Arts

The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Jean Stapleton, Who Played Edith Bunker, Dies

Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker and Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker on the CBS TV series All in the Family in 1976. Stapleton died Friday at 90.
CBS/Landov

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 4:28 pm

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Author Interviews
1:52 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

'Nine Years' In A Baltimore Funeral Home

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 4:11 pm

When her beloved Aunt Mary passed away, 15-year-old Sheri Booker sought solace in an unusual summer job — at the Albert P. Wylie Funeral Home in the heart of Baltimore.

Booker's new memoir, Nine Years Under, describes the job that became a nine-year career and lifelong fascination with the business of burials.

"After Aunt Mary died, I felt like I needed closure," Booker explains. "I wanted answers. I wanted to make sure that she was in good hands, so I found a way into the funeral home, and it was only supposed to be a summer, but it ended up being nine years!"

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Author Interviews
4:39 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Pulp Fiction's Bad Boy Mike Hammer Returns In 'Complex 90'

Mickey Spillane, pictured here in 1963, wrote his first Mike Hammer novel in three fevered weeks after returning from World War II.
AP

The late Mickey Spillane wrote mysteries that practically created the American paperback industry — more than 225 million copies of his books have been sold since he was first published in 1947. Spillane was the best-selling mystery writer of the 20th century — not Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler or other signature writers whose works were sometimes judged to have moved from detective mystery to work of literature.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
3:59 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Not My Job: Deepak Chopra Plays 'Yes, We Cannes'

Diane Bondareff AP

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 8:52 am

We've had a lot of impressive people as our guests on this show ... Nobel Prize winners, senators, governors, and two presidents of the United States. But now, for the first time ever, we are honored to welcome a Lord of Immortality, a Keeper of Perfect Health for the World.

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The Picture Show
3:29 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Documenting America's Environments: Then And Now

East Boston, Mass., in 1973 (left) and in 2012.
Michael P. Manheim Environmental Protection Agency

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 12:26 pm

In 1971, when the Environmental Protection Agency was in its early days, someone at the agency got the idea to send nearly 100 freelance photographers around America to document the country. These weren't postcard shots, but pictures of street corners, freight yards, parking lots, alleyways — wherever people were working and living. It was called Documerica, and it went on for seven years.

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Author Interviews
3:04 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Sex Overseas: 'What Soldiers Do' Complicates WWII History

Cover of What Soldiers Do

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:23 pm

Americans often think of World War II as the "good war," but historian Mary Louise Roberts says her new book might make our understanding of that conflict "more truthful and more complex." The book, What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France, tells the story of relations between American men and French women in Normandy and elsewhere.

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Monkey See
2:39 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Rita Wilson On Life After 50: 'Get Ready, It's A Blast'

Rita Wilson, seen here performing in March, is the editor-at-large of the Huff/Post50 section of The Huffington Post.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

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Monkey See
11:12 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Truth In Advertising: Pregnant Ladies Date On 'Pregnant And Dating'

The cast of WE tv's Pregnant & Dating. They are all pregnant. Also dating.
WE tv

There's a part of basic cable that you might call "soft reality" — the unscripted shows where everybody is nice, almost all the stories are happy, the comedy is mostly gentle, and the main characters are meant to be very sympathetic. Soft reality loves pregnancy and childbirth, as seen on shows like A Baby Story and some of the shows about giving birth to multiples. (Jon & Kate Plus 8 started as soft reality and wound up as something else entirely.)

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Music
10:37 am
Fri May 31, 2013

'Ten Black Men' Author Inspired By Music By Black Women

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now why don't we take a little music break with the occasional feature we call IN YOUR EAR. That's where some of our guest tell us about the songs that inspire them or just make them dance. Today we hear from a writer who decided to dig deeper into what we know about Martin Luther King Junior and other prominent African American men.

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Arts & Life
9:10 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Rita Wilson Says Fifty Is Fabulous

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll head into the Barber Shop to get the buzz on some hot topics in the news. But first we want to hear about another place to hang out to find out about what's going on in the world. That would be the Internet. And while a lot of people might think that that's the domain of the younger set, it turns out that there is a thriving online world catering to 40 and 50-somethings.

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BackTalk
9:10 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Should Art Sale Help Save Detroit?

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 10:37 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we hear from you. Editor Ammad Omar is with me once again. What's going on today, Ammad?

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TED Radio Hour
7:45 am
Fri May 31, 2013

What Does The Mind Of A Killer Look Like?

Jim Fallon's work analyzing the brains of psychopaths lead to a surprising personal discovery.
Michael Brands TED / Michael Brands

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Violence Within Us.

