Arts

Movie Interviews
5:46 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Isaiah Washington, Taking On A Killer Of A Character

Isaiah Washington (left) plays a sort of fatal father figure to Tequan Richmond's Lee in Blue Caprice. The characters are inspired by the so-called Beltway snipers, who killed 10 people in and around Washington, D.C., in 2002.
IFC Films

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 11:06 am

The motion picture Blue Caprice seems to be about a boy who's been abandoned by his mother and aches for a father. He meets a man who can no longer see his own children, and who longs for a son. They find each other — but what follows is anything but a happy ending.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Sat September 21, 2013

For Shy Girl, Poe's Rapping And Tapping Inspired More Than Fear

Marius G. Sipa iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 2:16 pm

Koren Zailckas' latest book is the novel Mother, Mother.

The fourth grade blessed me with "the cool teacher." I've long since forgotten his name, but I haven't forgotten the sound of him tearing into the teacher's parking lot every day on his Harley Davidson. In memory, Mr. Cool towered over me at six-foot-something, his death-metal hair offset by a wiry goatee, his Air Jordans a bright counterpoint to his spider web tie.

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Author Interviews
3:36 am
Sat September 21, 2013

A Road Trip Sparks An Unlikely Friendship In 'Norvelt To Nowhere'

Jack Gantos recently won the Newbery Medal, the highest award in children's literature, for his novel Dead End in Norvelt.
Anne Lower Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 9:34 am

From Norvelt to Nowhere is a book that begins in the shadow of nuclear annihilation, during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. The first few paragraphs also disclose that nine elderly women in the town of Norvelt are dead by poison.

Did we mention it's a kids' book, too?

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The Salt
3:35 am
Sat September 21, 2013

No Schmear Job: A Brief History Of Bagels And Lox

A marriage made in New York, though both partners came with plenty of baggage.
Jerry Deutsch iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 3:35 pm

There's a certain kind of joy in breaking the overnight fast by biting into a bagel: crackling crust, chewy center, smooth and silky cream cheese, sharp smoked salmon. For some, capers and onions join the ritual.

But just who invented this breakfast staple, which has become as American as apple pie?

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:19 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Not My Job: Comedian Jeff Garlin Gets Quizzed On The IgNobels

Peter Kramer Getty Images for TFF

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 8:36 am

Jeff Garlin is a Chicago-born comedian who became well-known playing Larry David's manager on Curb Your Enthusiasm. He's got a new sitcom on ABC called The Goldbergs and a new film, Dealin' with Idiots, which he wrote, directed and stars in.

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Movie Interviews
2:34 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Stuart Blumberg Really Wants To Talk About Sex

Stuart Blumberg has written several films, but Thanks for Sharing is his first directorial effort.
Anne Joyce Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 3:28 pm

When somebody enters a 12-step program to deal with addiction, it's meant to be an all-encompassing, life-changing process — and one we don't always hear about.

But in Stuart Blumberg's romantic comedy Thanks for Sharing, which hits theaters this weekend, the 12-step program is front and center. In this case it's for people struggling day to day with sex addiction, forging bonds with their fellow addicts and sponsors.

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Movie Reviews
11:30 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Gandolfini Is So Vivid In 'Enough Said,' You Forget He's Gone

James Gandolfini plays a divorced TV archivist who falls in love with a divorced masseuse, played by Julia-Louis Dreyfus, in Nicole Holofcener'€™s Enough Said.
Lacey Terrell Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 11:42 am

Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said is her most conventional comedy since her 1996 debut, Walking and Talking. I don't love it as much as her scattershot ensemble movies Friends With Money and Please Give, but it has enough weird dissonances and hilarious little curlicues to remind you her voice is like no other. I love it enough.

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Books
9:57 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Could Banning Books Actually Encourage More Readers?

What do the books "The Catcher in the Rye," "Invisible Man" and Anne Frank's diary have in common? They've all been banned from libraries. On Sunday, the American Library Association begins its annual recognition of Banned Books Week. Tell Me More host Michel Martin talks to former ALA president Loriene Roy about targeted books, and efforts to keep them on shelves.

Barbershop
9:48 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Is Public Numb To Mass Shootings?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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TED Radio Hour
8:28 am
Fri September 20, 2013

What Are The Dangers Of A Single Story?

Novelist Chimamanda Adichie at the TEDGlobal conference in 2009.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:25 am

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Framing The Story.

About Chimamanda Adichie's TEDTalk

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

About Chimamanda Adichie

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TED Radio Hour
8:28 am
Fri September 20, 2013

What Makes A Good Story?

Filmmaker Andrew Stanton on the TED stage in 2012.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 11:45 am

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Framing The Story.

About Andrew Stanton's TEDTalk

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TED Radio Hour
8:28 am
Fri September 20, 2013

How Do Book Covers Tell Their Own Stories?

"A book cover designer is making a piece of art — a piece of design — that's very much in service to another piece of art." — Chip Kidd
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Framing The Story.

