When Parker Posey was crowned "queen of the indies" in the mid-to-late '90s, the title referred to her Sundance-dominating ubiquity. But it could just as well have applied to the Parker Posey type — powerful and wonderfully imperious, with a habit of cutting her underlings down to size.
That's the Posey who turns up in Michael Walker's tense comedy Price Check, where she plays a relentless corporate climber who shakes up a sleepy regional office. She inspires. She terrorizes. Whatever it takes to get the job done.
If David O. Russell pulls anything off in Silver Linings Playbook -- an almost-comedy about a bipolar high-school teacher who goes off the deep end and isn't sure how to climb back — it's this: He refuses to make mental illness adorable.
It's no secret that, in many parts of the world, children don't experience what affluent Westerners would term "childhood." Still, even the most hardened documentary buffs may be dumbfounded by Buffalo Girls, a look at two 8-year-old Thai girls who support their respective families.
They do so by hitting each other in the head.
Stam and Pet compete in Muay Thai, a form of boxing in which kicking as well as punching is allowed. As depicted in fictional action movies, Muay Thai is both graceful and brutal. Practiced by 8-year-olds, it's neither.
The titular altar boys would probably enjoy Funeral Kings. The first feature from sibling filmmakers Kevin and Matthew McManus has most everything the average adolescent boy wants: swearing, smoking, swearing, gun violence, swearing and cute girls. And swearing.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with new fighting in an old conflict. Israeli war planes struck targets across the Gaza Strip today, while Hamas militants and their allies fired rockets at several Israeli towns. One rocket landed on the southern outskirts of Tel Aviv. Three Israeli civilians were killed in one attack and at least 19 Palestinians are known to have been killed in Gaza, with many more injured.
We're going to follow those Palestinian rockets that Anthony was talking about from Gaza into the fields, streets and homes of Israel. Israeli police have confirmed that rockets hit central Israel today, close to Tel Aviv, for the first time. Sheera Frenkel reports from one southern city where three civilians were killed today in their apartment.
It's New Year's Eve at The Blue Whale, a "live jazz + art space" in the Little Tokyo section of downtown Los Angeles. Founded in 2009 by singer Joon Lee, this is a listening room. There's food at the bar, poetry (Rumi!) on the ceiling, and wall-to-wall people. The Blue Whale has been sold out for days, and the phone keeps ringing off the hook because everybody wants to be on the air, cheering for Billy Childs live on NPR's Toast of the Nation.
To understand what the environmental impact of the BP oil spill has been over the last two years, we turn now to Dr. Jim Cowan. He is a professor of oceanography and coastal science at Louisiana State University. Dr. Cowan, welcome to the program.
DR. JIM COWAN: Happy to be here.
CORNISH: So you've been out on the water examining the impacts of the spill since the early days. What were the sort of concerns at first and how has that changed over time?