Arts/Life

Movie Interviews
10:42 am
Thu November 29, 2012

'Flight' Takes On Questions Of Accountability

Denzel Washington stars in Flight, the latest film from writer-producer-director Robert Zemeckis.
Robert Zuckerman Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:21 pm

Director, producer and screenwriter Robert Zemeckis is known for the Back to the Future films — which marked his arrival onto the Hollywood scene in the mid-1980s — as well as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Forrest Gump. His latest film, Flight, stars Denzel Washington as William "Whip" Whitaker, a heroic airline pilot with a dark secret.

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Best Books Of 2012
5:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

A Wintry Mix: Alan Cheuse Selects The Season's Best

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:50 pm

It's that time of year again — the leaves have fallen, the dark comes early, the air brings with it a certain chill — and I've been piling up books on my reading table, books I've culled from the offerings of the past few months, which because of their essential lyric beauty and power stand as special gifts for you and yours.

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Movies
3:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Leslie Caron: Dancing From WWII Paris To Hollywood

Leslie Caron starred in a 1953 production of La Belle au Bois Dormant, or Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Roland Petit. Caron trained with the Conservatoire de Paris before joining Petit's company, Les Ballets des Champs-Elysées.
Baron/Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:40 am

In the 1950s, the moviegoing world fell in love with a young French ballerina and actress named Leslie Caron. She brightened the silver screen in musical films like 1958's Gigi, where she played a young courtesan-in-training who befriends a rich, handsome suitor in 1900s Paris.

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Movie Interviews
1:07 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Marion Cotillard, Diving Deep In 'Rust And Bone'

In Rust and Bone, Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard plays an orca trainer who loses her legs in a freak accident.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:47 pm

The latest film for Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone, is a French art film about two broken individuals who find love at the edge of the sea. It's poetic, lyrical — and not necessarily playing at a theater near you.

That was not the case earlier this summer, when Cotillard appeared as one of the central characters in the blockbuster Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

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Monkey See
10:56 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Top Ten Things I Am Not Going To Do During This 'Les Miserables' Screening

Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 10:44 am

It's just about that time when members of the press begin to attend screenings of Les Miserables. I hereby vow to engage in none of the following conduct.

1. Throw crusts of bread at the screen and yell, "HEY, JEAN VALJEAN, ARE YOU HUNGRY?"

2. Do my imitation of Amanda Seyfried singing "There are so many questions and ah-nswers that somehow seem wrong," even though it's really funny and quite terrifying.

3. Refer to the short-haired Anne Hathaway as "Ruth Buzz-y."

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Movie Interviews
8:57 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Peter Ramsey Makes Directorial Rise With 'Guardians'

North and his Yetis lead the ensemble of immortals fighting off an assault from the malicious Pitch.
DreamWorks Animation

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 11:47 am

The holiday season means parties, shopping and movies. This year brings a new animated feature, Rise of the Guardians, based on William Joyce's series of children's picture books and novels, The Guardians of Childhood. The story follows Santa Claus (voiced by Oscar nominee Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the silent Sandman as they unite to fight off the boogeyman, Pitch (Oscar nominee Jude Law). They also get a big hand from Jack Frost (Chris Pine).

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Kitchen Window
2:56 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Baking Without Flour For The Holidays

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:54 am

The holidays come in on a rush of cookies and snow (if you are so lucky) and parties and lists, and suddenly it's Jan. 1 and we're wiping the crumbs away and wondering where the year went. I'm currently tiptoeing into the season, my brain still basking in Indian summer despite the rain slated to descend on San Francisco in the coming weeks. "Ready" or not, the time is upon us.

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Author Interviews
1:45 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

'The Last Refuge': Yemen, Al-Qaida And The U.S.

W.W. Norton & Co.

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 1:47 pm

In December 2009, a would-be terrorist boarded a plane for Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. While the explosive failed to properly ignite and the man was arrested upon landing, the ensuing investigation revealed the bomb in question had been made by al-Qaida leaders in Yemen.

This attempted act of terrorism heralded both the small Arabian country's re-emergence into the international consciousness as a refuge for al-Qaida and the ascendance of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), developments that have grown only more pronounced since.

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New In Paperback
11:33 am
Tue November 27, 2012

New In Paperback Nov. 26- Dec. 2

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Paula McLain, Anita Desai, Joseph Epstein, Rosamond Bernier and Stuart Isacoff.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monkey See
9:57 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Is That A Budweiser In Your Hand?: Product Placement, Booze, And Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington plays Whip Whitaker in Flight.
Robert Zuckerman Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 9:22 am

At one point in the film Flight, alcoholic pilot William "Whip" Whitaker, played by Denzel Washington, peers into a hotel-room mini-fridge filled with pretty much every type of wine and liquor imaginable.

