Arts

Movie Reviews
3:30 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Gere Humanizes A Steely One-Percenter In 'Arbitrage'

Robert Miller (Richard Gere) struggles to hide his financial indiscretions from his daughter (Brit Marling) in Arbitrage.
Myles Aronowitz Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 10:55 am

Anyone looking for a moral high ground — or any high ground at all — in Arbitrage will be sorely disappointed. And that's only one of the reasons that Nicholas Jarecki's family-and-finances drama, handsomely photographed by Yorick Le Saux, is so appealingly adult.

At a time when filmmakers might be under some pressure to punish the 1 Percent, Jarecki (who also wrote the script) chooses instead to remind us that making and keeping scads of cash is rarely accomplished by the fainthearted or the foolish.

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Monkey See
3:22 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

When TV Shows Go To College, They Fail To Make The Grade

Many lead characters in Fox's Glee will head to college this season. But will higher education lead to lower ratings?
Fox

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 10:57 am

I was packing up my recording equipment after interviewing TV executive Susanne Daniels — for a different story — when she said, casually, "Have you ever noticed how there's never been a really great TV show about college?"

I looked at her. Then I started unpacking my equipment again. She had just offered me a story.

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The Salt
3:20 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

A Little Patience, A Lot Of Salt Are Keys To A Lost Pickle Recipe

There's more than one way to make a pickle.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:45 pm

Here's a new mantra you might consider adding to your list of daily kitchen chants: "It takes patience to perpetuate pickles."

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Television
12:58 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

New Shows Hit Average In Fall TV Lineup

Mamie Gummer stars as the title character in Emily Owens, M.D., the best new show on broadcast television this fall.
Jack Rowand The CW

Last year, the broadcast networks didn't do well at all when it came to new series development. We got ABC's clever Once Upon a Time, which was about it for the fall crop, until midseason perked things up with NBC's Smash. Otherwise, a year ago, all the exciting new fall series were on cable, thanks to Showtime's brilliant Homeland and FX's audacious American Horror Story.

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Television
12:04 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

'Totally Biased' Comic On Race, Politics And Audience

W. Kamau Bell's new FX weekly series Totally Biased mixes standup, sketches and interviews.
Matthias Clamer

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 3:03 pm

Before comic W. Kamau Bell became host of the new weekly political humor show Totally Biased, which mixes standup, sketches and interviews, he had a one-man show called The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour.

"If you bring a friend of a different race, you get in 2 for 1," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Does The Success Of Women Mean 'The End Of Men'?

Hanna Rosin is the co-founder of Slate's Double X blog. She is also a senior editor at The Atlantic.
Nina Subin Riverhead Books

Hanna Rosin's pop sociology work The End of Men, based on her cover story in The Atlantic magazine, is a frustrating blend of genuine insight and breezy, unconvincing anecdotalism. She begins with a much-discussed statistic: three-quarters of the 7.5 million jobs lost in our current recession were once held by men.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu September 13, 2012

'Lose Her' Finds Power In Resonant Voices

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:49 am

Great fiction is built around characters that follow the fruitless and wrongheaded paths they're offered, which is how readers savor safe passage into someone else's impetuosity. Yunior, who first appeared in Junot Diaz's debut collection, Drown, is the narrator in several of the stories in the Pulitzer Prize–winning author's third book, This Is How You Lose Her. Yunior is now middle-aged, middle-class, a self-described sucio struggling to mature into adulthood and not succeeding particularly well.

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Books
5:03 am
Thu September 13, 2012

New In Paperback Sept. 10-16

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:34 am

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Mat Johnson, Hector Tobar, Ayad Akhtar, Mike Birbiglia and Steven Brill.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Television
1:34 am
Thu September 13, 2012

'Where's My AMC?' DISH Network Dispute Drags On

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) returns in October to fight more zombies in the hit AMC series The Walking Dead. But about 14 million people won't be able to see the premiere because of an ongoing dispute between AMC and satellite provider DISH Network
Gene Page AMC

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 3:45 am

Back in March, the Season 2 finale of The Walking Dead, AMC's hit zombie drama, broke ratings records. The show returns on Oct. 14 for its third season. But for about 14 million people, there will be no flesh-eating zombies slowly walking across their TV screens. The show is produced by AMC, and all of AMC's channels have been cut by satellite provider DISH Network. Tiffs between networks and cable providers are common, but this one has gone on for record time.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Syrian Documentary Producer Orwa Nyrabia Is Freed; Was Arrested Two Weeks Ago

A Syrian documentary film producer whose disappearance two weeks ago prompted concerns for his safety and a letter of support from the Toronto International Film Festival is now free, according to reports.

