Arts & Life

Movie Interviews
5:04 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

'Le Week-End': A Story Of Feuding Couples On Screen And Off

Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan) have a couple days full of tension, tiffs and a touch of romance in Le Week-End.
Nicola Dove Courtesy of Music Box Films

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 6:35 pm

In the film Le Week-End, a couple takes a weekend trip to Paris to celebrate an anniversary. But it's not the romantic getaway you might expect.

Nick and Meg, played by Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan, are in their 60s and have, in any ways, become disillusioned with their marriage. They spend the weekend trying to figure out what they're doing together and what they want from one another.

This is the fourth collaboration between acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi and director Roger Michell, who directed Notting Hill.

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My Big Break
5:04 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Pumping Up A Star: The Leaky Suit That Blew Up A Career

June Ambrose designed the black suit seen in this screenshot from Missy Elliott's highly praised music video for "The Rain."
Atlantic Records Youtube

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 6:35 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

You probably don't know the name June Ambrose, but you may have seen her work.

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All Songs Considered
11:41 am
Sun March 16, 2014

NPR Music At SXSW 2014: Saturday

Kishi Bashi performs at The Dirty Dog in Austin, Texas during the 2014 South by Southwest Music festival.
Bob Boilen NPR
  • Listen to All Songs Considered at SXSW - Saturday

Saturday at SXSW, things go over the edge. Language fails. The mind shimmies free from its moorings. Maybe it's the fatigue. Maybe it's the crowds. You could argue that the constant waves of sound that rattle eardrums over five days in Austin jars something loose inside a person's brain.

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Code Switch
9:04 am
Sun March 16, 2014

'Street Fighter II': Most Racist Nostalgic Video Game Ever?

Dhalsim, right, a skinny Indian fighter who wore shrunken skulls around his neck, could stretch his limbs really far to punch or kick. His fighting style was based on yoga, you see. Chun-Li, the game's lone female character, nearly came with a shorter health meter because one game developer felt a woman character should be weaker than the men.
Street Fighter II

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 9:14 am

The video game magazine Polygon recently published a fascinating oral history of the creation of Street Fighter II, the glitchy, addictive, incredibly influential arcade game from the 1990s created by Capcom. The story rounded up all of the game's developers and artists and programmers — a group of eccentrics from America and Japan who sound like they were a bunch of HR nightmares. But despite all this, the game became a monster hit:

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Sun March 16, 2014

David Brenner Dies; The Comedian Was 78

Comedian David Brenner, a staple of TV in the 1970s and '80s, has died at age 78. He's seen here hosting his Nightlife show, with musician Frank Zappa (center) and his children, Dweezil (left) and Moon Unit.
David Bookstaver AP

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 11:53 am

Comedian David Brenner has died at age 78. A favorite guest of Johnny Carson's on the Tonight Show in the 1970s and '80s, the lanky comedian was famous for balancing his wry jokes with a toothy smile. Brenner had been battling cancer.

When he introduced Brenner as a guest for the first time, Carson described him this way: "He's very clever. Somewhat warped. Which is — if you're going to do comedy, you should be a little bit warped, I think."

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Sunday Puzzle
7:47 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Two Is Company, But Three Is A Crowd


Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 11:32 am

On-air challenge: A series of paired words will be provided. For each pair, think of a third word that can follow the first one and precede the second to complete a familiar two-word phrase. Every answer starts with "W." Example: Open and Awake; Answer: Wide.

Last week's challenge: This puzzle was created by Will Shortz for an event held recently at the Museum of Mathematics in New York City. Take the name of a classical Greek mathematician. The letters in his name can be rearranged to spell two numbers. What are they?

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Author Interviews
7:47 am
Sun March 16, 2014

'Rebel Music': When Hip-Hop Met Islam

Hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa at a press conference in 2006. His Zulu Nation group, formed in the 1970s to combat street violence, soon began incorporating Nation of Islam teachings in its rhetoric.
Scott Gries Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 3:03 pm

Hisham Aidi's new book is a sort of musical tour around the world. It's called Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture. From hip-hop in Brazilian favelas, to Pakistani punk rock, to Gnawa-reggae in North Africa, it's a look at young urban Muslims and the music they make and listen to.

Speaking with NPR's Rachel Martin, Aidi recalls meeting a French band called 3ème Oeil — "Third Eye" — at a music festival in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop.

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Book Reviews
7:38 am
Sun March 16, 2014

The Lively Linguistical Exuberance Of 'Being Blue'

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 11:06 am

LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This review contains language some readers may find offensive.

First published in 1976 and now reissued by NYRB Classics, On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry is an exploration of color and language, a celebration of the written and the spoken. In the hands of a novelist like William H. Gass, blue becomes everything there is to know about the world. "Blue pencils, blue noses, blue movies, laws, blue legs and stockings, the language of birds, bees, and flowers as sung by longshoremen." For starters, yes.

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You Must Read This
5:14 am
Sun March 16, 2014

A Circle Of Spies Hit The Road, Filling A 'Dossier' Of Mystery


Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 9:43 am

A few years ago, I spent the winter in Germany, teaching at Leipzig University. I'd never taught before, and it was exciting, particularly because one of the classes I'd come up with was a survey course on spy novels. The class filled up quickly — those resourceful Leipzig students recognized an easy A when they saw it — and I was eager to share the best of an often-maligned genre with them. We looked at W. Somerset Maugham's Ashenden stories, Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, John le Carre, Len Deighton, and Alan Furst.

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The New And The Next
5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Not A Lazy Move: Making Sweatpants Work For Work

Maegan Tintari Flickr

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson talks with host Arun Rath about the prevalence of high-end sweats acceptable for office wear. Not the semi-tacky, rhinestoned wear of the 1990s, but fancy items — like leather sweats — that might not actually work at the gym.

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