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If any image haunts TV news, and perhaps our conscience, it's the seemingly ceaseless river of migrants seeking refuge from war, dictatorship and poverty. These desperate souls inspire pity, fear and election-year arguments about whether to offer them welcome or keep them out. Not surprisingly, many artists feel compelled to confront this refugee crisis. But the big question is: How do you engage a humanitarian tragedy without haranguing the audience or laying on a guilt trip? You get...

It was in 1974 that William Christenberry found the little red house. The photographer and painter, a vital chronicler of rural Alabama, came across the building standing alone among the pine trees, deep in the Talladega National Forest. All he had with him was his tiny, no-frills Brownie camera — a long-cherished gift that "Santa brought my sister and me." "I was just infatuated with it proportionally," Christenberry said during a 2006 interview with All Things Considered . "The...

Odysseus was the man of many minds and many ways, according to his Homeric epithets. And among the many minds of Odysseus, there's room for a space queen. Odyssia is warlike, merciless, "witchjack and wanderer," "starminded," '"wolfclever," "lightspeed," a "wolfwitch." Written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Christian Ward, ODY-C is a beautifully colored space Odyssey, both graphic and novel, which makes Homer new. The war against Troiia lasted a century; Paris stole the man He ...

Spain's national art museum, the Prado, has been around nearly 200 years and has one of the world's biggest collections of Renaissance and Baroque art. But only now has it devoted a solo exhibition to a female artist: the 17th century Flemish painter Clara Peeters. Not much is known about Peeters' life. The mysteries include her family background, the dates of her birth and death, and even her age in 1607, when she painted her first known work — a dark, intricate still life of a candlestick...

In the 1990s and early 2000s, TV shows didn't have a lot of love for mass transit — as Homer Simpson pronounced, "Public transportation is for jerks and lesbians." Even on iconic shows set in New York City, characters didn't take advantage of their mass transit options. The stars of Sex and the City rode in taxis and cars. Same with Seinfeld (except for that one time when Jerry's car was in the shop and Elaine was forced to take the subway .) So, too, in fictional...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: What happens when the person you looked up to falls from grace? Some fans of the show "Gilmore Girls" had that experience over the weekend. The show ran for seven seasons and wrapped up in 2007, and last week, Netflix brought back the show for a four-part mini-series. (SOUNDBITE OF CAROLE KING SONG, "WHERE YOU LEAD") AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Fans were looking forward to catching up with a lot of the characters,...

Longtime activist Cleve Jones has dedicated his life to working with members of the LGBTQ community, but growing up he felt like the only gay person in the world. He tells Fresh Air 's Terry Gross that he felt so isolated as a teenager that he considered suicide. Then he read about the gay liberation movement in Life magazine and his outlook changed. "This magazine, in a matter of minutes, revealed to me that there were other people like me," Jones says. "There were a lot...

At an exceptionally strong Toronto International Film Festival this year, Moonlight was the film I kept hearing that people couldn't get into. One critic told me he'd tried at three different screenings; all were full. That's not a terribly common Toronto tale, particularly with a film where the director/screenwriter and the lead actors are not especially famous. What was driving people to the film was word of mouth. What was driving them to it was that people kept telling them how...

The elusive dream of adolescent empowerment has been with us for at least as long as we've had Clearasil or wedgies. Tweens, teens, and everyone in between have enough wherewithal to know what they want, but not enough agency in their own lives to get it. And director John Hughes tapped into that youthful anxiety perhaps better than anyone in the history of Hollywood. Ferris Bueller's Day Off , Weird Science , The Breakfast Club , Home Alone and his other...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Our classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz lives in Boston and caught the beginning of the national tour of the new Broadway musical "An American In Paris." The show was inspired by the hit 1951 Hollywood movie starring Gene Kelly with music by George Gershwin. Here's Lloyd's review. (SOUNDBITE OF AN AMERICAN IN PARIS ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCE OF GERSHWIN'S, "CONCERTO IN F") LLOYD SCHWARTZ, BYLINE: When...

