Arts

Author Interviews
12:26 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

'Cut Me Loose': After Exile, A Young Woman's Journey In 'Sin'

Footsteps and co-producer of the It Gets Besser project, both of which help support people who have decided to leave ultra-Orthodoxy." href="/post/cut-me-loose-after-exile-young-womans-journey-sin" class="noexit lightbox">
Leah Vincent is a board member of Footsteps and co-producer of the It Gets Besser project, both of which help support people who have decided to leave ultra-Orthodoxy.
Ned & Aya Rosen Leah Vincent

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:44 am

Leah Vincent was born into the Yeshivish community, an ultra-Orthodox sect of Judaism, in Pittsburgh.

"Yeshivish Judaism life is defined by religious law," Vincent tells NPR's Arun Rath. "We keep extra-strict laws of kosher, observe the Sabbath every week, maintain a separation of the sexes and a degree of isolation from the outside world."

When she was 16, she was caught exchanging letters with a male friend. Contact with men is forbidden in her sect, and she was cast out from her community.

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Movie Reviews
9:57 am
Sun February 23, 2014

A 'Tale' That's A Labor Of Love, But Not A Complete Success

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Book fans can be pretty picky about how Hollywood treats their favorite reads. And Hollywood can sometimes disappoint. Marc Helprin's "Winter's Tale" has been a favorite of readers since it was published in 1983. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has a review of how well it works as a movie.

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Author Interviews
6:04 am
Sun February 23, 2014

In 'Kinder Than Solitude,' History Always Haunts

Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 9:57 am

Kinder Than Solitude, the latest novel from Chinese-American author Yiyun Li, examines the impact of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre on a generation of youth. Following three friends, the novel alternates between 1990s Beijing and present-day America, where two of the friends immigrated. At the heart of the story is the mysterious murder that brought the three friends together over 20 years ago, and what they're only now learning about it.

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Movie Interviews
6:04 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Director Says 'Omar' Is A Love Story, Not A War Story

Adam Bakri plays a Palestinian baker recruited as an informant by the Israeli secret service in the Oscar-nominated film Omar.
Adopt Films

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:31 pm

Omar is a young Palestinian baker who often climbs the Israeli-built security barrier that divides his hometown — to visit his secret Israeli love, Nadia. After he's arrested and accused of the murder of an Israeli soldier, he starts working as an informant for Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service; it's a dangerous game Omar plays, one that brings trust, love and friendship into question.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:01 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Famous Four-By-Fours That Aren't Trucks

NPR

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 9:57 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a famous person with four letters in his or her first name and four letters in the last. For each person, you'll be given initials and an anagram of the full name. You name the person.

Last week's challenge: Name a famous entertainer: two words, four letters in each word. You can rearrange these eight letters to spell the acronym of a well-known national organization, and the word that the first letter of this acronym stands for. Who's the entertainer, and what's the organization?

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Last Of The 'Sound Of Music' Von Trapps Dies At 99

Maria von Trapp in 2008 at the age of 93. The daughter of Austrian Baron Georg von Trapp points to her father on an old family picture. She died on Tuesday at her home in Vermont.
Kerstin Joensson AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:29 am

Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers — the Austrian family that inspired the 1965 film The Sound of Music -- has died at 99 at her home in Vermont.

Von Trapp, whose family escaped Nazi Germany, died on Tuesday of natural causes, her brother Johannes von Trapp said, according to the New York Daily News.

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My Guilty Pleasure
5:03 am
Sun February 23, 2014

For This British Author, If It Bleeds, She Reads

iStockphoto

The first thing you need to know about my guilty pleasure is that you probably share it. George Orwell certainly did. He writes about it in his 1946 essay, Decline of the English Murder: "It is Sunday afternoon ... Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what it is that you want to read about? Naturally, about a murder."

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Author Interviews
3:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Forecasting The 'Future' By Tapping Into Human Consciousness

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 5:18 pm

Now more than ever before, we have the tools to study the mysteries of consciousness. Memory, dreams, the self are now being examined using high-tech brain scans developed by physicists on the cutting edge of their field.

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Around the Nation
2:35 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Where Are The Heroes To Save Pittsburgh's African-American Center?

The $42-million August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh is for sale because it can't pay its bills. Some are questioning why the Center was allowed to fail.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 5:18 pm

In 2009 a gleaming performing arts space opened to great fanfare in downtown Pittsburgh. The distinctive $42 million-dollar building is as long as the block it occupies, and the corner of the building looks like the sail of a ship made in glass and stone.

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Author Interviews
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Hollywood Goes To War In 'Five Came Back'

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:43 pm

Hollywood helped win World War II — and by that, we don't mean John Wayne, but five of the country's most celebrated film directors, who went to work making films for the War Department that showed Americans at war, overseas and in the skies, living, fighting, bleeding and dying. Those films changed America — and deepened the men who made them, including John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, George Stevens, and Frank Capra.

