Arts

Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

'Before And After' Dinner, Andre Is Still Talking

In his wife's new documentary, theatrical director Andre Gregory comes across as an eternal child, hooked on his capacity to enchant but rarely able to listen to anyone else.
Cinema Guild

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 5:27 pm

In 1981, avant-garde theater director Andre Gregory collaborated with his friend Wallace Shawn and French filmmaker Louis Malle on an oddball project they called My Dinner with Andre.

Now enshrined as a classic — and one of the most-lampooned films in the history of American cinema — the movie is a talky two-hander in which Gregory (or someone very like him) gassed away about his globe-trotting adventures in spiritual enlightenment, while Shawn (or someone very like him) listened in disbelief, then grew entranced.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

'Teapot' Jackpot? Newlyweds Feel Fiscal Hurt In Dark Comedy

Temple gives Alice a sharp edge, but the character's persona wears thin by the end of the film.
Angela Graves Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:05 pm

In theory, it's romantic to watch young couples struggling. We're used to seeing 'em in movies from the '30s, '40s and onward: He makes only enough money to put beans, not steak, on the table. She stretches the meager dollars he brings home by whipping up cheerful curtains patched together from fabric scraps. They may be poor, but they have love on their side, and if they work together, a comfortable and happy life — including the babies that will eventually come — will be theirs.

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Europe
2:42 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Emigre Artist Sculpted Exquisite Gems Of Russian Folk Life

Bosom Pals, an iconic sculpture by Russian artist Vasily Konovalenko.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

A team of American researchers is on a treasure hunt for jewels — of both artistic and historic value.

This month, researchers from Denver were in Russia to document the work of Vasily Konovalenko, a former ballet set designer turned sculptor, who created scenes from Russian folk life in semiprecious stones.

In the 1980s, Konovalenko emigrated from what was then the Soviet Union in search of artistic freedom. Now, his legacy is divided between the U.S. and Russia.

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Theater
2:35 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

'Sleep Rock Thy Brain' Play Uses Science As Inspiration

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Well, now a more subjective study of dreams. It comes from the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky. The festival was founded by Actors Theatre of Louisville. And each year, that theater commissions a new work for its company of apprentice actors. This year's show, a series of three one-act plays, is called "Sleep Rock Thy Brain."

Erin Keane of member station WFPL got a front row seat.

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Author Interviews
11:23 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Former Mormon Missionary Describes The Experience Of 'Elders'

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:47 pm

As a Mormon missionary, Ryan McIlvain spent two years ringing strangers' doorbells, even as he experienced doubts about his own faith. McIlvain left the church in his mid-20s. His debut novel, Elders, is based on the experiences he had trying to convert people to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Elder" is the term used for a young Mormon on his mission.

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Arts & Life
10:00 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Muses And Metaphor: Egyptian Poet 'Spins A Word-Shaped Web'

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:15 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphors. We are celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing poetic tweets - poems at 140 characters or less. And we've been hearing from famous poets and not so famous.

Today, we hear from freelance writer and poet Yahia Lababidi. And we'll let him tell you more.

YAHIA LABABIDI: My name is Yahia Lababidi. I live, now, in Silver Spring, Maryland. I'm from Egypt and I'm mad for short forms. Here's the tweet.

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Movies
9:56 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Jada Pinkett Smith: Respect For Angela Davis' Turmoil ... And Hair

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:15 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, it took a while, but you can now see women of color on the covers of so-called mainstream women's or lifestyle magazines. So now we're asking: Should it go the other way? Will there ever be a white woman on the cover of a major black or Latina magazine? We'll talk about that in a few minutes.

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Monkey See
8:43 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Putting Late Night In Perspective: Under The Massive Boot Of Judge Judy

Judge Judy Sheindlin, seen here in 2006, presides over a case as bailiff Petri Hawkins Byrd listens.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:36 pm

While we go on about the Johnnys, Jimmys, Daves, Jays, Conans, and additional Jimmys of the late-night wars, where was Joe? Specifically, where was the enormous media coverage of the end of Judge Joe Brown?

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Monkey See
6:21 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Arrested Development' Comes Back On Netflix On May 26, So Get Extra Sleep Now

Jeffrey Tambor, left, and Jason Bateman appear in a scene from the comedy Arrested Development, which returns with new episodes on Netflix on May 26.
AP

Netflix has announced that the new "anthology" season of Arrested Development will arrive — all 15 episodes at once — on May 26. The show, which ran on Fox from 2003 to 2006 and won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, will bring back its entire cast, including Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Cera, David Cross, and many, many more.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Racing From Art To Revolution And Back Again In 'The Flamethrowers'

Rachel Kushner's brilliant lightning bolt of a novel, The Flamethrowers, straddles two revolutions: the squatter-artist colonization of Manhattan's SoHo in the 1970s, and the rise of Italy's radical left during the same period. Its young artist narrator, Reno, is wistful and brutally candid at once, with a voice like a painting — lush and evocative — but also like a scythe. "Enchantment," she says, describing her dashed hopes after a one-night stand, "means to want something and also to know, somewhere inside yourself, not an obvious place, that you aren't going to get it."

