Arts/Life

Pop Culture
3:02 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

Brad Pitt Helps Chanel Shake Up Iconic Perfume

Chanel No. 5 is an iconic perfume, it's been around for 92 years. Marylin Monroe, Catherine Deneuve and Nicole Kidman have all endorsed the fragrance. Starting on Sunday, Brad Pitt is joining their ranks. He's the first man to endorse the perfume in its history.

Author Interviews
2:08 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

Traveling The World Brings Andrew McCarthy Home

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 3:02 pm

He's an 80s teen heartthrob who turned to travel writing — and now soul searching. A few years ago, Andrew McCarthy decided to confront the fears that had followed him his whole life. As he prepared to marry the women he loved, he headed out around the world to find the part inside of himself that just kept saying "no" to everything good in his life.

McCarthy spoke with weekends on All Things Considered guest host Celeste Headlee about his new memoir, The Longest Way Home.

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Movies
1:36 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

'Smashed': A Love Story Minus The Alcohol

Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) in Smashed.
Oana Marian Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 3:02 pm

What happens to a young marriage when the one thing that once brought two people together suddenly vanishes? In Smashed, the answer isn't pretty. But neither is the alternative, because in Smashed, the thing that brings the couple together is alcohol.

The couple is played by Aaron Paul of the series Breaking Bad, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The film also stars Nick Offerman of the TV show Parks and Recreation, Megan Mullally, best known from the TV show Will and Grace, and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer.

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Theater
4:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

'Beat Generation,' Kerouac's Lost Play, Hits Stage

The cast rehearses a scene from Jack Kerouac's only play, The Beat Generation.
Courtesy of the Merrimack Repertory Theater

Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 1:55 pm

Jack Kerouac shot to fame after his jazz- and drug-infused book, On the Road, hit stores in 1957. During that hot period the autobiographical novelist also wrote his only play, The Beat Generation.

The play was never produced and all but forgotten. The lost work, however, was rediscovered in 2004 and is now set to premiere in the writer's hometown of Lowell, Mass.

Charles Towers, artistic director at the Merrimack Repertory Theater, remembers exactly what he thought after Kerouac's lost play was uncovered.

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Poetry
4:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

'A Thousand Mornings' With Poet Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver has won a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
Rachel Giese Brown

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 12:14 pm

Mary Oliver is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose body of work is largely filled with imagery of the natural world — cats, opossums crossing the street, sunflowers and black oaks in the sunshine. Her most recent collection is entitled A Thousand Mornings.

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Strange News
4:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

For Middle-Earth, One Family Tree To Rule Them All

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 12:14 pm

Later this year, director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will reintroduce moviegoers to Middle-Earth, the fictional setting for J.R.R. Tolkien's epic tales.

The high adventure and climactic battles of Tolkien's world were last seen on the big screen in 2003, in The Return of the King. The final scene featured a climactic battle between the men of the West — as well as elves, dwarves and hobbits — against the forces of evil.

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Sunday Puzzle
2:32 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Where, 'O' Where Shall I Put You?

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 12:14 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a two-word phrase in which the letter "O" is added at the end of the first word to make the second word. For example, given the clue "pack animal owned by Thomas Jefferson's first vice president," the answer would be "Burr burro."

Last week's challenge: Draw a regular hexagon and connect every pair of vertices except one. The pair you don't connect are not on opposite sides of the hexagon but along a shorter diagonal. How many triangles of any size are in this figure?

Answer: 82 triangles

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
1:23 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

The Movie Callie Khouri Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Andy Griffith playing guitar as Patricia Neal watches in a scene from the Elia Kazan's A Face In The Crowd.
Warner Brothers Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 9:07 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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Author Interviews
1:17 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

How Lincoln's Fiercest Rival Became His Close Ally

President Lincoln appointed William Henry Seward secretary of state in 1861. He served until 1869.
Henry Guttmann Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 9:07 am

The race for the Republican nomination of 1860 was one of the great political contests of American history. It was Abraham Lincoln versus Salmon Chase, versus William Seward.

Author Walter Stahr spoke with Weekends All Things Considered host Guy Raz about his new biography, Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man. He describes how a man who was Lincoln's fiercest and most critical opponent eventually became his most loyal and trusted adviser.


Interview Highlights

On Seward losing the election

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The Salt
4:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

When It Comes To Falafel, The Flavors Of Home Can Vary

The reporter's mother, Nawal Elbager, of Khartoum, Sudan, shows off her falafel.
Rashad Baba Courtesy Nawal Elbager

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 3:38 pm

Falafel — those crispy, filling fried balls of mashed beans, herbs and spices — is found in cafes and homes all over the Middle East and parts of Africa. It's like a common language shared among sometimes fractious nations.

But until recently, I always thought falafel was made one way — garbanzo beans, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro and cumin. (That's how my Sudanese mother taught me.) But it turns out there are many recipes out there, each with a flavor distinct to its region.

