Arts

Arts and culture

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Magical Photos Bring Fables From Mbomo To Life

Dec 17, 2018

Traditional fables from the Republic of Congo are collected in a new book, Congo Tales: Told By The People Of Mbomo — and illustrated with painterly photos that have a touch of magical realism.

Eva Vonk, a Dutch film producer, came up with the concept for Congo Tales. It's the first project from a new multimedia series called "Tales of Us," which aims to communicate the importance of protecting remote ecosystems and the people who live there.

Hundreds and hundreds of series air every year. They are good and they are lousy; they are new and they are old. There's too much television for a comprehensive ranking, so Glen Weldon, Linda Holmes and Eric Deggans round up 16 of their favorite shows from 2018.

The Americans (FX)

Predictions

Dec 16, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now, panel, who will end up hosting the Oscars? Roy Blount Jr.

ROY BLOUNT JR: There was a new Muppet announced this week. I thought it might come up on the show, but it didn't. But, anyway, it's the homeless Muppet.

SAGAL: Yeah.

In one of the first scenes in Capernaum, the camera flies above the slums of Beirut.

There is no sight of the Mediterranean Sea or the glamour of the so-called Paris of the Middle East. This is another side of the Lebanese capital.

"You're seeing dilapidated buildings, children running around playing with pieces of metals and just whatever they could find on the street, not actual toys," film critic Nana Asfour said.

Regina King appears in a new film which brings the searing social commentary of James Baldwin to the screen. If Beale Street Could Talk is based on Baldwin's 1974 novel of the same name.

Beale Street is the story of two young lovers, Tish and Fonny, and their fight after Fonny is jailed for a crime he didn't commit. The movie is directed by Barry Jenkins — it's his first film since his Oscar-winning Moonlight.

One of the greatest moments in all of cinema is William Shatner yelling "KHAAN!" in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan ... so we've invited him to answer three questions about a different Cannes ... the Cannes Film Festival.

Click the audio link above to find out how he does.

The Dakota Winters isn't a novel set on frozen prairies, but in the rarefied precincts of perhaps the most famous apartment house in New York: the Dakota, on the Upper West Side, the place in which luminaries lived — and one of the brightest, John Lennon, also died, shot to death just outside the entrance.

Actress Eliza Dushku reached a confidential $9.5 million settlement with CBS last year after claiming she was written off one of the network's most successful shows following her complaints of sexual harassment by the program's leading man.

Create and star in a blockbuster hip-hop musical, and you get to do pretty much anything you want. For Lin-Manuel Miranda, the playwright and composer behind Hamilton and In the Heights, that means starring in the sequel to a hallowed Disney classic.

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Sunday December 16th at 8PM on WSCL, 89.5 FM

A years-old Disney trademark on the use of the phrase "Hakuna Matata" on T-shirts has stirred up a new debate among Swahili speakers about cultural appropriation.

I can't imagine a harder act for a filmmaker to follow than Moonlight. That movie, a quietly shattering portrait of a young black man wrestling with his sexuality, held you rapt with its intimacy; it left you feeling as if you'd stared deep into that young man's soul.

It's hard to fathom that the same Sony Pictures that, in 2012, decided the best way to expand the appeal of its live-action Spider-Man franchise was to start over with lesser movies, has now become smart enough to put its resources into a superb new — really new — Spider-Man cartoon. Maybe someone in a Culver City boardroom got bit by a radioactive MacArthur Fellow.

In the post-cataclysm future depicted by Mortal Engines, inhabitants of a steampunk city seek and collect pop culture relics and "old tech" from the 21st century. That's apt, since this visually lively but narratively inert movie is also assembled from such debris. The story derives from a young-adult fantasy novel, but most of the scenario echoes Star Wars, Mad Max, The Terminator or Howl's Moving Castle.

If Beale Street Could Talk opens with a quote from James Baldwin and a slow, sweeping violin score that will be heard many more times. Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James) walk along the edge of a New York City park, with greenery on one side and highways and cityscape on the other. Their clothes are coordinated in yellow and navy as if they belong to one another. The details of this outdoor world soon melt away, leaving only close-ups of the actors' faces. They are looking into each other so deeply that nothing else exists.