About Jim Fallon's TEDTalk

Psychopathic killers are the basis for some must-watch TV, but what really makes them tick? Neuroscientist Jim Fallon talks about brain scans and genetic analysis that may uncover the rotten wiring in the nature (and nurture) of murderers. In a too-strange-for-fiction twist, he shares a fascinating family history that makes his work chillingly personal.

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Monkey See
6:23 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Binge Viewing And A Summer TV Quiz

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

It's not every week you get to hear me go full-on fan-crazy. (Okay, it's some weeks, but usually not about the people who are in the studio.) But this week, I am extra-excited because Stephen Thompson and I are joined for our pop-culture roundtable podcast by Gene Demby and Kat Chow, both from NPR's race, ethnicity and culture team that writes the Code Switch blog.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
12:22 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Field Trip! 10 Books That Will Send Kids Exploring

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:34 am

When I recommend books to kids or grown-ups, I can almost always get them interested if I add "Oh, and after you read this book, you could go on a field trip to the museum/zoo/baseball stadium/library ... or just take a little road trip!" Spring 2013 has been a very good year for children's books that spark the imagination and make kids (and grownups) want to do a little more exploring.

Books like these can be the start of amazing adventures. Enjoy!

Mara Alpert is a librarian in the Children's Literature Department at the Los Angeles Public Library.

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Movie Reviews
4:32 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

'Now You See Me': An Unconvincing Con Job

Jesse Eisenberg plays J. Daniel Atlas, part of a team of thieving illusionists, in Now You See Me.
Barry Wetcher, SMPSP Courtesy Summit Entertainment

Magic is compelling when it actually amazes, accomplishing the difficult feat of freeing its viewers from disbelief and letting them bask in the wonder of seeing what they know is impossible. Movies work the same way, and part of the equation for both is developing the right expectations.

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

The Political Becomes Personal In 'Shadow Dancer'

Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough star in Shadow Dancer, a thriller set in Belfast.
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:53 pm

James Marsh's Shadow Dancer opens with scenes depicting the lead ups to a pair of violent acts separated by 20 years. The events are connected, both by the involvement of Collette (Andrea Riseborough) and by the fact that guilt created by her role as a child bystander in the first fuels her involvement as an Irish Republican Army operative in the second.

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Anarchists Tempt A 1 Percenter In 'The East'

Brit Marling plays Sarah, a former FBI agent working for a private intelligence agency in The East. Shiloh Fernandez plays Luca, a member of the environmentalist vigilante group that Sarah infiltrates.
Myles Aronowitz Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

In The East, a slightly batty, weirdly involving new thriller about corporate espionage and eco-terrorism, rising star Brit Marling (last seen as Richard Gere's daughter in the drama Arbitrage) plays Sarah, an ambitious young private intelligence operative and former FBI agent.

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Teenage 'Kings Of Summer' Rule A Predictable Sitcom World

The Kings Of Summer stars (from left) Gabriel Basso as Patrick, Moises Arias as Biaggio and Nick Robinson as Joe. The three teenagers escape from their constrictive parents to build a house of their own in the woods.
Courtesy Toy's House Productions

Like the recent Mud, The Kings of Summer is a tale of feral adolescent pals in search of freedom and adventure. The movies even share essentially the same awkwardly contrived climax. But of the two films, The Kings of Summer is more of a comedy, with a depiction of the eternal war between teen and parent that's downright farcical.

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Movie Interviews
2:33 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Michael Caine: 'I Spent My Life Doing Something That I Love'

These days, Caine gets smaller roles than he used to, but that doesn't bother him. Back when he did repertory theater, "I did a play a week," he says. "One week I'd be the lord, the next week I'd be the butler." He's pictured above in 1965.
Stephan C. Archetti Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:28 am

Over the course of his career, Michael Caine has played big parts and small parts, all of them memorable. His films include everything from Alfie to The Man Who Would Be King, from The Cider House Rules to The Dark Knight.

"I've been very fortunate," Caine tells NPR's Robert Siegel, "because I spent my life doing something that I love doing so much, I used to do it for nothing. So you can't have a better life than that."

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Movie Reviews
1:00 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Will, Jaden Smith In Space, Without Fun

Will Smith (left) and Jaden Smith star in After Earth, an unfortunately humorless film.
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

A disastrous father-son endeavor about a calamitous father-son expedition, After Earth doesn't play to the strengths of any of its major participants.

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Dance
12:01 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Looking Ahead To The Future Of Modern Dance With Bill T. Jones

Over three decades, Bill T. Jones created more than 140 works for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.
Lois Greenfield

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 1:58 pm

This season, dance legend Bill T. Jones celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance company, a collaboration that became an innovative force in modern dance.

