Arts

Movie Reviews
4:07 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Animator Hayao Miyazaki's 'Wind Rises' Is 'Special'

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:17 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A legendary Japanese animator has a new film out this week. It's only in select theaters for one week only, just enough to qualify for the Oscars. Our film critic Kenneth Turan says "The Wind Rises" is worth seeking out.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: To see "The Wind Rises" is to both marvel at the work of Hiyo Miyzasaki and regret that this film is likely his last. Inspired by the life of a brilliant aircraft designer, it's quintessential Miyazaki: stunningly beautiful and completely idiosyncratic.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Asia
3:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Ex-Ambassador Examines U.S., Pakistan Relations

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Before the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the head of Pakistan's armed forces visited President Obama. In the room, as the two men talked, was Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. As then-Ambassador Hussain Haqqani remembers it, President Obama hinted at what was likely to happen.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For Haqqani, that conversation and all that followed was a classic moment in relations between the United States and Pakistan. Those relations have always been filled with miscommunication and misunderstanding.

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Television
3:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

2 Finalists Vie To Be 'Master Chef Junior'

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:17 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tonight, a big moment for a couple of extraordinary chefs. They were originally 24 but after unimaginable cooking challenges, devastating eliminations, and, yes, some tears, the field is down to two. We're talking about the reality cooking show "Master Chef Junior." These contestants were ages eight to 13. Some stood on crates to reach their cooking stations? The two finalists: 12 year old Dara Yu and 13 year old Alexander Weiss. We spoke to them, along with one of the celebrity judges, Joe Bastianich.

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Business
3:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Neflix To Stream Original Series Based On Marvel Characters

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It was a wham, boom, pow kind of an announcement from Netflix. They're making four original series based on Marvel Comics.

NPR's Neda Ulaby reports on why Netflix is leaping into the business of capes, masks and superpowers.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Netflix has gotten a reputation for decidedly grown-up original series, "Orange Is The New Black," "House of Cards" and the revival of "Arrested Development."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT")

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Fine Art
2:04 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Saudi Soldier Questions Authority With Art (And Plastic Wrap)

Gharem's solo exhibition at Edge of Arabia's gallery space in London ran from Oct. 8 - Nov. 8.
Alex Maguire Edge of Arabia

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:17 am

Abdulnasser Gharem is a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Saudi Arabian Armed Forces, a man who's served in his country's military for more than two decades. But Gharem's true passion lies in a decidedly less rigid field — contemporary art.

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Architecture
2:03 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Size Does Matter, At Least In The Tallest Building Debate

The view from the Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower, in Chicago.
FleishmanHillard

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:20 pm

There's a question that's looming over the new skyscraper at the World Trade Center site in New York: Should it count as the tallest building in the country?

The developers say yes. But by some measures, the Willis Tower in Chicago — formerly known as Sears Tower — can still lay claim to the title.

Now, an obscure organization known as the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is preparing to settle the debate.

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Book Reviews
4:50 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Inspired By History, A Novelist Writes Of Jewish South Africa

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:51 pm

Roughly three-quarters of South Africa's Jewish population are descendants of Lithuanian immigrants. Of these peasants, townspeople, tradesmen, shopkeepers and intellectuals who fled centuries of persecution and embarked on a passage to Africa, many dreamed of a new land and the promise of new beginnings. Kenneth Bonert's ancestors were part of this diaspora. In his debut novel, written in language as dense and varied as the South African landscape he describes, Bonert delivers a taut, visceral account of a young Jewish boy's African life.

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Code Switch
4:50 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Striking Harmonies With The Jubilee Singers' Past And Present

Soprano Nigia Hunt is a junior at Durham School of the Arts. She and others are singing for Paul Kwami, auditioning for a solo in the Duke Performances concert.
Leoneda Inge/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:51 pm

The Fisk Jubilee Singers are known worldwide for their flawless voices and stellar performances of Negro spirituals. They're from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., but they travel around the world to perform their music. Negro spirituals were originally sung by slaves and remain tightly linked to African-American culture. Paul Kwami, the choir's musical director, said singing these spirituals was a way for slaves to lament their servitude, along with the hope of being free one day.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

The End Of The World, As She Knows It

Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) is just a typical teen struggling with boys, family and growing up — and also what might be the apocalypse.
Nicola Dove Magnolia Pictures

Because it serves up Armageddon with a side order of teen romance, How I Live Now is not always credible. But as a portrait of a surly 16-year-old whose internal crisis is overtaken by an external one, the movie is persuasive.

