Sat January 17, 2015
Movie Interviews

'Blackhat': A Classic Detective Story For A Brave New World

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:07 pm

Chris Hemsworth plays hacker and furloughed convict Nicholas Hathaway in Blackhat.
Frank Connor Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures

Screenwriter, producer and director Michael Mann is a master of the crime story. From his work on Miami Vice in the '80s to films like Heat, The Insider and Public Enemies, it seems he's drawn to plots that revolve around illicit activity.

"I like dramatic conflict. I like things in high relief," Mann tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I like people who are faced with important questions and have to make critical decisions."

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Sat January 17, 2015
Author Interviews

Illustrated Memoir Recalls Marching In Selma At Just 15

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 6:59 pm

At age 15, Lynda Blackmon Lowery was the youngest person to march all the way from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

Lowery, who still lives in Selma today, has written a book for young readers about her experience: Turning 15 On The Road To Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March, an illustrated memoir.

"I would like for young people to know that each day of your life is a journey into history," Lowery tells NPR's Arun Rath. "You have the ability to change something each day of your life. Believe it or not, people, it can't happen without you."

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Sat January 17, 2015
Goats and Soda

MTV Pimps Cars, Brazil Pimps Trash Carts

A waste picker wheels a trash cart with Mundano's art and spreads the word: "My cart doesn't pollute."
Courtesy of Mundano

The carts that garbage pickers wheel down the streets of Sao Paulo often look as if they came from the Museum of Funky Art. Colorful cartoon faces — with bulging eyes, flared nostrils and thick lips — peer from the sides of the metal and wooden carts.

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Sat January 17, 2015
Code Switch

Iranian-American Filmmaker Breaks Out Of Boxes, Into The Box Office

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 4:25 pm

Desiree Akhavan plays Shirin in Appropriate Behavior. Akhavan says she chose the name Shirin because it means sweet in Farsi. "Even though she's insane, she has a sweetness," says Akhavan.
Desiree Akhavan


Sat January 17, 2015
Author Interviews

'Gateway To Freedom': Heroes, Danger And Loss On The Underground Railroad

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:35 am

Until 2007, when it was unearthed by a Columbia University undergraduate, few scholars were aware of the record of fugitive slaves written by Sydney Howard Gay. Gay was a key Underground Railroad operative from the mid-1840s until the eve of the Civil War. He was also the editor of the weekly newspaper the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

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Sat January 17, 2015
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Not My Job: Dame Edna Everage Gets Quizzed On Farewell Tours

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 11:14 am

Greg Wood AFP/Getty Images

Housewife and superstar Dame Edna Everage is the creation of Australian comedian Barry Humphries. Blazing out of Moonee Ponds, a Melbourne suburb, Dame Edna has conquered stage, screen, television, bookshops and more over the last 60 years.

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Sat January 17, 2015

And The Oscar Goes To ... Wait, Who Hasn't Had One In A While?

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 10:59 pm

Robert Duvall (right) was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Judge, which also starred Robert Downey Jr. The nomination left many critics scratching their heads.
Claire Folger AP

"The right actors win Oscars, but for the wrong roles," Katharine Hepburn once said.

The Motion Picture Academy has a history of rewarding stars for less-than-celestial performances, and this week's Oscar nomination announcements left a lot of people scratching their heads — over the snubs for Selma, for example, and the nomination of Robert Duvall for best supporting actor in The Judge.

"I think most people hadn't even heard of The Judge before that nomination," says Alyssa Rosenberg, culture columnist for The Washington Post.

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Sat January 17, 2015
The Salt

United Noshes: Dinner Party Aims To Eat Its Way Through Global Cuisine

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 12:09 pm

A sampling of dishes served at United Noshes dinner parties. From left: feta-stuffed peppers from Greece; noodles in cold broth from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (better known as North Korea); mojitos from Cuba; grilled quail with chili-ginger marinade from Congo.
Courtesy of Laura Hadden

The United Nations has 193 member states. And United Noshes aims to recreate meals from every last one of them, alphabetically, as a series of dinner parties.

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Sat January 17, 2015
Author Interviews

A 'Down-To-Earth Diva' Confronts Her Flaws And Good Fortune

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 11:57 am

Deborah Voigt regularly hosts and performs in the Metropolitan Opera's The Met: Live in HD series.
Heidi Gutman HarperCollinsPublishers


Sat January 17, 2015
Book Reviews

Resurrections, Do-Overs, And Second Lives: A 2015 Poetry Preview

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 3:23 pm

Since 9/11, folks have been saying we need poetry more than ever, but perhaps now we need poetry even more than "more than ever." 2014 will go down as the year of Ferguson and Eric Garner, of the CIA torture report, of lost elections and more than a few dashed hopes.

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