Toby Jones plays a solitary sound engineer working night shifts in <em>Berberian Sound Studio, </em>a cunningly structured, deftly executed love letter to the gory Italian scarefests called <em>giallos.</em>
Horror films are filled with the things that nightmares are supposedly made of: monsters, madmen, murder, assorted blood and guts.
But those are really just the props of nightmares — representations of the psychological terrors that really plague us: our fears about mortality, isolation, abandonment and failure. Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio is one horror film that opts to skip the usual frolic among those metaphorical monsters in favor of a deeply unsettling dive into the subconscious.
This summer, you can expect to be profoundly haunted by some of the best works of speculative fiction the season has to offer. The protagonists in these novels are mobbed by the ghosts of history, by the re-awakened dead, and by their recollections of traumas so formative that they transcend personal experience to become species memory. They are also, somewhat humorously, dogged by all the secret truths that have been edited out of Wikipedia entries.
Actor Henry Cavill and director Zack Snyder confer on a shot for an early sequence in <em>Man of Steel</em>. Cavill is the first British actor to wear Superman's iconic red and blue — though not the first to play a D.C. comics superhero.
Credit Clay Enos / Warner Bros. Pictures
The film's opening sequences chronicle political clashes and ultimately a planetary cataclysm on Krypton, home world to Superman and his biological father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), and mother (not pictured.)
The quintessential American superhero — the one who forged the genre — returns to the multiplex this weekend: Superman. The latest big-screen iteration, called Man of Steel, explores the birth of the character (played as an adult by British actor Henry Cavill), delving into why he came to Earth, his inner conflicts growing up, and how he resolves them.
Taissa Farmiga (left) and Israel Broussard are key players in the five-person posse (otherwise known as the "Hollywood Hills Burglar Bunch") targeting celebrity homes in <em>The Bling Ring</em>, stealing clothes, jewelry and cash from the likes of Lindsay Lohan.
Emma Watson's Nicki is another of the fame-obsessed teens who finds herself stealing from those she supposedly idolizes.
Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:43 am
What it came down to in the end were "the beautiful, gorgeous things."
That's how Marc (Israel Broussard) explains the Bling Ring, a gang of teens who, over a span of 10 months in 2008 and 2009, robbed a series of celebrity homes, including those of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom. Along the way, they accrued more than $3 million worth of jewelry, clothing and accessories — not to mention that inevitable tabloid-headline nickname.
Ivan, a silverback gorilla who lived for 27 years in a Tacoma, Wash., shopping mall, chews on his finger at the Atlanta Zoo in 1996. The story was the inspiration for Katherine Applegate's book <em>The One and Only Ivan.</em>
Credit John Bazemore / AP
Katherine Applegate, pictured above at NPR in Washington, D.C., is the author of <em>The Buffalo Storm</em>, <em>Home of the Brave</em> and <em>The One and Only Ivan.</em> Along with her husband, she co-wrote the young adult series <em>Animorphs</em>.<em> </em>
The school year is drawing to a close, but NPR's Backseat Book Club has plenty of reading lined up for the summer. Our June pick is The One and Only Ivan, a Newbery Medal-winning book by Katherine Applegate. It tells the story of a gorilla who spent 27 years in a shopping mall in Tacoma, Wash. — and it's based on a true story.
In <em>More Than Honey, </em>Attica Boa's striking close-up photography helps visualize a story whose urgency needs no amplification: With global honeybee populations threatened, the world's food supply could be seriously endangered.
Credit Kino Lorber
Trucked by the millions across countries and continents in the service of massive fruit-farming operations, honeybees are as essential to the global economy and the food chain as they are to the production of honey.
Credit Kino Lorber
Director Markus Imhoof visits China, Australia, California — and his family's Alpine orchards in Switzerland, all in the name of illustrating the ways bees and beekeeping have changed over the centuries.
An amiably shaggy combination of science lesson, whimsical musing and alarm bell, More Than Honey isn't as urgent as its eco-catastrophic subject — the possible destruction of the world's critically important honeybee populations — might seem to require. But the documentary's most memorable vignette is suitably unnerving: a visit to northern China, where the threatened disappearance of bees has already come to pass, leaving workers to pollinate fruit trees ... by hand.