Arts

Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

A Hazy Ode 'To The Wonder' Of Hidden Worlds

Jane (Rachel McAdams) rekindles an old affair with the taciturn Neil (Ben Affleck), an environmental investigator whose work takes him to a remote Oklahoma town in the enigmatic new film To the Wonder.
Mary Cybulski Magnolia Pictures

Pretty but inert, To the Wonder is a vaporous mystery wrapped in a gauzy enigma — a cinematic riddle that'll appeal principally to those eager for another piece, however tiny, of the puzzle that is Terrence Malick.

To the Wonder continues in the lyrical-to-a-fault mode of the writer-director's The Tree of Life; in fact, this film includes some footage originally shot for that one. But it excludes Rachel Weisz, Amanda Peet, Barry Pepper, Jessica Chastain and Michael Sheen, who all reportedly played roles that vanished from the final cut.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

A Class-Concious Romp With 'The Angels' Share' Of Charm

An unsuspected talent gives Robbie (Paul Brannigan, third from left) a chance to pull off a rather unlikely heist. (Also pictured: Jasmin Riggins, William Ruane and Gary Maitland.)
Entertainment One

Responding to the death of Margaret Thatcher earlier this week, film director Ken Loach told The Guardian: "Mass unemployment, factory closures, communities destroyed — this is her legacy. She was a fighter, and her enemy was the British working class."

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Zany 'It's A Disaster': Anything But

Tracy (Julia Stiles) and Glen (David Cross) are only on their third date when reports of a dirty-bomb explosion prompt them to reconsider the kind of close they want to be.
Oscilloscope Pictures

For all his success as a stand-up comic, as one half of the brilliant HBO sketch comedy Mr. Show With Bob & David and as the hapless Tobias on Arrested Development, David Cross has struggled to find his footing in the movies, remaining relegated mainly to forgettable character roles. (The controversy within the comedy world over his mercenary appearances in the Chipmunks movies has overshadowed the rest of his long cinematic resume.)

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Cronenberg's 'Antiviral': Sick Style, Slack Story

A young employee at a clinic that transfers celebrity diseases to eager fans, Syd (Caleb Landry Jones) contracts a deadly superbug from his company's spokesmodel.
Sundance Selects

Have mercy on any famous filmmaker's son who hopes to follow in his father's footsteps. The comparisons will be inevitable.

How can fils possibly live up to pere? Maybe it's not such a problem if dad is, say, churn-'em-out schlockmeister Uwe Boll. But do you really want to smear the name of Pops Cronenberg by turning out a pile of junk?

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Earnest '42' Buffs Up A Golden Baseball Moment

Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) acknowledges the crowd in 42.
Warner Bros

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 3:20 pm

This Monday, every player in Major League Baseball will wear the same number on his jersey: 42, which was Jackie Robinson's number when, in 1947, he became the first black player in the majors, playing first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Today, baseball celebrates April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day. But 66 years ago, not everyone saw his hiring as cause for celebration — and the earnestly grandiose biopic 42 means to illuminate that history-making moment, in which racial vitriol met its match in a ballplayer who let his talent do the talking.

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Ask Me Another
2:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Mike Rugnetta: Ask Meme Another

Mike Rugnetta.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:18 am

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Ask Me Another
2:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

AC/DC

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now it's time to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back our winners. From the Hokey Pokey: Jason Salisbury.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: From Everyone's a Critic: Rob Jacklosky. From Taylor Swifties: Jonathan Turer. From What's Next: Brian Little. And from Radio Pictionary: Nicole Holliday.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I'm going to ask our puzzle guru Greg Pliska to take us out.

GREG PLISKA: I've been wanting to take you out all night.

EISENBERG: Greg.

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Ask Me Another
2:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

What's Next?

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our next two contestants: Brian Little and Michelle Williams.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hello. Michelle, clearly you've got some high intelligence. You studied journalism, economics and Arabic. Do you consider yourself an organized person?

MICHELLE WILLIAMS: Oh, god no.

EISENBERG: No?

WILLIAMS: No, it's just a mess.

(LAUGHTER)

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Ask Me Another
2:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Taylor Swifties

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Ready or not, here are our next two contestants: Sean Patterson and Jonathan Turer, settling in behind the puzzle podiums.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Welcome to you both.

SEAN PATTERSON: Hi.

JONATHAN TURER: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Jonathan Turer, interesting last name, because you also do tours.

TURER: This is like destiny.

EISENBERG: You're a tour - oh my god.

TURER: It's strange.

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Ask Me Another
2:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Everyone's A Critic

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

On stage right now, we have Rob Jacklosky and Lisa Gargiulo ready for our next game.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now this is very special because we know you're both English teachers. Rob, you teach 19th century literature to college students. Lisa teaches mythology to seventh and eighth graders. It's a perfect match.

