Arts/Life

Book Reviews
4:20 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

'The Book Of Strange New Things' Treads Familiar Territory

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 6:50 pm

Michel Faber wrote a book a while ago (The Crimson Petal And The White) that became a critically acclaimed international best-seller. He also wrote the book Under The Skin, which was recently made into a very weird movie starring Scarlett Johansson as some kind of confused and lonely alien sex monster.

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Art & Design
3:04 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

A Well-Designed Parking Sign Can Make Life Much Easier

Which parking sign is easier to understand? Nikki Sylianteng is trying to build a better parking sign at her website, To Park Or Not To Park. One of her redesign efforts can be seen at right.
Courtesy Nikki Sylianteng

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 4:27 pm

Is it safe to park on the street, or are you risking a ticket? The more signs there are, the more confusing that question gets.

Designer Nikki Sylianteng is trying to fix the problem through visual design. You can see various iterations of her sign at her website, To Park Or Not To Park, and you can hear her discuss her project at the audio link above.

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Movie Interviews
2:58 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal: We're All Complicit In 'If It Bleeds, It Leads'

When Nightcrawler begins, Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is stealing scrap metal and struggling to get by. He lands a job as a stringer β€” a freelance cameraman for a local news station.
Chuck Zlotnick Open Road Films

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 9:37 pm

The last time NPR's Audie Cornish spoke with Jake Gyllenhaal it was in the fall of 2013. They met on the set of the film Nightcrawler, and at the time, the tabloids were talking about how much weight he'd lost for the role. Cornish remembers he was gaunt, his blue eyes were sunken in β€” and he didn't blink.

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Movies
2:42 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Remembering All-Night Fright Fests And Halloween Horrorthons

Terrifying terrorramas so scary you'll need a nurse on standby! Bob Mondello says the 1993 film Matinee brought back memories of his days writing Halloween horror ad copy for a movie theater chain.
Courtesy of Universal/The Kobal CollectionTION

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 5:06 pm

Halloween's rolled around again and yeah, yeah, it's a dark and stormy night. The road's washed out, phone's gone dead, the mystic's reading her Ouija board, and zombies are popping through doorways left open by a demented kewpie doll.

Been there. Seen that. Got the T-shirt.

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Television
12:25 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Funny, Dirty, Sad: The 'Holy Trinity' For 'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway

Jeffrey Tambor plays Maura in the new Amazon series Transparent. Jill Soloway says she cast Tambor in the role because everyone knows Tambor as a "dad figure."
Courtesy of Amazon

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 1:20 pm

When Jill Soloway's father came out as a trans woman β€” fairly late in life β€” Soloway says for her it was a huge relief.

"It's interesting, I think, to grow up in a family with this really huge missing piece and not know what that piece is β€” sort of like you're feeling around in a dark room," Soloway tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's like the elephant in the room, but all the lights are off. So you're feeling around and you're feeling this quite huge thing. It was an amazing relief for the lights to go on."

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Television
12:15 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Can Shows Like 'The McCarthys' Replace CBS' 'Thursday Night Football'?

Tyler Ritter (center) stars in CBS's The McCarthys with, clockwise from top left, Jack McGee, Laurie Metcalf, Jimmy Dunn, Joey McIntyre and Kelen Coleman.
Monty Brinton CBS

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 2:47 pm

Five weeks after the fall TV season started, the broadcast networks are still cranking out new shows.

And in the case of CBS's The McCarthys, you may wish they had stopped a bit sooner.

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Movie Reviews
10:17 am
Thu October 30, 2014

In 'Goodbye To Language,' Jean-Luc Godard Seeks New Ways To Make Pictures

Jean-Luc Godard's dog Roxy appears in his new film, Goodbye To Language.
Kino Lorber

Even the most ordinary movies can be seductive, as Jean-Luc Godard knows all too well. In the 1960s, he was besotted with American commercial cinema, even as he rejected the U.S. policies that led it to make war in Vietnam.

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Movie Reviews
9:55 am
Thu October 30, 2014

'The Great Invisible' Views An Environmental Catastrophe From Many Sides

Latham Smith in The Great Invisible.
Oil Documentary, LLC

The Great Invisible, Margaret Brown's soft-spoken documentary about the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, recognizes that disasters β€” from shootings to extreme weather events β€” often beget entrenchment. Tragedies tend to drive us to our most defensive ideological corners, from which we can see little beyond more impassioned arguments for our own side. The film acknowledges this instinct toward simplistic polarization, but then softly, compellingly tries to push against it.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Book News: Remembering Poet Galway Kinnell, Whose Song Said Everything

Poet Carolyn Forche stands with her friend and mentor Galway Kinnell (right) during a trip to Japan to attend the Asian Writers Congress in 1983.
Courtesy of Carolyn Forche

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 8:47 am

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

When Galway Kinnell accepted the post of Vermont's State Poet in 1989, the honor didn't come without a bit of polite disagreement. No writer had occupied the post since Robert Frost more than 25 years earlier, and with the revival came also a desire among some to change its name β€” from "state poet" to something more august, something along the lines of, say, laureate.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu October 30, 2014

I'm Not Scary, I'm Just Drawn That Way: Great Comics For Halloween

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 10:49 am

Ready for a Halloween scare? These graphic novels and compilations are just the ticket. A creepy cult, alien monsters, gravediggers and ghosts populate their spooky pages. Even the Great Pumpkin makes an appearance in all his glory. Read these books next to a flickering fire and you're guaranteed to get the shivers.