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Author Interviews
4:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

A Year's Worth Of Facts From An NPR Librarian

Courtesy of John Wiley & Sons

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 8:15 am

The people who host NPR programs are often credited with — or accused of — being knowledgeable.

But really, the most important bit of knowledge they have is just a four digit extension that connects to Kee Malesky in the NPR Reference Library. If you want the names and contact numbers for every left-handed plumber in Kuala Lumpur, she'll fix you up. She's the longest-serving member of a stellar company of reference librarians who check, double-check and mine miles of information, urban legend and spin for cold, hard, glittering facts.

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Author Interviews
12:03 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Michael Feinstein: What I Learned From The Gershwins

Composer and educator Michael Feinstein's new memoir is called The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs.
Gilles Toucas Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 9:38 am

Michael Feinstein, the singer and pianist known as the "ambassador of the Great American Songbook," has a serious pedigree to back up that title: a real-life connection to one of America's greatest songwriting teams. It's the subject of Feinstein's new memoir, The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs. (A CD of Feinstein singing those songs also comes with the book.)

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Movie Reviews
10:38 am
Fri October 12, 2012

'Argo': Too Good To Be True, Because It Isn't

CIA agents Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) and Jack O'Donnell (Bryan Cranston) plan a risky mission to save six Americans trapped in Iran.
Claire Folger Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:01 am

Ben Affleck's Argo is two-two-TWO movies in one, and while neither is especially original, by merging them Affleck pulls off a coup. First, he gives you espionage with the You Are There zing of a documentary. Then he serves up broad showbiz satire. For his final feat, he blends the two into a pulse-pounding nail-biter of a climax. And this all really happened. Most of it. Except for that climax.

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Author Interviews
8:45 am
Fri October 12, 2012

The Man Who Tracks Viruses Before They Spread

H1N1 virus virons appear in a tissue sample.

C. Goldsmith and D. Rollin CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 10:53 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 11, 2011. The Viral Storm will be published in paperback on Oct. 16.

The New Yorker once called virologist Nathan Wolfe "the world's most prominent virus hunter." Wolfe, the director of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, spends his days tracking emerging infectious diseases before they turn into deadly pandemics.

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Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
7:03 am
Fri October 12, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of October 11, 2012

Knopf

In Jo Nesbo's Phantom, Harry Hole investigates Oslo's most virulent street drug. It debuts at No. 6.

Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A Hollywood Noir Starring 'Seven Psychopaths' (Or So)

Crazy Funny: Seven Psychopaths centers on Marty (Colin Farrell), Hans (Christopher Walken) and Billy (Sam Rockwell), three Tinseltown oddballs with a sideline in dognapping.
CBS Films

If you do the math, the number of true psychopaths in Seven Psychopaths may not quite add up. Perhaps writer-director Martin McDonagh didn't want to go overboard with the murderous crazies. As it is, he's peopled his whimsically brutal comic thriller with — to name just three — an Amish throat-slasher, a dynamite-packing Buddhist and a serial killer who's fond of white bunny rabbits. That's probably enough.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Two Films, Two Takes On Living With Genocide

Simon and the Oaks serves as a rather too cozy consideration of Nazi sympathies in Sweden during the early years of World War II.
The Film Arcade

Simon and the Oaks, a handsomely upholstered Swedish drama about two troubled families trying to survive World War II, is based on a runaway best-selling novel by Marianne Fredriksson. The film was made with money from several Scandinavian countries once occupied by the Nazis, as well as from Germany itself. It won a truckload of Swedish Oscars, and in the accolades heaped upon the movie, the word "epic" is thrown around with abandon.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Getting Merrily 'Smashed,' And Then Crashing

Kate and Charlie (Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul), a young married couple, stumble down Kate's path to sobriety.
Sony Pictures Classics

"Hi, I'm Kate, and I'm an alcoholic."

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Even A 'Photographic Memory' Can Be Unreliable

Hoping to better understand his 21-year-old son, filmmaker Ross McElwee journeys to the French town where he spent his own young adulthood as a wedding photographer's assistant.
St. Quay Films

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 8:52 am

Some might characterize what filmmaker Ross McElwee does as navel-gazing. But in the hands of this veteran documentarian, that which might be self-indulgent egomania from a lesser artist is often the stuff of quiet revelation.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A Dud Of A Comedy, But At Least The Cast Is Explosive

Frank (Charlie Hunnam) and Bruce (Chris O'Dowd) are brothers who have taken sibling antagonism to extremes.
Variance Films/Gravitas Ventures

Beneath a bright blue, near-cloudless sky, a lone aluminum trailer sits amid the sagebrush, the flat amber earth and the forbidding heat of Death Valley. Oddly enough, the trailer's single inhabitant doesn't seem the hermit type: Frank (Charlie Hunnam) is young, well-dressed and extremely handsome, the kind of blond-haired and blue-eyed good-looking that usually comes with easy confidence and a modeling contract.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'Argo': A Rescue Mission With Real Hollywood Style

John Chambers (John Goodman) serves as a guide to the ins and outs of the movie business for CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck).
Claire Folger Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Ben Affleck's new thriller, Argo, chronicles a secret CIA rescue mission — a mission that remained classified for years. When details finally came to light, the operation sounded like something only Hollywood could come up with. As we find out, there's a reason for that.

