Arts

Movie Reviews
11:04 am
Fri May 16, 2014

'Godzilla': A Fire-Breathing Behemoth Returns To The Big Screen

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:41 pm

Transcript

DAVIE DAVIES, HOST:

Since 1954, the fire-breathing behemoth Godzilla has had many incarnations. In the Japanese original he was a thinly disguised symbol of the atom bomb but in later films he would fight other giant monsters and even space aliens. In 1998 there was a poorly received American remake by Roland Emmerich. Now comes another American version at a time when the restored original is also in theaters and available on DVD.

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Monkey See
10:23 am
Fri May 16, 2014

First Novels: The Weird, Thrilling Trip Through A Very Narrow Door

iStockphoto.com

To gauge the practicality of investing the long years of speculative writing that it takes to produce a first novel, I asked my agent, Kate Garrick of DeFiore & Company, to estimate the percentage of the first novels submitted to her she considers saleable. Her answer (like all these answers, via e-mail):

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Monkey See
8:00 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Fairy Tales And A Fall TV Quiz

A drawing of a snoozing Sleeping Beauty.
iStockphoto.com
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We could not be happier to bring back our friend Barrie Hardymon, who's out in California but still made time to come and chat with us. In recognition that we are soon to see the live-action Maleficent coming from Disney, we chat about fairy tales. "These are stories we tell our kids to get them to abandon us," Glen says. "We're giving them the psychic armor, the psychic tools, to say goodbye." We talk about old fairy tales, Disney-fied versions, and Glen's recognition that Germany hasn't had an easy time of it with their own versions.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Book News: If Jesus Dictates A Book To You, Who Holds The Copyright?

A seagull flies over a statue of Jesus on the top of St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

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

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Movie Reviews
4:19 am
Fri May 16, 2014

'Million Dollar Arm' Delivers Ball-Park Size Enjoyment

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 11:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Next on this Friday morning, our film critic Kenneth Turan has this pitch for a baseball movie.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: You can see the stuff "Million Dollar Arm" throws at you from miles away, but that doesn't stop it from being genially enjoyable. It's an example of the pleasant things that happen when a better class of people work on Disney family films.

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All Tech Considered
2:41 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Are Filmmakers Using Drones Illegally? Looks Like It

Jeff Blank, of Los Angeles-based Drone Dudes, prepares a quadcopter for takeoff. The drone has to chase a motorcycle down a hill.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:11 am

It is illegal in the U.S. to operate a drone for cash. That's the position of the Federal Aviation Administration — which is in charge of protecting air space. But at least one industry has decided that it doesn't care and it's going to put drones to work anyway: the film industry.

Drone Startups Hit Hollywood

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Media
2:35 am
Fri May 16, 2014

'I've Enjoyed Every Minute Of It': Carl Kasell On His 60 Years In Radio

NPR's Carl Kasell delivers one of his last newscasts during Morning Edition on Dec. 30, 2009, in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 1:06 pm

Carl Kasell — the official judge and scorekeeper of the NPR quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! — is stepping down after more than 60 years in radio. While you'll still hear him from time to time as he eases into the role as scorekeeper emeritus, his final broadcast airs on Saturday and Sunday.

Kasell recently had a cameo on The Simpsons, and since that's the pinnacle of any career, this seemed like a good moment to look back on his many decades in broadcast.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

'Million Dollar Arm' Is A Sales Pitch In Search Of Stillness

Aasif Mandvi (left) and Jon Hamm check out the talent in Million Dollar Arm.
Ron Phillips Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:55 pm

Where does Don Draper's formidable presence come from in Mad Men? From his impeccable style, sure, and from his brooding good looks, of course, but also from his stillness. A few drug-induced exceptions aside, Don is as restrained in movement as he is in his speech. The combination gives him an irresistible, if unsettling, allure; in meetings, it's his solid stare that holds your attention as much as his words.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

'Godzilla' Brings The Spectacle Without Obscuring The Big Guy's Dark Past

Godzilla. You know, from Godzilla.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 11:50 am

This is a monster sold on a sigh. For all of the bombast, the buildings falling, and the brawling beasties, the moment when this Godzilla is most impressive, the moment he suddenly transcends his digital underpinnings and feels like a real presence, is one of his subtlest and quietest. During a lull in a battle among the skyscrapers of downtown San Francisco, the danger around him briefly subsides; his head droops momentarily, his body heaves ever so slightly downward, and he exhales quietly.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

