Arts/Life

Author Interviews
12:21 pm
Sun April 22, 2012

India: A Country In The Midst Of Change

Riverhead Books

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 8:23 pm

Akash Kapur is the son of an Indian father and an American mother. In 2003, after working professionally in New York City for more than a decade, he decided to return to India. As he writes in his book, India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India, he arrived in a place he hardly recognized.

Read more
Movies
5:33 am
Sun April 22, 2012

That's Not CGI: At Monsterpalooza, Monsters Are Real

Traditional monster makeup helped transform actor Chris Sarandon in the 1985 version of Fright Night.
Columbia Pictures/Photofest

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 9:43 am

Summer is coming, and with it comes big summer movies, stuffed full of computer-created aliens, monsters and giant explosions. Not all filmmakers want to use CGI, however, and many of them gathered to celebrate the craft of "practical effects" at a recent convention called Monsterpalooza in Burbank, Calif.

Sara Karloff is the daughter of one of the most famous movie monsters of all time: Boris Karloff. She says she never saw her father's Frankenstein makeup in person. "I'm awfully glad I didn't see him in those makeups," she says. "I would have probably been a damaged child."

Read more
Author Interviews
4:34 am
Sun April 22, 2012

Our Roaring 20s: 'The Defining Decade'

iStock Photo

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 9:43 am

It's almost that time of year again, when a new crop of 20-something college graduates prepares to take those first steps into the working world.

In her new book, The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now, University of Virginia clinical psychologist Meg Jay argues that those first years of adulthood are the most important time in a young person's life.

Jay recently joined NPR's Rachel Martin to discuss why the 20s are such a crucial age for both college grads and non-college grads.

Read more
Monkey See
4:31 am
Sun April 22, 2012

In 'Veep,' Julia Louis-Dreyfus Plays A 'Political Animal' With Bite

Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays the frustrated vice president in the new HBO comedy, Veep.
Bill Gray HBO

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 7:42 am

Julia Louis-Dreyfus knows it must seem like she's "arrived," as NPR's Rachel Martin says during their discussion on Sunday's Weekend Edition. She's well-known from Seinfeld, of course, but she's also been on Saturday Night Live, and for five seasons held down her own CBS sitcom, The New Adventures Of Old Christine. Her new HBO comedy, Veep, in which she plays the vice president to an unseen and unknown president, premieres Sunday night.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:03 am
Sun April 22, 2012

Wartime Translator Explores Her 'Father's Country'

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 9:43 am

As an Afghan-American woman, Saima Wahab straddles two worlds — disparate places that have been brought together over the past decade by war.

Wahab has literally mediated those two worlds. As a Pashto translator and cultural adviser for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, she often found herself standing between American soldiers and Afghan civilians.

In her new memoir, In My Father's Country: An Afghan Woman Defies Her Fate, Wahab writes about leaving Afghanistan as a young girl, growing up in the United States and later returning to her birth country.

Read more
Movie Interviews
4:03 am
Sun April 22, 2012

Jason Segel: Creating Comedy With The Tone Of Life

In The Five-Year Engagement, which Jason Segel co-wrote, he plays Tom, the devoted fiance to Violet (Emily Blunt), who agrees to postpone the wedding day as life continues to throw obstacles their way.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 11:25 am

More and more, audiences are getting to know Jason Segel. After featured roles in Judd Apatow projects like Freaks and Geeks and Knocked Up, Segel has gone on to star in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Muppets -- both of which he wrote — and he also plays a lead on the hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

But even as Segel is an increasingly leading man, his characters don't exactly fit the leading-man mold. They're more beta than alpha males — tall but unassuming, likeable and understanding.

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat April 21, 2012

A Puzzle Worthy Of Don Draper

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 2:23 pm

On-Air Challenge: You'll be given classic advertising slogans and catch phrases in which the letters of the last word are scrambled. First, unscramble the word. Then name the product or company that is the advertiser. For example, given "Get a piece of the cork," the answer would be "Get a piece of the rock," which is a slogan of the Prudential Insurance Company.

Read more
Pop Culture
3:00 pm
Sat April 21, 2012

Pop Culture's 40-Year Itch

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. And we're going to talk about music, movies and culture now, and in particular, about something known as the 40-year rule. Adam Gopnik is with us now from New York. He's written about it for the latest issue of The New Yorker. Hello, Adam.

ADAM GOPNIK: Hey, Guy. How are you?

RAZ: I'm good. Let's explain this with a pop quiz, Adam. You know the answers. so don't give it away because this is for the listeners.

GOPNIK: All right.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:00 pm
Sat April 21, 2012

'Jumped In': Love, Life And Violence In L.A. Gangs

Jorja Leap has spent time in crisis zones from Bosnia to New Orleans. As an international expert in crisis intervention, she never expected to end up doing most of her work in her own backyard.

