If you want to tell a story, the professional tale-spinners say, make something happen.
That's true, but a happening can be defined as elastically as the teller needs it to be. Sometimes it's a shift in a character's inner landscape — a change in her responses to the common hurts and losses that she's lugged around from childhood — that moves us more than a third-act gunshot ever could.
Crisp in execution and classic in ambiance, The Company You Keep is star Robert Redford's most persuasive directorial work since 1994's Quiz Show. It's a pleasure to watch, even if the payoff is rather less substantial than the backstory.
In 1981, avant-garde theater director Andre Gregory collaborated with his friend Wallace Shawn and French filmmaker Louis Malle on an oddball project they called My Dinner with Andre.
Now enshrined as a classic — and one of the most-lampooned films in the history of American cinema — the movie is a talky two-hander in which Gregory (or someone very like him) gassed away about his globe-trotting adventures in spiritual enlightenment, while Shawn (or someone very like him) listened in disbelief, then grew entranced.
In theory, it's romantic to watch young couples struggling. We're used to seeing 'em in movies from the '30s, '40s and onward: He makes only enough money to put beans, not steak, on the table. She stretches the meager dollars he brings home by whipping up cheerful curtains patched together from fabric scraps. They may be poor, but they have love on their side, and if they work together, a comfortable and happy life — including the babies that will eventually come — will be theirs.
Well, now a more subjective study of dreams. It comes from the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky. The festival was founded by Actors Theatre of Louisville. And each year, that theater commissions a new work for its company of apprentice actors. This year's show, a series of three one-act plays, is called "Sleep Rock Thy Brain."
Erin Keane of member station WFPL got a front row seat.
A team of American researchers is on a treasure hunt for jewels — of both artistic and historic value.
This month, researchers from Denver were in Russia to document the work of Vasily Konovalenko, a former ballet set designer turned sculptor, who created scenes from Russian folk life in semiprecious stones.
In the 1980s, Konovalenko emigrated from what was then the Soviet Union in search of artistic freedom. Now, his legacy is divided between the U.S. and Russia.
As a Mormon missionary, Ryan McIlvain spent two years ringing strangers' doorbells, even as he experienced doubts about his own faith. McIlvain left the church in his mid-20s. His debut novel, Elders, is based on the experiences he had trying to convert people to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Elder" is the term used for a young Mormon on his mission.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, it took a while, but you can now see women of color on the covers of so-called mainstream women's or lifestyle magazines. So now we're asking: Should it go the other way? Will there ever be a white woman on the cover of a major black or Latina magazine? We'll talk about that in a few minutes.
And now the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphors. We are celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing poetic tweets - poems at 140 characters or less. And we've been hearing from famous poets and not so famous.
Today, we hear from freelance writer and poet Yahia Lababidi. And we'll let him tell you more.
YAHIA LABABIDI: My name is Yahia Lababidi. I live, now, in Silver Spring, Maryland. I'm from Egypt and I'm mad for short forms. Here's the tweet.