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Updated: 1 hour 47 min ago

'Selma' Manages To Be Both Passion-Inspiring And Measured

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 3:25pm

Critic Bob Mondello reviews Selma, Ava DuVernay's film chronicling Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic voting-rights march in 1965. Mondello notes that recent protests make the film resonate today.

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The Perfect Family Book List

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 3:25pm

For the holidays, critic Alan Cheuse is making up a list of books to give to each of his family members. Only the best of 2014 for them. Here's his picks.

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Independent Theater Owner In D.C. Gets Ready To Screen 'The Interview'

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 3:25pm

Theater owner Josh Levin is preparing for the limited release of "The Interview." He speaks with Audie Cornish about what sparked a decision to show the controversial film — Sony Pictures had initially canceled the release.

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'Crabs For Christmas': A Tuneful Baltimore Tradition (Really!)

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 3:25pm

More than 30 years ago, David DeBoy wrote a hit holiday song about a local delicacy. Its success led to other Baltimore-themed Christmas songs, then to albums and finally to a live show.

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50 Wonderful Things From 2014

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 3:02pm

Books, movies, television, things to read — we look back at 50 of the great things that entered our field of vision in 2014.

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Bianculli's Top 10: 2014 Was A 'Good Year For Programming'

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 11:28am

TV critic David Bianculli says that he's encouraged by how far TV has come. He picks The Good Wife as the best show of 2014, which has "the deepest roster of really strong regulars and guest stars."

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In A 'Depressing' Year For Films, Edelstein Finds Some Greats

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 10:11am

Film critic David Edelstein says in 2014 none of the great material came from Hollywood studios. But, he says, it was a "wonderful year" for indie films. He names Boyhood as the best of the year.

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Book News: It's Snowing Poet Laureates

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 9:43am

North Carolina named Shelby Stephenson its new poet laureate, just days after Ohio established a post for its own state poet. Massachusetts may not be too far behind.

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Guyanese Christmas Gives A Whole New Meaning To Slow Food

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 5:33am

Two classic Christmas dishes beloved by the people of Guyana are pepperpot and garlic pork. To get the flavors just right, you have to cook them and let them sit out for weeks.

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Mother, Empress, Virgin, Faith: 'Picturing Mary' And Her Many Meanings

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 2:17am

This Christmas, images of Mary created over five centuries glow on the walls of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Curator Kathryn Wat says that, to her, Mary represents bravery and strength.

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In Seattle, Maurice Sendak's 'Wild' 'Nutcracker' Reaches Its Final Act

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:58pm

For more than 30 years, the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker has used sets and costumes designed by the author of Where the Wild Things Are. This year, the ballet is retiring the production.

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How To Compose Music For A Movie About Music

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:21pm

Robert Siegel talks to film composer Justin Hurwitz, 29, about his first major movie score, for the movie Whiplash. Hurwitz talks about using music to heighten tension.

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Serial Host Sarah Koenig Says She Set Out To Report, Not Exonerate

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:06pm

The podcast is a reinvestigation of the 1999 murder of Maryland high school student Hae Min Lee. Her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed is serving a life sentence but has always maintained his innocence.

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For Australian Christmas, Everything's Overturned But The Pudding

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:42am

Cooking in 100-degree weather is no fun, which is why many Australians ditched roasts and other holiday mainstays long ago. Except for Christmas pudding, a tradition steeped in history — and alcohol.

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Book News: For A Deeper Sleep, Forgo The E-Reader Before Bed

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:37am

A new study finds that people who read print books at bedtime fall asleep easier — and sleep better — than those who use an e-reader. Also: JRR Tolkien may have survived war due to a timely illness.

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Videos Of Ray Rice, Eric Garner Among Biggest Media Moments Of 2014

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:03am

Some of the most interesting things on TV in 2014 weren't actually made for TV. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans lists the moments in television, viral video and social media that changed us all this year.

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Time For A Holiday Favorite: 'Santaland Diaries'

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:05am

About this time every year, we present an encore broadcast of the life and times of Crumpet the Elf. Crumpet is the alter ego of writer David Sedaris who once worked as a department store elf.

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A Vital Chapter Of American History On Film In 'Selma'

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:30am

Director Ava DuVernay speaks to NPR's Michele Norris about making Selma, a searing depiction of the battle for voting rights — and the first major movie about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Satirizing Dictators Is Nothing New — Just Ask Charlie Chaplin

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:27am

The Interview is hardly the first time a dictator has been portrayed on the big screen — Bugs Bunny, Mel Brooks and South Park have all taken aim at fearsome world leaders.

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Sandwich Monday: The 'Shroom Burger From Shake Shack

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 4:54pm

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a next-level veggie burger: the 'Shroom Burger from Shake Shack. It's a fried mushroom burger stuffed with two types of cheese.

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