The shot showcases wine brands Yellow Tail, Barefoot, Sutter Home, plus Amstel Light and Heineken beers — even Red Bull.

This scene raised a lot of questions for me: When has any hotel minibar ever contained so much alcohol? Why has Denzel done three films focusing on transportation –- two trains and now a plane — in as many years?

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Monkey See
3:04 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Running A Comedy Machine: How Chuck Lorre Makes Hits

Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory, one of Chuck Lorre's three popular comedies currently on CBS.
Sonja Flemming CBS

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:51 pm

On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Neda Ulaby has a story about Chuck Lorre, the producer whose name is attached to three of the five highest-rated comedies on American television last season: The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, and Mike & Molly.

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Book Reviews
2:28 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Librarian Nancy Pearl's Picks For The Omnivorous Reader

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 2:12 pm

I'm often asked how I choose the books that I'm going to talk about on Morning Edition's "Under the Radar" segments. Simple: I just pick some of the titles that I've most enjoyed since the last time I was on, without concern for whether they're fiction or nonfiction, genre or not, or aimed or classified as being for children or teens.

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Books
2:48 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Independent Bookstores Find Their Footing

President Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia go shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va. This is shaping up to be a better holiday season for independent booksellers than in past years.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 4:18 pm

In recent years, the start of the holiday shopping season has meant nothing but gloom for independent bookstores. But this year, the mood seems to be lifting, and a lot of booksellers are feeling optimistic. Even President Obama kicked off his Christmas shopping at a neighborhood bookstore in Northern Virginia.

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
2:33 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of November 22, 2012

Three Lions Hulton Archive/Getty

Jon Meacham's Thomas Jefferson paints a rich portrait of the third president. It debuts at No. 1.

Author Interviews
1:35 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Mantel Takes Up Betrayal, Beheadings In 'Bodies'

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall won both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, won this year's Man Booker Prize.
Francesco Guidicini

This year, Hilary Mantel made history when she won a Man Booker Prize for her novel Bring Up the Bodies. She had previously been awarded the prize — England's highest literary honor — for her 2009 novel, Wolf Hall, and is now the first woman to receive the award twice.

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The Salt
11:34 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Sandwich Monday: The Butter & Sugar Burger

Via Arbroath

This is something that exists in Asia:

NPR still stubbornly refuses to pay for our travel — something about "sullying NPR's image abroad" and "Ian, how many times do we have to tell you, you don't really work here" — so we had to make our own version.

A disclaimer: We tried putting one together according to the specs of the image above, but no one could get down even a single bite. We lowered the butter content slightly.

Peter: I like the crunch of the sugar. It's like your teeth start decaying immediately.

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Author Interviews
10:24 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Jonathan Kozol On Kids That Survive Inner Cities

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 8:36 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll meet the star of the new film "Life of Pi," based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel. The film is getting rave reviews for its amazing special effects, as well as the performance of the young man we are going to meet in a few minutes for whom this was his first professional acting job. That's coming up.

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Movie Interviews
10:13 am
Mon November 26, 2012

'Life Of Pi' Life-Changing For Young Star

Suraj Sharma makes his motion picture acting debut as Pi Patel, a teenager who takes on an epic journey at sea.
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:37 am

The new film Life of Pi tells the story of a teenage Indian boy who survives a shipwreck, only to find himself in another ordeal: stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The movie is based on the best-selling novel of the same name, and is being mentioned as an Oscar contender by many critics.

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You Must Read This
5:03 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Strange Fruit And Stranger Dreams In The Deep South

Steve Stern's most recent book is called The Book of Mischief.

I'm about to make insane claims for a book, so the skeptics among you can stop reading now. It's called The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You — an outrageous title, I know. Plus, it's an epic poem, over 500 almost entirely unpunctuated pages in its original edition. Are you still with me? Then trust me, it's like no other book in our literature.

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Book Reviews
5:02 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Short Stories To Savor On A Winter Weekend

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 3:38 pm

Hortense Calisher, a virtuoso of the form, once called the short story "an apocalypse in a teacup." It's a definition that suits the remarkable stories published this year by three literary superstars, and two dazzling newcomers with voices so distinctive we're likely to be hearing from them again. These stories are intense, evocative delights to be devoured singly when you have only a sliver of time, or savored in batches, at leisure, on a winter weekend.