For that, credit goes partly to director Kevin Macdonald, but mostly to his star, Saoirse Ronan. Playing a neurotic urbanite who learns to survive in a war-ravaged landscape, the actress is, appropriately enough, a force of nature.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

One Big Lie, And All Of Lance Armstrong's Others

Alex Gibney's documentary started as a flattering profile of competitive cyclist Lance Armstrong, but all that changed after Armstrong admitted to years of doping — and lying to everyone about it.
Frank Marshall Sony Pictures Classics

"I didn't live a lot of lies. But I did live one big one. It's different, I guess. Maybe not."

So said disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong to filmmaker Alex Gibney early this year, just hours after he confessed to Oprah that he'd doped during his seven wins of the Tour de France.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Turns Out One Does Simply Walk Into More 'Thor'

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his hammer are back for a supernatural sequel, battling the forces of evil again — this time without his fellow Avengers.
Jay Maidment Marvel

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:22 pm

Audiences for Thor: The Dark World may initially be confused as to whether they accidentally wandered into a preview screening of the next installment in the Hobbit series.

The opening prologue — a solemn Anthony Hopkins narrates an epic tale of ancient wars between the forces of good and a race of evil elves — feels like pure Tolkien, and with good reason: the Norse mythologies that inspired the Lord of the Rings author also informed Marvel Comics' Stan Lee and Larry Lieber as they went about developing their godlike superhero.

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Book Reviews
3:32 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Biography Of Director Bob Fosse Razzles, Dazzles And Delights

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:51 pm

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Photography
3:32 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Photographer Editta Sherman, 'Duchess Of Carnegie Hall,' Dies At 101

Sherman poses for a photo in New York in July 2012.
Verena Dobnik AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 7:16 pm

For six decades, in her light-filled studio on top of New York's Carnegie Hall, portrait photographer Editta Sherman photographed celebrities from Leonard Bernstein to Yul Brynner to Joe DiMaggio. She was a legend — and she'd tell you that herself. Sherman died Friday at 101.

A note on her website reads: "Editta Sherman's vibrant sparkling life faded from this earth on November 1st, All Saints Day. She is at peace now and she is clothed in her ballerina dress with her diamond shoes dancing her way home to our hearts."

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Author Interviews
2:50 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Roy Choi's Tacos Channel LA And The Immigrant Experience

Chef Roy Choi was named Food and Wine Magazine's Best New Chef in 2010.
Bobby Fisher Courtesy of Harper Collins

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:24 pm

Roy Choi is a chef who's celebrated for food that isn't fancy. He's one of the founders of the food truck movement, where instead of hot dogs or ice cream, more unusual, gourmet dishes are prepared and sold. His Kogi trucks specialize in tacos filled with Korean barbecue.

Choi was born in South Korea in 1970 and moved to Los Angeles with his parents at the age of 2. His parents owned a Korean restaurant near Anaheim for a few years when he was a child. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that his mother had some serious cooking talent.

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Book Reviews
2:50 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

'Self-Help Messiah' Dale Carnegie Gets A Second Life In Print

Courtesy of Other Press

"Make the other person feel important." "Let the other fellow feel that the idea is his." "Make people like you." Those are some of the peppy commands that have sent generations of Americans out into the world, determined to win friends and influence people — oh, and make big bucks.

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DEMO Project Gallery
12:11 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

DEMO Gallery Hosts Installation That 'Branches Out'

Benjamin Gardner has a fitting last name. The Illinois native, Iowa art professor, and abstract artist is also an urban gardener who draws inspiration for his work from the natural world. On Friday, The DEMO Project gallery in Springfield (1732 N. 4th St.) will welcome Gardner for an opening and reception of his installation, Evensong 15 (caudex). Gardner recently joined us to talk about his work and inspirations:

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NPR Story
10:37 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Art Revolution Blooms After Arab Spring

A painter uses his brush against a policeman armed with a mace. This mural is at the intersection of Muhammad Mahmud Street and Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt.
Mona Abaza

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:10 pm

In the U.S., graffiti is often condemned as vandalism. But during the Arab Spring, artists say city walls were often the only places where they could talk back to tyrants.

Street art can be found across the Middle East and North Africa, and the Arab Spring protests inspired an artistic revolution. The "Creative Dissent" exhibit at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan is putting that art on display.

