Arts/Life

Movie Interviews
2:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Speed Dating For Seniors Who Aren't Interested In Slowing Down

Janice Ledtke and Pacho Lane chat during a speed dating event in The Age of Love.
Courtesy of Free Play Pictures

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 4:55 pm

The idea of speed dating for people over 70 can evoke laughs from anyone who's younger, along with reactions from "how cute" to "how silly" to "how gross." And while the documentary The Age of Love does have plenty of ha-ha moments, most of the time its subjects are reflecting on a need for intimacy that never seems to die.

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Book Reviews
12:09 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

In 'The Buried Giant,' Exhausted Medieval Travelers 'Can't Go On,' But So 'Go On'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Theater
12:04 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Larry David's First Time On Broadway: 'It's Not So Easy!'

David also co-created the NBC series Seinfeld. That show's character George Costanza is loosely based on David.
Thos Robinson Getty Images for The New Yorker

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 1:59 pm

Larry David wrote and stars in a new play that has broken the all-time record on Broadway for advance ticket sales — more than $14 million. Fish in the Dark is a comedy about a family's rivalries and dysfunction as its patriarch passes away. David tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies that the idea came to him when a friend's father died.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu March 5, 2015

It's World Book Day: Time For Reading Lists And Dress-Up

Fans are celebrating World Book Day on Thursday. Here, a man browses through books at the Albertine, a French bookstore and library at the French Embassy in New York.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:17 pm

Put down that screen: Today's the day to celebrate holding a bound book in your hands. World Book Day celebrations include storytelling and dressing up as favorite characters. We bring you a roundup of stories and reading lists.

Many young (and less-young) readers are using the occasion to dress up as beloved characters — from pirates and the doughnut-dispensing Mr. Panda to Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series.

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Monkey See
8:57 am
Thu March 5, 2015

'American Crime': An Ambitious And Inventive Drama With Miles To Go

Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton star in American Crime.
Felicia Graham ABC

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 6:09 pm

American Crime opens as a bedraggled, initially almost unrecognizable Timothy Hutton takes the worst possible middle-of-the-night phone call: The police need him to identify the body of what they believe is his murdered son.

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The Salt
8:51 am
Thu March 5, 2015

We're Not Taking Enough Lunch Breaks. Why That's Bad For Business

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 12:17 pm

Did you take a lunch break yesterday? Are you planning to take one today?

Chances are the answer is no. Fewer American workers are taking time for lunch. Research shows that only 1 in 5 five people steps away for a midday meal. Most workers are simply eating at their desks.

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First Reads
8:03 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Exclusive First Read: Erik Larson's 'Dead Wake'

It took just 18 minutes for the Lusitania to sink after it was hit by a German torpedo.
Charles Dixon/Hulton Archive Getty Images

The luxury liner Lusitania departed New York City en route for Liverpool on May 1, 1915. World War I was raging in Europe, but the passengers on the world's fastest liner were sure they were in no danger — despite a warning from the German Embassy in Washington that "travellers sailing in the war zone on the ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk." Even the Lusitania's captain, William Turner, said his vessel was too fast for submarines to pose a threat.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Montana's Almost Crowded Now, Thanks To The Colorful Characters Of 'Crow Fair'

I recall with a certain fondness a summer evening long ago at the Bennington Summer Writing Workshops, when Montana resident Richard Ford opened a reading from the work of Montana writer William Kittredge by saying, "Well, it's Montana Night at the workshops, and it's just like Montana. Hours will go by, and all you will see are two people."

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Television
3:21 am
Thu March 5, 2015

'It Is About Truths': John Ridley On His New TV Show, 'American Crime'

Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton play two estranged parents whose son is murdered during a home invasion in ABC's American Crime.
Felicia Graham ABC

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 8:15 am

Writer and producer John Ridley has spent a lot of his career telling stories about the history of race in America. He won an Oscar for his screenplay for 12 Years a Slave, he's written movies about the Tuskegee Airmen and Jimi Hendrix, and now he's created American Crime, a new TV series about the events surrounding a racially charged home invasion in modern-day California.

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Television
12:20 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

'American Crime' And 'The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Highlight The TV Revolution

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Pop Culture
12:20 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Friends And Favors: 'High Maintenance' Creators Share Their Secret To Success

Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld, who are married, created their Web series High Maintenance in 2012. Blichfeld is an Emmy award-winning casting director who worked on the TV show 30 Rock. Sinclair is an actor and editor.
Matt Doyle

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 4:59 pm

One of the reasons Katja Blichfeld wanted to make the Web series High Maintenance with her husband, Ben Sinclair, was so he could take on the right role for himself. She's a casting director who has worked on 30 Rock, and she knew early on that Sinclair needed to let his beard grow and act like himself.

