Arts/Life

Movie Reviews
10:38 am
Fri May 23, 2014

'The Immigrant': An Ellis Island Period Drama From James Gray

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 11:27 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Director James Gray has made four features since his first film, 1994's "Little Odessa," and all four have starred Joaquin Phoenix. There was "The Yards," "We Own the Night," and "Two Lovers." And now the actor costars as a shady businessman in Gray's new movie, "The Immigrant." It's a period piece that also features Marion Cotillard as a Polish woman trying to free her sister from the infirmary at Ellis Island. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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Monkey See
9:50 am
Fri May 23, 2014

A Painful But Critical Reminder From 'The Normal Heart'

Mark Ruffalo in HBO's filmed version of The Normal Heart.
Jojo Whilden HBO

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 12:09 pm

Every so often, storytellers land on the same idea close enough to the same time that it rattles the zeitgeist like an earthquake.

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NPR Ed
9:21 am
Fri May 23, 2014

The Crisis In The 'Ivory Tower'

Ivory Tower is a new film about higher education at a crossroads.
CNN/TakePart

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 11:21 am

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Arts/Life
8:43 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Film Review: The Other Woman

  Jack Fields reviews the film "The Other Woman."

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Arts/Life
8:42 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Film Review: Neighbors

  Jack Fields reviews the smash hit comedy "Neighbors." 

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Monkey See
7:48 am
Fri May 23, 2014

God, The Devil And 'Hannibal'

Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter in NBC's surprising Hannibal.
Brooke Palmer NBC

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 12:06 pm

Hannibal Lecter is a known quantity. He is the thinking man's boogeyman, made larger than life first in Thomas Harris' novels, then in a variety of films. The character was, is, iconic. So when NBC announced it was developing a series revolving around the character in 2011, conventional wisdom declared it a terrible idea. After all we knew about Hannibal Lecter, how would it be possible to revisit the character and his world in a new and interesting way?

The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, was through upsetting expectations.

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TED Radio Hour
7:10 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Is There A Cure For Stage Fright?

"I've always wanted to be able to be in front of people ... but then, in reality, whenever I've been presented with that opportunity, it just seems a different thing is going on." — Joe Kowan
Ryan Lash courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode What We Fear.

About Joe Kowan's TEDTalk

Folk singer Joe Kowan talks about the visceral, body-hijacking experience he feels when he's performing in front of an audience, and how a song helped him cope with stage fright.

About Joe Kowan

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TED Radio Hour
7:10 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Should We Be Afraid Of Death?

"Because we've got these massive brains, we can generalize and abstract and so we can worry about things that aren't even right in front of us." — Stephen Cave
courtesy of TEDxBratislava

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode What We Fear.

About Stephen Cave's TEDTalk

Philosopher Stephen Cave delves into the simple question: Why are human beings afraid to die?

About Stephen Cave

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TED Radio Hour
7:10 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Is It Possible To Be Fearless?

"I was a fearless kid. I was a man at a young age — more of a man back then than i am now." — David Blaine
Michael Timmons courtesy of TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode What We Fear.

About David Blaine's TEDTalk

Illusionist and endurance artist David Blaine explains how he has made a career out of fearlessly performing death-defying feats.

About David Blaine

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TED Radio Hour
7:10 am
Fri May 23, 2014

How Do You Deal With Fear Versus Danger?

"The scairest thing I've done is ride a rocket ship to space" — Chris Hadfield
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode What We Fear.

About Chris Hadfield's TEDTalk

Astronaut and retired colonel Chris Hadfield discusses how to prepare your mind for the unexpected, and the worst.

About Chris Hadfield

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TED Radio Hour
7:10 am
Fri May 23, 2014

What's The Difference Between Rational and Irrational Fears?

"I think fear is itself a kind of subconscious form of storytelling ... it has the same architecture, a beginning, a middle and an end, and the end is bad." — Karen Thompson Walker
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode What We Fear.

About Karen Thompson Walker's TEDTalk

Through the story of the whale ship Essex, novelist Karen Thompson Walker describes how our most vivid fears are often not the most realistic.

About Karen Thompson Walker

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Monkey See
6:31 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Godzilla' And Things That Got Better

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

First of all: LIVE SHOW TICKETS! (On sale June 2 — that's a week from this coming Monday — at noon Eastern.)

Just wanted to put that up there; we'll get back to it.

