Arts

11:21am

Thu December 20, 2012
Monkey See

It's A Wonderful (Italian-American) Life

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:17 pm

Dean Martin and his pal Frank Sinatra are responsible for delivering some of the most beloved Christmas recordings.
AP

We think of It's a Wonderful Life as a great American movie, a great Jimmy Stewart movie, a great Frank Capra movie — and, of course, as a great Christmas movie. We don't think of it as a great Italian-American movie.

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7:03am

Thu December 20, 2012
Best Books Of 2012

5 Young Adult Novels That You'll Never Outgrow

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:05 pm

Nishant Choksi

This was a strange and wonderful year for young adult fiction — but also a confused and divisive one. We learned that 55 percent of young adult fiction was read by adults. Debates raged over what constituted a young adult novel versus an adult novel. Apologetic grown-ups sneaked into the teen section of the bookstore, passing subversive teens pattering into the adult paranormal and literature and mystery shelves.

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4:31pm

Wed December 19, 2012
Arts & Life

Hollywood Execs Shift Programming After Newtown Shooting

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 5:43 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For decades, Hollywood has been in the business of selling violence. But in the aftermath of Friday's school shooting in Connecticut, it's time to prove it's sensitive, too. NPR's Mandalit Del Barco reports that movie studios, TV networks and radio stations have shifted some programming and high profile premieres.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Quentin Tarantino's new spaghetti western "Django Unchained" stars Jamie Foxx as a freed slave in the Deep South working with a bounty hunter to find his wife.

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4:31pm

Wed December 19, 2012
Movie Interviews

Naomi Watts, Mulling 'The Impossible'

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:55 pm

Maria (Naomi Watts) and her family, including her son Lucas (Tom Holland), fight to survive when they are caught in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Jose Haro Summit Entertainment

The Impossible, a feature film opening Dec. 21, is about a family swept away by the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. It's based on the true story of a Spanish family.

In the movie, they're British — a couple and their three young sons, on vacation in Thailand. It looks like paradise. Then, the earth trembles, and the ocean roars in, bringing with it catastrophe and heartbreak.

The mother is played by Naomi Watts, who spoke with NPR's Melissa Block about the film and its retelling of a grimly familiar story.

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3:58pm

Wed December 19, 2012
NPR's Backseat Book Club

In 'Red Pyramid,' Kid Heroes Take On Ancient Egypt

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 5:43 pm

If there was a recipe for the best-selling writer Rick Riordan, it would go something like this — start with a love of storytelling, fold in more than a decade of teaching middle school English, combine that with two sons of his own who don't quite share their dad's love of literature, and marinate all of that with a deep passion for mythology.

Riordan has sold tens of millions of kids' books. He hit pay dirt with the Percy Jackson series — it's about an everyday kid who has superhero powers because he's the secret son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea.

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11:12am

Wed December 19, 2012
Movie Interviews

'Not Fade': Rock 'N' Roll, Here To Stay

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 12:58 pm

Director David Chase and Executive Producer and Music Supervisor Steve Van Zandt on the set of Not Fade Away.
Barry Wetcher Paramount Vantage

In some ways, the film Not Fade Away is an extension of the friendship between the film's writer and director, David Chase, and its executive producer and musical supervisor, Steven Van Zandt.

Chase, the creator of The Sopranos, first encountered Van Zandt on TV, when Van Zandt introduced the Rascals to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Chase soon cast Van Zandt as Silvio Dante on The Sopranos, and the two became close, bonding in particular over their love of pop music from the 1960s.

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7:03am

Wed December 19, 2012
You Must Read This

War Writ Small: Of Pushcarts And Peashooters

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

Adam Mansbach is the author of the forthcoming novel Rage is Back.

Stealing my 9-year-old nephew's copy of The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill was the best thing I did last summer. I was his age the first time I read it, and twice his age the last time I went back to it. I'm twice that old again now, but as soon as I dove into this intimate, majestic tale of war writ small — of a battle between the pushcart peddlers and the truckers of New York City — I realized how timeless, and how deeply a part of me, the story was.

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7:03am

Wed December 19, 2012
Best Books Of 2012

In 2012's Best Mysteries, Mean Girls Rule

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 10:56 am

Nishant Choksi

Mean girls and their ingenious female creators top my mysteries and thrillers list this year. Maybe it takes the special discernment of a female writer (who's presumably suffered through the "Queen Bee and Wannabee" cliques of middle school) to really capture the cruel mental machinations that can hide behind a pair of shining eyes and a lip-glossed smile.

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3:49am

Wed December 19, 2012
Books News & Features

Self-Publishing: No Longer Just A Vanity Project

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

iStockphoto.com

They used to call it the "vanity press," and the phrase itself spoke volumes. Self-published authors were considered not good enough to get a real publishing contract. They had to pay to see their book in print. But with the advent of e-books, self-publishing has exploded, and a handful of writers have had huge best-sellers.

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3:49am

Wed December 19, 2012
Movie Interviews

Bigelow And Boal, Dramatizing The Hunt For Bin Laden

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:58 pm

Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to take home the Oscar for best director for her film The Hurt Locker in 2010. Mark Boal walked away with a statue for writing the film, and the duo shared the honor of taking home the award for best picture later that evening.

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