Arts and culture

Master Class With John Turturro

May 29, 2014

Jesus in the Coen brothers' The Big Lebowski, Pino in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, Herb Stempel in Robert Redford's Quiz Show -- actor John Turturro has performed countless memorable movie roles. Moving behind the camera, Turturro wrote, directed and starred in the new movie Fading Gigolo, which found him working alongside one of his influences, Woody Allen. It all started because the two men share the same barber.

Taking A Vowel Of Poverty

May 29, 2014

In this final round, all answers are words that contain three or more of a single vowel—and only that vowel. Strap on your bikinis and muumuus, and crank up the Bananarama!

Heard in Episode 318: O'Brother, Where Art Thou Quiz Show?

Magic From The Margins In Long-Awaited 'Long Hidden'

May 29, 2014

As I was growing up, the fantasy worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis provided a way to escape a childhood I wasn't quite sure I would survive. Myth is powerful stuff; it opened doorways to alternate realities that helped me see more clearly the twisted power lines that dictated my upbringing. But that was my childhood: the childhood of a white, middle class girl who could relate to middle class white hobbits and the Pevensie children and the icky evil they encountered (which, trust me, was very icky).

Tiny homes — you've heard of them: those cute-as-a-button, 200-square-foot, closet-sized prefabs on the covers of glossy shelter magazines, tempting us to downsize and live the eco-chic American Dream.

But what we haven't seen a lot of is the four-wheeled alternative — the life lived by many of those who go against the grain by ditching four walls altogether.

Contrary to what some may think, not everyone who lives out of a car is homeless. In fact, there's an entire population of auto dwellers out there that chooses to forgo the white picket fence for a pop-top.

"Walk softly and carry a big fish" was one curator's take on a humorous self-portrait of a tall woman, holding an enormous yellow fish and a paintbrush, with a black cat lurking below.

Bay area artist Joan Brown's image is the first thing you see at a new National Portrait Gallery exhibition called "Face Value: Portraiture in the Age of Abstraction." Brown's painting, like so many in this Smithsonian show, is powerful and funny.

Maya Angelou Reads 'Still I Rise'

May 28, 2014



And we're going to take a moment now to listen to one of Maya Angelou's best-known poems. Here she is, reading "Still I Rise."


MAYA ANGELOU: You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I'll rise.

Poet, performer and political activist Maya Angelou has died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86.

What happens when you tap into the nostalgia surrounding not one, but two, beloved television franchises? LeVar Burton is about to find out.

For 26 years host Burton encouraged kids to embark on reading adventures on the PBS show Reading Rainbow. After the show went off the air in 2009, Burton acquired the rights to the brand and its library.

In her memoirs, Maya Angelou explored how race and gender affected her life. Her first memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published in 1969 and describes growing up in the segregated South. It includes the story of how, as a child, Angelou was raped by her mother's boyfriend. After the rape, she withdrew into herself and went through a long period of not speaking.



This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to pay tribute now to the legendary author and poet Maya Angelou. She died this morning at the age of 86. Here is a clip of her reading part of one of her most beloved poems "Phenomenal Woman."