Arts

Men In America
4:22 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

What's A Writer Gotta Do To Get A Little Health Care Around Here?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 9:10 pm

In my teens, I stumbled onto the wide trail of "the writer's bildungsroman," the coming-of-age stories that often gave me too much to identify with. That whispered clear messages while I slept and while I tried to imagine a life far, far outside the heat and farmlands of where I grew up.

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Monkey See
4:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

New Amazon Series Pilots Fall Short Of A TV Revolution

Jay Chandrasekhar, left, and Sarah Chalke are a married couple in the new Amazon Studios pilot Really.
Quantrell Colbert Amazon Studios

When it comes to original TV series, it's tough to understand exactly where Amazon is going.

At first, their strategy seemed simple: They went where big-ticket competitors like Netflix and HBO didn't, greenlighting comedies like Garry Trudeau's political satire Alpha House and the Silicon Valley series Betas, along with a raft of kids' shows.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

More Physical Than Plausible, 'Starred Up' Sharply Portrays Confinement

Within moments of arriving at an adult prison — "starred up" from a juvenile facility that couldn't handle him — Eric (Jack O'Connell) demonstrates how to use jail-issue toiletries to make a weapon. But it's not that toothbrush shiv that makes the 19-year-old deadly. It's his ferocious unpredictability, a quality mirrored by this edgy, naturalistic drama.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

'The Notebook': A Grim Fable Of Cruelty In Wartime

At first blush, the Hungarian film The Notebook (no relation, trust me, to that other Notebook) seems to be gearing up as a standard World War II weepie with clumsy plotting. It's 1944; the war is almost done; a father returns home on leave; brief scenes of domestic bliss follow. Then, out of the blue, Dad (Ulrich Matthes), seemingly worried that his twin sons would be "too conspicuous in wartime," packs them off to live with their grandmother in the countryside. Handing them a notebook, he tells them to record everything that happens to them.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

In 'The Congress,' An Animated Future Where Movie Studios Are Villains

The most interesting but remarkably understated aspect of The Congress, a half-live-action, half-animated trip of a film from Israeli director Ari Folman, is the increasing power accrued by the fake movie studio in its story, Miramount. When the film opens, Miramount is but a moviemaking venture, as you'd expect; by the end, it's the dominant power structure behind a futuristic dystopian society.

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Book Reviews
3:27 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Teen Drama? Occult Thriller? Gritty War Epic? 'Bone Clocks' Is All Three

A clock at the Amsterdam train station reads quarter to 12.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:53 pm

"There are three rules for writing a novel," Somerset Maugham supposedly once said. But then he went on to add, "Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."

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Science
3:27 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

What We Really See When We Go See A Movie

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:28 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Let's say you're in a movie theater. You're watching an action movie - let's say "Iron Man 2."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "IRON MAN 2")

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Code Switch
3:18 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Controversy Over Sofía Vergara Obscures An Industry's Failings

Sofía Vergara and Television Academy CEO Bruce Rosenblum enact the notorious pedestal stunt at the 2014 Emmy Awards.
Vince Bucci AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 5:24 pm

After Sofía Vergara's controversial appearance at the 2014 Emmy Awards, we wanted to see more perspectives exploring the cultural dimensions of the controversy. Make sure to read Daisy Hernandez's reaction. Here's a response from contributor Juan Vidal.

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Television
12:47 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Jon Hamm On The Evolution Of Don Draper On 'Mad Men'

Hamm has never won an Emmy despite 13 nominations, including two this year for Mad Men. In 2010, Hamm talked with Fresh Air about how Draper was "losing touch" with his life and the world around him.

Originally broadcast Sept. 16, 2010.

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

Transcript

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Television
12:47 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Edie Falco On Sobriety, The Sopranos, And Nurse Jackie's Self-Medication

Falco plays ER nurse Jackie Peyton, who is competent at her high-stress job but struggles with addiction. Falco was nominated for an Emmy for her role on Nurse Jackie, which is in its sixth season.

Originally broadcast April 9.

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

Transcript

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
9:03 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Playlist: Listens For A Long Hike

Bring along the TED Radio Hour as your hiking pal.
iStock

We made playlists of TED Radio Hour stories that will keep you curious about big ideas throughout the summer.

