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Updated: 10 min 16 sec ago

In 'Whiplash,' A Young Drummer Plays Till He Bleeds

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 1:06pm

Director Damien Chazelle's second film centers on the agony of a drummer in a high-powered music school. The movie ties you into knots: The fear of failure is omnipresent. So is the jazz vibe.

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Inconsistent Memories Are Revisited In 'The Affair,' A Captivating New Drama

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 1:06pm

The Showtime show is about two people who betray their spouses and fall into a relationship. It's told from more than one perspective, and the actors are so likable, you forgive them their trespasses.

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'You Can't Be This Furry' And Other Life Lessons From Gary Shteyngart

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 1:06pm

In Little Failure, the novelist recounts his emigration from the USSR to the U.S. when he was 7. For the first few years, he says, he would sit alone in the cafeteria, talking to himself in Russian.

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AMC's 'The Walking Dead' Is A Hit Show With Two Meanings

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 11:44am

As The Walking Dead returns for a fifth season Sunday, NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans says some storylines offer extra meaning for fans who have read the graphic novels which inspired the show.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Gone Girl' And What Pop Culture Can Teach

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 8:29am

On this week's show, we get around to a discussion (as unspoiled as practical) of the film adaptation of Gone Girl, and we talk about what we've learned from movies, books, and television.

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Book News: Get To Know Patrick Modiano, The Newly Minted Nobel Laureate

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 6:32am

The French novelist may enjoy a vast audience in his own country, but for most English-only speakers, Modiano is still a mystery. Read a few profiles of the man — and excerpts of his actual writing.

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Where's Thor When You Need Her? Women In Comics Fight An Uphill Battle

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 2:35am

The new female Thor has picked up her hammer, but the mainstream comics industry is still experiencing some growing pains as it figures out where women fit in as characters, creators, and fans.

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'I Am Ali' Doesn't Open Many New Doors, But It Offers Fresh Voices

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 4:38pm

A new documentary accesses tapes of Muhammad Ali in conversation with those closest to him, and uses new interviews with others to shed light on him as a father and friend.

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Bill Murray Doesn't Do Much, But He Does It So Well In 'St. Vincent'

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 4:23pm

Murray plays a grumpy geezer in this gentle comedy alongside Melissa McCarthy and Naomi Watts. And while there's nothing really new here,

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Bang The Drum Ever Faster In the Different Sports Arena Of 'Whiplash'

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 4:03pm

Damien Chazelle's heart-pounding teacher-student drama Whiplash sets a combination of a sports film and a genius tale like The Social Network in the world of jazz drumming.

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Play, Ball: A Theatrical Look At The 'Beauty And Brutality' Of Football

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 3:14pm

In the new play Colossal, a former football player, paralyzed after taking a bad hit during a game, reflects on his glory days and his struggles as a gay man in the macho culture of football.

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'Bad Paper' Explores The Underworld Of Debt Collection

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 1:23pm

In his new book, Jake Halpern looks at the industry, where having a criminal background is no barrier to entry. He explains debt buying and how little regulation gave rise to a chaotic marketplace.

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Customers Can Keep The Tip — Which Might Please Restaurant Workers

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 12:58pm

A handful of restaurants are experimenting with no-tipping models, guaranteeing their servers a base level of pay. So far, satisfaction is up and turnover is down.

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The Indian Film Scene Diversifies, Even As Bollywood Dominates

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 11:58am

When you hear about Indian film, you most often hear about the sprawling Indian film scene. But young filmmakers with other points of view are making a splash of their own.

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Smen Is Morocco's Funky Fermented Butter That Lasts For Years

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 11:52am

Like Indian ghee, smen evolved as a way to keep a tasty cooking fat around for a long time. But smen is blessed with a flavor and aroma that's a lot like blue cheese.

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Battle of The Silver Screen Sexes

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 9:51am

This final round game is all about movies with either "man" or "woman" in the title, like "Rain Man" and "Scent of a Woman." Who will be the last man or woman standing?

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Disconsolate Consonants

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 9:51am

Why are these consonants so gloomy? Because they're all alone. Each answer is a word with just one consonant. For example, the letter D is surrounded by vowels in a French word meaning goodbye: adieu.

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Instrument Man

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 9:51am

Sing us a song you're the... Glockenspiel Man? House musician Jonathan Coulton sings Billy Joel's Piano Man with the lyrics rewritten to be about a musical dude jamming out on other instruments.

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Retro Is The New Retro

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 9:51am

Here's a linguistic oddity for you: Retronyms are names for things that have to be altered after newer versions appear. What retronym was needed after the electric guitar arrived? Acoustic guitar.

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It's All Swedish To Me

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 9:51am

In this game we honor the best cook in television history: The Swedish Chef from The Muppets. All the answers must be repeated three times in his signature accent and will rhyme with "bork-bork-bork!"

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