Arts/Life

Movie Reviews
1:23 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Coming Soon — To A Theater Nowhere Near You

A scene from Battleship, which opens this weekend in the U.S. Thanks to earlier releases abroad, the film has already grossed $215 million worldwide.
ILM/Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:34 pm

The movie Battleship, based on the popular board game, opens today in the U.S. In most respects, it's a typical popcorn picture — the kind of effects-laden action movie that audiences often turn into a summer blockbuster.

And while it may not be any good, it is undeniably ours — American from the water up: a Universal Studios picture about an alien invasion, crammed with special effects from Industrial Light and Magic and set largely on American warships.

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Monkey See
10:58 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: TV Season Postmortem, Old People, Young People

NPR

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 1:35 pm

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour, I am back from vacation and back at the table, and boy, was I glad to be there.

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Remembrances
10:26 am
Fri May 18, 2012

A Conversation With Carlos Fuentes

Mexican author Carlos Fuentes poses for a photo after a news conference in Mexico City on March 12. Fuentes died Tuesday at a hospital in Mexico City. He was 83.
Alexandre Meneghini AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 1:35 pm

Carlos Fuentes, one of the most influential writers in the Latin American world, died Tuesday at a hospital in Mexico City. He was 83. A prolific writer, Fuentes wrote novels, short stories and plays, as well as political nonfiction and essays that criticized the Mexican government during the 1980s and '90s.

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Remembrances
9:59 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Remembering Vidal Sassoon, An Iconic Hairdresser

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:47 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 10, 2011.

The British hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, who created some of the most iconic hairstyles of the 20th century, died on May 9 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84.

Sassoon's creations included the geometric, the Wash-and-Wear, the short bob Nancy Kwan wore in The World of Suzie Wong and Mia Farrow's famous pixie cut for Rosemary's Baby.

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TED Radio Hour
7:55 am
Fri May 18, 2012

How Do You Make A Virtual Choir?

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:18 am

Part 6 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Power Of Crowds.

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TED Radio Hour
7:55 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Why Do Crowds Do Absurd Things In Public?

"I like to create things that are so unusual and hopefully spectacular that it gives strangers a reason to communicate and share a smile." — Charlie Todd
parksam Flickr

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:05 am

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Power Of Crowds.

About Charlie Todd's TEDTalk

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TED Radio Hour
7:55 am
Fri May 18, 2012

How Many People Can You Fit In A Star Wars Remake?

"Star Wars Uncut" let hundreds of people try their hand at directing the classic film.
Courtesy of Malcom Sutherland

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:04 am

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Power Of Crowds.

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TED Radio Hour
7:55 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Can Crowds Celebrate As A Form Of Protest?

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:04 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Power Of Crowds.

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Ask Me Another
7:27 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Rhymes With Musical

Nikki M. James says she grew up listening to Andrew Lloyd Webber and admits she's seen Rent more than 30 times.
Joan Marcus Boneau/Bryan-Brown, INC.

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 12:38 pm

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Monkey See
6:43 am
Fri May 18, 2012

What To Expect When You're Expecting In A Movie

Lionsgate

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 6:44 am

Babies! Babies babies! Pregnancy and babies! Babies and pregnancy! Strollers full of babies!

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Movie Reviews
3:52 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Down In 'Virginia,' Where The Crazy Runs Deep

Single mother Virginina (Jennifer Connelly) reads with her son, Emmett (Harrison Gilbertson), who remains devoted to her even when her ill-advised affair with the married sheriff of their small Virginia town puts pressure on her family.
Entertainment One

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 4:43 pm

Dustin Lance Black, the writer-director of the swampy Southern melodrama Virginia, won an Oscar for his script for Milk, but his new film has more in common with the three seasons he served as a writer, story editor and producer for the HBO series Big Love.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

'Polisse': In Paris, A Thin Bleu Line

The documentary-style drama Polisse centers on members of Paris' Child Protection Unit.
IFC Films

As humane as it is disturbing, Polisse rifles the files of Paris' Child Protection Unit in search of successes, failures and all the shades of ambiguity in between. If the movie's jumpy edits and raw emotions jangle the nerves, that's intentional: This documentary-mimicking drama is designed to evoke the experience of working a beat that can never become routine.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Board Game + Explosions + Aliens = 'Battleship'

Beast (John Tui), Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) and Raikes (Rihanna) are stunned by the appearance of invading alien forces in the motion picture adaption of the, yes, board game Battleship.
Photo Credit: ILM/Universal Pictures ILM/Universal Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 4:13 pm

Read the comic book? Now catch the movie. OK, I get that. Comic books are practically storyboards. Natural transition.

