Arts & Life

Movie Interviews
4:06 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Filmmaker Holds Up 'A Mirror' In Interviews With Israel's 'Gatekeepers'

The interviews that form the core of The Gatekeepers began with a connection to Ami Ayalon, who was the head of Shin Bet from 1996 to 2000.
Avner Shahaf Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:36 pm

The Gatekeepers is an Israeli documentary based on long interviews with the six surviving heads of the Shin Bet — that's Israel's domestic security service. These six "gatekeepers" were in charge for more than 30 years.

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Arts & Life
4:06 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Two Decades On, Vusi Mahlasela Still Sings 'To The People'

Vusi Mahlasela's new album, a live recording of his 20th-anniversary show in Johannesburg, is titled Sing to the People.
Erik Forster Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 6:36 pm

South African singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela came of age during the 1970s, an era dominated by the violent student uprising in Soweto. From the start, his musical expression has been about love and hope for his country. His songs play as anthems of South Africa's rise from apartheid to democracy and have helped earn him the nickname "The Voice."

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Monkey See
4:06 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Home Video Review: 'Buster Keaton: The Ultimate Collection'

Buster Keaton, aka "The Great Stone Face," brought side-splitting comedy to the silent-screen era. Here, he's pictured in 1924's The Navigator.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:44 pm

Time now for a home-viewing recommendation from NPR movie critic Bob Mondello. A quiet recommendation — because Bob is touting the Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection, a 14-disc set of classic silent comedies.

Silent film had three great clowns. Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp is the one everyone remembers; all-American daredevil Harold Lloyd is the one who made the most money; and Buster Keaton was the genius.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

A Political 'Knife Fight' With All The Edge Of A Spork

Political consultant Paul Turner (Rob Lowe) may be "the master of disaster," but the campaign satire Knife Fight doesn't give him much of an edge.
IFC Films

Framed for television and photographed in faded panels of astonishing blahness, Knife Fight is a dull political dramedy that ping-pongs between caustic misanthropy and soapy sentiment. Playing like a mashup of tropes from far superior small- and large-screen entertainments (Scandal, House of Lies, Ides of March), this clunky feature from Bill Guttentag is satire at its most soft-bellied and toadying.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

The Hard-Earned Liberty Of 'Happy People'

The simple, rough-edged lives of the Russian villagers in Werner Herzog's documentary Happy People: A Year in the Taiga make for a rhythmic study of ancient natural harmonies.
Music Box Films

It's midway through Burden of Dreams, the superb documentary about the making of his glorious 1982 fiasco Fitzcarraldo, and iconoclastic director Werner Herzog has had enough.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

'Resolution': Another Cabin, A Very Different Show

Chris (Vinny Curran) resists his friend Mike's (Peter Cilella) attempts to save him from drug addiction in the indie horror film Resolution. As unsettling intrusions into their rundown rural abode mount, however, they both might need a different kind of rescue.
Tribeca Film

Staging a one-on-one intervention with a drug-addicted friend carries certain risks. At the very least, the long-term survival of your friendship is in jeopardy. If the friend is a gun-obsessed meth head living in an abandoned shack in the middle of nowhere, your own survival may be in question.

But surely, whatever the other dangers of staging a forced detox, at the very least you don't usually have to worry about malevolent and potentially supernatural forces stalking you.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Spoiler Alert: 'John Dies,' But The Rest? Who Can Tell?

Journalist Arnie Blondestone (Paul Giamatti) interprets the bizarro story at the heart of the too-twisty horror fantasy John Dies at the End.
Magnet Releasing

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 11:11 am

There's a fine line between a genre filmmaker with an offbeat sensibility and a maker of prefab cult movies — someone who appeals too aggressively to a cult audience that doesn't yet exist. Don Coscarelli's career has inched too far across that line.

The creator of the Phantasm series, which developed a dense and satisfying (if fan-oriented) mythology, and the prime fantasy cheese The Beastmaster, Coscarelli has lately been a cult alchemist, mixing up quirky elements aimed at winning a following that his previous films won effortlessly.

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Arts & Life
3:20 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

New York Murder Rate Plummets, But Who Should Get The Credit?

