Arts/Life

Monkey See
9:04 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Girls' Edition, Women's Edition

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:13 am

For a few months now, we've been talking about putting together a special episode where I could sit down with Parul Sehgal, Barrie Hardymon, and Tanya Ballard Brown for what some of the men on the usual panel were referring to as "Gorgeous Ladies Of Pop Culture Happy Hour." It was, believe it or not, a complete coincidence that we finally pulled it together during the week that HBO premiered Lena Dunham

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Poetry
5:03 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Grief In Greenness: Two Melancholy Poems Of Spring

Eldad Carin iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 1:58 pm

Springtime is the season of renewal, but it can also be a season of ambivalence. After all, for something to be made new and fresh, it first has to have gotten old and worn. Perhaps this is why some of the best poets of spring are masters of minor-key feelings like doubt, sadness and regret — every rebirth, as they know, contains a little death.

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Books
1:25 am
Fri April 20, 2012

The St. Cuthbert Gospel: Looking Pretty Good At 1300

The Gospel, buried with St. Cuthbert in 698, was recovered from his grave in 1104. Its beautiful red leather binding is original.
Courtesy of the British Library

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:04 am

How much would you pay for a very rare book?

The British Library in London has just paid about $14 million to purchase Europe's oldest intact book, known as the St. Cuthbert Gospel. It's a copy of the Gospel of St. John, thought to have been produced in northeastern England sometime during the seventh century.

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Movies
1:20 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Italian Critics Don't 'Love' Allen's Roman Holiday

Woody Allen at the Italian-language premiere of To Rome With Love, in Rome, April 13.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 4:46 am

After shooting in London, Barcelona and Paris, Woody Allen made his latest European backdrop Rome. To Rome With Love opens Friday in Italy — in Italian.

The movie is a magnificent postcard of the eternal city — a carefree romp along cobblestone streets nestled between ancient ruins and Renaissance palaces. A soft yellow glow pervades every scene. It projects an image of the sweet life with all the charms under the Italian sun, set to the tune of old standbys like "Volare" and "Arrivederci Roma."

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Movie Reviews
3:33 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Documentary Seeks The 'Marley' Behind The Myth

Bob Marley's phenomenal popularity introduced much of the world to both reggae music and the Rastafarian faith.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 6:40 am

In the three decades since his 1981 death from cancer, Bob Marley's legacy has only grown. His recordings still dominate reggae sales charts, and his face is still emblazoned on T-shirts and dorm-room walls — an image as ubiquitous and iconic as Che Guevara, with less militant or overtly political connotations.

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Movie Reviews
3:08 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Goodbye First Love': Heartbreak, Recovery, Relapse

Camille (Lola Creton) and Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky) are caught in a complicated tangle of feelings in Mia Hansen-Love's Goodbye First Love.
Carole Bethuel IFC Films

There's nothing like the intensity of young love, but that descriptor cuts in many ways at once. Feelings so pure and intoxicating can never be repeated, but they cannot be controlled, either, by the wisdom and maturity that enrich and sustain a relationship in the long term. Intensity can curdle just as quickly into jealousy, possessiveness and depression; when a heartsick teenager uses a phrase like "I'll die without him," adults may roll their eyes, but it's just barely a figure of speech.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Chimpanzee': Oh, The Humanity!

Nicknamed "Oscar" by Chimpanzee's filmmakers, the young chimp at the center of the film is adopted by an older male chimp — a rare occurrence — after his mother is killed.
Disneynature

It's a classic scenario in sentimental fiction: An adorable orphan humanizes a crusty old codger. "Humanize" might not seem the obvious verb for what happens in Chimpanzee, Disneynature's latest kiddie documentary. But it's dead on; this escape to the planet of the apes is anthropomorphic to a fault.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Henry': A Fractured Family, And A Would-Be Savior

In trying to identify his biological father, child prodigy Henry (Jason Spevack) makes life difficult for his mother (Toni Collette) and the researcher (Michael Sheen) he believes may have been his mother's sperm donor.
Entertainment One

Jesus Christ does not actually appear in Jesus Henry Christ except as a frequent expletive, suggesting that the New Testament star's titular shout-out is meant as a provocation.

"Are you shocked yet?" the movie seems to be asking, over and over again. "What if we throw in a carnival of gruesome family deaths, a foreign doctor who mispronounces 'semen' and a jive-talking white man in African garb?" To sell the story of a mature and soft-spoken child prodigy, the filmmakers employ bad taste in a bid for attention. They act out.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Darling Companion': Boomer Dramedy, Dog-Tired

Beth (Diane Keaton) and her adopted dog, Freeway, are parted when her distracted, workaholic husband, Joseph, loses Freeway in the woods.
Wilson Webb Sony Pictures Classics

It is said of one well-liked Hollywood purveyor of cheerfully inept romantic comedies that he doesn't actually direct movies — he hosts them. That quip sprang unbidden to mind at a screening of the genially terrible Darling Companion, a therapeutic intervention passing as family dramedy for our times.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Glory' Days: Intimate Experiences, But At A Price?

