Arts

Author Interviews
11:04 am
Fri May 2, 2014

The Making Of 'Godzilla,' Japan's Favorite 'Mon-Star'

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 1:23 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

We're celebrating Godzilla's 60th anniversary today on FRESH AIR. When the film was first shown in America, about 40 minutes were deleted from the original Japanese version to make it shorter and to make way for new footage that was added to make the movie more marketable to American audiences. The new footage featured an American wire service reporter whose reports provided the narration for the story.

The reporter was played by Raymond Burr, who went on to play TV lawyer Perry Mason. Here's how Burr opened the film.

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Movie Reviews
11:04 am
Fri May 2, 2014

'Ida': A Coming-Of-Age Story With An Eerie Luster

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 1:23 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

The Polish-born director Polish-born director Pawel Pawlikowski's is best known for the English-language movie "My Summer of Love," a lesbian coming-of-age film that was a breakthrough for actress Emily Blunt. His new film is called "Ida," spelled I-D-A and centers on an orphan who learns the secret of her past when she's on the brink of becoming a nun. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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Remembrances
11:04 am
Fri May 2, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers British Actor Bob Hoskins

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 1:23 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

British actor Bob Hoskins, who played a human detective in a world of cartoon characters in the acclaimed movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," died this week after contracting pneumonia. He was 71 years old.

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Movies
10:07 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Movie Monsters, Monster Movies And Why 'Godzilla' Endures

Critic John Powers writes, "There's an amoral pleasure to be had in watching Godzilla reduce Tokyo to fiery rubble."
Toho The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 8:59 am

There have been hundreds of monster movies over the years, but only a handful of enduringly great movie monsters. Of those, only two were created for the screen: King Kong, the giant ape atop the Empire State Building, and his Japanese heir, Godzilla, the city-flattening sea monster who's a genuinely terrific pop icon. He not only stars in movies — Hollywood is bringing out a new Godzilla on May 16 — but he's even played basketball with Charles Barkley in a commercial for Nike.

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Monkey See
8:09 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Posthumous Projects And People We're Pulling For

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week's show finds us chatting with our pal Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch about, among other things, posthumous projects. There are still films coming out from Paul Walker and Philip Seymour Hoffman, there's an upcoming release of Michael Jackson recordings, and life after death for musicians is practically a tradition. We talk about Kafka, J Dilla, David Foster Wallace, and the ethics of piecing together work that was unfinished or perhaps even abandoned when the artist is no longer around to say yes or no.

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Monkey See
7:19 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Cyborgs, Simpsons And Ticks: All About Free Comic Book Day

The cover of The Tick, one of many --€” 57, in fact --€” comics you may be able to snag at no charge on Saturday, Free Comic Book Day.
Fantagraphics

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 2:25 pm

Here's the drill: This Saturday, May 3rd, is Free Comic Book Day. Walk into a comics shop (you can find the one nearest you at www.freecomicbookday.com/storelocator), and they will hand you some free comics.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Book News: New 'Princess Diaries' Books Coming Out — One For Adults

Actress Anne Hathaway, who plays Princess Mia Thermopolis, arrives at the 2004 premiere of the movie The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

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

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Movie Interviews
2:44 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Behind 'Belle': An 18th Century Portrait Ahead Of Its Time

Johann Zoffany's 18th century painting portrays Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin Elizabeth Murray.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 8:47 am

Director Amma Asante found the story behind her new movie, Belle, in a painting: artist Johann Zoffany's 18th century portrait of two beautiful, young English ladies, draped in silks and pearls. The twist? One is biracial.

Belle is based on the real-life story of that woman, Dido Elizabeth Belle, who was the daughter of a Royal Navy captain and the slave he met after capturing a Spanish ship.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Travel And Discovery, For 'Ida' And The Filmmaker Who Watches Her

Ida/Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) in Ida.
Music Box Films

Everyone is on a voyage of self-discovery in Ida — the two central characters certainly, but also Poland-born, Britain-based director Pawel Pawlikowski, making his first film in the homeland he left at 14.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

From A Single Snowplow To A Tragicomic Partnership

Thomas Haden Church in Whitewash.
Oscilloscope Laboratories

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 7:19 pm

When Bruce (Thomas Haden Church) barrels over a man with his snowplow in the opening scene of Whitewash, it looks like an accident. Perhaps not a blameless one on Bruce's part if the half-empty bottle of liquor rolling around the floor of the vehicle is any indication, but an accident nonetheless. Besides, the victim was stopped in a dark portion of the street, out of the range of the few streetlights on the small-town road, all as a brutal snowstorm reduced visibility to nearly nil.