For your next hike, let the TED Radio Hour keep you company with these intriguing stories. TED speakers explore ideas about fear, privacy, and money while you explore the great outdoors.

The Two-Way
6:37 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Book News: Former Poet Laureate Robert Hass Wins $100,000 Poetry Prize

In this 1998 photo, President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton are seen at the White House with Poets Laureate Robert Pinsky (left) Rita Dove (center) and Robert Haas (right).
Susan Walsh AP

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

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu August 28, 2014

'Kill My Mother' Is A Darkly Drawn Confection

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer — now in his mid-80s— has been in the business for more than 60 years. So his first graphic novel, a darkly drawn confection in the noir tradition, called Kill My Mother, comes late in his career. I feel a certain kinship with him, because as a reader I'm a latecomer to the genre myself. Call me a dinosaur, but his book, so deliciously inviting to scan (if a bit convoluted in its plot), is one of the first of its kind that I've read cover to cover.

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Author Interviews
6:02 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Telling Crimea's Story Through Children's Books

Author Lily Hyde adds a dash of magic to her children's stories about Eastern Europe.
Corbis

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 8:57 am

Understanding all the players, alliances and political stakes in the rapidly shifting crisis in Ukraine can be challenging for anyone unfamiliar with Eastern Europe and its history. And it doesn't get any simpler when you step back a century or two — which is why Lily Hyde's stories blending history, myth and geopolitics are grabbing the attention of readers, reporters and activists alike.

We all want to believe in fairy tales. Hyde takes it one step further, using fairy tales as inspiration to share stories about Eastern European history with children and young adults.

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Book News & Features
2:44 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Raising A Birthday Glass To Comics King Jack Kirby

Artist Paul Harding's take on Jack "The King" Kirby, which is featured on the special-edition beer brewed for a Kirby Day celebration at Schmaltz Brewery in Clifton Park, N.Y.
Paul Harding

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 8:47 am

If you've seen Guardians of the Galaxy, you know Groot — the singing, dancing, crime-fighting tree. Groot was created by comics legend Jack Kirby, who's also responsible for Captain America and was the co-creator of the Avengers and the X-Men. Kirby died in 1994, but his birthday on Aug. 28 has become something of a national celebration for comic book fans.

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Monkey See
1:18 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Lifetime Promises To Bring Out The 'Strong Black Woman' In White Women

Beauty pro Tracy Balan, fashion maven Tiffiny Dixon, home/sanctuary guru Nikki Chu and soul coach Tanisha Thomas host Girlfriend Intervention, which is a real show, believe it or not.
Richard Knapp Lifetime

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 1:56 pm

Lifetime's new show Girlfriend Intervention is not subtle about its message. Its premise is four black women giving a makeover to a white woman on the theory that, as they put it, "Trapped inside of every white girl is a strong black woman ready to bust out."

They don't even have to say "weak white girl" or "lame white girl" or "ugly white girl" or "unfashionable white girl" or "boring white girl," because all those things are, before long, implied.

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Television
12:57 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Aaron Paul On Playing A Meth Dealer On 'Breaking Bad'

Paul won the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for playing student-turned-drug dealer Jesse Pinkman. In 2011, he said his character was supposed to die in the first season.

Originally broadcast Sept. 19, 2011.

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

Transcript

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Television
12:57 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Louis C.K. Reflects On 'Louie,' Loss, Love And Life

C.K. won an Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series for an episode on his FX show Louie. In 2011, C.K. told Fresh Air about making his comedy special and his relationship with other comedians.

Originally broadcast Dec. 13, 2011.

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

Transcript

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
9:39 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Playlist: Time Out

Take a moment to slow down with these TED Radio Hour stories.
iStock

We made playlists of TED Radio Hour stories that will keep you curious about big ideas throughout the summer.

Summer's the perfect time to slow down, sit still, and reflect. Here are some compelling stories about listening, gratitude, and justice.

