<em><strong>Ses Doigts, Sont Adroits:</strong> </em>Deborah Francois proves adept with the titular typewriter in <em>Populaire.</em>
Credit Jair Sfez / The Weinstein Co.
Devotees of '50s Hollywood comedies could have a great time at Populaire, an intentionally lightweight ode to romance and, uh, typing. But the way to enjoy this French souffle is to concentrate on the scrupulously retro music, costumes and set design, not on the musty fairy-tale script.
<strong>It's a family film:</strong> Xavier Samuel and Robin Wright play one of two intergenerational couples at the center of Anne Fontaine's <em>Adore, </em>a film that dares to ask: "Does it count as a mommy issue if you're sleeping with her lifelong best friend?"
Credit Exclusive Media
Overused and much misused, the word "provocative" has become a double-edged sword, especially when it's swung in the direction of independent cinema. At its best, the genuinely provocative film — off the top of my head, anything by Bunuel, Shaun of the Dead, Holy Motors -- shocks in order to expand our vision of the world it encompasses. At its most dispiriting, it's an exercise in cheap thrillage, designed to goose a presumptively stuffy bourgeois audience while positioning a director as some sort of iconoclast.
Best Kept Secret is a film that follows a group of young adults with autism during their last year of high school. Host Michel Martin speaks with filmmaker Samantha Buck and Janet Mino, a special education teacher.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:52 pm
<strong>The 7-Day Color Diet:</strong> An attempt to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables, this diet requires followers to eat foods of just a single color each day. It ends with a day in which you "eat the rainbow," so to speak. Here's Gonot's cheeky take on orange day.
Credit Stephanie Gonot / Courtesy of the photographer
On one level, it's easy to understand the allure of a fad diet: Eat this, not that and you'll lose weight, guaranteed. Who doesn't want an easy way to shed unwanted pounds?
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 4:44 pm
<strong>Talk Of The Town:</strong> Mia Vallet and Joe Tippett star in <em>Ashville,</em> the newest of the five-show <em>Hill Town Plays</em> cycle from playwright Lucy Thurber. Currently being staged by a consortium of New York theater companies, it's just one of several large-scale stage projects on schedules this fall.
Credit Sandra Coudert
Monologist Mike Daisey has a new story to tell, and if you want to hear it, then you'd better settle in. It's going to take a month to get through it.
In one sense, All the Faces of the Moon, starting Sept. 5 at the Public Theater in New York, is a collection of 29 different monologues, which Daisey will perform consecutively and for one night only. Each piece has its own narrative, so even if they see just one installment, audiences can have a complete experience.
Pull back, though, and the project becomes a single massive opus — one that runs about 44 hours.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 8:41 am
A Syrian book vendor waits for customers at his street stall in the old city of Damascus, Syria, on Sept. 24, 2011.
Credit Muzaffar Salman / AP
What does President Bashar Assad think of himself? How did his father, Hafez Assad, rise from a dirt yard to rule the country? What happens to those who speak out against the regime? Who wrote the Syrian 1984? Does Syria make the best lingerie in the Middle East? Find the answers to these questions in our roundup of five great books about Syria, recommended by experts at Harvard University, Brown University and the University of Texas at Austin.
You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR and WYNC. I'm Ophira Eisenberg and coming up, we'll find out if Jonathan Coulton is the walrus or the egg man in a game where we desecrate yet another Beatles' tune. Plus, we'll find out how much NPR's quiz show master Peter Sagal knows about his coworkers. But joining us right now are JJ Orgera and Justin Sheen.
EISENBERG: Justin, if you could live in the fictional space of any television show, which one would you like to go into?
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 5:59 pm
<em>Ask Me Another host </em>Ophira Eisenberg chats with Wait,<em> Wait...Don't Tell Me!</em> host Peter Sagal onstage at The Bell House in Brooklyn, N.Y., about how to host the perfect public radio game show.