Arts

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
10:42 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Musician Ben Folds Plays Not My Job

Jeff Bender

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 8:28 pm

Years ago, musician Ben Folds started a band with his two friends and called it the Ben Folds Five. This was confusing, but it didn't keep the band from becoming a huge success.

Ben Folds went on to have a solo career, but he's brought the band back together and their new album is The Sound of the Life of the Mind. Folds plays a game called "I'll Be Back!"

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Monkey See
2:59 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Mandy Patinkin: 25 Years After 'The Princess Bride,' He's Not Tired Of That Line

This photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox shows Andres The Giant, top, Mandy Patinkin, center, and Wallace Shawn in The Princess Bride.
AP

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:07 pm

Twenty-five years ago, The Princess Bride performed only so-so at the box office. But as you know if you have ever had it quoted to you — and who hasn't? — it's come to be one of the most beloved films of the 1980s. On Friday's All Things Considered, Mandy Patinkin, now starring in Showtime's Homeland but back then the Spanish swordsman Inigo Montoya, talks to Melissa Block about the film and what it's like to be part of such a beloved piece of popular culture.

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Race
2:48 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Everything You Wanted To Know About 'Indians'

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 10:03 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will hear from musician, activist and now author Wyclef Jean. He's out with a new memoir and we'll hear from him about his career and very interesting life story, and yes, he answers questions that people have about relationships in his life. That's coming up later in the program.

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Movies
2:41 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Hollywood's History With Frightfully Funny Films

In animated family films like ParaNorman, ghosts are more likely to cause laughter than shivers. Critic Bob Mondello explores how we got here from the Hollywood fright fests of the '30s.
Focus Features

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:07 pm

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Movie Reviews
1:37 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

'Heights' Scaled: A Savage Take On A Classic Tale

Catherine (Kaya Scodelario), one of literature's most famous heroines, is set against a naturalistic backdrop in Andrea Arnold's adaptation of Wuthering Heights.
Oscilloscope Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:59 pm

Taking her tone from the sensuality of nature and the rawness of the Yorkshire moors, British director Andrea Arnold charges straight for the cruel heart of Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte's sole novel. Peeling away much more than the story's annoying framing device — there is no musical score, and definitely no Kate Bush — Arnold, a director of uncommon originality, attacks our very notion of what a costume drama should look like.

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Movie Reviews
11:56 am
Fri October 5, 2012

At College, A 'Pitch Perfect' Musical Comedy

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:23 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Actress Anna Kendrick was nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role in "Up in the Air." Now she stars in the film musical, "Pitch Perfect," in which she plays a college freshman who reluctantly joins the school's illustrious all-female a cappella group. Director Jason Moore is best known for his work on the satirical Broadway musical, "Avenue Q." Film critic David Edelstein has this review of "Pitch Perfect."

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The Fresh Air Interview
11:55 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Interview: MacArthur 'Genius' Junot Diaz

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:10 pm

His debut novel — The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao — won a Pulitzer Prize. He was recently named as one of the 2012 recipients of a MacArthur Fellowship. (Rebroadcast from December 2007)

The Fresh Air Interview
11:55 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Memoirist James Wolcott Reflects On The '70s

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:23 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Monkey See
8:30 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Time Travel And The Right Way To Be Pushy

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We all took ourselves to see Looper last weekend, and we've all got opinions. Was it confusing? Full of holes? Exciting? Moving? Too bloody? Not bloody enough? And what about Joseph Gordon-Levitt's prosthetic makeup and that thing that happened to Paul Dano?

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
7:03 am
Fri October 5, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of October 4, 2012

Blue Rider Press

Neil Young looks at his career against the backdrop of history. Waging Heavy Peace debuts at No. 3.

Monkey See
6:03 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Two 'Genius Grants' For Women Experimenting With Documentary Film

A scene from El Velador.
El Velador (The Night Watchman)

Emma Miller is a digital arts intern at NPR.org and was also an intern in the summer of 2012 in the digital department of PBS' POV series, where she became familiar with two documentaries whose directors recently received "genius grants" from the MacArthur Foundation. She has these thoughts.

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Monkey See
3:29 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Picking The Best Bond: Connery And Craig Rise To The Top

The Gold Standard: In NPR's survey, most readers chose Sean Connery (above, in Goldfinger), as the best James Bond. Daniel Craig placed second in our survey.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:33 am

It's official: Sean Connery IS James Bond, according to NPR readers who weighed the question this week. The final results show that Connery set the gold standard as 007, the spy known for his playfulness, his ruthlessness — and his ability to look good in a suit. Today marks the Bond film franchise's 50th anniversary.

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The Salt
1:16 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Shake It Up, Baby: Are Martinis Made The Bond Way Better?