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Theater
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Kinky Boots' Walk Cyndi Lauper To Broadway

Struggling shoe-factory owner Charlie (Stark Sands, left) is inspired by drag queen Lola (Billy Porter) to make high-quality high-heeled boots for men who perform as women in the Broadway adaptation of the cult film Kinky Boots.
O and M Co.

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:01 am

If you ask Billy Porter, one of the lead actors in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, what the show's about, he's got a succinct answer:

"It's about two people who have daddy issues," Porter says. "And one of them just happens to wear a dress."

Porter would be that guy: He plays Lola, a fabulous drag queen who inadvertently helps save a failing shoe factory in the English Midlands. And he gets to sing fabulous songs — by Cyndi Lauper.

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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Award-Winning Novelist And Screenwriter, Dies

This undated publicity photo provided by Merchant Ivory Productions shows Oscar-winning screenwriter and award-winning novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (center) with film director and producer Ismail Merchant (left) and director James Ivory in a studio. Jhabvala, 85, died in New York on Wednesday.
AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:46 am

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the Oscar-winning screenwriter and Booker Prize-winning novelist, has died at her home in New York. She was 85.

NPR's Bob Mondello reported on her career for NPR's Newscast Desk:

"With the films of Merchant/Ivory, you tend to think first of period-perfect costumes and settings, but it was Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's scripts that gave them substance. She was witty, cultivated and could be wonderfully precise about class and propriety in her adaptations of, say, E.M. Forster.

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The Salt
3:57 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

What Do We Lose, And Gain, When Reducing A Life To A Recipe?

Detail of The Autumn, a painting of a man made of food by 16th century Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 9:39 pm

What is the essence of a life? Is it our career accomplishments? Our devotion to friends and family? Our secret little talents and foibles? Is it, perhaps, our killer recipe for beef stroganoff?

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Author Interviews
3:48 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

The Botched NY Real Estate Deal That Lost 'Other People' Billions

The Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town apartment complex is seen from Waterside Plaza in 2006, the same year it was sold in a record-breaking real estate deal.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:50 pm

The middle-income housing projects Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village sit on an 80-acre patch of Lower Manhattan. In 2006, they came to epitomize the lunatic excess of the housing boom when their 11,232 apartments sold for $5.4 billion. They were bought at a competitive auction by Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty.

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The Salt
11:55 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Edible Spray Paint: Give Your Foods The Midas Touch

When red tomatoes are too ordinary, go gold.
courtesy The Deli Garage

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 12:42 pm

If that old James Bond villain Goldfinger had been a gourmand, I think I know what tool would be in his kitchen arsenal.

Ess Lack, or Food Finish, is an edible spray paint that turns your meals into metallic bites of luxury. Lobster not decadent enough for you? Why not turn that crustacean golden?

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Arts & Life
11:53 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Poet Nikki Giovanni Tweets Home, Peace And West Virginia

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:01 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphor. We are celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your poetic tweets. You have already started sending us poems that are 140 characters or less. Yesterday, we kicked off this series with author, performer and our series curator, Holly Bass.

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The Picture Show
11:45 am
Wed April 3, 2013

You Can't Put A Headline On William Klein

Gun 1, New York, 1955
William Klein 'William Klein ABC'/Abrams

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:50 pm

Try to put him in a box and he'll find his way out. Still working at nearly 85 years old, William Klein has gone rogue in at least four different fields: abstract painting, photography, filmmaking and commercial copy writing.

Klein now lives in Paris but I caught up with him in New York City — the place where he was born, but no longer has much affinity for. He's just here to promote a new book, William Klein ABC.

When I ask him what he thinks about the city, he says:

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Book Reviews
11:16 am
Wed April 3, 2013

'Burgess Boys' Family Saga Explores The Authenticity Of Imperfection

iStockphoto.com

In 1846, Edgar Allan Poe wrote a famous essay called "The Philosophy of Composition," in which he sounds like an interior decorator. I say that because in the essay, Poe insists that all good writing must strive for what he calls "unity of effect." For Poe, it was important that everything in his short stories — characters, setting, narration — add up to one big "color-me-terrified" impact.

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Author Interviews
11:09 am
Wed April 3, 2013

A Father Tells The Story Of His Son's Struggle To Stay 'Clean'

iStockphoto.com

Why do we imprison people who are addicted to illegal drugs instead of treating them for their addiction? That question is at the heart of David Sheff's new book Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy. It reports the latest medical and scientific research about addiction and recovery, which, Sheff says, shows that drug addicts are gravely ill, afflicted with a chronic, progressive and often terminal disease.

