Arts

Movie Reviews
7:43 am
Sat May 10, 2014

A Family In Grief And A Neighborhood Sketched Too Lightly

Philip Seymour Hoffman (left) and Eddie Marsan, in a scene from the film, God's Pocket.
Lance Acord AP

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 2:31 pm

It's always unfortunate to see potential wasted onscreen, in acting, writing, or directing. It's worse to see it happen all at once with artists universally known as capable of much more. God's Pocket, the directorial feature debut of Mad Men's John Slattery and featuring one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's last performances, is a tonal mess, listless for two-thirds until violence erupts seemingly at random. It wants to be Fargo, a tale of crime in an insular community and its mounting complications; instead, it collapses into laughable dramatics that fall flat.

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Europe
6:59 am
Sat May 10, 2014

The Catchy Songs Of Eurovision Transcend Europe's Divided Politics

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 10:44 am

Eurovision: Love it, hate it, or have no idea what we're talking about? With tensions high in Ukraine, Russian performers are facing the music at the kitschy singing contest.

Author Interviews
6:59 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Seeing The Whole Picture In We'll Go To 'Coney Island'

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 10:44 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Around the Nation
6:59 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Neurosurgeons Express Their Medical Challenges Through Art

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 10:44 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Neurosurgery is a stressful occupation. So is being a neurosurgical patient. With their superior eyes and hand skills, some neurosurgeons are turning to making art, and several are getting exposure at art exhibits throughout the country - including at this year's annual meeting of neurosurgeons. From member station KQED in San Francisco, April Dembosky sent us this audio postcard.

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Television
6:59 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Welsh Actor Keeps Soviet Secrets In 'The Americans'

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 5:30 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Phillip Jennings runs a travel agency with his wife Elizabeth. They've got two kids. They live in a quiet suburb of Washington, D.C. circa 1981. Like so many two-career couples, it can be a struggle to juggle career and family life.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE AMERICANS")

KERI RUSSELL: (As Elizabeth Jennings) If this goes bad, you need to be out of town somewhere with the kids. Get the kids to Canada. Contact the rezidentura there.

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Movie Interviews
6:59 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Looking 'Under The Table' At The Reluctant Modern Family

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 5:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

OK, film idea now - Park Avenue family waits for Nell, their college-aged daughter, to come home for Thanksgiving. They've got Obama bumper stickers on the fridge and literature on their bookshelves that proclaims their liberal convictions. They're eager to meet the boyfriend they're expecting Nell to bring home. All is in place when...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "UNDER THE TABLE")

JACKIE VISCUSI: (As Nell) Mom, hi, Happy Thanksgiving. This is Laura, my girlfriend.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Sat May 10, 2014

A Fractured Tale Of Time, War And A Really Big Diamond

No book I've read all year underscores the distinctions between the long form and the short story more than the award-winning story writer Anthony Doerr's new novel All the Light We Cannot See.

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Author Interviews
6:03 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Questions For Earl Swift, Author Of 'Auto Biography'

Earl Swift traced the history of this '57 Chevy wagon and all of its owners — here it is, rusting quietly on the lot of owner number 13, Tommy Arney, in January 2010.
Earl Swift

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 4:16 pm

This '57 Chevy station wagon was once pristine, the epitome of American automotive glory: two-tone green, with sweeping fins and enough chrome to blind pedestrians. But by the time journalist Earl Swift came across it, those days were gone, and it was subsiding gently into a heap of rust and torn upholstery.

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The Two-Way
4:45 am
Sat May 10, 2014

'Senior Black Correspondent' Larry Wilmore Takes Colbert Slot

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 8:24 am

But will he pronounce the T in "Report?"

Larry Wilmore, The Daily Show's "senior black correspondent," will take over the 11:30 p.m. slot on Comedy Central after Stephen Colbert leaves for CBS at the end of the year.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:19 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Not My Job: Brat Pack Member Rob Lowe Gets Quizzed On Bratwurst

Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 9:49 am

Rob Lowe and Peter Sagal are about the same age, and have led very similar lives: They've both made it huge in show business, been staples of the gossip magazines, are known far and wide for their strangely youthful good looks.

Back in the '80s Lowe was part of Hollywood's Brat Pack so we've invited him to answer three questions about some of the lesser known facts of bratwurst.

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Books
5:08 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

In A Changing Climate, Science Fiction Starts To Feel Real

cover detail
Courtesy Night Shade Books

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:17 pm

The White House released a report this week on the impacts of global warming. Many places are already feeling the effects. There's drought in the Southwest, rising sea levels in Miami, and now even fictional worlds are feeling the burn.

There have been novels about climate change since the 1960's, but to me the definitive example is a book that's not well known outside the field of science fiction: The Windup Girl, by the American novelist Paolo Bacigalupi, which won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards in 2010.

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Movie Interviews
4:47 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

In 'God's Pocket,' There's A Mad Man Behind The Camera

John Slattery (left) reprises his role as Roger Sterling in the seventh and final season of Mad Men.
Frank Ockenfels Courtesy of AMC

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 7:45 pm

The 1980s novel God's Pocket, by Pete Dexter, is a story of hapless drunks, construction workers and one washed-up newspaper columnist. The book takes its name from a fictional blue-collar neighborhood in Philadelphia.

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of May 8, 2014

At No. 6, Michael Pollan's Cooked looks at how fire, water, air and earth transform plants and animals into food.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of May 8, 2014

John le Carre's counterterrorism thriller, A Delicate Truth, appears at No.10.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of May 8, 2014

Diane Keaton lives with her daughter and son in Los Angeles.
Ruven Afanador Courtesy of Random House

Diane Keaton describes the ups and downs of living in a beauty-obsessed world in Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty, which debuts at No. 12.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of May 8, 2014

Greg Iles' Natchez Burning, the first in a trilogy about Southern lawyer and former prosecutor Penn Cage, debuts at No. 5.