Carrie Fisher was an insecure 19-year-old when she appeared as Princess Leia in the first Star Wars movie, a role that would come to define her career. She tells Fresh Air 's Terry Gross that despite becoming romantically involved with her older, married co-star, Harrison Ford, she often felt isolated on set. "I didn't have anyone to confide in," she says. "I had no friends, and I couldn't talk about [the affair with Ford] because he was married." Instead, Fisher began...

Ask any displaced Texan what they miss from home and they'll likely list a few items: brisket, football, higher speed limits, tacos and kolaches. Now, if you're lucky enough to have had a kolache, you know it's a Texas staple, but if you haven't had one, you're probably still trying to figure out how to pronounce the word. It's "ko-lah-chee." Kolaches are Czech pastries made of a yeast dough and usually filled with fruit, but sometimes cheese. The ultra-traditional flavors — such as poppy...

There's a new museum in the West Bank dedicated to an iconic and controversial world figure: the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Visitors can get a peek at Arafat memorabilia and walk through the small compound in Ramallah where he was kept confined, surrounded by Israeli tanks, in the final years of his life. When Arafat, the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, died in 2004, he was buried in a parking lot amid the ruins of his compound, which Israel had partially...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST: Tattoos have long ceased to be the mark of a rebel. Nearly half of all millennials have a tattoo, according to a 2016 Harris poll. And even though tattoos have become more common, many with darker skin struggle to find tattoo artists who know how to work on their skin types. As NPR's Parth Shah reports, different skin tones call for a different tattooing technique. PARTH SHAH, BYLINE: Getting a tattoo can be...

For years, Americans have been eager to visit Cuba, not just for its Caribbean warmth, but to seek out the roots of the island's music, to watch its films, to thumb through its books and meet its writers. Fidel Castro's death Friday has again spiked interest in the country among Americans. And, with diplomatic relations thawing between the U.S. and Cuba, now more than ever it's possible to explore the island's culture at its origin. But where to start? To answer that question, we turned to...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: Victoria, queen and empress, once held the record as the longest-serving British monarch - 63 years on the throne. She was surpassed last year by her great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. Though Victoria is often remembered as a dumpy little woman in perpetual mourning, biographer Julia Baird presents her differently. In her new book, "Victoria: The Queen," Victoria is a hardworking, power-loving...

The audience squirms as the actors put on skull caps and fake beards and shout about how great it is to be a German Muslim. They call for jihad, initially as a way to self-reflect and later, as a battle cry. The actors ask, "How can you sit here in comfort when our brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq are being slaughtered? What does your conscience say? Do you even have a conscience?" Inside IS, it's called, is a play for German teens about the so-called Islamic State...

Actor Ron Glass Dies At Age 71

Nov 27, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: Actor Ron Glass has died. He was 71. Glass is best remembered for his role on the sitcom "Barney Miller," where he played wry NYPD Detective Ron Harris. (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BARNEY MILLER") RON GLASS: (As Ron Harris) Hello. Yes, ma'am. Well, I'm real sorry about the interference, but there's nothing we can do about pigeons on your antenna. (LAUGHTER) GLASS: (As Ron Harris) Yes, ma'am. Well, you see, we...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: You may have spent a lot of time in the kitchen lately, laboring over your Thanksgiving meal or maybe feeding a brood of relatives in for the holiday. Perhaps you use conventional cooking tools - spatulas, ladles, graters. Or perhaps you use some state of the art flashy device like a crepe batter trowel spreader or a home macaroon-baking kit. If it's the latter, Keith Blanchard would like a word. He is the...

