Arts

Arts and culture

'Horse Latitudes' Is A Gripping Mix Of Genres

Jan 24, 2019

Morris Collins' Horse Latitudes is one of the most impressive debuts I've read. A hybrid narrative that's part thriller, part surreal noir, and part tropical gothic, it reads like a collaboration between William Faulkner, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, and Hunter S. Thompson, as directed by David Lynch.

Pithy, loaded letters and emails aimed at their vulnerable targets fly more like missiles than missives in Amanda Sthers' lively epistolary novel about a combative, estranged family scattered between Israel, France, New York, and Los Angeles. At the beginning of Holy Lands, it seems as if nothing is sacrosanct to this pugnacious foursome. During the course of this short novel, that changes.

The Other Two is a comedy series so densely funny that even its throwaway jokes deserve to be kept. Provided, of course, that you and the show share a core set of references and vibrate at the same frequency.

How will you know if The Other Two is for you? I've selected two of those aforementioned throwaway gags, so you can take the test at home:

One character mentions the name "Justin Theroux," causing another character to suddenly exclaim, with rapt delight, "LEGO NINJAGO??!!"; the scene progresses.

Jonas Mekas, an underground filmmaker whose influence looms as large as the archives he helped create, died Wednesday morning at the age of 96. The Lithuanian-born director, critic, archivist and poet died "peacefully at home, with family at his side," according to the Anthology Film Archives that he co-founded.

The organization did not specify the cause of his death.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR SLAMMING)

In the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, there is a "green, leafy oasis" called Shahr-e Naw Park — a place that briefly became a staging ground for conservation scientists.

In The Snow Leopard Project and other Adventures in Warzone Conservation, Alex Dehgan describes how his Wildlife Conservation Society team hid stuffed animals throughout the park, simulating as best they could the wildlife the scientists might find on their upcoming survey mission in a remote, rugged province called Nuristan.

Russell Baker, the Pulitzer Prize winning writer who penned thousands of columns for The New York Times, and hosted the PBS television program "Masterpiece Theatre," died Monday at his home in Leesburg, Va. He was 93.

There was some surprises in this year's 2019 Oscar nominations, but for people paying attention to the best original song category, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's "Shallow" from A Star Is Born was absolutely sure to make the cut.

When Jason Rezaian moved to Tehran to pursue journalism in 2009, he knew he was taking on a certain amount of risk.

"I think everybody who goes and works in a country like Iran makes those calculations and thinks about that," he says. "You don't have to read a lot of history to know that journalists have been targeted there in the past."

Still, Rezaian reasoned, if he was careful and "played very closely by the rules" — being transparent about the work he was doing and the people he was communicating with — he would be safe.

In the past week, Netflix and Hulu each released documentaries detailing the months leading up to and following the April 2017 Fyre Festival.

NPR's Morning Edition is interested in hearing the reaction of viewers of either documentary. If you watched one or both, please share your thoughts, opinions or commentary on the documentaries or on the festival itself in the form below, or here.

Updated at 4:46 p.m ET

A judiciary source in Paris confirmed to NPR's Eleanor Beardsley on Tuesday that Chris Brown has been detained, along with two other unnamed individuals, on charges of "aggravated rape" and multiple narcotics offenses, and that they currently remain in police custody.

Eight best picture nominations emerged on Tuesday morning: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, Vice, Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody, Roma and A Star Is Born. They are comedic and dramatic, based on real events and conjured from the pages of comics, in color and in black and white.

In 2009, a young American named Jason Rezaian moved to Iran to be a foreign correspondent.

His family's rug business in northern California had gone bust and Rezaian decided to take a chance at something new. A lot of foreign correspondents begin their careers this way, going someplace no one else can or will, selling their work to any news agency that will pay. The best of these, like Rezaian, often end up with real jobs.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.


Disney's Frozen remains one of the greatest box-office successes in history. But in terms of impact and influence, it is perhaps most loved and best remembered for one of its breakout songs.

In the late summer of 2018, The New York Times reported that St. Martin's Press had signed a seven-figure deal for a "tell-all book" about President Trump's White House.