NPR Bestseller List
3:03 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of May 8, 2014

The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

Arts & Life
12:41 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

'Wait Wait' Celebrates Carl Kasell, Our Official Judge and Scorekeeper

Carl decides to take a publicity photo shoot up a notch while Peter tickles the ivories.
Wait Wait Don't Tell Me NPR

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 12:00 pm

For 30 years, Carl anchored the newscast for Morning Edition, and in 1998 he became Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me's official scorekeeper. His last show will air on May 17. Following that, Carl will become Scorekeeper Emeritus and will continue to record voice mail greetings for our winners. In honor of Carl's last show, Peter Sagal reflects on their years working together.

Presumably, the day I was born was the most important day of my life, but I don't remember that. I do remember the day I met Carl Kasell, though, so that tops my personal list.

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Movie Reviews
11:39 am
Fri May 9, 2014

'Double': Double Toil And Trouble For Eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg's performance as mystery doppelgangers will have you seeing Double.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 7:45 pm

In The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg invented Facebook. In Now You See Me, he mastered magic tricks. In Rio, his animated macaw learned to fly, and his Lex Luthor will soon be nemesis-ing the caped crusader in Batman Vs. Superman. But it's safe to say that none of those pictures asked half as much of Eisenberg as Richard Ayoade's The Double, which requires him, pretty literally, to meet himself coming and going.

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Movie Reviews
11:11 am
Fri May 9, 2014

'God's Pocket' Is Horrifying, Humanist And Heartbreaking

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 12:40 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Philip Seymour Hoffman, in one of his final film roles, stars as Mickey in "God's Pocket," the new movie directed by John Slattery. Slattery is famous for his role as Roger Sterling on TV's "Mad Men" and over the years has directed several episodes of that AMC series. He makes the transition to feature film directing with "God's Pocket" which he and Alex Metcalf adapted from the 1983 novel by Pete Dexter.

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Television
11:11 am
Fri May 9, 2014

'Penny Dreadful' Is Wonderful, But 'Rosemary's Baby' Is Dreadful

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 2:19 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic David Bianculli. This weekend two very different TV productions attempt to do much the same thing - revisit old works of literature in the horror and suspense genre and adapt them with new approaches for a new generation. NBC's four hour miniseries version of Ira Levin's "Rosemary's Baby" barely justifies the attempt.

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Monkey See
10:41 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Daniel Radcliffe And The Blood And Breath Of Live Theater

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 1:55 pm

There is a strong crossover between your Daniel Radcliffe People and your Harry Potter People, for obvious reasons. Next to me at Broadway's Cort Theater on Thursday night, watching Radcliffe in Martin McDonagh's comedy The Cripple Of Inishmaan (a production that's Tony-nominated for Best Revival Of A Play) were three young women. Their first priority: finding out where to await him when the show was over, and strategically how to get a good spot.

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Monkey See
9:19 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Star Wars,' 'Louie' And Other Phenomena

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We're joined this week by the lovely Petra Mayer of NPR Books, who brings her serious sci-fi and fandom chops to our opening chat about the big Star Wars news.

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TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri May 9, 2014

A Movie About Product Placement — Paid For By Product Placement?

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock at TED.
James Duncan Davidson Courtesy of TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Brand Over Brain.

About Morgan Spurlock's TEDTalk

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock dives into the mysterious but influential world of brand marketing, on his quest to make a completely sponsored film about sponsorship.

About Morgan Spurlock

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TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Is Authenticity Real?

Joseph Pine speaking at TED.
Asa Mathat Courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Brand Over Brain.

About Joseph Pine's TEDTalk

Customers want to feel what they buy is authentic, but consultant Joseph Pine says creating "real" authenticity is a challenge.

About Joseph Pine

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TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri May 9, 2014

What's The Difference Between Real And Perceived Value?

Marketer Rory Sutherland speaking at TED.
James Duncan Davidson Courtesy of TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Brand Over Brain.

About Rory Sutherland's TEDTalk

Marketer Rory Sutherland says advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. He says perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider "real" value.

About Rory Sutherland

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Book News: Was Hong Kong Publisher's 10-Year Sentence Political Payback?

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

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Pop Culture
2:38 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Hard 'G' Or Soft, The GIF Takes Its Place As A Modern Art Form

Dramatic chipmunk is one of the examples of the The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture installation at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.
Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

"!!!!"

That was the body of the note from NPR producer Evie Stone, along with a link to an exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image titled The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture.

Obviously, Evie and I share a certain sensibility. And just as obviously, I had to go to Astoria, Queens, to check out the exhibit — and report this piece.

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The Record
2:23 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Well Into Spring, 'Frozen' Soundtrack Keeps The Charts Cool

Singer Idina Menzel (center) and Frozen songwriters Bobby Lopez (left) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez pose with gold records in February. Since then, the movie's soundtrack has sold over 1.5 million more copies.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images for Disney

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

Disney's animated film Frozen has been racking up impressive statistics since it was released last November. Its box office earnings total $1 billion, worldwide, the movie won two Academy Awards, and on the first day the home video came out, it sold 3.2 million copies. But one stat has taken both Disney and industry analysts by surprise: The soundtrack has become a phenomenon, topping the Billboard 200 chart 13 times.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

'Neighbors' Just Wants To Be The Gross Joke Next Door

Zac Efron in Neighbors.
Universal Pictures

Makers of R-rated comedies face an essential dilemma: finding brand new ways to gross out their snickering adolescent viewers. But as Neighbors demonstrates, there's another challenge that's just as tricky: piloting the raunchy scenario to a payoff that upholds the very middle-class values the movie gleefully profanes.

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