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Book Reviews
12:02 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

'The Scientists': A Father's Lie And A Family's Legacy

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 1:20 pm

Every New York story ever written or filmed falls into one of two categories. The first — like Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, or the musical On the Town — regards New York as the representative American city, a jam-packed distillation of the country's dreams and nightmares. The second group views New York as a foreign place — a city off the coast of the U.S. mainland that somehow drifted away from Paris or Mars. Think every Manhattan movie ever made by Woody Allen.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Michael Lewis Studies 'Obama's Way'

Contributing editor Michael Lewis played basketball with President Obama while working on a piece for Vanity Fair.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 2:05 pm

Author Michael Lewis made a radical request to the White House that he says he was almost certain would be denied: He wanted to write a piece about President Obama that would put the reader in the president's shoes.

To do this, the Vanity Fair contributing editor would need inside access. So what did he propose?

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Arts & Life
10:41 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Writing On The Lives Of Others

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:33 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We turn now to the world of books, particularly biographies. You may not know the name Arnold Rampersad, but the people whose stories he's told changed the course of American history in letters, sports and culture. He is the author of prize winning biographies of poet Langston Hughes, baseball great Jackie Robinson, scholar W.E.B. Du Bois and tennis great Arthur Ashe.

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First Reads
8:11 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Exclusive First Read: 'The Last Dragonslayer'

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 9:15 am

Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange has a lot of responsibility. In a world that's rapidly losing its magic, she's the acting director of Kazam Mystical Arts Management, riding herd on a crowd of cranky wizards who've been reduced to doing magical odd jobs to make ends meet. But change is afoot in this charming comic adventure for younger readers: Seers throughout the land have been having powerful visions of the death of the very last dragon at the hands of a destined Dragonslayer and the return of Big Magic.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Scary Parents Both Fertile And Feral In 'Breed'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 12:23 pm

In his satirical horror novel Breed, Chase Novak has hit upon the perfect blend of terrifying real-life topics: genetic engineering and the mating habits of New York's wealthy 1 percent. The story of two rich but barren Manhattanites, the novel begins as a snarky tour of fertility treatment chic among the city's moneyed classes. But it quickly gets a lot weirder.

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Tina Brown's Must-Reads
1:39 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Tina Brown's Must Reads: The Modern Woman

Five years after suing Newsweek, Lynn Povich became the magazine's first female senior editor. Povich writes that her then-colleague Oz Elliott (right) was one of the first to say, "God, weren't we awful?"
Bernard Gotfryd Courtesy of PublicAffairs Book

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:43 pm

Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth."

This month, Brown shares reading recommendations related to the changing role of women, including a book about when the women of Newsweek sued their bosses, an article about a wife becoming the primary breadwinner and another about how a woman's Facebook photo reflects her sense of identity.

'Women In Revolt'

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The Salt
1:39 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Five Ways To Spot A Fake Online Review, Restaurant Or Otherwise

One sign that a restaurant review is a fake is if it gives a very high or very low rating without many specifics.
Bill Oxford iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:47 pm

Thinking of going to a nice restaurant? Before you decide, you probably go online and read reviews of the place from other customers (or you listen to these actors read them to you). Online reviews of restaurants, travel deals, apps and just about anything you want to buy have become a powerful driver of consumer behavior. Unsurprisingly, they have also created a powerful incentive to cheat.

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Kitchen Window
1:39 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Sorghum Travels From The South To The Mainstream

Rina Rapuano for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 7:01 am

Growing up in a household with predominantly New England and Italian cooking, I didn't have a whole lot of exposure to sorghum syrup, the molasseslike sweetener that maintains a following in the South and in some Midwest states. To be honest, I had never even heard of it or tried it until it started popping up on Washington, D.C., restaurant menus about a year ago. I've seen sorghum chili glaze on duck at one restaurant and sorghum syrup in cocktails and desserts at another. When I noticed sorghum seed incorporated into a salad, I knew sorghum was having a moment.

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Movies
3:01 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Toronto Film Fest Offers Hints Of Oscar Contenders

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 7:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The eyes of Hollywood are focused north of the border right now on the Toronto International Film Festival. More than 300 movies from 60 countries are on offer. Many of those titles are headed to theaters and possible Oscar bids later this year. Our film critic, Bob Mondello, is in Toronto, trying to see as many of them as he can. And, Bob, apparently, I'm hearing this is your first festival in almost 20 years. Please tell me how a film critic has managed to avoid film festivals.