A man eyes some of the women working at the upscale Fish Tank brothel in Bangkok. The documentary Whores' Glory chronicles the experiences of sex workers in relatively clean establishments — and some living in de facto slavery.
Vinai Dithajohn Lotus Films

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 8:30 am

The world's oldest profession is one of cinema's oldest subjects, sometimes employed for pathos or political metaphor, but often glamorized. Austrian documentarian Michael Glawogger's Whores' Glory is no Pretty Woman. But neither does it qualify as an expose.

The movie, which shifts from Thailand to Bangladesh to Mexico, aspires to a cinema-verite style. Yet it's unusually well-lighted and -composed for on-the-fly footage, and includes scenes that appear to be staged.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Think Like A Man,' And We'll See What Happens

Mya (Meagan Good), while dating Zeke (Romany Malco), follows the do's and don't's of dating advice from comedian Steve Harvey's real-world self-help book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
Alan Markfield Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 4:06 pm

Oy, the things daters have to worry about these days. Not just how to dress, act and turn "no" into "go," but how not to become a chirp-chirp girl.

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Arts & Life
2:44 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Pants Trend Makes A Red-Hot Statement

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:34 pm

What is up with all the red pants lately? Audie Cornish turns to Nick Sullivan, fashion director of Esquire Magazine, to find out. Sullivan confirms that red pants are a trend, with roots in the day outfits worn by members of the New York Yacht club.

Monkey See
1:35 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Today's Adorable PSA: 'Book People Unite'

It's not every day that I get a pitch that basically says, "Watch our video; it's so cute!" that actually works.

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Book Reviews
10:28 am
Thu April 19, 2012

'Suddenly': Surreal Stories From A Modern Master

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 10:38 am

My favorite story in Israeli writer Etgar Keret's new collection starts with a hipster trying to make a movie and ends with him being brought back to life by a goldfish after being bludgeoned to death. The story, "What, of This Goldfish, Would You Wish?" features the best of Keret's distinctive style. At barely seven pages long, it's wildly succinct; the premise is absurd and tender; the social perspective is unapologetically irreverent; and the language is spare and vivid, moving like a shot from point A to B.

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Studio Sessions
9:28 am
Thu April 19, 2012

For Rashida Jolley, A Harp To Make More Than Music

Harpist Rashida Jolley sings a tune from her new album Tales of My Heart.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 11:49 am

Washingtonian Rashida Jolley is known for bringing an unusual instrument into the worlds of pop, R&B and hip-hop: the harp.

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Monkey See
9:13 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Let's Rush To Judgment: 'Magic Mike'

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 12:41 pm

The casting of Magic Mike was attention-getting from the start.

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Movie Interviews
9:10 am
Thu April 19, 2012

The Stooges Are Back, And Nyukking Things Up Again

After they leave their orphanage for the first time, Curly (Will Sasso) bears a heavy burden — his fellow Stooges, Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos, left) and Larry (Sean Hayes).
Peter Iovino Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 10:11 am

The Farrelly brothers have long been known for their gross-out humor and their shocking comedies. After writing and directing movies like Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, There's Something About Mary and Shallow Hal -- where agreeable idiots get caught up in all sorts of trouble — Peter and Bobby Farrelly decided to tackle another set of goofy doofuses: The Three Stooges.

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Arts & Life
9:10 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Egyptian-American Poet: Bodies Are Like Poems

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

Animals
8:31 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Following The Lives Of Chimpanzees On Screen

Over the course of filming, Oscar (pictured above) learned how to use rudimentary tools and how to get along with the other members of his clan.
Disney

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 9:49 am

The new Disneynature film Chimpanzee started off the way most movies do. Co-producers and directors Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill, who had previously worked together on the documentary film Earth, approached Disney with a 70-page script about a group of chimpanzees living in Western Africa. There was just one problem: Chimps don't take direction — or read scripts.

So Fothergill and Linfield teased out a narrative from more than three years' worth of footage they took in Western Africa while observing a large clan of chimpanzees.

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Three Books...
4:10 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Jargon To Jabberwocky: 3 Books To Jazz Your Writing

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 6:49 am

I'm an English professor, and I spent the first 15 years of my career trying to write like one. You might be surprised by what that's like. We don't emulate the fiction writers we most admire. We too rarely practice what we preach to our composition students — namely that good writing is simple and direct. In fact, we're notorious for maze-y sentences and ugly jargon. The point seems less to attract readers with clear prose than to smack them over the head with a sign that says, "Aren't I smart?"

