KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Arts

Arts and culture

Amy Poehler's newest film is based on an actual girls' trip with her friends to California wine country. Except her friends — both in the movie and in real life — are fellow Saturday Night Live alumni like Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Paula Pell and Emily Spivey.

"I'm lucky to have some of the funniest people in the world be my actual friends," Poehler says in an interview. "And so I tried to quickly exploit that as fast as I could."

There was a bittersweet quality to ABC's triumphant two-hour live sitcom special on Wednesday night. At least, for me there was.

On the sweet side, watching talented stars like Jamie Foxx and Woody Harrelson re-create classic scripts from All in the Family and The Jeffersons was a shot of pure, uncut nostalgia. There are few spectacles as entertaining as these guys mugging their ways through impressions of classic characters like George Jefferson and Archie Bunker — in live performance.

You can tell something is off about fictional Portuguese soccer star Diamantino, who looks an awful lot like actual Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, as soon as he mentions the puppies. And that doesn't take very long, because Diamantino, the pride of his nation, is quick to bring up that when he's on the field, and when he gets in the zone, he starts to see gigantic puppies, flopping around in a mist of sparkling pink clouds.

The opening moments of Booksmart, the directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde, present a question, just by force of viewing habit: What kind of cinematic high-school girl type is this?

'Aladdin': A CGI World, Neither Whole Nor New

14 hours ago

As Disney plunders its archives for live-action remakes of animated classics, the question of "Why?" continues to be less evident on the screen than it is on the company ledger. The one quiet exception was Pete's Dragon, which succeeded because it had no fidelity to the second-rate slapstick and songcraft of the original, and could re-imagine the premise from the ground up. When the catalog titles get as massive as Aladdin, however, the mission becomes to replicate it as closely as possible, which inevitably leads to stilted facsimile.

The Uruguayan novelist Mario Levrero, who died in 2004, is beloved among Latin American readers for his gleeful weirdness. Levrero wrote comic book scripts, crosswords, brain teasers, and novels, all of which function as brain teasers themselves.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Some music is so ingrained in our collective minds that it's easy to forget how game-changing it was. In the late 1960s, a marriage of rock and folk took place and much of the popular music from that union was being made in a single place — Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Binyavanga Wainaina, the deeply influential Kenyan writer credited with founding the literary magazine and collective Kwani? and advancing the fight for LGBTQ rights in Africa, has died at the age of 48. The Caine Prize for African Writing, which Wainaina won in 2002, confirmed his death in a statement Wednesday.

There are some trials that naturally lend themselves to dramatic recounting in books or movies. They're usually the same ones that get called "trials of the century." Cases, for example, involving John T. Scopes, Bruno Richard Hauptmann, Adolf Eichmann and O.J. Simpson all captured the public imagination and inspired writers and filmmakers to take a shot at depicting the courtroom drama that ensued.

Anita Hill has never really been one for compromise.

The lawyer's decision not to do so first propelled her into public life nearly three decades ago, when she came forward with sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas in his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings. And she doesn't intend to begin compromising now.

Super Bowl III, 1969: The New York Jets were playing the mighty Baltimore Colts. Nobody predicted the Jets would win. Well, except for Jets quarterback Joe Namath, who did more than predict a victory. "I guarantee it," he said before the game.

Fifty years later, his legacy is still tied up in those three words.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. There's no cure for dementia, and there's unlikely to be one in the foreseeable future, which is why my guest, Dr. Tia Powell, is focusing on questions like, how can we devise a viable strategy to pay for long-term care? How do we preserve dignity? How do we balance freedom and safety? What is a good death for someone with dementia? And how do we help people who are losing their memory find some joy?

Long considered fringe, the right wing radio host Mark Levin has had a few good years: He picked up a weekly Fox News show ("Life, Liberty & Levin"); he counts conservative political commentator Sean Hannity as his best friend; and the president recently tweeted in support of his new book, "Word is out that book is GREAT!"