A New York City police academy graduation ceremony on Dec. 28, 2012, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the New York murder rate has hit an all-time low. While some point to the NYPD's policing tactics to explain the decline, others say economic and demographic shifts are also at work.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:16 pm

By most measures, New York City is safer than it's been in a half-century. The city recorded just 418 murders in 2012 — the lowest total since record keeping began in the early 1960s. But there's some debate about where to place the credit for that drop.

No part of New York saw a more dramatic decline in murders last year than the 61st Precinct in South Brooklyn. Two years ago, there were 14 murders in the precinct. Last year, it had only three.

'More Cops, More Safety,' Says One Resident

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The Salt
3:06 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Maxing Out The Mini Season For Maine Shrimp

Trawlers in the Gulf of Maine are allowed to catch Maine shrimp during a limited season that started this week.
Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 6:29 pm

To Mainers, cold-water shrimp pulled from the Gulf of Maine in midwinter by a shrinking fleet of fisherman are many things: fresh, sweet, delicious, affordable, precious.

"The absolute best thing about them is that they are almost exclusively ours," boasts Portland-based architect and Maine shrimp lover Ric Quesada. He revels in the fact that Maine shrimp don't travel well out of state. "You don't run errands with these in your car. They want to go right home and be eaten," he says.

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Author Interviews
11:32 am
Thu January 24, 2013

'Going Clear': A New Book Delves Into Scientology

The Church of Scientology building in Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard on Aug. 28, 2011.
AK2 iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 5:50 am

In the introduction to his new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, Lawrence Wright writes, "Scientology plays an outsize role in the cast of new religions that have arisen in the 20th century and survived into the 21st."

The book is a look inside the world of Scientology and the life of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986. A recent ad for Scientology claims to welcome 4.4 million new converts each year.

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Ask Me Another
9:14 am
Thu January 24, 2013

John Hodgman: How Much Does The Know-It-All Know?

Brantley Gutierrez Brantley Gutierrez

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 10:50 am

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Ask Me Another
9:14 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Small Screen Test

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:44 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Next up on ASK ME ANOTHER, we have our two new contestants, Scott Schwartz and Julieanne Smolinski.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Julieanne, I want to talk to you about this. You, you're a little famous.

JULIEANNE SMOLINSKI: Oh thank you, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yes. People in the audience know. Can you...

SMOLINSKI: Those are my friends. They don't count at all.

EISENBERG: They - oh that's your friends. Do you know what I'm actually talking about when I just say that to you?

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Ask Me Another
9:14 am
Thu January 24, 2013

I'm A P.C.

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:44 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

All right everybody, this is what we've all been waiting for, our Ask Me One More final round. Our final elimination round will determine the grand champion of this week's ASK ME ANOTHER. Let's bring back the winners from all of our previous rounds. From Bingo: Tony Hightower.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: From Breakfast Cereal Haiku: Karl Devries.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: On with their heads: Tom Kelso.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And Small Screen Test: Julieanne Smolinski.

(APPLAUSE)

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Ask Me Another
9:14 am
Thu January 24, 2013

B-I-N-G-O

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:44 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

All right, let's start the show? You guys ready to start the show?

JONATHAN COULTON: Yes.

EISENBERG: All right, let's do it.

COULTON: Please.

EISENBERG: We have our first contestants. Give them a hand everybody.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All right. Hi, Tony Hightower. Welcome.

TONY HIGHTOWER: Hi, Ophira.

EISENBERG: You're originally from Toronto.

HIGHTOWER: I am.

EISENBERG: And you are a singer.

HIGHTOWER: I do sing. I have sang.

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Ask Me Another
9:14 am
Thu January 24, 2013

On With Their Heads

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 10:47 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Alright. Let's welcome our next two contestants, Jamie Fried and Tom Kelso.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hi Tom Kelso.

TOM KELSO: Hello Ophira.

EISENBERG: Do you have some experience in the theatre, being onstage in the past?

KELSO: Quite a bit, I've done shows in Louisiana, here in New York, Chicago, Baltimore.

EISENBERG: As an actor or?

KELSO: Both as an actor and backstage.

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