Arts

Arts and culture

He brooded, as Lincoln.

He seduced in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. And he murdered, in There Will Be Blood.

This week, Daniel Day-Lewis — a three-time Oscar winner, and incomparable film chameleon — announced he is retiring from acting at 60.

A statement released by his spokeswoman gave no explanation, saying this is a private decision, and that Day-Lewis will have no further comment.

The actor has often taken lengthy sabbaticals between films, but this time it's apparently permanent.

So what will he be doing?

On the heels of his historic induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (and amid unconfirmed rumors of new arrivals to his family), Jay Z has announced his thirteenth solo studio album, 4:44, to be released on June 30.

John Avildsen, the man behind the camera for a string of beloved blockbusters in the 1970s and '80s, died Friday at age 81. The Oscar-winning director of Rocky and The Karate Kid died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles, his son Anthony told The Los Angeles Times.

Nearly 2,000 years after he held sway over ancient Rome, a notorious emperor is again causing outrage. The reason: Italian authorities approved construction of a massive stage amid the ruins over the Roman Forum for a rock opera about Nero, who ruled from 54 to 68 A.D.

Archaeologists and art historians are up in arms, denouncing what they see as the commercialization of the country's heritage.

The 2016 Tony Awards were fun, but undeniably a little anticlimactic. By then, it was in large part a coronation of Hamilton, a delivery mechanism for the many, many awards we all knew it would win. (And did.)

H.P. Lovecraft, the early 1900s horror writer, is best known for his creation of the deity Cthulhu — a monster of great power who sleeps in the Pacific Ocean in the sunken city of R'lyeh.

Now, almost 100 years after its conception, Cthulhu is making a creepy comeback via a new crop of board games.

Photography documents life — and food, whether in the fore or background, seems to always be in the picture. The two intersect in a new book, Feast for the Eyes, written by photography curator Susan Bright and published by Aperture.

Millions around the world grew to know British actor Peter Sallis as the cheese-loving inventor Wallace in the Wallace and Gromit clay animation shorts and movies.

In Nick Park's animation, Wallace was a tea-drinking man from Yorkshire who got into adventures with his dog, Gromit.

Sallis died on Friday at the age of 96, according to his agents, Jonathan Altaras Associates in London.

In a statement, the talent agency said:

Wonder Woman was a box office smash on its opening weekend, raking in more than $100 million domestically — a new record for a movie directed by a woman.

Deadline reported Monday that the final tally for the film was $103.1 million, even higher than the initial Sunday estimates.

That handily defeats the previous record for a movie directed by a woman — $85.1 million for Sam Taylor-Johnson's Fifty Shades of Grey.

Hayao Miyazaki's many fans worldwide just got an unexpected gift.

Studio Ghibli, the animation firm co-founded by the beloved anime director, plans to build a theme park dedicated to one of his most famous creations: My Neighbor Totoro. Hideaki Omura — governor of Japan's Aichi Prefecture, where the park is scheduled to open in 2020 — announced the plan at a news conference Thursday.

Defiant Requiem: The Legacy of Terezín

Jun 1, 2017
Josef Rabara

Music as a tool to defy authority - you’ve heard it before in countless stories of both fact and fiction. One true story of resistance within Nazi-era concentration camps lives on with a concert drama called "Defiant Requiem." And it’s coming to the Pacific Northwest. 88.5's Jeanie Lindsay explains.

Information about "Defiant Requiem" and tickets to upcoming performances are available here

For a few hours Monday, the bitter face-off between a bull and a girl in New York City got a curious, four-legged interloper: a tiny pug, with one of those legs suggestively raised beside the girl's leg. There was no urine, no caustic caption, but it was clear where the dog's disdain was directed.

Courtesy of the City of Tacoma

Tacoma's new poet laureate, Kellie Richardson,  says her writing is laced with explorations of identity, and how different identities intersect. Sometimes, that means exploring her identities as an African-American woman, a mother, an activist, and a Christian.

Lately, she's also been thinking a lot about the identity of the city where she was born and raised. That includes "what gentrification continues to do" but also "having kids, and being able to see their journey's in the city versus mine." 

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

NEW YORK (AP) — Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell will be buried Friday in Los Angeles, his attorney Kirk Pasich said Sunday.

Pasich said Cornell will be buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in a private service.

Jean-Michel Basquiat joined "joined the pantheon of great, great artists" Thursday night, when the late painter's 1982 work Untitled sold for a record-breaking $110.5 million at auction — the highest sum ever paid at auction for a U.S.-produced artwork.

