Arts/Life

The Salt
8:42 am
Fri August 17, 2012

For A Better, Leaner Burger, Get To Know Your Proteins

The author's venison burgers, fired up on the grill.
Amy Blaszyk NPR

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:24 am

We love our hamburgers, and if you need any proof, see how quickly a recent auto-tuned fast food hamburger review featuring a happy guy eating in his car went viral.

Read more
Monkey See
8:41 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Manifestations Of Grief And Extra Book Material

NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:20 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

What's that you say? You wanted more Barrie Hardymon? Well, this week, Stephen is in Wisconsin probably eating some cheese or something, so we have Barrie back for a second consecutive week (hooray!).

Read more
Movie Reviews
8:29 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Love Is The Balm For Trauma In 'The Matchmaker'

Sixteen-year-old Arik (Tuval Shafir) becomes an apprentice to Yankele Bride (Adir Miller), a matchmaker with eccentric practices. Among their clients is Sylvia (Bat-El Papura), a little person who runs the local cinema.
Eyal Landesman Menemsha Films

Arik, the 16-year-old Israeli at the center of The Matchmaker, doesn't get why everyone keeps talking about love. It's the summer of 1968 in Haifa, and though the American summer of love is just a recent memory, Arik (Tuval Shafir) couldn't care less — he finds war immensely more interesting.

Read more
The Salt
3:45 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Coffee Is The New Wine. Here's How You Taste It

Samantha Kerr prepares coffee at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore, MD.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:03 am

The "know your farmer" concept may soon apply to the folks growing your coffee, too.

Increasingly, specialty roasters are working directly with coffee growers around the world to produce coffees as varied in taste as wines. And how are roasters teaching their clientele to appreciate the subtle characteristics of brews? By bringing an age-old tasting ritual once limited to coffee insiders to the coffee-sipping masses.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:06 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

'Why Stop Now': Loose Ends, Tied Up Too Neatly

Eli (Jesse Eisenberg) and his mother, Penny (Melissa Leo), fall in with Penny's inept drug dealer, Sprinkles (Tracy Morgan), in the trite new indie drama Why Stop Now.
Jacob Hutchings IFC Entertainment

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 10:31 am

What's an American family these days? Many different things, but while television — a domestic medium to its marrow — has an affectionate finger on the pulse of the changing modern family, movies often seem stuck in a sorry dysfunction held over from the late 1960s, when we awoke to find that jolly Beaver Cleaver had morphed into miserable Benjamin Braddock, and while Mrs. Robinson tippled discreetly in the bedroom, Father, far from knowing best, went clueless or missing.

Read more
Movies
3:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

A Song-And-Dance Show About Dark Realities

Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni — mother and daughter in real life — portray two generations of romantics in Christophe Honore's second musical.
IFC Entertainment

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:53 am

With Love Songs, his 2007 musical, French writer-director Christophe Honore updated such 1960s bonbons as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg for our age of expanded erotic frankness and possibility. Beloved, Honore's second musical, goes even farther, layering death, AIDS and Sept. 11 among the merry melodies.

This stylish film is enormous fun, whirling and warbling across four decades of amour. But it stumbles a few times in its last half-hour and ultimately seems a little too frisky for the graver issues it addresses.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Chilling Realities, Beggaring Belief In 'Compliance'

Fast-food employee Becky (Dreama Walker) finds herself the victim of a cruel "prank call" scam in Compliance.
Magnolia Pictures

The words "inspired by true events" are the first things to appear on screen in Compliance, Craig Zobel's queasy thriller of discomfort. I knew that this was the case going in, and had heard the basic facts of the "strip-search prank-call scam" that serves as the movie's inspiration. But I didn't know the full details — and as an ever-increasing load of humiliation and indignity was piled on the teenage fast-food worker at its center, I found myself getting angry with the film, assuming that Zobel was amping up the severity of real events for dramatic effect.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

In Tehran, A Vivid Parable About The Ends Of Things

Irane (Golshifteh Farahani) is the one who got away from violinist Nasser Ali (Mathieu Amalric) — and her loss consumes the musician in Chicken with Plums, a new film from Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud.
Patricia Khan Sony Pictures Classics

A parable of art and love, and a political allegory to boot, Chicken with Plums centers on an Iranian musician who wills himself to die. Yet the story that then unfolds, mostly in flashback, could hardly be more vital and engaging.

