Arts

Arts and culture

Beyond the Lights: Gina Prince-Bythewood wrote and directed the terrific 2000 romance Love & Basketball, and here, she looks at the intersection of love and celebrity. Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is a rapidly rising pop star whose hard-driving mother (Minnie Driver) has been pushing her hard all her life. Career-wise, she's doing great. Personally, not so much. On a particularly bad night, Noni meets a cop named Kaz (Nate Parker), who winds up knowing more than she (or her mom) would like about her state of mind.

Theodor Geisel — better known as Dr. Seuss — has been charming generations of children and adults since the 1950s. And though Seuss died in 1991, a new collection of his lesser-known work, called Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories, comes out Tuesday.

"The four stories in this book came from columns that appeared in Redbook magazine in the 1950s," explains Cathy Goldsmith, an associate publishing director at Random House. "Dr. Seuss actually wrote a piece once a month for Redbook."

In the spring of 1528, a crew of 600 Spanish and Portuguese soldiers landed on the Gulf Coast of the United States, hoping to find gold. The expedition was an utter disaster; only four members survived.

Within a year, nearly all of the men involved in the Narvaez Expedition had succumbed to disease, starvation, drowning or violent death in fights with indigenous people.

The survivors made their way across the continent, living with the natives, until finally they reached the Spanish settlements on the western coast of Mexico.

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Before he was Ivan Drago, He-Man or an "Expendable," Dolph Lundgren was just another 6-foot-5-inch Swedish male model with a black belt in karate and a degree in chemical engineering.

Men, Women & Children: If you can't get enough alarmist local news segments about how all the kids are sexting and everyone is giving up their families for free online pornography that's infected with malware, you'll love Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children, a cautionary tale about fighting the real enemies: the internet and terrible mothers.

'I Am China' Asks: How Far Should An Artist Go?

Sep 7, 2014

In an authoritarian state, is all art necessarily political? And if so, what is the artist's responsibility? How far should he or she push? How does an individual operate in a society that values collectivism above all? And is this intersection of art and politics worth the turmoil, chaos, and pain that it causes to those you love? These are the questions at the heart of Xiaolu Guo's new novel, I Am China.

Simple questions can lead to very complicated answers. For instance: What if everyone actually had just one soul mate — one random person somewhere in the world? Could they ever meet?

"You know, there are a lot more people who have been alive than who are alive right now. So if your soul mate is randomly assigned from all humans, it's probably somebody who is already dead or who has not yet been born."

China's largest fair devoted to fine art photography opened in Shanghai this weekend. The first-time event is called Photo Shanghai and includes more than 500 works from photographers around the world.

One of the exhibits drawing a lot of Chinese visitors this weekend is by photographer Zhang Kechun. One of the most striking images features a Buddha head, about 40 feet high, sitting in the middle of an open pit coal mine.

OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder is a man obsessed with data. His dating site is known for gathering enormous amounts of information about users — the more questions you answer about yourself, the better the site's algorithm can, in theory, find you a match.

Like other social sites, OkCupid keeps track of user data in order to make the site more effective. But, Rudder says, that information could also change the way we see ourselves.

Most people know Sheila E. as a pop star, from the hit records she made in the 1980s with the telltale influence of Prince. But did you know she made her debut album as a teenager, or that she played percussion on Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough"?

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