In 'Horses Of God,' A Sprawling Slum Breeds A Violent Act

Said El Alami and Achraf Afir in Horses Of God.
Kino Lorber

Anyone seeking to establish an incubator for suicide bombers could hardly improve on Sidi Moumen, a slum on the fringe of Casablanca. As depicted in Horses of God, the neighborhood is a place of crushing poverty, rampant hostility and exceptionally limited options.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

From The Traditions Of Melodrama, A Woman Of Resolve

Marion Cotillard stars in The Immigrant.
Anne Joyce The Weinstein Company

I teach in a film school, and if there's one genre I find it hard to get students on board for, it's classic melodrama. Perhaps because they've been reared on distancing irony and the suspension of belief, they misread the symphonies of pent-up emotion, the passionate address to questions of good and evil, of class, gender and race as phony.

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Book Reviews
3:59 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

In Mona Simpson's 'Casebook,' A Holden Caulfield For Our Time

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 11:18 am

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of summer days lying flat on my back in the front yard. I would stare up at the sky and think: "This is me, thinking." And then I'd think, "This is me, thinking about thinking." At that point, having made myself dizzy, I'd jump up and return to a less abstruse activity like riding my bike or tormenting my little sister.

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War On Poverty, 50 Years Later
3:05 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

In Pricey Cities, Being A Bohemian Starving Artist Gets Old Fast

Rolando Villazon and Alexia Voulgaridou star as Rodolfo and Mimi in a June 2001 production of Giacomo Puccini's opera La Boheme. Some real-life artists say the story cuts a little close to home.
Arno Balzarini AP

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 7:18 pm

There are very few professions where poverty is romanticized, but if you're a Franciscan friar or an artist, being poor is seen as somehow ennobling. Josh Shaw, who ran a recent Pacific Opera Project production of La Boheme in Los Angeles, says the opera's famous story of starving artists hits a little close to home.

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Movie Reviews
1:42 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Son Of? Bride Of? Cousin Of? How Many Godzillas Are There, Already?

Godzilla goes after San Francisco in this newest update to the classic monster movie.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 7:18 pm

The world has already seen 28 Godzilla movies — 29, if you count Roland Emmerich's 1998 Hollywood remake (which most of us don't). So why is another one opening this week?

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The Salt
10:47 am
Thu May 15, 2014

A Sponge Cake's Long, Strange Trip: Germany To Denver, Via Japan

A chef prepares the baumkuchen, a German layer cake made on a stick that when cut, resembles a tree with concentric rings.
LuxTonnerre Flickr.com

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 2:18 pm

For a cake the Germans call "the king of cakes" and the Japanese call "the ultimate wedding cake," the baumkuchen doesn't really look like a cake or behave like one. But it more than makes up for its oddities with rich flavor, history and symbolism.

It resembles a hollowed cross-section of a craggy tree trunk, or a planet's rings, depending on how you make it. It can have up to 21 delicate, sugary stratums, which give it a light yet chewy texture.

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Music
10:36 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Breaking Up Helped Ledisi Find 'The Truth' In Her Music

Ledisi performs at the 2013 BET Honors awards. The singer has been nominated for eight Grammy awards over the past 10 years.
Kris Connor Getty Images for BET

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 11:37 am

Singer songwriter Ledisi has had eight Grammy nominations, and says she is grateful for that. "I would like to win, but it will happen when its time."

For more than 10 years, Ledisi has garnered an international fan base while striving to grow her musical abilities.

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Around the Nation
10:34 am
Thu May 15, 2014

The Pact That Turned A Juvenile Delinquent Into A Medical Doctor

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 11:37 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Our friends at All Things Considered have been collecting stories of moments when people's careers took off. It's called My Big Break.

They recently spoke to Dr. Sampson Davis who grew up in the rough parts of Newark, N.J. He talked about how doing a stint in juvie put his life in perspective.

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Ask Me Another
9:10 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Random Questions With: Andrew W.K.

"Not being dead is my version of partying. So far, so good." - Andrew W.K.
Mireya Acierto Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:47 pm

  • Hear Andrew play "Jesus Christ Super Quiz"
  • Andrew W.K. tells the story of his first, and last, gig at Cafe Wha? in NYC

Rock star and self-proclaimed professional partier Andrew W.K. is nothing short of a renaissance man. While the traditionally trained piano player is best known for rollicking hits like "Party Hard" and "It's Time to Party," Andrew has also tried his hand as a TV show host, a motivational speaker and, currently, a weekly advice columnist for The Village Voice.

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Ask Me Another
9:10 am
Thu May 15, 2014

How Now, Brown Cow?

