Arts

Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

A Meet-Cute Romance With A Delicious Twist

Ila (Nimrat Kaur) is a Mumbai housewife who accidentally begins a correspondence with another man when the lunch she packs for her own husband goes astray.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:57 pm

When people talk about Bollywood movies, they usually mean Indian romances with extravagant musical numbers. But there are smaller Indian films, too, and one that has earned international acclaim at film festivals is opening tomorrow in major U.S. cities. It's called The Lunchbox.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

In 'Stalingrad,' Where The Fog Of War Is Plenty Thick

Teenage civilian Katya (Mariya Smolnikova) shares a ruined apartment with a gang of Soviet soldiers during the battle of Stalingrad in Fedor Bondarchuk's Stalingrad.
Sony Pictures

If you're only going to see one film about the Battle of Stalingrad — and there are many — Stalingrad would be the wrong choice. Russian director Fedor Bondarchuk's treatment of the World War II turning point is shallow and contrived, if sometimes impressively staged. The movie wins points, however, for sheer wackiness.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

A Legacy Of War, Hitting Home Decades Later In Norway

Katrine (Juliane Kohler) has a golden life in Norway — and a dark secret rooted in Eastern Germany, in the dark days of war and division.
Tom Trambow IFC Films

Decades after the end of World War II, the partly burned body of a young woman was found in a wooded area near the Norwegian town of Bergen. Her possible connection to a long-simmering Norwegian scandal, one dating back to the war, became the subject of a novel by Hannelore Hippe — and, in turn, of Two Lives, a new thriller loosely based on that novel.

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Book Reviews
3:07 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Book Review: 'Night in Shanghai'

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Shanghai in 1936 was on the verge of Japanese occupation. Our reviewer Alan Cheuse says it makes a terrific setting for new novel by Nicole Mones. It's called "Night in Shanghai." The book showcases the multicultural and moneyed scene of Shanghai's prewar heyday.

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Monkey See
2:42 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Hurts So Good: Getting A Kick Out Of A Movie Punch

Don't mess with Liam Neeson! He will get you with his phone! Or whatever else is handy! He will beat you up, is what we're saying.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:34 am

My favorite parts of Non-Stop, in which Liam Neeson adds airplane bathrooms to the list of things out of which he has beaten the snot, are the silliest parts. The slow-motion parts. The gravity-defying parts. The parts where everybody in the audience cracks up, but not unkindly.

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All Tech Considered
1:55 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

'Rent It Out': Portlandia Spoofs The Sharing Economy

In one episode of Portlandia, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen started a grass-roots campaign to prevent the Olympics from ever coming to Portland.
IFC

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 4:16 pm

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Space
1:36 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains Why The Cosmos Shouldn't Make You Feel Small

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts a new TV series called Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey. It's an update of the influential 1980 PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Journey, hosted by Carl Sagan.
Patrick Eccelsine Fox

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:45 am

When it comes to "callings" we usually think of people who feel drawn to religious career paths. But if you ask Neil deGrasse Tyson how he became an astrophysicist he says: "I think the universe called me. I feel like I had no say in the matter."

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Remembrances
1:36 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Remembering Harold Ramis, Master Of The 'Smart Dumb-Movie'

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Harold Ramis, who died earlier this week, was a writer, director and actor who played a key role in several of the most popular comedies of the last half-century. His list of credits includes "Animal House," "Caddyshack," "Meatballs," "Stripes," "Ghostbusters," and of course "Groundhog Day." Our critic-at-large John Powers is a fan and says there was more going on in Ramis' work than you might think.

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Wisdom Watch
11:56 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Dangerous Dad Of 'Scandal' Turns The Tables

Actor Joe Morton has appeared in films like Speed and Terminator 2 and TV shows like Law & Order and The Good Wife.
Matt Sayles AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 3:15 pm

Actor Joe Morton's latest role puts him at the center of the ABC thriller Scandal. He plays Rowan Pope, the commanding and sinister father of Kerry Washington's Olivia.

Morton's Hollywood resume spans four decades and includes hit films like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Speed and the cult classic Brother From Another Planet.