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

Monkey See
9:19 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Small Batch Edition: Undressing 'Project Runway'

Heidi Klum remains with Project Runway, where she's been since it began.
Lifetime
  • Listen to the Conversation

On this Small Batch Edition of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, Glen and I are always up for a little chat about fashion and people's skill and lack of skill at the making of sick burns, so we sat down for a catch-up chat about Project Runway, which is part of the way through its 13th season, now on Lifetime after an earlier history on Bravo.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Book News: Calif. Law Calls For Textbooks To Teach Significance Of Obama's Election

President-elect Barack Obama waves to his supporters after delivering his victory speech at his election night party Nov. 4, 2008, at Grant Park in Chicago.
David Guttenfelder AP

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

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed August 27, 2014

'Lock In': A Cop Story For Robot Lovers, A Robot Story For Cop Lovers

When I'm reading for fun and not sitting up in my ivory tower reviewing books for NPR, I generally gravitate toward two kinds of stories: science fiction and procedurals. In both cases, I like my books grimy and lived-in. I have no love for utopias, shiny spaceships where nothing is ever broken, or Teflon detectives who don't come with baggage. If there isn't a bullet hole in someone or something before the story starts, there'd better be one put there within the first couple of pages.

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Arts & Life
4:23 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Poet Tishani Doshi Reads Her Summer Poem

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 6:15 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hey, we're not quite done with summer, which means we're not quite done with talking with poets on this program about what summer means to them.

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Movies
2:26 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Setting Your Movie In Boston? Bettah Get The Accent Right

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 9:31 am

The Hollywood movie about mobster Whitey Bulger has been filming in and around Boston for months, with a list of high-profile actors. That means getting Johnny Depp and the others to sound like they're from Boston. And as locals certainly know — getting that Boston accent right can make or break the movie.

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Television
5:56 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Emmy Awards 2014: Safe Choices In A Time Of Groundbreaking TV

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:17 pm

For TV critics, last night's Emmy Awards show was a bit like seeing an old flame promise to treat you better, only to slide right back into the same old disappointing behavior.

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Author Interviews
4:05 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Marine Turned Novelist Brings Brutal, Everyday Work Of War Into Focus

Soldiers fill a hole left by an explosion on a road outside Beiji, Iraq, in 2005. In his debut novel, Michael Pitre follows a group of Marines doing similar work on Iraq's highways.
Ryan Lenz AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 7:07 pm

"Every inch of that place, every grain of sand, wanted desperately to kill us."

That's a line from a compelling new novel about the Iraq War, written by former Marine Michael Pitre.

Pitre was a history and creative writing major at Louisiana State when he joined the Marines after Sept. 11. He became an officer and served two tours in Iraq's Anbar province working in logistics and communications.

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Arts
2:13 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Art At The Illinois State Museum

Credit http://www.museum.state.il.us/

In this interview, we speak with Jim Zimmer, the director of art and history for the Illinois State Museum System. He tells us about the curation that goes on behind the scenes, the variety of artwork that can be found at the museum, and current as well as upcoming exhibitions.

Currently at the Springfield museum is an exhibit titled Fragile Relations: Art, Nature & Environment. It ends this weekend.  

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Performing Arts
12:45 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

From Walter White To LBJ, Bryan Cranston Is A Master Of Transformation

While Breaking Bad fans were watching him portray Walt in the series' final episodes, Cranston was already reinventing himself — playing Lyndon B. Johnson in the play All the Way.

Originally broadcast March 27.

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

Transcript

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The Salt
12:40 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Bronx Baker Turns Dominican Cakes Into A Sweet American Dream

Yolanda Andujar and her daughter Astrid bake together every weekend. Andujar primarily makes the cakes while Astrid, a graphic designer by day, makes elaborate decorations using fondant and bright colors.
Néstor Pérez-Molière Courtesy of Feet in 2 Worlds

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 2:49 pm

For many immigrants arriving in the U.S., opening a family food business can be a pathway to economic stability. While many fail, one Dominican woman in the Bronx has managed to get her family off food stamps, send her kids to college and share her heritage with new friends and neighbors. And it all started with cake.

Not just any cake — but bizcocho Dominicano, flavored with rum and vanilla extract, and layered with tropical fruit spreads and meringue.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Book News: Desmond O'Grady, Irish Poet (And Fellini Bit Actor), Dies

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

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