Arts & Life

Monkey See
8:34 am
Fri May 29, 2015

David Oyelowo Flies Solo In HBO's 'Nightingale'

David Oyelowo stars in Nightingale.
Joseph Cultice HBO

Inevitability has a crucial role in lots of good dramatic works, and every good use of it gives lie to the idea that it's definitionally incompetent to create anything "predictable." From the opening minutes of Nightingale, a new film airing on HBO Friday night starring David Oyelowo (Selma), there is only thick dread about what is going to happen to Peter Snowden, the only character on screen for the nearly 90-minute running time.

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Television
2:44 am
Fri May 29, 2015

'Halt And Catch Fire' Explores What It Was Like For Women In '80s Tech

Actress Mackenzie Davis plays an '80s punk software developer in AMC's Halt and Catch Fire. The second season premieres May 31.
RIchard DuCree AMC

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 9:14 am

The TV series Halt and Catch Fire tells a story you might not expect about the personal computer revolution of the 1980s. For one thing, it's set in Texas, not Silicon Valley. And though there are plenty of bearded, bespectacled men building things in garages, the resident software genius is a woman. Cameron Howe, played by actress Mackenzie Davis, is a punk, anarchist loner who intimidates many of her co-workers.

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Book News & Features
2:43 am
Fri May 29, 2015

A Year Later, #WeNeedDiverseBooks Has Left Its Mark On BookCon

In 2014, BookCon responded to the We Need Diverse Books campaign by inviting it to form its own panel. Pictured here, left to right: I.W. Gregorio, Mike Jung, Matt de la Pena, Grace Lin and Jacqueline Woodson.
Courtesy of ReedPOP

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 7:07 am

Publishing's big week is almost over. The industry's annual convention, BookExpo America, ends Friday in New York, and on Saturday the publishing world opens its doors to the public with BookCon, where avid readers will get the chance to mix and mingle with their favorite authors.

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Book News & Features
4:49 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

As Publishing Industry Courts China, Authors Speak Out Against Censorship

Protesters gathered on the steps of the New York Public Library on Wednesday to show support for silenced Chinese writers.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 7:58 am

Chinese writers and publishers are being celebrated this week in New York at BookExpo America — the industry's largest trade event in North America. Organizers of the event say China deserves a seat at the table because it is such a big and potentially lucrative market. But some authors and free speech advocates have seen this as an opportunity to shine light on censorship in China.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

'Gemma Bovery': Retelling A Classic With A Light Touch

Hervé (Niels Schneider) and Gemma (Gemma Arterton) in Gemma Bovery.
Jerome Prebois Music Box Films

French director Anne Fontaine's Gemma Bovery is a comic reworking of Madame Bovary, but that's merely the first of the movie's several layers. The bilingual film is adapted not from Flaubert's classic but from British cartoonist Posy Simmonds' graphic novel, set in contemporary times and with the Boverys as a London couple that just relocated to Normandy.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Self-Improvement Gets Romantic In 'Results'

Cobie Smulders and Guy Pearce in Results.
Ryan Green Magnolia Pictures

Kat, a personal trainer played with rabid verve by Cobie Smulders in the terrific new comedy Results, is a recognizable gym rat modestly enlarged for comical promise. "I lead with my butt," the dedicated workout queen tells a client, oblivious to the fact that he's already rather taken with that highly buffed part of her anatomy. She's obsessive and blunt and aggressive almost unto unbearable. It can safely be said that empowerment is not Kat's problem.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Rocks Versus The Rock In 'San Andreas'

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in San Andreas.
Jasin Boland Warner Bros.

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 5:50 pm

In the Universal Pictures release Earthquake, one of the biggest hits (no pun intended) of 1974, The Big One takes a big bite out of Los Angeles — God's vengeance, the film implies, for Charlton Heston cheating on Ava Gardner with Genevieve Bujold.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

'Aloha' Brings A Muddled Romance To Hawaii

Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone in Aloha.
Neal Preston Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 6:58 pm

It's hard to tell what, exactly, Bradley Cooper's deal is in the imperfect yet oddly compelling tropical dramedy Aloha. His character, Brian Gilcrest, is a military contractor assigned to oversee a ceremony in Hawaii that will allow his employer to launch a new satellite of dubious motives. That part's easy enough. After his role in the megahit American Sniper, it's intriguing to see Cooper playing what amounts to a cynical, bizarro-world version of Chris Kyle.