About Chip Kidd's TEDTalk

Chip Kidd doesn't judge a book by its cover; he creates covers that embody the books — and he does it with a wicked sense of humor. Kidd showcases the art and deep thought of his cover designs.

About Chip Kidd

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TED Radio Hour
8:28 am
Fri September 20, 2013

How Do You Find A Story In A Painting?

Author Tracy Chevalier speaking at the TED Salon in 2012.
Dayfdd Jones TED

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 11:45 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Framing The Story.

About Tracy Chevalier's TEDTalk

When writer Tracy Chevalier looks at paintings, she imagines the stories behind them: How did the painter meet his model? What would explain that look in her eye? She shares the story of Vermeer's most famous painting that inspired her best-selling novel "Girl With a Pearl Earring."

About Tracy Chevalier

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Movie Reviews
7:39 am
Fri September 20, 2013

In 'Rush' As In Real Life, It's The Driver, Not The Car

The radically different Formula One racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth, left) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) are at the center of Ron Howard's Rush, a biographical drama that's as strong on character as on cars.
Jaap Buitendijk Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 7:52 am

You might think that if the driving scenes in your auto-racing movie are the least interesting thing about it, that's a problem. But it's far from a sign of engine trouble for Rush, a swift-moving, character-rich biopic whose kinetic Grand Prix sequences are constantly being overshadowed by genuinely riveting scenes of ... people talking.

But then in a film written by Peter Morgan — of The Queen and Frost/Nixon -- maybe it's no wonder that questions like why they drive, why they want to win and who they want to beat take center stage.

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Monkey See
7:18 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Autumn Leaves, Cumberbatches, And More Fall Amusements

Martin Freeman as the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.
Mark Pokorny Warner Brothers Pictures
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week's show finds me, Stephen, Trey and Glen together again in the studio, but due to a scheduling tweak, finds us in Historic Studio 45 instead of Historic Studio 44, so we hope you can all still follow the conversation.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Don't Worry, Kids, These (Sex) Addicts Are All Right

Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow star in Thanks for Sharing, a heartfelt if overstuffed take on addiction and recovery.
Anne Joyce Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions

Somewhere between Tim Robbins' angry assumption about his wife's pain pills and Pink's ecstatic-dance excursion with the guy from Book of Mormon, I realized that the dealing-with-addiction drama Thanks for Sharing really, really wanted to tell me everything it knows about life in recovery. As a critic, I've gotta acknowledge the problems that kind of crowding creates for a storyteller. As a person, I've gotta admire the generosity it bespeaks.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

A 'Shot' In The Gloom, And All Hell Breaks Loose

Sam Rockwell plays John Moon, an unemployed farmer who launches a series of unfortunate and bloody events after he mistakenly shoots a woman while hunting a deer.
Tribeca Film/Well Go USA Entertainment.

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 3:52 pm

Watch enough TV or movies these days, and you're likely to witness a throat getting slit. Not off-screen, or in a flash, but performed in full view of an unflinching camera. Call it authenticity, call it chutzpah or call it sadism, it takes only a few episodes of, say, Boardwalk Empire or Breaking Bad to realize that our visual storytellers are increasingly going for the gore.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

'Enough,' Almost, But At Least There's Gandolfini

After James Gandolfini's death this past June, the actor's turn in Enough Said, where he stars opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a man looking for a second chance at love, has taken on a tinge of the bittersweet.
Lacey Terrell Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 3:40 pm

It was writer-director Nicole Holofcener's good fortune, and her bad luck, to have snagged James Gandolfini for Enough Said, her comedy about two imminent empty-nesters dipping their toes into fresh romantic waters. Given his untimely death, the film is likely to be remembered less for its own modest virtues than as a last chance to say a bittersweet farewell to its star.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

From Lebanon To Israel, With An Olive Tree In Tow

Zaytoun follows Yoni (Stephen Dorff), an Israeli fighter pilot, and Fahed (Abdallah El Akal), a young Palestinian boy, as they travel together and form an unlikely bond.
Eitan Riklis Strand Releasing

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:27 am

Israeli director Eran Riklis often depicts characters separated by borders. In The Syrian Bride, a Druze woman leaves Israel to marry, knowing she can never return to visit her family; in Lemon Tree, a privileged Israeli woman and a disadvantaged Palestinian regard one another warily from opposite sides of the fence between free and occupied territory.

Zaytoun is different: This time, the director allows his characters to cross the frontier. That makes for a story that's sweeter, but also less convincing.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

'Prisoners' Of A Story, Bound By That Devil Subtext

An underemployed contractor (Hugh Jackman) takes the law --€” and a few things outside it --€” into his own hands with regard to the man (Paul Dano) he suspects has kidnapped his daughter.
Wilson Webb Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 8:37 am

If anyone thought Denis Villeneuve's attacks on his favorite targets might be tempered by his move from the art house to Hollywood-thriller territory, Prisoners should shut that line of thinking down in a hurry.