(LAUGHTER)

ROB JACKLOSKY: There is practically no difference between those two.

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Ask Me Another
2:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Radio Pictionary

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our next two contestants to our stage: Ben Smith and Nicole Holliday.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Welcome to the ASK ME ANOTHER stage. Ben, are you a visual thinker?

BEN SMITH: A little bit.

EISENBERG: A little bit. Have you ever played Pictionary?

SMITH: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah, you like it?

SMITH: Uh.

EISENBERG: Okay.

SMITH: Kind of.

EISENBERG: Sure, that's okay. That's honest. Nicole, how about you, a Pictionary player?

NICOLE HOLLIDAY: Terrible.

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Ask Me Another
2:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

The Hokey Pokey

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

We have our first two fabulous contestants: Caroline Blanchard and Jason Salisbury, standing at the puzzle podiums. Welcome.

CAROLINE BLANCHARD: Hello.

JASON SALISBURY: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now, it turns out the two of you are married, even though you changed your last names, clearly for the point of this show.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So, and you have a longstanding trivia partnership as well as nuptial partnership.

BLANCHARD: Probably longer trivia than nuptial, but, yes.

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Author Interviews
1:28 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Living With Chronic Pain 'In The Kingdom Of The Sick'

iStockphoto.com

Laurie Edwards has a chronic respiratory disease so rare that she's met only one other person who has it — and that was through the Internet. In and out of hospitals her entire life, Edwards, now 32, wasn't accurately diagnosed until she was 23. Before they correctly identified her condition — primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), which is similar in some ways to cystic fibrosis — doctors thought she might be an atypical asthma patient, that she wasn't taking her medications correctly, or that her symptoms were perhaps brought on by stress.

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Book Reviews
1:28 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Beauty Marks: Patricia Volk's Lessons In Womanhood

Patricia Volk is an essayist, novelist and memoirist. She grew up in a restaurant-owning family in New York City.
Random House

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 10:12 am

I've loved Patricia Volk's writing ever since I read her evocative 2002 memoir, Stuffed, which told the story of her grandfather — who introduced pastrami to America — as well as the rest of her family, who fed New Yorkers for more than 100 years in their various restaurants. Stuffed, like the best food memoirs, served up so much more on its plate than just a bagel and a schmear. So when I picked up Volk's new memoir, Shocked, my appetite was already whetted for the humor of her writing, its emotional complexity and smarts.

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Theater
12:32 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

'Matilda' Brings Beloved Book To Broadway

The Broadway cast of Matilda the Musical, including Olivier Award-winning actor Bertie Carvel as the barbaric headmistress Miss Trunchbull.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Matilda is a well-loved book by Roald Dahl, who's been called the greatest children's storyteller of the 20th century. It's about a much-put-upon little girl with tremendous gifts. Now, Matilda has been turned into a Broadway musical.

The British import, which won last year's prestigious Olivier Award and features a revolving cast of four little girls in the lead role, opens in New York tonight.

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Theater
12:20 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

'American Utopias': From Disney World To Zuccotti Park

Playwright Mike Daisey has created over 15 monologues.
Ursa Waz

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 11:33 am

In his new one-man show, American Utopias, award-winning monologist Mike Daisey ties together three unlikely places: Disney World, Zuccotti Park — the home base of the Occupy Wall Street movement — and the annual arts event Burning Man.

"I love how each of these communities are these temporary things, but in that world, the people are creating a dreamscape for themselves," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. "And I thought it was a really a valuable way of looking at that phenomenon."

The show runs through April 21, at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C.

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Theater
9:40 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Was Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. An Ordinary Guy?

The Mountaintop is an award-winning play about the night Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. died. But some critics don't love playwright Katori Hall's portrayal of the civil rights icon as a regular guy. Hall tells host Michel Martin why she found it important to focus on the man, not the myth.

Arts & Life
9:40 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Listener Muses About Tobacco, Parcheesi, and Espresso Cups

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we have the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphor. We're celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your poetic tweets. Poems at 140 characters or less that you send us on Twitter.

Today's poem comes from Chris Johnston of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He writes and tweets under the name Boinkaz. Our series curator Holly Bass says she likes this one because it reminds her of her first trip to Istanbul, Turkey earlier this year. Here's the tweet.

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Books
9:40 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Hotel Magnate Bill Marriott On Life's Lessons

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 1:36 pm

In the 1920s, a man passing through Washington, D.C., noticed something about the city in September: It was sweltering, and there were few places to seek relief. He figured you could make a lot of money selling ice-cold drinks.