Etelka Lehoczky has written about books for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Salon.com. She tweets at @EtelkaL

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Remembrances
2:46 am
Thu October 30, 2014

'Lastness': Award-Winning Poet Galway Kinnell Dies At 87

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 12:25 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, BYLINE: And now this. The poet Galway Kinnell has died. He began writing poetry at the end of World War II in a plain-spoken style some compared to Walt Whitman. In his long career, he won both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.

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Movie Interviews
4:16 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

At 83, Filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard Makes The Leap To 3-D

Jean-Luc Godard's dog, Roxy, is prominently featured in Goodbye to Language, wandering through the countryside, conversing with the lake and the river.
Kino Lorber Inc.

Back in the 1960s Jean-Luc Godard made his name in the French New Wave by breaking cinematic rules. Some 40 years later, he's still doing things his own way. Now, at age 83, he's taking on 3-D in a new film called Goodbye to Language, which shared the Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

There are elements of Goodbye to Language you might find in any Hollywood movie β€” people arguing, a shootout β€” and even a dog, the director's own. (Roxy wanders the countryside conversing with the lake and the river that want to tell him what humans never hear.)

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The Salt
4:02 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Decoding The Food And Drink On A Day Of The Dead Altar

Elaborately decorated skulls are crafted from pure sugar and given to friends as gifts. The colorful designs represent the vitality of life and individual personality.
Karen Castillo FarfΓ‘n NPR

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 10:22 am

A version of this story was originally published on Nov. 1, 2012.

Sugar skulls, tamales and spirits (the alcoholic kind) β€” these are things you might find on ofrendas, or altars, built this time of year to entice those who've passed to the other side back for a visit. These altars in homes and around tombstones are for Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, a tradition on Nov. 1 and 2originating in central Mexico.

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Author Interviews
11:44 am
Wed October 29, 2014

The Incredible Story Of Chilean Miners Rescued From The 'Deep Down Dark'

Miner Claudio Yanez applauds as he is carried away on a stretcher after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose mine where he had been trapped with 32 other miners for over two months in 2010 near Copiapo, Chile.
Hugo Infante AP

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 1:06 pm

The disaster began on a day shift around lunchtime at a mine in Chile's Atacama Desert: Miners working deep inside a mountain, excavating for copper, gold and other minerals, started feeling vibrations. Suddenly, there was a massive explosion and the passageways of the mine filled up with a gritty dust cloud.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Book News: Young Adult And Kids' Lit Boost E-Book Revenue

It's partly because of bookshelves like these β€” and their digital equivalents β€” that publishers have had a positive open to 2014.
Blackred iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 7:19 am

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

E-book sales are standing on the shoulders not of giants, but of a much smaller set. According to new statistics released by the Association of American Publishers, the first seven months of 2014 showed marked growth in e-book revenue β€” largely thanks to young adult and children's literature.

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Movies
3:00 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Marvel's Next Films To Have More Diverse Leads

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 6:12 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
2:40 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Book Review: 'Belzhar' By Meg Wolitzer

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 4:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now, a new young adult novel by a beloved writer which takes its inspiration from Sylvia Plath. You might be able to tell since it's called "Belzhar." Gabrielle Zevin has our review.

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The Salt
2:40 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

To Make Bread, Watch The Dough, Not The Recipe

Sourdough loaves made by Fromartz with a bolted white flour from Anson Mills in South Carolina that he says reminded him of the wheat he'd tasted in southern France.
Samuel Fromartz

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 8:29 am

Journalist Samuel Fromartz works at home on a quiet street near the Capitol building, in Washington, D.C. He's a journalist, and editor-in-chief of the Food and Environment Reporting Network.

On a recent morning, I went to visit him and found several unread newspapers piled on his front step. "I've been a little busy," Fromartz explains.

He's not too busy to make bread, though.

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Dance
2:38 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

At 83, Dancer Carmen De Lavallade Looks Back At A Life Spent Onstage

Christopher Duggan

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:50 am

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Author Interviews
12:38 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

A Candid Memoir From Comedian Amy Poehler? 'Yes Please'

Amy Poehler plays Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, which will air its final season next year. Poehler says, "It's a privilege in television to be able to have a proper goodbye."
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 1:40 pm

When comedian Amy Poehler was in her 20s, she read her boyfriend's journal and found out that he didn't think she was pretty.

