Arts/Life

Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

'Mama' Knows Best — But She's The Worst

When Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Annabel (Jessica Chastain) welcome his orphaned nieces (Isabelle Nelisse, left, and Megan Charpentier) into their home, they also inadvertently welcome one particularly malevolent spirit.
Universal Pictures

If the movies have taught us anything, it's that when you're lost in the wilderness, an abandoned cabin in the woods may not be the life-sustaining shelter it seems.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

'Broken City,' Broken Movie: An Undernourished Noir

In a corrupt New York, private detective Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) tries to straighten out the city as he straightens out his own life.
Barry Wetcher Twentieth Century Fox

As an investigation into American municipal corruption, Broken City is, well, damaged. But as an opportunity for hard-boiled types to trade threats, blows and caustic banter, this modern-day noir works reasonably well.

The story begins in a New York housing project, where scruffy undercover cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) has just dispatched a felon. The victim had it coming, it seems, but that doesn't mean the shooting is strictly legit.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

'Hors Satan': A Singularly Devilish Vision

David Dewaele) turns to nature for solace and spiritual comfort." href="/post/hors-satan-singularly-devilish-vision" class="noexit lightbox">
In Bruno Dumont's Hors Satan, the unnamed Guy (David Dewaele) turns to nature for solace and spiritual comfort.
New Yorker Films

Bruno Dumont just wasn't made for these cinematic times. Rather than cajole and flatter his viewers, the French filmmaker intentionally alienates and mystifies them. Like his five previous movies, the new Hors Satan is stark, strange and uncompromisingly personal. It's also vivid and unforgettable.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

'Dear Abby' Dies; Pauline Phillips Was Adviser To Millions

Pauline Phillips — Dear Abby — in 2001.
Fred Prouser Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 12:52 pm

Pauline Phillips, known to millions of advice-seekers around the world as the original "Dear Abby," has died. She was 94.

The company that syndicates Dear Abby says on its website that she "died Wednesday ... in Minneapolis after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease."

Read more
Books
12:04 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Rereading The Classics: Lessons Learned The Second Time Around

When Kevin Smokler reread books he was assigned in high school, he saw them in a brand new light.
Zitona/Flickr

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 12:24 pm

Writer Kevin Smokler spent a good majority of 2012 rereading the books he was assigned back in his high school English classes. He called up some of his former teachers and put together a list of books to revisit.

He looks back at his 15-year-old self and sees a "pretentious," somewhat "idiotic" teenager who was able to pass his classes, but who really missed the themes at the heart of most of the books.

Read more
Book Reviews
11:00 am
Thu January 17, 2013

How A 'Madwoman' Upended A Literary Boys Club

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 11:05 am

This week, the National Book Critics Circle announced that two feminist literary scholars, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, would be the recipients of its 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Read more
Ask Me Another
10:10 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Leverage Your A-Game

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Finally, it's what we've all been waiting for. Let's bring back the winners to play our Ask Me One More in final round. From Where in the World is Ronald McDonald, Reuben Hampton.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: From Celebrity Grammograms, Andy Kravis.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: For the Birds: Chris D'Orso.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yes, Sir, Yes, Sir: Len Schiff.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All Movies are the Same: Luke Green.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All right, Will, take us out.

Read more
Ask Me Another
10:10 am
Thu January 17, 2013

All Movies Are The Same

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Moving on, here are our next two contestants: Luke Green and Jordan Shavarebi.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Luke, what is your favorite movie?

LUKE GREEN: Oh god, that's such a hard question. Probably "Die Hard."

EISENBERG: "Die Hard." Oh, I like your style.

(APPLAUSE)

GREEN: Or "Die Harder."

EISENBERG: Or "Die Harder." Oh, I don't like your style. Stick with "Die Hard."

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Okay, good. Jordan, what's your favorite movie?

Read more
Ask Me Another
10:10 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Sir, Yes, Sir!

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's get back to the puzzle mania with our next two contestants. Please welcome Danny Fox and Len Schiff.

(APPLAUSE)

LEN SCHIFF: Hello.

EISENBERG: Hello. Len, you're a lyricist that writes musicals.

SCHIFF: I am that, yes.

EISENBERG: What is your favorite musical?

SCHIFF: Oh, "Sweeney Todd."

EISENBERG: "Sweeney Todd" is a good answer. That is a good answer.

SCHIFF: Sundon Park.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

SCHIFF: It was even a clue last year.

(LAUGHTER)

Read more
Ask Me Another
10:09 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Celebrity Grammograms

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's bring up our next two fearless contestants. We have Andy Kravis and Sara Manaugh.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Andy, you're a bit of a geek. You parody pop songs with law school related lingo. What's up with that?

