Arts

5:03pm

Thu June 20, 2013
Movie Reviews

A 'Hijacking' Where Business And Personal Collide

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Pilou Asbaek (right) plays ship's cook Mikkel, a new dad who desperately wishes to return to his family, but is instead forced to prepare menus at gunpoint as the cargo vessel's owners negotiate for its release.
Magnolia Pictures

You might expect big action from a movie about the hijacking of a cargo ship by Somali pirates. But after a preliminary flurry of roughing-up, the Danish drama A Hijacking is mostly about the excruciating process of getting to "yes" when language is the least of the barriers between two very different mindsets.

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4:05pm

Thu June 20, 2013
Monkey See

To Be, Or Not To Be (Covered By The AP)

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 4:45 pm

Ever so quietly this week, the national arts scene became a bit more fragmented, a bit more stratified and a lot more invisible. The Associated Press has just spiked a chunk of its opera, dance and off-Broadway coverage. And in this case, no news is bad news.

In an email, AP chief theater writer Mark Kennedy described the decision to me:

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2:50pm

Thu June 20, 2013
Author Interviews

'The Center Holds' Sees Victory For Moderates In Obama's Win

In his new book, The Center Holds, Jonathan Alter looks at President Obama's re-election campaign.
Simon & Schuster

Journalist Jonathan Alter sees the 2012 presidential contest as the most consequential election of recent times. In his new book, The Center Holds, Alter argues that President Obama's re-election prevented the country from veering sharply to the right.

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2:25pm

Thu June 20, 2013
Arts & Life

Nikky Finney Ponders Possibilities Of The Poetry Profession

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Over the past several weeks, we checked in with our colleagues and friends in a series of conversations called "Looking Ahead," today, poet Nikky Finney. Two years ago, she riveted the audience as she accepted a National Book Award for her poetry collection "Head Off & Split."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED SPEECH)

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2:19pm

Thu June 20, 2013
Remembrances

Gandolfini Through The Eyes Of Those He Worked With

Actor James Gandolfini speaks at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards in January 2013. He died on June 19.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

As New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano on The Sopranos, which ran on HBO from 1999 to 2007, James Gandolfini created a character that helped open television to a new era of great and nuanced acting. When he died in Italy on Wednesday at the age of 51, fans around the world were shocked.

And as Fresh Air's television critic David Bianculli noticed, there was an instant online outpouring that celebrated "what an iconic performance he gave us in terms of television."

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1:24pm

Thu June 20, 2013
The Protojournalist

Haiku In The News: Obama In Berlin

Sean Gallup Getty Images

"Citizens who choose ...

To be defined by a wall,

or ... to tear it down. "

From Remarks by President Obama at the Brandenburg Gate. June 19, 2013.

****

(If you find examples of Haiku in the News, please send them to: protojournalist@npr.org)

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11:53am

Thu June 20, 2013
Ask Me Another

Phrase Anatomy

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 10:03 am

You don't need a medical license to solve these clues. Host Ophira Eisenberg offers literal interpretations of phrases that involve parts of the body--"I'm so awkward and clumsy, I'm entirely pollical digits!" You may think this game is a real pain in the cervical vertebrae (but not literally).

11:53am

Thu June 20, 2013
Ask Me Another

Dot Dot

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 10:03 am

Those two little dots that get placed over vowels are known either as umlauts or diaereses. They're used to indicate that the vowel is pronounced in an unusual way, and sometimes they're used in people's names because they're foreign. Or pretentious. (Just ask Anaïs Nin or Chloë Sevigny.) Puzzle guru Art Chung leads this final round full of double-dotted words.

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11:53am

Thu June 20, 2013
Ask Me Another

Game Of Many Thrones

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 10:03 am

In the battle-scarred land of Westeros, there exist esteemed kings, queens and knights. But they have got to sit somewhere. While this round actually has nothing to do with the HBO series Game of Thrones, it is indeed a game of thrones. House musician Jonathan Coulton doles out clues to different types of chairs.

Plus, Coulton concludes the game with a royal cover of Dave Edmunds' "Queen of Hearts."

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11:53am

Thu June 20, 2013
Ask Me Another

Ham Sandwiches

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 10:03 am

We're sure you're champing at the bit for this game, led by host Ophira Eisenberg, in which contestants must make word "sandwiches" that contain the letters h-a-m. A round of cHAMpagne for the winner.

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