Arts

Arts & Life
3:29 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Mini-Memoirs: 6-Word Stories To Honor Mom

British cyclist Beryl Burton with her daughter Denise in March 1963. Mother and daughter later raced together in the 1972 world championships.
John Pratt Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 7:48 am

This Mother's Day, think about the relationship you have with your mother. Now consider: Could you tell that story in just six words?

The newspaper The Forward recently put out a call for six-word memoirs about mothers — specifically, Jewish mothers. The submissions they received show that you can pack a lot of emotion into a half-dozen words, like in Jennifer Glick's memoir: "Mother, our lady of perpetual dissatisfaction."

Read more
Author Interviews
12:03 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Yngwie Malmsteen: 'I've Always Been A Little Bit Of An Extremist'

Swedish-born guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen has released more than two dozen albums.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 8:11 am

Yngwie Malmsteen is the king of the neoclassical shred guitar. Since 1984's Rising Force, the Swedish musician and composer has somehow bridged centuries, from Paganini to his own arpeggiated acrobatics.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
11:27 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt Plays Not My Job

Knopf

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 9:12 am

We use Google to search for just about everything, so we've invited Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt to play a game called "Try Googling that, Bigshot." We'll ask him three questions about things that cannot be found.

Schmidt, who served as Google CEO for 10 years, is the co-author of the new book The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business.

Read more
Book Reviews
3:45 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Book Review: 'A Nearly Perfect Copy'

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Allison Amend is out with her third book. It's a novel called "A Nearly Perfect Copy." It features richly detailed characters, including an art dealer gone bad, and it's set in both Paris and New York. Our review Alan Cheuse found it all quite delectable.

Read more
Movie Reviews
2:47 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Polley's 'Stories': A Family Saga Strikingly Spun

A young Sarah Polley and her actor father, Michael Polley, on a long-ago day; the photo is one of many family memories that surface in Stories We Tell, a superb meditation on dramatizing memory from the director of Away from Her.
Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 3:58 am

Sarah Polley grew up the fifth of five children in a Canadian theatrical family. Her father, Michael, is a transplanted British actor; her mother, Diane, was an actress and casting director. No wonder Sarah feels her family's narrative has the stuff of drama.

"I'm interested in the way we tell stories about our lives," she says in the film, "about the fact that the truth about the past is often ephemeral and difficult to pin down."

Prophetic words, those.

Read more
Faith Matters
9:25 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Making Peace With The Bible By Writing It Out Word For Word

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 10:09 am

Reading the Bible from cover to cover might seem like a heavy task. But what about writing it? Host Michel Martin speaks with Phillip Patterson, who is just two verses away from writing out the whole King James Bible. He talks about how he kept the faith in spite of loss and illness.

Barbershop
9:25 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Does It Matter 'Hero' Charles Ramsey Has A Criminal Past?

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 10:09 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are writer and culture critic Jimi Izrael, with us in Washington, D.C.

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:22 am
Fri May 10, 2013

'Plus One' With Wesley Morris

Film critic Wesley Morris (right) faces off against a fellow movie buff in front of a crowd at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston.
Mettie Ostrowski

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:07 am

New movies — especially sequels — hit theaters so quickly these days, it can be hard to tell what's worth checking out. So we thought it would be fitting to call upon the Boston-based, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Wesley Morris for some clarity.

Morris chats with host Ophira Eisenberg about whether it was hometown bias that led him to predict that Argo would take home the Oscar for Best Picture, and exemplifies how difficult it can be for a lifelong film scholar to narrow down an answer to the question, "What is your favorite movie?"

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:22 am
Fri May 10, 2013

'Product Placement' With Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry plays a game called "Product Placement" on the Ask Me Another stage at Wilbur Theatre in Boston.
Mettie Ostrowski

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:07 am

Popular soft drinks, sports cars and other brands appear surreptitiously placed in the worlds of our favorite TV shows and films all the time. Soon enough, we may see them name-dropped in our books, too.

To help imagine some egregious-yet-hilarious examples of this, we invited a prolific writer to Ask Me Another: award-winning young adult author Lois Lowry. Lowry joins forces with a fellow book-loving contestant to play "Product Placement," a game in which they must combine the titles of famous literary works with the names of household products and companies.

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:22 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Barney Frank: The Comedian's Politician

Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank as Ask Me Another's Very Important Puzzler, at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston.
Mettie Ostrowski

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:07 am

Retiring in 2013 after 32 years as a member of the House of Representatives, Barney Frank took on his greatest challenge yet: joining Ask Me Another at the Wilbur Theatre in downtown Boston for an evening of trivia.

Read more
Books
8:03 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Questions For Eduardo Halfon, Author Of 'The Polish Boxer'

Eduardo Halfon is the author of The Polish Boxer.
Paula Morales

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 2:23 pm

Guatemalan author Eduardo Halfon is this week's Alt.latino guest DJ, and he's a natural choice; his new book, The Polish Boxer, is a series of semi-autobiographical stories woven through with loving references to jazz and classical music.

