Picture Rick's smoky cafe in Casablanca, Lincoln's office at the White House of the 1860s, or the Mos Eisley cantina on the desert planet of Tatooine: A production designer came up with the overall look of those movie sets. But the booze on Rick's bar or the pens on Lincoln's desk — it took a set decorator and a crew to make them look authentic and believable.
Time again for a home-viewing recommendation from NPR movie critic Bob Mondello. Today, Bob suggests a tale of moral crisis — On the Waterfront, in a freshly restored Blu-ray version from Criterion.
Mugs and palookas, racketeers and dockworkers, mob boss Lee J. Cobb running the union with an iron fist, Marlon Brando tripping up its control when Eva Marie Saint urges him to go to the feds and rat out the rats.
Food doesn't matter much in novels. Years will pass in a person's life without a single description of a snack. Not a moment between adverbs for a taco. No wonder so many characters in contemporary fiction are glum: They're not hopeless; they're hungry.
From NPR and WNYC, this is ASK ME ANOTHER, live from the Bell House in Brooklyn, New York.
EISENBERG: I'm your host, Ophira Eisenberg, and joining me later in the hour are our special musical guests Paul and Storm, and our puzzle guru Art Chung. Let's bring up our first two players. Please welcome Ursula Lawrence and Gregory Guity.
These days politics and advertising go hand in hand. Mayors stage photo ops. The Bush administration compared the Iraq war to rolling out a new product. And just last year, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent nearly a billion dollars running for president. If you're an American, such wall-to-wall marketing has come to seem a natural phenomenon, like Hurricane Sandy or LeBron James.