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Fine Art
12:57 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Impressionists With Benefits? The Painting Partnership Of Degas And Cassatt

In a letter, Mary Cassatt describes working on Little Girl in a Blue Armchair (1878) with Edward Degas. An X-ray of the painting reveals brush strokes unlike Cassatt's regular strokes.
National Gallery of Art

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 7:50 am

In her novel I Always Loved You, author Robin Oliveira imagines a passionate scene between Edgar Degas — a French artist known for his paintings of dancers — and Mary Cassatt — an American painter known for her scenes of family life. The kiss in the novel is pure fiction, but then again, "nobody knows what goes on in their neighbor's house, let alone what happened between two artists 130 years ago," Oliveira says.

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Photography And Memory
3:18 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Overexposed? Camera Phones Could Be Washing Out Our Memories

Rebecca Woolf takes a lot of photos of her children for her blog, Girl's Gone Child, but says she tries to not let the camera get in the middle of a moment.
Courtesy of Rebecca Woolf

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 10:58 am

Los Angeles blogger Rebecca Woolf uses her blog, Girl's Gone Child, as a window into her family's life. Naturally, it includes oodles of pictures of her four children.

She says she's probably taken tens of thousands of photos since her oldest child was born. And she remembers the moment when it suddenly clicked — if you will — that she was too absorbed in digital documentation.

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Movies
3:03 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Love Blooms In Midlife, But Halfheartedly

Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche do their best in the watery Words And Pictures.
Doane Gregory Roadside Attractions

No fewer than three comedies about finding love in midlife open this week, all of them shiny with major stars. Is it time to stop whining about the dearth of romantic comedy for mature audiences? Only if you prefer quantity to quality.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

The 'Angriest' Robin Williams Sadly Becomes The Inspirational One

Robin Williams thinks he's living on borrowed time in The Angriest Man In Brooklyn.
Jojo Whilden Lionsgate

The last time Robin Williams had a leading role in a film was in 2009, a year when, apart from the Razzie-nominated Old Dogs, he starred in the World's Greatest Dad. Bobcat Goldthwait's film, about a dad who finds his son dead in the bathroom and turns him into a posthumous celebrity by writing him a moving fake suicide note and online diary, turned an innocuous plot into delightfully dark satire.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Dizzy From Time Travel, Overstuffed With Mutants

You're looking pensive, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). And maybe full of ... holes?
Alan Markfield Twentieth Century Fox

As the seventh X-Men movie begins, New York City is in ruins, its residents nearly annihilated. Yet X-Men: Days of Future Past's true plight is overpopulation. The film is so stuffed with characters that including twin versions of Professor X and Magneto scarcely boosts the confusion.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

A 'Cold' Thriller Of Fathers, Sons And Facial Hair

Sam Shepard (Russell), Michael C. Hall (Richard Dane), and Don Johnson (Jim Bob) find themselves unexpectedly working together in Cold In July.
IFC Films

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 7:45 am

The mustache and mullet make the man. Or so the man hopes.

In Jim Mickle's Cold in July, Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) is a small town Texas entrepreneur in 1989, his days spent running a little frame shop on the main strip in town, evenings at home with his wife and slightly annoying little boy. This is a time and place where men are expected to be men, and if you're lacking in the rugged masculinity department, some creative hairstyling and some wispy lip fuzz may be your attempt at a solution. If that fails, having a gun in the bedside drawer can't hurt either.

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Book Reviews
2:54 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

In Cunningham's Latest, Powerful Language Makes Up For Weak Plot

Author Michael Cunningham

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 4:46 pm

Michael Cunningham is known for his lyric and evocative language, and his sixth novel, The Snow Queen, is no exception, though the novel's plot leaves something to be desired. The setting is Bushwick, Brooklyn. It's November, 2004, and the neighborhood, though lightly gentrifying, is still a no-man's-land of desolate streets, industrial warehouses, and lopsided apartments. Two brothers, Barrett and Tyler Meeks, along with Tyler's fiancee, Beth, are living their lives the best they can in a two-bedroom on Knickerbocker Avenue.

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Book Reviews
1:24 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

A Second Posthumous Collection From Rock Critic Ellen Willis

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 1:54 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Ellen Willis was the first rock critic for The New Yorker is. She was also a radical feminist writer and activist. Her work appeared in the Village Voice, where she was a columnist, as well as in Rolling Stone and The Nation.

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Games & Humor
11:25 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Does Smuggling A Cow Into School Make You A Creative Genius?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, let's take a minute to congratulate our graduating seniors. But according to our next guest, we might want to take another minute to congratulate the senior pranksters. They've been busy this year already. Students in Chandler, Ariz., managed to park several cars in the school's main hallway. This week, high school students in Northborough, Mass., brought a goat and a chicken into school in the middle of the night.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Norman Rockwell Painting 'The Rookie' Sells For $22.5 Million

Norman Rockwell's The Rookie, seen here on display in 2005, sold at auction for $22.5 million Thursday.
Chitose Suzuki AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 12:27 pm

Norman Rockwell's The Rookie has sold for $22.5 million at auction Thursday. The 1957 painting of baseball players in a locker room was sold by Christie's auction house — heady heights for a work that first appeared on a magazine that sold for 15 cents.

Update at 12:50 p.m. The Final Price

While the "hammer price" of the Rockwell painting was $20 million, Christie's says the painting's final price is $22,565,000, reflecting a buyer's premium. We've updated this post to reflect the auction house's final calculation.

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Book News: Sam Greenlee, Author Of 'The Spook Who Sat By The Door,' Dies

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 11:44 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu May 22, 2014

'Girl In The Road' Is A Dizzying Journey

Can you write about the future these days without it being apocalyptic? It's not clear whether Monica Byrne was trying to answer that question in her debut novel, The Girl in the Road — but she does it anyway. Taking place near the end of the 21st century in India and Africa — as well as on a high-tech bridge that spans the Indian Ocean between the two — the book isn't short on misery, tragedy or violence. It certainly isn't optimistic. At the same time, it gracefully dodges the apocalypse-mongering that's become all but de rigueur in near-future science fiction.

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Books
5:03 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Full Of Warmth And Wisdom, 'Vacationers' Is A Frothy Beach Read

cover detail
Riverhead Books

Meet the Posts — no relation to Emily and her rules of etiquette. The stressed family of New Yorkers in Emma Straub's breezy summer read, The Vacationers, are the kind of people who pack their troubles on top, for easiest access, when they head off on a trip together.

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Politics
3:18 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

40 Years After Watergate, A Look Back At Nixon's Downfall

Washington Journal

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 11:43 am

Forty years ago, in mid-May 1974, Elizabeth Drew, the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, wrote this in her journal: "Rumors went around the Capitol today that the President was resigning."

The Capitol, she observed was "noisy and edgy .. and in the hothouse atmosphere, the rumors burst into full bloom."

By August 1974 the president in question, Richard Nixon, would resign rather than face a Senate impeachment trial.

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Author Interviews
2:20 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

How The Koch Brothers Remade America's Political Landscape

David Koch is one-half of politically and economically powerful duo known as the Koch brothers. He and his brother, Charles, are tied in sixth place on the list of the wealthiest men on the planet.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 3:08 pm

Brothers Charles and David Koch are the subject of the new book Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty. The author, Daniel Schulman, describes the Kochs as having pumped hundreds of millions into remaking the American political landscape, trying to bring their libertarian views into the mainstream.

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Movies
2:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Hits And Misses From Cannes Film Festival

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The French Riviera is once again flooded with celebrities, photographers and fans. The annual Cannes Film Festival is underway, an event known for its international flavor and glamour and the festival's opening film this year "Grace of Monaco" has both of those in spades. It's about the life of Hollywood star Grace Kelly and her difficult transition from actress to princess.

(SOUNDBITE FROM FILM "GRACE OF MONACO")

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Monkey See
12:40 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

'Batman V Superman': A Legal Thriller (We Hope)

Henry Cavill played Superman in Man Of Steel and will return to go to court with Batman (we hope) next year.
Clay Enos Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:52 pm

We learned today that the upcoming sequel to Man Of Steel will be called Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

This is interesting for several reasons. First of all, "Dawn Of Justice" sounds like a dirty movie about sheriffs. Second of all, "Dawn Of Justice" sounds like it precedes the Morning Of Reckoning, the Afternoon Of Relief, the Dusk Of Regret, the Evening Of Resignation, and the Hot Muggy Midnight Of History Repeating Itself, all leading up to Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: The Next Day.

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Book Reviews
12:25 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

'Chameleon' Has Cabaret, Spies And A Plot Fit For Lifetime

German troops march towards Paris' Arc de Triomphe in 1943.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 2:20 pm

Even the most restrained plot summary of Francine Prose's latest novel sounds like a teaser for a late night Lifetime TV movie. Here goes: In the Paris of the late 1920s, a butch lesbian race car driver named Lou Villars has her license revoked by the French government for daring to dress as a man in public. Lou goes on to become a performer in a risque review at the Chameleon Club, a smoky nightclub where threadbare artists and thrill-seeking aristocrats mingle in the half-light.

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