Seen the TV show? Now catch the movie. Even better. Just make the screen bigger and beef up the storyline.

Played with the toys? Now catch the movie. Well, sure, why not let Hollywood's overgrown kids put digital oomph into playtime fantasies.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

'Elena': A Femme Fatale, In The Rubble Of Perestroika

Elena (Nadezhda Markina), a dutiful wife to her wealthy husband and a burdened mother to her layabout son, manages to balance the needs of the two, until she learns her husband plans to leave her family nothing in his will.
Zeitgeist Films

On its surface alone, Andrey Zvyagintsev's Elena is an intensely compelling slice of noir about moral rot and class warfare in post-Soviet Russia. Deeper down, the movie seethes quietly with the moody influence of other East European masters of the timeless ineffable. If Zvyagintsev were a less inscrutable filmmaker, he might have titled his new film Crime Without Punishment — but we'll get to that.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

A 'Hysteria' Epidemic, And A Notably Electric Cure

In seeking the best ways to treat his female patients' nervous conditions, forward-thinking Victorian physician Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy, left) enlists the help of his inventor friend Edmund St. John-Smythe (Rupert Everett). They soon stumble into inventing the vibrator.
Ricardo Vaz Palma Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 9:34 am

Hysteria, a disappointingly limp ode to the invention of the vibrator, plays like a Merchant Ivory Production of Portnoy's Complaint. Watching it, you'd never know that this revolutionary discovery, by allowing women to pleasure themselves, hammered a crucial nail into the coffin of 19th-century patriarchy. A boon to bluestockings and unsatisfied wives alike, the device rocked sexual politics, even if its full repercussions were not immediately understood.

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Movie Interviews
2:59 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

'Polisse' Shows Child Abuse Cases With Gritty Realism

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. As this year's Cannes Film Festival gets under way, the winner of the Jury Prize at last year's festival is opening here in the U.S. It's called "Polisse."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "POLISSE")

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Opinion
2:05 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Two Gray Titles, One Sexy Mix Up

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:46 pm

Ruta Sepetys is the author of Between Shades of Gray.

"You are an erotic phenomenon."

That's what the stranger seated next to me on the plane whispered. We had exchanged the basic bios of airline chitchat, and he had inquired about the title of my recent book.

"Erotic phenomenon, oh no, that's not me," I quickly tried to explain.

"Well, OK, it's not really you. It's your character. That's what you tell people," grinned the stranger.

That's not what I tell people.

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Monkey See
11:13 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Cannes Diary: Of Efrons, Cinephiles And Whale-Taming Cotillards

Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts star in Rust and Bone, a subtle and surprising drama from director Jacques Audiard.
Why Not Productions

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 2:32 pm

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New In Paperback
8:48 am
Thu May 17, 2012

New In Paperback May 14-20

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 2:49 pm

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Tayari Jones, David McCullough, Roy Blount, Bill James and Diana Henriques.

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

The Salt
1:29 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Betting Better Fake Chicken Meat Will Be As Good As The Real Thing

Those who've tried it say fake chicken salad looks and tastes like the real thing.
Yuki Noguchi NPR

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 7:49 pm

Beyond Meat, a new company based in Maryland, has come up with an alternative to chicken meat that it claims is a dead ringer for the real thing. And unlike other meat alternatives on the market, this one aims to be cheap as well as tasty.

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Fine Art
1:00 am
Thu May 17, 2012

A Museum Visit For Art Lovers With Alzheimer's

Students and seniors discussed Claude Monet's Sunset at Pourville during a recent visit to the Kreeger Museum in Washington, D.C.
The Kreeger Museum

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 4:58 am

Many art lovers feel completely in the moment when they stroll through the galleries of a museum. That feeling was particularly true on a recent morning at the Kreeger Museum in Washington, D.C. The Kreeger runs a special program for people with Alzheimer's — seniors, their caregivers and middle school students are paired together to enjoy the art and one another's company.

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Fine Art
2:41 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

'Canal Zone' Collages Test The Meaning Of 'Fair Use'

Artist Richard Prince is appealing the 2011 ruling that found him liable for copyright infringement.
Jeff Kravitz FilmMagic, Inc via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 5:34 pm

Richard Prince is an art world superstar. His paintings sell for millions, and many hang in the world's great museums. But one recent series of works cannot be shown in public — at least, not lawfully. Last year, a judge found Prince liable for copyright infringement for using the photographs of another artist without permission. A federal court in New York is set to hear Prince's appeal Monday, and the outcome of that appeal could have major implications for the art world and beyond.

