Arts/Life

Author Interviews
2:27 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

A Reminder To Tolkien Fans Of Their First Love

Associated Press

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 5:40 pm

Seventy-five years ago, J.R.R Tolkien wrote a book for his children called The Hobbit. It isn't just a landmark piece of fantasy literature; it's a movement — a work that's inspired everyone from director Peter Jackson to the band Led Zeppelin to Leonard Nimoy (who recorded his own homage to the book in the late 1960s — "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins").

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Music Interviews
4:58 am
Sun October 21, 2012

From Elgar To Beatles: Abbey Road Blazed A Trail

The iconic cover of The Beatles' Abbey Road.
Album cover

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 10:01 am

In 1969, four moppy-haired musicians named John, Paul, George and Ringo walked single file on a London crosswalk and made one of the most iconic album covers of all time. Today, a steady stream of Beatles fans and London tourists are still eager to walk in the footsteps of the Fab Four on that famous stretch of asphalt.

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Theater
4:58 am
Sun October 21, 2012

A Celebration Of Janis Joplin And All Her Swagger

Mary Bridget Davies as Janis Joplin and Sabrina Elayne Carten as Blues Singer in the Cleveland Play House production of One Night with Janis Joplin.
Janet Macoska Arena Stage

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 6:03 am

The countercultural revolution of the 1960s may have been all about sex drugs and rock 'n' roll, but for one young Texas singer it was all about the blues. No one sang the blues quite like Janis Joplin.

Joplin was part of a legendary line-up of musicians at Woodstock in 1969: Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Joan Baez. She wasn't on the music scene long, though. Joplin died in 1970 of a drug overdose. She was only 27 years old, but in that short time her bluesy rasp helped define the music of a generation.

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Movie Interviews
4:58 am
Sun October 21, 2012

In McElwee Doc, 'Memory' Fails And Family Clashes

In an attempt to remember what it was like to have most of his life ahead of him, filmmaker Ross McElwee turns the camera on his son, Adrian, seen above.
Fred Wasser

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 5:04 am

Filmmaker Ross McElwee is a one-man crew: soundman, cameraman, narrator. He reached a wide audience with his sweet documentary Sherman's March, which chronicled his journey through the South searching for love. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 1987. He's made five documentary features since then.

McElwee's latest film is Photographic Memory — and it presents a different side of the director.

Early in Photographic Memory, we see McElwee in a small town in Brittany, France, in a state of digital disorientation.

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Sunday Puzzle
11:59 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

'Poked' And 'Tummy' Become 'Poker' And 'Rummy'

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 6:03 am

On-air challenge: You will be given two words. Change one letter in each of them to make two new words that name things that are in the same category. (Hint: In each pair, the letter that you change to — that is, the new letter — is the same in each pair.) For example, given the words "poked" and "tummy," the answer would be "poker" and "rummy."

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From Our Listeners
3:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: Check-In With The Judge

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

RAZ: For the past few weeks, we've been reading close to 4,000 stories about fictional and real presidents - stories that were submitted by you to our writing contest, Three-Minute Fiction, here on WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. That was the challenge by our judge this round, the thriller writer Brad Meltzer. Your story had to revolve around a U.S. president who could be fictional or real.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

The Movie Susan Sarandon Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Actors (from left) Dorris Bowdon, Jane Darwell and Henry Fonda in a still from the 1940 film The Grapes of Wrath, directed by John Ford.
20th Century Fox Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 8:12 am

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Essays
5:03 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Anxiety Ahoy: Amazon Now Ranks Author Popularity

Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 1:10 pm

What is the point of the best-seller list? Depends who you are. If you're a reader, it's a guide to what's popular — what's new, what your neighbors are buying, and what you might like to read next. If you're a publisher, it's a source of feedback and a sales tool: It tells you how your books compete, and gives you triumphs to crow about on paperback covers.

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Author Interviews
4:37 am
Sat October 20, 2012

'John Lennon Letters' Reveal A Life As It Happened

John Lennon signs autographs during the filming of The Magical Mystery Tour.
Jim Gray Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 2:21 pm

John Lennon loved word play; he wrote songs that have not only become standards, but also milestones, like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Strawberry Fields," which he wrote with the Beatles, and "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance," which he wrote on his own. For most of his life, he also composed letters to friends and family; then lovers, as he grew up; and strangers, as he grew famous. His notes, letters and postcards often contained small, funny drawings and self portraits.

