Arts

Movie Reviews
3:48 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

'We Steal Secrets': A Sidelong Look At WikiLeaks

Source material: As a virtual prisoner these days, he doesn't supply much in the way of fresh information — but WikiLeaks overlord Julian Assange is very much at the center of Alex Gibney's documentary We Steal Secrets.
Jo Straube Universal Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:52 pm

Current-events buffs probably think they know the tale of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Prolific filmmaker Alex Gibney may have thought the same when he began researching his film We Steal Secrets. But this engrossing documentary soon diverges from the expected.

Even the movie's title, or rather the source of it, is a surprise. Not to spoil the fun, but it's neither Assange nor one of his allies who nonchalantly acknowledges that "we steal secrets."

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

To 'Fill The Void,' A Choice With A Personal Cost

Domestic drama: Among the ultra-Orthodox world of Tel Aviv's Haredi Jews, Rivka (Irit Sheleg, left) and her daughter Shira (Hadas Yaron, second from left, with Hila Feldman and Razia Israeli) are confronted with a dilemma after a death in the family.
Karin Bar Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 6:29 am

Driving home from a screening of the ravishing new Israeli film Fill the Void, I caught sight of a young man in full Hasidic garb, trying to coax his toddler son across a busy Los Angeles street. My first thought was, "He's a boy himself, barely old enough to be a father, and they both look so pale."

My second was, "I wonder what his life feels like?" This is the more open mindset that director Rama Burshtein asks from audiences going into her first feature, a love poem to the ultra-Orthodox world as seen from within.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
2:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

'Lunch Lady' Author Helps Students Draw Their Own Heroes

Author Jarrett Krosoczka teaches a drawing class to a group of third- and fifth-graders at the Walker-Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:23 pm

Author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka is just 35 years old, but he's already published 20 books, including the popular Lunch Lady graphic novel series, NPR's Backseat Book Club pick for May.

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Movie Interviews
1:36 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Julianne Moore, Relishing Complicated Characters

Moore (photographed at New York Fashion Week in February 2013) has earned Oscar nominations for her roles in Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, Far From Heaven and The Hours.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 2:03 pm

In the film What Maisie Knew, Julianne Moore plays a troubled rock star whose young daughter witnesses her parents' volatile behavior as they argue over custody during their rocky separation.

On the surface, Moore's character, Susanna, might seem to be an entirely terrible one — a self-involved person and inappropriate mother who's not paying attention to her child. But Moore makes her more complicated than that.

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Television
1:36 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Douglas, Damon Illuminate HBO's 'Candelabra'

Michael Douglas stars as the flamboyant pianist and entertainer Liberace in Steven Soderbergh's new HBO biopic, Behind the Candelabra.
Claudette Barius HBO

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 4:43 pm

Before you see any of Behind the Candelabra -- when you just consider the concept of the TV movie and its casting — this new HBO Films production raises all sorts of questions: How much will be based on verifiable fact, and how much will be fictionalized? On an anything-goes premium-cable network such as HBO, how graphic will the sex scenes be?

And the most important questions involve the drama's two leading men, playing an ultra-flamboyant piano player and the wide-eyed young man who becomes his behind-the-scenes companion for five years. Michael Douglas? Matt Damon?

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Arts & Life
11:55 am
Thu May 23, 2013

A Read Down Memory Lane: Lessons From Your Former Self

Writings from childhood — cards, stories and other notes — can hide for decades, like time capsules tucked away in boxes, old bedrooms, attics and journals. Writer Jim Sollisch talks about how old thank you notes from his youth foreshadowed his adult life.

Monkey See
11:49 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Breakin' The Rules: 20 General Principles Suspended In 'Fast And Furious 6'

This little skeleton-of-the-Batmobile-y looking thing is actually one of the vehicles on display in Fast & Furious 6.
Universal Pictures

1. Newton's Laws Of Motion

2. The Reluctance Of Brilliant Criminal Masterminds To Freely Confess

3. The Inability Of Two Things To Coexist In The Same Physical Space

4. The Integrity Of Vending Machines

5. Gravity

6. Gina Carano's Ability To Snap Most Of These People Like Twigs Pretty Quickly, If We're Being Honest

7. The Hardness Of Cars, Which Are Actually Kind Of Uncomfortable To Land On From Great Heights

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Monkey See
10:26 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Really Most Sincerely Bad: Fox's Nasty 'Does Someone Have To Go?'

