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."
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.)
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?
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.
On stage right now, we have Rob Jacklosky and Lisa Gargiulo ready for our next game.
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.
ROB JACKLOSKY: There is practically no difference between those two.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
When Fiona Maazel published her first novel, Last Last Chance, in 2008, her frenetic imagination and sharply etched characters earned her a spot on the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 authors list. Her 29-year-old narrator, Lucy, was heading into her seventh stretch in rehab; Maazel filtered her addiction, grief, self-involvement and fear through a scrim of dark humor.
There's a comic overlay to her second, even more frenzied and inventive novel, Woke Up Lonely. But the tilt toward pathos is stronger.