It's 1979, and the Iranian public's hatred for their U.S.-backed shah erupts when he leaves the country. A crowd grows around the U.S. Embassy in Tehran — they're climbing the gates and taking dozens of Americans hostage.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A 'Big Picture' Intently Focused On The Details

Paul (Romain Duris), an aspiring photographer, assumes another man's identity to escape his job, marriage and dull life.
MPI Media Group

The original French title of The Big Picture — an adaptation of a novel by American expatriate writer Douglas Kennedy — means "the man who wanted to live his life." That's pointedly ironic, since this existential thriller is about a person who seeks personal freedom by becoming somebody else.

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Monkey See
11:51 am
Thu October 11, 2012

'Mars Attacks' At 50: A Look Back At A Bloody Battle

The card "Watching From Mars."
Abrams Books

Mars Attacks: 50th Anniversary Collection, an anthology of the 1962 trading card series from the Topps Company and Abrams Comic Arts, comes packaged in a jacket made from the same wax paper as '60s bubble gum wrap. The packaging establishes an air of honeyed nostalgia that the cards themselves are mercifully quick to demolish. The 55 violent images of interplanetary slaughter in the "Mars Attacks" series were controversial in their day, but have atrophied in the popular consciousness as kitsch relics of the Kennedy era.

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Book Reviews
11:50 am
Thu October 11, 2012

'May We Be Forgiven': A Story Of Second Chances

Viking Adult

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:58 pm

A.M. Homes is a writer I'll pretty much follow anywhere because she's indeed so smart, it's scary; yet she's not without heart. It's been a while since her last book, the 2007 memoir The Mistress's Daughter, which is certainly the sharpest and most emotionally complex account of growing up adopted that I've ever read.

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Author Interviews
10:25 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Is Time The Missing Component In Health Care?

Dr. Victoria Sweet began working at an almshouse more than 20 years ago. She found that the missing component of today's health care system is time — for doctors to care for patients, and for patients to heal. Host Michel Martin speaks with the doctor about her memoir, God's Hotel: A Doctor, A Hospital, And A Pilgrimage To The Heart Of Medicine.

Law
10:07 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Who Feels The Scars Of 'Stop And Frisk'?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll hear from a doctor who's worked with the poorest of the poor in San Francisco, opened up insights into health care for everybody. We'll hear from the author of "God's Hotel" in a few minutes.

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Books
9:28 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Mo Yan's 'Hallucinatory Realism' Wins Lit Nobel

Chinese writer Mo Yan is the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in literature. Mo Yan is a pen name that means "don't speak" — a name he adopted because his parents, who raised him during the Cultural Revolution, warned him to hold his tongue.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 9:42 am

Chinese writer Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday. The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the award, praised Mo's "hallucinatory realism," saying it "merges folk tales, history and the contemporary." The award is a cause of pride for a government that disowned the only previous Chinese winner of the award, an exiled critic.

Peter Englund, the academy's permanent secretary, said the academy contacted Mo, 57, before the announcement. "He said he was overjoyed and scared," Englund said.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Mapping The Road 'From The Closet To The Altar'

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:20 pm

During a college visit to Colorado in September, Ruth Bader Ginsburg told students that she expects to rule this coming term on the Defense of Marriage Act. The 1996 law is already on its deathbed — since last year, the Justice Department has refused to argue in court for its constitutionality — but it remains on the books. That means the 130,000 or so married gay couples in America receive none of the federal benefits that straight married couples do.

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Afghanistan
1:28 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Afghan Dreams: In New Film, Nation's Untold Stories

American director Sam French on the set of his short film, Buzkashi Boys, which was filmed in Afghanistan.
David Gill Courtesy of Afghan Film Project

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 11:59 am

When you hear the term "film premiere," you are likely to think of Hollywood or New York — not Kabul. But just last week, an award-winning short film was screened in the Afghan capital, and for a good reason: The movie was shot entirely in Kabul and tells the story of two Afghan boys dreaming about their future.

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Author Interviews
1:25 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Emma Thompson Revives Anarchist 'Peter Rabbit'

In Emma Thompson's new book, Peter Rabbit decides he needs a change of scene to cure his mopey mood.
Eleanor Taylor Penguin Young Readers Group

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 9:57 am

Emma Thompson isn't just an Oscar-winning actress; she's also an Oscar-winning writer. Thompson authored the 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and now she's taken on another period project — reviving the classic children's book character Peter Rabbit.

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