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Monkey See
1:15 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

'Kickstart Shakespeare': Of Sonnets, Beer, And Online Fundraising

Recitations of Shakespearean love poems may come straight to you via mobile app in celebration of his 450th birthday.
iStockphoto.com

The New York Shakespeare Exchange says its goal is "to encourage an enthusiastic appreciation of classical theater and to expand the reach of the art form within new and existing audiences." More specifically, it's interested in the question of "what happens when contemporary culture is infused with Shakespearean poetry and themes in unexpected ways."

What, exactly, does that mean?

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Movie Reviews
10:15 am
Wed May 16, 2012

'The Dictator' Rules With A Satirist's Fist

Sacha Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen, the authoritarian, anti-Semitic and unexpectedly sympathetic protagonist of The Dictator.
Melinda Sue Gordon Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 11:30 am

Many fans will be disappointed that Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator is a more or less conventional comedy and not an ambush-interview mockumentary in the style of Borat and Bruno. But that guerrilla-clown shtick would be tough to sustain: Why not let him try something else? The good news is that The Dictator is loose and slap-happy and full of sharp political barbs and has funny actors moving in and out — and at a lickety-split 83 minutes, it doesn't wear out its welcome.

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Monkey See
10:00 am
Wed May 16, 2012

ABC's Fall Schedule: Reba McEntire, Country Music, And Satan The Landlord

666 Park Avenue stars Terry O'Quinn as the devil, kind of. Only a landlord.
Andrew Eccles ABC

ABC unveiled its new fall shows yesterday as part of the ongoing circus/party/ad campaign that is the 2012 network upfronts.

It's rolling out three new dramas with completely different tones. Nashville, starring the enchanting Connie Britton as country singer Rayna James, whose long career is a little tricky in the age of crossover superstars like bitchy young thing Juliette Barnes (Hayden Pannettiere).

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Game Changers
9:38 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Yul Kwon, From Bullying Target To Reality TV Star

Game changer Yul Kwon at NPR.
Amy Ta NPR

May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. All month, Tell Me More is featuring guests who trace their heritage to that part of the world and who have changed the game in everything from science to sports, pop culture to politics.

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Author Interviews
9:24 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Just What's Inside Those Breasts?

Breasts are getting bigger and arriving earlier. They're also attracting chemicals and environmental toxins, which are getting passed along in breast milk.
Photographer: B-D-S iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 11:31 am

When writer Florence Williams was nursing her second child, she read a research study about toxins found in human breast milk. She decided to test her own breast milk and shipped a sample to a lab in Germany.

What came back surprised her.

Trace amounts of pesticides, dioxin and a jet fuel ingredient — as well as high to average levels of flame retardants — were all found in her breast milk. How could something like this happen?

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Remembrances
7:04 am
Wed May 16, 2012

A Fleeting Memory Of Carlos Fuentes

Mexican write Carlos Fuentes at the Hay Festival Cartagena in January.
Claudio Rubio AP

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 2:43 pm

When I heard that the Mexican literary legend Carlos Fuentes died Tuesday at 83, I remembered a long, easygoing interview I did with him years ago. We talked about many things — including what epitaph he wanted carved on his tombstone.

It was the autumn of 1995 and I was a reporter at The Washington Post, assigned to write a profile of the elegant, eloquent Fuentes. I draw on that story now, for twice-told tales worth telling.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed May 16, 2012

'The Chemistry Of Tears' And The Art Of Healing

iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 3:28 pm

Peter Carey's dazzling new novel, The Chemistry of Tears, encompasses heartbreak, the comfort of absorbing work, the transformative power of beauty and the soul of an old machine. If you've never read the Australian-born, two-time Booker Prize–winning author of Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang — or, most recently, Parrot and Olivier in America — his 12th novel is a terrific introduction to his work.

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Remembrances
7:48 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

In Writing, Fuentes Shed Light On Poverty, Inequality

Mexican author Carlos Fuentes poses for a photo after a news conference in Mexico City on March 12. Fuentes died Tuesday at a hospital in Mexico City. He was 83.
Alexandre Meneghini AP

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 8:08 am

Carlos Fuentes was the son of a Mexican diplomat and spent years living abroad, including in the United States. But Mexico — the country, its people and politics — was central to his writing.

Fuentes, one of the most influential Latin American writers, died Tuesday at a hospital in Mexico City at the age of 83. He was instrumental in bringing Latin American literature to an international audience, and he used his fiction to address what he saw as real-world injustices.

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