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Television
3:04 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Meanwhile, In Australia: A Bawdier, Riskier 'Rake'

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 8:47 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Now, a note about television from the other side of the earth, Australia.

A couple of months ago, I found myself watching an American show called "Rake." It starred Greg Kinnear as a criminal lawyer in Los Angeles, a man of many vices and more than a little charm.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "RAKE")

BOJANA HARBOUR: (As Mikki) There's no future for us.

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Arts
2:43 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Garrison Keillor Plans To Keep Working

Garrison Keillor

Humorist Garrison Keillor turns 72 in August, but the creator and host of ``A Prairie Home Companion'' has no plans to retire anytime soon.  

Keillor has a new book out, a collection spanning his decades as storyteller, novelist and radio show host. This summer he celebrates the 40th anniversary of ``A Prairie Home Companion.''  

But the curmudgeonly creator of Lake Wobegon, the quirky Minnesota town where _ well, you know the rest _ insists he didn't want to mark either milestone, because he's not done writing and working.  

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Arts
11:55 am
Thu May 1, 2014

There's Faith In The Arts At Springfield's Liturgical Festival

A bronze and silver kiddish cup by Joy Stember
Credit Springfield Art Association

The spiritual side of arts will be on display this weekend and early next week in Springfield.  It's the 20th year for the Liturgical Arts Festival.  It runs May 3-7 with a lineup that includes music, visual arts and more.

It's open to the public.  You don't need to be a member of a congregation. 

"Most of art history and music comes from the church," said Sally Schaefer, President of the Festival. "Not many years has it been secular focused.  At this time, we want to celebrate that rich heritage."

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Television
11:22 am
Thu May 1, 2014

'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner On The End Of Don Draper's Journey

Matthew Weiner says sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night wondering if there'd even be a Mad Men without Jon Hamm, who plays Don Draper.
Michael Yarish AMC

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 1:35 pm

It's now 1969 on AMC's Mad Men, and the start of advertising genius Don Draper's final journey. Show creator Matthew Weiner is currently at work writing and shooting the series' concluding episodes. The final season, which began last month, is divided into two parts, with the second half to be shown next year.

The new season opens with Don and his advertising agency dealing with the consequences of what happened at the end of Season 6, when the partners forced Don to take a leave of absence after he chose the wrong time to tell the truth about his past.

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Books
10:50 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Playwright Pearl Cleage Opens Up

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 11:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
9:29 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Such A Lovely Couple, If Only The Supervillains Would Leave Them Alone

Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man finds himself in a lovely romance, but is also stuck in far too many supervillain plots for one movie.
Niko Tavernise Sony Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 3:06 pm

There's a great movie to be found in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but it's not about superheroes, supervillains or impending urban calamities. It's a deeply felt and hugely winning romantic tragi-comedy about a pair of recent high school grads who are perfect for each other in every way, but just can't ever seem to get their timing right.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Book News: Newly Found Stories By Celebrated Sci-Fi Author To Be Published

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

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Return Of A Classic Romance: 'The Windflower' Sails Again

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 8:42 am

I first read The Windflower after I was told by several people that without it, my romance education was incomplete — and often, whoever was advising me would just degenerate into making incoherent noises. I call this Good Book Noise, and I think we've all made it while discussing a book we love. It's a combination of a gasp and a sigh, usually followed by a quietly reverent, "Ah, I love that book."

A great deal of Good Book Noise has been made about The Windflower, and with good reason. It is one of the most cherished historical romances ever published.

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Movie Reviews
4:11 am
Thu May 1, 2014

'Ida': A Young Woman's Search For Identity In 1962 Poland

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 8:37 am

Ida is a Polish film about a young woman who was raised as an orphan in a convent. She's planning to take her vows as a nun when she discovers she's Jewish and her parents were killed by the Nazis.

Movies
3:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Bob Hoskins: A Specialist In Tough Guys With Soft Hearts

Hoskins in one of his most memorable roles, detective Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Buena Vista Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:00 pm

British actor Bob Hoskins died last night of pneumonia at 71. He'll certainly be remembered for starring with cartoon characters in Who Framed Roger Rabbit — but that was just one of many films in which he played tough guys with soft hearts.