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Movies
4:37 am
Sat October 20, 2012

A Look At 'The Girl' Who Caught Hitchcock's Eye

Tippi Hedren (played by Sienna Millier) starred in two of Alfred Hitchcock's (Toby Jones) films: Marnie and The Birds.
Kelly Walsh HBO

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 7:24 am

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Arts & Life
4:37 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Examining The Economy Of Art Thieves

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 2:21 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There was a huge art heist this week. Paintings by Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso, Monet and other artists were stolen from an exhibition hall in Rotterdam. Picasso's "Harlequin Head" and Monet's "Waterloo Bridge" were among the purloined works. And their loss is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

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Asia
4:37 am
Sat October 20, 2012

An American 'Revolutionary' In China

Mao Zedong signs Sidney Rittenberg's copy of The Little Red Book during a gathering of party leaders in Beijing on May 1, 1967, at the beginning of China's Cultural Revolution.
Courtesy of Sidney Rittenberg

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 3:37 pm

Sidney Rittenberg went to China as an American GI at the end of World War II and fell in love with the country. He was discharged as a Chinese translator for the U.S. Army, but decided to stay there.

By the time Rittenberg came back to the United States, more than 30 years later, he had become one of only a few American citizens to join the Chinese Communist Party. He translated English for Chairman Mao Zedong, told off Madame Mao during the Cultural Revolution, and endured 16 years of solitary confinement in Chinese prisons.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:04 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Plays Not My Job

Nancy Pelosi takes the stage during Day Two of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September.
Alex Wong Getty Images

In January 2007, Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California was sworn in as the speaker of the House of Representatives — and became the first woman to hold that position. She is currently the House minority leader.

We've invited Pelosi to play a game about men breaking gender barriers — three questions about men who've gone where no man has gone before.

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Monkey See
3:58 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Home Video Review: Universal's 'Classic Monsters' Collection

1954's Creature from the Black Lagoon is featured in the new release of Universal's classic monster movies.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Time now for a home viewing recommendation from film critic Bob Mondello. This week, Bob's getting ahead of the Halloween curve, with an 8-disk Classic Monsters collection from Universal Pictures.

The scene you know best is nowhere to be found in the novel Frankenstein. No electrifying the creature with lightning, no ecstatic doctor's cry of "It's alive, it's aliiiiiiive!"

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The Salt
2:04 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Excuse Me, Is That Bacon In Your Cocktail?

Three of Josh Berner's fat-infused cocktails. From left: Play It Sam, United Colors of Basilton and Chile Manteca Y Dulce. Scroll down for the recipes.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 11:03 am

The practice of imparting the flavor of something heavy into a lighter liquid is centuries old. Ancient Indian healers did it with botanicals; early Christian monks did it with bitters. But the process is getting new attention as part of the craze to put all things food into all things drink.

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Monkey See
1:45 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

'Friendkeeping': The Close Relationships We Could, But Can't Easily, Let Go

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:46 pm

At Monkey See this week, we've been talking about friendship and pop culture. We close with this discussion with Julie Klam, whose new book, Friendkeeping, goes on sale next week.

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Author Interviews
10:21 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Baratunde Thurston Explains 'How To Be Black'

Baratunde Thurston is an American comedian and the digital director of The Onion. He co-founded the black political blog Jack & Jill Politics. He is also a prolific tweeter." href="/post/baratunde-thurston-explains-how-be-black" class="noexit lightbox">
Baratunde Thurston is an American comedian and the digital director of The Onion. He co-founded the black political blog Jack & Jill Politics. He is also a prolific tweeter.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 10:55 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 1, 2012. How to Be Black will be released in paperback on Oct. 30.

It's no coincidence that Baratunde Thurston's new memoir and satirical self-help book How to Be Black was slated for release on the first day of Black History Month.

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Monkey See
9:55 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Does The Hallmark Channel Have Basic Cable's Most Efficiently Defined Brand?

Kellie Martin and Ethan Erickson in I Married Who?
Alexx Henry Hallmark Channel

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:50 pm

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Monkey See
8:58 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Nature Of Suspense And Our Love Of Cover Songs

NPR

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:53 pm

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week, we're visited by the marvelous Barrie Hardymon for a show about the nature of suspense — brought on by Stephen's and my enthusiasm for the new Ben Affleck film Argo -- and about cover songs. We play a lot of music, including covers we love and the raw materials to put together covers that don't exist except in our dreams.

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Movie Reviews
8:51 am
Fri October 19, 2012

'The Sessions': Sex, Comedy And Something More

Living most of his life in an iron lung forces Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) to see the world from a different point of view.
Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:53 pm

In 1983, Berkeley poet and journalist Mark O'Brien wrote an article about sexual surrogates — women and men trained to help people with disabilities learn to use their bodies to give themselves and others erotic pleasure.

