Arts & Life

Movie Interviews
7:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Bertrand Tavernier, Playing Geopolitics For Laughs

Director Bertrand Tavernier (center) with Thierry Lhermitte and Raphael Personnaz on the set of The French Minister, a comedy about a dervish of a diplomat trying to head off a war.
Sundance Selects

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:18 am

French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier has done some serious work. In The Clockmaker, a man's adult son commits an act of terrorism. In 'Round Midnight, an aging jazz musician struggles with addictions. And Sunday in the Country is about a man visiting his aging father.

But Tavernier's new film, The French Minister, is a comedy, inspired by both real life and old movies. It's based on a graphic novel the director read in a single night, in the first week the book was published.

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Movie Interviews
7:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

When Scripture Hits The Screen, Filmmakers Say Their Prayers

Russell Crowe, the lead in Darren Aronofsky's forthcoming biblical epic Noah, may have received a quick blessing from Pope Francis at a recent public audience, but the movie is drawing criticism in some quarters.
Niko Tavernise Paramount Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:18 am

The film Noah, with Russell Crowe in the title role, opens in the U.S. March 28. It's already been banned in several Muslim countries for portraying a man considered a prophet, and here in this country it's stirred controversy among some Christians for not being a sufficiently literal telling of the Bible story. NPR's Scott Simon spoke with Rajinder Dudrah, senior lecturer in screen studies at the University of Manchester, on why religious figures in film can cause both fascination and offense.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Extraordinary Ladies Battle Across Berlin In 'Roses'

Grab your spats and your ray gun! It's time for another volume of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's adventures. Nemo: The Roses of Berlin has everything one looks for in Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's saga: steampunk, alternate history, elements from boys' adventure tales and the flavor of '30s movie serials. The latest episode might better be called the League of Extraordinary Ladies, actually: There's a female protagonist, a female villain and a female robot — the latter none other than the false Maria from the 1927 film Metropolis.

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Movie Interviews
5:00 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Doomed 'Dune' Was Generations Ahead Of Its Time

Artwork created for Dune by British science fiction artist Chris Foss.
Courtesy of Chris Foss/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:18 am

Dune, by Alejandro Jodorowsky, was an ambitious and expensive film that was going to change cinema — and, the filmmaker imagined, the world.

Jodorowsky had already made a name for himself with El Topo in 1970 and The Holy Mountain in 1973, two movies that more or less invented the "midnight movie" phenomenon back when that was a euphemism for tripping.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:49 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Not My Job: We Ask Football And Old Spice Star Terry Crews About Cruises

Anderson Group

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 12:03 pm

Before he was the star of a hilarious series of Old Spice commercials, Terry Crews played for the championship Western Michigan University Broncos in Kalamazoo, where we are taping the show this week. He went on to play in the NFL and have a successful acting career, including roles in Everybody Hates Chris, Idiocracy, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

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Music News
5:02 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

For Kelis, Music Is Back On The Menu

Kelis gave her first U.S. performance in years at the 2014 SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:22 pm

Kelis Rogers has made a career of reinventing herself. When the R&B singer, whose "Milkshake" made her an international pop star in 2003, took the stage last week at SXSW in Austin, Texas, it marked her first live show in the United States in years. Kelis herself insists she never went away (she's continued to tour in Europe and Asia), but she did make a big career change after releasing her last album in 2006: She went to cooking school.

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This Week's Must Read
4:37 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Spring May Not Be Outside, But It's On The Court

Duke's Rasheed Sulaimon drives to the basket against Mercer's Ike Nwamu.
Grant Halverson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:22 pm

Spring is here, and if you can't tell from the temperature outside, you know because yesterday saw the start of the NCAA tournament, in which 68 teams will compete over the next three weeks. And while they're out there playing, the world outside will continue to inch towards the end of winter.

For our series, This Week's Must Read, Lev Grossman looks to the timeless The Canterbury Tales, and Tim Lane revisits Pistol, the biography of college basketball legend Pete Maravich.

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Movie Reviews
1:13 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Addicted To Sex, But Not Really Having Much Fun

Stacy Martin (right, with Sophie Kennedy Clark) plays the younger version of Charlotte Gainsbourg's sex-addict protagonist in Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac — a study of sex and intimacy that's calculated, characteristically for this director, to provoke.
Christian Geisnaes Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 8:47 pm

Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has found all sorts of ways to provoke moviegoers in the past — with metal spikes in Antichrist, by ignoring narrative conventions in Dogville, by presenting depression as the only reasonable reaction to the world as we know it — and then destroying that world — in Melancholia. And as if this last weren't enough, he told a Nazi joke to a crowd prepared to shower him with adulation at Cannes.

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Monkey See
10:27 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Authenticity Business And A Colorful Quiz

NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 11:40 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's episode, our pal Gene Demby is with us for a discussion of the recent Between Two Ferns episode in which the President of the United States chatted about the Hangover movies. What does this kind of appearance accomplish? What is the meaning of "keeping it real" in current popular culture? And what does this all have to do with mayonnaise? Oh, you'll find out.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Book News: Khushwant Singh, Who Wrote Of India's Bloody Partition, Dies

Khushwant Singh, pictured in 2010, sits in his house in New Delhi, India.
Manish Swarup AP

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

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