Arts

Movie Interviews
3:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

From Action Hero To Teenage Nerd, Shailene Woodley Has Range

Shailene Woodley, pictured at this year's Independent Spirit Awards, stars in the forthcoming Divergent, a big-screen adaptation of the first book in Veronica Roth's dystopian trilogy.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:45 am

"I'm sorry you have to see my pancake face."

Those are among Shailene Woodley's first words as she opens the door to a suite in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. She's got a publicists' luncheon later in the day — otherwise, she explains, under absolutely no condition would she have worn makeup for an interview.

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Movie Reviews
7:59 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

'Nymphomaniac': Chasing Sex, But Only On Her Terms

Felicity Gilbert, Shia LaBeouf and Stacy Martin in one of the episodic flashbacks that spin out the story of Nymphomaniac: Volume I.
Christian Geisnaes Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 12:09 pm

Lars von Trier's latest provocation is an episodic sexual epic called Nymphomaniac, which comes in two two-hour parts, or "volumes," though it's basically one movie sliced in half. The thinking must have been, "Who wants four hours of hardcore sex and philosophizing?," and if you say, "Me, me!," I suggest seeing both back to back: It's an art-house orgy!

Should you see it at all? I recommend it guardedly. It's dumb, but in a bold, ambitious way movies mostly aren't these days, especially when there's sex in the equation. And it's funny, sometimes intentionally.

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Book Reviews
5:54 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Book Review: 'The Divorce Papers'

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:56 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The woe that is marriage, the subject of the Wife of Bath's prologue in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" has long been a rich subject for stories. Susan Rieger has just published a novel on the matter called "The Divorce Papers."

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Movie Reviews
4:10 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

It's Either Art Or A Fire Hose, And We're Calling It The Latter

James (James Franco) is a retired actor who may or may not be suffering from a degenerative mental illness in Maladies, an art film from New York painter, sculptor and filmmaker Carter.
Tribeca Films

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

A Teen On The Hunt, And Maybe In Over Her Head

Fourteen-year-old Lila (Gina Persanti) spends her summer looking for love — and finds a rough-edged older boy in It Felt Like Love.
Variance Films

Feared and feared for in equal measure, today's teenagers are prisoners of pop and punditry. Branded as bad seeds or delicate flowers, they take shape in the public mind as either neglected or overprotected by their parents, abused by or abusive of the Internet, oversexed or terrified of sex. Is coming of age the pits, or what?

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

'Jodorowsky's Dune': The Greatest Film That Never Was

A design sketch, by H.R. Giger, for the Harkonnen Castle as he envisioned it for Alejandro Jodorowski's Dune.
Sony Pictures Classics

"Dune will be the coming of God."

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Foreign Policy, With A Pugnacious French Twist

Arthur (Raphael Personnaz) is a new hire at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where Alexandre Taillard de Worms (Thierry Lhermitte) is the eccentric foreign minister.
Courtesy of Sundance Selects

A frisky tour of the Gallic equivalent of the U.S. State Department, The French Minister boasts robust pacing, screwball-comedy banter and an exuberant central performance. For most American viewers, though, the movie could use footnotes to go with its subtitles.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

It's Faction Against Faction In A Grim Future Chicago

Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) train hard as part of the warrior faction Dauntless in Divergent, based on the novel by Veronica Roth.
Jaap Buitendijk Summit Entertainment

The latest teen-girl fiction series to become a movie franchise, Divergent delivers adolescent viewers some bad news and some good news. The bad is that the dystopian future will be just like high school, with kids divided into rigid cliques. The good is that adulthood will be just like high school, so teens face no major surprises.

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Movies
2:28 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

There's More Than One Way To Watch 'Star Wars'

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 2:14 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF "STAR WARS" THEME MUSIC)

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Spoiler alert: In light of the news that there will be even more "Star Wars" films at theaters in coming years, we bring you this story. If you haven't seen "Star Wars," turn your radio down fast.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "STAR WARS: EPISODE V - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

JAMES EARL JONES: (As voice of Darth Vader) I am your father.

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Food
12:05 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

'Test Kitchen': Have Your (Gluten-Free) Cake, And Love Eating It Too

According to America's Test Kitchen, the best gluten-free flours to bake with contain four ingredients — brown rice flour, white rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch.
Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 9:06 am

It took hundreds of batches of muffins, cakes and cookies before Jack Bishop and Julia Collin Davison — of the public TV series America's Test Kitchen — figured out the best ways to make delicious baked goods without gluten. They also conducted taste tests of packaged gluten-free breads and pasta.

