Arts/Life

Movie Reviews
10:58 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

'Hit So Hard': At The Center, But Still Out Of Focus

Seen here in a self-portrait, Patty Schemel, drummer for the '90s alternative rock band Hole, faced some of the same challenges of sudden fame and drug addiction as bandmate Courtney Love.
Courtesy of Well Go USA / Variance Films

Whenever a lead singer's star presence, whether through force of vision or excess of vanity, eclipses the collective unit of a rock band, the other members become β€” to quote the great Cameron Crowe rock odyssey Almost Famous β€” "the out-of-focus guys."

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Movie Reviews
9:16 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

An Inspiring Teacher, Exactly When He's Needed

Mohamed Fellag, an Algerian comedian and humor writer, plays the title character in the Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar, who steps in to teach a class of middle school students at exactly the right time.
Music Box Films

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:55 pm

At the start of a bright, sunny day that seems otherwise like any other day, a popular teacher is found dead in her classroom. It was suicide.

The school is traumatized, especially that teacher's students. By the next day, the principal is at her wits' end trying to find someone willing to take the class. So when Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag) offers to teach, it comes at just the right moment.

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Movie Interviews
9:01 am
Thu April 12, 2012

'Chico & Rita': An Animated Film With A Cuban Beat

Chico's story mimics the stories of many Cuban musicians who left Havana and arrived in New York City in the 1940s β€” a time when musicians like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie were starting to emerge.
Luna Films

The animated film Chico and Rita is set in 1940s Havana, at a time when Cuban musicians were starting to leave the country and join the jazz scene in New York. It was also a time when musical styles were fusing β€” and changing the Afro-Cuban jazz scene entirely.

The film tells the story of Chico, one of the best piano players in Havana, and Rita, his sultriest singer. They're lovers, and eventually their migration takes them past New York to Paris β€” criss-crossing continents to make music while struggling to keep themselves and their relationship afloat.

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Book Reviews
4:46 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Surviving 'Immobility' And End Times

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 8:20 am

Stories about the end of the world are as old as literature itself. From the tale of Noah's Ark to the plague-ravaged landscapes of Mary Shelley's controversial 1826 novel The Last Man, writers have long held a morbid fascination with the possibility of a future apocalypse.

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Media
1:17 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Huckabee Pledges More Civil Alternative To Limbaugh

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says his new radio show will be more "conversation and less confrontation."
Gary Kline

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 8:22 am

Mike Huckabee fell short four years ago in his quest to become the Republican presidential nominee. As of this week, the former Arkansas governor has a new job: national radio talk show host.

The Mike Huckabee Show started Monday with an anticipatory flourish.

"Welcome to the community of conversation. You've just made a right turn, and you've arrived at the corner of conservatism and common sense," he said. "In this show, we're going to be confronting the issues β€” not the listeners."

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New In Paperback
11:37 am
Wed April 11, 2012

New In Paperback April 9-15

Love of My Youth cover detail
Pantheon

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Mary Gordon, Henning Mankell, Jim Rasenberger, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Charles J. Ogletree Jr. and Meghan O'Rourke .

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

Book Reviews
10:16 am
Wed April 11, 2012

'Present': For Nadine Gordimer, Politics Hit Home

Nadine Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Photo courtesy of the author

Nadine Gordimer's trademark characters live for politics, the Struggle. You get the feeling they would be sick to their collective stomachs if they ever even tried to bite into a gourmet cupcake.

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Movies
10:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Film Festival Turns Lens To African Homeland

The 19th New York African Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, with a wide selection of films exploring ideas of home and homeland. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with the festival's founder Mahen Bonetti, and documentary filmmaker Laura Gamse, who is showing her film The Creators about South African artists.

Arts & Life
10:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Virginia Author Remembers Nostalgic Summers

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, guest host Viviana Hurtado shares a poetic tweet from author and professor Luisa Igloria of Norfolk, Virginia. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters or less to #TMMPoetry.

Monkey See
9:59 am
Wed April 11, 2012

'America Revealed': The Ups And Downs Of The Quest For More Of Everything

Yul Kwon visits the Reno Tomatina, a giant tomato fight, in the first episode of PBS's America Revealed.
jeffross.com PBS

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Author Interviews
9:58 am
Wed April 11, 2012

For Carole King, Songwriting Is A 'Natural' Talent

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 12:42 pm

Carole King initially found it extremely difficult to navigate the social hierarchies of high school. The Grammy Award-winning songwriter was a few years younger than her fellow classmates and was often dismissed as being "cute."

