Arts

Arts and culture

It's no secret that movie theaters are trying to preserve the theatrical experience as something special — something you can't replicate, even in your tricked-out living room with your home theater system. Theater design is one of the ways they're trying to add value, as consultants and Shark Tank competitors might put it.

But at a recent screening of Blade Runner 2049, I experienced a technology that isn't new but was new to me, and with it, the need to make a plea that I never expected to make. Theaters, I beg you: don't manhandle my physical being.

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Decades before NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police treatment of African-Americans, boxer Muhammad Ali roiled white America with his 1967 resistance to the Vietnam War draft.

The boxer had converted to the Nation of Islam a few years earlier, and he explained his resistance to the war by saying, "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong."

New York City can be the place where you go to "make it," but as cartoonist Julia Wertz points out in her new book, it's as storied for its failures as its successes. A 300-page visual epic, Tenements, Towers & Trash captures the New York that's risen up by stacking failure upon failure as implacably as residents toss bags onto curbside garbage piles. This isn't The City That Never Sleeps, it's The City Where Dreams Go To Die.

It began with more than 1,500 books.

With all the works submitted by publishers, the judges for this year's National Book Awards have had their hands (and bookshelves) full the past few months. But that daunting number of contenders winnowed further Wednesday, as the National Book Foundation announced the finalists for its literary prize — just five works each in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature.

When Daniil Trifonov was 20, he scored a double victory, taking home top prizes at both the Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein International Piano Competitions. That was six years ago, and by now he has secured a spot as one of the most revered – perhaps even feared – classical pianists on the scene today.

Like Russia, New York City inspires big, doorstop-size books, epitomized by the six-volume Iconography of Manhattan Island by I.N. Phelps Stokes (published between 1915 and 1928, weighing in at 35 pounds). The picture swims into clearer focus when we realize that Gotham, the brand-name-style moniker employed by Mike Wallace for Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919, his follow-up to the Pulitzer winning Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (written with Edwin G.

Jeffrey Eugenides' first short story collection reminds us, during the long wait between novels, what we like so much about his writing. These ten stories, written over nearly 30 years, showcase his ability to write convincing female characters, his sensitivity to spouses and artists under duress, and his compassion for people who disappoint themselves as much as each other. Although not thematically linked, a recurring concern is what happens when basically good people succumb to temptations and pressures and behave badly.

"Regaining sanity in a mental hospital is like treating a migraine at a rave."

It's a good line, and one that has the added benefit of being true. Zack McDermott should know; he's been through a few stints at mental institutions as a consequence of his bipolar disorder, which he chronicles, with an affable and often rueful wit, in Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love.

Writer Jaime Lowe also lives with bipolar disorder; she shares her story — and a great deal more — in Mental: Lithium, Love and Losing My Mind.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Route 91 Harvest festival, the target of last night's shooting, is one of country music's biggest events. It's nicknamed the neon sleepover. The three-day event attracts big-name artists and more than 20,000 fans. NPR's Elizabeth Blair has more.

New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast is a city person. She grew up in an apartment building in Brooklyn, N.Y., and though she moved to the suburbs as an adult when she was pregnant with her second child, she never stopped loving the grit and excitement of New York City.

"Just about every street in Manhattan has that kind of density of visual information," she says. "It's just fun. I like looking at it. Everything seems to suggest stories."

Classics scholar Daniel Mendelsohn was preparing to teach his freshman seminar on Homer's Odyssey a few years back when he got an unusual add-in request: His father, Jay, wanted to join the class.

At first Mendelsohn wasn't sure it was a good idea. "I was a little bit afraid that having my 81-year-old dad in the class was going to disrupt the dynamic," he says.

But Mendelsohn agreed to let his dad join the class — in part because Jay promised to sit in the corner and listen silently to the seminar.

Salisbury University website

Salisbury University's Cultural Calendar week of October 9th, 2017

Bill Murray has come a long way since his early days as Nick the Lounge Singer on Saturday Night Live. He made screwball comedies like Caddy Shack and Stripes. Then he made serious films, like Lost in Translation.

In a sunny den in McLean, Va., Maureen and Christopher Scalia sit side-by-side on a comfy couch. He co-edited Scalia Speaks, an anthology of his father's speeches on a variety of subjects, and he ranks eighth in birth order out of the nine Scalia children. She is the mother of those nine children, and the widow of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — a conservative icon, bon vivant, music lover and witty observer of law and life.

After Friday night's two-hour premiere of Marvel's Inhumans on ABC, you can forgive us Marvel nerds for feeling a bit flinchy. That show's a great big slab of cheese — some of the runniest and stinkiest around — so if some of us approach the premiere of FOX's mutant-themed series The Gifted by adopting a kind of collective defensive crouch, understand that it's warranted.

