Arts

Movie Reviews
12:11 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Coal Miners And Gay Activists Partner In 'Pride'

Faye Marsay, George MacKay, Joseph Gilgun and Paddy Considine play a group of London activists who march in support of Welsh miners.
Nicola Dove Courtesy of CBS Films

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 4:51 pm

Coal miners and gay activists — two groups that, in 1980s England at least, you might have figured would steer clear of each other — partner surprisingly effectively in the real-life story that's affectionately fictionalized in Pride.

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The Salt
9:32 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Belgium Likes Underground Beer. No, Literally

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 2:52 pm

The De Halve Maan Brewery prides itself on its family origins, its classic recipe, and the history of its beer, crafted carefully since 1856. But there's change brewing (pun intended) on the horizon: In 2015, its owners hope to open a pipeline of beer beneath the city streets of Bruges.

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Monkey See
9:18 am
Fri September 26, 2014

25 Humble Suggestions For 'The Equalizer' Brand Extensions

Denzel Washington stars as a retired intelligence officer in The Equalizer.
Scott Garfield Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 2:36 pm

Our pal Chris Klimek has a fine review of the film The Equalizer, in which Denzel Washington plays a man who gets revenge on all manner of bad guys, and maybe annoying people, and maybe just other people? Anyway, it seems inevitable that if the movie comes back, they'll be looking for ways to extend the brand. Fortunately, we've got some ideas.

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Movie Reviews
8:40 am
Fri September 26, 2014

'The Equalizer' Pits Mallet Against Man And Man Against Corkscrew

Denzel Washington stars as a retired intelligence officer in The Equalizer.
Scott Garfield Sony Pictures

"A feud is this way," Mark Twain wrote in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. "A man has a quarrel with another man and kills him; then that other man's brother kills him; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the cousins chip in — and by and by everybody's killed off, and there ain't no more feud. But it's kind of slow, and takes a long time."

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Monkey See
8:15 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Fall Books And Great Detectives

NPR

When we learned that our treasured friends Barrie Hardymon and Margaret "Hulahoop" Willison (thus named for her actual middle initial, H, as well as her whimsical and irresistible delightfulness) were both going to be in town when we taped this episode, there was only one thing to do: fire Stephen.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Book News: A Prize In Memory Of Peace Picks Its Winners

Dayton Literary Peace Prize winner Bob Shacochis peers deeply into the camera at the 2013 Texas Book Festival.
Larry D. Moore Wikimedia Commons

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

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize this year will be going to Bob Shacochis, for fiction, and Karima Bennoune, for nonfiction. The international award, which brings with it a $10,000 purse per winner, recognizes writers "whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding," according to the group's press release.

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Movie Interviews
6:17 am
Fri September 26, 2014

An Online Music Search And A Quest To Find Linda, Lead To 'Jimi'

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

Television
6:17 am
Fri September 26, 2014

'Saturday Night Live' Begins Season 40 This Weekend

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tomorrow night, one of television's best-known shows marks a milestone.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Live from New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Live from New York.

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The Salt
10:32 am
Thu September 25, 2014

A Bumpy Ride: Airplane Food Through The Decades

The good old days: A flight attendant serves coffee and sandwiches to a passenger on board an American Airlines flight, circa 1935.
Frederic Lewis Archive Photos/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 2:12 pm

People who fly coach on domestic carriers these days don't expect much from the in-flight service beyond watery soda and maybe a salty snack. Or if they're in the air for a few hours, they might get the option to buy a "meal" that looks like a cross between hospital food and school lunch. But that's not how it used to be.

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Ask Me Another
9:31 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Step up to the mound — every answer in this game is a word, phrase or proper noun that also contains a baseball term. Catch my drift?

Heard in Episode 327: Second Chances

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

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

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Ask Me Another
9:31 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Worst. Vacation. Ever.

The world's a lonely planet, so why not turn to the Internet to figure out which spots need company. Try to guess which famous landmarks are depicted in these less-than-positive TripAdvisor reviews.