(LAUGHTER)

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Books
1:46 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

'Breed': A Pseudonym To Pen A Tale Of Horror

Scott Spencer, writing for the first time under the pen name Chase Novak, is the best-selling author of Endless Love and A Ship Made of Paper.
Wendy Ewald

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 7:57 pm

If you're a horror fan, you're probably familiar with the trope of the demon child — you know, the sweet little kid who undergoes a horrible transformation and terrorizes everyone in his or her path (or is just born evil, like Rosemary's titular baby).

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Monkey See
12:09 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

TIFF '12: Billy Bob Thornton's Film That Is Not About 'Jayne Mansfield's Car'

Billy Bob Thornton and Kevin Bacon star in Jayne Mansfield's Car.
Van Redin Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 12:30 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

Here's a declaration for you: I haven't seen even ten percent of the films playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, but I am convinced that Jayne Mansfield's Car has the worst title.

Let's go back to the beginning.

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Monkey See
11:17 am
Tue September 11, 2012

TIFF '12: 'Mr. Pip' And Literary Escape

Hugh Laurie and Xzannjah in Mr. Pip.
Toronto International Film Festival

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue September 11, 2012

A Supersized Slice Of Life In 'Telegraph Avenue'

Michael Chabon is the author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and The Yiddish Policemen's Union.
Ulf Andersen Getty Images

Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue is an agreeable if ultimately frustrating shaggy-dog tale of a novel that slips its leash and lopes its discursive and distinctly unhurried way through the unkempt backyards of its characters' lives.

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Author Interviews
1:29 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Stories From A New Generation Of American Soldiers

Yellow Birds book cover detail

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 7:57 am

Iraq War veteran Brian Castner opens his new memoir, The Long Walk, with a direct and disturbing warning:

"The first thing you should know about me is that I'm Crazy," he writes. "I haven't always been. Until that one day, the day I went Crazy, I was fine. Or I thought I was. Not anymore."

More than 10 years since a new generation of Americans went into combat, the soldiers themselves are starting to write the story of war. Three recent releases show how their experiences give them the authority to describe the war, fictionalize it and even satirize it.

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Author Interviews
1:28 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Fidelity In Fiction: Junot Diaz Deconstructs A Cheater

Junot Diaz won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Nina Subin Penguin Group

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 7:57 am

Yunior grew up tough in a poor neighborhood. He's Latino with African roots, an immigrant and a super nerdy kid who went on to teach at a university. He's gruff and masculine, but he's also an artist — as well as the creation of one.

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Movies
2:32 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

The Straight-To-DVD World Of 'Mockbusters'

Paul Bales, David Rimawi and David Latt of The Asylum call their films "mockbusters."
Mike Digrazia

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 7:32 am

Dreamworks' animated movie Puss in Boots was a big deal. It won an Oscar, and its swashbuckling, sloe-eyed kitty was voiced by Antonio Banderas.

The meticulous computer-generated animation took four years and something like $130 million to make. But another cartoon, Puss In Boots: A Furry Tail, was hand-drawn in six months for less than $1 million. It went straight to DVD — one of the many low-budget productions riding the coattails of Hollywood blockbusters.

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Television
11:41 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Andrew Rannells: Gay And Serious In 'New Normal'

Andrew Rannells plays Bryan Buckley, a successful TV show producer and writer, in the new comedy The New Normal.
Frederick M Brown/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 9:23 am

After Andrew Rannells pitched himself for a starring role in NBC's The New Normal, the show's creator didn't call for a month.

"I was like, 'Oh my God, I've completely overstepped — I've over-Oprah-ed this,' " Rannells tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I've ruined my chances of working with this man because I was too bold."

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Music
9:39 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Strawberry Fields For 'MasterChef' Christine Ha

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:17 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for the occasional feature we call In Your Ear. That's where guests of the program tell us the songs they're listening to for a little inspiration. Today is a very special, probably stressful day for "MasterChef" contestant Christine Ha. Why?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MASTERCHEF")

GARY RHODES: The person joining Josh in the "MasterChef" finale, that person is Christine.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Arts & Life
9:39 am
Mon September 10, 2012

NY Fashion Week, From Google Glasses To Harnesses

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:17 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll talk about how a master violin maker holds onto his art form in this struggling economy. Talk about that in just a few minutes.

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Economy
9:39 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Master Violin Maker Feels Economy's Sour Notes

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:17 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now it's time to open up the pages of the Washington Post magazine. That's something we do just about every week for interesting stories about the way we live now. And today a story about the business of music.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIOLIN)

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