Ten years ago, Leap returned to her hometown of Los Angeles to work with some of the toughest gangs around. A UCLA alumna with a Ph.D. in psychological anthropology, Leap works with outreach and intervention programs spanning Los Angeles' most gang-saturated territories.

Read more
Monkey See
12:21 pm
Sat April 21, 2012

In 'Veep,' Washington Is Viewed With A Skeptical Eye

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her staff, including Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky, in Veep.
Bill Gray HBO

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 8:16 am

Read more
Monkey See
9:35 am
Sat April 21, 2012

What Zac Efron's Beard Means For Men And Women In Hollywood

Zac Efron plays Logan, a former Marine with all kinds of feelings, in the new film The Lucky One.
Patti Perret Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 7:13 am

This is the weekend they try to make Zac Efron a grown-up movie star.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:25 am
Sat April 21, 2012

'Steinbeck In Vietnam': A Great Writer's Last Reports

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 8:46 am

The last piece of published writing from one of America's greatest writers was a series of letters he sent back from the front lines of war at the age of 64.

John Steinbeck's reports shocked readers and family so much that they've never been reprinted — until now.

Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 for a life's work writing about those who had been roughed up by history — most notably his Depression-era novels, Of Mice And Men and The Grapes of Wrath. Four years later, Steinbeck left for Vietnam to cover the war firsthand.

Read more
Theater
4:25 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Blair Underwood On Stanley, Stella And 'Streetcar'

Stanley (Blair Underwood) and his sister-in-law, Blanche DuBois (Nicole Ari Parker), spar while Stanley's wife, Stella (Daphne Rubin-Vega), sits outside.
Ken Howard

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 8:46 am

There's a lot of juicy material for an actor in Tennessee Williams' landmark drama A Streetcar Named Desire. Sex, booze, class, betrayal — all set in the seething French Quarter of 1940s New Orleans.

A new Broadway revival has added another set of layers to the play: The multiracial production stars Blair Underwood in one of the most iconic roles in American theater — Stanley Kowalski.

Read more
World
12:23 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

'Racist' Cake Episode Cuts The Wrong Way

Swedish culture minister Lena Adelson Liljeroth
Courtesy Asa Andersson

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 2:14 pm

Read more
Arts & Life
9:55 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Pennsylvania Poet Delves Into Metaphors, Myths

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:23 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to head into the Barber Shop in just a few minutes. But first, the latest in our series Muses and Metaphor.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Read more
Monkey See
9:04 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Girls' Edition, Women's Edition

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:13 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

For a few months now, we've been talking about putting together a special episode where I could sit down with Parul Sehgal, Barrie Hardymon, and Tanya Ballard Brown for what some of the men on the usual panel were referring to as "Gorgeous Ladies Of Pop Culture Happy Hour." It was, believe it or not, a complete coincidence that we finally pulled it together during the week that HBO premiered Lena Dunham

Read more
Poetry
5:03 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Grief In Greenness: Two Melancholy Poems Of Spring

Eldad Carin iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 1:58 pm

Springtime is the season of renewal, but it can also be a season of ambivalence. After all, for something to be made new and fresh, it first has to have gotten old and worn. Perhaps this is why some of the best poets of spring are masters of minor-key feelings like doubt, sadness and regret — every rebirth, as they know, contains a little death.

Read more
Books
1:25 am
Fri April 20, 2012

The St. Cuthbert Gospel: Looking Pretty Good At 1300

The Gospel, buried with St. Cuthbert in 698, was recovered from his grave in 1104. Its beautiful red leather binding is original.
Courtesy of the British Library

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:04 am

How much would you pay for a very rare book?

The British Library in London has just paid about $14 million to purchase Europe's oldest intact book, known as the St. Cuthbert Gospel. It's a copy of the Gospel of St. John, thought to have been produced in northeastern England sometime during the seventh century.

Read more
Movies
1:20 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Italian Critics Don't 'Love' Allen's Roman Holiday

Woody Allen at the Italian-language premiere of To Rome With Love, in Rome, April 13.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 4:46 am

After shooting in London, Barcelona and Paris, Woody Allen made his latest European backdrop Rome. To Rome With Love opens Friday in Italy — in Italian.

The movie is a magnificent postcard of the eternal city — a carefree romp along cobblestone streets nestled between ancient ruins and Renaissance palaces. A soft yellow glow pervades every scene. It projects an image of the sweet life with all the charms under the Italian sun, set to the tune of old standbys like "Volare" and "Arrivederci Roma."

