In March 1964, there was a heinous murder in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. Back then, there was no 911 emergency number, there were no good Samaritan laws and, despite her cries, there was no one coming to help Catherine Genovese.
Kitty, as she was known, was a bar manager on her way home from work in the early morning hours. According to news reports at the time, she was attacked not once but three times over the course of a half-hour. What's more: There were apparently 38 witnesses.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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The French filmmaker who shook up European cinema and offered inspiration to directors as varied as Woody Allen and David Lynch died on Saturday. Alain Resnais caused a sensation with his films "Hiroshima Mon Amour" and "Last Year at Marienbad" in the 1950s and '60s. Critic Bob Mondello offers an appreciation.
Long ago, McDonald's chose to honor St. Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland with its Shamrock Shake, made with real snake. It was known for its subtle flavor and powerful aphrodisiac qualities. While the recipe has changed slightly over the years, the powerful aphrodisiac qualities remain.
Peter: Sucking this up through the straw is pretty hard work just to get something that tastes like toothpaste.
Miles: Shamrocks are good luck, but I think the woman who rang us up took it too far when she said, "You're gonna need it."
When America entered World War II, some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors enlisted and risked their lives. But they weren't fighting — they were filming combat.
Through the 1930s, Hollywood and the federal government held a mutual suspicion of each other. But after Pearl Harbor, the War Department asked Hollywood directors to make short documentaries that could be presented in theaters before the featured films. The ideas was to show Americans what was at stake, give them a glimpse of what our soldiers were going through and stir up patriotic feelings.
As we mentioned, "12 Years a Slave" had a major impact at last night's Academy Awards. The film walked away with three awards - best picture, best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong'o and best adapted screenplay for John Ridley. The film was packed with star power, including a small but provocative role for Alfre Woodard as Harriet Shaw, the slave mistress of a nearby plantation owner.
The big winner was 12 Years a Slave, but there was quite a bit of love to go around at Sunday night's Oscars. What there wasn't, as usual, was a lot of riveting television.
Sure, there was John Travolta squinting at the teleprompter and introducing Idina Menzel (to sing the Oscar-winning Best Original Song "Let It Go," from Frozen) as — no kidding — "Adele Dazeem." And there was a fun dance number featuring Pharrell Williams and his own Oscar-nominated "Happy," which he wore a formal black version of his Grammys hat to perform.
After several days of heavy rain in Los Angeles, the sun came out just as the 86th annual Academy Awards got underway at the Dolby Theater.
The big award of the night, for Best Picture, went to 12 Years a Slave. The film tells the harrowing tale of Solomon Northup, a free black man in New York who was sold into slavery. (See the full list of winners below.)
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
Picture this, a group of writers - quiet, bookish, solitary - duking it out in a fight to the death. That's the idea behind Literary Death Match, a performance series that pits authors against each other - not physically but through readings from their own books. The show travels all over the country. Reporter Alex Schmidt was at a recent performance in Los Angeles and has the story.
How many ways are there to tell a love story? More than you may think — especially in Mumbai, India, a city of millions. The Lunchbox, written and directed by Ritesh Batra, is one such story — a love that blossoms from a mistaken food delivery.
Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:38 am
Sunday night's Oscars will include a Best Picture race that's apparently narrowed to three films: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, and maybe American Hustle. Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor? Maybe. Or Leonardo DiCaprio? What about Cate Blanchett, a seeming shoo-in despite Meryl Streep delivering, in August Osage County, the biggest, chewiest, most Oscar-friendly performance of all time?
On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "Let's." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or title containing the consecutive letters L-E-T. Specifically, the first word will end in L-E and the second word will start with T.
Last week's challenge: Write down these six words:
Kathleen Turner has been a film star and stage star, vamp and tramp, comic and deadly. It's been a long, dramatic arc for Turner, whose voice now is both as warm and furry as whiskey and as hard as the shot glass that holds it.
For the past six weeks at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., she's been playing the lead character in Mother Courage and her Children, the 1939 play by Berthold Brecht. Mother Courage is a war profiteer and a mother, a peasant without a country trying to calculate her chances of survival.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. It's Carnaval in Brazil - that time of the year when people take to the streets and celebrate before the austerity of Lent begins. And while you may think the Rio de Janeiro when you think of Carnaval, we're going to take you north to Recife. It's considered one of the most diverse carnivals in Brazil. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Recife.
Tonight are the Oscars, of course, which will be hosted by the musician and actor Common. One film that's up for a couple of different Oscars is Disney's box-office animated hit "Frozen," which has nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. It's not only the folks at Disney who are hoping for a win tonight, there's also a country full of people who will be taking note.
The midlife crisis book inhabits a behemoth literary genre. It spans the feel-good fantasy of Eat, Pray, Love; the survival of "ordinary disasters" and meditation on mortality that is Martin Amis' Experience; and the chintz-patterned glasses through which Anna Quindlen envisions the padded retreat into her prime real estate-ensconced years.
When Mad Men first premiered on AMC in 2007, Xavier Ruffin — a young, African-American graphic designer from Milwaukee, Wisc. — really wanted to like it.
"I wanted to be a fan of it when it first came out," Ruffin tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I just had my own personal differences. Not liking the way blacks were represented in their universe. I just couldn't get over it."
Hundreds of visual-effects artists are planning to picket the Academy Awards on Sunday for the second year in a row. They're hoping to bring attention to what's been happening in their industry.
The field is losing jobs and relocating to countries with bigger subsidies for employers. It's the result of a technical revolution that's changed the profession since it kicked off in the 70s with Star Wars creator George Lucas' visual-effects company, Industrial Light and Magic.
You know, as I host this program, I'm on a social media platform - Twitter, as a matter of fact. There is no group that takes that new social media platform more than teenagers, and that's exactly what worries a lot of parents. Danah Boyd is a respected researcher in the world of social media. She spent years studying teenagers and how they interact online. Her findings are in a new book called "It's Complicated." In this encore broadcast, NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.
"Submissions Only" is a backstage comedy - in fact, it goes so far backstage, it goes into the auditions. It's the story of eager, hopeful actors, hectored and hectoring agents, and demanding casting directors who work just around the corner from Broadway.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as character) Hey, Pen, I went on theater burn and wrote I don't care who's directing "Jeremy's Fort," as long as Penny Riley is still in it. She's going to be fierce.
KATE WETHERHEAD: (as Penny) Aw. And then did everybody write Penny who?