While the peninsular Russian province of Kamchatka is not exactly in Sarah Palin's sightline, its far, far Eastern and Northern coordinates make it more like Nome than Moscow. Rife with wildlife, volcanoes, and treacherous topography, it's also almost inaccessible, with no major roads connecting it to the rest of Russia — because it was a closed military zone until 1989.

Is it weird to keep asserting that Summer Movie Season starts Memorial Day weekend, when Avengers: Endgame, the ultimate summer movie, and also the year's (the decade's! the century's!) biggest blockbuster, opened last month?

Maybe. Sure. Who cares?

"Summer movie" is a term, after all, that has taken on a negative connotation, as it tends to be deployed by those looking to sniffily dismiss the whole crop of films that come out in the months without an R. See also: "popcorn movies," "comic-book movies."

Seven years after her death, Whitney Houston may be coming to a venue near you.

The pop icon's estate has partnered with BASE Hologram to produce "An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour," the company revealed in a statement on Monday.

The announcement comes on the heels of a separate deal between the singer's estate and Primary Wave Publishing last week, which is also expected to produce a series of new projects, including a new album, a possible Broadway musical and Vegas-style spectacle.

Cult filmmaker and self-described "filth elder" John Waters, 73, has plenty of ideas about what older people should and shouldn't do.

The worst thing, he says, is to get a convertible: "Because believe me, old age and windswept do not go hand in hand. It's really a bad look! You can't be trying too hard to rebel [when] you're older."

This month in Romancelandia, love goes global in three novels that feature royals and regular boys and girls getting their happy ever afters. Because no matter where you come from or who you fall in love with, true love is possible if you open your heart and risk it all.

We've recapped the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. Spoilers, of course, abound.

I mean ... sure?

I am prepared to die on the ashy hill of They Didn't Lay The Necessary Track To Justify Daenerys' Heel-Turn, but that whole contretemps seems soooo last week. I've made my peace with it and am prepared to dissect the show that they made, not the one we expected/wanted them to.

Comedian Sammy Shore, who co-founded one of the most influential clubs in comedy, died Saturday at 92, his son announced in a series of tweets.

Shore died at his Las Vegas home surrounded by family, according to a family spokesperson. His son, actor-comedian Pauly Shore, paid tribute to his father on Twitter. The two spent the past 20 years touring together as a father-son comedy team.

My friend Chris happened upon me reading There's Something About Sweetie in a coffee shop and introduced her presence by laughing. "For a second, I thought that was you on the cover," she said.

If you've had a manicure lately, chances are you probably had it done at a nail salon run by people of Vietnamese heritage.

The salons are everywhere — in nearly every city, state and strip mall across the United States. So how did Vietnamese entrepreneurs come to dominate the multibillion-dollar nail economy?

Filmmaker Adele Free Pham set out to answer that question in a documentary called Nailed It. Growing up in Portland, Ore., she says, she observed that all the nail salons around her were Vietnamese run.

Academics Gather To Study Phish, Man

May 19, 2019

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And now for a story about an academic conference. But wait, wait. Stay with us because, as Deena Prichep reports, Oregon State University is hosting a meeting that's got more than name tags and networking.

Photographer Soumya Sankar Bose remembers how Jatra, a style of folk theater, was popular during his childhood in West Bengal. But 10 years after moving out, Bose returned home to find that Jatra was no longer celebrated nearly as much. The genre's brightest stars, once major celebrities, were fading from view. Even his own uncle, a famous Jatra performer, had to take a job at a train station to make ends meet.

There's an alien under the bed and another on the lawn. Zoe Snapp has a pearl in her pocket that's really a transdimensional gateway, opened solely by playing a particular riff on her trumpet. A few blocks away, Villy (who is maybe, kinda, Zoe Snapp's boyfriend) and his younger brother Scud are arguing about hamburgers, the replacement of spark plugs and the road trip Villy and Zoe have planned.

The Colonial Roots Of Pimiento Cheese

May 19, 2019

Trinidad Escobar

Here's a puzzle: Do the qualities that allow a man to block 300lb bodies every day have anything to do with the qualities that allow the same person to solve three-body problems late into the night? Stumped? John Urschel can solve that puzzle for you.

Pages