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The Fresh Air Interview
1:27 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

At 90, 'Fiddler' Lyricist Tells His Story

Sheldon Harnick (right) with the late Jerry Bock, his long-time musical collaborator. Together they worked on musicals like Fiddler on the Roof and Fiorello!
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 9:13 am

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Beauty Shop
11:35 am
Wed April 30, 2014

V. Stiviano 'Thunderously Unintelligent' In Sterling Scandal?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now it's time for a visit to the Beauty Shop. That's where our panel of women commentators and journalists take a fresh cut on the week's news. Sitting in the chairs for a new 'do this week are Bridget Johnson, Washington, D.C. editor of PJ Media. That's a conservative libertarian news and commentary site here in D.C.

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Music
11:35 am
Wed April 30, 2014

A Jazz Journey Around The World

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. There are a lot of things to celebrate today. It's our seventh anniversary on the air, for one thing, so happy birthday to us. And what better way to celebrate than talking about music because it also happens to be International Jazz Day. That genre has come a long way from its birth in the American South.

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Kitchen Window
10:07 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Sweet On Sundaes

Laura B. Weiss for NPR

Finally, the weather is warming up. And that means I'm dreaming about ice cream sundaes.

When I was researching my book Ice Cream: A Global History, sundaes were the ice cream treat I was most eager to learn about. For me, there's no more sumptuous dessert than the classic American combo of ice cream, toppings and whipped cream.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Wed April 30, 2014

British Actor Bob Hoskins Dies At 71

Actor Bob Hoskins died Tuesday at age 71.
Joel Ryan AP

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:19 am

Bob Hoskins, the British actor who starred in memorable films such as The Long Good Friday, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mona Lisa and The Cotton Club, has died. He was 71.

The Guardian cited his agent as saying Hoskins died Tuesday from pneumonia. He had retired from films in 2012, a year after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Here's more from The Guardian:

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Book News: 'Gravity' Author Sues Warner Bros. Over Movie

Author Tess Gerritsen says Warner Bros. owes her 2.5 percent of the profits from the movie Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
Warner Bros.

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

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed April 30, 2014

McSweeney's New Latin American Crime Fiction Is Caliente

For its first ever all-Latin American issue, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern has assembled a worthy lineup of writers and translators. Spanning 10 different countries — and featuring contributions from Alejandro Zambra and Juan Pablo Villalobos — this latest offering is as rousing as it is essential. And, true to form, killer on the design front.

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Europe
4:43 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

In The City Of Love, There's No Love Lost For Tourists' Love Locks

Couples stand on the Pont des Arts, Paris' iconic footbridge over the Seine river, where thousands upon thousands of padlocks bearing love messages are attached to the railing, on Aug. 30, 2013.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 6:40 pm

Bearing messages ranging from the inspiring to the insipid, "love locks" can be found clamped onto bridges in major cities around the world. But no place has it worse than Paris, where the padlocks cover old bridges in a kind of urban barnacle, climbing up every free surface.

Take the Pont des Arts, Paris' most famous footbridge across the Seine river. Hundreds of thousands of padlocks cover its old iron railings; the light of day barely passes through them.

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Arts
3:43 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Springfield Choral Society Concerts Include Conducter's Poetry

Credit springfieldchoralsociety.org

Here in town, there's a chorus made up of professional singers, housewives, state workers, and other area residents who audition and make the cut to be part of The Springfield Choral Society. Marion van der Loo has been leading the charge for several years as the music director and conductor. Her poetry will part of the group's concerts this weekend. She recently stopped by WUIS to tell us more about it: The Springfield Choral Society performs twice this weekend - on Saturday night at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Springfield and on Sunday at St. Joseph’s Church in Chatham.

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Art & Design
3:24 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Century-Old Jewish Mural Was Hidden For Decades In Vermont

In 1910, Lithuanian artist Ben Zion Black painted the interior of Burlington's Chai Adam Synagogue. Much of the painting was destroyed when the building underwent renovations.
Courtesy of the Ohavi Zedek Synagogue

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 12:15 pm

There was a time in Eastern Europe when the landscape was dotted with wooden synagogues, some dating to the 1600s. Inside, the walls and ceilings were covered with intricate painted designs. Almost all of these structures were destroyed during the Holocaust, and with them, a folk art. But in Burlington, Vt., a synagogue mural has been uncovered where it lay hidden for a quarter century.

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