In the Lebanese movie Capernaum (the title translates to "chaos," an apt description of the world of the film), skinny, sad-eyed Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) is 12 years old, though he's so tiny he could pass for eight.

He's running and playing with other kids in the streets of Beirut under the opening credits. Once those credits are done, we watch as he's led past TV reporters into a courtroom, where he barely comes up to the waist of the soldier who's brought him. He looks firmly at the judge who asks him why he's there.

"I want to sue my parents," he says.

Lars von Trier has danced with the devil for most of his directing career, making films that embrace the worst in human nature. But in The House That Jack Built, the devil finally becomes him. This is a serial-killer movie that's also a personal confessional, centered on a man who fancies himself an artist but can't seem (or doesn't want) to understand the difference between creation and destruction. It's a real piece of work, and it's often genuinely upsetting, but von Trier's taboo-bursting noisemaker is as brilliant as it is ghoulish.

Some of the best stories begin at home — and in fact, that's where Tony DiTerlizzi got the idea for his latest book. The Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator, perhaps best known for The Spiderwick Chronicles, is taking a big leap into the unknown with his first Christmas book, The Broken Ornament.

Growing up in Swaziland, Richard E. Grant was always fascinated by acting. As a kid, he made theaters out of shoeboxes and populated them with figurines that he'd cut from magazines. Eventually he moved on to real stages, first in school plays and then with an amateur theater club.

But despite his persistent interest in acting, Grant says, "What wasn't clear is that anybody from [Swaziland] could possibly make a living and pursue this as a career seriously — that was what was deemed ludicrous."

On Saturday night, Bruce Springsteen will perform, for the 236th and final night, Springsteen on Broadway, his intensely personal one-man show at the intimate, 975-seat Walter Kerr Theatre. Just a couple of hours after that, Netflix will make public a document of the show, filmed during a July performance.

The images of official White House photographers have always been shared widely. What made Pete Souza's tenure with the Obama White House different was that social media — and especially Instagram, founded in 2010 — gave him a popular new platform that previous photographers in the role didn't have.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its newest class of inductees Thursday, one year to the day after the 2018 class was announced. From 15 nominees, seven remain. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

  • The Cure
  • Def Leppard
  • Janet Jackson
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Radiohead
  • Roxy Music
  • The Zombies

Reading The Game: Walden

Dec 13, 2018

For years now, some of the best, wildest, most moving or revealing stories we've been telling ourselves have come not from books, movies or TV, but from video games. So we're running an occasional series, Reading The Game, in which we take a look at some of these games from a literary perspective.

In his new film, Alfonso Cuarón brings back to life the middle-class neighborhood where he grew up — the street vendors, the barking dogs, the occasional parade. It lends the film its title: Roma.

He also chronicles the daily rituals of the woman who cleaned house and helped care for him and his three siblings. Roma focuses on Cleo, a character based on Cuarón's real-life nanny and housekeeper: Liboria Rodríguez, known as "Libo."

Salisbury University Website

Salisbury University's Cultural Calendar week of December 17th, 2018

Seasons greetings! Or should we say ... seasons readings? This week, we're sharing our favorite recent reads. Karen Grigsby Bates, our resident book expert, estimates that she's read more than 100 books this year. Of those, she recommends Washington Black, a novel by Esi Edugyan about an enslaved boy who works on a plantation in Barbados.

Tim Green first noticed the symptoms about five years ago.

The former NFL player, whose strength was a job requirement, suddenly found his hands weren't strong enough to use a nail clipper. His words didn't come out as fast as he was thinking them.

"I'm a strange guy," Tim says. "I get something in my head and I can just run with it. I was really afraid I had ALS. But there was enough doubt that I said, 'Alright, I don't. Let's not talk about it. Let's not do anything.' "

Denying pain and injury had been a survival strategy in football.

For December, 3 Romantic Holiday Escapes

Dec 11, 2018

'Tis the season when an escape from holiday madness may be necessary --and these three romance novels will whisk you away to fictional worlds where all the high stakes drama is resolved with true love and happily ever after.

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