Arts/Life

Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

'Enough,' Almost, But At Least There's Gandolfini

After James Gandolfini's death this past June, the actor's turn in Enough Said, where he stars opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a man looking for a second chance at love, has taken on a tinge of the bittersweet.
Lacey Terrell Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 3:40 pm

It was writer-director Nicole Holofcener's good fortune, and her bad luck, to have snagged James Gandolfini for Enough Said, her comedy about two imminent empty-nesters dipping their toes into fresh romantic waters. Given his untimely death, the film is likely to be remembered less for its own modest virtues than as a last chance to say a bittersweet farewell to its star.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

From Lebanon To Israel, With An Olive Tree In Tow

Zaytoun follows Yoni (Stephen Dorff), an Israeli fighter pilot, and Fahed (Abdallah El Akal), a young Palestinian boy, as they travel together and form an unlikely bond.
Eitan Riklis Strand Releasing

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:27 am

Israeli director Eran Riklis often depicts characters separated by borders. In The Syrian Bride, a Druze woman leaves Israel to marry, knowing she can never return to visit her family; in Lemon Tree, a privileged Israeli woman and a disadvantaged Palestinian regard one another warily from opposite sides of the fence between free and occupied territory.

Zaytoun is different: This time, the director allows his characters to cross the frontier. That makes for a story that's sweeter, but also less convincing.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

'Prisoners' Of A Story, Bound By That Devil Subtext

An underemployed contractor (Hugh Jackman) takes the law --€” and a few things outside it --€” into his own hands with regard to the man (Paul Dano) he suspects has kidnapped his daughter.
Wilson Webb Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 8:37 am

If anyone thought Denis Villeneuve's attacks on his favorite targets might be tempered by his move from the art house to Hollywood-thriller territory, Prisoners should shut that line of thinking down in a hurry.

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The Salt
2:48 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Making Food From Flies (It's Not That Icky)

Black soldier flies mate and lay eggs inside these cages at EnviroFlight.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:14 pm

In the quirky little college town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, home to many unconventional ideas over the years, there's now a small insect factory.

It's an unassuming operation, a generic boxy building in a small industrial park. It took me a while even to find a sign with the company's name: EnviroFlight. But its goal is grand: The people at EnviroFlight are hoping that their insects will help our planet grow more food while conserving land and water.

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Books
2:48 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Yasmin Thayná: 'I Always Wanted To Make Literature With My Hair'

Brazilian writer Yasmin Thayná, 20, participated in a local program aimed at cultivating artistic talent in low-income communities.
Courtesy of Yasmin Thayná

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 5:07 pm

While NPR's Melissa Block is in Brazil, we'll be showcasing the work of several Brazilian writers. On Tuesday we heard Tatiana Salem Levy's love letter to Rio. Now we turn to 20-year-old Yasmin Thayná, who discovered her love for writing as a teenager when she participated in a local program aimed at cultivating artistic talent in low-income communities.

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Author Interviews
12:06 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Years After Historic Ruling, Execution Still A 'Random' Justice

Execution witness Don Reid stands in the death chamber of the Texas State Penitentiary on July 31, 1972, where he officially watched 189 men die in the heavy oak electric chair. The Supreme Court struck down capital punishment on June 29 of that year.
AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:44 pm

In the mid-1970s, Arkansas' electric chair was being used by the prison barber to cut hair, and the execution chamber in New Hampshire was being used to store vegetables. That's because in 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court shocked the nation by striking down Georgia's death penalty law, effectively ending executions in the United States. But the decision provoked a strong backlash among those who favored the death penalty, and within four years the high court reversed course and issued a set of rulings that would permit the resumption of executions.

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Television
10:59 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Meet Armando, Sesame Street's Newest Neighbor

Ismael Cruz Cordova as Armando, with Muppets Rosita and Elmo.
Gil Vaknin

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 3:15 pm

Sesame Street kicked off its new season this week, and it's putting a special focus on Hispanic heritage. There's also a new character on the block: Armando (also known as Mando). He's played by actor Ismael Cruz Cordova, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He earned a bachelor's in fine arts from New York University and has appeared in several films and the CBS drama The Good Wife. He's currently performing off-Broadway.

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Arts & Life
10:35 am
Thu September 19, 2013

'House Of Lies' Star Don Cheadle On How To Make It In Hollywood

Don Cheadle is known his roles in Hotel Rwanda, Crash and Ocean's Eleven.
Eric Charbonneau AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:15 pm

Don Cheadle may be one of Hollywood's quietest superstars. He was known for having high impact in supporting roles before Hotel Rwanda catapulted him to fame. He earned an Oscar nomination for playing the real-life hotel manager who protected more than a thousand Tutsis from the Hutu militia during the Rwandan civil war. Cheadle appeared in other critical and box office hits like Crash and Flight. He's now earned an Emmy nomination for his role in the TV show House of Lies.

