Arts & Life

Arts and lifestyle coverage from around the globe and Illinois.

Ways to Connect

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Being a professional football player can be a brutal life. Nate Jackson spent six years in the NFL, mostly as a receiver with the Denver Broncos, and while he wasn't a star — or even a starter — he did carve out life in the rarefied air of professional sports, and he got just as banged up as any big-name player. But he learned to play through the pain.

Play The Blame Game

Sep 22, 2013

On-air challenge: You will be given two words. Think of a third word that can follow each to complete a familiar two-word phrase. The third word will rhyme with one of the given words. For example, given "blame" and "board," you would say "game," as in "blame game" and "board game."

In Ed Ruscha's Work, A City Sits For Its Portrait

Sep 22, 2013

For a seminal work of art, Twentysix Gasoline Stations doesn't look like much. It's a small, thin paperback book resembling an old industrial manual — just 26 black-and-white photos of gas stations that Los Angeles artist Ed Ruscha self-published 50 years ago, when he was 26.

"If I showed the book to somebody who worked in a gas station, they might be genuinely interested in it, saying, 'Oh yeah, I remember that place out on the highway.' "

As Banned Books Week begins, it's a good time to examine one genre that frequently falls afoul of censors: romance.

'Wadjda' Director: 'It Is Time To Open Up'

Sep 22, 2013

Wadjda, being touted as the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia — a country with no movie theaters and a relationship with cinema that's complicated at best — tells the story of a defiant 10-year-old pushing back against the social expectations that define her life as a young Saudi woman.

Wadjda's source of independence comes in the form of a green bicycle she wants to buy for herself. But girls in Saudi Arabia don't ride bicycles, so she has to be creative.

It might seem like the only TV serious viewers are paying attention to right now is Breaking Bad, but on Sunday night, just as Walter White's penultimate episode is unfolding on AMC, we'll be finding out over on CBS whether his show, his portrayer Bryan Cranston, or other personnel will be taking home Primetime Emmy Awards.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

From NPR West, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.

It's one of the monuments of American literature, Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." The Los Angeles library system posed a challenge to Twitter followers recently. Send us your best 140-character summary of the novel. Among the responses they received: Epic pale whale fail, Ishmael goes fishing with Ahab who has male fish issues and: We're going to need a bigger metaphor. Those three were submitted by comedian Patton Oswalt.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jennifer Ludden.

The motion picture Blue Caprice seems to be about a boy who's been abandoned by his mother and aches for a father. He meets a man who can no longer see his own children, and who longs for a son. They find each other — but what follows is anything but a happy ending.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Koren Zailckas' latest book is the novel Mother, Mother.

The fourth grade blessed me with "the cool teacher." I've long since forgotten his name, but I haven't forgotten the sound of him tearing into the teacher's parking lot every day on his Harley Davidson. In memory, Mr. Cool towered over me at six-foot-something, his death-metal hair offset by a wiry goatee, his Air Jordans a bright counterpoint to his spider web tie.

From Norvelt to Nowhere is a book that begins in the shadow of nuclear annihilation, during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. The first few paragraphs also disclose that nine elderly women in the town of Norvelt are dead by poison.

Did we mention it's a kids' book, too?

There's a certain kind of joy in breaking the overnight fast by biting into a bagel: crackling crust, chewy center, smooth and silky cream cheese, sharp smoked salmon. For some, capers and onions join the ritual.

But just who invented this breakfast staple, which has become as American as apple pie?

Jeff Garlin is a Chicago-born comedian who became well-known playing Larry David's manager on Curb Your Enthusiasm. He's got a new sitcom on ABC called The Goldbergs and a new film, Dealin' with Idiots, which he wrote, directed and stars in.

When somebody enters a 12-step program to deal with addiction, it's meant to be an all-encompassing, life-changing process — and one we don't always hear about.

But in Stuart Blumberg's romantic comedy Thanks for Sharing, which hits theaters this weekend, the 12-step program is front and center. In this case it's for people struggling day to day with sex addiction, forging bonds with their fellow addicts and sponsors.

Brazil is known for its music and distinctive dances, not necessarily for its paintings or photography. But that is changing. Not only are Brazilian artists now getting big play in major museums around the world, but something new is happening inside Brazil: There's a burgeoning appetite for art.

Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said is her most conventional comedy since her 1996 debut, Walking and Talking. I don't love it as much as her scattershot ensemble movies Friends With Money and Please Give, but it has enough weird dissonances and hilarious little curlicues to remind you her voice is like no other. I love it enough.

Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson's biography of the eponymous tech icon, appears at No. 7.

Midwives and record salesmen face job woes in Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue, appearing at No. 8.

Billy Crystal reflects on aging and his career in Still Foolin' 'Em, debuting at No. 3.

Jonathan Lethem's tale of two leftist generations, Dissident Gardens, debuts at No. 8.

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of September 19, 2013

Sep 20, 2013

The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

What do the books "The Catcher in the Rye," "Invisible Man" and Anne Frank's diary have in common? They've all been banned from libraries. On Sunday, the American Library Association begins its annual recognition of Banned Books Week. Tell Me More host Michel Martin talks to former ALA president Loriene Roy about targeted books, and efforts to keep them on shelves.

Is Public Numb To Mass Shootings?

Sep 20, 2013

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

What Makes A Good Story?

Sep 20, 2013

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Framing The Story.

About Andrew Stanton's TEDTalk

How Do Book Covers Tell Their Own Stories?

Sep 20, 2013

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Framing The Story.

About Chip Kidd's TEDTalk

Chip Kidd doesn't judge a book by its cover; he creates covers that embody the books — and he does it with a wicked sense of humor. Kidd showcases the art and deep thought of his cover designs.

About Chip Kidd

How Do You Find A Story In A Painting?

Sep 20, 2013

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Framing The Story.

About Tracy Chevalier's TEDTalk

When writer Tracy Chevalier looks at paintings, she imagines the stories behind them: How did the painter meet his model? What would explain that look in her eye? She shares the story of Vermeer's most famous painting that inspired her best-selling novel "Girl With a Pearl Earring."

About Tracy Chevalier

What Are The Dangers Of A Single Story?

Sep 20, 2013

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Framing The Story.

About Chimamanda Adichie's TEDTalk

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

About Chimamanda Adichie

What Are The Clues To A Good Story?

Sep 20, 2013

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Framing The Story.

About Andrew Stanton's TEDTalk

Filmmaker Andrew Stanton shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning. Earlier this episode, Stanton shared a story that does exactly that.

About Andrew Stanton

You might think that if the driving scenes in your auto-racing movie are the least interesting thing about it, that's a problem. But it's far from a sign of engine trouble for Rush, a swift-moving, character-rich biopic whose kinetic Grand Prix sequences are constantly being overshadowed by genuinely riveting scenes of ... people talking.

But then in a film written by Peter Morgan — of The Queen and Frost/Nixon -- maybe it's no wonder that questions like why they drive, why they want to win and who they want to beat take center stage.

Pages