For O'Brien, the subject wasn't academic. After a bout of childhood polio, he had spent much of his life in an iron lung. He could talk, and tap out words on a typewriter holding a stick in his mouth. He could feel things below the neck. But he couldn't move his muscles.

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Monkey See
7:48 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Entirely Real Photos: What's It Like At A Rockettes Rehearsal?

Linda Haberman (L), Director and Choreographer of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular directs The Rockettes at the 2012 Radio City Christmas Spectacular Rehearsals this week in New York.
Rob Kim Getty Images

I have no particular wisdom about this photo; I just think it's interesting to see that the Rockettes are never not regimented. I thought maybe you'd be allowed to wear your own dance clothes, but it makes sense that they'd want to see the effect of everyone looking the same, even in practice. These women work hard.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
7:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of October 18, 2012

Sherman Alexie's Blasphemy, a collection of stories about Native American life, debuts at No. 15.

Monkey See
6:44 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Morning Shots: 'Girls,' Jerks, 'Sugar Dome,' And Messing With Classics

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:51 pm

I continue to be utterly fascinated by Ta-Nehisi Coates and his quest to learn French. "I now understand why two-year-olds are so frustrated," and other insights. [The Atlantic]

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Movie Reviews
3:14 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Aging Gracefully By Sticking 'All Together'

Five friends decide to move in together as an alternative to retirement-home living in the French-language dramedy All Together.
Huma Rosentalski Kino Lorber

Like the characters in this year's indie feel-good The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel — British pensioners who decide to spend their autumn years living communally and on the cheap in India — the French seniors of the charming yet melancholy All Together face aging in a time of banking crises and austerity measures.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Life, And Something Like Love, In An Iron Lung

Mark (John Hawkes), a disabled man who has spent most of his life in an iron lung, decides to lose his virginity to a sex surrogate, Cheryl (Helen Hunt).
Fox Searchlight

Disability biopics, especially the kind that bring audiences to their feet at Sundance, rarely have anywhere to carry us but on a linear journey from pity via empathy to tearful uplift.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Some Things Are Better Left Un-'Said'

Best friends Bebe (Marcia DeBonis) and Dee Dee (Anne Heche) are New Yorkers with various issues surrounding sex and men.
Phase 4 Films

The road to hell is paved not just with good intentions, but with movies that attempt to capture the way women really talk. Bodacious confessions about illicit nights spent in all manner of threesomes; loud coffee-shop discussions about yeast infections; repeated fretting about that possible Mr. Right who, for some reason, just hasn't gotten around to calling — all of these things figure heavily in the generally preposterous girl talk that makes up That's What She Said. Elvis Costello sure had it right: There are some things you can't cover up with lipstick and powder.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

'Nobody Walks' The Straight And Narrow Path

A married Hollywood sound man (John Krasinski) falls for his collaborator and house guest (Olivia Thirlby) in Nobody Walks, a messily mortifying study of emotional impulse.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 6:50 am

October is normally a time for watching movies through your fingers, knowing something grim is about to happen. Ry Russo-Young's new film, Nobody Walks, is no exception — except that at a horror movie, you're guarding against images that are sure to be terrifying. In this intimate, quietly compelling indie drama, they're mortifying.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Tyler Perry Takes A Shot At Thriller Territory

Cross, Monica Ashe (Rachel Nichols) and Tommy Kane (Edward Burns) race against the clock to find the sociopathic assassin.
Sidney Baldwin Summit Entertainment

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 10:17 am

A vigilante with the heart of a social worker, the protagonist of Alex Cross wants to nurture and uplift — but also to make the sort of moves that delight a multiplex crowd.

He is, in short, Tyler Perry's alter ego.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Nothing 'Zero' About This Kung Fu Hero

Sammo Hung, the film's fight choreographer, has worked with kung fu artists like Jackie Chan and John Woo.
Okazaki Hirotake Variance Films

With its frisky camerawork, eclectic scenario and playful stylization, the Chinese period action romp Tai Chi Zero is an impressive package. That there's not much inside the glittery wrapping is just a minor drawback.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

In 'Bestiare,' A Glimpse Into The Nature Of Looking

Cote's placid pacing invites consideration of the monotony and simplicity that marks the lives of both the animals and the humans in the park.
KimStim Inc.

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 3:25 pm

It's tempting to call Denis Cote's Bestiaire "contemplative." Its unscored 72 minutes of footage — of animals, caretakers and patrons at Quebec's Parc Safari — certainly leave a lot of room for thought.

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