Collin Davison tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the show's normal testing procedures "really worked to help us get at the heart of what makes gluten-free things taste just as good as traditional baked goods."

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Television
10:14 am
Thu March 20, 2014

New 'Scandal' Character Ups The Drama And Intrigue

Richard Shotwell AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:51 pm

Nazanin Boniadi is on screens now as the mysterious Adnan Salif on the hit show Scandal.

The Iranian-born actress tells NPR's Michel Martin that she loves the role because it plays with people's perceptions. "The beauty of Adnan Salif is, is she a bad guy, or is she just completely lost, is she just damaged goods?" she asks. But she believes that ambiguity is also the key to the show. "The thing that I love about Scandal is every character, it's not clear if they're good or bad. Everyone is both good and bad."

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#NPRWIT: Women In Tech
9:20 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Lyndsey Scott: Runway Model And Tech Programmer

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:21 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Salt
8:17 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Persian New Year's Table Celebrates Nature's Rebirth Deliciously

seven items – since seven is considered a lucky number. Each item begins with the letter sin (s) in Persian, and each item is a symbol of spring and renewal." href="/post/persian-new-years-table-celebrates-natures-rebirth-deliciously" class="noexit lightbox">
In every home, the haftseen table is decorated with seven items – since seven is considered a lucky number. Each item begins with the letter sin (s) in Persian, and each item is a symbol of spring and renewal.
Azita Mehran/Turmeric & Saffron

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:21 pm

The first day of spring is cause for a celebration, especially after the winter many of us have been having. But it's hard to top the 13-day festivities of the Persian New Year, Nowruz.

Nowruz, or "new day" in Persian, is an ancient festival that marks the beginning of spring and celebrates the rebirth of nature. And naturally, it has a lot to do with fresh, green foods just beginning to poke out of the ground that remind us winter is not, in fact, eternal.

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Ask Me Another
8:02 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Literal TV Guide

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 9:26 am

Lots of TV shows have self-explanatory titles, like Girls and Friends. But what the heck does host Ophira Eisenberg mean when she asks you what show "3,600 Seconds" might be? 60 Minutes, of course!

Heard in Episode 312: Leggo My Lego

Ask Me Another
8:02 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Every End is a New Beginning

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 9:25 am

House musician Jonathan Coulton asks contestants to name words that complete two common phrases, as the last word of one phrase and the first of the other, like "log cabin" and "cabin fever."

Heard in Episode 312: Leggo My Lego

Ask Me Another
8:02 am
Thu March 20, 2014

The Something Man

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 9:25 am

Sing us a song, you're the Spider-Man...wait, what? In this game, our very own music man Jonathan Coulton performs alternate renditions of songs about all different kinds of men.

Heard in Episode 312: Leggo My Lego

Ask Me Another
8:02 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Fonzie Scheme

Contestant Tim Lynch demonstrates proper Fonzie answering etiquette: with thumbs out, say "ayyy."
AJ Wilhelm

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 9:25 am

Put on your leather jacket and get ready to playyy along as house musician Jonathan Coulton asks contestants to put a Fonzie (that's Arthur Fonzarelli of TV'sHappy Days) spin on some other words that end in the sound "ayyy," much like The Fonz's famous catchphrase.

Heard in Episode 312: Leggo My Lego

Ask Me Another
8:02 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Nathan Sawaya: Lego My Van Gogh

Lego brick artist Nathan Sawaya in his studio. Can you guess how many bricks he has?
Photo courtesy of brickartist.com

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 12:15 pm

As a kid, artist Nathan Sawaya made a life-size Boxer out of Lego bricks when his parents wouldn't get him a dog. But it took many years before he turned an obsession into a career.

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Ask Me Another
8:02 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Winter Weather

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 9:39 am

Puzzle guru Art Chung helps our contestants cool off in this Ask Me Another final round, in which all the answers contain the word "frost," "ice," or "snow." Bundle up, it's getting chilly in here!

