Let's switch gears now and talk about your plans for the weekend. If you plan to head to the movies, you might be interested in the critics' picks from the Golden Globes. The nominations were announced yesterday. "12 Years a Slave" was one of the most honored films. That's the story of Solomon Northup who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He's played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was also nominated for his role in the film. Here's a clip.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Golden Globe nominations are in. We'll speak with film critic Wesley Morris about who got the nod, who was left out and why we care - if we care. But first, the envelope please - we've got your letters. It's BackTalk. That's where we hear from you about this week's stories. Editor Ahmad Omar is back with us for that. Welcome back, Ahmad. Thanks for joining us.
First of all: WOW. We did our live show at NPR HQ this week, and it was wonderful, and all of you who attended made a fantastic audience. You'll be hearing the live show in two segments over the holidays while we take a rest, but in the meantime, we've got a brand-new show to roll out.
Phuc Tran grew up caught between two languages with opposing cultural perspectives: the indicative reality of Vietnamese and the power to image endless possibilities with English. In this personal talk, Tran explains how both shaped his identity.
Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how "power posing" can affect our brains, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
The first in my series of posts on The First Novel Experience was called "The Romance of Agents." A couple of people wrote me after it was posted and asked if I was going to include in this series any stories of any writers who'd had a bad time with their books. I thought about it and decided no β at least not yet.
Let's go to the movies now. David O. Russell is a director on a clear hot streak. His last two films, "Silver Linings Playbook" and "The Fighter" pleased critics and also did well at the box office. Our film critic Kenneth Turan says his new film, "American Hustle," is likely to do the same.
David O. Russell hovers at the top of my list of favorite directors. He captures the messy collision of self-interests that for him defines America. In American Hustle, he whips up a black comedy based on Abscam, the late-'70s FBI sting that centered on a bogus sheik and led to the bribery convictions of sundry U.S. politicians. But he doesn't tell the real Abscam story; he adapts it to fit his theme, which is that most of us are busy reinventing ourselves and conning one another.
In his youth, Nelson Mandela cut a dashing figure. He was a revolutionary, an outlaw β by the early 1960s, he was living underground. And he had a nickname to match: he was known as the Black Pimpernel.
On Saturday, Army and Navy will take the field to renew their legendary football rivalry for the 114th time. The teams are playing in Philadelphia, which is also where they faced off in 2001, just weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. The players that year faced a sobering new reality: The nation was at war, and they'd soon leave the football field behind for the battlefield.
The Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestraβs season opens tonight with the sumptuous sounds of English string music in a performance of Brittenβs Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, featuring versatile tenor William Burden and the ISOβs principal horn Stephen Hanrahan.
WUIS' Karl Scroggin spoke with Music Director and Conductor Alistair Willis about the performances...
We all know James Bond had a hankering for martinis. But it looks like the international spy threw back far more Vespers, his martini of choice, than was good for him.
Dr. Indra Neil Guha, a liver specialist, and his colleagues at Nottingham University Hospital in England spent a year poring over Ian Fleming's James Bond books and tabulating how many drinks the suave spy drank a day.
This week, Congress has been pondering yet another deal with a deadline. Congressional leaders have agreed to a bipartisan budget that would set spending levels for the next two years, and if it passes, as expected, it would mark the first bipartisan budget deal since 2011. News of the deal comes again at the last minute, just as Congress begins packing its bags to adjourn for the holidays.
From the author of novels such as "The Sweet Hereafter" and "Cloudsplitter," Russell Banks, comes a new collection of short stories called "A Permanent Member of the Family." It presents ordinary Americans leading difficult lives who are caught in family dramas.
Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 5:49 pm
Peter Jackson's decision to turn the single volume of The Hobbit into a three-film epic β with a total running time nearly as long as his adaptation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy β was met with considerable skepticism. Did Tolkien's relatively slight book really have enough story to justify stretching it out that much?
Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 2:42 pm
"We tell ourselves stories in order to live."
That endlessly quoted line from Joan Didion's The White Album echoes with more than the usual resonance for the two adversaries duking it out for control over the movie adaptation of Mary Poppins in Saving Mr. Banks.
For 20 years Walt Disney, reportedly on his young daughters' say-so, had tried to wrestle a green light from P. L. Travers, who wrote the original novels about the discipline-minded governess who flew in through a London window to save a troubled family from itself.
Not to judge a book by its cover, but just take one look at the jacket of Because of Mr. Terupt and you'll see it is the perfect book for December. It shows two mittened hands holding a snowball β a snowball responsible for a life-altering accident.
Mr. Terupt is a popular fifth-grade teacher at Snow Hill elementary school. And for seven students in particular, he is the center of their universe β a sage who gives them advice and confidence and helps them overcome obstacles and rivalries.