Arts

Television
1:20 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Cory Still ♡s Topanga As A New Generation 'Meets World'

In Girl Meets World, Topanga (Danielle Fishel) and Cory (Ben Savage) have two kids — Riley and Auggie — and Cory teaches history at his daughter's middle school.
Ron Tom Disney Channel

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 1:08 am

Among that enormous demographic of people born after 1981, you'll find a major generational touchstone: the TV show Boy Meets World.

Nick Gray, 24, says, "Everybody that I know that is our age --"

"-- watched it," interrupts his girlfriend, 21-year-old Elizabeth Spivey, "and loved it!"

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Movie Reviews
3:10 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

'Begin Again,' A Music Fantasy Both Sticky And Sweet

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After hearing Greta singing in a New York City bar, Dan, a record label executive played by Mark Ruffalo in Begin Again, helps her record her first big album.
Andrew Schwartz The Weinstein Company

You can be the scrappy newcomer only, well, once. That's a problem for Once writer-director John Carney, who has refashioned his low-budget 2006 hit as the slicker, cornier Begin Again. The new film excels as a pop-music fairy tale, but its real-world notes are seriously off-key.

The movie originally traveled the film-fest circuit under an unfortunate title, Can A Song Save Your Life? As in Carney's earlier effort, the life to be saved is that of a struggling man, and the rescuer is a young woman. This time, though, the intimacy is entirely musical.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Brutality And Faith Tangle In A Young Man's Story

Initially appearing to be the ideal father figure, Benno, played by German actor Sascha Alexander Gersak in Nothing Bad Can Happen, shows his dark side as he mocks and violently tests a young boy's religious faith.
Drafthouse Films

Tore (Julius Feldmeier), Nothing Bad Can Happen's young, born-again Christian protagonist, wears his faith like a security blanket. "Your belief is based on fear," says Benno (Sascha Alexander Gersak), his surrogate father later turned tormentor, and Tore certainly uses his Christianity — which he preaches to the world through his membership in a youth group called the Jesus Freaks — as both assurance that good will ultimate prevail in the world and as a tool with which to avoid the more uncomfortable elements of adolescence, namely girls.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

The Satisfying Chill Of The Audacious 'Snowpiercer'

In Snowpiercer, the children of the wealthy who inhabit the front of the train are offered luxuries such as education, while the people who dwell in the train's rear — (from right) Curtis (Chris Evans), Grey (Luke Pasqualino), Yona (Ah-sung Ko) and Namgoong Minsoo (Song Kang-ho) — survive in squalor.
Radius TWC

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:10 am

"All things flow from the sacred engine. ... The engine is forever." The passengers on the titular train in Bong Joon-ho's grim, post-apocalyptic sci-fi tale essentially deify the locomotive that is their salvation. This "rattling ark" carries the last remainders of humanity, after an attempt to reverse global warming goes terribly awry, plunging the planet into an extinction-event deep freeze. Extinction for all but those on this endlessly circling, perpetual-motion-driven train that can't stop, or else these few survivors will meet the same fate.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

A Not-Quite-Satisfying Look At A Notorious Career In Crime

In 2013, James "Whitey" Bulger was found guilty of racketeering, drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion, and participation in 11 murders. He was sentenced to two lifetime sentences in prison plus five years.
Magnolia Pictures

Many years ago I taught a course in the sociology of deviance to a class of fledgling Boston-Irish policemen. I enjoyed them enormously because they didn't write down everything I said and cough it back up on the test. A waggish friend called them "your heroic coplets."

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Art & Design
2:20 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

After Decades On VHS, Graffiti's Golden Age Returns To Big Screen

The 1981 film Stations of the Elevated follows graffiti-covered trains in New York City. The film is being reissued in New York this week and the rest of the country this fall.
Artists Public Domain

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 9:03 am

The first film to point a camera at the graffiti movement in New York City was Stations of the Elevated, which debuted at the New York Film Festival in 1981.

The film hasn't been seen much since, except by generations of graffiti fans and writers who watched it on VHS tapes. Now it's being re-released on the big screen, with a showing Friday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It will hit screens around the country this fall.

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Book Reviews
12:09 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

'Most Dangerous Book': A Rich Treasury Charting James Joyce's 'Ulysses'

There are many heroes in the tale of how James Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses, which was banned for over 10 years throughout the English-speaking world, finally won its long battle to be legally published, sold and read. Kevin Birmingham tells that extraordinary story in his new book about Ulysses, called The Most Dangerous Book.

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Interviews
11:47 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Lupita Nyong'o's Father On His 'Wise' Daughter, Her Rising Fame

Peter Anyang Nyong'o is a Kenyan senator. He's also the father of Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o. He talks to host Michel Martin about his own history and his family's newfound fame.