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Monkey See
11:22 am
Wed March 4, 2015

'Mindy' And The Little Story That Just Might Work

Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) is preparing for some big changes.
Patrick McElhenney Fox

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:25 pm

My reaction to the initial revelation that Mindy Lahiri, the heroine (?) of Mindy Kaling's The Mindy Project, was pregnant was the same one I think a lot of people had: Oh, brother.

This was the case for two reasons. First, baby stories are notoriously difficult to make interesting, and adding babies to comedies often leads to awkwardness, as people who didn't set out to write stories about babies often like writing about birth and do not like writing about parenting, so after a while, it's like the baby never happened.

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Code Switch
10:03 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Black Bodies In White Words, Or: Why We Need Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine was nominated for a National Book Award for Citizen.
John Lucas

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 10:55 am

There is a cartoon circulating right now of two people holding protest signs — one is black, the other white. The black figure holds a sign that reads "I Can't Breathe;" the white figure holds a sign that reads "I Can't See." Recently, I have encountered many discussions reflecting the subtle wisdom of that cartoon: It's often white citizens who demand that citizens of color provide evidence that injustices exist — and sometimes, I'm the teacher in these moments.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Wed March 4, 2015

A Vivid Portrait Of Tudor Turmoil In 'Lamentation'

NPR

We start with a pyre: A young woman and three men are to burn, condemned as heretics. In vivid, often graphic prose, C.J. Sansom uses this horrific scene to set the stage for Lamentation, the sixth installment of his Matthew Shardlake mysteries, set in Tudor England. It's 1546; the dying King Henry VIII — having broken with Rome a decade before — is wavering on religious policy, and supporters of his previous reforms fear for their lives as the hunt for heretics intensifies.

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Code Switch
7:50 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Rapper Jin Tries To Stretch His '15 Minutes' Of Fame

Jin poses for a photograph during an interview with the AP in Hong Kong in 2008.
Jerome Favre AP

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Ishiguro's 'Buried Giant' Gets Lost In Its Own Fog

Kazuo Ishiguro is also the author of The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go.
Jeff Cottenden Courtesy of Knopf

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 4:55 pm

There are some writers whose books you anticipate for months before they're published. For me, Kazuo Ishiguro is one of those writers. Whenever I hear he has a new novel coming out, I start to imagine what it will be about, knowing that, with Ishiguro, I can't possibly have any idea. His previous novels have been strange, beautiful, and, in some way ... stealthy. This was true of the devastating novel The Remains of the Day, narrated by a proper English butler, and it was also true of the very different but equally devastating Never Let Me Go.

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NPR Ed
12:19 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Prepare For 'The End Of College': Here's What Free Higher Ed Looks Like

Kevin Carey'€™s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Amanda Gaines Courtesy of Riverhead

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 2:58 pm

A lot of parents start worrying about paying for college education soon after their child is born. After that, there's the stressful process of applying to colleges, and then, for those lucky enough to get admitted into a good college, there's college debt.

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Book Reviews
12:19 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

'Welcome To Braggsville' Isn't Quite 'Invisible Man,' But It's Close

Emily Jan NPR

Here's only a partial list of great American writers whose names came to mind as I was reading T. Geronimo Johnson's new novel, Welcome to Braggsville: Tom Wolfe, Mark Twain, Toni Morrison, H.L. Mencken, Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, Norman Mailer and Ralph Ellison, Ralph Ellison, Ralph Ellison. Johnson's timely novel is a tipsy social satire about race and the oh-so-fragile ties that bind disparate parts of this country into an imperfect and restless union.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Tue March 3, 2015

'The Devil's Detective' Is A Grim Tour Through A Noirish Hell

Courtesy of Doubleday

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 5:38 pm

Sartre famously wrote that hell is other people. For many fantasy writers, though, it's a bureaucracy. In fact, the whole hell-as-bureaucracy theme has become hackneyed over the years — as much of a cliché as, well, bureaucracies being hellish.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue March 3, 2015

A Life Examined — And Examined And Examined In 'Ongoingness'

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 6:09 pm

Ever since Michel de Montaigne hit on the winning mix of frankly personal and broader philosophical reflections in his 16th century Essays, the personal essay has attracted those for whom the unexamined life is — well, unthinkable. In recent years, we've seen a spate of auto-pathologies — minutely observed meditations on the tolls of often strange ailments. A newer trend is the meta-diary — short autobiographical entries that frequently explore the writer's relationship with time, memory and identity.

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Author Interviews
1:36 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Ever Cheat At Monopoly? So Did Its Creator: He Stole The Idea From A Woman

Charles Darrow sold Monopoly to Parker Bros. in the 1930s.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 3:00 pm

Monopoly can be pretty addictive once you start playing it, right? Well, for author and journalist Mary Pilon, searching for the game's true origins proved just as consuming. She writes:

"In the process of reporting this story, I hacked off over a foot of hair in one anguished swoop, sold off many of my material possessions, was confronted by law enforcement for falling asleep in public places ... found Monopoly money in my linens when doing laundry, fretted about finances, [and] had nightmares about the various aspects of the story. ..."