One martini; shaken, not stirred.
Karen Castillo Farfan NPR

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 6:12 am

In the movie Goldfinger, a minion of bad guy Auric Goldfinger asks 007: "Can I do something for you, Mr. Bond?"

"Just a drink," Sean Connery's Bond replies, deadpan. "A martini. Shaken, not stirred," he intones.

From Connery to Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, this preference is repeated again and again in 007 flicks. (Check out this video montage for the full Bond effect.)

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Movie Reviews
3:42 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

No Contest: Everything Is Better With 'Butter'

Iowans Laura (Jennifer Garner, front right) and Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell) fight to remain the first couple of state-fair butter sculpting.
Radius-TWC

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:20 pm

Unless you've attended a Midwestern state fair — or perhaps a Renaissance-era banquet — you might be unfamiliar with the ephemeral but much beloved art of butter sculpture.

Yes, the creamy dairy spread, when chilled to between 32 and 60 degrees, achieves a consistency ripe for carving, and artisans working with hundreds of pounds of the stuff can fashion almost anything: cows, the Liberty Bell, cows being milked, Mount Rushmore, cows jumping over moons, Yoda, Newt Gingrich on a horse.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

'The Paperboy': A Crime Drama Lacking Conviction

Miami reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) investigates the murder conviction of Hillary Van Ward (John Cusack), who may have been wrongly charged.
Anne Marie Fox Millennium Entertainment

The words "florid" and "inert" are not quite antonyms, but it would nonetheless seem impossible for those two adjectives to apply to the same thing. And yet here comes The Paperboy, a swamp noir so spectacularly incompetent that even the ripest pulp attractions are left to rot in the sun, flies buzzing lazily around them.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

'2' Bad: Plot, Style Taken Straight From The Original

After Albanian criminals kidnap his daughter and estranged wife, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) must race across Instabul to save them.
Magali Bragard Twentieth Century Fox

Even though he has the face and build of a leonine Celtic warrior, there's also something gentle and mouselike about Liam Neeson. That's what makes him such an unlikely and invigorating action hero, and it's part of what made the 2008 thriller Taken so disreputably pleasurable: Somehow, watching this sad, sweet galoot zap Albanian bad apples with a jillion volts of electricity just felt so right.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

When It Comes To Drugs, A 'House' Deeply Divided

Eugene Jarecki's The House I Live In takes a measured, multiperspective look at U.S. drug policies, which approach drug use as a criminal matter rather than a medical one.
Samuel Cullman Charlotte Street Films

Drug abuse is primarily a medical problem, not a crime against
society. American anti-drug policy is a means of social control that's
rooted in racial and ethnic prejudice. The country's incarceration
industry has become a self-sustaining force, predicated on economics
rather than justice.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

'Sister': Children Living On The Fringe Of Society

Lea Seydoux plays the titular role of a young woman largely living off the generosity of her younger, petty-thieving brother.
Adopt Films

The Swiss canton of Vallais isn't exactly South Central, but it does have a crime problem: His name is Simon, and he seems to have found the perfect racket. Sister's 12-year-old protagonist (Kacey Mottet Klein) steals skis, gear and clothing at an upscale mountain resort that's just a short tram ride above his bleak flatland apartment.

Not only is the ski lodge convenient, but it's frequented by people who are too rich to sweat the loss of their stuff. ("They'll just buy a new one," Simon explains to one of the townies who buy his purloined goods.)

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

'Oranges' Appeal: Not Your Average Suburban Holiday

The Ostroffs (Allison Janney and Oliver Platt) and their good friends, the Walling family (Hugh Laurie and Alia Shawkat), are shaken when the Ostroffs' daughter comes home for the holidays.
Myles Aronowitz ATO Pictures

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:22 pm

Dang if Home for the Holidays season hasn't rolled around again — that jolly time of year when screenwriters dust off childhood memories of mildly distressed families and distress them further for our sentimental education. Yet if it seems a little early-autumn yet for that sort of thing, please welcome a surprisingly superior specimen of the genre, courtesy of the best indie ensemble money can buy.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

'Frankenweenie': Burton Revives A Morbid Favorite

Surrounded by equipment in his attic lab, Victor (Charlie Tahan) attempts to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life.
Walt Disney Pictures

Every filmmaker has the right, of course, to remake his own film. And what filmmaker wouldn't relish the chance to redo something he felt he didn't get quite right the first time around, either for lack of funds or for lack of support from a studio?

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Author Interviews
1:58 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Colbert: 'Re-Becoming' The Nation We Always Were

Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 8:56 am

Stephen Colbert has no idea how other news pundits find time to write books. But he felt certain that his character on his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, needed to have another one.

"My character is based on news punditry, the masters of opinion in cable news, and they all have books," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We don't have time to write a book and feed and wash ourselves, so something has to go out the window. And [for me] it was family, friends and hygiene for the past year."

