A world-renowned pianist known for cracking under the pressure of performance sits down to play a concerto before a packed hall. Then he sees the message scrawled in red on his sheet music: "Play one wrong note and you die." The movie almost writes itself.
Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes, with Saoirse Ronan and Tony Revolori) is a hotel concierge in an Eastern Europe falling under Hitler's shadow — a man pining for the Old World sensibility that's fading all around him.
Chances are you've already made up your mind about Wes Anderson. Either you're willing to go with the meticulous symmetry of his dollhouse compositions, the precious tchotchke-filled design sensibility and the stilted formality of his dialogue, or you check out of his storybook worlds in the first five minutes. On the evidence of his eighth feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, it's clear no one is more aware of his idiosyncracies than Anderson himself — and he's not apologizing.
Talk about meeting cute: The first time they're alone together, the protagonists of 300: Rise of an Empire rip each other's clothes off. But then Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) and Artemisia (Eva Green) can't decide if they want to make love or war.
From 1952 to 1974, the "Joy Boys" — Walker (left) and Willard Scott — provided D.C. radio listeners with a daily dose of comedy. Scott went on to work in TV, where he can still be seen on <em>The Today Show; </em>Walker stuck with radio.
Credit Publicity photos from the WRC Graphics Department / TheJoyBoys.Com
Ed Walker has hosted WAMU 88.5's <em>Big Broadcast,</em> a popular show featuring rebroadcasts of vintage radio dramas,<em> </em>for more than two decades. But that's only the most recent phase of his long career behind the microphone, which earned him a spot in the <a href="http://www.radiohof.org/ed_walker.htm">Radio Hall of Fame</a> in 2009.
Credit Jeff Watts / WAMU 88.5
Walker, shown here in 1980, started his radio career by helping to launch American University's student station, WAMU AM — which went on to become WAMU 88.5.
The Ingenues, an all-girl band and vaudeville act, serenade the cows in the University of Wisconsin, Madison's dairy barn in 1930. The show was apparently part of an experiment to see whether the soothing strains of music boosted the cows' milk production.
Credit Angus B. McVicar/Wisconsin Historical Society
"It was a great time for storytellers," says Matthew Biggs, the central character in Kenneth Calhoun's haunting debut novel, Black Moon. The irony of his comment comes with a horrific aftertaste: The world is suffering from a sudden, unexplainable pandemic that's made everyone a perpetual insomniac. Biggs is one of the few who can still sleep. Humanity's state of chronic wakefulness has caused mass insanity — in the noonday sun, dreams overflow and chaos reigns.
Despite national championship victories for both the men’s and women’s teams, wheelchair basketball doesn’t attract the same crowds as Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide football team. However, a recent men’s match in Tuscaloosa between Alabama and the Orlando Magic team from Florida did have people in the stands. That includes Javalla Hardy of Tuscaloosa and her family.
You can listen to plenty of actors performing the works of William Shakespeare. But imagine if you could hear the voice of the young playwright himself — or the older one, for that matter — reading his own writing aloud.
Well, we can't take you back that far. But in the early 1960s, when recorded readings by authors were rare, a young couple in Boston decided to be literary audio pioneers.
My wife and I recently moved to Los Angeles. To prepare, I reread a handful of the Philip Marlowe novels by the great Raymond Chandler, from The Big Sleep to The Little Sister. Chandler, who died in 1959, was a forefather of the modern detective novel. I've been a Chandler fan for years, but I also wanted to reread him because I knew I'd be reviewing a new Chandler book — written by somebody else.
This week, two unique sports teams from the University of Alabama are vying for a national championship. They’re the men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams, better known as the Rolling Tide. The university has a number of sports for disabled athletes and between games, these players have to stay in shape. That’s leading to a partnership between wheelchair athletes and a man known in the world of boxing as “The Bronze Bomber.”
Beginning in 1952, and running through 1968, there was a legendary radio show called Klavan And Finch that was on WNEW in New York City. It was a four-hour live program featuring music and antic conversation between handsome, straight man Dee Finch and his live-wire counterpart, Gene Klavan.