough, and the celebrity interview as familiar as any late-night talk-show, the format of C3 allows for a more relaxed and personal tone than the typical sofa-chat format.

Read more
Monkey See
2:27 am
Thu June 13, 2013

How To Introduce Kids To Tough Topics? Art And TV Can Help

Sue Glader wrote Nowhere Hair after finding many children's books about cancer that were too depressing or scary.
Courtesy Sue Glader

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:31 am

Parents steer their kids to media for all kinds of things: as a distraction so they can make dinner, to teach letters and numbers, and for pure entertainment. There are also times when parents rely on books, TV, museums and other media when they aren't quite sure how to approach a difficult topic by themselves.

Read more

Pages