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The Salt
3:30 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Sandwich Monday: The Funnel Cake Corn Dog

Like five fat, delicious fingers.
NPR

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 2:40 pm

When the corn dog was discovered in an Iowa cave in the 1950s, explorers dated it at roughly 40,000 years old. Its recipe has gone largely unchanged since then, though few makers use real glyptodon meat anymore.

Recently, though, the dog has had an evolutionary transformation. There's now a State Fair Brand Funnel Cake Corn Dog, a turkey and pork hot dog wrapped in a sweet funnel cake batter.

Eva: Time to reinforce the roller coaster.

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Author Interviews
11:20 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Chris Offutt Reveals A Family Secret In 'My Father, The Pornographer'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Monkey See
11:01 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Of Con Men And Dames: How Margot Robbie Gets Robbed In 'Focus'

Margot Robbie in Focus.
Frank Masi Warner Bros.

Focus, starring Will Smith as a smoothie con man with a heart of gold, is trying very hard to be a kind of film that only works when it seems effortless. Specifically, it seems to be engineered to be a close relative of Steven Soderbergh's 2001 Ocean's Eleven, in which beautiful people participate in tricky schemes dressed in cool clothes in gorgeous surroundings, surprising even the audience with their cleverness.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Mon March 2, 2015

'Beholder' Has An Eye For The Absurd, And A Smirk Beneath Its Beard

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 2:18 pm

Stop me if you've heard this one before: There's this guy, a dude in a bathrobe and a tangled mess of a beard who refuses to go outside. His wife left him nearly two years ago for a man with Greek god's jawline and a glamor job. Shortly before that? The guy's mom died of a painful, debilitating form of cancer, not long after his burgeoning rock band became a moldering pile of rubble. Oh, and that refusal to leave his house? That's just his blooming anxiety — paranoia, even — about the vast and uncaring world around him.

Hilarious, right?

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Monkey See
6:59 am
Mon March 2, 2015

'Downton' Wraps Another Season Of Marriage And (Sigh) Muuuuuurder!

Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) made the acquaintance of Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) on the season finale of Downton Abbey.
Nick Briggs Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE

When Downton Abbey, which wrapped up its fifth-season run on PBS Sunday night, is fun, it's so much fun. And when it's not good, it's usually talking about Mr. Bates and Anna and somebody getting murdered.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Mon March 2, 2015

'The Sellout' Is A Scorchingly Funny Satire On 'Post-Racial' America

Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

It's difficult to pin down the exact day when post-racial America was born. Maybe it was when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law, or when Thurgood Marshall was appointed the first African American member of the Supreme Court. Maybe it was when Barack Obama was elected president, or the first time a white person claimed to be "colorblind." It's honestly hard to tell, because as we keep seeing proved again and again, "post-racial America" is completely indistinguishable from what came before.

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Television
6:37 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

'Battle Creek' Tries To Shake Up CBS' Cop Show Formula

Dean Winters, left, and Josh Duhamel are not your father's mismatched buddy cops, on the new CBS show Battle Creek.
CBS

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 8:20 pm

In the first scene of CBS' Battle Creek, Det. Russ Agnew has a problem. A listening device he wants to place on his snitch Teddy isn't working.

"What wrong with the wire ... why isn't the red light coming on?" asks Agnew, beating the transmitter against the side of his van. He's already pilfered a handheld camera from a father videotaping his kid's performance at a school play because the department couldn't get him a working video unit.

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Movie Interviews
4:07 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

A Most Vibrant Year For Cinematographer Bradford Young

In Selma, director of photography Bradford Young wanted the camera to feel like a participant. "It was just about never retreating, always staying dangerously close to Martin Luther King," he says.
Atsushi Nishijima Paramount Pictures

Just two months into 2015, cinematographer Bradford Young is already having a big year.

Two acclaimed movies, Selma and A Most Violent Year, bear his name as Director of Photography.

"It's an interesting time," he laughs.

He sat down for a chat with NPR's Arun Rath, who started by asking about the striking depictions of violence in Selma.

"You have to be very delicate," Young says, "because as much as film has the ability to raise humanity, it also has the ability to put us down."

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Author Interviews
3:44 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

For An Author In India's Capital, 'Hope, In Many Ways, Is Fiction'

Monsoon clouds loom over New Delhi, the city at the center of Raj Kamal Jha's new novel.
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

As a newspaper editor in New Delhi, Raj Kamal Jha has a front row seat to the rapid changes in his hometown. New jobs and a strong economy have made the city a magnet for people across India.

His new novel, She Will Build Him a City, weaves the realities he sees as a journalist and resident in with what he calls the fiction of daily life. "I see more of that in a city like Delhi where you have people coming in every day with hope," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "And hope, in many ways, is fiction. Hope is the fiction you write inside your head and you work towards that."

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