Heard in Episode 312: Leggo My Lego

Monkey See
6:15 am
Thu March 20, 2014

'Mad Men' Reveals: In The New Season, People Will Wear Things

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in a publicity photo for the upcoming seventh season of Mad Men. This is pretty much all we know. If we told you more, we'd have to ... well, you know.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Many of the more interesting shows on television have their little peculiarities: Community has Dan Harmon going on for thousands of words at a time about his feelings, Game of Thrones has fretting over the pace of the show versus the books, and Mad Men has creator Matthew Weiner coming out ahead of every season and giving a bunch of interviews to promote it in which he doesn't say anything about it.

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Television
9:06 am
Wed March 19, 2014

When Your Best Friend Is A Star — And You're Her Minion

Dolly Wells (left) and Emily Mortimer have been real-life friends since childhood. Now they're co-starring in an inside-showbiz comedy airing on HBO.
HBO

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:29 pm

HBO has done very well in the past with comedy series that explore and expose the inner workings of show business, from Garry Shandling in The Larry Sanders Show to Ricky Gervais in Extras. Wednesday night, the network presents its newest entry in that self-obsessed Hollywood genre: Doll & Em, a British comedy series that's a vanity production in the most literal sense of the word.

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The Two-Way
5:28 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Book News: Notorious TV Pitchman Kevin Trudeau Gets 10 Years In Prison

Author and infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau.
AP

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:36 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed March 19, 2014

The World's Smallest Time Machine Is Still Pretty Big

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:50 am

When it comes to anthologies, there are two kinds of readers: On the one hand, there are folks who hate them simply because they're not novels — because it's like having an entire table full of appetizers but never getting to the main course. On the other, wiser (and, no doubt, better looking) hand, there are those who say, "Sweet! A whole dinner of appetizers!" and then commence chewing their way gleefully through every word.

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Books
3:01 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Common Core Creates Opportunities For Publishers

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne with an opportunity for publishers. Some 45 states and the District of Columbia have now signed onto the new Common Core education standards. And that will draw in not just companies that make textbooks and teaching materials, but also publishers of children's books - novels, nonfiction, the kind of books people read for pleasure.

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Kitchen Window
10:13 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Oranges: Secret Agents Of The Food World

T. Susan Chang for NPR

For me, the citrus fruits of winter have been bright spots in a long, frost-bound season. The lemons, the oranges, the sweet little clementines, the tart, brawny grapefruits — they glow like miniature suns on the grayest afternoons. As we — finally — turn the long, slow corner in the spring, I love them all the more for knowing they will soon be gone.

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The Salt
5:19 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

A Bittersweet Goodbye: White House Pastry Chef To Move On

Among Bill Yosses' many confectionary creations for the first family: this nearly 300-pound gingerbread model of the White House, on display in the State Dining Room in November 2012. The house featured not just Bo, the family dog, but also a vegetable garden.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:58 pm

The first family must be crust fallen.

Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, is moving to New York in June.

"Though I am incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go, I am also so grateful to him for his outstanding work," first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement. She credited Yosses as "a key partner helping us get the White House Kitchen garden off the ground and building a healthier future for our next generation."

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Book Reviews
5:03 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

'Story Of The Jews' Illuminates Centuries Of Suffering

iStockphoto.com

In the early 1930s, an ominous, yet very familiar shadow recast itself across the continent of Europe: extreme hatred of the Jew.

This fierce loathing reached its apogee when Hitler came to power in 1933 — but just a decade earlier, Jews were considered the backbone of European culture, flourishing in the arts, science, literature, and journalism.

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New In Paperback
3:08 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

March 15-21: Typhoid Mary, World War I And Reflections From The South

Harper

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

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

Theater
3:00 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Deepwater, Center-Stage: Disaster Through Survivors' Eyes

Gary Barthelmy, Oyster Fisherman is a portrait by Reeva Wortel, used in conjunction with the production of Spill, a play that runs through March 30 at the Swine Palace in Baton Rouge.
Reeva Wortel

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:50 pm

Eleven died and hundreds of millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico when BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in 2010. But beneath the tragedy, there's a complex story about people's relationships to oil. That's what's explored in Spill, a new play by one of the creators of The Laramie Project.

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Book Reviews
2:25 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Book Review: 'Falling Out Of Time'

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

"Falling Out of Time" is the name of a new novel by Israeli writer David Grossman. Our reviewer Alan Cheuse calls it a dramatic meditation on grief, reminiscent of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town." [POST-BROADCAST CLARIFICATION: The book was translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen.]

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