Arts

Code Switch
4:15 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

They Cast Whom?! Actor Choices To Offend Every Racial Sensibility

From a mixed heritage, Adam Jacobs plays Aladdin in the Disney Broadway production of the same name.
Cylla von Tiedemann AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:48 am

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Movies
3:33 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Fatal Accident Fuels Safety Concerns On Hollywood's Sets

A candlelight march honors Sarah Jones, a camera assistant who was killed by a train in February while shooting the film Midnight Rider.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 7:47 pm

There's growing concern in Hollywood over film crews' safety, as crews feel mounting pressure to push their limits on set. The call for attention to the issue amplified after the death of 27-year-old Sarah Jones.

On Feb. 20, the camera assistant was killed in an accident on the set of the film Midnight Rider, a biopic about the musician Gregg Allman.

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Author Interviews
1:44 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Jimmy Carter Issues 'Call To Action' Against Subjugation Of Women

Jimmy Carter's other books include Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, Sharing Good Times and Our Endangered Values.
Prakash Methema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:36 am

Editor's note: To hear our full interview with Jimmy Carter, tune into Weekend Edition on Sunday, March 23.

President Jimmy Carter has written more than two dozen books over the course of his career, about everything from the art of aging to how to achieve peace in the Middle East. All his writing is anchored by a deep-seated belief in the equality of all people.

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Author Interviews
6:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Father Searches For Dead Son 'Out Of Time'

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
6:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

'Flaco And Max' Keep A South Texas Musical Tradition Thriving

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Conjunto music can be as American as cherry pie - with Mexican and German flavoring:

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

FLACO AND MAX: (Singing in foreign language)

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Movie Interviews
6:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Bertrand Tavernier, Playing Geopolitics For Laughs

Director Bertrand Tavernier (center) with Thierry Lhermitte and Raphael Personnaz on the set of The French Minister, a comedy about a dervish of a diplomat trying to head off a war.
Sundance Selects

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier has done some serious work. In The Clockmaker, a man's adult son commits an act of terrorism. In 'Round Midnight, an aging jazz musician struggles with addictions. And Sunday in the Country is about a man visiting his aging father.

But Tavernier's new film, The French Minister, is a comedy, inspired by both real life and old movies. It's based on a graphic novel the director read in a single night, in the first week the book was published.

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Movie Interviews
6:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

When Scripture Hits The Screen, Filmmakers Say Their Prayers

Russell Crowe, the lead in Darren Aronofsky's forthcoming biblical epic Noah, may have received a quick blessing from Pope Francis at a recent public audience, but the movie is drawing criticism in some quarters.
Niko Tavernise Paramount Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

The film Noah, with Russell Crowe in the title role, opens in the U.S. March 28. It's already been banned in several Muslim countries for portraying a man considered a prophet, and here in this country it's stirred controversy among some Christians for not being a sufficiently literal telling of the Bible story. NPR's Scott Simon spoke with Rajinder Dudrah, senior lecturer in screen studies at the University of Manchester, on why religious figures in film can cause both fascination and offense.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Extraordinary Ladies Battle Across Berlin In 'Roses'

Grab your spats and your ray gun! It's time for another volume of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's adventures. Nemo: The Roses of Berlin has everything one looks for in Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's saga: steampunk, alternate history, elements from boys' adventure tales and the flavor of '30s movie serials. The latest episode might better be called the League of Extraordinary Ladies, actually: There's a female protagonist, a female villain and a female robot — the latter none other than the false Maria from the 1927 film Metropolis.

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Movie Interviews
4:00 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Doomed 'Dune' Was Generations Ahead Of Its Time

Artwork created for Dune by British science fiction artist Chris Foss.
Courtesy of Chris Foss/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

Dune, by Alejandro Jodorowsky, was an ambitious and expensive film that was going to change cinema — and, the filmmaker imagined, the world.

Jodorowsky had already made a name for himself with El Topo in 1970 and The Holy Mountain in 1973, two movies that more or less invented the "midnight movie" phenomenon back when that was a euphemism for tripping.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:49 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Not My Job: We Ask Football And Old Spice Star Terry Crews About Cruises

Anderson Group

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:03 am

Before he was the star of a hilarious series of Old Spice commercials, Terry Crews played for the championship Western Michigan University Broncos in Kalamazoo, where we are taping the show this week. He went on to play in the NFL and have a successful acting career, including roles in Everybody Hates Chris, Idiocracy, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
5:13 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:18 am

The Girls of Atomic City, at No. 9, is Denise Kiernan's account of the women of the Manhattan Project.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
5:13 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction

St. Martin's Press

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:18 am

In Z, which appears at No. 13, Therese Anne Fowler imagines what Zelda Fitzgerald's life was like.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
5:13 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:18 am

Debuting at No. 4, Blood Will Out chronicles Walter Kirn's friendship with a murderous imposter.

NPR Bestseller List
5:13 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of March 20, 2014

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:18 am

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

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
5:06 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:22 pm

A literary agent receives a dangerous manuscript in Chris Pavone's The Accident. It debuts at No. 9.

This Week's Must Read
3:37 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Spring May Not Be Outside, But It's On The Court

Duke's Rasheed Sulaimon drives to the basket against Mercer's Ike Nwamu.
Grant Halverson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:22 pm

Spring is here, and if you can't tell from the temperature outside, you know because yesterday saw the start of the NCAA tournament, in which 68 teams will compete over the next three weeks. And while they're out there playing, the world outside will continue to inch towards the end of winter.

For our series, This Week's Must Read, Lev Grossman looks to the timeless The Canterbury Tales, and Tim Lane revisits Pistol, the biography of college basketball legend Pete Maravich.