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The Salt
2:48 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Making Food From Flies (It's Not That Icky)

Black soldier flies mate and lay eggs inside these cages at EnviroFlight.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:14 pm

In the quirky little college town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, home to many unconventional ideas over the years, there's now a small insect factory.

It's an unassuming operation, a generic boxy building in a small industrial park. It took me a while even to find a sign with the company's name: EnviroFlight. But its goal is grand: The people at EnviroFlight are hoping that their insects will help our planet grow more food while conserving land and water.

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Books
2:48 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Yasmin Thayná: 'I Always Wanted To Make Literature With My Hair'

Brazilian writer Yasmin Thayná, 20, participated in a local program aimed at cultivating artistic talent in low-income communities.
Courtesy of Yasmin Thayná

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 5:07 pm

While NPR's Melissa Block is in Brazil, we'll be showcasing the work of several Brazilian writers. On Tuesday we heard Tatiana Salem Levy's love letter to Rio. Now we turn to 20-year-old Yasmin Thayná, who discovered her love for writing as a teenager when she participated in a local program aimed at cultivating artistic talent in low-income communities.

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Television
10:59 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Meet Armando, Sesame Street's Newest Neighbor

Ismael Cruz Cordova as Armando, with Muppets Rosita and Elmo.
Gil Vaknin

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 3:15 pm

Sesame Street kicked off its new season this week, and it's putting a special focus on Hispanic heritage. There's also a new character on the block: Armando (also known as Mando). He's played by actor Ismael Cruz Cordova, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He earned a bachelor's in fine arts from New York University and has appeared in several films and the CBS drama The Good Wife. He's currently performing off-Broadway.

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Arts & Life
10:35 am
Thu September 19, 2013

'House Of Lies' Star Don Cheadle On How To Make It In Hollywood

Don Cheadle is known his roles in Hotel Rwanda, Crash and Ocean's Eleven.
Eric Charbonneau AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:15 pm

Don Cheadle may be one of Hollywood's quietest superstars. He was known for having high impact in supporting roles before Hotel Rwanda catapulted him to fame. He earned an Oscar nomination for playing the real-life hotel manager who protected more than a thousand Tutsis from the Hutu militia during the Rwandan civil war. Cheadle appeared in other critical and box office hits like Crash and Flight. He's now earned an Emmy nomination for his role in the TV show House of Lies.

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Monkey See
7:14 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Morning Shots: Michel Gondry Does The NFL To A Beat

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 12:15 pm

I cannot understand how I missed the news that Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones are about to open as Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, but this charming list of past pairings makes me want to watch the play ... a lot. (David Tennant and Catherine Tate!

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu September 19, 2013

'Nightmare Range': Crime And (Not Much) Punishment In The DMZ

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 11:51 am

At the end of the Korean War — a long, bloody, and under-memorialized conflict that claimed millions of lives — no real treaty was ever signed. Although there was an armistice in 1953, the nations of North and South Korea remain, technically, still at war. The Demilitarized Zone along the 38th parallel is one of the tensest borders on earth, with thousands of men, tanks and artillery pieces pointed at each other over minefields and barbed wire fences, fingers on triggers 24 hours a day.

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First Reads
5:03 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'From Scratch: Inside The Food Network'

Emeril Lagasse promo image
Jim Cooper AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:06 pm

Back in 1993, the Food Network was the Little Network that Nobody Really Thought Could. Cable TV was still, if not in its infancy, then enduring a difficult toddlerhood — no one knew what cable audiences were interested in, and no one thought a scrappy startup dedicated to food would go anywhere. Twenty years later, the doubters have been proved wrong; the Food Network is a global powerhouse that's made the names and fortunes of stars like Emeril Lagasse, Paula Deen, Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu September 19, 2013

From Kolbasa To Borscht, 'Soviet Cooking' Tells A Personal History

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 4:52 pm

For years I have wondered, albeit vaguely, about gefilte fish, a dish that appears in various guises in novels about Jewish families, almost always at points of celebration or domestic tension. Here's how to make it: Skin a whole pike, mince the flesh, mix with vegetables and bread. Sew the minced fish back into the skin and poach for three hours. Garnish with horseradish.

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Television
1:19 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Dean Norris, Breaking Out Of That Good-Guy Mold

Breaking Bad, on which Dean Norris played DEA agent Hank Schrader, has two more episodes to go before its series finale.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:44 am

Actor Dean Norris took to Twitter the other day. "Missed last night's Breaking Bad," he wrote. "Heard it was intense. Filmed several alternate versions. Can't wait to see what they used."

Please note: There's a spoiler farther down this page.

Norris plays — played? — a drug enforcement agent on the acclaimed AMC series, which wraps for good after just two more episodes. His character's brother-in-law is a chemistry teacher with cancer who, at the series' outset, gets into cooking methamphetamine to pay for his treatment.

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Art & Design
1:18 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Exhibit Explores How Dior's Designs Echo Impressionist Paintings

Laziz Hamani

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:44 am

When it was time to create a new collection, Christian Dior had a ritual: He went to his garden and sat down among the flowers.

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