Heard in Episode 327: Second Chances

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Ask Me Another
9:31 am
Thu September 25, 2014

I Saw The Signs

Signs, signs, everywhere signs! House musician Jonathan Coulton sings "The Sign" by evil Swedish pop wizards Ace of Base, with rewritten lyrics that hint to actual signs, signals and omens.

Heard in Episode 327: Second Chances

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Ask Me Another
9:31 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Playground Nationals

Don't you wish that the games you played as a kid were announced by professional sportscasters? In this game, try to figure out the playground classic as called from the skybox.

Heard in Episode 327: Second Chances

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Ask Me Another
9:31 am
Thu September 25, 2014

John Cameron Mitchell: New Hollywood Film Buff

John Cameron Mitchell (right) and contestant Jordan Shavarebi celebrate a victory during their Ask Me Another Challenge.
Josh Rogosin NPR

In his Ask Me Another Challenge, John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus) broadens our knowledge of New Hollywood Films from the late sixties (The Graduate) to the early eighties (Heaven's Gate) that broke the traditional studio style and established a new generation of filmmakers. We challenge him to mash up the titles of films that share a word, as in "Slaughterhouse Five Easy Pieces."

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Ask Me Another
9:31 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Random Questions With: John Cameron Mitchell

John Cameron Mitchell from the 2001 film, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Fine Line Features Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 4:47 am

Actor/director John Cameron Mitchell created the character Hedwig nearly 20 years ago in downtown New York City clubs, performing the one-man show about a transgendered East German rock star in full drag and with a killer songbook (written by Stephen Trask). Hedwig made her way to Off Broadway, and into a cult film in 2001, but she was never a mainstream hit until the production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch reached Broadway in 2014 with Neil Patrick Harris in the starring role.

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Ask Me Another
9:31 am
Thu September 25, 2014

This, That Or The Other VIII

In this installment of an AMA classic, contestants must distinguish between indie bands, Dungeons & Dragons monsters and foreign films. Not to be confused with foreign bands or indie films, of course.

Heard in Episode 327: Second Chances

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Ask Me Another
9:31 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Animal Instincts

John Cameron Mitchell (left) with grand winner Margaret Bortner, post face-painting.
Josh Rogosin NPR

Redemption is nigh for returning contestants who have reached the final round. Whose instincts about names containing animals (Snoop Dogg) will lead to victory? Plus, Very Important Puzzler John Cameron Mitchell delivers a one-of-a-kind prize to the grand winner: He agrees to paint her face like the character Tommy Gnosis, from his Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Heard in Episode 327: Second Chances

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Monkey See
8:44 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Bill Simmons' NFL Talk Gets Him Three Weeks On The Sidelines

Columnist Bill Simmons, seen here in February, is suspended for three weeks.
Leon Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 12:29 pm

Bill Simmons, the ESPN commentator whose Twitter bio reads in part "Grantland boss + columnist, @30for30 co-creator, NBA Countdown co-host, BS Report host," will not be doing most of those jobs for three weeks after using the last of them — host of the podcast The BS Report — to call NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a liar, and to dare ESPN to discipline him.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Book News: Amtrak Unveils Writers Picked For A Residency On The Rails

All aboard the writer's desk.
Mat Hayward Getty Images for Amtrak

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

Amtrak has announced the inaugural class of its brand-new writers residency program. Out of a crop of some 16,000 applications, the railroad service has picked just 24 writers to ride the rails on a long-distance train — and to write while they do so.

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First Listen
6:05 am
Thu September 25, 2014

First Listen: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, 'Gone Girl (Motion Picture Soundtrack)'

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' soundtrack to the film Gone Girl comes out Sept. 30.
Rob Sheridan Courtesy of the artist

When British musician, film composer and audio engineer Atticus Ross found his band 12 Rounds signed to Trent Reznor's now-defunct Nothing Records, it proved to be a windfall for both artists. While the 12 Rounds album Reznor helped produce was left unfinished, Ross soon found himself working within Nine Inch Nails as the group experienced an early-21st-century renaissance, starting with 2005's With Teeth and stretching to the present.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu September 25, 2014

'Clockwork Dagger' Is A Thought-Provoking Steampunk Adventure

What makes a hero? Untold numbers of authors have tried to answer that question, all the while knowing that there can never be a simple solution to such a complex equation. Defining heroism is as slippery as defining humanity — as well as defining the culture that happens to be surrounding it any given moment. Which is why genre exercises like The Clockwork Dagger, the debut novel by Beth Cato, have their work cut out for them.