Over the years, Jones has created more than 140 works for the company and in 2010, the dance troupe merged with Dance Theater Workshop to create New York Live Arts.

As part of Talk of the Nation's "Looking Ahead" series, Jones talks with NPR's Neal Conan about his hopes for the future of modern dance.

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Movie Interviews
11:55 am
Thu May 30, 2013

'Before Midnight,' Love Darkens And Deepens

Before Midnight is the third film in Richard Linklater's series that explores the romance and life of a couple, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy). The two previous films were Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.
Sony Pictures Classics

In the 1995 Richard Linklater film, Before Sunrise, a young American man named Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and a young Frenchwoman named Celine (Julie Delpy) meet on a train from Budapest. Intrigued by one another, they get off the train together in Vienna and spend the night wandering the city, talking and falling in love, before they both return to their respective lives in their respective countries.

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Monkey See
10:43 am
Thu May 30, 2013

My Favorite Superman Story: When Jimmy Olsen Created Beatlemania

From the Author's Collection

Hey, Monkey See readers. It's me, your old pal Glen. Look, I know you haven't seen me around these parts very much over the last year or so, but ...

Mm? What's that?

Why, yes, I have "put on a few," as you say. How nice of you to notice. And just ... blurt out. Free as you please. Like that. Gosh I've missed us.

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Monkey See
7:52 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Yes, Your Cat Can Get A Movie Deal

This is a cat who appears in a perfectly lovely piece of stock photography but who, as far as we know, lacks a movie deal. Get on it, Wet Cat!
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 9:54 am

"Mr. Lashes, 34 years old, is an agent for Internet cats."

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The Two-Way
5:07 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Book News: Sci-Fi Author Jack Vance Dies At 96

Jack Vance wrote more than 60 books.
David M. Alexander

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

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Books
5:02 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Moments Of Truth: 6 Memoirs Written With Heart

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 1:38 pm

Summer vacations are where we do some of our most serious thinking — whether we're sitting by the ocean, cradled in a hammock, or strolling alongside a river. And yet, when it comes to summer reading, we can be quick to grab the latest flashy espionage novel or an earthy romance slathered in buttery prose. Not that there isn't a time and place for brain popcorn, but lately, I find that I want my summer reading material to match my buzzing mind. And for that kind of constant engagement, I turn to memoir.

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Book Reviews
5:02 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Coming Of Age Amid Upheaval In 'We Need New Names'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:38 pm

In 2011, NoViolet Bulawayo was awarded the Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story "Hitting Budapest." In this raw, fierce tale of a gang of near-feral children on the hunt for guavas, the young writer delivered one of the most powerful works of fiction to come out of Zimbabwe in recent years — a clear-eyed indictment of a government whose policies, in the decades since independence, have left many of its citizens destitute.

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Dance
1:03 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Modern Movement: How The Ballets Russes Revolutionized Dance

Vaslav Nijinsky as the faun at the premiere of the Ballets Russes' production of Afternoon of the Faun at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris in May 1912. Click here to see the full costume.
Edward Gooch Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:30 am

If your idea of ballet is a flurry of tutus and toeshoes, a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington will expand your vision. "Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes" shows the revolutionary impact a group of dancers, composers, artists and choreographers made on classical dance at the start of the 20th century.

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Reporter's Notebook
3:49 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Midcentury Furniture + Grandkid Nostalgia = Modern Trend

NPR's Andrea Hsu paid $75 for her midcentury modern table and chairs, shown here in a 1963 Drexel Declaration catalog. She quickly realized it was a steal.
Courtesy Drexel Heritage

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 5:18 pm

Open a design magazine or turn on a home decorating show these days, and it's clear: Midcentury modern is hot. It first showed up in the 1950s and '60s — think low-slung sofas, egg-shaped chairs and the set of Mad Men. My first midcentury modern find was a dining set I bought on Craigslist for $75. There was something about the clean lines and gentle curves of the wooden chairs that got me.

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Books
2:04 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

How OxyContin's Pain Relief Built 'A World Of Hurt'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:40 am

Prescription painkillers are among the most widely used drugs in America. In the decade since New York Times reporter Barry Meier began investigating their use and abuse, he says he has seen the number of people dying from overdoses quadruple — an increase Meier calls "staggering."

"The current statistic is that about 16,000 people a year die of overdoses involving prescription narcotics. ... It's a huge problem. The number of people dying from these drugs is second only to the number of people that die in car accidents," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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