The film Noah, with Russell Crowe in the title role, opens in the U.S. March 28. It's already been banned in several Muslim countries for portraying a man considered a prophet, and here in this country it's stirred controversy among some Christians for not being a sufficiently literal telling of the Bible story. NPR's Scott Simon spoke with Rajinder Dudrah, senior lecturer in screen studies at the University of Manchester, on why religious figures in film can cause both fascination and offense.
Grab your spats and your ray gun! It's time for another volume of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's adventures. Nemo: The Roses of Berlin has everything one looks for in Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's saga: steampunk, alternate history, elements from boys' adventure tales and the flavor of '30s movie serials. The latest episode might better be called the League of Extraordinary Ladies, actually: There's a female protagonist, a female villain and a female robot — the latter none other than the false Maria from the 1927 film Metropolis.
Dune, by Alejandro Jodorowsky, was an ambitious and expensive film that was going to change cinema — and, the filmmaker imagined, the world.
Jodorowsky had already made a name for himself with El Topo in 1970 and The Holy Mountain in 1973, two movies that more or less invented the "midnight movie" phenomenon back when that was a euphemism for tripping.
Before he was the star of a hilarious series of Old Spice commercials, Terry Crews played for the championship Western Michigan University Broncos in Kalamazoo, where we are taping the show this week. He went on to play in the NFL and have a successful acting career, including roles in Everybody Hates Chris, Idiocracy, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Spring is here, and if you can't tell from the temperature outside, you know because yesterday saw the start of the NCAA tournament, in which 68 teams will compete over the next three weeks. And while they're out there playing, the world outside will continue to inch towards the end of winter.
For our series, This Week's Must Read, Lev Grossman looks to the timeless The Canterbury Tales, and Tim Lane revisits Pistol, the biography of college basketball legend Pete Maravich.
Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has found all sorts of ways to provoke moviegoers in the past — with metal spikes in Antichrist, by ignoring narrative conventions in Dogville, by presenting depression as the only reasonable reaction to the world as we know it — and then destroying that world — in Melancholia. And as if this last weren't enough, he told a Nazi joke to a crowd prepared to shower him with adulation at Cannes.
On this week's episode, our pal Gene Demby is with us for a discussion of the recent Between Two Ferns episode in which the President of the United States chatted about the Hangover movies. What does this kind of appearance accomplish? What is the meaning of "keeping it real" in current popular culture? And what does this all have to do with mayonnaise? Oh, you'll find out.
Now, Shailene Woodley's character in the movie "Divergent" is part of a huge trend in books and films these days: a young risk taker who's unafraid to break the rules. From Harry Potter to "Twilight's" Bella Swan to Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games." Film critic Kenneth Turan says even though "Divergent" is about a risk taker, the film takes no risks at all.