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Book Reviews
5:14 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Margaret Atwood's 'Stone Mattress' Is Full Of Sharp And Jabbing Truths

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 10:12 am

Some short-story writers seem to feel the need to show as many different sides of themselves as possible in one book: tough, tender, minimalist, maximalist, funny, sad. But in her new collection of stories, Margaret Atwood emphasizes one particular Atwood quality, which, for lack of a better word, I'll call "wicked." (Though let's be sure not to confuse the writer with her characters.)

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Television
3:27 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Network TV's Fall Lineup Distinguished By Diversity

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 5:14 pm

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

Author Interviews
3:08 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

After Childhood Abuse, 'Times' Columnist Says He Chose Life Over Vengeance

Charles Blow is a New York Times columnist. Before that, he worked at the paper as the graphics director and design director for news.
Beowolf Sheehan Courtesy of

A new memoir by New York Times columnist Charles Blow begins with him in his car on his way to shoot and kill a man. That man is Blow's older cousin, who allegedly sexually abused Blow when Blow was 7 years old.

Blow, who was 20 when he set out for vengeance, turned back and never pulled the trigger. He finally realized he couldn't continue to live his life "through the eyes of a 7-year-old boy," he writes.

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The Salt
2:05 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

The Gefilte Fish Line: A Sweet And Salty History Of Jewish Identity

Sweet or salty? Historically among Eastern European Jews, how they liked their gefilte fish depended on where they lived. This divide created a strictly Jewish geography known as "the gefilte fish line."
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 12:41 pm

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a day when everything tastes like dessert. In symbolic hope of a sweet year to come, the table is positively sticky — honey marinades, honey cakes, raisin-studded challah bread. And, depending on where your family is from, sweet gefilte fish.

Gefilte fish, those oft-reviled patties packed in jelled broth, can be a hard sell even in the standard savory form. And with a big dose of sugar stirred in? It can be hard to swallow. But for Jews with roots in Poland, gefilte fish was always sweet. Always.

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Monkey See
12:18 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Making The Case 'Against Football'

Steve Almond's blistering book Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto is exactly what it advertises itself to be: an exasperated, frustrated, wide-ranging argument that the time has come to abandon football — particularly but not exclusively the NFL — as a sport built on violence, racism, economic exploitation of poor kids, corrupt dealmaking with local governments over stadiums, and a willingness to find it entertaining to watch people suffer brain damage.

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Monkey See
8:57 am
Wed September 24, 2014

'Black-ish' And The Color Of Money

Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross star in ABC's Black-ish.
Adam Taylor ABC

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 9:30 am

"When brothers start getting a little money, stuff starts getting a little weird."

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Code Switch
7:51 am
Wed September 24, 2014

The Pre-Huxtable Golden Age Of The Black Family Sitcom

Sanford and Son averaged around 20 million viewers a week for NBC during the 1974-75 season.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 1:16 pm

A lot has been made of the suite of shows featuring families of color set to hit the airwaves this fall — ABC's Black-ish, the CW's Jane the Virgin, ABC's Cristela and the network's midseason replacement, Fresh Off the Boat.

This season happens to dovetail with the 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show, a seminal moment for families of color on the small screen that many credit with resurrecting the moribund sitcom genre.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Book News: Author J. California Cooper, Whose Simple Prose Drew Acclaim, Dies

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

Acclaimed author J. California Cooper, who famously leaped from the stage to the printed page, has died at the age of 82. According to her daughter, Paris Williams, Cooper passed away Saturday in Seattle. She wrote 17 plays and nearly as many books of fiction.

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Media
6:20 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Media Group Evolves From Covering Vice To War Zones

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 8:49 am

This is the story of the evolution of a news organization called Vice. Its stories are published online and aired on HBO.

Years ago, it didn't really cover news. "All we had been really concerned about was rare denim, rare sneakers and supermodels," Shane Smith, co-founder of Vice magazine, tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

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