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Movies
11:50 am
Thu February 27, 2014

'12 Years A Slave' Screenwriter Talks Grit, Grace And Survival

12 Years A Slave writer and producer John Ridley joined Michele Norris in NPR's Studio 1 for a wide-ranging conversation.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 3:53 pm

Was screenwriter John Ridley a bit nervous the night before this year's Academy Award nominations were announced? Absolutely.

How could he not be, when everywhere he went people approached him to say that he deserved an Oscar nod for his work on the film 12 Years a Slave. But those nerves were not evident when he sat down before a live audience at NPR Headquarters just hours before he did indeed get that Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Thu February 27, 2014

'Calvin & Hobbes' Creator Pens His First Public Comic In 18 Years

Stripped Film

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:10 am

Almost two decades after publishing his last Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, elusive cartoonist Bill Watterson is back — with a film poster. The documentary, Stripped, is a self-described "love letter to comic strips" that includes interviews with, among others, Jeff Keane of Family Circus, Richard Thompson of Cul de Sac and Watterson himself.

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Ask Me Another
9:37 am
Thu February 27, 2014

All Answers Are Alliterative

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:03 am

Fee, fi, fo, fum! We smell a word game... in this one, you'd better bend your brain to come up with answers that are all three- or four-word alliterative phrases.

Heard in Episode 310: Fact Check Me Another

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Ask Me Another
9:37 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Oscar Winners

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:03 am

No cutoff music here: take your time while you identify fictional and factual "Oscars" based on the speeches they might give if they won Academy Awards.

Heard in Episode 310: Fact Check Me Another

Ask Me Another
9:37 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Product Placement IV

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:03 am

What if companies put their products in the titles of films? In this game, combine the names of famous brands and movies to imagine the resulting product placement, like "Some Like It Hot Pockets."

Heard in Episode 310: Fact Check Me Another

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Ask Me Another
9:37 am
Thu February 27, 2014

A Family Affair

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:03 am

Snap your fingers as Jonathan Coulton performs the The Addams Family theme with the lyrics rewritten to be about other families, both real and fictional. Your job? Tell us what clan we're describing.

Heard in Episode 310: Fact Check Me Another

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Ask Me Another
9:37 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Weird Almanac Facts

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 3:03 pm

Did you know that the average American ate 11 times as many avocados in 2011 than in 1970? V.I.P. Sarah Janssen, editor of The 2014 World Almanac, helps lead this game about strange-but-true facts.

Plus, catch Jonathan Coulton's rendition of Tom Lehrer's classic, tongue-twisting tour of the Periodic Table in "The Elements Song."

Heard in Episode 310: Fact Check Me Another

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Ask Me Another
9:37 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Keep It Country

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:03 am

We're going around the world for this game, in which every answer contains the name of a country. Puzzle guru John Chaneski stumps our contestants in the shortest Ask Me Another final round ever.

Heard in Episode 310: Fact Check Me Another

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Ask Me Another
9:37 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Sarah Janssen: It's In The Book

Sarah Janssen.
Stephen Lovekin/ Mark Von Holden

If you're in need of a one-stop shop for facts, like the world's fastest roller coaster (Formula Rossa in Abu Dhabi) or the winning word at the 1984 Scripps National Spelling Bee (luge), Sarah Janssen would recommend consulting The 2014 World Almanac and Book of Facts (which spent 8 weeks on the NPR Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List).

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Monkey See
7:50 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movie Reviews, Part Eight: Captain Phillips

Bob And Linda Review Internet Movie Reviews Part 8
NPR

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 3:17 pm

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Thu February 27, 2014

The Most Powerful Element

Kelsey Hubble - Southeast HS
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS

During my freshman year of high school, my circle of friends was fairly limited.  I had three friends who I associated with daily, and I was perfectly content with this.  In place of expanding my social standing and friend group, I spent a good number of my days walking home after school and doing nothing besides laying in my room listening to music.  This might sound lonely to some, but I was happy doing it, so I felt no need to change.  Music was and is one of the greatest companions I’ve had, and one of the best tools I feel people can use to connect with themselves, and even others.

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Book News: 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Sales Top 100 Million

Copies of Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James at the Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

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

  • E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey series has now sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, Vintage Books announced on Wednesday. The erotica series, which began as Twilight fanfiction, features shy Anastasia Steele, her handcuff-happy lover, businessman Christian Grey, and Anastasia's "inner goddess," who is prone to impromptu Latin dancing. About 45 million of the copies have been sold in the U.S.

