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Updated: 58 min 59 sec ago

'BANG! The Bert Berns Story': The Complicated Man Behind 'Twist And Shout'

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 4:00pm

A new documentary examines the short life — and shady business practices — of the songwriter/producer behind hits like "Tell Him," "Here Comes the Night" and "Hang On Sloopy."

(Image credit: Abramorama )

An Israeli Couple Haltingly Navigate Grief Over 'One Week And A Day'

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 4:00pm

They've lost their son. The shiva is over. Now, Eyal (Shai Avivi) and Vicky (Jenya Dodina) "veer off on separate tracks of crazed non-coping" says critic Ella Taylor.

(Image credit: Oscilloscope)

'Dear White People' Creator Calls The Netlix Series 'A Conversation Starter'

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 3:20pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Justin Simien, the creator and writer of Dear White People, a film-turned-Netflix series about being black at a mostly white elite college.

This Time, 'Dear White People' Is Not So Much About Them

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 3:20pm

Season two of Netflix's hit show, with its incessant and incisive look at race at a fictional Ivy League college, doesn't really focus much on white people at all.

(Image credit: Adam Rose/Netflix)

For 'New York Times' Obit Writers, 'Death Is Never Solicitous Of A Deadline'

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 12:52pm

Bruce Weber and Margalit Fox have written obituaries for thousands of people, ranging from heads of state to the inventor of the Etch-a-Sketch. They are featured in the new documentary Obit.

'The Radium Girls' Is Haunted By Glowing Ghosts

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 9:00am

Kate Moore's account of the sufferings and struggles of the Radium Girls — factory workers who were poisoned by the glowing radium paint they worked with — reads like a true crime narrative.

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

In 'Walkaway,' A Blueprint For A New, Weird (But Better) World

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 6:00am

Cory Doctorow's latest novel is set in a ripped-from-the-headlines near future dystopia, where the creative and the capable — and the lost — are walking into the wilderness to build a new world.

(Image credit: )

'Handmaid's Tale' Wants You To Feel Like 'This Could Happen Here'

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 5:23pm

Elisabeth Moss and Samira Wiley star in Hulu's TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel — in which fertile women become reproductive surrogates for powerful men and their barren wives.

(Image credit: George Kraychyk/Hulu)

Filmmaker Jonathan Demme, Director Of 'Silence Of The Lambs,' Dies At 73

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 3:45pm

Filmmaker Jonathan Demme died this morning in his New York apartment, of complications from esophageal cancer. He was 73 years old. Demme had the seemingly effortless ability to cross over from big budget Hollywood movies like "Silence of the Lambs" and "Philadelphia" to documentaries about Haiti and rockumentaries about Talking Heads and Neil Young.

The High Price Of Fake Authenticity: $425 'Muddy' Jeans Inspire Mockery

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 2:31pm

This week, the Internet discovered that Nordstrom sells premium denim with a "crackled, caked-on muddy coating" — that is, fake dirt. Former Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe had some thoughts about that.

(Image credit: Nordstrom/Screenshot by NPR)

'Veep' Executive Producer On Making A Show About The 'Craven Desire For Power'

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 1:06pm

The HBO series is now in its sixth season. Producer Frank Rich also writes a column for New York magazine about the intersection of politics and popular culture.

Hulu's 'Handmaid's Tale' Delivers A Timely And Feminist Message

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 1:06pm

A new 10-part adaptation of Margaret Atwood's 1986 novel stars Elisabeth Moss as a woman living in a totalitarian state. Critic David Bianculli says the miniseries depicts a bleak and haunting future.

Jonathan Demme And The Simple Power Of The Close-Up

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 12:11pm

Demme, who directed 36 feature films and documentaries over the course of his long and varied career, died this morning. He was a filmmaker fascinated by the pure emotional force of the human face.

(Image credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Jonathan Demme, Director Of 'Silence Of The Lambs,' Dies At 73

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 11:04am

During more than four decades behind the camera, the Oscar-winning filmmaker forged a wide-ranging career — from documentaries to horror. He died Wednesday from complications of esophageal cancer.

(Image credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

'Maud' Doesn't Quite Live Up To Its Heroine's Example

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 6:00am

Lucy Maud Montgomery — creator of Anne of Green Gables — seems like the perfect subject for a work of young adult fiction. But Melanie Fishbane's Maud feels like a draft of a Montgomery story.

(Image credit: )

Now You Can Own JFK's Personal Reflections On History, For A Hefty Price

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 4:00am

As a young journalist seven decades ago, John F. Kennedy witnessed a bombed-out Berlin and Adolf Hitler's bunker. Bidding on his diary starts Wednesday and is expected to top $200,000 Wednesday.

(Image credit: Courtesy of RR Auction)

Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale' Is Compelling — And Chilling

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 3:22am

The adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian 1985 novel is a horror show revealed in slow motion — and the true horror of its brutal, patriarchal future theocracy is how possible it seems today.

(Image credit: George Kraychyk/Hulu)

'Just Show Up': Sheryl Sandberg On How To Help Someone Who's Grieving

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 4:09pm

The Facebook executive lost her husband in 2015. She says, "Rather than offer to do something, it's often better to do anything. Just do something specific." Her new book is called Option B.

(Image credit: Alex Brandon/AP)

Gripping Comics Memoir 'Hostage' Puts You In The Room Where Nothing Happens

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 1:12pm

Cartoonist Guy Delisle departs from the first-person travelogue format which has won him acclaim to chronicle the true story of a man kidnapped and detained for months in the Caucasus region in 1997.

(Image credit: Drawn and Quarterly)

5 Films Look At The LA Riots From (Almost) Every Angle

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 1:08pm

Five documentary films attempt to complete the picture on what transpired in Los Angeles after the Rodney King beating by police.

(Image credit: ABC Press)

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