Arts

3:00am

Fri November 23, 2012
Author Interviews

'Unorthodox' Book Of 'Jewish Jocks' Puts Stereotypes Aside

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 1:53 pm

American lightweight Benny Leonard, pictured in 1925, is remembered as one of boxing's greatest.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

There have been a number of books about great Jewish athletes, starring legendary baseball players like Sandy Koufax or Hank Greenberg, the "Hebrew Hammer." But a new book doesn't focus only on Jewish players — it looks at the myriad ways Jews have contributed to the American athletic landscape. Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame is a collection of essays compiled and edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy of The New Republic magazine.

Foer and Tracy join NPR's Linda Wertheimer to discuss the rise of Jews in big-league sports.

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5:03pm

Thu November 22, 2012
Movie Reviews

Close To The 'Bone': A French Connection, Haltingly

Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) is a marine-mammals trainer who works with killer whales at a French water park.
Sony Pictures Classics

Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone is an unapologetic melodrama rendered in what you might call semi-stylized neo-expressionistic realism, and it works like gangbusters. The picture takes some turns you don't expect, and some you do. But the ultimate effect is that of a filmmaker striving not to make a work of art, or a subtle drama that will win big festival prizes, or an afternoon's worth of cinema for sophisticated people. He just wants to send you home with a story and with the memory of his characters' faces. In other words, he wants to give you the world.

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5:03pm

Thu November 22, 2012
Movie Reviews

Rape, Race And The Press, Entangled In 'Central Park'

Yusef Salaam, wrongly accused of rape, is escorted by police. He and four other teens were eventually found guilty of a crime they didn't commit.
Getty Images

A change of pace for PBS long-form documentarian Ken Burns, The Central Park Five revisits New York City's recent past to tell the story of a pack of ruthless predators.

Two packs, actually: Gotham's prosecutors and police officers, and its reporters and columnists. Both groups went feral in 1989 against five innocent Harlem teenagers accused and then convicted in a rape and assault.

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5:03pm

Thu November 22, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Guardians' Doesn't Rise To Its Potential

Bunnymund (Hugh Jackman), Sandman, North (Alec Baldwin) and Tooth (Isla Fisher) welcome Jack Frost (Chris Pine) to a group of mythical characters sworn to protect the world's children.
DreamWorks

William Joyce's illustrated books for children are marvels of wit and wonder, rendered in softly shaded colors with an art-deco flair. In books like A Day with Wilbur Robinson and Santa Calls, winsome dinosaurs wear miniature fezzes on their tiny heads; a roly-poly Santa, complete with monocle (the better to read the names of good little boys and girls), looks as if he's just stepped off a '30s Christmas card; and modes of transport include Buck Rogers-style spaceships and locomotives of the sort Superman could stop with his bare hands.

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5:03pm

Thu November 22, 2012
Movie Reviews

A Boy, A Boat, A Tiger: Reflecting On 'Life Of Pi'

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 1:54 pm

Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) begins a journey of personal growth and spiritual discovery after being lost at sea.
20th Century Fox

Director Ang Lee has a surprising affinity for the Indian hero of Life of Pi — that's his name, Pi, and he's seen at several ages but principally as a 17-year-old boy adrift on a lifeboat in the South Pacific. He's the lone survivor of a shipwreck that killed the crew, his family and a variety of zoo animals his father was transporting to North America for sale.

Actually, Pi is the lone human survivor. He shares his boat and its dwindling food supplies with a man-eating Bengal tiger.

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3:48pm

Thu November 22, 2012
Arts & Life

Bill Connolly's Funny, But Not Clever Comedy

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 1:33 pm

Comedian Billy Connolly received that Outstanding Contribution to Television and Film Award at the 2012 BAFTA Awards in Scotland.
Tony Lyon

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Scottish comedian and actor Billy Connolly has been performing for over 50 years now. His TV credits include the sitcom "Head of the Class." He co-starred with Judi Dench in the movie "Mrs. Brown." New projects include Dustin Hoffmann's directorial debut, "Quartet," with, among others, Maggie Smith. And he plays a dwarf king in "The Hobbit." But what he does, as he puts it, is standup comedy.

(SOUNDBITE OF STANDUP SHOW)

BILLY CONNOLLY: Algebra was a mystery to me.

Connolly, 1A plus 1B?

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12:03pm

Thu November 22, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Hitchcock': Mr. And Mrs. 'Master Of Suspense'

Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife, Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), work together to produce Psycho.
Fox Searchlight

When my nieces were small, I took them on a day trip to the Museum of the Moving Image on London's South Bank. We had fun touring a puckishly curated journey through the history of cinema, until my younger niece flushed the toilet in the noir-inflected bathroom — and set off the famous shrieking strings that amp up the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, creating the most terrifying moment in American cinema.

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3:26am

Thu November 22, 2012
The Salt

A Readable Feast: Poems To Feed 'The Hungry Ear'

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:45 am

Still Life with Fruit and Nuts, by Robert Seldon Duncanson
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

This Thanksgiving, as hearty aromas fill the house, take a moment to savor a different kind of nourishment — poetry about food.

The Hungry Ear, a new collection, celebrates the pleasures and the sorrows of food with poems from Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath and dozens more. Poet Kevin Young cooked up — or edited — this readable feast. He tells NPR's Renee Montagne that, much like the best meals, the best poems are made from scratch.

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12:03am

Thu November 22, 2012
Movie Interviews

We Ask A Historian: Just How Accurate Is 'Lincoln'?

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 10:20 pm

Lincoln biographer Ronald White lauds the accuracy of Daniel Day-Lewis' depiction of the 16th president.
DreamWorks

A great many families going to the movies over this Thanksgiving weekend will probably see Lincoln, Steven Spielberg's new film starring Daniel Day-Lewis and an impressive cast.

Based on a biography by Doris Kearns Goodwin, but scripted by playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner, it's been very well-reviewed, but here's a question: How true to history is it?

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5:01pm

Wed November 21, 2012
Monkey See

Rob Delaney Talks About Gratitude, Perspective, Spaceships And A Career With Teeth

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 5:57 pm

A screenshot from Rob Delaney's standup special, "Live At The Bowery Ballroom."

Full disclosure: The first thing I said when I saw that Rob Delaney would be talking to NPR's Audie Cornish on today's All Things Considered was that I was curious to see whether he had ever said anything on Twitter — where he has almost 670,000 followers (including me) as of this writing — that they thought they could read on the radio. It's an exaggeration. But not by that much.

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