Arts & Life

Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Zola's Scandalous Raquin Clan, Sordid 'Secret' And All

Therese (Elizabeth Olsen) and Laurent (Oscar Issac) have a scandalous affair — and some real chemistry. But the unevenness of In Secret, adapted from Emile Zola's novel Therese Raquin, moves their plotline away from center.
Phil Bray Roadside Attractions

Emile Zola was one of the founders of naturalism, and his first major work, 1867's Therese Raquin, is full of precise physical description. The novel's plot is utter melodrama, though, and that's the aspect emphasized by In Secret, the latest in a century-long string of film and TV adaptations.

With its small cast of characters and limited number of locations, the book does lend itself to dramatization. In fact, writer-director Charlie Stratton's retelling of Zola's shocker was derived in part from the stage version by Neal Bell.

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Movie Interviews
3:17 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

At Last, David O. Russell Is Making The Films He Was Meant To Make

A '70s con artist (Christian Bale, right) is forced to team up with an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper, left) in American Hustle, inspired by a real-life sting targeting corrupt politicians.
Francois Duhamel Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:25 pm

Filmmaker David O. Russell first talked with Fresh Air's Terry Gross back in 1994, and two decades later, he tells her: "It's taken me 20 years since I first spoke to you to really make the films that I think I was meant to make, and to be at the level of filmmaking and storytelling and writing that I think I had ever aspired to."

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Monkey See
1:36 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

If You Like The Old 'About A Boy,' You May Not Like The New 'About A Boy'

Benjamin Stockham as Marcus and David Walton as Will in NBC's adaptation of About A Boy.
Jordin Althaus NBC

If you're familiar with the Nick Hornby book or the 2002 film of About A Boy, you will find that what has been kept in the new TV adaptation, coming Saturday night in a preview to NBC, is the clichéd skeleton of the story: a lazy, glib bachelor befriending the child of a single mom and learning how not to be such a selfish baby. Child-averse jerk and wisecracking moppet: a well-worn dynamic that animated, among other things, the early stages of Two And A Half Men.

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The Record
1:34 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

A Phony Article Epitomizes Hip-Hop's Struggling Underclass

The rapper Shirt created a counterfeit article designed to look like it was written by the New York Times critic Jon Caramanica and published on the Times' website.
NPR

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:32 pm

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Black History Month: #AfroGlobal
12:29 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

New Show Challenges Idea That 'Nobody Cares About The Caribbean'

Zahra Burton is the Host and Executive Producer of 18 Degrees North.
Dave Cross Bloomberg

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:49 pm

Former Miss Jamaica Universe Zahra Burton enjoyed being a local reporter in Kingston, but always dreamed of reporting in America. So she moved to the U.S., earned a Masters in Broadcast Journalism, and began an internship at Bloomberg. "Luckily for me, my dream came true," she tells NPR's Michel Martin.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Book News: James Patterson Is Giving $1 Million To Indie Bookstores

Author James Patterson, pictured in 2011 in New York City, says independent bookstores are "vital to our future as a country."
Janette Pellegrini Getty Images for Disney Publishing

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 12:58 pm

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

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Thu February 20, 2014

A Cautionary Tale For Aspiring 1-Percenters In 'Young Money'

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:17 am

In Young Money, Kevin Roose poses many important questions about the lives of newly minted Wall Streeters, but perhaps none more important than this: "What if Wall Street doesn't just attract pre-existing douchebags, but actively draws normal people into an inescapable vortex of douchebaggery?" For Roose, it's not just a glib rhetorical exercise. Over the course of three years, the New York Times contributor recruits and interviews eight anonymous first-year bankers for details of their experiences in the notoriously opaque, reputedly douchebaggy world of high finance.

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NPR Story
5:18 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Author James Patterson To Give $1 Million To Bookstores

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James Patterson writes suspense and thriller novels as well as children's books. He runs the children's literacy campaign ReadKiddoRead.
Deborah Feingold Courtesy Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 12:43 pm

James Patterson, the best-selling author of thrillers and romance and young adult novels, has pledged to give away $1 million of his personal fortune to independent booksellers around the country. Today, he announced the names of the dozens of booksellers who are receiving grants in the first round of his big giveaway.

The money is heading toward smaller bookstores, which are under pressure from competitors like Amazon and e-books. Patterson's own books are big sellers everywhere — he doesn't depend on small bookstores to succeed. But his giveaway is driven by a broader concern.

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The Salt
3:40 am
Thu February 20, 2014

The System Supplying America's Chickens Pits Farmer Vs. Farmer

Benny Bunting, a farm advocate for Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, in front of one of his old chicken houses in Oak City, N.C.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 9:23 am

After reading Christopher Leonard's The Meat Racket, a broadside against the contract-farming system, I decided to take a closer look at it.

I drove to North Carolina and ended up in the kind of place that supplies practically all of our chickens: a metal-sided, 500-foot-long structure near the town of Fairmont.

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