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