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Paul Feig: Le Geek, C'est Chic

Paul Feig, dapper as ever.
David Dettmann

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 11:12 am

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

As Easy As B-C-D

If we asked you to name a side dish that combines onion, celery, butter, and bread cubes stuck inside of a turkey--the answer would be "stuffing," which begins with the letters "s-t-u." Host Ophira Eisenberg leads this game in which every correct answer will begin with a string of three consecutive letters of the alphabet, like "d-e-f," or "h-I-j."

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

The Meow Mix

Cats! We can't get enough of their cute, fuzzy faces and fickle personalities. Neither can musicians, apparently. In this game, Jonathan Coulton delivers some musical clues to songs that have cats in their title, or were performed by musical acts with a feline name. One song is even performed entirely in "meow."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Put A Bjork In It

Yes, we're talking about the quirky Icelandic singer Björk, but you don't need to know anything about her. Jonathan Coulton delivers clues to words, phrases, and proper names into which you must cleverly insert "Björk." For example, a small dog that was bred to catch rats is a "Björkshire terrier." Life is just more fun when you put a Björk in it.

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Our Magnum Opus

In this Ask Me Another final round, puzzle guru Art Chung quizzes the remaining contestants on phrases and proper nouns that contain the name of a musical instrument. For example, a narrow type of stemware that you might drink your Dom Perignon out of is a "champagne flute."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:16 pm

For those who came of age in the 90s, or went to high school in the 80s, Freaks and Geeks is a cultural touchstone. Not only because it so perfectly captured the pains and joys of adolescence, but also because its young cast would go on to do amazing things. We quiz the show's creator, Paul Feig, about what everyone in the cast has been up to since their roles in Freaks and Geeks.

Plus, house musician Jonathan Coulton gives Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" (also the Freaks and Geeks theme song) his own nerd-rock treatment.

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

First Name Basis

We live in an informal society — no one's introduced as Mr. Coulton or Ms. Eisenberg anymore. In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg talks about celebrities on a first name basis, and asks contestants to give her the full name of a famous person by combining the first names of two other famous people.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Book News: Indie Bookstores Don't Take Kindly To Amazon's Kindle Offer

One bookseller says of the new Amazon Source program to sell Kindle e-readers: "That's not cooperation. That's being complicit in your execution."
David McNew Getty Images

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

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Parallels
2:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Camus' Stance On Algeria Still Stokes Debate In France

Algeria-born Albert Camus poses for a portrait in Paris following the announcement that he is being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957. Camus' views on his birthplace still stoke controversy.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 1:56 pm

A hundred years after his birth, French writer-philosopher Albert Camus is perhaps best-remembered for novels like The Stranger and The Plague, and for his philosophy of absurdism.

But it's another aspect of his intellectual body of work that's under scrutiny as France marks the Camus centennial: his views about his native Algeria.

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Monkey See
1:57 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Shonda Rhimes Knows Where This 'Scandal' Will End

Kerry Washington plays Olivia Pope on Shonda Rhimes' political drama Scandal, one of TV's most talked-about broadcast shows.
Danny Feld ABC

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 11:37 am

Shonda Rhimes says the Washington she's created for the political drama Scandal is a dark, amoral one — and "a little Shakespearean," in the way it's a place where big themes play out among powerful people who aren't afraid to make bold moves.

"In the world of the show, [our] America sees Washington as this fairy-tale-beautiful place, and everybody who works there is really helping keep that illusion alive," the series creator tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.

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The Fresh Air Interview
3:12 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Vince Giordano: The Fresh Air Interview

Boardwalk Empire features music by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.
Abbot Genser HBO

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:42 pm

If you love jazz and pop from the 1920s and '30s, you might already love the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, set in Atlantic City during Prohibition. The music played throughout the show is performed by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and a second album of music from the series was recently released.

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Ask Me Another
2:47 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Spoiler Alert

With the Internet, it can be hard to avoid people talking about key plot points of movies or TV programs that you haven't seen yet. "It's a sled! She's a man! The Red Wedding is not a happy occasion!" See? In this game, we're going to spoil some movies by asking you to identify them based on the very last lines spoken in the film. (Though as you'll see, the last lines of most films are quite vague and spoiler-free.)

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Race
11:04 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Comediennes Of Color: 'I Am Funny'

Kerry Washington hosted Saturday Night Live this past weekend following controversy about the show's lack of a diverse cast.
Dana Edelson Courtesy of NBC

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:20 pm

This past weekend's Saturday Night Live was the most-watched episode of the season, but viewers may have been looking for something other than laughs. Saturday's show followed weeks of criticism over SNL's painfully obvious lack of diversity.

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