Employees argue over who's the worst in Fox's Does Someone Have To Go?
Chris Tomko Fox

The biggest problem with pretending all of reality television is categorically odious is that it denies us the opportunity to identify and hold accountable what is actually odious. To those who insist that it's all gross — that no matter the documentary aspirations or good-natured competitiveness of plenty of unscripted television, it all belongs in the same giant dumpster — I am your Crocodile Dundee of distaste: Those aren't destructive and grotesque and irresponsible. This is destructive and grotesque and irresponsible.

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Arts & Life
10:03 am
Thu May 23, 2013

HBCU President Asks Dr. Dre, Why Not Us?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Moving on to other news in education, last week hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine announced that they would be giving the University of Southern California $70 million to create a degree that will blend business, marketing, product development, design and liberal arts.

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Movies
10:03 am
Thu May 23, 2013

'Epic' Movie Role For Music Superstar Pitbull

Pitbull's latest album is titled Global Warming, and he voices the character Bufo in the new movie Epic.
Christopher Polk Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 11:30 pm

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Movies
8:15 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Cannes Film Festival Keeps Kenneth Turan Coming Back

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 10:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well, let's go now to that hotbed of cinema and international stars of the big screen: the Cannes Film Festival. Our movie reviewer, Kenneth Turan, has been taking in all the movies and sites from the south of France. He's on the line with us. Hey, Ken.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: How are you doing?

GREENE: Well. How are you doing there?

TURAN: I'm still standing.

GREENE: I guess that's a good sign. The movies are keeping you awake there.

TURAN: Yes. They're bolstering my spirits.

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Monkey See
6:42 am
Thu May 23, 2013

'Before Midnight': Jesse And Celine Are Older Now, And So Are We

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight.
Sony Pictures Classics

[Note: Before Midnight is an especially difficult movie to write about, simply because for some people, even what has become of Jesse and Celine since Before Sunset is information that they don't want. But it's impossible — absolutely impossible — to write about the movie without talking about where they stand and what the premise is. I did my absolute best to spoil as little beyond that as possible.

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Book News: Lydia Davis Wins Man Booker International Prize

Lydia Davis poses during a photocall in May for the finalists of the 2013 Man Booker International literary prize in London.
Will Oliver AFP/Getty Images

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Heartbreaking Choice Sets Siblings On Separate, Unequal Paths

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:12 am

Khaled Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed begins with a fable that a father tells his two children: A farmer who works hard to eke out a living for his family is forced to give up one of his five children to an evil giant. He and his wife decide to choose randomly, and the unlucky one happens to be their favorite son. Eventually, the farmer, half mad with grief, tracks down the giant and finds his son in a lush garden full of happy children, with no memory of his birth family.

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Monkey See
11:47 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Cannes Diary: Delusions Of 'Gatsby' (And Of Notoriety)

The cast of Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, which writer Raj Ranade says has set a high bar for other contenders at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Merrick Morton American Zoetrope/Nala Films

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 12:49 pm

It's true enough that there's plenty wrong with Gatsby Le Magnifique, as the French are calling the latest from director Baz Luhrmann. But what better film could there have been to open the sensory onslaught that is the Cannes Film Festival than one orchestrated by that patron saint of overstimulation?

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Parallels
11:17 am
Wed May 22, 2013

China's Artist Provocateur Explores New Medium: Heavy Metal

The video for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's newly released song starts by re-creating the conditions of his captivity during the 81 days he was held in police detention in 2011, and later dissolves into a dystopian nightmare.
Courtesy Ai Weiwei

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 6:18 pm

The man ArtReview magazine named the most powerful artist in the world is trying his hand at rock stardom. In 2011, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei spent 81 days in detention. He was later let go and charged with tax evasion.

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Author Interviews
11:08 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Fictional 'Mothers' Reveal Facts Of A Painful Adoption Process

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 2:38 pm

After years of trying to conceive, novelist Jennifer Gilmore and her husband decided to pursue a domestic open adoption. They were told they'd be matched within a year; it took four. And along the way they faced complicated decisions and heartbreak.

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Art & Design
9:44 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Styling The NBA

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 10:35 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. For the end of our program today, we want to talk about two aspects of American style. In a few minutes, we're going to talk about tattoos. They used to be something you got when you went into the Army or to jail, but now they've gone mainstream. We'll talk with a leading tattoo artist about that in just a minute.

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Art & Design
9:44 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Tattoos Still Taboo?

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 10:40 am

America has a love/hate relationship with tattoos, but body ink is becoming more and more mainstream. Host Michel Martin speaks with Fatty, the owner of Fatty's Custom Tattooz in Washington, D.C, about America's fascination with tattoos, and the fading cultural taboos.