Movie Interviews
11:33 am
Thu June 26, 2014

The Women Behind 'Obvious Child' Talk Farts, Abortion And Stage Fright

Director Gillian Robespierre (left) co-wrote Obvious Child as a short film in 2009 with an empowered female lead in mind. Jenny Slate, who stars as Donna in the feature film, says she was excited about the role.
Courtesy of A24 Films

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 2:16 pm

When director Gillian Robespierre co-wrote the new romantic comedy Obvious Child, she says she wanted to bring attention to an empowered, funny woman who has a realistic, safe abortion.

"We ... wanted to combine a lot of things that we felt our culture was suppressing," Robespierre tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In the movie, Jenny Slate stars as Donna, a 27-year-old stand-up comic who still doesn't think of herself as an adult. After a drunken one-night stand, she finds out she's pregnant and decides to have an abortion.

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Ask Me Another
9:31 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Abumrad And Krulwich: Lab Partners Forever

Jad and Robert: the Jay-Z and Beyoncé of public radio.
Steve McFarland

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:20 pm

  • Jad and Robert on their first impressions and a never-ending argument

Although the on-air chemistry between Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, hosts of WNYC's Radiolab, is a big reason for their show's success, their initial collaborations were not so smooth. They first met when Krulwich ripped up Abumrad's script for a fundraising promo and then proceeded to improvise a new one — somehow mentioning aliens in the process. The pair soon began to meet for weekly breakfasts to chat about science and other worldly matters, and from that the beginnings of Radiolab emerged.

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Ask Me Another
9:28 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Just Sit Right Back

They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton believe that modern-day dramas need some theme song love, too.
Steve McFarland

It used to be that a TV theme song told an entire show's premise. Lately, all you get is a wordless ditty. In this game, we've rewritten the lyrics to classic TV tunes to be about modern-day dramas.

Plus, They Might Be Giants perform a new song, "Hate The Villanelle," live at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

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Ask Me Another
9:27 am
Thu June 26, 2014

'Wrong, Wrong, Wrong' With They Might Be Giants

John Linnell and John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants might enjoy putting our contestants through the ringer a little too much...
Steve McFarland

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 3:24 am

Musical guests They Might Be Giants treated us to a wicked game of their own invention. But be careful: don't let John Flansburgh and John Linnell's seemingly easy trivia questions leave you in the dust.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Ask Me Another
9:24 am
Thu June 26, 2014

It Was The Best Of Lines

Contestant Nicholas Coyne is overjoyed when host Ophira Eisenberg modernizes the first lines of literary classics like "Wuthering Heights."
Steve McFarland

Can you name these literary classics after we've modernized their opening lines with current slang? "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is cray-cray in its own way."

Heard in Episode 320: We Might Be Giant Nerds

Ask Me Another
9:24 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Shall We Dance?

Our audience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music just might bust out into the Macarena.
Steve McFarland

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 10:53 am

Lace up your boogie shoes — in this game, we achieve the unachievable and dance on the radio. We give you step-by-step instructions to a popular dance, and you give us its name. It's electric!

Heard in Episode 320: We Might Be Giant Nerds

Ask Me Another
9:24 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Rule of Three

Contestants Micaela Blei and Krissa Corbett Cavouras share a hug after a thrilling final round game.
Steve McFarland

It's said that all good things come in threes — which is why this final round is all about three-word groupings that always go together. Go! Fight! Win! Three cheers for this week's champion.

Heard in Episode 320: We Might Be Giant Nerds

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The Two-Way
5:16 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Book News: Ana Maria Matute, Who Wrote Of War-Torn Spain, Dies

Spanish novelist Ana Maria Matute is pictured in 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, after winning the Cervantes Prize.
Manu Fernandez AP

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu June 26, 2014

A Dentist Confronts The Gaping Maw Of Life In 'To Rise Again'

"Pessimism, skepticism, complaint, and outrage," New York dentist Paul O'Rourke explains to his devoutly religious hygienist. "That's why we were put on earth."

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Crime In The City
1:15 am
Thu June 26, 2014

In Mystery Series's W.Va. River Town, There's No Escape From Terror

Julia Keller's crime series about prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins is set in a fictional town inspired by Guyandotte, W. Va., near where she grew up.
Melissa Smith-Stanley Courtesy of The Guyandotte Improvement & Historical Association

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 12:52 pm

When writer Julia Keller talks, you notice a touch of West Virginia — it is, after all, her home state. Her accent may have faded a bit during her newspaper career in Chicago, so she says when she started thinking about writing crime novels, she was happy to hear the Appalachian voices coming out of her memory.

"I was probably the most surprised person of all when I chose to set my fiction in West Virginia," she says. "[I] hadn't lived here in a long time, didn't really know that it moved in my blood — if it did."

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The Salt
4:14 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Is It Time For Food To Get Its Own Major Museum?

