Arts

5:03pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Movie Reviews

A Journey Of Self-Discovery In 'When Marnie Was There'

When Marnie Was There
2014 GNDHDDTK

The adolescent girl at the heart of Hiromasa Yonebayashi's haunting When Marnie Was There has the cropped dark hair, wide eyes and square-peg awkwardness that will be familiar to fans of Studio Ghibli animated movies. Unlike the feisty, willful sprites of Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away and many other Ghibli treasures though, Anna is a cowed, sensitive soul with artistic leanings. At school she's friendless and bullied.

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5:03pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Movie Reviews

'Aloft': A Haunting Family Drama Ripe With Magical Realism

Jennifer Connelly as Nana in Aloft.
Jose Haro Sony Pictures Classics

The first scene of Aloft is one of the more haunting movie openings in recent years. It's a bitter cold day in northern Canada; against a barren snowscape, a single mother named Nana (Jennifer Connolly) and her two young sons hitch rides in vans from morose men toward an increasingly remote location. With little dialogue, we discover they are on their way to visit a faith healer named The Architect, who performs rituals for a cult of believers in an igloo-like structure built from twigs.

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4:01pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Television

Letterman Signs Off, With A Heartfelt Guest-Filled Finale

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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3:05pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Television

Letterman's Executive Producer: 'He's Meant A Lot To A Lot Of People'

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:01 pm

Rob Burnett celebrates with Barbara Gaines (left) and Maria Pope (right) after winning an Emmy Award for his work on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2000.
Kevork Djansezian Associated Press

Rob Burnett started working with David Letterman as an intern in 1985 and never left, even when the talk-show host moved from NBC to CBS. During the course of his 29-year tenure, Burnett evolved from intern to head writer to executive producer of the Late Show with David Letterman, a position he held through last night's final show.

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2:26pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Monkey See

Small Batch: 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa.
Jasin Boland Warner Bros.

Another sequel, another chance for Hollywood to hurl metal hither and yon and make with the flashy summer blockbuster blow-'em-ups. Yawn, right?

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1:58pm

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Go Forth And Pwn For Shizzle, Word List Guardians Tell Scrabble Players

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:59 pm

A new batch of 6,500 words are now available to Scrabble players, after publishing house Collins updated its widely used Official Scrabble Words list Thursday. The list includes tech jargon and slang, such as pwn, twerk and shizzle.

Also added: aji (the pepper), coqui (the frog) and the more old-fashioned ixnay and zowee. (See a longer list at the bottom of this post.)

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12:36pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Parallels

Rome's Cinematic 'Dream Factory' Ramps Up Production Once Again

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:27 pm

The famous chariot race in Ben-Hur was filmed on a movie set at Cinecittà in 1958.
AP

It's just 15 miles south of Rome, but it looks more like ancient Jerusalem.

Welcome to the vast backlot at Cinecittà, the sprawling movie metropolis where the original Ben-Hur was filmed, and a remake is currently in production.

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7:44am

Thu May 21, 2015
Television

Letterman Leaves Late-Night TV With A Near-Perfect Final Show

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 1:17 pm

David Letterman hosts his final Late Show episode on Wednesday.
Jeffrey R. Staab CBS

When the final episode came, after weeks of accolades and tributes to his genius, David Letterman made sure he punctured the emotion of the moment with a little old-fashioned, self-deprecating sarcasm.

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7:18am

Thu May 21, 2015
Book Reviews

The World Of 'Gracekeepers' Is Immersed In Water — And Secrets

Courtesy of Crown Publishers

Kirsty Logan is no stranger to secrets. The Glasgow-based author's award-winning short-story collection, The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales, beautifully brought together myth, magic, and the muted fantasy of the everyday. It also dealt with curious topics like circuses and worldwide floods — two things that resurface in her captivating debut novel, The Gracekeepers.

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3:35am

Thu May 21, 2015
Fine Art

'Filthy Lucre' Is A Modern Remix Of The Peacock Room's Wretched Excess

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 3:09 pm

In Darren Waterston's Filthy Lucre it looks as if a wrecking ball has been slammed into Whistler's lavish work.
Hutomo Wicaksono Freer Sackler Gallery

An artist has just converted a legendary piece of 19th-century art into an utter ruin. And two Smithsonian institutions — the Freer and Sackler galleries of Asian art — have given their blessings.

The Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery is an actual dining room from London, decorated by James McNeill Whistler in 1876. Its blue-green walls are covered with golden designs and painted peacocks. Gilded shelves hold priceless Asian ceramics. It's an expensive, lavish cocoon, rich in beauty with a dab of menace.

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