Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 1:34 pm
If you've ever wondered how to be a contestant on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! you should definitely read this installment of "The Curious Listener" from NPR Listener Services.
Many have tried and many have failed the challenge: answering three questions about the week's news in order to win the coveted prize of having Carl Kasell record the outgoing message on their voice mail or answering machine.
The way the Andes divide Patagonia, Argentina gets most of the land and Chile most of the water. As shown in Patagonia Rising, a new documentary, the landscape on Chile's side of the border is similar to coastal British Columbia or the Alaska panhandle: chilly, forested, mountainous and very wet.
Several characters in Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, a bland comedy about generational disconnect, read and worship Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. And just as Whitman's paean to "thee old cause" celebrated "thou stern, remorseless, sweet idea," so too does the film push, much less sternly and sweetly, its own idea: that the spirit of the 1960s is alive and well and (still) living in Woodstock.
For Abe (Jordan Gelber), there is one simple truth in life: "We're all horrible people."
He articulates this insight in Todd Solondz's new film Dark Horse, while on a painfully awkward date with Miranda (Selma Blair), a chronically depressed woman he meets at a wedding reception, where both of them look on glumly at everyone else dancing and having a good time.
Words, words, words: Novels, especially 19th-century ones, are full of the damned things, which can be an inconvenience for filmmakers doing adaptations.
Directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, theater veterans making their cinematic debut with Bel Ami, try to downplay language, which seems a promising idea. But the strategy fails for several reasons, the foremost of which is their leading man.
Since Republicans took back the U.S. House in the 2010 elections, abortion has been a fairly constant theme. The House took eight separate abortion-related votes in 2011 β the most in a decade, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Al Spx was studying English Literature at the University of Toronto when she came across a line from James Joyce's Ulysses: "Born all in the dark wormy earth, cold specks of fire, evil lights shining in the darkness." The phrase "cold specks" sparked a fire of inspiration, and Spx knew immediately that she had found the perfect name for the songs she was writing on the side.
As Mexico approaches its election day on July 1, polls indicate the candidate for the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is well ahead and appears likely to return his party to power.
The PRI governed Mexico for seven decades until 2000, when it was tossed out by an electorate tired of a corrupt political machine. Now, discontent with the current leadership and the rampant drug-related violence has created an opening for the PRI to come back. Still, some Mexicans are queasy about the prospect of the party's resurgence.
Damon Lindelof was a producer on the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, which seemed to win over loyal Trekkies. And this weekend Lindelof will earn the devotion β or wrath β of Alien fans. He helped write the screenplay for the new film Prometheus, an origin story for Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi classic.
Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 11:20 am
Sweet Heart Sweet Light, the new album by the English space-rock band Spiritualized, was recorded while frontman Jason Pierce was undergoing chemotherapy for liver disease. Pierce set out to craft the recordas a clear-cut pop record in between hospital stays, and though he says he isn't convinced he succeeded, most of the album is composed of could-be Top 10 radio hits from the early '70s.