The amount of the advance raised eyebrows because the author, Cliff Sims, had served 18 months in that White House without making much of a name for himself anywhere else.

Who was this Cliff Sims? What did he mean to Trump? And what might a book called Team of Vipers add to what had already been written and said about the snake pit at 1600?

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

The Chistye Prudy neighborhood is one of Moscow's liveliest, with restaurants and cafes clustered along a boulevard with a tram line and grand old apartment buildings.

In 'The Birds, The Bees,' Teens Take On Sex Ed

Jan 21, 2019

This past fall, I was invited to be in the room when my niece gave birth to her third child (Hello, Liam!). As a writer who has no children and never will, I recognized this as an educational opportunity I could not pass up. What I did not realize was that it would be exactly the experience I needed to prepare myself for this review.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice has been retold endlessly by now, from the numerous film, TV, and YouTube adaptations of the original novel to the many, many books that use its structure, characters, and story arc to do something different. P&P has been adapted into a zombie story (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith), a mystery (Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James), a tale of a contemporary 30-something English spinster (Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding).

In a quiet college town — the fictional town of Santa Lora, in southern California — one by one, students fall victim to a bizarre contagious disease. They fall into a deep sleep, and don't wake up. In fact, some will never wake up. And the disease spreads throughout the town, quickly and indiscriminately.

We've invited the longtime, late night talk show host to play a game called "Team Coco, meet hot cocoa!" Conan O'Brien is now host of Conan on TBS, and has a new podcast called Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend.

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

Cheryl Day makes hundreds of biscuits a day, churning them out by hand at Back In The Day Bakery in Savannah, Ga. Tall and golden, with flaky layers and a lightly crunchy exterior, people come from miles around to eat them each morning, slathered with pepper jelly, stuffed with eggs and bacon, or simply smeared with a little butter.

In Holy Lands, Harry Rosenmerck, an aging cardiologist, has left New York and his medical practice to move to Israel — to raise pigs.

His ex-wife, Monique, is battling illness. Their son David has been estranged from Harry since he came out. Their daughter Annabelle is heartsick in Paris. And his rabbi is appalled.

One of the hottest tickets on Broadway this season is Network, the stage adaptation of the 1976 movie about a news anchor who cracks up on the air and the executives who exploit his ravings for ratings.

'Mala Vida' Never Quite Gets Up To Speed

Jan 19, 2019

Mala Vida — a noir by Marc Fernandez, translated by Molly Grogan — is the kind of novel that should be like catnip for me. It has a radio journalist as one of the protagonists (my parents and my grandfather were in radio, if you want to score points with me, feature a radio cabin and you get an extra star), at one point one of the characters goes to a city I've visited (Valencia, during the festival of the Falles, where I hate to say I fell ill with food poisoning courtesy of a paella) and it offers an exciting premise (decades-long baby snatching).

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. My guest, Tara Westover, grew up in a family of nine at the base of a mountain in Idaho. Her parents were religious fundamentalists. Her dad spent more time talking to his children about the end of the world or an apocalyptic confrontation with the government than college or careers. She never saw the inside of a classroom before she was 17.

'All These Small Moments': Twee Grows, In Brooklyn

Jan 18, 2019

Some movies are so earnest and ask so little of you that criticizing them feels like kicking a puppy. From now on, we could call such movies All These Small Moments. A Brooklyn-set indie dramedy from a first-time director, told in slight fragments, about that most timeless of domestic struggles – the slow breakup of a family – this Tribeca Film Festival selection practically whimpers as it strains to endear itself to you. Or that sound might just be the soft acoustic guitar that plays under every scene.

Terry Crews: The Man's Got Talent

Jan 18, 2019

Though Terry Crews, star of the Golden Globe-winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine and host of America's Got Talent: The Champions, is most known as a beloved film and television star, the actor took a circuitous route to get there. "I have had more experiences than people are allowed," Crews told NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg at the Bell House in Brooklyn, New York. "I feel like I've lived 17 lives."

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