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Movies
4:12 am
Thu February 27, 2014

FBI's Abscam Videos Are As Unbelievable As 'American Hustle'

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:30 am

The Oscar contender is loosely based on the Abscam sting, which nailed a senator and six House members on corruption charges. The FBI videotaped some Hollywood-worthy scenes.

Hollywood Jobs
2:28 am
Thu February 27, 2014

'Clap!' On Set, The Signature Sound Of The Slate

Milan "Miki" Janicin slates a scene on a location shoot for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Given the crowded location, "I'm actually on the phone with my first assistant, so he could let me know when the camera is rolling," Janicin says.
Sidney Ray Baldwin

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:12 pm

More than the roar of the MGM lion, more than the 20th Century Fox fanfare, the iconic sound of moviemaking is the sharp clap of a slate — although film folks have a language of their own to describe it.

"Miki's hitting the sticks on this one," says assistant cameraman Larry Nielsen, pointing to his assistant.

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The Two-Way
8:44 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Mapping Differences In America's Musical Tastes, State By State

A map of the U.S. lists the musical acts that set states apart from each other. It's not a matter of an artist's popularity, says Paul Lamere, who made the map, but of a state's distinct preferences.
Paul Lamere, Director of Developer Platform at The Echo Nest

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Are you streaming music right now? If you're in America's Pacific region, there's a much better chance you're nodding along with Cat Power rather than grooving to Fantasia, which you'd be more likely to be doing if you were across the country in the South Atlantic. Those observations come from a map titled "Regionalisms in U.S. Listening Preferences."

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Code Switch
6:02 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

To Play The Part, Actors Must Talk The Talk — In Chinese

Chinese billionaire Xander Feng, played by Terry Chen, shakes hands with Francis Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, in Netflix's House of Cards.
Nathaniel E. Bell Courtesy of Netflix

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:08 am

The success of the Netflix series House of Cards lies in the details.

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Book Reviews
1:20 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

These Stories Consider Solitude, With Echoes Of Emily Dickinson

Courtesy of Knopf

Lorrie Moore isn't quite a household name. This was news to me, because I thought that, given that she's the kind of writer who's published in The New Yorker and profiled in The New York Times, most culture vultures would know who she is. But, over the past couple of weeks when I mentioned her new book, Bark, in conversations, both in the halls of academe and over meals with friends, I mostly got blank stares. (One smarty confused her with that other great literary "Lorrie" — the late Laurie Colwin — whose short stories and novels are also essential reading.)

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Local Bands
11:03 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Local Group War Magic Plays Unique Neo-Folk

Mark Reynolds (left, on keys) & Alistair Reynolds (on guitar) of War Magic
Credit Rachel Otwell

War Magic is a local folk band that you probably haven't heart of. The group's been called "dream-folk" and "neo-folk" - and they've only played a handful of shows in town. Alistair Reynolds and Mark Reynolds recently joined us to talk about their project and share some of their unique music: 

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Book News: Apple Appeals Ruling In E-Book Price-Fixing Case

Apple says in its appeal filed Tuesday that it was ignorant of any price-fixing conspiracy.
Daniel Barry Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:42 am

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

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Kitchen Window
9:50 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Fat Tuesday: The Many Different Doughnuts Of Mardi Gras

Emily Hilliard for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:02 am

The history of doughnuts is intrinsically linked to the celebration of Mardi Gras. "Fat Tuesday" — the Christian day of revelry and indulgence before the austere season of Lent — features dough deep-fried in fat as its main staple.

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Wed February 26, 2014

I Believe in Snow Cones

Alex Brosseau - Southeast HS

I used to live right on the busiest street in the world. Maybe, I’m exaggerating a little bit, but it seemed pretty busy to me. Cars zoomed up and down the street, traveling around the world, and I wasn’t allowed to go past my block on my own, which now seems to be very logical, but at the time it seemed like the most ridiculous rule. On hot summer weeks when I was cooped up to my huge lawn and vast house, my sole escape was Snow Cone Tuesday.

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