Arts & Life

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Michael Cimino, the Academy-award winning director of The Deer Hunter, has died at the age of 77 in Los Angeles.

Cimino received broad critical acclaim for the 1978 Vietnam War epic The Deer Hunter, which was nominated for nine Oscars and won five. He then followed it up with Heaven's Gate, one of the most famous flops in film history.

The Los Angeles County Coroner confirmed Cimino's death, but said the cause is not yet known.

As Chinese, Iranian and Indonesian As Apple Pie

Jul 3, 2016

The fireworks are stacked high, the beer is on ice, and lumps of charcoal glow hot under the grill in anticipation of hot dogs and hamburgers. Fourth of July is a holiday celebrated through food. There's potato salad, popsicles, watermelon slices — and, of course, apple pie.

There was a time, around 1975, when all the most-watched TV shows — All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, Good Times — had one thing in common: They were produced by Norman Lear. Now, at the age of 93, Lear is featured in a new documentary about his life and career called Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.

Click the link above to listen as we quiz Lear on Learjets, the private planes that became the must-have accessory for the very rich starting back in the 1960s.

For most of her career, Carmen Herrera's paintings of brightly colored geometric shapes went unnoticed, while her male counterparts — Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella — got plenty of attention for similar work. Herrera finally made her first sale at 89. And now, at 101, it seems she's getting her due at last. The Cuban artist's work can be seen at the Tate in London, MoMA in New York, and she has an exhibition coming to the Whitney Whitney Museum of American Art in September.

"We are a very 100-percent-or-nothing culture," says Robin Ha, the author of a new graphic cookbook Cook Korean! Cold noodles may be served with ice to keep them frosty. Hot soups are served from a still flaming burner. Fish are often air dried or fermented.

So what's up with the crayons? Everywhere you go lately — the bookstore, Starbucks — even here at NPR — I see grown men and women sitting around coloring.

Every time, this takes me back to rainy childhood days on the living room floor: A robot. A mosaic of geometric houses. A flowery design pattern.

Clearly, I've stumbled upon the national craze for adult coloring books.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Actress Olivia de Havilland, the last surviving star of the most popular film of all time, retired from showbiz decades ago, apparently feeling that 49 films, two best actress Oscars, and a best-selling memoir were accomplishment enough for one career.

Friday in Paris, she celebrates her 100th birthday, which seems a good moment to reflect on the mix of sparkle and resilience that marked her public life.

Edgar Rice Burroughs published the first of his Tarzan stories in 1912, just four years after, as the opening title cards of the long-in-development The Legend Of Tarzan inform us, Belgium's King Leopold II was forced to cede control of the so-called "Congo Free State" to the Belgian Parliament. He'd spent the prior couple of decades enslaving millions of residents of the Congo and using their forced labor to extract the region's rubber, diamonds, and other resources for his personal enrichment.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Gay Talese Disavows His Disavowal Of His New Book

Jul 1, 2016

Author Gay Talese said he would not be promoting his latest book — and then changed his mind — after the Washington Post raised serious doubts about the story it tells.

Called The Voyeur's Motel, it's the nonfiction account of an Aurora, Colo., man named Gerald Foos, who says he bought the motel in question in order to spy on the sexual lives of his guests. The book combines Talese's reporting with Foos' own journals to produce a kind of retractable telescope of voyeurism: readers watching Talese watch Foos watch his guests.

As of last weekend, we thought the show we'd be bringing you today would be primarily about Independence Day: Resurgence, which seems like the umpteenth sequel this summer to open with soft box office and exhausted reviews. But then we remembered: we don't have to see it.

The Purge series is all concept, no execution.

Suki Kim spent 10 years researching and visiting North Korea. In 2011, she spent six months teaching at a university in Pyongyang — and working undercover as a journalist.

During that time, Kim secretly documented the lives of 270 of North Korea's elite — young men who were being groomed as the country's future leaders — at the center of the country's regime change.

In an age when computer-generated imagery can make anything possible, effects are expensive and miracles are cheap. So it should be said, as emphatically as possible, that the "big friendly giant" in The BFG, Steven Spielberg's ingratiating adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's book, is a spectacular creation. Voiced by Mark Rylance, who won an Oscar last year for Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, the BFG interacts seamlessly with its non-digital counterparts and projects a warmth and tremulous humanity that keeps it out of the uncanny valley.

Mathilde (Lou de Laage), the young French Red Cross doctor at the center of The Innocents, is in late-1945 Poland to tend to injured French POWs, patching them up so they can be sent home. She could hardly have expected to be summoned to a local convent to care for nearly a dozen pregnant nuns.

Our Kind of Traitor is the first thriller adapted from a John le Carre novel to be directed by a woman — not that you'd notice from the sang froid with which British filmmaker Susanna White serves up the gruesome carnage that opens the movie.

Future Shock by Alvin Toffler was a huge sensation when it was published in 1970. The book perfectly captured the angst of that time and prepared society for more changes to come. Toffler died on Monday at the age of 87. This story originally aired on July 26, 2010, on All Things Considered.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Imagine William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice set in post-Civil War Washington, D.C.; and now make half of the characters former slaves. Suddenly, it's a completely new play; but it still looks at some of the same themes, including how your actions reflect your beliefs. That new play is Aaron Posner's District Merchants, currently on stage at Washington's Folger Theatre. (This fall, it will also be produced by South Coast Repertory outside of Los Angeles.)

1982: a big year for initials. Steven Spielberg releases E.T., and Roald Dahl publishes The BFG. The former stands for Extra-Terrestrial, the latter for Big Friendly Giant — characters who are similarly positioned as outsiders in a child's world where adults are mostly absent.

A few weeks ago, I went back to the federal prison in Seagoville, Texas, for another conversation with Edgar Diaz.

In honor of summer and our hope for some leisurely reads, we've been talking to booksellers across the country — and they have a lot of suggestions.

So imagine your favorite summer reading spot, and get ready to "Pack These Pages." Our first guide is Harriet Logan, owner of Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory?

Jun 29, 2016

For the past few years, my friends and I have noticed two trends when dining. First, seemingly every high-end menu rebukes factory farming with an essay about locally sourced pork belly, and second, just about every one of these restaurants looks so much like a factory — with exposed light bulbs, steel details and brick walls — that I'm constantly looking over my shoulder for the foreman.

"Stories can be true even if they're not real," muses nine-year-old Alex Torrey. His whole life has been steeped in stories: His parents were the stars of a cult favorite science fiction television show, Anomaly, and both have continued their acting careers somewhat successfully. Alex is a budding writer and voracious reader, devouring each installment of a Harry Potter-like young adult book series.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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