Arts

Movie Reviews
5:04 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Maturity And Improvisation In 'Happy Christmas'

Cast members including Anna Kendrick (center) and Lena Dunham (left), seen here with filmmaker Joe Swanberg's son Jude (right), improvised many of the film's scenes.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 8:01 am

Reckless immaturity in young people is generally diagnosed across generations, most often by parents worried about their supposedly underachieving kids. That makes the premise of Joe Swanberg's Happy Christmas relatively refreshing, even as it covers well-known ground.

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Movie Reviews
5:04 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

'A Most Wanted Man': A Parable Grounded In The Real World

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in A Most Wanted Man, director Anton Corbijn's adaptation of John le Carré's 2008 novel, as German intelligence officer Günther Bachmann.
Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:46 pm

Fittingly, one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's final performances is in a movie about role-playing. The masterly actor mutters and growls his way through A Most Wanted Man as a spy who's simultaneously fighting two losing wars: against the West's enemies as well as his own putative allies.

Further deepening the movie's ambiguity, the American actor plays a German in a story whose payoff is pungently anti-American.

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Movies
5:04 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Revisiting An 'Endless Summer'

Widely considered one of the best surfer movies in American history, The Endless Summer celebrates its 50th anniversary this week.
Monterey Media Inc.

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:49 am

"This is Bruce Brown, thank you for watching, I hope you enjoyed my film."

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Author Interviews
4:21 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

When It Comes To Creativity, Are Two Heads Better Than One?

Brothers and aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright walk together in 1910.
National Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:52 pm

Joshua Wolf Shenk doesn't believe in the myth of the lone genius. "What has one person ever done alone?" he asks NPR's Robert Siegel. "We think of Martin Luther King and Sigmund Freud and Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs as these great solo creators, but in fact, if you look into the details of their life, they are enmeshed in relationships all the way through."

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Monkey See
4:19 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

5 Things I Learned About TV's Future From The Critics Press Tour

Noah Hawley (left) and Warren Littlefield, executive producers of the FX series Fargo, speak at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 7:09 pm

The voice came from over my shoulder, a shouted greeting in a room crowded with journalists, publicists, network executives, producers and stars.

I tuned to see David Boreanaz, star of the Fox TV show Bones, calling out to me like a long-lost friend. I knew he had mistaken me for someone else — in a party held by Fox at the exclusive Soho House club, where everyone from Kelsey Grammer to David Tennant was sipping cocktails and talking shop, it wasn't hard to make that kind of mistake.

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Book Reviews
4:15 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

'Tigerman' Will Get Its Claws Into You

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:22 pm

How do you know when a book has hooked you? When it really gets you in the guts and won't let go?

When you can't stop telling people about it. When you catch yourself inserting the title of the book into conversations where it has no place, breathlessly insisting to all your friends and relations that they need to read this book right now, and waving it around on elevators and hoping that someone asks you about it.

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Book Reviews
2:27 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

'Panic In A Suitcase' Puts A Fresh Spin On A Coming-To-America Story

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 4:45 pm

There's a wonderful 1982 memoir called An Orphan in History by the late Village Voice writer Paul Cowan. It's about Cowan's search for his European Jewish roots, and in it he says something about the sacrifices of older generations of immigrants that's always stayed with me. Cowan says: "Millions of immigrant families . . . left the economically and culturally confining Old World towns where they were raised, and paid for the freedom and prosperity this country offered with their pasts."

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Movies
12:28 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

How To Name Your Sequel II: Not Just Roman Numerals Anymore

If you want to move beyond just numbers for your sequel titles, critic Bob Mondello says there are a few informal rules you need to follow.

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:22 pm

Remember when movie companies just put Roman numerals at the end of titles when they made sequels? Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV. Well, not anymore.

This summer, we've had X-Men: Days of Future Past, with no mention that it's either the sixth or seventh X-Men movie, depending on how you're counting. Also 22 Jump Street, the across-the-street follow-up to 21 Jump Street. And Begin Again (which ought to be a sequel, but isn't).

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Interviews
12:23 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Performer Rita Moreno's Famed Career Was 'Meant To Be'

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Ask Me Another
10:27 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Random Questions With: Andy Serkis

"I don't know if I'm the best at it, but I have a go." -Serkis on performance capture
David James Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:24 pm

Andy Serkis is a renowned actor, but you may not recognize his face. The most famous of his roles include the "ring-junkie" Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and this summer's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Serkis disappears completely into his characters, thanks to performance capture technology that films his face and body movements, and translates them to digitally created avatars.

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