ANDY KRAVIS: That's right. I'm in the Columbia Law Review, which sounds just like the Columbia Law Review, the journal, except way better and a lot more fun. We write parody words to popular songs, and they have a law theme. And nobody finds them funny except for law students.

(LAUGHTER)

Read more
Ask Me Another
10:09 am
Thu January 17, 2013

For The Birds

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

All right, let's bring up our next two brave contestants: Jess Beck and Chris D'Orso.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Jess, you're a senior at BU, studying health science.

JESS BECK: Uh-huh.

EISENBERG: Do you know anything about birds?

BECK: A little bit.

EISENBERG: A little bit.

BECK: I'm not a bird scientist though.

Read more
Ask Me Another
10:08 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Where in the World Is Ronald McDonald?

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

In front of me right now are our first two contestants. Please welcome Reuben Hampton and Mark Thomas.

(APPLAUSE)

REUBEN HAMPTON: Hi, Ophira.

EISENBERG: Hello. Reuben, I have a question for you.

HAMPTON: What might that be?

EISENBERG: What is your favorite thing to order at McDonald's?

HAMPTON: Water.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Good answer, Reuben. I like the way you eat. Mark, what is your favorite thing to order?

MARK THOMAS: Absolutely nothing.

EISENBERG: Really?

Read more
Inauguration 2013
9:44 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Designing Inaugural Dresses, Not All Roses

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, let's head back to events in this country. Thousands of Americans will be in Washington to watch history being made at the presidential inauguration, to hear President Obama's vision for the next four years.

Read more
Monkey See
9:10 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Chicken With Gatorade: The Oddball Pleasures Of 'Chopped'

Ted Allen addresses the chefs competing on the Chopped Holiday Special.
David Lang Food Network

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 9:44 am

There's no shortage of food shows on television, from serene instructional content to tourist eye candy to kooky competitions where chefs cook in the desert. There's also The Great Food Truck Race, which is mostly about the finer points of where you should park a food truck.

But while my favorite was once Bravo's Top Chef, with its clearly skilled chefs and terrific judging panels, my new favorite is the Food Network competition Chopped.

Read more
Monkey See
7:53 am
Thu January 17, 2013

'All My Babies' Mamas' Won't Be Happening, But What If It Had?

Seen here in 2008, Shawty Lo is the rapper whose babies and their mamas were scheduled to be part of an Oxygen reality special. But now, that's not happening.
Matt Sayles AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 9:16 am

It looks like All My Babies' Mamas isn't going to happen.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu January 17, 2013

New World, Old Evil In Tracy Chevalier's 'Runaway'

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 7:35 pm

Tracy Chevalier's 1999 masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring, was a tour de force, revealing the painter Vermeer through the eyes of his 16-year-old maid. A publishing sensation, the novel set the pattern for Chevalier's subsequent work: meticulously researched historical fiction, filled with gritty detail yet rendered in luminous prose.

Read more
Theater
1:45 am
Thu January 17, 2013

A Cooler Roof For A New 'Cat'

In Rob Ashford's new production of the classic play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Scarlett Johansson plays an earthier version of restless sex kitten Maggie.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 9:11 am

There are certain classic American plays that are revived on Broadway every decade or so, to let a new generation of actors and audiences discover them. Tennessee Williams' 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, running through March 30, is one of those iconic plays.

Read more
Monkey See
1:26 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Fans Gather To Remember Huell Howser

Seen here in 2005, Huell Howser was remembered by hundreds of fans on Tuesday.
AP

On today's Morning Edition, Shereen Marisol Meraji had a great piece about the memorial of Southern California public-television staple Huell Howser, who died of cancer earlier this month.

On Tuesday, hundreds of people turned out to remember him. As Meraji says, for these fans, Howser was "a man who took them to places they never knew they wanted to go and introduced them to people they never knew they wanted to meet."

Read more
The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Conrad Bain, Mr. Drummond On 'Diff'rent Strokes,' Dies

Conrad Bain, with actors Todd Bridges (left) and Gary Coleman (right) in 1978 when they were starring on Diff'rent Strokes.
NBC Television Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 1:59 pm

He'll always be best known as "the kindly white adoptive father of two young African-American brothers in the TV sitcom Diff'rent Strokes," as The Associated Press writes.

Conrad Bain, 89, died Monday in Livermore, Calif., his daughter says.

Read more
Ask Me Another
12:39 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

The Acrobuffos: Clowning Around

Just clownin' around.
Bertrand Guay Big Apple Circus

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 8:05 am

Read more
Monkey See
9:20 am
Wed January 16, 2013

What Music Makes A Distilled Good Mood?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 10:19 am

On October 24, 2011, I had a bad day.