H.G. Wells' eerie writing brought us time machines, aliens and a submarine, long before a real one was seen in the world. Still, one of his short stories spent decades unseen by his avid readers. Until now, that is. His long-unpublished story "The Haunted Ceiling" is making its way into print for the first time. In its new issue, The Strand Magazine is publishing the story — which features a man driven mad by the image of a dead woman, with her throat slit, appearing on his ceiling. The...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST: When NPR last visited with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, she was fresh off a starring role as Belle, the title character the movie is named for. She played Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy captain and an African slave entrusted to a powerful English lord. Gugu Mbatha-Raw has since played roles in some seven films at the box office and in an episode of the acclaimed TV series "Black Mirror." We...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST: Now that the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers are nearly done and the Black Friday crowds are subsiding - or sort of, there's one thing left to do this holiday weekend. It is time to head out and catch a flick. To get the latest on what movies to watch this weekend, we spoke with Washington Post Express arts and culture columnist Kristen Page-Kirby. We talked to head of the holiday starting with a film that's highly...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: We're hearing reaction today to the death of Fidel Castro. He overthrew a dictator in 1959 and was hailed as a national hero. But he held on to power with repression and brutality, jailing former friends, sentencing dissidents to forced labor. He turned countless Cuban families upside down and created two generations of exiles. Carlos Eire was one of 14,000 children airlifted out of Cuba in 1962. He wrote a...

Jack London, who died 100 years ago this week, occupies a space in which few writers can set foot. Although it's not especially unique for writers' lives to be marked by sickness and excess, London was prolific despite these constant threats to his productivity. Even as illness loomed, he managed to publish over 50 books and hundreds of articles in the last 16 years of his life. At a young age, London developed a hard discipline for writing — often jotting down as many as 1,000 words a day...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. (SOUNDBITE OF TV THEME, "THE BRADY BUNCH") PEPPERMINT TROLLEY COMPANY: (Singing) Here's the story... ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Today we're remembering a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls. You know the rest. (SOUNDBITE OF TV THEME, "THE BRADY BUNCH") PEPPERMINT TROLLEY COMPANY: (Singing) All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls... SHAPIRO: One of the most beloved TV moms of all time...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Here's an almost unbelievable journey - a 4-year-old boy swept thousands of miles from home who 25 years later struggles to find his way back. A few years ago when writer Saroo Brierley spoke to NPR about his early life, it sounded like the plot of a movie. Today, it is a movie, and critic Bob Mondello says "Lion" is quite a trip. BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Saroo is 5 when we meet him, a kid who dashes confidently...

In this season of indulgence (and overindulgence), some people will turn to the treadmill, while others turn to the Pepto-Bismol. Author Brad Thomas Parsons will reach for the bottle — specifically, a bottle full of a liqueur called amaro, which people have used as a digestive aid for centuries. It's an herbal recipe, and "it's actually bittersweet," Parsons says. "The bittering agents in it are actually helping your digestive system," he explains. "Four out of five doctors may not agree with...

On a recent fall morning, a large crowd clogged the steps at one of Venice's main tourist sites, the Rialto Bridge. But on this day, there was a twist: it was filled with Venetians, not tourists. "People are cheering and holding their carts in the air," says Giovanni Claudio Di Giorgio, who helped organize the march with a grass-roots organization called Generazione '90. The carts he refers to are small shopping carts — the symbol of a true Venetian. "It started as a joke," he says with a...

You know it from the first few notes of Thurl Ravenscroft's barrel-chested performance — singing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" with the same flair he brought to playing Tony the Tiger in Kellogg's cereal commercials — Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a holiday classic. The animated film turns 50 this year, airing on NBC about three weeks before its actual birthday. And it is, admittedly, a little weird to call a 26-minute cartoon about a green guy who learns not to...

Most television shows arrive accompanied by the question, "Is it good?" Revivals of old shows, however, often arrive with the question, "Is it necessary?" The four new 90-minute installments of Gilmore Girls that arrived Friday on Netflix under the title Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life fare better by that adjusted standard than most. Gilmore Girls , which ran from 2000 to 2007, was a good show, and because creator Amy Sherman-Palladino left before the seventh and...

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