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:47 pm

If you've ever wondered about the origins of the phrase "How now, brown cow," we can't help you. But just for kicks, we wrote a game in which every answer rhymes with "cow." How now, kung pao?

Plus, hear house musician Jonathan Coulton cover They Might Be Giants' "Cowtown."

Heard in Episode 317: Puzzle Hard

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Ask Me Another
9:10 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Gone Fishing

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:47 pm

There's something fishy about this final round. Every answer contains a type of fish, but be careful: some are unexpected. Did you know that a mullet isn't just Billy Ray Cyrus' go-to hairstyle?

Heard in Episode 317: Puzzle Hard

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Ask Me Another
9:10 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Andrew W.K.: Jesus Christ Super Quiz

What's the buzz, Andrew W.K.?
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:51 pm

Musician, motivational speaker, and party pro Andrew W.K. is a man of many talents—but did you know that he is also an expert on Jesus Christ Superstar? We wrote him a quiz on his favorite rock opera.

After the game, hear he and house musician Jonathan Coulton duet on "What's The Buzz."

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Ask Me Another
9:10 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Unruly Passengers

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:47 pm

"I specifically requested not to be on the Pinta!" In this game, we imagine the complaints passengers might have made on certain historical journeys, such as Columbus's expedition to the New World.

Heard in Episode 317: Puzzle Hard

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Ask Me Another
9:10 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Tonight We're Going to Party

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:47 pm

Who says you can only "party like it's 1999"? Not us! Jonathan Coulton sings rewritten lyrics to Prince's classic hit, to describe famous events that happened in less...festive years. Let's party like it's 1775!

Heard in Episode 317: Puzzle Hard

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Ask Me Another
9:10 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Nick Names

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:47 pm

Many celebrities are better known by their monikers, like George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Jr. or Jennifer "J. Lo." Lopez. In this game, we created nicknames for people who already have the name "Nick." Do you know who "Mr. Mariah Carey" might be?

Heard in Episode 317: Puzzle Hard

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Book News: Rush Limbaugh Wins Children's Book 'Author Of The Year' Award

Rush Limbaugh, pictured in 2013, was honored at the Children's Choice Book Awards for his bestselling book Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures With Exceptional Americans.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 6:34 pm

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

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Book Reviews
5:52 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Huck And Jim Ride The River Of Time In 'Boy In His Winter'

Huck Finn and Jim set out from Hannibal, Mo. on a July afternoon in 1835 aboard a raft. But this is not Mark Twain's tale: In Norman Lock's brief and brilliant fabulist novel The Boy in His Winter, Huck and Jim sweep down the Mississippi toward the Gulf of Mexico as though in a dream, caught in mythic time. "We were held in the mind of the river, like a thought," Lock writes.

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Business
4:12 am
Thu May 15, 2014

TV Networks Use Elaborate Showcase To Pitch Shows To Advertisers

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 9:55 am

Renee Montagne talks to Kim Masters, who's covering the upfronts for The Hollywood Reporter, about some of the new shows, and how the networks are faring in an increasingly competitive environment.

Television
2:03 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Bye-Bye To Barbara Walters: A Long 'View' Of A Storied Career

Walters credits ABC News head Roone Arledge with jump-starting her career by sending her on the road, to do interviews with people like Fidel Castro.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 9:55 am

Barbara Walters had a big interview recently: She spoke with V. Stiviano, the girlfriend of disgraced L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

"Are you in love with Donald Sterling?" Walters asks. "I love him," Stiviano answers. There's a little back-and-forth about the nature of their love, and in the end, Stiviano admits she's not in love with Sterling, but she does love him "like a father figure."

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Book Reviews
3:00 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Everyday Life Is a Rich Mine Of Absurdity In 'American Innovations'

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 6:59 pm

Richard Ford talks about understanding voice in fiction as "the music of the story's intelligence." It's been a long while since I've read short fiction by a new writer who makes that idea seem so definitive. But here is American Innovations, the first collection by Rivka Galchen. She lives in New York City, attended medical school, writes for the New Yorker, and has already published one novel. And now, she's brought out these stories that seem like the smartest around.

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Pop Culture
12:47 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Beyonce, Jay Z And Solange Walk Into An Elevator ...

Beyonce, Jay Z and Solange at the 2013 Grammy Awards. Most families have disagreements, and the Knowles-Carter family is no exception.
Christopher Polk Getty Images for NARAS

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 12:19 pm

  • Tell Me More's Beauty Shop

Our lives are recorded all the time, and what we're seeing behind the curtain makes us wonder whether or not we should be looking back there in the first place.

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