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Author Interviews
2:50 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Memoir Traces How Cartoonist Lost Her 'Marbles'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 7:45 am

When you think of mental illness, you don't often think of comics; but for cartoonist Ellen Forney, the two came crashing together just before her 30th birthday. That's when she found out she has bipolar disorder, a diagnosis that finally explained her super-charged highs and debilitating lows.

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The Salt
2:49 am
Mon November 26, 2012

No Innocent Spice: The Secret Story Of Nutmeg, Life And Death

This copper engraving from approximately 1700 depicts the condition of the English prisoners at the hands of the Dutch. In the 1660s, Cornell University's Eric Tagliacozzo says, the conflict and competition for the spice trade came to a head. "The Dutch decapitated a number of English merchants who were also in the Spice Islands trying to profit from the trade."
WikiCommons

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 12:42 pm

Ah, nutmeg! Whether it's sprinkled on eggnog, baked into spice cake or blended into a latte, this pungent spice can evoke memories of holidays past. We tend to link it to celebratory times.

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Author Interviews
2:08 pm
Sun November 25, 2012

Uncovered Letters Reveal A New Side Of William Styron

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 3:00 pm

William Styron was one of the flamboyant literary figures of the 20th Century. He was a Southerner whose novel Lie Down in Darkness received immense acclaim when he was just 26 years old. He would go on to write the Confessions of Nat Turner, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1968.

But for the last 27 years of his life, Styron did not write a novel. He battled depression, and wrote a seminal work about it, Darkness Visible, in 1990.

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Author Interviews
5:33 am
Sun November 25, 2012

'The Missing Ink' And The Intimacy Of Writing

When Philip Hensher realized he didn't know what his best friend's handwriting looked like, he decided to write a book. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Hensher about that book, The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting.

The Salt
4:31 am
Sun November 25, 2012

Real Chefs Grind It With A Mortar And Pestle

The mortar and pestle can be found in kitchens around the world, including Thailand. In the United States, chef Tanasapamon Rohman uses the tool to grind up chili paste and pulverize rice at her Thai restaurant.
Jessical Spengler Flickr

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 6:44 am

Chefs these days stock all sorts of high-tech tools, from liquid nitrogen to $500 blenders. But in kitchens throughout the world, there's one piece of technology that's been the same since the Stone Age: the mortar and pestle.

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Author Interviews
4:11 am
Sun November 25, 2012

Old Newspapers, New Perspectives On The American Revolution

Courtesy of Sourcebooks

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 5:33 am

Time has a way of condensing major historical events into a few key moments, with one-dimensional, legendary figures at the forefront. In his new book, author and archivist Todd Andrlik gives life and depth to one such event — the American Revolution. He uses newspaper reporting from that era to provide a sense of the Revolution as it actually unfolded.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat November 24, 2012

A Puzzle More Delicious Than A Chard Shard

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 5:33 am

On-air challenge: Every answer consists of a made-up two-word phrase in which the first word starts with CH, and the second word is pronounced the same as the first except with an SH sound. (The spelling may or may not change.) For example, given the clue "some Central African fish," the answer would be "Chad shad."

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Performing Arts
3:05 pm
Sat November 24, 2012

Princess Marty Is A Smarty If She's At A Child's Party

Mary Alice LeGrow, otherwise known as "Princess Marty," hugs a young girl during a birthday party in a Philadelphia suburb. A graphic artist and "cosplay" (costume play) fanatic, LeGrow became a full-time professional party princess to make ends meet during the economic downturn.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:55 am

Princess Marty says the most important thing a princess has to do is smile and be in character — always.

"You can never ruin it for a child, even if you're coming home from work ... and you're in your big dress," she says. "If a child sees you, you have to be a princess for them. You can't say, 'Sorry kid, I'm off the clock.' "

Her highness — known outside the big dress as Mary Alice LeGrow — is a professional party princess. She uses her best princess voice and dresses up in full regalia to charm children.

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Author Interviews
2:57 pm
Sat November 24, 2012

A White Face With A Forgotten African Family

Free Press

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 4:26 pm

Growing up blond-haired and blue-eyed in Southern California, Joe Mozingo always thought his family name was Italian.

But as an adult, Mozingo became skeptical of that theory when friends and co-workers began to ask him about his unusual-sounding last name.

The journey to discover the truth about the Mozingo name took him from the libraries of Los Angeles to the courthouses and plantations of Virginia and, finally, to Africa.

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