Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:57 pm
It was prostate cancer, not an assassin's poison, that killed poet Pablo Neruda, officials in Chile announced Friday. The Nobel laureate's body was exhumed for testing this spring, due to claims from an employee and Neruda's family that the Chilean poet had been murdered at age 69.
St. Louis might be known for legendary entertainers like Josephine Baker, or star athletes like Yogi Berra, but now there's something else putting the city on the map. It's known as the 'Chess Capital of the World.' Host Michel Martin learns more from St. Louis native and chess National Master, Charles Lawton.
NBC has released the first trailer for its live version of The Sound Of Music, airing December 5.
Now, some have chosen to focus on the negative; on the nostalgic sense that to remake this show — or, more precisely, to remake the movie version, as they may well do, at least in part, owing to its ubiquity — is a mistake. No matter the talent involved, like Audra McDonald (as Mother Abbess) and Laura Benanti (as the Baroness), it will be an NBC remake.
Given the rise of music streaming websites like Spotify and Rhapsody, the assumption is listeners gravitate toward music they've already heard. One website headquartered in Rock Island is looking to change that. Daytrotter brings Indie bands from across the United States and the U.K. to their downtown studio for recordings, typically around five songs.
Explorer Ben Saunders wants you to go outside. Not because it's always pleasant and happy, but because that's where the meat of life is, "the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days." In 2004, Saunders skied solo to the North Pole. Saunders' next outdoor excursion? To try to be the first in the world to walk from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again.
A legendary Japanese animator has a new film out this week. It's only in select theaters for one week only, just enough to qualify for the Oscars. Our film critic Kenneth Turan says "The Wind Rises" is worth seeking out.
KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: To see "The Wind Rises" is to both marvel at the work of Hiyo Miyzasaki and regret that this film is likely his last. Inspired by the life of a brilliant aircraft designer, it's quintessential Miyazaki: stunningly beautiful and completely idiosyncratic.
Before the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the head of Pakistan's armed forces visited President Obama. In the room, as the two men talked, was Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. As then-Ambassador Hussain Haqqani remembers it, President Obama hinted at what was likely to happen.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
For Haqqani, that conversation and all that followed was a classic moment in relations between the United States and Pakistan. Those relations have always been filled with miscommunication and misunderstanding.
Tonight, a big moment for a couple of extraordinary chefs. They were originally 24 but after unimaginable cooking challenges, devastating eliminations, and, yes, some tears, the field is down to two. We're talking about the reality cooking show "Master Chef Junior." These contestants were ages eight to 13. Some stood on crates to reach their cooking stations? The two finalists: 12 year old Dara Yu and 13 year old Alexander Weiss. We spoke to them, along with one of the celebrity judges, Joe Bastianich.
Abdulnasser Gharem is a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Saudi Arabian Armed Forces, a man who's served in his country's military for more than two decades. But Gharem's true passion lies in a decidedly less rigid field — contemporary art.
Roughly three-quarters of South Africa's Jewish population are descendants of Lithuanian immigrants. Of these peasants, townspeople, tradesmen, shopkeepers and intellectuals who fled centuries of persecution and embarked on a passage to Africa, many dreamed of a new land and the promise of new beginnings. Kenneth Bonert's ancestors were part of this diaspora. In his debut novel, written in language as dense and varied as the South African landscape he describes, Bonert delivers a taut, visceral account of a young Jewish boy's African life.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are known worldwide for their flawless voices and stellar performances of Negro spirituals. They're from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., but they travel around the world to perform their music. Negro spirituals were originally sung by slaves and remain tightly linked to African-American culture. Paul Kwami, the choir's musical director, said singing these spirituals was a way for slaves to lament their servitude, along with the hope of being free one day.
Because it serves up Armageddon with a side order of teen romance, How I Live Now is not always credible. But as a portrait of a surly 16-year-old whose internal crisis is overtaken by an external one, the movie is persuasive.
For that, credit goes partly to director Kevin Macdonald, but mostly to his star, Saoirse Ronan. Playing a neurotic urbanite who learns to survive in a war-ravaged landscape, the actress is, appropriately enough, a force of nature.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:22 pm
Audiences for Thor: The Dark World may initially be confused as to whether they accidentally wandered into a preview screening of the next installment in the Hobbit series.
The opening prologue — a solemn Anthony Hopkins narrates an epic tale of ancient wars between the forces of good and a race of evil elves — feels like pure Tolkien, and with good reason: the Norse mythologies that inspired the Lord of the Rings author also informed Marvel Comics' Stan Lee and Larry Lieber as they went about developing their godlike superhero.
For six decades, in her light-filled studio on top of New York's Carnegie Hall, portrait photographer Editta Sherman photographed celebrities from Leonard Bernstein to Yul Brynner to Joe DiMaggio. She was a legend — and she'd tell you that herself. Sherman died Friday at 101.
A note on her website reads: "Editta Sherman's vibrant sparkling life faded from this earth on November 1st, All Saints Day. She is at peace now and she is clothed in her ballerina dress with her diamond shoes dancing her way home to our hearts."
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:24 pm
Roy Choi is a chef who's celebrated for food that isn't fancy. He's one of the founders of the food truck movement, where instead of hot dogs or ice cream, more unusual, gourmet dishes are prepared and sold. His Kogi trucks specialize in tacos filled with Korean barbecue.
Choi was born in South Korea in 1970 and moved to Los Angeles with his parents at the age of 2. His parents owned a Korean restaurant near Anaheim for a few years when he was a child. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that his mother had some serious cooking talent.
"Make the other person feel important." "Let the other fellow feel that the idea is his." "Make people like you." Those are some of the peppy commands that have sent generations of Americans out into the world, determined to win friends and influence people — oh, and make big bucks.
Benjamin Gardner has a fitting last name. The Illinois native, Iowa art professor, and abstract artist is also an urban gardener who draws inspiration for his work from the natural world. On Friday, The DEMO Project gallery in Springfield (1732 N. 4th St.) will welcome Gardner for an opening and reception of his installation, Evensong 15 (caudex). Gardner recently joined us to talk about his work and inspirations: