After James Gandolfini's death this past June, the actor's turn in Enough Said, where he stars opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a man looking for a second chance at love, has taken on a tinge of the bittersweet.
Credit Lacey Terrell / Fox Searchlight
Catherine Keener, a frequent collaborator with Nicole Holofcener, takes on a supporting role as Albert's ex-wife — who's Eva's new client.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 4:40 pm
It was writer-director Nicole Holofcener's good fortune, and her bad luck, to have snagged James Gandolfini for Enough Said, her comedy about two imminent empty-nesters dipping their toes into fresh romantic waters. Given his untimely death,the film is likely to be remembered less for its own modest virtues than as a last chance to say a bittersweet farewell to its star.
Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 7:27 am
Israeli director Eran Riklis often depicts characters separated by borders. In The Syrian Bride, a Druze woman leaves Israel to marry, knowing she can never return to visit her family; in Lemon Tree, a privileged Israeli woman and a disadvantaged Palestinian regard one another warily from opposite sides of the fence between free and occupied territory.
Zaytoun is different: This time, the director allows his characters to cross the frontier. That makes for a story that's sweeter, but also less convincing.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 9:37 am
If anyone thought Denis Villeneuve's attacks on his favorite targets might be tempered by his move from the art house to Hollywood-thriller territory, Prisoners should shut that line of thinking down in a hurry.
In the quirky little college town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, home to many unconventional ideas over the years, there's now a small insect factory.
It's an unassuming operation, a generic boxy building in a small industrial park. It took me a while even to find a sign with the company's name: EnviroFlight. But its goal is grand: The people at EnviroFlight are hoping that their insects will help our planet grow more food while conserving land and water.
While NPR's Melissa Block is in Brazil, we'll be showcasing the work of several Brazilian writers. On Tuesday we heard Tatiana Salem Levy's love letter to Rio. Now we turn to 20-year-old Yasmin Thayná, who discovered her love for writing as a teenager when she participated in a local program aimed at cultivating artistic talent in low-income communities.
In the new big-screen thriller "Prisoners," a police detective and a distraught father are at odds over how to solve a kidnapping case. That makes the film sound like a police procedural. But critic Bob Mondello says the filmmakers aim to make it something more.
BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Two couples, neighbors in a Pennsylvania suburb, have just shared Thanksgiving dinner, and their kids are restless.
(SOUNDBITE FROM MOVIE, "PRISONERS")
ERIN GERASIMOVICH: (as Anna Dover) Mommy, can I take Joy to our house?
This weekend through next week, two motion picture classics from 1962 will alternate screenings at the Lincoln Theater 4 in Lincoln, Illinois - To Kill a Mockingbird and Lawrence of Arabia. Bob Meyer talks with independent theater owner David Lanterman about the two movies' enduring appeal and the advantages of screening great films of the past alongside the latest Hollywood releases.
Execution witness Don Reid stands in the death chamber of the Texas State Penitentiary on July 31, 1972, where he officially watched 189 men die in the heavy oak electric chair. The Supreme Court struck down capital punishment on June 29 of that year.
Credit Ilona Lieberman / Courtesy of WW Norton
Evan Mandery is also the author of three novels: Dreaming of Gwen Stefani; First Contact: Or, It's Later Than You Think; and Q: A Love Story.
In the mid-1970s, Arkansas' electric chair was being used by the prison barber to cut hair, and the execution chamber in New Hampshire was being used to store vegetables. That's because in 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court shocked the nation by striking down Georgia's death penalty law, effectively ending executions in the United States. But the decision provoked a strong backlash among those who favored the death penalty, and within four years the high court reversed course and issued a set of rulings that would permit the resumption of executions.
Don Cheadle may be one of Hollywood's quietest superstars. He was known for having high impact in supporting roles before Hotel Rwanda catapulted him to fame. He earned an Oscar nomination for playing the real-life hotel manager who protected more than a thousand Tutsis from the Hutu militia during the Rwandan civil war. Cheadle appeared in other critical and box office hits like Crash and Flight. He's now earned an Emmy nomination for his role in the TV show House of Lies.
Sesame Street kicked off its new season this week, and it's putting a special focus on Hispanic heritage. There's also a new character on the block: Armando (also known as Mando). He's played by actor Ismael Cruz Cordova, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He earned a bachelor's in fine arts from New York University and has appeared in several films and the CBS drama The Good Wife. He's currently performing off-Broadway.
Finally, what we've been waiting for. Let's bring back our winners to play the Ask Me One More final round. From Name that Candy Bar, Sarah Sheppard.
EISENBERG: It's All Squeak to Me, Stephen Kendall. Time to Turn off the TV, Dan Moren. Street Music, Steve Spinoglio. Celebrity Secret Words, Margaret Maloney. All right, Noah, how are we going to wrap this show up?
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:15 pm
I cannot understand how I missed the news that Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones are about to open as Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, but this charming list of past pairings makes me want to watch the play ... a lot. (David Tennant and Catherine Tate!
