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All Songs Considered
12:30 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

First Watch: People Get Ready, 'Middle Name'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 8:10 am

It was probably the best performance piece I've seen in more than a decade. Specific Ocean, a piece by the dance troupe/rock band People Get Ready, which I saw at the New York Live Arts theater in the fall, was a model for the ways musicians can break from the standard, sometimes boring, format of playing on a stage. Some of the songs from Specific Ocean ended up on the group's 2012 self-titled album. Now there's a video, a documentation of that amazing New York performance, featuring the song "Middle Name."

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NPR Ombudsman
12:29 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Mideast Report: January — March 2013

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:54 pm

Former foreign editor John Felton conducts quarterly, independent, reviews of NPR's Israeli-Palestinian coverage. His first-quarter 2013 report is now available online.

Felton reviewed the 81 radio stories, interviews and other reports that aired on NPR's daily radio shows from January through March, as well as 34 blogs, news stories and other reports carried exclusively on NPR's website.

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Movie Reviews
12:29 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

A 'House' Divided, Over Stories Lived And Told

Bored high school English teacher Germain (Fabrice Luchini) encourages a talented student to exploit a classmate's family for literary inspiration.
Cohen Media Group

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 2:38 pm

Among the semi-literate journals submitted by his high-school students, jaded French literature teacher Germain (Fabrice Luchini) is jazzed to find a rough diamond from a new pupil, Claude (Ernst Umhauer).

In weekly installments, the ingratiating but enigmatic teenager, who looks as though he just stepped out of a Pasolini movie, chronicles his efforts to insinuate himself into the family of one his classmates, an amiable but awkward underachiever named Rapha (Bastien Ughetto).

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This Is NPR
12:28 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Forty Years Of Oops: A Look Back At Some Of NPR's Greatest Goofs

Reel-to-reel NPR audio tapes from the mid-1990s.
NPR

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 1:41 pm

When you listen to NPR on your local Member Station, the audio always sounds so pleasant and calm. The programming floats along, bouncing seamlessly from one topic to another, from one program to another, going off without a hitch.

Except when it doesn't.

Over the last 42 years, there have been plenty of glitches, snags, slip-ups and utter meltdowns when it comes to using the technical tools for recording and playing audio. A few employees agreed to tell us about some of these less-than-perfect moments.

An Entire Show, Cut to Bits

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Movie Reviews
12:26 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Digital Dangers Abound In 'Disconnect'

Derek (Alexander Skarsgard) and wife Cindy (Paula Patton) are sandbagged by online identity thieves who steal their credit information — even as they're still grappling with the death of their young son.
LD Entertainment

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:03 pm

The title of Disconnect may be read as describing any of several things: the gulf between online and real-world interactions; the chasm that opens between human beings when spoken communication fails; our default emotional position in the face of unthinkable tragedy.

Attempting to address all three interpretations within the confines of a single movie may be courting failure, but writer Andrew Stern and director Henry-Alex Rubin go one better, adding an unnecessary cybercrime angle that muffles the screenplay's more subtle psychological insights.

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Movie Reviews
12:26 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

'Unmade': China Tries Calling A Film's Shots

Co-director Gil Kofman has been tasked with getting his film made in mainland China — in Mandarin, a language he doesn't speak.
Seventh Art Releasing

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:03 pm

The best documentaries about filmmaking are the ones that show it at its worst.

Movie sets are fundamentally boring places, where there's mostly a lot of waiting around going on. But when disaster strikes with millions of dollars on the line, the tension and drama are suddenly amped up to levels that often equal those in the movie being filmed.

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Movie Reviews
12:25 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Effects-Heavy 'Oblivion' Pines For An Analog Past

The enigmatic Julia (Olga Kurylenko) surfaces from the mysterious past of Victoria's husband, Jack (Tom Cruise), a repairman tending drones on a largely abandoned Earth.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:03 pm

The score for Oblivion was composed by M83, a superb French electronic outfit that derives its name from one of the spectral pinwheels known as spiral galaxies. I point this out because it's the best element of the movie — a cascade of dreamy synthesizers that registers as appropriately futuristic (at least the future as suggested by '80s pop) while allowing an undercurrent of romantic yearning.

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Movie Reviews
12:25 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Building A Home For A Client Who Can't Live In It

Artist Jackie Sumell set out to build a dream home for bank robber Herman Wallace, whose additional conviction for killing a prison guard is the subject of a long-running dispute.
First Run Features

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:03 pm

The off-screen protagonist of Herman's House, Herman Wallace, already has a dwelling for his body: a 6-foot-by-8-foot cell at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, aka Angola. But the documentary's on-screen protagonist, Jackie Sumell, wants him also to have a place for his soul: a dream house for a man who desperately needs dreams.

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Alt.Latino
12:25 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Guest DJ With California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera

California poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:01 am

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Deceptive Cadence
12:24 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

How Do You Handle Loneliness On The Road?

In her latest video message, opera star Joyce DiDonato ponders the art of loneliness on the road.
Nicholas Heavican

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 2:30 pm

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