I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are writer Jimi Izrael, with us from Cleveland, Arsalan Iftikhar, senior editor of The Islamic Monthly, with us from Chicago. Here in Washington D.C., contributing editor for The Root, Corey Dade. Also here in D.C., TELL ME MORE editor Ammad Omar. Take it away, Jimi.
I woke up Wednesday, drank some coffee, and learned (thank you, Frank Morris and Morning Edition) that it was the 100th anniversary of William S. Burroughs' birth. Burroughs was born in St. Louis and died in Lawrence, Kansas – improbable geographic bookends to his really out-there life.
But this post is not so much about William Burroughs as about William Burroughs' typewriter.
On this week's show, we turn to a topic near and dear to exactly half of our hearts: the wide world of sports. Glen explains how he came to feel the same way about sports that he feels about Fred Basset. Stephen envisions an actor breaking his leg and the play falling into a "clown show," and I wax rhapsodic about those great little Olympic stories about somebody's excited mom. It's the Super Bowl, the Olympics, and the nature of enthusiasm, all in one sportsy chat.
It's not often that a big-budget Hollywood film turns its attention to art historians and curators. But that's the subject of The Monuments Men, opening this weekend at a multiplex near you.
George Clooney stars in and directs the story, about a special group of soldiers tasked with protecting the masterpieces of European culture during the chaos of World War II and its aftermath. But as you might expect, the real story of the Monuments Men — and women — is messier and less glamorous than the Hollywood version.
There's a fascinating tale to be told in The Monuments Men, George Clooney's new film based on the true story of a search for looted art stolen by the Nazis during World War II. In real life, with fighting still raging on the battlefields of Europe, a small team of art experts searched urgently for tens of thousands of missing paintings and sculptures. The movie's audience will search for something a little different.
With a running time of more than nine hours, Claude Lanzmann's monumental 1985 documentary, Shoah, was never destined to become a mass audience draw. But this sober, taxing, utterly absorbing attempt to document the Holocaust grows ever more essential precisely as our collective memory is increasingly eroded by the reductive shorthand of emaciated bodies or piles of shoes discarded by concentration-camp inmates as they went to their terrible fate. For Lanzmann, understanding trumps empathy.