Arts & Life

Code Switch
3:34 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Is Univision Ready To Up Its Game When It Comes To Women?

The finalists for Miss Mundial Brasil 2014 visit the set of Univision's entertainment talk show El Gordo y la Flaca. The show often invites guests to take a dip in an on-set hot tub. This particular segment is titled "8 reasons to fire up the Jacuzzi."
Screenshot Univision.com

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post includes the use of an anti-gay slur because it is relevant to the the story.

Right before the kickoff of the World Cup match between Mexico and the Netherlands (June 29), one of the Univision announcers interrupted the network's reliably hyperkinetic broadcast to read a statement.

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Monkey See
7:49 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Too Old For Youth Culture And Toys

NPR
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Stephen Thompson and I are joined this week by our blog siblings Gene Demby and Kat Chow of NPR's Code Switch, which always puts us in an upbeat and playful mood. Fittingly, we take a couple of listener questions this week about youth and play.

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History
6:59 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Celebrating A Star-Spangled Anthem ... That's Really Hard To Sing

"The Star-Spangled Banner" spans one and a half octaves. Above, Samu Manoa, Scott Lavalla and Cameron Dolan of the USA Eagles sing the anthem before the opening qualifying match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Scott Cunningham Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 6:27 pm

It's been nearly 200 years since Francis Scott Key wrote the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as he watched America's flag fly over Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. Set to the melody of a popular English tune, it officially became the national anthem in 1931.

But spanning one and a half octaves, America's national song is awfully hard for the average citizen to sing. So NPR went down to the National Mall on Flag Day and asked folks to give it their best shot (without looking up the lyrics, mind you!)

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NPR Story
5:05 am
Fri July 4, 2014

20th Essence Music Festival Opens In New Orleans

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 7:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. I'm fine with that theme you just heard. It begins this segment every morning. But this morning, how about this?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALL NIGHT LONG")

LIONEL RICHIE: (Singing) All night long, all night, all night long.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Trudging Uphill With Two Men And The Weight Of History

The cast and crew of Beyond the Edge re-enacted Sir Edmund Hillary's (Chad Moffitt) historic climb on site at Mount Everest, and at Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand's Southern Alps.
Mark Whetu Sundance Selects

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 7:02 pm

With or without his knighthood, the legendary climber Sir Edmund Hillary stood 6-foot-plus in his stockinged feet and looked a bit like a mountain crag himself. The New Zealand beekeeper — who with his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay was in May 1953 the first to reach the top of Mount Everest — was possessed of a jutting lantern jaw, piercing eyes and an obstinate determination that served this self-described "rough old farm boy" well when holding his own against the posh British leaders who ran the expedition to crest the world's highest peak.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

The Devil's In The Derails: 'Deliver Us,' Indeed

Based on the accounts given by a former NYPD sergeant, Deliver Us From Evil follows Ralph Sarchie, a New York police officer played by Eric Bana, as he investigates unexplainable crimes.
Andrew Schwartz Screen Gems

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 7:23 pm

For decades, cop dramas have depicted the South Bronx as the devil's playground. Deliver Us From Evil takes that idea all too literally. But then this slow-witted occult thriller takes everything literally, from the Catholic rite of exorcism to Jim Morrison's shamanic posturing.

The movie is derived from a book of the same name by former NYPD Sgt. Ralph Sarchie, who reportedly came to believe that some of the criminals he faced were literally possessed. Wisely, director and co-scripter Scott Derrickson made the on-screen Sarchie (stolidly intense Eric Bana) a skeptic.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Melissa McCarthy, An Unstoppable Force Imperfectly Deployed In 'Tammy'

Melissa McCarthy co-wrote, produced and stars as the title character in Tammy -- a comedy about a woman on a felonious road trip with her alcoholic grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon (left).
Saeed Adyani Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 7:29 pm

Think of Melissa McCarthy playing Megan in Bridesmaids, and you may first remember her defecating in a sink, or driving a minivan full of stolen puppies, or brazenly propositioning an air marshal. McCarthy stole the show with a talent for profanity and pratfalls, but it's a reflective one-on-one scene playing impromptu life coach to Kristen Wiig's character that solidified her star-making performance. For that scene, she dropped the clownish shtick for a real human moment that made Megan into a character, not just a caricature.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Isolation Spells Frustration In Bertolucci's 'Me And You'

Lorenzo, a 14-year-old misfit played by Jacopo Olmo Antinori, adopts a new worldview after spending a week in his basement with his estranged half-sister, Olivia, played by Tea Falco.
Séverine Brigeot Emerging Pictures

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 7:49 pm

In his five decades as a director, Bernardo Bertolucci has tended toward grand political filmmaking. His movies have generally been set in turbulent times: the rise of fascism in Italy in The Conformist and 1900; the leftist youth movements of the 1960s in Partner and Before the Revolution; the years prior to the Chinese Communist revolution in The Last Emperor — moments when social orders are being overturned.

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The Salt
4:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Simple Summer Jam Session Calls For Strawberries And Sunshine

A few jars of strawberry jam bask in the light of what made them: the summer sun.
Christian Grantham Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 8:55 pm

With the onset of summer comes also a bounty of strawberries. Add to those berries a bit of sugar and plenty of sunlight, and you have a strawberry jam recipe fit for the season's best mornings — with a slice of good toast, of course.

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Television
4:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Questlove And The Roots: How A Hip-Hop Band Conquered Late Night

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." href="/post/questlove-and-roots-how-hip-hop-band-conquered-late-night" class="noexit lightbox">
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson (center) appears with The Roots members Frank Knuckles (left) and Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter during the first episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Lloyd Bishop NBC

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 6:26 pm

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