That first business venture set J.W. "Bill" Marriott Jr. on a road to riches.

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Monkey See
7:10 am
Thu April 11, 2013

The Downside Of Flexibility: A Plea For Must-See TV At A Must-Watch Time

In a scene from Friends' eighth season, Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) react to Rachel's pending pregnancy. The birth of the baby was a major plot point of the Emmy-winning season of the series.
Warner Bros. Televison

I remember riding the bus to school in the early 2000s, listening as the older kids argued passionately about was going to happen on that night's episode of Friends. In the background, radio ads on the local Top 40 pop station dramatically intoned that maybe Rachel was finally going to admit she really loved Joey and not Ross, but you wouldn't know unless you tuned in to NBC at 8:00 on the dot.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Book News: NYC To Pay Occupy Wall Street For Destroyed Books

Books from the Occupy Wall Street library damaged in the November 15 eviction of Zuccotti Park and recovered from a New York city sanitation depot.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

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

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Book Reviews
4:53 am
Thu April 11, 2013

A Poet Grapples With Faith And Death In The 'Abyss'

Image of a human figure before a bright light
iStockphoto.com

Christian Wiman has "a cancer that is as rare as it is unpredictable." A poet and the former editor of Poetry, Wiman has found himself, when overwhelmed by the painful disease and pain-inducing treatments, praying not to God or for language to express his condition, but to the pain itself: "That it ease up ever so little, that it let me breathe. That it not — but I know it will — get worse."

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
4:52 am
Thu April 11, 2013

May Kids' Book Club Pick: 'Lunch Lady And The Cyborg Substitute'

Jarrett J. Krosoczka Studio JJK

She yanks on her elbow-length rubber gloves and snaps the string of her apron into a knot — but this is no ordinary lunch lady. Not only does she serve food, she also serves justice.

The Lunch Lady in question is the star of NPR's Backseat Book Club's latest pick, The Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett Krosoczka.

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Movies
1:21 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Painting 'Renoir' In Finely Detailed Strokes

In director Gilles Bourdos' biopic Renoir, Christa Theret plays Andree Heuschling, who served as a muse for both the aging Impressionist master and his young filmmaker son.
Samuel Goldwyn Films

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:59 am

The French painter Renoir, one of the creators of impressionism, is the subject of a French film that's in release across the U.S. It imagines the last years of the painter's life — surrounded by glorious rolling hills, doting housemaids and a new young model who becomes his muse. It's at least the second film to capture the master in motion.

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Monkey See
1:19 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

A Foolish Inconsistency: The Saga of 'Saga'

The cover of Saga, issue #12.
Image Comics

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:10 pm

"Comics," a wise newspaper features editor once opined, back when the Earth had not yet cooled and icthyosaurs swam the turbid seas, "Aren't Just For Kids Anymore."

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Arts & Life
11:26 am
Wed April 10, 2013

The Prickly Process Of Changing Your Name

At 24, Silas Hansen left his birth name, Lindsay, behind.
Raena Shirali

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 12:00 pm

Names are possessions that we carry with us all our lives. But we seldom think about what goes into picking the right one. Some choose to change their first names in adulthood, because of family history or pure disdain for a moniker. For Silas Hansen, the reason was that he's transgender.

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Arts & Life
10:02 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Listener Muses About Her Miracle Bra And Medical Exam

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And next, the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphor. We're celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your poetic tweets. We've been hearing your poems that are 140 characters or less. We call our series Muses and Metaphor.

Today's poem comes from Christina Lux of Lawrence, Kansas. She's the assistant director of the African Studies Center at the University of Kansas. Our series curator, Holly Bass, says this tweet reminded her of how poetry can help us sort out difficult emotions and share personal pain. Here it is.

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Monkey See
8:51 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Thank G-O-O-D-N-E-S-S: The National Spelling Bee Adds Meaning

Spellers wait to participate in the semi-finals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

As Eyder Peralta reported last night, the National Spelling Bee has made a big change to its rules.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
7:05 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Witches And Wizards: A Scrapbook From The Land Of Oz

Middle and high school girls participate in the Dorothy's House and Land of Oz program in Liberal, Kan.
JoAnne Mansell

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 12:33 pm

The Yellow Brick Road is a well-traveled one; generations of young readers have followed L. Frank Baum's path to the magical Land of Oz. This spring, as members of NPR's Backseat Book Club embarked on their own journeys to the Emerald City, we asked you to share your Oz memories and photos with us. Here's a sampling of what we received.

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Book News: New Editor Named At 'New York Times Book Review'

The New York Times sign is displayed in front of the newspaper's midtown headquarters in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

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

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