I honestly forget why. It was a Monday; that should be enough.

Read more
Movie Interviews
8:53 am
Wed January 16, 2013

'Quartet': Dustin Hoffman, Behind The Camera

Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut with the film Quartet. He has starred in such classics as The Graduate, Kramer vs. Kramer and Tootsie.
Kerry Brown The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 1:08 pm

In December, the actor Dustin Hoffman sat in a box seat at the Kennedy Center as his old friend, Robert De Niro, saluted him at a celebration marking one of the highest accolades for an artist in the United States: a Kennedy Center Honor.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed January 16, 2013

'Tropic Death' Presents Life's Horrors In Beautiful Prose

Liveright

Tropic Death, the blunt, specific title for Eric Walrond's story collection, first published more than 85 years ago, couldn't be more apt. These 10 stories indeed have tropical settings — namely, British Guiana, Barbados and the Panama Canal Zone — and death is ever present, as palpable as the bludgeoning heat and suffocating racism that characterize many of these tales.

Read more
The Salt
1:04 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Whole Foods Founder John Mackey On Fascism and 'Conscious Capitalism'

Whole Foods has more than 300 stores and continues to expand.
Harry Cabluck AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 1:51 pm

UPDATE at 12:35 p.m., ET, Jan. 17: Many of you wrote in to tell us you were taken aback by Whole Foods top executive John Mackey characterizing the health law as fascism in an NPR interview, and apparently, he's feeling a little sheepish.

About three minutes into his otherwise amiable chat with CBS This Morning hosts on on Thursday, Mackey walked back his comments in response to a direct question from Norah O'Donnell:

Read more
Kitchen Window
12:28 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Discovering Barley's Hidden Charms

Rina Rapuano for NPR

As someone who dines out a lot for work, I can tell you that barley doesn't appear on a whole lot of menus. And as a home cook, I can see how this grain maybe isn't perceived to be as sexy as farro, as healthy as quinoa or as versatile as oats.

But barley has a lot more going for it than being malted for beer or being dumped in a soup.

Read more
Monkey See
1:03 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Home Video Review: 'Slings And Arrows'

Richard (Mark McKinney) and Sanjay (Colm Feore) get up close and personal in the zany backstage comedy Slings and Arrows.
Ken Woroner Acorn Media

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Time now for a home-viewing recommendation from movie critic Bob Mondello. He recently caught an online episode of the Shakespeare-centric comedy Slings and Arrows and says it reminded him how much he liked the whole series.

Read more
Around the Nation
12:46 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

A New Chapter? A Launch Of The Bookless Library

In Texas, Bexar County officials compare the proposed digital-only library to an Apple store. The 4,989-square-foot modern space will contain 100 e-readers available for circulation, 50 e-readers for children, 50 computer stations, 25 laptops and 25 tablets on-site.
Courtesy of Bexar County

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 8:56 am

If your idea of a library is row upon row of nicely shelved hardcovers, then you'll be in for a surprise when a planned new library in San Antonio opens this fall.

"Think of an Apple store," Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says while explaining the layout of the new library, BiblioTech.

In keeping with technological advances, the county will house a library of neatly arranged LCD screens and gadgets instead of the traditional banquet of dog-eared print and paper books. The public library will be one of the first digital-only libraries of its kind.

Read more
Book Reviews
11:11 am
Tue January 15, 2013

George Saunders Lives Up To The Hype

George Saunders' previous books include In Persuasion Nation and The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip. He won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006.
Basso Cannarsa Courtesy Random House

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:15 am

I was baffled by the cover of The New York Times Magazine two Sundays ago. You may remember that the headline of the cover story was: "George Saunders Has Written The Best Book You'll Read This Year." I was baffled because the only George Saunders I could think of was that old movie star who was always playing cads in films like Rebecca and All About Eve.

Read more
Monkey See
10:13 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Lance Armstrong And The Cheapening Of Indignation

Cyclist Lance Armstrong addresses participants at a Livestrong event in October.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:22 am

Read more
Movie Interviews
8:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Affleck On 'Argo' And The 1979 Hostage Crisis

Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in Argo. Affleck also directed the film, which is based on events surrounding the Iran hostage crisis of 1979.
Keith Bernstein Warner Brothers

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:11 am

At Sunday's Golden Globes, Ben Affleck looked genuinely surprised and delighted twice toward the end of the evening: first when he won best director for Argo, and then again when the film won for best motion picture/drama.

The film, which Affleck produced and in which he also stars, is the mostly true story of the CIA operative who helmed the rescue of six U.S. diplomats who managed to escape at the outset of the 1979 Iran crisis that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days after militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran.

Read more

Pages