Alt.latino host Jasmine Garsd had this to say about The Polish Boxer:

Read more
Monkey See
7:41 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Loving 'Gatsby' Too Much And Not Enough

Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby.
Daniel Smith Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 11:19 am

[I really hope it goes without saying that this piece about the film adaptation of a decades-old novel gives away the plot of a decades-old novel. But: Be aware.]

The sheer zazz that Baz Luhrmann introduces into The Great Gatsby is so imposing in quantity that it's surprising that it can get out of the way enough not to be the biggest problem in the movie. Luhrmann, after all, loves his swooping cameras and party scenes, and Gatsby gives him the best excuse for excess that there is: a story about excess.

Read more
Food
1:13 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Unpacking Foreign Ingredients In A Massachusetts Kitchen

A kitchen renovation revealed some unusual items Laurel Ruma had picked up while traveling: chickpea flour, harissa and chia seeds.
Laurel Ruma

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 6:10 am

This is the second installment of NPR's Cook Your Cupboard, a food series about improvising with what you have on hand. Got a food that has you stumped? Submit a photo and we'll ask chefs about our favorites!

Laurel Ruma, an NPR listener from Medford, Mass., didn't realize quite how much she had gathered up from her travels until renovating her kitchen last summer. She unearthed things like harissa, chickpea flour and black chia seeds.

Read more
Media
4:24 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

In Newsrooms, Some Immigration Terms Are Going Out Of Style

Protesters demonstrate in downtown Orlando, Fla., on May 1, 2006. Most news outlets have long abandoned the use of the term "illegals."
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

Journalists make choices all the time that influence our understanding of the news — the choice of what stories to cover, which people to interview, which words to use. And major news organizations have been reconsidering how best to describe a group of people whose very presence in this country breaks immigration law.

Read more
Science
3:16 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Could You Talk To A Caveman? Scientists Say It's Possible

Would Mel Brooks' famous 2,000-Year-Old Man have understood modern language? Researchers say there's a possibility.
ABC/Photofest

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

In 1961, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner came up with some basic theories of caveman linguistics in their 2,000-Year-Old Man skit. Most of them had to do with rocks, as in, "What are you doing with that rock there?"

Now, a professor in England has questioned the validity of the famous caveman's rock-centric theories. And Mark Pagel of the University of Reading is reaching even further back, to the time of the 15,000-year-old man.

Read more
Movies
3:09 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

At The Movies, A Swirl Of Style And Substance

Light It Up: Director Baz Luhrmann (right, with stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan on the set of The Great Gatsby) brought a lush visual sensibility to a tale whose tone not everyone thinks of as epic.
Matt Hart Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

Here's a movie pitch: A celebrated millionaire, known for public extravagance, lives right on the water in a fabulous mansion. He's smooth but reckless, drives like a maniac, has a powerful enemy and — despite a rep as a playboy — has only one girlfriend, who barely registers on-screen.

You're the producer, so whaddya think? Does his story require lavish digital effects, swooping cameras, a rap soundtrack and the full-on 3-D treatment?

If I tell you his name is Tony Stark, otherwise known as Iron Man, probably yes, right?

What if his name is Jay Gatsby?

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

In 'Sightseers,' A Killing Spree Gone South

Tina (Alice Lowe) and Chris (Steve Oram) in the sour social comedy Sightseers.
Ben Wheatley IFC Films

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 8:17 am

Scrub away the gore and the nastier bits of provocation, and Ben Wheatley's Sightseers belongs squarely in the tradition of British classics like Kind Hearts and Coronets and The Ruling Class — satires that transformed simmering class resentment into brittle, nasty dark comedy.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

'Gatsby's' Jazz-Age Excess, All Over The Screen

A 'Great Gatsby'? Leonardo DiCaprio suits up to play the mysterious, magnetic title character in Baz Luhrmann's exuberantly turbulent film adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 8:38 am

If anyone could pull off a multiplex-friendly adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby — a film treatment that might be capable of stepping out of the long shadow cast by the book — it's Baz Luhrmann, right? The Australian director who dragged Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers into the music-video-shaken, bullet-ridden '90s with Romeo + Juliet and compressed a century's worth of pop music and melodrama into the glorious Moulin Rouge?

Read more
Movie Reviews
2:54 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

'Venus and Serena': Champs Atop Their Game

Serena Williams (left) and her sister Venus Williams in action during their first-round doubles match on Day 2 at Wimbledon in 2010.
Hamish Blair Getty Images via Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 12:02 pm

What's left to know about Venus and Serena Williams? Probably not much that the tennis titans would be willing to share, given how heavily exposed they've been already, and how eager the press has been to wedge the sisters into ready-made narratives about race, celebrity and the daughters of a Svengali.

