Arts & Life

Movie Reviews
3:54 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

'Venus and Serena': Champs Atop Their Game

Serena Williams (left) and her sister Venus Williams in action during their first-round doubles match on Day 2 at Wimbledon in 2010.
Hamish Blair Getty Images via Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 1:02 pm

What's left to know about Venus and Serena Williams? Probably not much that the tennis titans would be willing to share, given how heavily exposed they've been already, and how eager the press has been to wedge the sisters into ready-made narratives about race, celebrity and the daughters of a Svengali.

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Movies
3:51 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

At The Movies, A Swirl Of Style And Substance

Light It Up: Director Baz Luhrmann (right, with stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan on the set of The Great Gatsby) brought a lush visual sensibility to a tale whose tone not everyone thinks of as epic.
Matt Hart Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 4:41 pm

Here's a movie pitch: A celebrated millionaire, known for public extravagance, lives right on the water in a fabulous mansion. He's smooth but reckless, drives like a maniac, has a powerful enemy and — despite a rep as a playboy — has only one girlfriend, who barely registers on-screen.

You're the producer, so whaddya think? Does his story require lavish digital effects, swooping cameras, a rap soundtrack and the full-on 3-D treatment?

If I tell you his name is Tony Stark, otherwise known as Iron Man, probably yes, right?

What if his name is Jay Gatsby?

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Science
3:34 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Could You Talk To A Caveman? Scientists Say It's Possible

Would Mel Brooks' famous 2,000-Year-Old Man have understood modern language? Researchers say there's a possibility.
ABC/Photofest

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 4:41 pm

In 1961, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner came up with some basic theories of caveman linguistics in their 2,000-Year-Old Man skit. Most of them had to do with rocks, as in, "What are you doing with that rock there?"

Now, a professor in England has questioned the validity of the famous caveman's rock-centric theories. And Mark Pagel of the University of Reading is reaching even further back, to the time of the 15,000-year-old man.

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Author Interviews
12:51 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

'The Woman Upstairs': A Saga Of Anger And Thwarted Ambition

Picture of an old attic
Minas Panagiotakis iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 1:59 pm

"How angry am I? You don't want to know. Nobody wants to know." Those are the opening lines of Claire Messud's new novel, The Woman Upstairs. The novel is about a single woman, Nora, who hasn't fulfilled her dreams of being an artist and having children. Nora's plight is complicated when she befriends a woman who has done both.

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Television
12:29 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

In A Cluster Of New Sitcoms, 'Family Tree' Stands Tall

In the new HBO series Family Tree, Chris O'Dowd (above left, with the series' writer-director-producer Christopher Guest) stars as a guy who has just lost his job and girlfriend and fills the void by looking into his family genealogy.
HBO

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 1:29 pm

Christopher Guest, co-creator with Jim Piddock of the new HBO comedy series Family Tree, obviously is having a good time making this show — and it's contagious. It's several shows in one, and every element is a self-assured little delight.

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Remembrances
11:20 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Remembering Monster-Maker Ray Harryhausen

Medusa from 1981's Clash of the Titans is among legendary animator Ray Harryhausen's many creations.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 1:19 pm

Ray Harryhausen, who died Tuesday in London at age 92, became fascinated with animation after seeing King Kong in 1933. He went on to create some of the most memorable monsters of old Hollywood, from dinosaurs to mythological creatures.

His monsters, however, were never completely divorced from the real world.

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Ask Me Another
10:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Hahd-Cawr Pun

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 9:07 am

We kick off our road show with a game dedicated to the stereotypical Boston dialect--you know, the one that tells you to "Pahk your cah in Hahvahd Yahd"? Host Ophira Eisenberg has a little punny fun with phrases and names that take on whole new meanings when you drop the "r's" in certain words. And for the record, "Hahd-Cawr Pun" is just Boston-speak for "Hard-Core Pun."

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Ask Me Another
10:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Banned In Boston

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 9:07 am

It's been a great time in Boston, but we've reached the Ask Me One More final round. Puzzle guru Art Chung leads the final five contestants in a game comprised of words, phrases and names that begin with the letters B-A-N. For example, the triangular patterned cloth you might wear around your head or neck would be a "bandana," and if it doesn't bear the Red Sox logo, then you're in the wrong town.

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Ask Me Another
10:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

I Left My Heart In Boston

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 9:07 am

Jonathan Coulton is wicked stoked to pay tribute to Boston in the best way he knows how: by substituting the names of Boston neighborhoods into the lyrics of well-known songs about other cities. For example, if Elvis had spent more time in a certain Boston neighborhood, he might have written a song called "Viva Dorchester!" Can you name the original towns? Or do you prefer a "Roslindale State of Mind"?

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Ask Me Another
10:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Name Brand Names

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 9:07 am

It may take a lifetime to develop your fashion sense or signature flourish, but only a few trendsetters can boast clothing items actually named in their honor.

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Arts & Life
10:33 am
Thu May 9, 2013

A "sweet" family business

Milo's Sweet Tea factory in Bessemer
APR

Alabama Public Radio continues its collaboration on a new television program about business. It’s called Alabama, Inc. and it airs tonight at 10 pm on your local Alabama Public Television station. So far this season, APR news director Pat Duggins has interviewed entrepreneurs who build shopping malls, design high-end fashions, and clean up toxic waste. This Sunday, the topic is a “sweet” family business based in Birmingham. Tricia Wallwork hears the stories from customers all the time.

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Monkey See
10:25 am
Thu May 9, 2013

PBS Continues The March Into Streaming Programming

Antiques Roadshow is one of the programs available from PBS's new Roku channel.
PBS

Let's start with a brief tour of streaming television online.

For quite a while, streaming television meant sitting and watching it on your computer. It wasn't ideal, for obvious reasons. Then, it got easier to sit and watch it on your phone. That wasn't ideal, either, if you liked the living-room experience. Tablets do a better job than phones of delivering a portable but less tiny experience.

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Arts & Life
9:31 am
Thu May 9, 2013

'Love Story' Actress Ali MacGraw Visits Huntsville

Actress Ali MacGraw says she's thrilled to make her first visit to the South.
Brigitte Lacombe

Actress Ali MacGraw is speaking at the Huntsville Museum of Art today. MacGraw rose to fame in 1969 for her role in Goodbye, Columbus, for which she won a Golden Globe award. Shortly after, MacGraw starred in Love Story, for which she earned a second Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination. Today, MacGraw is in Huntsville as a special guest for the art museum’s ‘Voices of Our Times’ event. MacGraw says she’s traveled all over the world, but this is her first visit to the South.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Book News: Hacker Leaks Part Of 'Sex And The City' Author's New Book

Author Candace Bushnell attends the March 2010 DVF Awards at the United Nations in New York City.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Farm Team Saga 'Class A' Hits It Out Of The Park

Cover of Class A

Is there room for another book about America's favorite pastime? Lucas Mann's Class A earns a position in a lineup that already includes Bang the Drum Slowly, The Natural, The Boys of Summer, Moneyball and The Art of Fielding because, remarkably, it offers a fresh, unexpected angle on this well-trodden game.

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