Arts & Life

Movie Reviews
1:59 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

With Vengeance And Violence, 'Olympus Has Fallen' Flat

Aaron Eckhart and Ashley Judd as the president and first lady in Olympus Has Fallen.
Phil Caruso Millennium Films

What surprises me about the ongoing discussion of violence in cinema and whether it influences violence in the real world is how people fail to engage with the male fantasy behind these films. There's a template for them, a theme; it hinges on violation and vengeance. A seminal action picture of the last 50 years is 1988's Die Hard, in which a lone male cop operates behind the scenes after an ingeniously orchestrated foreign attack on American soil. He's symbolically emasculated — he has no gun or even shoes, his wife is now going by her maiden name.

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Author Interviews
11:56 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Nathan Englander: Stories Of Faith, Family And The Holocaust

Nathan Englander grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family. He now splits his time between New York and Madison, Wis.
Juliana Sohn

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:59 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 15, 2012.

The stories in Nathan Englander's short collection that's out now in paperback are based largely on his experiences growing up as a modern Orthodox Jew with an overprotective mother.

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Remembrances
11:52 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Remembering Chinua Achebe, Who Defended Africa To The World

Chinua Achebe, widely considered the grandfather of modern African literature, has died at the age of 82. His popular book, Things Fall Apart, tackled the effect of colonialism on Africa, and has sold more than 10 million copies. Host Michel Martin is joined by NPR Africa Correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton to look back on his life and work.

Music Interviews
11:49 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Timberlake On 'N Sync, Acting And Bringing Sexy Back

Justin Timberlake performs at Myspace Secret Show at SXSW on March 16 in Austin, Texas.
Jason Kempin Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:59 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 6, 2010.

Justin Timberlake has come a long way from the first time he stepped on a stage at the age of 8.

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Monkey See
11:02 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Kickstarter TV And Comedy Contests

NPR

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:14 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's show, the regular band is back together, and I am a rock. I am an island.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Chinua Achebe, Nigerian Author Of 'Things Fall Apart,' Dies

Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe in January 2009.
Abayomi Adeshida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:45 pm

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports from Lagos, Nigeria, on the death of one of Africa's greatest contemporary writers. Quoting his publisher, AP, CNN, and the BBC are reporting Chinua Achebe has died.

Chinua Achebe who taught at colleges in the United States made literary history with his 1958 best-seller Things Fall Apart, a sobering tale about Nigeria at the beginning of its colonization.

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Book News: Newly Found Oscar Wilde Letter: 'Sacrifice For Your Art'

Playwright Oscar Wilde poses in an 1882 photo.
New York Public Library, Sarony ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:05 am

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

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Movies
3:01 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Not Doing So 'Boffo,' 'Daily Variety' Drops Print Edition

Print versions of Daily Variety, like this one from 2003, will no longer be available on L.A. newsstands. Variety will continue online and in a print weekly, but the daily print edition is being dropped.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:55 am

For eight decades, Daily Variety has been a Hollywood must-read for everyone from studio heads to actors looking for a big break. But the days of assistants running out to grab the "trades" are over: This week, the Los Angeles institution published its last daily edition.

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Movie Interviews
12:03 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Tina Fey, Movie Star? Not Quite Yet, She Says

Tina Fey stars as Princeton University admissions counselor Portia Nathan in the new comedy Admission. Fey says the movie's frankly manic depiction of the college application melee appealed to her.
David Lee Focus Features

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:55 am

Writer, actor and producer Tina Fey stars in a new movie out today called Admission, a film that's nominally about getting into college. Fey plays an admissions officer at Princeton University, one of those diligent bureaucrats who cull thousands of applications in search of a small cadre of brilliant young people who will be the freshman class.

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Movie Reviews
7:19 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

'Olympus Has Fallen' (Into Cold-War Traps)

Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) and U.S. President Ben Asher (Aaron Eckhart) flee a destroyed White House in the military-political thriller Olympus Has Fallen.
FilmDistrict

It's probably best not to think of Olympus Has Fallen as a movie released in 2013. Antoine Fuqua's film — about a band of North Koreans who invade the White House — feels from start to finish like a throwback to the action cinema and military thrillers of decades past.

It's like an ersatz reproduction of an archaeological relic, if the archaeologists in question had just thrown together a bunch of random artifacts from different eras, taken a blurry photograph and then asked someone to make an accurate model based only on their memory of that photograph.

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