Arts

2:56am

Fri October 11, 2013
Author Interviews

At 75 She's Doing Fine; Kids Still Love Their 'Madeline'

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 11:31 am

Madeline may be about to celebrate her 75th birthday next year, but the beloved little girl never seems to grow up. After more than seven decades she's still having adventures donned in her coat and big yellow hat with a ribbon down the back.

Readers were first introduced to Madeline in 1939 by author and artist Ludwig Bemelmans. He would go on to write a series of stories that each began in the same way:

In an old house in Paris
That was covered in vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.

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6:43pm

Thu October 10, 2013
Movie Reviews

'Captain Phillips': High Stakes On The High Seas

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 6:38 pm

In the emotionally fraught thriller Captain Phillips, Tom Hanks plays the real-life freighter captain whose Maersk Alabama was overtaken by Somali pirates in 2009.
Columbia Pictures

Before seeing Paul Greengrass' nerve-wracking, based-on-fact thriller Captain Phillips, I'd never been able to get my head around the logistics of Somali piracy. Enormous commercial freighters, captured and held for ransom by tiny bands of pirates — often teenagers — who always seem to overtake the freighters on the high seas in fishing skiffs smaller than the freighters' lifeboats.

I mean, you wonder: How on earth could four or five teenagers capture a freighter, subduing a far larger crew and extracting millions of dollars in ransom?

Wonder no more.

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5:12pm

Thu October 10, 2013
Books News & Features

Canada's Alice Munro Awarded Nobel In Literature

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And finally this hour, we celebrate the 110th winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Alice Munro. She is the 13th woman to win the award. The Canadian writer was hailed by the Swedish academy as a master of the contemporary short story. Over her career, Munro has written 14 story collections and one novel. As NPR's Neda Ulaby reports, Munro began writing as a child in rural Western Ontario, raised in a family of tough Scottish Presbyterians.

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5:04pm

Thu October 10, 2013
Monkey See

Alice Munro, The Punchbowl And Everyday Villainy

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:59 pm

Short story author Alice Munro, seen here in Dublin in 2009, won the Nobel Prize in Literature today. Her stories often touched on a less obvious form of evil.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Alice Munro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature today, taught me something important and abiding and true about evil.

Specifically, she taught me about that singular species of evil we swim through all our lives. It's the evil to which we petty humans default, even — especially — as we reassure ourselves that we are blessed creatures, generous of spirit. It's the evil born of thoughtlessness and self-regard, and it crouches, waiting, in every conversation, every appraising look, every single human interaction that fills up our days.

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5:03pm

Thu October 10, 2013
Movie Reviews

Punk History, Embroidered Here And There

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 3:54 pm

Malin Akerman, who plays Blondie singer Debbie Harry, is just one of many actors and musicians lip-syncing to the tracks of '70s punk legends in the loose but lively CBGB.
Beau Giann XLrator Media

Loose, lively and agreeably unsolemn, the alt-culture biopic CBGB is an account of that Manhattan punk-rock crucible whose audience will likely be even smaller than the crowd that actually went to the club in the 1970s.

That's because to really enjoy Randall Miller's film, viewers not only probably need to have experienced the club in its formative years; they'll also need not to be too terribly invested in their own versions of what happened there. This is not a film for purists or quibblers.

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5:03pm

Thu October 10, 2013
Movie Reviews

Even In Hollywood Pulp Fiction, More Can Mean A Lot Less

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 3:34 pm

Everything is more exaggerated in this sequel to 2010's Machete, including Machete's (Danny Trejo) signature weapon, now serrated and electric.
Rico Torres Open Road Films

There's the strong silent type, and then there's the strong mute type. In Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, journeyman tough-guy Danny Trejo skews toward the latter. If the recurring catchphrase in these films is "Machete don't ____" — as in, Machete don't text, Machete don't tweet, Machete don't die — the fact is that what Machete mostly don't do is speak.

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5:03pm

Thu October 10, 2013
Movie Reviews

An 'Escape' Into Something Decidedly Un-Disneyfied

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 2:43 pm

Isabelle (Annet Mahendru, left) and Sophie (Danielle Safady) are the young Frenchwomen who thoroughly distract Jim from his wife and children.
Mankurt Media

Escape From Tomorrow, a dystopian fantasy about a laid-off worker on the lam at Disney World, comes bloated with marketing bluster: The movie, as its PR people have been trumpeting for months, was shot guerrilla-style at Disney parks in Anaheim and Orlando.

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3:55pm

Thu October 10, 2013
NPR's Backseat Book Club

After Getting 'Plunked' On The Head, A Little Leaguer Makes A Comeback

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

In the 12 years that Michael Northrop spent working at Sports Illustrated Kids, he met excellent athletes who had a lot more going on in their lives than just sports.

"They were young athletes, but they were also kids, so I didn't want to forget about that," he tells NPR's Michele Norris.

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3:17pm

Thu October 10, 2013
The Salt

Catcher In The Fry? McDonald's Happy Meals With A Side Of Books

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:12 pm

SerrNovik iStockphoto.com

Fast-food giant McDonald's is set to become a publishing giant as well — at least temporarily. For two weeks next month, McDonald's says it will oust the toys that usually come in its Happy Meals and replace them with books it has published itself.

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2:26pm

Thu October 10, 2013
The Picture Show

For MacArthur 'Genius,' 'Love' Is The Essence Of Her Art

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 2:59 pm

Carrie Mae Weems, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems was having a tough day at the studio last month when she learned that she had been named a MacArthur fellow.

"My assistants weren't doing some things they were supposed to be doing. And so I'm screaming at them, and just in the middle of my rant the phone rang," she tells NPR's Michel Martin. "I sunk into my chair, put my head down on my desk, and cried and laughed for about five minutes."

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