"And it was like, no, I don't want to be cute, I want to be beautiful and smart," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And that wasn't happening, and then I connected through music. So music became a way of identifying my particular niche. How lucky for me."

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Book Reviews
5:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Sleuth Soccer Moms Tackle Bad Guys And Stereotypes

iStockPhoto.com

In the most vital essay on crime fiction ever written β€” Raymond Chandler's 1944 apologia "The Simple Art of Murder" β€” Chandler paid this tribute to his hard-boiled predecessor, Dashiell Hammett: "Hammett took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it into the alley."

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Theater
2:35 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Encore! Encore! Applauding The Literal Showstopper

Actress Pearl Bailey during curtain call for the 1967 Broadway production of Hello, Dolly!
John Dominis Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 12:26 pm

Earlier this month, tenor Juan Diego Florez made headlines when he sang the aria "Una furtiva lagrima" in the Donizetti opera L'elisir D'Amore at the Metropolitan Opera β€” not once, but twice.

The audience responded so enthusiastically that after well over a minute of applause and shouts of "Encore!" he sang the whole thing again β€” all five minutes of it.

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Movie Interviews
2:34 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

'Indie Darling' Greta Gerwig, Making A Bigger Splash

Greta Gerwig (center) tells NPR's Robert Siegel that she doesn't mind being called "Hollywood's indie darling" β€” as long as she can keep making movies the way she wants.
Sony Pictures Classics

Greta Gerwig, who stars in Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress, has made a name in indie films like Greenberg with a style that stands out for its naturalism. In Damsels, she inhabits the role of Violet, a bright, sweet, sincere college girl as only a bright, sweet, sincere former college girl could.

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Kitchen Window
1:00 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

No Ordinary Bake Sale: Simply Made From Scratch

Rina Rapuano for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 5:00 am

Parenting has changed in the past few decades. My mother didn't work while raising her first three children, finally going back when I was 4. She didn't have to worry about car seats or tummy time or how much television we watched.

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Arts & Life
10:00 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Arizona Artist Looks To Space For Celestial Verses

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, host Michel Martin shares a poetic tweet from writer and artist Heather Feaga from Phoenix, Arizona. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters or less to #TMMPoetry.

Sports
9:54 am
Tue April 10, 2012

'Winding Up' As The Mets' Knuckleball Pitcher

R.A. Dickey currently plays for the New York Mets. He was previously with the Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.
courtesy of the author

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 8:58 am

Most pitchers in the majors stick to fastballs, curveballs, sliders and change-ups when facing batters at the plate.

But not New York Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey. Dickey is currently the only knuckleball pitcher in a current rotation. At 37, he's also one of the older pitchers in the league and has seen his career β€” and life β€” mimic the erratic trajectory of the difficult pitch he throws game after game.

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Monkey See
9:15 am
Tue April 10, 2012

'Kinect Star Wars': Flawed, But Welcome

You can battle with lightsabers in the new game Kinect Star Wars.
Microsoft

Maybe it's the wide-eyed child that still exists within me. But I happen to like much of the dialog and some of the narrative in Kinect Star Wars.

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Monkey See
6:57 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Ashley Judd Speaks For Herself About Faces, Bodies And Fame

Ashley Judd attends Ashley Judd in Conversation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at the United Nations last month in New York City.
Dario Cantatore Getty Images

I hadn't even heard the ruckus about how Ashley Judd looks that's apparently kicked up since the debut of her ABC series, Missing. But she did.

And she's written a piece for the Daily Beast about it.

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Book Reviews
5:00 am
Tue April 10, 2012

'Heaven': A Hilarious (Yes, Really) History Of Shariah

promo
istockphoto.com

English barrister Sadakat Kadri's Heaven on Earth: A Journey through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia to the Streets of the Modern Muslim World is an evolutionary look at Islamic jurisprudence that is subtle, generous and β€” rather improbably β€” dryly hilarious.

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Books News & Features
1:25 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Best Books (And Surprising Insights) On Lincoln

iStockPhoto.com

In a 24-hour, Internet-fueled news cycle, political campaign reporters often seem to be focused on what just happened, and only what just happened. But presidential candidates profess to take a longer view: They consciously link their critiques and promises to the influential figures and debates of the past.