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Movie Reviews
12:21 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Addicted To Sex, But Not Really Having Much Fun

Stacy Martin (right, with Sophie Kennedy Clark) plays the younger version of Charlotte Gainsbourg's sex-addict protagonist in Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac — a study of sex and intimacy that's calculated, characteristically for this director, to provoke.
Christian Geisnaes Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 7:47 pm

Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has found all sorts of ways to provoke moviegoers in the past — with metal spikes in Antichrist, by ignoring narrative conventions in Dogville, by presenting depression as the only reasonable reaction to the world as we know it — and then destroying that world — in Melancholia. And as if this last weren't enough, he told a Nazi joke to a crowd prepared to shower him with adulation at Cannes.

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Books
10:38 am
Fri March 21, 2014

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Monkey See
9:27 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Authenticity Business And A Colorful Quiz

NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:40 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's episode, our pal Gene Demby is with us for a discussion of the recent Between Two Ferns episode in which the President of the United States chatted about the Hangover movies. What does this kind of appearance accomplish? What is the meaning of "keeping it real" in current popular culture? And what does this all have to do with mayonnaise? Oh, you'll find out.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Book News: Khushwant Singh, Who Wrote Of India's Bloody Partition, Dies

Khushwant Singh, pictured in 2010, sits in his house in New Delhi, India.
Manish Swarup AP

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

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Movie Interviews
4:09 am
Fri March 21, 2014

From Action Hero To Teenage Nerd, Shailene Woodley Has Range

Shailene Woodley, pictured at this year's Independent Spirit Awards, stars in the forthcoming Divergent, a big-screen adaptation of the first book in Veronica Roth's dystopian trilogy.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:45 am

"I'm sorry you have to see my pancake face."

Those are among Shailene Woodley's first words as she opens the door to a suite in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. She's got a publicists' luncheon later in the day — otherwise, she explains, under absolutely no condition would she have worn makeup for an interview.

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Books
4:09 am
Fri March 21, 2014

A Meteoric Rise For Young 'Divergent' Author

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:45 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Movie Reviews
4:09 am
Fri March 21, 2014

'Divergent': A Film About A Risk Taker That Plays It Safe

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, Shailene Woodley's character in the movie "Divergent" is part of a huge trend in books and films these days: a young risk taker who's unafraid to break the rules. From Harry Potter to "Twilight's" Bella Swan to Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games." Film critic Kenneth Turan says even though "Divergent" is about a risk taker, the film takes no risks at all.

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Movie Reviews
8:59 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

'Nymphomaniac': Chasing Sex, But Only On Her Terms

Felicity Gilbert, Shia LaBeouf and Stacy Martin in one of the episodic flashbacks that spin out the story of Nymphomaniac: Volume I.
Christian Geisnaes Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:09 pm

Lars von Trier's latest provocation is an episodic sexual epic called Nymphomaniac, which comes in two two-hour parts, or "volumes," though it's basically one movie sliced in half. The thinking must have been, "Who wants four hours of hardcore sex and philosophizing?," and if you say, "Me, me!," I suggest seeing both back to back: It's an art-house orgy!

Should you see it at all? I recommend it guardedly. It's dumb, but in a bold, ambitious way movies mostly aren't these days, especially when there's sex in the equation. And it's funny, sometimes intentionally.

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Book Reviews
6:54 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Book Review: 'The Divorce Papers'

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 11:56 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The woe that is marriage, the subject of the Wife of Bath's prologue in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" has long been a rich subject for stories. Susan Rieger has just published a novel on the matter called "The Divorce Papers."

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Movie Reviews
5:10 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

It's Either Art Or A Fire Hose, And We're Calling It The Latter

James (James Franco) is a retired actor who may or may not be suffering from a degenerative mental illness in Maladies, an art film from New York painter, sculptor and filmmaker Carter.
Tribeca Films

Many years ago, the great and grumpy British TV writer Dennis Potter (The Singing Detective, Pennies From Heaven) rounded a corner in a prominent New York art museum and stood wondering whether the coiled thingy on the wall in front of him was a work of art or an emergency fire hose.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

It's Faction Against Faction In A Grim Future Chicago

Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) train hard as part of the warrior faction Dauntless in Divergent, based on the novel by Veronica Roth.
Jaap Buitendijk Summit Entertainment

The latest teen-girl fiction series to become a movie franchise, Divergent delivers adolescent viewers some bad news and some good news. The bad is that the dystopian future will be just like high school, with kids divided into rigid cliques. The good is that adulthood will be just like high school, so teens face no major surprises.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

A Teen On The Hunt, And Maybe In Over Her Head

Fourteen-year-old Lila (Gina Persanti) spends her summer looking for love — and finds a rough-edged older boy in It Felt Like Love.
Variance Films

Feared and feared for in equal measure, today's teenagers are prisoners of pop and punditry. Branded as bad seeds or delicate flowers, they take shape in the public mind as either neglected or overprotected by their parents, abused by or abusive of the Internet, oversexed or terrified of sex. Is coming of age the pits, or what?

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

'Jodorowsky's Dune': The Greatest Film That Never Was

A design sketch, by H.R. Giger, for the Harkonnen Castle as he envisioned it for Alejandro Jodorowski's Dune.
Sony Pictures Classics

"Dune will be the coming of God."

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Foreign Policy, With A Pugnacious French Twist

Arthur (Raphael Personnaz) is a new hire at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where Alexandre Taillard de Worms (Thierry Lhermitte) is the eccentric foreign minister.
Courtesy of Sundance Selects

A frisky tour of the Gallic equivalent of the U.S. State Department, The French Minister boasts robust pacing, screwball-comedy banter and an exuberant central performance. For most American viewers, though, the movie could use footnotes to go with its subtitles.

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