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Movie Interviews
1:36 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

David Oyelowo On Acting, His Royal Roots And The One Role He Won't Take

David Oyelowo plays an American Army veteran living with his mother in HBO's Nightingale.
HBO

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 9:06 am

If actor David Oyelowo projects a regal air, it's one he comes by naturally. Born in England to Nigerian parents, Oyelowo's father had always told him that theirs was a royal family, a claim the actor initially discounted.

"I was like, 'Yeah, whatever,' " Oyelowo tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. But then the family moved back to Nigeria, where they lived on a street named after his family, and the actor realized that his father had not been joking.

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Code Switch
11:23 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Not Your Mother's Catholic Frescoes: Radiant Portraits Of Queer People Of Color

Photographer Gabriel Garcia Roman's "Queer Icons" series portrays queer people of color as saints and warriors. Jahmal Golden is a poet and a student at The New School.
Courtesy of Gabriel Garcia Roman

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 3:06 pm

Photographer Gabriel Garcia Roman's portraits feature friends and acquaintances, activists and poets, Americans and immigrants — some naturalized, some undocumented.

All of them are queer people of color.

"I wanted to specifically focus on this community because queer and trans people of color are so rarely represented in the art world," says Roman, who is Mexican-American and also identifies as queer.

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Thu May 28, 2015

'Trigger Mortis': New Bond Novel Brings Back Pussy Galore

A return to Pussy Galore's golden days: Honor Blackman, who played the character on screen in Goldfinger, poses with the original Bond, Sean Connery.
Express/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 4:37 pm

What kind of birthday gift do you get a man who has everything? It's a well-worn riddle — and one that gets all the more difficult if the man in question happens to have died a half-century ago.

Luckily for Ian Fleming, today's 107-year-old birthday boy and the creator of James Bond, novelist Anthony Horowitz knows just the gift: a reunion with an old friend.

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Arts & Life
8:15 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Steve Flowers on the State's "Prison Plan"

There’s still a lot of haggling going on over the state budget. Governor Robert Bentley wants to plug a spending shortfall by raising taxes and that’s not being welcomed by Republican members of the legislature. As contentious as this issue is, there are other things the House and Senate are dealing with. One subject is prison reform. Alabama Public Radio’s political commentator Steve Flowers has a few thoughts on that...

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Code Switch
8:00 am
Thu May 28, 2015

The Worst Kind Of Groundhog Day: Let's Talk (Again) About Diversity In Publishing

This summer brings many excellent books from writers of color.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 10:57 am

Another day, another all-white list of recommended reading. This year's New York Times summer reading list, compiled annually by Times literary critic Janet Maslin, offered up zero books by non-white authors.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu May 28, 2015

'The Water Knife' Cuts Deep

Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 2:29 pm

In The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi's best-selling, Hugo- and Nebula-winning debut, the author imagines a 23rd century in which the forces of commerce have run amok over the basic, biological building blocks of life. In his equally powerful sophomore novel, The Water Knife, he takes a similar approach to an inorganic substance without which human life wouldn't exist: H2O. But where The Windup Girl takes place hundreds of years from now in Southeast Asia, The Water Knife hits closer to home for U.S. readers.

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Book News & Features
2:29 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Technology Of Books Has Changed, But Bookstores Are Hanging In There

Capitol Hill Books owner Jim Toole runs the front register of his used bookstore several days a week. He has banned several words from his store, including "awesome," "perfect" and "Amazon."
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 11:59 am

If the book is dead, nobody bothered to tell the folks at Capitol Hill Books in Washington, D.C. Books of every size, shape and genre occupy each square inch of the converted row house — including the bathroom — all arranged in an order discernible only to the mind of Jim Toole, the store's endearingly grouchy owner.

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