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:33 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Documentary Seeks The 'Marley' Behind The Myth

Bob Marley's phenomenal popularity introduced much of the world to both reggae music and the Rastafarian faith.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 6:40 am

In the three decades since his 1981 death from cancer, Bob Marley's legacy has only grown. His recordings still dominate reggae sales charts, and his face is still emblazoned on T-shirts and dorm-room walls — an image as ubiquitous and iconic as Che Guevara, with less militant or overtly political connotations.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:08 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Goodbye First Love': Heartbreak, Recovery, Relapse

Camille (Lola Creton) and Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky) are caught in a complicated tangle of feelings in Mia Hansen-Love's Goodbye First Love.
Carole Bethuel IFC Films

There's nothing like the intensity of young love, but that descriptor cuts in many ways at once. Feelings so pure and intoxicating can never be repeated, but they cannot be controlled, either, by the wisdom and maturity that enrich and sustain a relationship in the long term. Intensity can curdle just as quickly into jealousy, possessiveness and depression; when a heartsick teenager uses a phrase like "I'll die without him," adults may roll their eyes, but it's just barely a figure of speech.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Chimpanzee': Oh, The Humanity!

Chimpanzee's filmmakers, the young chimp at the center of the film is adopted by an older male chimp — a rare occurrence — after his mother is killed." href="/post/chimpanzee-oh-humanity" class="noexit lightbox">
Nicknamed "Oscar" by Chimpanzee's filmmakers, the young chimp at the center of the film is adopted by an older male chimp — a rare occurrence — after his mother is killed.
Disneynature

It's a classic scenario in sentimental fiction: An adorable orphan humanizes a crusty old codger. "Humanize" might not seem the obvious verb for what happens in Chimpanzee, Disneynature's latest kiddie documentary. But it's dead on; this escape to the planet of the apes is anthropomorphic to a fault.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Henry': A Fractured Family, And A Would-Be Savior

In trying to identify his biological father, child prodigy Henry (Jason Spevack) makes life difficult for his mother (Toni Collette) and the researcher (Michael Sheen) he believes may have been his mother's sperm donor.
Entertainment One

Jesus Christ does not actually appear in Jesus Henry Christ except as a frequent expletive, suggesting that the New Testament star's titular shout-out is meant as a provocation.

"Are you shocked yet?" the movie seems to be asking, over and over again. "What if we throw in a carnival of gruesome family deaths, a foreign doctor who mispronounces 'semen' and a jive-talking white man in African garb?" To sell the story of a mature and soft-spoken child prodigy, the filmmakers employ bad taste in a bid for attention. They act out.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Darling Companion': Boomer Dramedy, Dog-Tired

Beth (Diane Keaton) and her adopted dog, Freeway, are parted when her distracted, workaholic husband, Joseph, loses Freeway in the woods.
Wilson Webb Sony Pictures Classics

It is said of one well-liked Hollywood purveyor of cheerfully inept romantic comedies that he doesn't actually direct movies — he hosts them. That quip sprang unbidden to mind at a screening of the genially terrible Darling Companion, a therapeutic intervention passing as family dramedy for our times.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Glory' Days: Intimate Experiences, But At A Price?

A man eyes some of the women working at the upscale Fish Tank brothel in Bangkok. The documentary Whores' Glory chronicles the experiences of sex workers in relatively clean establishments — and some living in de facto slavery.
Vinai Dithajohn Lotus Films

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 8:30 am

The world's oldest profession is one of cinema's oldest subjects, sometimes employed for pathos or political metaphor, but often glamorized. Austrian documentarian Michael Glawogger's Whores' Glory is no Pretty Woman. But neither does it qualify as an expose.

The movie, which shifts from Thailand to Bangladesh to Mexico, aspires to a cinema-verite style. Yet it's unusually well-lighted and -composed for on-the-fly footage, and includes scenes that appear to be staged.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Think Like A Man,' And We'll See What Happens

Mya (Meagan Good), while dating Zeke (Romany Malco), follows the do's and don't's of dating advice from comedian Steve Harvey's real-world self-help book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
Alan Markfield Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 4:06 pm

Oy, the things daters have to worry about these days. Not just how to dress, act and turn "no" into "go," but how not to become a chirp-chirp girl.

Read more
Arts & Life
2:44 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Pants Trend Makes A Red-Hot Statement

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:34 pm

What is up with all the red pants lately? Audie Cornish turns to Nick Sullivan, fashion director of Esquire Magazine, to find out. Sullivan confirms that red pants are a trend, with roots in the day outfits worn by members of the New York Yacht club.

Book Reviews
10:28 am
Thu April 19, 2012

'Suddenly': Surreal Stories From A Modern Master

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 10:38 am

My favorite story in Israeli writer Etgar Keret's new collection starts with a hipster trying to make a movie and ends with him being brought back to life by a goldfish after being bludgeoned to death. The story, "What, of This Goldfish, Would You Wish?" features the best of Keret's distinctive style. At barely seven pages long, it's wildly succinct; the premise is absurd and tender; the social perspective is unapologetically irreverent; and the language is spare and vivid, moving like a shot from point A to B.

Read more
Studio Sessions
9:28 am
Thu April 19, 2012

For Rashida Jolley, A Harp To Make More Than Music

Harpist Rashida Jolley sings a tune from her new album Tales of My Heart.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 11:49 am

Read more

Pages