"It was almost like an itch being scratched, which was, 'Aha! I knew that you didn't think I was pretty!' ... And then it was followed by a real crash because ... my ego was bruised," Poehler tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Poehler says it taught her that the earlier you figure out your "currency," the happier you'll be. For Poehler, that meant not leaning on her looks to be successful.

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Book News: 2 Popular Books May Be Coming To TV

Karen Russell's novel Swamplandia! was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012.
Michael Lionstar

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

Soon, a remote control may be as good as a bookmark for readers hoping to return to the worlds of two popular, and critically acclaimed, books.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue October 28, 2014

'Slow Regard' Is A Riddle, Wrapped In A Mystery, Living In An Underground Tunnel

In the foreword to his new novella The Slow Regard of Silent Things, Patrick Rothfuss gives the reader a warning: "If you haven't read my other books, you don't want to start here." The other books he's referring to are The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear, the first two installments of his bestselling fantasy series The Kingkiller Chronicle.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue October 28, 2014

The Battle For Dreamland, Revisited In 'Nemo'

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:53 am

Once, a cartoonist went to battle for dreamland. It was 1905, hot on the heels of Freud's supremely unsettling The Interpretation of Dreams, and the cartoonist was Winsor McCay. He didn't bring intellectual theories to the fight, but something more potent: beauty. With Little Nemo in Slumberland, his groundbreaking newspaper comic, he presented a dream world that was as sublime as it was reassuring to his Edwardian readers.

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Arts/Life
3:06 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

International Contemporary Circus Act, Cirko de Mente to Perform in Las Cruces

LAS CRUCES, NM -Β Cirko de Mente, the Mexican contemporary circus company, will be in Las Cruces for an evening performance at the Rio Grande Theatre on Saturday, November 15, 2014 from 7-8:30 p.m. The circus group is performing their latest show "Familia Rosso."

The show depicts a comical feud between two families for control of the "circus mafia." Intended for audiences of all ages, the performance features contemporary circus techniques including clavas, juggling knives and hats, acrobatic pizzas, balance and aerial dance.Β 

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Book News & Features
2:27 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

75 Years Of 'Colossal Poets' And Live Literature At NYC's 92nd Street Y

W.H. Auden at the 92nd Street Y Poetry Center in 1966.
Diane Dorr-Dorynek Courtesy of the 92nd Street Y

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 10:58 am

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Author Interviews
1:45 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

The Man Behind Wonder Woman Was Inspired By Both Suffragists And Centerfolds

The man behind the most popular female comic book hero of all time, Wonder Woman, had a secret past: Creator William Moulton Marston had a wife β€” and a mistress. He fathered children with both of them, and they all secretly lived together in Rye, N.Y. And the best part? Marston was also the creator of the lie detector.

Harvard professor and New Yorker contributor Jill Lepore reveals this and other surprising details about Marston in the new book The Secret History of Wonder Woman.

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The Salt
11:07 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Gladiator Gatorade? Ancient Athletes Had A Recovery Drink, Too

This gladiator tombstone was excavated in a cemetery for these ancient power athletes in what was once Ephesus, in modern-day Turkey.
Courtesy of PLOS ONE

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 8:44 am

So it's A.D. 150, and you've just had a long day at the gym (or ludus), thrusting and parrying with your fellow Roman gladiators. What do you reach for to replenish your sapped strength? A post-workout recovery drink, of course.

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Race
9:08 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Today's Irish Dancers Step Away From Stereotype

Julia O'Rourke (center) wins the 2014 World Irish Dancing Championships. Here, she poses with the top five performers in her age group.
Jimmy McNulty FeisPix

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 2:03 pm

When Riverdance debuted 20 years ago, Irish step dancers β€” whether citizens of Ireland or any other country β€” looked, well, stereotypically Irish. The red-haired, freckle-faced lass doing a jumpy jig still comes to mind for many. But the All Ireland Dancing Championships, currently underway in Dublin, will show how that image no longer reflects the reality.

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Parallels
2:36 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Love Is Saying 'Sari': The Quest To Save A South Asian Tradition

Courtesy of Sandip Roy

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 12:13 pm

My parents were married for more than 40 years, happily. But my mother says her greatest joy is stacked in her closet: her saris, or, as Bengalis say it, shaaris.

"Because sari is my passion, maybe my first love is sari," my mother says, giggling.

There are about 200 saris in there, many older than me. My mother danced on stage in a sari. She went to college in a sari. And wherever she went on holiday, she found the sari shop.

"I went to Paris, I got French chiffon. I must look for a sari, first thing," she recalls.

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Movie Interviews
2:36 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Watch This: Crime Writer James Ellroy Recommends β€” What Else? β€” Noir Films

James Ellroy's novels include The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere and, most recently, Perfidia. He lives in Los Angeles, the setting for much of his work.
Christopher Polk Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 6:49 am

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