Read more
Author Interviews
12:19 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

'The Woman Upstairs': A Saga Of Anger And Thwarted Ambition

Picture of an old attic
Minas Panagiotakis iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 12:59 pm

"How angry am I? You don't want to know. Nobody wants to know." Those are the opening lines of Claire Messud's new novel, The Woman Upstairs. The novel is about a single woman, Nora, who hasn't fulfilled her dreams of being an artist and having children. Nora's plight is complicated when she befriends a woman who has done both.

Read more
Television
11:29 am
Thu May 9, 2013

In A Cluster Of New Sitcoms, 'Family Tree' Stands Tall

In the new HBO series Family Tree, Chris O'Dowd (above left, with the series' writer-director-producer Christopher Guest) stars as a guy who has just lost his job and girlfriend and fills the void by looking into his family genealogy.
HBO

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 12:29 pm

Christopher Guest, co-creator with Jim Piddock of the new HBO comedy series Family Tree, obviously is having a good time making this show — and it's contagious. It's several shows in one, and every element is a self-assured little delight.

Read more
Remembrances
11:06 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Remembering Monster-Maker Ray Harryhausen

Medusa from 1981's Clash of the Titans is among legendary animator Ray Harryhausen's many creations.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 12:19 pm

Ray Harryhausen, who died Tuesday in London at age 92, became fascinated with animation after seeing King Kong in 1933. He went on to create some of the most memorable monsters of old Hollywood, from dinosaurs to mythological creatures.

His monsters, however, were never completely divorced from the real world.

Read more
Ask Me Another
9:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Hahd-Cawr Pun

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:07 am

We kick off our road show with a game dedicated to the stereotypical Boston dialect--you know, the one that tells you to "Pahk your cah in Hahvahd Yahd"? Host Ophira Eisenberg has a little punny fun with phrases and names that take on whole new meanings when you drop the "r's" in certain words. And for the record, "Hahd-Cawr Pun" is just Boston-speak for "Hard-Core Pun."

Read more
Ask Me Another
9:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Banned In Boston

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:07 am

It's been a great time in Boston, but we've reached the Ask Me One More final round. Puzzle guru Art Chung leads the final five contestants in a game comprised of words, phrases and names that begin with the letters B-A-N. For example, the triangular patterned cloth you might wear around your head or neck would be a "bandana," and if it doesn't bear the Red Sox logo, then you're in the wrong town.

Read more
Ask Me Another
9:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

I Left My Heart In Boston

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:07 am

Jonathan Coulton is wicked stoked to pay tribute to Boston in the best way he knows how: by substituting the names of Boston neighborhoods into the lyrics of well-known songs about other cities. For example, if Elvis had spent more time in a certain Boston neighborhood, he might have written a song called "Viva Dorchester!" Can you name the original towns? Or do you prefer a "Roslindale State of Mind"?

Read more
Ask Me Another
9:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Name Brand Names

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:07 am

It may take a lifetime to develop your fashion sense or signature flourish, but only a few trendsetters can boast clothing items actually named in their honor.

Read more
Monkey See
9:14 am
Thu May 9, 2013

PBS Continues The March Into Streaming Programming

Antiques Roadshow is one of the programs available from PBS's new Roku channel.
PBS

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 9:25 am

Let's start with a brief tour of streaming television online.

For quite a while, streaming television meant sitting and watching it on your computer. It wasn't ideal, for obvious reasons. Then, it got easier to sit and watch it on your phone. That wasn't ideal, either, if you liked the living-room experience. Tablets do a better job than phones of delivering a portable but less tiny experience.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Farm Team Saga 'Class A' Hits It Out Of The Park

Cover of Class A

Is there room for another book about America's favorite pastime? Lucas Mann's Class A earns a position in a lineup that already includes Bang the Drum Slowly, The Natural, The Boys of Summer, Moneyball and The Art of Fielding because, remarkably, it offers a fresh, unexpected angle on this well-trodden game.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:02 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Book News: Hacker Leaks Part Of 'Sex And The City' Author's New Book

Author Candace Bushnell attends the March 2010 DVF Awards at the United Nations in New York City.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 5:16 am

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

Read more
Movie Interviews
12:54 am
Thu May 9, 2013

An Epic Of India Gets A Canvas Its Own Size

Parvati and Saleem (Shriya Saran and Satya Bhabha), born in tandem at the birth of independent India, are at the center of Salman Rushdie's novel Midnight's Children. Thirty years after the book's publication, filmmaker Deepa Mehta has committed the story to the big screen.
108 Media

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 4:54 am

In the 1970s, Salman Rushdie was an unknown writer living in London. He decided to return to the country of his birth and rough it across India on what he describes as "extraordinarily long 15-hour bus rides with chickens vomiting on our feet."

That trip inspired Midnight's Children, the Booker Prize-winning novel that many consider Rushdie's literary masterpiece. Now, more than 30 years after it was published, Midnight's Children arrives on the big screen in a glittering film adaptation from Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta.

Read more

Pages