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Monkey See
7:14 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Morning Shots: Michel Gondry Does The NFL To A Beat

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 12:15 pm

I cannot understand how I missed the news that Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones are about to open as Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, but this charming list of past pairings makes me want to watch the play ... a lot. (David Tennant and Catherine Tate!

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Book News: National Book Award Fiction Longlist Includes Lahiri, Pynchon

The winners of the National Book Awards will be announced Nov. 20.
NationalBook.org

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:13 am

(This post was updated at 10 a.m.)

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu September 19, 2013

'Nightmare Range': Crime And (Not Much) Punishment In The DMZ

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 11:51 am

At the end of the Korean War — a long, bloody, and under-memorialized conflict that claimed millions of lives — no real treaty was ever signed. Although there was an armistice in 1953, the nations of North and South Korea remain, technically, still at war. The Demilitarized Zone along the 38th parallel is one of the tensest borders on earth, with thousands of men, tanks and artillery pieces pointed at each other over minefields and barbed wire fences, fingers on triggers 24 hours a day.

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First Reads
5:03 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'From Scratch: Inside The Food Network'

Emeril Lagasse promo image
Jim Cooper AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:06 pm

Back in 1993, the Food Network was the Little Network that Nobody Really Thought Could. Cable TV was still, if not in its infancy, then enduring a difficult toddlerhood — no one knew what cable audiences were interested in, and no one thought a scrappy startup dedicated to food would go anywhere. Twenty years later, the doubters have been proved wrong; the Food Network is a global powerhouse that's made the names and fortunes of stars like Emeril Lagasse, Paula Deen, Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu September 19, 2013

From Kolbasa To Borscht, 'Soviet Cooking' Tells A Personal History

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 4:52 pm

For years I have wondered, albeit vaguely, about gefilte fish, a dish that appears in various guises in novels about Jewish families, almost always at points of celebration or domestic tension. Here's how to make it: Skin a whole pike, mince the flesh, mix with vegetables and bread. Sew the minced fish back into the skin and poach for three hours. Garnish with horseradish.

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Television
1:19 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Dean Norris, Breaking Out Of That Good-Guy Mold

Breaking Bad, on which Dean Norris played DEA agent Hank Schrader, has two more episodes to go before its series finale.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:44 am

Actor Dean Norris took to Twitter the other day. "Missed last night's Breaking Bad," he wrote. "Heard it was intense. Filmed several alternate versions. Can't wait to see what they used."

Please note: There's a spoiler farther down this page.

Norris plays — played? — a drug enforcement agent on the acclaimed AMC series, which wraps for good after just two more episodes. His character's brother-in-law is a chemistry teacher with cancer who, at the series' outset, gets into cooking methamphetamine to pay for his treatment.

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Art & Design
1:18 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Exhibit Explores How Dior's Designs Echo Impressionist Paintings

Laziz Hamani

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:44 am

When it was time to create a new collection, Christian Dior had a ritual: He went to his garden and sat down among the flowers.

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Theater
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Daniel Craig Heads Back To Broadway With 'Betrayal'

Daniel Craig, at right, is probably best known as the current incarnation of James Bond. He's in rehearsal now for a Broadway production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal, alongside Rafe Spall and Rachel Weisz — who plays his wife, and is that in real life, too.
Brigitte Lacombe

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

A revival of Harold Pinter's play Betrayal is in rehearsal now in New York. It's the story of an affair, and it unfolds backward in time, from the lovers sharing a post-romantic drink to the passion they first experienced seven years earlier. Along the way, much deception — betrayal, even — is revealed.

Daniel Craig, who stars as the jilted Robert, tells NPR's Robert Siegel that the show, first performed in 1978, still feels "surprisingly contemporary. ... When you have someone as good as Pinter, it remains timeless. And the themes are timeless. It's just good writing."

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Author Interviews
12:33 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Bio Credits Manson's Terrible Rise To Right Place And Time

Charles Manson is escorted to his arraignment on conspiracy and murder charges in 1969.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:10 pm

Lots of listeners read all kinds of messages into The Beatles' White Album, but nothing compares to the album's impact on Charles Manson. He heard it as a message to him and his followers — known as "The Family" — that the world was on the verge of an apocalyptic race war in which blacks would rise up against their white oppressors and enslave them.

This battle would be set off by an event called Helter Skelter, after the eponymous Beatles song, and Manson planned to lead his followers into the desert, where they would hide until the chaos ended.

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Around the Nation
7:47 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Is Nina Davuluri 'American Enough' To Be Miss America?

Nina Davuluri says Miss America — whom she's always seen as the girl next door — is evolving.
Brian McCabe NPR

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 3:51 pm

Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, took the crown in this year's Miss America beauty pageant. It was the 87th year of the competition, and Davuluri was one of two Asian-Americans in the final round. Although she's just a few days into her reign, Davuluri has already made history. She's the first Indian-American Miss America.

Her win highlights how far the U.S. has come, but also how far the country has to go: Racist tweets flooded in on Twitter right after her victory.