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Television
11:04 am
Wed April 3, 2013

This Spring, Rejoice At Rebirth Of 'Mad Men'

We won't give away any of the details about his personal life, but we can say that the two-hour season premiere of Mad Men shows Don Draper (Jon Hamm, right, with John Slattery's Roger Sterling) as his silver tongue fails him.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

For decades, when broadcast television called the shots and dominated the TV landscape, the biggest event of the year was "the fall season," when networks would unveil their new shows and return with fresh episodes of old favorites. But now, because of cable and satellite TV, the fall season isn't the only game in town.

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Beauty Shop
9:37 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Does Leaning In Actually Work For Women At The Starting Line?

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:01 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the New York African Film Festival is getting under way. The festival is in its 20th year now, so we're going to talk about the stories being told by a new generation of African filmmakers. That's coming up.

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Book News: Author And Wife Of Amazon CEO Defends Online Retailer

Mackenzie Bezos and Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com attend the "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Dimitrios Kambouris Getty Images

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

  • Mackenzie Bezos, the author of the novel Traps and the wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, defended the company publicly for the first time to The Times [paywall protected], calling it "great for authors and books." She herself is not published by Amazon.
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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Real Writing, Real Life In Salter's 'All That Is'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 5:41 am

"There comes a time," James Salter writes in the epigraph for his new novel, All That Is, "when you realize that everything is a dream, and only those things preserved in writing have any possibility of being real."

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Tina Brown's Must-Reads
1:06 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Tina Brown's Must Reads: Women Vs. The World

Malala Yousafzai, targeted by the Taliban for her advocacy in favor of education for girls and young women in her native Pakistan, will be honored at the opening night of Tina Brown's Women in the World Summit.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:39 am

Tina Brown, editor of the Daily Beast and Newsweek, joins NPR's Steve Inskeep again for an occasional feature Morning Edition likes to call Word of Mouth. She talks about what she's been reading and offers recommendations.

This month, as Brown prepares for her annual Women in the World Summit in New York City, her reading suggestions address just that: the role of women in the developing world.

Malala And The Media

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Kitchen Window
12:07 am
Wed April 3, 2013

True Grits: Getting In Touch With Your Inner Southerner

Rina Rapuano for NPR

Despite growing up in Virginia, I never tasted grits until I was in college. I remember that first bite vividly, because it left me with the impression that grits were truly disgusting. My freshman roommate would make them with her hot pot, and this vile, gluey goo made me swear they would never pass my lips again.

Fast-forward a couple of years, when I was once again duped into trying instant grits — this time doctored with cheddar cheese and butter. Still horrible. Twice fooled, it's a wonder I ever tried them again.

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Monkey See
3:03 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Home Video Review: 'Badlands'

When Kit (Martin Sheen) meets young Holly (Sissy Spacek), it's a match made in cinematic heaven. The pairing of the young couple in Badlands was the beginning of prolific careers for both actors.
The Criterion Collection

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Time now for a home viewing recommendation from our critic Bob Mondello. This week, Bob is intrigued by the 40th anniversary of the film that put Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek and director Terrence Malick on the map — Badlands.

The plot's based on a notorious duo and a real-life 1950s killing spree, but when boy meets girl on-screen in Badlands, they're adorable. She's 15, twirling a baton; he's older, styles himself after James Dean, and is the handsomest guy she's ever met.

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Author Interviews
3:03 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

'Burgess Boys' Author, Like Her Characters, Finds Refuge In New York

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 11:10 am

Elizabeth Strout, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Olive Kitteridge, sets much of her work in Maine, where her family has lived for eight generations. But Strout herself has lived most of her adult life in New York. In her new novel, The Burgess Boys, she writes for the first time about the city she now calls home.

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Arts & Life
10:57 am
Tue April 2, 2013

'Muses And Metaphor' Series Returns For Poetry Month

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

You might have noticed that it is April already and here at TELL ME MORE that means we are kicking off our annual tribute to National Poetry Month. For the third year in a row, we are starting our series we call Muses and Metaphor. We combine two of our passions, poetry and social media. We would like you to go on Twitter and tweet us your original poetry using fewer than 140 characters. Poet Holly Bass is going to help us once again pick out our favorites that we will air and she is with us now to tell us more.

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The Picture Show
10:38 am
Tue April 2, 2013

How A Female Photographer Sees Her Afghanistan

A photograph taken from behind a burqa, Kabul, 2007.
Farzana Wahidy AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 3:44 pm

Born in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 1984, photographer Farzana Wahidy was only a teenager when the Taliban took over the country in 1996. At age 13 she was beaten in the street for not wearing a burqa, she recalls, and she describes those years as a "very closed, very dark time." To carry a camera would have been unthinkable.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Book News: American Library Association, Barnes & Noble Called 'Facilitators Of Porn'

A Barnes & Noble bookstore in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 7:21 am

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

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