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U.S.
10:06 am
Thu October 4, 2012

How 'Star Wars' Seduced Another Generation Of Kids

Ben Blier (left) and his friend Jesse Bleckner hang out in their Yoda T-shirts. On his first day of kindergarten, Ben wore a Yoda T-shirt with "Go to Kindergarten I Must" printed on the front and "Learn Things I Will" on the back.
Courtesy of Nancy Edson

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:03 pm

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Book Reviews
9:55 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Roving Eyes, Wandering Hands In 'How You Lose Her'

Riverhead Books

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:58 pm

Ay-yi-yi, what is it with these Dominican men? Their hands — and eyes — never stop roving, even as they're slipping engagement rings on their true loves' fingers.

If that sounds like negative stereotyping, don't complain to me: I'm just passing along the collective cultural verdict of the women and men, most of them themselves Dominican, who hustle through Junot Diaz's latest short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her. A good man is hard to find in these stories, and when you do find him, he's always in bed with someone else.

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Movie Interviews
9:38 am
Thu October 4, 2012

'Precious' Director Daniels Flocks To Controversy

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:30 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Film goers will remember Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels for his provocative 2009 drama "Precious," which was based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire. It was an often grim, but also inspiring, story of an obese, illiterate, abused black teenaged mother who eventually finds a way to overcome her many challenges.

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Monkey See
8:01 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Careful, Frustrated 'Glee' People: 'The Break Up' Might Suck You Back In

Emma (Jayma Mays) and Will (Matthew Morrison) are only one of the challenged couples in tonight's Glee.
Jordin Althaus Fox

Every high-school show deals with the same problem — even if with Beverly Hills, 90210-like leisure — if it lasts long enough: What now?

Most often, as on 90210, everyone mysteriously goes off to the same college that doesn't exist. Sometimes, as on Friday Night Lights, the show follows some of the kids further but also toughens up and freshens the cast.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu October 4, 2012

A Mashup Of Mundane And Magical In 'Dragonslayer'

Courtesy of Harcourt

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:48 am

It's been a big year — well, a big few years — for young adult fiction, which I'm not going to complain about in the slightest; nothing beats a good YA novel for pure storytelling punch. But I might complain, just a little, about the overwhelming sameness of some of the plots. Dystopian futures, quiet-yet-spunky teenage girls, doomed love triangles — sound familiar? Suzanne Collins has a lot to answer for. Luckily, you can crack open The Last Dragonslayer and spend time with a protagonist who has a refreshingly different set of priorities.

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Monkey See
1:47 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Recreating Indiana Jones' Boulder Run In D.C.'s 'Alley Of Doom'

Janet Whitley borrows a stranger's dog to run away from a 10-foot-high plastic boulder in Washington, D.C.'s "Alley of Doom."
Chris Suspect STRATA

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:19 am

At a back alley in Washington, D.C., an innocent bike rider came upon a Prius driving right at him head-on. The Prius, in turn, was being chased by a 10-foot boulder.

The bike rider had accidentally stumbled into "The Alley of Doom."

For one day, anyone who showed up to this alley in the U Street neighborhood of Washington, D.C., could take a free turn at playing Indiana Jones — donning a fedora and whip and fleeing from a gigantic, rolling boulder.

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Movie Interviews
1:45 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Bond Gadgets Stand Test Of Time (But Not Physics)

A scene from 1973's Live and Let Die features Jane Seymour and Roger Moore. In the film, Moore wears a supermagnetic wristwatch said to deflect bullets at long range.
United Artists and Danjaq, LLC AP

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:19 am

James Bond — the film franchise, that is — is turning 50. But if 007 is getting up there in years, his gadgets will never get old.

Throughout the series, the creators have always come up with wild gear for Bond to bring along on his missions — while often taking a lot more creative license than they might have needed. They've come up with pieces that were inventive and prescient at best, impossible in the real world at worst, as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tells NPR's David Greene.

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Movies
1:43 am
Thu October 4, 2012

From Tim Burton, Another Signature Lovable Loner

After his best friend and beloved dog dies, Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) decides to harness the power of mad science to bring Sparky back to life — albeit a little the worse for wear.
Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:19 am

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The Salt
3:40 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Capturing Summer's Harvest, One DIY Wine Bottle At A Time

Customers at a Hartford produce market, choosing grapes to turn into homemade wine.
Jeff Cohen NPR

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:40 pm

If buying a local wine just isn't local enough for you, then you might consider joining the growing ranks of people making homemade wine this fall.

Some home winemakers make wine with friends for fun, some make wine with family for tradition; some make it "old school," adding nothing, and drink it by Christmas; others do it "new school," adding preservatives, and wait a year or more to bottle.

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