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Book News: Lost Hemingway Satire Will Finally Be Published

American writer Ernest Hemingway.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 7:33 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Here's Danny! 'Doctor Sleep' Picks Up Where 'Shining' Left Off

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 12:33 pm

If you're a dutiful fan of Stephen King's work — myself, I'm an off again, on again follower — you will have read The Shining, King's hit 1977 novel about a haunted resort in the Colorado Rockies. Depending on how recently you immersed yourself in that story, you'll have a sharp or vague recollection of a young child with the power of "shining," or mind-reading mixed with telekinesis.

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Politics
2:27 am
Wed September 18, 2013

House Bill Would Cut 3.8 Million People From Food Stamp Rolls

Advocates for the poor say the proposed cuts to the food stamp program — $40 billion over 10 years — don't make sense at a time when unemployment remains high.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:44 pm

The House of Representatives is expected to take up a bill Thursday that would chart the course for federal nutrition programs for years to come.

The measure calls for $40 billion in cuts over a decade to the federal food stamp program, now known as SNAP. The measure's Republican backers say it attacks fraud, but advocates say it will hurt the poor.

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The Salt
1:16 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Just What The Doctor Ordered: Med Students Team With Chefs

Fourth year Tulane medical school student Neha Solanki (far right) preps a Greek frittata during a class at Johnson & Wales.
Kristin Gourlay RIPR

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:26 am

For the past few weeks, the culinary arts students at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., have been working with some less-than-seasoned sous chefs.

One of them, Clinton Piper, may look like a pro in his chef's whites, but he's struggling to work a whisk through some batter. "I know nothing about baking," he says.

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Author Interviews
1:16 am
Wed September 18, 2013

'Don't Know'? Just Admit It

Franck Camhi iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 7:19 am

We've all faked our way through conversations before — whether about books we haven't read, movies we haven't seen or concepts we don't understand. In her new book, I Don't Know: In Praise of Admitting Ignorance (Except When You Shouldn't), Leah Hager Cohen explores moments in history and everyday life when "I don't know" can have a big impact.

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Code Switch
3:18 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

How Slavery Shaped America's Oldest And Most Elite Colleges

An early flier for an event at King's College --” which would later become Columbia University — included an advertisement for a slave auction.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 6:45 pm

A few years ago, Brown University commissioned a study of its own historical connection to the Atlantic slave trade. The report found that the Brown family — the wealthy Rhode Island merchants for whom the university was named — were "not major slave traders, but they were not strangers to the business either."

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Books
3:18 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

A Brazilian Writer's Love Letter To Rio De Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, shown just before sunrise.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:55 pm

While NPR's Melissa Block is in Brazil, we'll be showcasing the work of several Brazilian writers. Today: Tatiana Salem Levy, whose short story "Blazing Sun" was featured in the literary magazine Granta. Levy splits her time between Rio de Janeiro, where she's spent most of her life, and Lisbon, where she was born. She calls "Blazing Sun," which is excerpted below, her love letter to Rio.

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The Fresh Air Interview
12:04 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

In Memoir, Linda Ronstadt Describes Her 'Simple Dreams'

Linda Ronstadt performs in 1970.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:37 am

With a career that spans rock, pop, country and everything in between, Linda Ronstadt knows no genre, only what her voice can accomplish. Her most famous recordings include "Heart Like a Wheel," "Desperado," "Faithless Love," and many more. But last month, Ronstadt revealed that she has Parkinson's disease and can no longer sing.

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The Salt
11:23 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Golden Rice Study Violated Ethical Rules, Tufts Says

Genetically modified to be enriched with beta-carotene, golden rice grains (left) are a deep yellow. At right, white rice grains.
Isagani Serrano International Rice Research Institute

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 4:30 pm

Tufts University announced Tuesday that one of its researchers broke ethical rules while carrying out a study of genetically modified "golden rice" in China.

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Monkey See
10:50 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Fox's 'Dads': If It Weren't Giving Offense, It Wouldn't Be Giving Anything At All

Brenda Song and Seth Green in Fox's Dads.
Jennifer Clasen Fox

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Parenting
10:17 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Obesity And Preserving Culture: Latinos Discuss Parenting Challenges

Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:38 pm

Health, cultural assimilation and language are some of the top concerns on the minds of a group of Latino parents, social media influencers and regular contributors to Tell Me More. Health was something first lady Michelle Obama highlighted in July, when she addressed the National Council of La Raza, the nation's leading Hispanic civil rights organization.

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Arts
9:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

New Mix: Beck, Best Coast, Joanna Gruesome, More

Clockwise from upper left: Beck, Cate Le Bon, Arp's Alexis Georgopoulos, Best Coast
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:05 pm

On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a brand new song from Beck. The new cut, called "Gimme," is the third single he's released since June and by far the strangest (i.e., best) of the bunch. None of the songs will be on the new full-length record Beck hopes to release before the end of the year.

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