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 2:06 pm
Back in 1993, the Food Network was the Little Network that Nobody Really Thought Could. Cable TV was still, if not in its infancy, then enduring a difficult toddlerhood — no one knew what cable audiences were interested in, and no one thought a scrappy startup dedicated to food would go anywhere. Twenty years later, the doubters have been proved wrong; the Food Network is a global powerhouse that's made the names and fortunes of stars like Emeril Lagasse, Paula Deen, Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 12:51 pm
At the end of the Korean War — a long, bloody, and under-memorialized conflict that claimed millions of lives — no real treaty was ever signed. Although there was an armistice in 1953, the nations of North and South Korea remain, technically, still at war. The Demilitarized Zone along the 38th parallel is one of the tensest borders on earth, with thousands of men, tanks and artillery pieces pointed at each other over minefields and barbed wire fences, fingers on triggers 24 hours a day.
For years I have wondered, albeit vaguely, about gefilte fish, a dish that appears in various guises in novels about Jewish families, almost always at points of celebration or domestic tension. Here's how to make it: Skin a whole pike, mince the flesh, mix with vegetables and bread. Sew the minced fish back into the skin and poach for three hours. Garnish with horseradish.
Actor Dean Norris took to Twitter the other day. "Missed last night's Breaking Bad," he wrote. "Heard it was intense. Filmed several alternate versions. Can't wait to see what they used."
Please note: There's a spoiler farther down this page.
Norris plays — played? — a drug enforcement agent on the acclaimed AMC series, which wraps for good after just two more episodes. His character's brother-in-law is a chemistry teacher with cancer who, at the series' outset, gets into cooking methamphetamine to pay for his treatment.
Amber Valletta Inspired by Renoir, Anna Mikhaylik Inspired by Seurat, and Viviane Orth Inspired by Manet. Autumn-Winter 2007. Haute Couture collection. Christian Dior by John Galliano.
Credit Laziz Hamani
Helvetie dance dress in white organdy, embroidered with crescent moons in blue lace and sequins. Spring-Summer 1956 Haute Couture collection. Fleche line.
Credit Laziz Hamami
Rose de France afternoon dress in taffeta with colored rose print. Spring-Summer 1956 Haute Couture collection. Fleche line.
Credit Laziz Hamani
Rose Pompon silk dress en mousseline de soie printed with roses, Spring-Summer 1952 Haute Couture collection. Sineuse line.
Credit Musee Christain Dior Collection, Granville
Dior's garden at the Villa Les Rhumbs in Granville in Normandy, France.
Credit Musee Christian Dior Collection, Granville
An afternoon dress in pale blue organdie, embroidered with pink and blue forget-me-nots, was part of Dior's spring-summer 1953 haute couture collection, Tulipe line.
Credit Susan Stamberg / NPR
As a teenager, Dior helped his mother design the garden at their pink house, up a winding seaside road in Granville.
Credit Camera Press/Gamma/RMN-Grand Palais
Christian Dior (left) poses in the garden at La Colle Noire, his home in Montauroux, in a photograph taken by Lord Snowdon. Claude Monet (right) stands beside his pond of water lilies in a 1905 photograph by Jacques-Ernest Bulloz.
Daniel Craig, at right, is probably best known as the current incarnation of James Bond. He's in rehearsal now for a Broadway production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal, alongside Rafe Spall and Rachel Weisz — who plays his wife, and is that in real life, too.
Credit Brigitte Lacombe /
In Betrayal, Robert (Craig) finds his marriage endangered when Emma (Weisz) has an affair with Jerry (Spall).
A revival of Harold Pinter's play Betrayal is in rehearsal now in New York. It's the story of an affair, and it unfolds backward in time, from the lovers sharing a post-romantic drink to the passion they first experienced seven years earlier. Along the way, much deception — betrayal, even — is revealed.
Daniel Craig, who stars as the jilted Robert, tells NPR's Robert Siegel that the show, first performed in 1978, still feels "surprisingly contemporary. ... When you have someone as good as Pinter, it remains timeless. And the themes are timeless. It's just good writing."
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Stephen King has been scaring us to death for more than four decades and in his latest effort, he revisits one of his best, most terrifying novels, which also inspired this film classic.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:11 pm
Latvia is in the midst of a financial transition. The country has had "the fastest growing economy in the EU for the last two years," Pauls Raudseps, an economics commentator for the Latvian news magazine IR, said recently on Morning Edition.
The House of Representatives is expected to take up a bill Thursday that would chart the course for federal nutrition programs for years to come.
The measure calls for $40 billion in cuts over a decade to the federal food stamp program, now known as SNAP. The measure's Republican backers say it attacks fraud, but advocates say it will hurt the poor.
Lots of listeners read all kinds of messages into The Beatles' White Album, but nothing compares to the album's impact on Charles Manson. He heard it as a message to him and his followers — known as "The Family" — that the world was on the verge of an apocalyptic race war in which blacks would rise up against their white oppressors and enslave them.
This battle would be set off by an event called Helter Skelter, after the eponymous Beatles song, and Manson planned to lead his followers into the desert, where they would hide until the chaos ended.