Read more
Movies
3:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

'Cosmopolis' Captures Decadent Spirit Of The Age

Robert Pattinson's weird, inhuman beauty is used to full effect as billionaire Eric Packer in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis.
Entertainment One

A matinee idol for the age of HDTVs and "retina displays," Robert Pattinson has a face that seems to require a higher resolution — glossy and ghostly pale, all sleek lines and alabaster skin. As Edward Cullen, the emo vampire in the Twilight saga, Pattinson plays a creature so immaculately inhuman that he literally sparkles in the sunlight. Edward may be over a century old, but Pattinson has become a thoroughly modern, even futuristic teen heartthrob, looking at all times as airbrushed as his many Entertainment Weekly covers.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Aging Ungracefully, But Still Kicking (And Shooting)

Yu Nan (front left), Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews (back left) and Randy Couture are most of the hard-charging team in The Expendables 2.
Frank Masi Lionsgate Films

The monosyllables fly fast and furious in The Expendables 2. It's the joints that are a little creaky, but what would you expect from this sequel to the 2010 blockbuster in which a cadre of aged action stars, led by Sylvester Stallone, gathered to fire guns, blow things up and beat the living daylights out of assorted baddies?

Read more
Movies
3:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Out-Of-The-Ordinary Animation In 'ParaNorman'

Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) can hear the voices of the dead — which puts the pint-sized outcast in a position to save his town when zombies arrive.
LAIKA Focus Features

Even if most fans of hand-drawn animation have made peace, to a degree, with digital technology, the pleasures of old-school stop-motion animation are still rare and precious. There's something elemental about watching a movie that's been made by moving small figures around and filming them, frame by frame; even though there's always some digital technology involved in the making of a contemporary stop-motion film, the human touch always sings through the finished product.

Read more
Movie Interviews
11:39 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Frank Langella Embodies Wicked In 'Robot & Frank'

In Robot & Frank, a robot cares for an aging ex-burglar who has dementia. Frank Langella, who plays the burglar, says his character "becomes fond of the robot only because it is a tool for his wicked, wicked ways."
Samuel Goldwyn Films and Stage 6 Films

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 8:07 am

Frank Langella's career has not been an upward trajectory of success — and he likes it that way. He's had memorable roles on stage and screen, and times when he couldn't find work, or even an agent.

Now at 74, Langella is as busy as ever, and, as he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, he's never been hungrier to act.

Read more
The Salt
8:43 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Peaches, Beautiful And Fleeting, Thanks To Fuzzy Thin Skin

Shopper reaches for donut peaches at the Penn Quarter farmers' market in Washington, D.C.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:25 am

If lately you've noticed the farmers' market flooded with signs that say "donut," "cling," "whiteflesh" and "freestone," you won't be surprised to learn that August is National Peach Month. Though the juicy fruits pack the produce aisles now, in a few short months a good peach might be hard to find.

Many fruits, though harvested in other parts of the world, are available in the United States all year long. So why are peaches so seasonal, and in the winter, either difficult to find or hard as a rock?

Read more
Monkey See
8:07 am
Thu August 16, 2012

'You Can't Just Be The Voice Of Generic Sarcasm': The Art Of Movie Riffing

Manos: The Hands Of Fate is the subject of a live Rifftrax performance being beamed to more than 500 movie theaters tonight.
Rifftrax

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Old Memories, New Depth In 'The Underwater Welder'

In a memorable (and much-parodied) 1983 television ad for a brand of instant, decaffeinated coffee, a gravel-voiced announcer asked: "What kind of people drink Sanka? People like Joe Zebrosky, underwater welder." The ad, one of a series featuring manly men in a variety of high-stakes professions, featured the aforementioned Zebrosky intoning: "Too much caffeine makes me tense. And down here, I can't afford that."