Nerds of the world, I'm here to tell you: You can unclench.

Cheryl Strayed — author of the bestselling memoir Wild — was still an unknown writer when she started an anonymous advice column called "Dear Sugar." She remembers reading and writing things "that we don't normally say to people in the public space," she recalls — and those intimate exchanges made her explore her own life more deeply. "I always think of the 'Dear Sugar' column as, like, therapy in the town square."

If you've ever marveled at someone's ability to reinvent himself, then James McBride is an artist for you. He is an accomplished musician — a saxophonist — but the world was introduced to his writing more than two decades ago, with his intimate memoir The Color of Water, a Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, which won world-wide acclaim. And then he moved on to fiction, winning the 2013 National Book Award for The Good Lord Bird. Then just last year, he wrote a biography of James Brown called Kill 'Em and Leave.

Fifty years ago, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford played newlyweds in the classic comedy Barefoot In The Park. In the new film Our Souls At Night, they reunite as a different pair of bedfellows.

Fonda's Addie Moore is a widow who works up the courage to ask her neighbor, the widower Louis Waters (played by Redford), to sleep with her. Her request isn't for sex, but for platonic company. Of course, their small town begins to gossip, and their relationship becomes romantic over time.

Jeffrey Eugenides is well known for novels like The Virgin Suicides and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex. But his latest work, a collection of short stories, marks a departure. "Short stories are difficult, maddening little puzzles," he says, "and I've been trying to learn how to write them since I first started to write."

Eugenides' new book, Fresh Complaint, is made up of 10 short stories that he wrote over a span of many years.

Is the familiar, dutiful, and wholly generic setup of FOX's buddy-paranormal-investigator sitcom Ghosted a bug, or a feature?

That's the question: Is it lazily leaning on the stock narrative framework of a show like The X-Files, or inventively riffing on it?

Inviting a cat to live in a distillery is like offering a child free room and board at a Disney World theme park. In a distillery, there are tall stacks of shipping pallets to climb, oak barrels to jump on, pipes to nimbly tightrope-walk across and — of course — a steady supply of rodents to hunt.

The hardest, sharpest, most attractive magic of fairy tales is their power to make you both want to live inside them — and be glad you never have to.

Monty Hall got it.

Hall, who died today at age 96 according to his agent Mark Measures, was in on the joke. He was you, sitting there at home, clucking your tongue at the lengths to which people would go, the extent to which they would abase themselves, just to get picked to compete on a dumb game show.

A few years ago, suddenly jobless and homeless, Emily Nunn set out on what she sardonically calls her "journey back from madness." It would culminate in her new memoir, The Comfort Food Diaries: My Quest for the Perfect Dish to Mend a Broken Heart.

Some of the great roles for sopranos are often compellingly fragile — and disarmingly forceful – women: Gilda, the favored daughter in Rigoletto; Violeta, the doomed love in La Traviata.

Charity Tillemann-Dick has sung those roles onstage, but her greatest role may be her own life. She is one of 11 brothers and sisters of a Mormon-Jewish family, and was studying at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music when she was diagnosed with a debilitating and ultimately fatal lung disease.

George Moses Horton published a book of poetry in 1829, when he was still a slave in North Carolina. He went on to write several volumes, which never earned enough money to buy his freedom — though he became a frequent presence on campus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he wrote love poetry on commission for students. Horton was finally set free by the Union Army in 1865, moved to Philadelphia and continued to write until he died.

Actor Adam Scott is probably best known as Ben Wyatt, the well-meaning, not-always-successful city manager on Parks and Recreation. He's got a new sitcom called Ghosted, in which he plays a well-meaning, not-always-successful paranormal investigator.

So we've asked him to play a game about the dubious practice of simply stopping all communication with someone until he or she gets the hint and goes away — better known as "ghosting."

Click the audio link above to see how he does.

Hugh Hefner made history, and then tripped over it. When I was growing up in Chicago, the formidable women who were my mother's friends considered Playboy a good place to work for a single woman. Women at the Playboy Club were well-paid, got chauffeured home in cabs, and customers — stars, politicians, even, it was rumored, spoiled Middle Eastern princes — were thrown out if they weren't gentlemen.

African asylum seekers in Italy are becoming artists — and it's not only helping them cope with the trauma they've been through but also introducing their stories to the local community.

In Europe's migration crisis, Italy is ground zero. More than 500,000 migrants have arrived, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, since 2014.

Despite a smaller flow this summer, anti-migrant sentiment is growing.

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