Arts

Book Reviews
2:30 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

'Warburg' Struggles For Love And Justice In Wartime Rome

St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
AP

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 2:04 pm

James Carroll, who served as a Catholic priest before his literary ambitions led him to go secular, has gathered together his knowledge of church history and his mature powers as a novelist to create Warburg in Rome, his most splendid work of fiction to date.

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Men In America
2:30 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Memphis Preteen Works To Put The 'Bazam' Back In The Bow Tie

12-year-old Moziah Bridges started his bowtie company, Mo's Bows, three years ago in Memphis. He says dressing well "helps people respect you and it makes you look good."
Annabella Charles Courtesy of Mo's Bows

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 4:33 pm

12-year-old Moziah Bridges is a bow tie aficionado and the CEO of his own company, Mo's Bows.

"I wanted to have that look β€” that 'bazam' look," he tells NPR's Audie Cornish.

Bridges says dressing well is a big part of growing up to be a man.

Listen to the audio above to hear the full conversation.

Author Interviews
9:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

After The Rapture, Who Are 'The Leftovers'?

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:25 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic, David Bianculli, sitting in for Terry Gross. Our next guest, Tom Perrotta, is a novelist whose latest book, "The Leftovers," is being turned into an HBO series of the same name which premieres Sunday. Perrotta adapted it along with Damon Lindelof, one of the stars of ABC's "Lost." The story of HBO's "The Leftovers" is the same as in Perrotta's novel.

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Movie Reviews
9:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

In The Mood For Apocalypse? Skip 'Transformers,' See 'Snowpiercer'

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:25 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Opening today, in many theaters, is the fourth in Michael Bay's "Transformer" series, "Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction." It's inspired by the Hasbro toys that turn mostly cars and trucks into robots. Another very different kind of apocalyptic, action movie that rolls out today is "Snowpiercer" by South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, who made the acclaimed giant monster film, "The Host." Film critic David Edelstein has these reviews.

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Monkey See
9:17 am
Fri June 27, 2014

'They Came Together' Is Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts

Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler play a couple, sort of, in the underwhelming rom-com parody They Came Together.
Lionsgate

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:21 pm

Writer-director David Wain is at the center of a loose comedy collective that's been working together (and cross-pollinating with other similar unofficial collectives) since The State, which was the name of both the original comedy troupe and the MTV sketch comedy show they held down from 1993 to 1995. The stars included Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, Thomas Lennon, Joe Lo Truglio, and Ken Marino. Much of that team got back together in 2001 for the summer-camp-movie parody Wain directed and co-wrote with Showalter called Wet Hot American Summer.

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Code Switch
9:03 am
Fri June 27, 2014

The Elusive Dave Chappelle Re-Emerges, But For How Long?

Chappelle alluded to his decision to walk away from his hit Comedy Central show only obliquely.
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 8:50 am

Just before Dave Chappelle took the stage Monday as part of a sold-out series of shows at Radio City Music Hall, a song featuring a loop of LL Cool J's famous opening line from "Mama Said Knock You Out" blasted over the sound system.

Don't call it a comeback!

You could take it as a suggestion that Chappelle had never really gone anywhere. Or you could read it as a coy reminder that none of us should get too comfortable, because Chappelle might bounce again at any moment.

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TED Radio Hour
7:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Why Would More Than 500 Artists Sample The Same Song?

Mark Ronson on the TED stage.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 8:56 am

  • Guy Raz Interview With Mark Ronson
  • Listen to the Story

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode What Is Original?

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TED Radio Hour
7:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

Steven Johnson on the TED stage.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode What Is Original?

About Steven Johnson's TEDTalk

Earlier this year, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk decided to give away his company's patents for free. It might seem like a strange business move, but Musk said he wanted to inspire creativity and accelerate innovation. Writer Steven Johnson says this is the way great ideas have been born throughout history.

About Steven Johnson

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TED Radio Hour
7:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Is Everything A Remix?

Kirby Ferguson from the TED stage.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode What Is Original?

About Kirby Ferguson's TEDTalk

Filmmaker Kirby Ferguson says nothing is original and that our most celebrated creators steal ideas β€” and transform them into something new.

About Kirby Ferguson

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Monkey See
7:35 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Wild Cards And More Regrettable Television

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

First, a huge thank-you to everyone who came to our live show this past week, and especially to our many special guests who helped us out on stage. We had a great time, and you'll be hearing the two shows we taped that night in a couple of weeks.

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Television
1:20 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Cory Still β™‘s Topanga As A New Generation 'Meets World'

In Girl Meets World, Topanga (Danielle Fishel) and Cory (Ben Savage) have two kids β€” Riley and Auggie β€” 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

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 β€” which he preaches to the world through his membership in a youth group called the Jesus Freaks β€” 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 β€” (from right) Curtis (Chris Evans), Grey (Luke Pasqualino), Yona (Ah-sung Ko) and Namgoong Minsoo (Song Kang-ho) β€” 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 BeyoncΓ© of public radio.
Steve McFarland

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 11:28 am

  • 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 β€” 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

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 11:30 am

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 Fri July 18, 2014 11:28 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/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

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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 β€” 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 β€” 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 β€” 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 β€” 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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