Arts & Life

Movie Reviews
1:29 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

'Boys Of Abu Ghraib' Focuses Too Tightly On An Army Of One

Jack Farmer (Luke Moran), a kind-hearted member of the Military Police stationed at Abu Ghraib, finds himself questioning the jail's culture.
Courtesy of

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 2:08 pm

Essentially a one-man show, writer-director-star Luke Moran's Boys of Abu Ghraib observes a soldier's deployment at the prison during its most notorious post-Saddam year, 2003. As such, the movie works pretty well. But spotlighting a single GI sidesteps the group dynamic of what happened at the U.S.-run jail, where poorly supervised guards incited each other to behave in ways that were, at the least, unprofessional.

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Author Interviews
7:59 am
Sat March 29, 2014

'Lovesongs' Examines What It Means To Come Home

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 11:27 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

How long do good friends keep growing up with each other? Leland, or Lee, is a rock star. He tours the world but keeps coming back, if not back home, to the place where he grew up - Little Wing, Wisconsin, a fictitious Midwestern town that feels as real as Eau Claire, which is where the author, Nickolas Butler grew up. His new novel, "Shotgun Lovesongs" interlaces the stories of friends who keep coming back to each other and try to get hold of where they are in the world.

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Monkey See
7:59 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Sex And The Greater 'Good Wife': Archie Panjabi On Keeping That Big Secret

Archie Panjabi plays Kalinda Sharma on CBS's The Good Wife.
Jeffrey Neira CBS

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 4:15 pm

Archie Panjabi is part of the cast of CBS's The Good Wife, which has spent much of this week hearing an earful about a major plot development on last Sunday's episode. (They discuss her feelings about the reaction, but do not specify what the development was.)

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Music News
7:59 am
Sat March 29, 2014

From Love To Murder To UFOs, A Dark 'Serenade' To Kansas

Chuck Mead's new album, Free State Serenade, is all about his home state of Kansas.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 11:27 am

"Nashville is where you go to make country music," Chuck Mead says. "There's a certain song vibration down here. There's a whole songwriting culture and playing culture that really doesn't exist outside of New York, or Los Angeles or Chicago."

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Poetry
7:03 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Dark, Remarkable Poems Show 'How To Dance' Amid Economic Despair

Courtesy of Greywolf Press

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 4:18 pm

Nick Lantz speaks from the failed and fallen heart of middle-class Americans, the everyday folks whose lives and bank accounts were gutted when the housing bubble burst. What does that heartbreak look like? Deeper and uglier than plunging stock market charts and foreclosure signs, and more personal. Welcome to an America in which ambition is turned upside down, where someone is likely to say, when asked what he's doing for work these days, "you know those cracks people fall through?/ We're the crack regulators, we keep/ those cracks up to code."

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Author Interviews
5:39 am
Sat March 29, 2014

A Grand Tradition Of Family Drama In 'Cavendon Hall'

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:33 pm

Barbara Taylor Bradford is one of the best-selling authors in the world — and, proudly, a working stiff. She's written 29 novels, beginning with A Woman of Substance in 1979, which became one of the best-selling novels of all time. Her books have been published in more than 90 countries and 40 languages.

Her latest is Cavendon Hall, which takes its title from the great old Edwardian home shared by two families: the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns, who've served the Inghams since time immemorial.

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Movie Reviews
8:02 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

For Two Brothers, Life Creeps Into The Paradise Of Summer Break

Brothers Tommy (Ryan Jones) and Eric (Nathan Varnson), and their group of friends spend much of their summer hanging out in the woods and abandoned buildings near their small New Jersey town.
Courtesy of Tribeca Film

For parents dreading the prospect of their kids spending summer locked in air-conditioned basements with nothing but the glow of computer, TV, and tablet screens to keep them company, the opening scenes of Hide Your Smiling Faces will surely inspire wistful sighs.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:37 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Violinist Itzhak Perlman Gets Quizzed On Ron Perlman

Dr. Scott M. Lieberman AP

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 11:25 am

Violinist Itzhak Perlman has played for presidents and the Queen of England, but the high point of his career is obviously for him to be right here, playing the NPR news quiz.

We've invited him to play a game called "You're no Hellboy." Three questions for Izhak Perlman about actor Ron Perlman from Hellboy, Beauty and the Beast and Sons of Anarchy.

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Movie Reviews
6:37 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Send Out The Doves: 'Noah' Lands On Solid Ground

Ila (Emma Watson) and her husband, Shem, are two passengers aboard the ark built by Noah to escape God's flood in Noah, Darren Aronofsky's imagining of the biblical tale.
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 6:42 pm

The story of Noah's Ark is getting blockbuster treatment in Hollywood's new biblical epic Noah. Darren Aronofsky's film about the Old Testament shipbuilder has been sparking controversy — but there's no denying that the Great Flood, digitized, is a pretty great flood.

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Author Interviews
6:34 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

In 'Storied Life,' Characters Come With A Reading List

Jan Sandvik iStockphoto

Thirty-nine year old widower A.J. Fikry is an unlikely romantic hero: He's cranky, he drinks too much, his bookstore is failing and don't get him started on the state of publishing. He's also at the center of Gabrielle Zevin's new novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.

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