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Author Interviews
1:24 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Carole King, From Doo-Wopper To Chart Topper

Carole King was in a doo-wop group called the Co-Sines when she was a teenager.
Jim McCrary

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 5:16 am

Carole King has an armful of Grammy Awards and countless Top 10 hits, both under her own name and as a songwriter for artists from Little Eva to the Monkees to Aretha Franklin.

Her solo album Tapestry spent 15 weeks at the top of the charts, becoming one of the biggest-selling records of all time. King managed to fit in all those hits by starting very, very young. She tells NPR's Renee Montagne that she was just 15 when she and some classmates formed a doo-wop group called the Co-Sines.

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Author Interviews
10:00 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Before Admin Assistants, There Were Secretaries

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 9:47 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Are you a fan of "Mad Men" or very much not? How you feel about the hit show on the AMC cable channel about a 1960s advertising agency may have something to do with how you feel about its depiction of the time when secretaries were not administrative assistants, personal assistants or executive assistants. No, they were secretaries - and they were not to forget that.

Here's a clip from "Mad Men" season one, when Joan, a senior secretary, gives advice to a new hire on her first day.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEVISION SHOW, "MAD MEN")

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Arts & Life
10:00 am
Mon April 9, 2012

New Yorker Offers A Poem Burning With Spice

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, host Michel Martin shares a poetic tweet by Laura Barkat of the website TSPoetry.com. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters and less to #TMMPoetry.

Religion
9:10 am
Mon April 9, 2012

'When God Talks Back' To The Evangelical Community

T.M. Luhrmann's book When God Talks Back examines how evangelicals perceive and relate to God.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 10:09 am

While attending services and small group meetings at The Vineyard, an evangelical church with 600 branches across the country, anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann noticed that several members of the congregation said God had repeatedly spoken to them and that they had heard what God wanted them to do.

In When God Talks Back, which is based on an anthropological study she did at The Vineyard, Luhrmann examines the personal relationships people developed with God and explores how those relationships were cemented through the practice of prayer.

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You Must Read This
5:00 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Cowslips To Kingcups: Finding Joy In The Garden

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 9:37 am

Lauren Groff is the author of the new novel, Arcadia.

The darkest period of my life, so far, arrived the summer I was pregnant with my eldest son. The future was growing in me with all of its terrifying unpredictability, and I found myself anxious, unable to work and woefully at sea.

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Books News & Features
1:21 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Simple Tweets Of Fate: Teju Cole's Condensed News

Blaise Pascal once wrote that writing succinctly can be hard. It's something many of us aim for, yet few of us master. But if you're writing on Twitter, you have to keep it short.

The Nigerian writer Teju Cole recently devoted himself to the goal of writing in brief. On his Twitter account, he crafts compact stories based on small news items, things you might overlook in the metro section of a newspaper. And with brevity, his stories gain deeper meaning.

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Monkey See
2:57 pm
Sun April 8, 2012

Lena Dunham's 'Girls': Still Sex, Still The City, Different Show

Lena Dunham stars in HBO's new series, Girls, premiering April 15.
Jojo Whilden HBO

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 6:15 am

Lena Dunham's new series Girls debuts on HBO on April 15. Dunham, who got quite a bit of attention for being the star, director and writer of the 2010 indie film Tiny Furniture, fills the same three roles in this ensemble show about four young women in New York.

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Author Interviews
1:37 pm
Sun April 8, 2012

Ignore 'The Mama's Boy Myth': Keep Your Boys Close

Author Kate Stone Lombardi is the recipient of six Clarion awards. She has written for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Nancy Borowick

Originally published on Sun April 8, 2012 5:16 pm

There are plenty of pop culture references to the dangers of a close mother-son relationship. From the myth of Oedipus to the movie Psycho, narrative after narrative harps on the idea that mothers can damage their sons, make them weak, awkward and dependent.

But for millions of men, the opposite has turned out to be true, author Kate Lombardi tells NPR's Laura Sullivan. Lombardi β€” a mother herself β€” is the author of the new book, The Mama's Boy Myth: Why Keeping Our Sons Close Makes Them Stronger.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:01 pm
Sat April 7, 2012

A Mix-Up At The Music Fest

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is the name of a popular music group, past or present. You'll be given clues in which two letters in the group's name have been changed. For example, given "The Bench Boss," the answer would be "The Beach Boys," after changing the N in "Bench" to an A and the first S of "Boss" to a Y.

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