Read more
New In Paperback
5:03 am
Thu August 16, 2012

New In Paperback Aug. 12-19

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Sebastian Rotella, Tahmima Anam, Jermaine Jackson and Charles King.

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

The Salt
1:23 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Creating A Schwenker World, One Backyard Grill At A Time

Ewald Mosel keeps the schwenkers swinging to ensure that the pork cooks evenly, while hungry guests look on.
Deena Prichep NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:04 am

Beyond bratwurst, we generally don't think of German food as summertime food. In fact, many of us don't think about German food much at all. But one delicious German tradition is catching on this barbecue season — schwenker.

Read more
The Salt
12:14 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

President Obama's Tour Bus Rolls With White House Home Brew

President Barack Obama gets a beer and a pork chop as he visits the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Earlier, the president gave a man at a coffee shop a bottle of the White House's home brew.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:27 am

It seemed normal enough when President Obama chatted with a coffee shop patron about beer in Iowa Tuesday. The president has shown he's a fan of beer — and it's the most politically expedient, "everyman" beverage a candidate can drink. But then the president told a man at Knoxville, Iowa's Coffee Connection cafe that he travels with his own home-brew — and gave him a bottle to prove it.

Read more
Author Interviews
9:38 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Author Asks If Mumbai Money Can Flatten Tradition

Mark Pringle

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 7:40 am

As India celebrates the 65th anniversary of its independence, the cultural landscape of the nation is transforming rapidly.

According to Man Booker prize winning author Aravind Adiga, "If you are an Indian of my generation... there really was only one place you wanted to go to make it big and that was Bombay. "

Read more
First Reads
7:50 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Exclusive First Read: Black-Comic Horror In 'Breed'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:54 pm

  • Listen To This Excerpt From 'Breed'

The longing for children is fertile literary ground; from it, authors have brought forth everything from satire to tragedy. In his new novel, Breed, Chase Novak goes for black-comic body horror, liberally splashed with blood. Alex and Leslie Twisden are a rich couple desperate to fill their Upper East Side townhouse with children. After years of failed fertility treatments, they learn from Alex's friend Jim about a mysterious, miracle-working doctor.

Read more
Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
5:03 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Lit, Illustrated: Five Fantastic Graphic Novels

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 1:15 pm

This year, some of the biggest names in cartooning offered major releases in genres ranging from alternative science fiction to historical fiction to memoir. Through a masterful blending of words and images, these five titles reveal the vast storytelling possibilities of the graphic-novel medium. Each book is created by a singular writer/artist, and offers a wholly unique point of view in both narrative and illustration.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Between Pride And Despair: 'Three Strong Women'

Few French writers can rival the success of Marie NDiaye, whose acclaim as a novelist and playwright is matched by her massive commercial success. At just 45, she has a quarter-century of best-selling books behind her, and in 2009 she became the first black woman to win the Prix Goncourt, France's top gong for literature, for the passionate and unsettling novel Three Strong Women.

Read more
Books
1:37 am
Wed August 15, 2012

A Rainbow Of Happy Endings In Ethnic Romances

The cover of the romance novel Only in Paradise, by author Michelle Monkou.
Harlequin Books

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:14 am

Romance fiction is the Rodney Dangerfield of the publishing world: It don't get no respect.

This, despite the fact that romance is the most consistently profitable genre in an unsettlingly shaky business. Last year, romance alone contributed more than $1 billion to publishing's diminished coffers. And a growing amount of that income comes from romances written by ethnic writers for ethnic readers.