The Two-Way
5:35 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Book News: Newly Found Pearl Buck Novel To Be Published This Fall

At her desk in the study of her Philadelphia townhouse in 1967, Pearl Buck looks at a bound volume of the magazine Asia from 1925 that contained her first published work.
AP

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed May 22, 2013

A Different Kind Of Immigrant Experience In 'Americanah'

PIUS UTOMI EKPEI AFP/Getty Images

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's fourth book, Americanah, is so smart about so many subjects that to call it a novel about being black in the 21st century doesn't even begin to convey its luxurious heft and scope. Americanah is indeed a novel about being black in the 21st century — in America, Great Britain and Africa, while answering a want ad, choosing a lover, hailing a cab, eating collard greens, watching Barack Obama on television — but you could also call it a novel of immigration and dislocation, just about every page tinged with faint loneliness.

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Kitchen Window
3:23 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Real Butterscotch: The Beauty Of Sugar And Dairy Transformed

Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:43 am

Butterscotch is going through something of a revival. So much so, that two Kitchen Window contributors wanted to write about it. Therefore, welcome to the more-than-you-ever-thought-you-needed-to-know-about-butterscotch special coverage. Today is the second in our two-part butterscotch series. Last week's column has more recipes featuring this resurgent flavor.

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Parallels
12:39 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

China Builds Museums ... But Will The Visitors Come?

One of the highlights of the new China Art Palace in Shanghai is a giant digital rendering of a famous ancient scroll, "Along the River During Qingming Festival," which includes figures that walk and talk. The work was first presented at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:43 pm

Shanghai did something last fall that few other cities on the planet could have even considered. It opened two massive art museums right across the river from one another on the same day.

The grand openings put an exclamation point on China's staggering museum building boom. In recent years, about 100 museums have opened annually here, peaking at nearly 400 in 2011, according to the Chinese Society of Museums.

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Humans
12:05 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

The Art And Science Of Motivation

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. Neal Conan is away. It's graduation season, and that means 20-somethings and parents sitting through long commencement ceremonies while the older and wiser give advice. Here's comedian Stephen Colbert speaking at the University of Virginia.

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Movie Interviews
11:46 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Soderbergh's Liberace, 'Behind The Candelabra'

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star as Liberace and his young lover, Scott Thorson, in Steven Soderbergh's new HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra.
Claudette Barius HBO

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 4:45 pm

Director Steven Soderbergh had been looking for a way to frame a film about the extravagant entertainer Liberace for years when a friend recommended the book Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace.

The book — a memoir — is by Scott Thorson, who for five years was Liberace's lover, though that wasn't publicly disclosed at the time.

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Monkey See
9:22 am
Tue May 21, 2013

The Starfleet Divide: The 'Star Trek' Universe Revisits One Of Its Great Debates

Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto in Star Trek Into Darkness.
Zade Rosenthal Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:18 pm

[Caution: contains pretty abundant spoilers about the Star Trek universe, but only fairly nonspecific ones about the new film.]

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The Two-Way
5:16 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Book News: Stephen King's New Bogeyman? Digital Publishing

Stephen King holds a special pink Kindle given to him at a 2009 unveiling event for the Amazon Kindle 2.
Mario Tama Getty Images

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue May 21, 2013

American Voices On 'The Unwinding' of America's Values

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 8:39 am

Halfway through The Unwinding, George Packer — author of the highly praised The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq (2005)delineates how quickly political idealism can disappear when one becomes exposed to a world of easy money.

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First Reads
5:03 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'Big Brother' By Lionel Shriver

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 8:37 am

  • Listen to the Excerpt

Lionel Shriver doesn't shy away from hot-button topics. Her breakout novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin, from 2003, was about the mother of a teen who kills seven classmates in a school massacre (it was made into a film with Tilda Swinton). Her 2010 novel, So Much for That, which took aim at the American health care system, was nominated for the National Book Award.

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Author Interviews
1:09 am
Tue May 21, 2013

After Crashing In Canadian 'Abyss,' Four Men Fight To Survive

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 9:13 am

On the night of Oct. 19, 1984, Erik Vogel was uneasy about flying. It was snowing; his plane's de-icer and autopilot weren't working; and his co-pilot had been bumped to fit one more passenger on his 10-seater. But the young pilot was behind schedule and he felt like his job was on the line, so he took off, as he did most days, shuttling between the remote communities that dot the Canadian wilderness.

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