The whirling, 3,200-pound puffing gun was used to produce cereals like Cheerios and Kix in the early 20th century. The Museum of Food and Drink plans to feature it in its first exhibition, on breakfast cereal.
Courtesy of MOFAD

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 6:36 am

You can thank a very large, and very strange, machine called a puffing gun for all those Cheerios you crunched on as a kid.

And if all goes according to plan, you'll be able to see one of those guns, patented in 1939 to force air into grains so they pop in your mouth and float in a bowl of milk, at a temporary exhibition in New York City next year on the history of breakfast cereal.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Diane Sawyer's 'World News' Departure Sets Off Big Changes At ABC News

ABC News anchors (from left) David Muir, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos meet with ABC News President James Goldston.
Heidi Gutman ABC

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 1:50 pm

Diane Sawyer will leave her job as anchor of ABC News' flagship program, World News, during the last week of August, capping a five-year run at the show and kicking off an anchor shuffle at the network.

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Code Switch
7:35 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Michael Jackson, We Barely Knew You

Carl De Souza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 8:08 am

Just as there are those who seek to drag Mr. Jackson's name through the mud, there are those who insist that he was a saint, an angelic figure to be put on a pedestal. He was neither. Michael Jackson was, like all of us, a complicated human being. -- "Remember The Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days"

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Book News: Deal To Buy Perseus May Boost Hachette's Hand In Amazon Fight

Visitors walk through the Hachette Book Group's exhibition in May at BookExpo America, the annual industry convention in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 6:38 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Space Chases And Explosions On A Galactic Scale In 'Cibola Burn'

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 9:44 am

Cibola Burn is a big book. Huge, really, both in terms of pages (nearly 600 in the version I got), and in pure authorial chutzpah. It is part four in the Expanse series, which has, thus far, included three books and a smattering of novellas. And it represents, for dedicated readers of James S.A. Corey (in real life, the two-man team of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) the biggest, most sprawling leap of an already sprawling tale.

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

'Star Wars' Museum Lands In Chicago

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 6:08 am

Star Wars creator George Lucas has chosen Chicago as the location of a planned museum of his art and movie memorabilia.

A spokesman for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum will be built in the Windy City.

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Code Switch
3:25 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

'Freedom Summer' And 'The Watsons': Powerful TV About A Civil Rights Journey

Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegates and supporters stage a demonstration on the boardwalk in front of the Atlantic City Convention Center in 1964.
Courtesy of George Ballis/Take Stock

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 2:15 pm

As part of NPR's "Book Your Trip" series, TV critic Eric Deggans looks at a different kind of summertime journey, described in two books that became TV shows: PBS's documentary Freedom Summer, debuting tonight, and The Hallmark Channel's The Watsons Go to Birmingham.

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Book Reviews
2:15 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Book Review: 'No Country'

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 5:14 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Kalyan Ray has been busy. The Bangladesh-born writer is also a translator and actor. That may be why 10 years have passed since his first novel was released. And reviewer Alan Cheuse is happy his second is now out.

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Monkey See
1:48 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

FX's 'Tyrant' Drowns An Opportunity For Nuance In Stereotypes

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Jennifer Finnegan is Molly Al-Fayeed and Adam Rayner is Bassam "Barry" Al-Fayeed, the Americanized couple at the heart of FX's Tyrant.
Patrick Harbron FX

With Iraq spiraling out of control in a conflict where everyone involved has a compromised and troubling past, there's no better time for a TV series about the son of a brutal Middle Eastern dictator who returns home from America ready to oppose his father's tactics.

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Book News: James Patterson Wants To Give Books To New York City Kids

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James Patterson writes suspense and thriller novels as well as children's books. He runs the children's literacy campaign ReadKiddoRead.
Deborah Feingold Courtesy Little, Brown and Co.

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue June 24, 2014

'Hidden Sea': What Happens When Fantasyland Doesn't Want You?

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 12:53 pm

Usually when someone steps from our world into a fantasy world, they're one of two sorts of characters. There's the Bookish Outcast for whom the portal fantasy is a literal manifestation of the act of reading as escape — and there's the Chosen One, an otherwise unremarkable or unlikeable character who has a Destiny waiting in the other world. There are of course dozens of variations on these roles, but often portal fantasies are more or less wish fulfillment: we want to escape, to be wanted, to be important or powerful or our best selves.

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First Reads
4:45 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Exclusive First Read: You CAN Phone Home Again In 'Landline'

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:40 am

Rainbow Rowell turns her attention back to adult (but still young at heart) fiction in Landline, the story of Georgie, a successful sitcom writer who's not having a lot of success on the homefront. It's coming up on Christmas, and Georgie suddenly backs out of a planned holiday trip to her husband Neal's hometown — something's come up at work and she just has to stay. But when Neal packs up the kids and goes without her, she has to face up to the trouble in her marriage.

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