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The Salt
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Cholent: The Original Slow-Cooked Dish

While traditional cholents feature meat and beans cooked for a whole day, some modern versions, like this one, use vegetable protein and a quick braise.
rusvaplauke/Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:06 pm

This chilly winter, many of us have warmed ourselves — and our kitchens — with long-cooked meals. Roasts, beans, and stews have been in heavy rotation. But there's a dish called cholent that isn't just cooked for a few hours — it's cooked for a full day.

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Books News & Features
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

'The Natural' Of 1952 Holds Lessons For Today's MLB

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 11:06 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's an old baseball legend about the kid out of nowhere who boards a train for a tryout in Chicago with nothing but his toothbrush and a bat he calls Wonderboy. The kid strikes out the Whammer, the best hitter in the game, but gets to his hotel and opens his door to a pretty girl. Wham, bam, she shoots him in the stomach and he doesn't make a comeback for 15 years.

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Books News & Features
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Celebrate Winnie-The-Pooh's 90th With A Rare Recording (And Hunny)

On his first birthday, Christopher Robin Milne — son of A.A. Milne — was given a teddy bear. That bear became the inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh tales, the first of which appeared in 1924. Father and son are pictured above in 1926.
Howard Coster Apic/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:43 pm

This month, A.A. Milne's beloved bear celebrates a big birthday. Winnie-the-Pooh made his first appearance as "Edward Bear" in a short poem titled "Teddy Bear" which was published in Punch magazine on Feb. 13, 1924.

In honor of Pooh's 90th, we're listening back to a rare, 1929 recording, in which Milne reads from his book, Winnie-the-Pooh.

So find a pot of your favorite "hunny" and click the audio link above to hear Milne's reading.

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Remembrances
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Writer Mavis Gallant Portrayed 'Lost Souls' Of Post-WWII Europe

More than 100 of Mavis Gallant's short stories were published in The New Yorker.
Louis Monier Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:43 pm

Unless you've been a devoted reader of New Yorker short stories for the last 60 years, you may not know the name Mavis Gallant. The magazine published more Gallant stories than almost any other writer, except John Updike.

She died Tuesday in Paris at age 91.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Love And Whiskers In 'On Loving Women'

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:08 am

True love isn't usually associated with minimalism. It isn't usually associated with little animal heads, either, and yet Montreal artist Diane "Obom" Obomsawin manages to make all three work together just splendidly in her graphic novel On Loving Women. It's more like a graphic collection of short stories, actually: Obomsawin illustrates a dozen or so different women's accounts of how they first fell in love with other women, or girls — all of whom have, you guessed it, little animal heads.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
3:17 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Look Out! Not My Job Guest Sen. Mark Warner Gets Quizzed On Warnings

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 10:03 am

Mark Warner says that he got off to a good start, making it to Harvard Law School, but then promptly failed at everything he tried. No wonder, then, that he had to settle for a career in the U.S. Senate, where he's currently a democratic senator from Virginia.

We've invited Warner to play a game called "Danger! Get Away! Ahhhhh!" Three questions about warnings.

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This Week's Must Read
2:42 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

A Cure For Sochi Fatigue, Shaken, Not Stirred

George Lazenby takes aim at his pursuers in a scene from the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
United Artist Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:47 am

The Sochi Winter Olympics haven't been short on drama: The Russians upset the South Koreans in figure skating; the Dutch upset us in speed-skating; everybody got upset about Bob Costas's eye infection. But after two weeks and a great deal of curling, a certain amount of Sochi fatigue is setting in. So it might be refreshing to look back at one of the iconic heroes of winter sports: Agent 007 himself, James Bond.

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Movie Reviews
11:14 am
Fri February 21, 2014

'Wind Rises' Is Exquisite, And Likely To Be Hayao Miyazaki's Last

In the film, which Miyazaki says is his last, the wind carries off the parasol of a fragile girl, Nahoko, into the hands of Jiro — who will fall in love with her.
Studio Ghibli Nibariki

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 4:57 pm

The 73-year-old Japanese animation titan Hayao Miyazaki says The Wind Rises is his final film, and if that's true — and I hope it's not but fear it is, since he's not the type to make rash declarations — he's going out on a high.

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The Salt
10:47 am
Fri February 21, 2014

What Sbarro's Woes Say About Where We Get Our Fast Food Now

Customers at a Sbarro in Chicago on April 4, 2011, the day that the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:23 pm

In 1985, Joe Sbarro declared that he had high hopes for his cafeteria-style pizza chain, founded in 1956.

"Sbarro's dream is to be another McDonald's," he told Newsday.

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Monkey See
9:59 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Who Killed The New 'RoboCop'?

Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is a Detroit cop brought back from the brink of death — as a cyborg supercop built for reducing crime and increasing profit.
Kerry Hayes Sony Pictures

The Retouchables is a column examining the recycling of pop-cultural properties. Future installments will discuss remakes in development, or that should be, or that were made but should not have been, or for which I have written several script treatments. Did you not get them? Call me.

Our inaugural dispatch deconstructs a long-in-development remake that has finally come to semi-sweet fruition.

The Past Of The Future Of Law Enforcement

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Barbershop
9:59 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Are The Barbershop Guys Sorry They Are Not Idris Elba?

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 10:11 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Faith Matters
9:59 am
Fri February 21, 2014

From Buddhism to Baha'i: Black Faith Spreads Across All Religions

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 10:11 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's turn to Faith Matters now. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of religion, faith and spirituality. It's Black History Month so that got us thinking about the importance of faith to African-Americans throughout history and to this day. But a recent piece in the Huffington Post's religion section also got us thinking about how that faith practice is much more diverse than many people might realize.

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Book News: Year's Oddest Title? 'Pie-ography,' 'Working Class Cats' In Running

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

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Poetry
5:03 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Wise, Funny Poems, Saved From The Trash Bin In The Nick Of 'Time'

iStockphoto

It always feels good to see a poet rescued from oblivion. Michael Benedikt (1935-2007), a prominent figure in the poetry scene of the 1960s and 70s, was not exactly an important poet, but he was — and in his work, he remains — a deeply enjoyable one.

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Movie Reviews
4:58 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

One Conflict, One Wall, Two Sides Of The Arab-Israeli World

Omar (Adam Bakri) is a Palestinian baker and secret informant who braves the wall that splits his community to visit his lover, Nadia (Leem Lubany) in the Oscar-nominated film Omar.
Adopt Films

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:27 pm

American art-house audiences are being offered an intriguing exercise in double vision over the next couple of weeks: two movies about Palestinian informants and their complicated relationships with Israel's secret service, one directed by a Palestinian, the other by an Israeli. Their similarities turn out to be nearly as intriguing as their differences.

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Movie Reviews
4:33 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

'Pompeii': In Ancient Rome, A Hot 3-D Mess

Game of Thrones' Kit Harington plays a gladiator who finds love, friendship and vengeance — all in one fateful weekend — in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.
Sony Pictures

You can say this for director Paul W.S. Anderson: He gets the basic purpose of 3-D movies. While the current renaissance in cinematic stereoscopy is touted as a method for creating more "immersive" experiences for audiences, the list of movies that achieve that lofty goal can be counted on one hand: Gravity, Hugo, Life of Pi. Most 3-D exists to bilk customers out of a few extra bucks.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Zola's Scandalous Raquin Clan, Sordid 'Secret' And All

Therese (Elizabeth Olsen) and Laurent (Oscar Issac) have a scandalous affair — and some real chemistry. But the unevenness of In Secret, adapted from Emile Zola's novel Therese Raquin, moves their plotline away from center.
Phil Bray Roadside Attractions

Emile Zola was one of the founders of naturalism, and his first major work, 1867's Therese Raquin, is full of precise physical description. The novel's plot is utter melodrama, though, and that's the aspect emphasized by In Secret, the latest in a century-long string of film and TV adaptations.

With its small cast of characters and limited number of locations, the book does lend itself to dramatization. In fact, writer-director Charlie Stratton's retelling of Zola's shocker was derived in part from the stage version by Neal Bell.

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Movie Interviews
1:17 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

At Last, David O. Russell Is Making The Films He Was Meant To Make

A '70s con artist (Christian Bale, right) is forced to team up with an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper, left) in American Hustle, inspired by a real-life sting targeting corrupt politicians.
Francois Duhamel Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:25 pm

Filmmaker David O. Russell first talked with Fresh Air's Terry Gross back in 1994, and two decades later, he tells her: "It's taken me 20 years since I first spoke to you to really make the films that I think I was meant to make, and to be at the level of filmmaking and storytelling and writing that I think I had ever aspired to."

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Monkey See
11:36 am
Thu February 20, 2014

If You Like The Old 'About A Boy,' You May Not Like The New 'About A Boy'

Benjamin Stockham as Marcus and David Walton as Will in NBC's adaptation of About A Boy.
Jordin Althaus NBC

If you're familiar with the Nick Hornby book or the 2002 film of About A Boy, you will find that what has been kept in the new TV adaptation, coming Saturday night in a preview to NBC, is the clichéd skeleton of the story: a lazy, glib bachelor befriending the child of a single mom and learning how not to be such a selfish baby. Child-averse jerk and wisecracking moppet: a well-worn dynamic that animated, among other things, the early stages of Two And A Half Men.

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Black History Month: #AfroGlobal
10:47 am
Thu February 20, 2014

New Show Challenges Idea That 'Nobody Cares About The Caribbean'

Zahra Burton is the Host and Executive Producer of 18 Degrees North.
Dave Cross Bloomberg

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 1:49 pm

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