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Around the Nation
3:54 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Back To The Future: Seattle's Space Needle Turns 50

The Seattle Space Needle's 50th anniversary is Saturday. Though the top of the Needle has been off-white for years, it's being painted its original color, "galaxy gold," for the anniversary.
Dan Callister Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 4:45 pm

Seattle's Space Needle turns 50 on Saturday. Originally built as a tourist attraction for the city's 1962 World's Fair, the structure was meant to evoke the future. Now the future is here, and the Needle has become the city's favorite antique.

Peter Steinbrueck traces the tower's lineage to an abstract sculpture that sits in his office. Steinbrueck is an architect and former City Council member, and the sculpture used to belong to his father, Victor, also an architect.

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Movies
3:04 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

What Makes A Movie Quote Memorable?

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 3:54 pm

Researchers at Cornell University have analyzed thousands of movie quotes to figure out why some are more memorable than others. Melissa Block and Audie Cornish have more.

Remembrances
2:36 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Dick Clark, 'Bandstand' Host, Dead at 82

Pop culture icon Dick Clark died Wednesday at age 82. He started his career as a college disc jockey and went on to shape the way America viewed music, TV game shows and New Year's Eve. Here, he hosts American Bandstand in 1958.
ABC Photo Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:59 pm

Dick Clark, affectionately known as the "world's oldest teenager," has died. He was 82, and had suffered a heart attack while in a Santa Monica hospital for an outpatient procedure.

Richard Wagstaff Clark became a national icon with American Bandstand in the 1950s, hosting the show for more than 30 years. Clark also hosted the annual New Year's Eve special for ABC for decades. He weathered scandals, hosted game shows and renewed his Bandstand fame with a new generation by producing the nostalgic TV drama American Dreams.

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Theater
2:12 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

London Smash 'Two Guvnors' Comes To Broadway

Adapted from The Servant of Two Masters, the new comedy One Man, Two Guvnors follows the "always famished and easily confused" Francis Henshall (James Corden, left), who must combat his own befuddlement while keeping both of his employers — a local gangster and criminal-in-hiding Stanley Stubbers (Oliver Chris) — from meeting.
Tristram Kenton

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 3:54 pm

If you weren't a college theater major, you can be forgiven for not knowing much about commedia dell'arte, the 500-year-old theatrical tradition that Carlo Goldoni used for his comedy The Servant of Two Masters in 1743. Contemporary playwright Richard Bean has adapted that play into the decidedly British laugh riot One Man, Two Guvnors -- and he says all you really need to know about commedia is ... well, it's funny.

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New In Paperback
10:44 am
Wed April 18, 2012

New In Paperback April 16-22

iStockphoto

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Jo Nesbo, Albert Brooks, Jo Ann Beard, James Tate and Stephen Baker.

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

Movie Reviews
10:19 am
Wed April 18, 2012

In 'Monsieur Lazhar,' Grief Lingers In The Classroom

Fellag, an Algerian comedian, plays the title character in the Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar, who steps in to teach a class of middle school students after tragedy has struck their classroom.
Music Box Films

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 10:36 am

Teacher movies tend to be more alike than unalike, but Monsieur Lazhar makes the familiar unusually strange. The note on which it opens is shocking, tragic: A Montreal middle school student, Simon, enters his classroom ahead of the other kids and finds his teacher hanging from a pipe, dead by her own hand.

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Movies
9:42 am
Wed April 18, 2012

'Think Like A Man' Gets At Games By Men, Women

The new romantic comedy Think Like a Man is based on Steve Harvey's advice book that claims to tell women how to out-maneuver men in romance. But even before hitting the box office, the film is causing a stir. Host Michel Martin discusses the movie and the controversy with critic and new Pulitzer Prize winner Wesley Morris.

Arts & Life
9:42 am
Wed April 18, 2012

California Poet Opens Up About Solitude, Aging

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, host Michel Martin shares a poetic tweet from land surveyor and poet Brandon Montero of Ripon, California. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters or less to #TMMPoetry.

Monkey See
9:22 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Nostalgia Is Anywhere But Here

Baseball-booted students jitterbugging at the Carrere night club in Paris. (Photo dated 1949)
Keystone Features Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 2:32 pm

It feels redundant, and maybe a bit solipsistic, to study the mechanics of nostalgia too closely. It means watching ourselves watch ourselves and asking why we're doing it.

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Book Reviews
8:57 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Paging Dr. Freud: A Viennese Espionage Thriller

iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 9:19 am

Waiting for Sunrise, William Boyd's 12th novel, opens on the streets of Vienna in August 1913, on the eve of World War I. Lysander Rief, a young actor, arrives in the birthplace of psychoanalysis to seek a cure for his sexual ailment, only to embark on an odyssey of sexual discovery. He begins treatment with one of Freud's disciples — and an affair with a fellow patient, the volatile Hettie Bell — all the while exploring the depths of his Oedipal relationship with his glamorous mother, Lady Anna Faulkner.

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