Arts & Life

Media
3:35 am
Fri May 16, 2014

'I've Enjoyed Every Minute Of It': Carl Kasell On His 60 Years In Radio

NPR's Carl Kasell delivers one of his last newscasts during Morning Edition on Dec. 30, 2009, in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:06 pm

Carl Kasell — the official judge and scorekeeper of the NPR quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! — is stepping down after more than 60 years in radio. While you'll still hear him from time to time as he eases into the role as scorekeeper emeritus, his final broadcast airs on Saturday and Sunday.

Kasell recently had a cameo on The Simpsons, and since that's the pinnacle of any career, this seemed like a good moment to look back on his many decades in broadcast.

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Movie Reviews
5:04 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

In 'Horses Of God,' A Sprawling Slum Breeds A Violent Act

Said El Alami and Achraf Afir in Horses Of God.
Kino Lorber

Anyone seeking to establish an incubator for suicide bombers could hardly improve on Sidi Moumen, a slum on the fringe of Casablanca. As depicted in Horses of God, the neighborhood is a place of crushing poverty, rampant hostility and exceptionally limited options.

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Movie Reviews
5:04 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

From The Traditions Of Melodrama, A Woman Of Resolve

Marion Cotillard stars in The Immigrant.
Anne Joyce The Weinstein Company

I teach in a film school, and if there's one genre I find it hard to get students on board for, it's classic melodrama. Perhaps because they've been reared on distancing irony and the suspension of belief, they misread the symphonies of pent-up emotion, the passionate address to questions of good and evil, of class, gender and race as phony.

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Movie Reviews
5:04 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

'Million Dollar Arm' Is A Sales Pitch In Search Of Stillness

Aasif Mandvi (left) and Jon Hamm check out the talent in Million Dollar Arm.
Ron Phillips Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 3:55 pm

Where does Don Draper's formidable presence come from in Mad Men? From his impeccable style, sure, and from his brooding good looks, of course, but also from his stillness. A few drug-induced exceptions aside, Don is as restrained in movement as he is in his speech. The combination gives him an irresistible, if unsettling, allure; in meetings, it's his solid stare that holds your attention as much as his words.

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Movie Reviews
5:04 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

'Godzilla' Brings The Spectacle Without Obscuring The Big Guy's Dark Past

Godzilla. You know, from Godzilla.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 12:50 pm

This is a monster sold on a sigh. For all of the bombast, the buildings falling, and the brawling beasties, the moment when this Godzilla is most impressive, the moment he suddenly transcends his digital underpinnings and feels like a real presence, is one of his subtlest and quietest. During a lull in a battle among the skyscrapers of downtown San Francisco, the danger around him briefly subsides; his head droops momentarily, his body heaves ever so slightly downward, and he exhales quietly.

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Book Reviews
4:59 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

In Mona Simpson's 'Casebook,' A Holden Caulfield For Our Time

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 12:18 pm

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of summer days lying flat on my back in the front yard. I would stare up at the sky and think: "This is me, thinking." And then I'd think, "This is me, thinking about thinking." At that point, having made myself dizzy, I'd jump up and return to a less abstruse activity like riding my bike or tormenting my little sister.

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War On Poverty, 50 Years Later
4:05 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

In Pricey Cities, Being A Bohemian Starving Artist Gets Old Fast

Rolando Villazon and Alexia Voulgaridou star as Rodolfo and Mimi in a June 2001 production of Giacomo Puccini's opera La Boheme. Some real-life artists say the story cuts a little close to home.
Arno Balzarini AP

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

There are very few professions where poverty is romanticized, but if you're a Franciscan friar or an artist, being poor is seen as somehow ennobling. Josh Shaw, who ran a recent Pacific Opera Project production of La Boheme in Los Angeles, says the opera's famous story of starving artists hits a little close to home.

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Movie Reviews
2:42 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Son Of? Bride Of? Cousin Of? How Many Godzillas Are There, Already?

Godzilla goes after San Francisco in this newest update to the classic monster movie.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

The world has already seen 28 Godzilla movies — 29, if you count Roland Emmerich's 1998 Hollywood remake (which most of us don't). So why is another one opening this week?

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Arts & Life
2:34 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Why I Stay

Over the past two weeks, public radio stations across the country have asked our listeners, Why do you stay where you live?

Featured below is an interactive map that recaps the project and shows some of our favorite responses. For the full version, click here.

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The Salt
11:47 am
Thu May 15, 2014

A Sponge Cake's Long, Strange Trip: Germany To Denver, Via Japan

A chef prepares the baumkuchen, a German layer cake made on a stick that when cut, resembles a tree with concentric rings.
LuxTonnerre Flickr.com

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 3:18 pm

For a cake the Germans call "the king of cakes" and the Japanese call "the ultimate wedding cake," the baumkuchen doesn't really look like a cake or behave like one. But it more than makes up for its oddities with rich flavor, history and symbolism.

It resembles a hollowed cross-section of a craggy tree trunk, or a planet's rings, depending on how you make it. It can have up to 21 delicate, sugary stratums, which give it a light yet chewy texture.

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