Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

There are all the other storybook villains who have prowled their way into the Disney canon, and then there's Shere Khan the tiger. In Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, the savage cat will stop at nothing to hunt down Mowgli, the young "man-cub" who was orphaned in the wilderness of India's impossibly lush Madhya Pradesh region and raised by wolves.

There's a great running joke in Jeremy Saulnier's Green Room where a college journalist from the Pacific Northwest asks members of The Ain't Rights, a touring punk band from Arlington, Va., what they'd choose as their "desert island" band. The expected answers might be Black Flag or Misfits or Minor Threat, but after giving it some thought, their choices are mostly popular favorites like Prince or Madonna, street credibility be damned. The implication is that punk doesn't fully live on a record, where its energy and spontaneity are inherently bottled up.

Here's a recipe for the ideal man: Take the speed and ruthlessness of a brain-damaged sociopath and combine them with the smarts and tenderness of a CIA agent who's also a husband and father. Yet for some reason, the new movie about this champion is titled not The Perfect Guy, but Criminal.

You can spend perfectly lovely time with Our Last Tango purely as a dance movie, with all the sexy pleasures that tango delivers. But for Maria Nieves Rego, one half of Argentina's premier tango couple, the dance of love in her 50-year partnership with choreographer Juan Carlos Copes curdled into a long-running duet of hate.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Comic W. Kamau Bell finds humor in the parts of America that make him uncomfortable. Speaking to Fresh Air's Terry Gross, Bell likens his new CNN series, United Shades of America, to a travel show that takes him "to all sorts of different places that I [am] either afraid to go, or you wouldn't expect me to go."

"I've always been a fan of [Parts Unknown host Anthony] Bourdain," Bell says. "I always thought if I had a show like that, you would replace food with racism. Instead of sampling the food, I would sample the racism or the culture."

Eddee Daniel/Daniel Burkholder

The problems plaguing the Louisiana Coast may seem far away. But one local performer is bringing her Cajun heritage to Milwaukee with her new show, Bayou’s State. The show provides an intimate look at the critical problem of coastal land loss.

(Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

You can call ESPN2's "His & Hers" a lot of things: Distinctive. Fun. Boundary-pushing. But there's one term the hosts, Michael Smith and Jemele Hill, would prefer you don't use.

"It's not that 'debate' is necessarily a dirty word," Hill says, "but we like to think that we really pay attention to the nuance of discussions."

When Pope Francis travels to the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday, he will likely bring with him a sharp rebuke for Europe's response to the migrant crisis.

Gothic Family Drama At 'The Border Of Paradise'

Apr 14, 2016

The Border of Paradise by Esme Weijun Wang opens with an imminent suicide. It's one that Jia-Hui, wife of the man who is about to die, has been attempting to stave off for years. "With David," she says later, "I learned that suicide was an utterly uncontrollable act disguised as the most controllable death possible."

If ever a man had a theme song, it would be Julian Fellowes — and the theme tune from his hit show Downton Abbey.

But now that Downton has ended, Fellowes has turned his flair for historical drama and romance to another story, set in another era. His new novel Belgravia is named for one of London's poshest neighborhoods. It's the story of a striving family harboring a big secret.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Poem: Drama and Lineage

Apr 13, 2016
Jim Bauer / Flickr

My students that one April were sudden, quixotic, real.

Teaching Oedipus the King came easy,

All the late arrivals started coming on time,

And I felt like a superstar teacher,

One with an electric tote bag, armed for irony,

Greek choruses, masks that show a character’s emotion.

[Oedipus worries the fates of his daughters

Down to the bone of his eye sockets.

Who would have them?

Who would surrender to their dirty seed beds?

One would think we wouldn't be needing to have this conversation right about now, but apparently we do.

As you've surely heard by now, this time the peg comes courtesy of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose appearance in a comedy skit during a black-tie dinner over the weekend culminated with a "surprise" onstage visit from Hillary Clinton and Hizzoner's use of the phrase "C.P. Time."

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