Read more
Media
1:36 am
Wed August 15, 2012

The Next Frontier In TV: English News For Latinos

Millions of Americans rely on Univision anchor Jorge Ramos to tell them about the news, but his children aren't among them. Like many Latinos who've grown up in the U.S., they get their news in English.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 10:15 am

This is the third in a three-part series about major American networks trying to appeal to a broader Latino audience.

Jorge Ramos has a humbling problem.

He is one of the best-known Hispanics in the U.S. and a respected news anchor for the Univision networks on which millions of Americans routinely rely.

And yet, in Ramos' telling, his 14-year-old son, Nicolas, and his 25-year-old daughter, Paola, don't watch his newscasts.

Read more
Kitchen Window
12:39 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Travel The World Through Portuguese Cooking

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 9:58 am

It was day 12 of our trip through Spain and Portugal, and my friend and I were ready for some traditional Portuguese cooking when we arrived in the quaint, cobblestoned city of Lisbon.

Walking along the tiered and winding roads, the Atlantic Ocean horizon would greet us and then disappear again behind the hilltops. Above, clothes hung out to dry along white, curved iron balconies, a rainbow of clips holding the waving pants or undergarments in place.

Read more
Movie Interviews
12:28 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Julie Delpy, Keeping It Real In '2 Days In New York'

Julie Delpy stars in 2 Days in New York, which she also directed, produced and co-wrote.
Jojo Whilden Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:07 am

Actress Julie Delpy first beguiled American audiences in 1995, playing the enigmatic French student in Richard Linklater's film Before Sunrise. Ever since, Delpy has enjoyed life on the Hollywood fringe, preferring indie projects where she can help shape her roles.

She co-wrote the Oscar-nominated script to Linklater's sequel, Before Sunset, and has also begun directing her own projects. For her latest, 2 Days in New York, she directed, produced and helped write the script.

Read more
Author Interviews
11:03 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Climate 'Weirdness' Throws Ecosystems 'Out Of Kilter'

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the past year through June 2012 has been the hottest year in the continental U.S. since modern record-keeping started in 1895. Above, New Yorkers flocked to Coney Island to try to beat the heat in early August.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 11:47 am

Science journalist Michael Lemonick doesn't want to be a doomsday prophet, but he does want to be realistic about the threat of climate change. "Since I started writing about climate change all the way back in 1987, we've known what the cause is, we've known what the likely outcome is, and we've had time to act — and essentially we haven't acted," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

Read more
The Picture Show
10:56 am
Tue August 14, 2012

A Dark Chapter Of American History Captured In 'Colors'

Young women wearing kimonos chat during an Obon celebration honoring ancestors at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming.
Bill Manbo Courtesy of Takao Bill Manbo/University of North Carolina Press

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:00 pm

They look like vacation photos at first glance. Women in flowery kimonos gossip together in a circle. A boy on ice skates takes his first steps on a crowded rink. Two sumo wrestlers share a chuckle in the ring as a crowd watches on.

But behind the smiles, the same shadowy presence looms in the background: the tar paper barracks that housed the thousands of Japanese-American prisoners of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming.

Read more
Arts & Life
9:30 am
Tue August 14, 2012

With Ryan's Ascent, A Few Thoughts On 'Entitlement'

Rep. Paul Ryan has made changes to social safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security — often called "entitlements" — a key part of his political agenda.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:27 pm

People are saying that Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate creates an opportunity to hold what Ryan likes to call an "adult conversation" about entitlement spending. In the present political climate, it would be heartening to have an adult conversation about anything. But bear in mind that "entitlement" doesn't put all its cards on the table. Like a lot of effective political language, it enables you to slip from one idea to another without ever letting on that you've changed the subject.

Read more
Arts & Life
9:10 am
Tue August 14, 2012

An Inner-City School With Gallery-Like Halls

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:13 am

Chicago's Dixon School looks more like an African-American art gallery than a public school. In the largely black blue-collar neighborhood of Chatham, a school where art plays a central role in the lives of students is a rarity. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with director Pamela Sherrod Anderson about her documentary, The Curators of Dixon School.

Pages