In the days of the ancient Greeks, poetry and sport went hand in hand at athletic festivals like the Olympics. Poets sang the praises of athletic champions and, at some festivals, even competed in official events, reciting or playing the lyre. Here at NPR, we're reviving that tradition with our own Poetry Games.
Gene Autry, Bette Davis and Buster Keaton are just a few of the names that draw flocks of tourists to Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills.
But there's a lesser-known man among the silver screen legends: Frank Inn, a pioneering animal trainer who made stars out of animals.
Inn's own life closely resembled a Hollywood film. Born into a strict Quaker family from Indiana, Inn set his sights on the movie business early. In the mid-1930s, while still in his teens, Inn hitchhiked west to Los Angeles.
Ai Weiwei is one of the biggest stars of the international art world, but Alison Klayman's documentary <em>Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry </em>focuses more on the significance of his politics than of his artwork.
Credit Ted Alcorn / IFC Films
Ai lives in Beijing with his wife and around 40 cats and dogs. One of the cats has figured out how to open the door and escape.
Cage-rattling Chinese artist Ai Weiwei lives in a Beijing complex with his wife and some 40 cats and dogs. Only one of the animals — a cat — has figured out how to open the door to the outside. This ready-made metaphor arrives early in Alison Klayman's documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and is never mentioned again. But it underlies the tale of one of the few contemporary Chinese who publicly defies the government.
To prove his abilities as a father, Frank (Frank Hvam) takes his nephew Bo (Marcuz Jess Petersen) on what was planned as a no-wives-allowed canoe trip. <em>Klown </em>has already been picked up for an American remake, slated for 2013.<em></em>
Credit Drafthouse Films
Casper (Casper Christensen, front) is Frank's impossibly horny friend, whose decidedly racy plans for the canoe trip are derailed by Bo's presence.
The success of R-rated comedies in recent years might as well be broken down to a formula: blend boundary-pushing raunch comedy with heartfelt sentimentality — and if you're most movies produced by Judd Apatow, center the story on male coming-of-age, even for characters well into adulthood. Teary eyes, full raunch, can't lose.
In the 1960s, protest singer Rodriguez didn't find an audience in the United States. Unbeknownst to him, though, one of his albums became a massive success in South Africa. Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul tracks him down in <em>Searching for Sugar Man</em>.
Credit Hal WIlson / Sony Pictures Classics
Rodriguez was discovered in a Detroit dive bar by producers who mostly worked with Motown artists but thought his lyrics would relate to the protesters of the times.
In 1968, two music producers went to a Detroit dive called The Sewer to hear a Mexican-American protest singer with a small cult following.
The producers' client list was mostly Motown, but they immediately signed Rodriguez (full name Sixto Rodriguez), whose stirring lyrics they hoped would speak to disenfranchised outsiders of all stripes and their champions.
Together, they made two albums — one of which, Cold Fact, provides the soundtrack for the thrilling new documentary Searching for Sugar Man.
In <em>The Watch</em>, Franklin (Jonah Hill), Evan (Ben Stiller), Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) and Bob (Vince Vaughn) start a neighborhood watch after a Costco security guard is mysteriously killed on duty.
Credit Melinda Sue Gordon / 20th Century Fox
Evan and Franklin interrogate a local skater kid (Johnny Pemberton).
The savings are never passed on to the consumer, but a little product placement has become standard practice for Hollywood movies — a pizza box here or a conspicuously angled soda can there, and few take notice. But product integration is another matter: If a movie has been explicitly designed to accommodate a sponsor, it's worse than just a commercial movie. It's a movie commercial.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, actor Anthony Mackie stars in this summer's fantasy thriller, "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter," but what's the movie that Mackie could watch over and over again? We'll find out in a few minutes.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:24 am
If you've ever tuned in to TV shows like HGTV's House Hunters, you've heard many an aspirational "hunter" lamenting the woes of a home without kitchen upgrades: They want to know, where are the granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, high-end fixtures, and custom cabinets?