That breathless assessment was offered after the sale by Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby's Europe. So you can imagine just how thrilled the buyer must have been.

"Joke theft" sounds funny.

Unless you're a comedy writer and you see a late-night TV host telling a joke you wrote. Five times.

That's what the writer Alex Kaseberg says happened to him in late 2014 and early 2015, a charge disputed by Conan O'Brien and his lawyers.

Powers Boothe, a character actor who worked on television and in the movies, died Sunday in Los Angeles.

A representative tells news agencies that Boothe died of natural causes at his home. He was 68.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

Canadian singer-songwriter Simone Schmidt, who performs under the name Fiver, undertook an ambitious project with her latest album. Audible Songs From Rockwood is Schmidt's way of telling the stories of real people committed to Rockwood Asylum, a 19th-century institution near what's now Kingston, Ontario.

This month marks 350 years since John Milton sold his publisher the copyright of Paradise Lost for the sum of five pounds.

His great work dramatizes the oldest story in the Bible, whose principal characters we know only too well: God, Adam, Eve, Satan in the form of a talking snake — and an apple.

Except, of course, that Genesis never names the apple but simply refers to "the fruit." To quote from the King James Bible:

"Marcus Gavius Apicius purchased me on a day hot enough to fry sausage on the market stones."

So begins the tale of Thrasius, the fictional narrator of Feast of Sorrow. Released this week, the novel is based on the real life of ancient Roman noble Marcus Gavius Apicius, who is thought to have inspired and contributed to the world's oldest surviving cookbook, a ten-volume collection titled Apicius.

Don't be distracted by the title of Netflix's latest, button-pushing TV series, Dear White People.

Because, one look at this insightful, irreverent examination of race and society at an Ivy League college reveals it really doesn't focus much on white folks at all.

Indeed, the title Dear White People is a bit of a head fake. This slyly assembled series is really about how a wide range of black and brown students at the fictional, predominantly white Winchester University deal with race, sexual orientation and other identity stuff in the modern age.

For more than four decades, Jonathan Demme threaded a diverse path through the film industry — beginning as a publicist, filming everything from documentaries to comedic sendups, and finally earning the status of Oscar-winning elder statesman. He was 73.

The director died Wednesday in Manhattan from complications of esophageal cancer. His publicist, 42 West, confirmed Demme's death to NPR.

Demme made films such as The Silence of the Lambs and Stop Making Sense that have helped define their respective genres.

The cars were piled on top of each other and bleeding onto the curb of the highway as they inched west and north towards the Lake Ann Park parking lot, each blasting their favorite from the windows; families walked down the trail and under the tunnel beneath the highway they'd just come from, holding the strings of the purple balloons floating just behind them; families walking back to their cars had no balloons and little expression. Altars of brown paper lanterns, unlit during the overcast day, peppered the path towards the off-white, square-paneled compound.

In California, an extremely wet winter put an end to the state's record-breaking drought. Heavy rainfall also produced welcome spring scenes — like replenished reservoirs and fields in bloom.

"It's a completely different look," says Justin Sullivan, a Getty Images photographer who took before-and-after style photos of drought-stricken areas. "It's just like a velvety green, lush landscape now — compared to just dry, brown, almost like a moonscape before."

When Prince first signed with Warner Bros. Records, he didn't want to be categorized as a black musician. This was the late 1970s, before music by black artists was widely marketed to multiracial audiences; before kids in every household in America were glued to their screens watching "Thriller" on MTV.

Before Comedy Central's celebrity roasts, before American Idol's Simon Cowell, before Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, one man abused people on TV and in clubs like no other — as one emcee introduced him, "the Sultan of Insults, the Merchant of Venom, the pussy cat with claws, Mr. Don Rickles!"

Rickles died of kidney failure Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 90.

The new animated movie, Boss Baby, was No. 1 at the box office last weekend. But before it was a full-length film, starring the voice of Alec Baldwin, it was a 32-page picture book written by award-winning author and illustrator Marla Frazee.

Frazee is a big name for young readers and their parents — the imagination behind Seven Silly Eaters and All the World. Her illustrations have earned two Caldecott Honors.

NPR Ed spoke with Frazee about the book and the new animated hit it inspired. The story of the Boss Baby is simple, she says:

In 1997 Talvin Singh, a British musician of Indian origin finished putting together a 12-track record with the help of his friend Sam Zaman, better known as the performer State of Bengal. Along with a few of their own compositions, the tracks were produced by musicians who were British nationals from families that had emigrated from South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

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