Arts & Culture

2021 Whiting Awards Honor 10 Soon-To-Be-Big Writers

Apr 14, 2021

The winners of this year's Whiting Awards have been announced; the $50,000 prize is aimed at allowing emerging writers to focus full-time on their work — or to branch off in new directions.

"Each of these winners has a rare literary gift," Whiting Director of Literary Programs Courtney Hodell says via email. "Our hope is that the Whiting Award will offer encouragement and support as they continue to dig deep into their art to nurture the work that sings it."

Filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic was a 17-year-old student living in Sarajevo with her family when the Bosnian war began in April 1992. As clashes over Bosnia's referendum for independence first started, she says nobody imagined there could ever be a full war. "It started like [the] riots on Congress in January in [the] U.S. ... I was happy when this happened because I thought what a cool thing not to go to school and have [the] whole city stop," she says.

The Sackler family has spent decades making a name for itself in philanthropic circles, with sizable donations to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, the British Museum, Harvard University and Yale University, among other institutions.

But as the public began to scrutinize the source of the family's money, many museum wings and buildings that once displayed the Sackler name have removed it.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Citizen Kane is often regarded as the greatest film ever made. The fictionalized story of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst didn't win a Best Picture Oscar in 1942, but it did win a Best Original Screenplay award. Hollywood still loves a story about itself, and this year, Mank, a film about Citizen Kane's screenwriter, Herman Mankiewicz, earned 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. It also received a nomination for Amanda Seyfried for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Marion Davies.

Ella Fitzgerald: The First Lady of Song

Apr 13, 2021
www.biography.com/musician/ella-fitzgerald

(WEAA) - Known for the rare sweetness in her voice, particularly in her scat singing, Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular American jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century.

 

Throughout her career, she has performed alongside other influential jazz artists such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, and Dizzy Gillespie.

 

Before fame, Fitzgerald went through a rough patch in her life becoming an orphan at the age of 15.

 

Last October, in the midst of the pandemic, Laurie Anderson appeared at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum to recreate one of her earliest works. Wearing ice skates attached to frozen blocks of ice, she played her violin along with a tape recording stashed cleverly inside her instrument. When the ice melted, her performance ended. Bow over bridge, blades over ice: "Duets on Ice" is a meditation on balance and time.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

I knew from all the buzz about The Final Revival of Opal & Nev that it's a work of fiction by first-time novelist Dawnie Walton. But after I started her book, I had to stop and double check to make sure that this wasn't a true account of a real-life rock duo from the 1970s. That's how authentic this odd novel feels, composed, as it is, out of a pandemonium of fictional interviews, footnotes, talk-show transcripts, letters and editor's notes.

ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theaters said late Monday they are ceasing operations, closing all of their roughly 300 screens mostly found in California.

None has inspired more distress among Hollywood notables than the Cinerama Dome on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard.

"After shutting our doors more than a year ago," the company said in a statement, "today we must share the difficult and sad news that Pacific will not be reopening its ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theaters locations."

'The Souvenir Museum' Is An Exhibit To Savor

Apr 13, 2021

Elizabeth McCracken's The Souvenir Museum begins with one of the funniest short stories I've read in a long time. It's about a short, round American who meets her newish boyfriend's angular English family all at once and utterly unprepared in damp Ireland, at the wedding of the middle of his three sisters.

"How can Emily be benefitting if she's screaming all the time?"

It's a question that hounds Emily Grodin's mother, Valerie Gilpeer, throughout the gripping memoir they've co-authored, I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust. Emily was born with autism, and Valerie — along with her husband Tom — have spent the 25 years of Emily's life bringing her to various therapists, praying for a breakthrough.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In the dark comedy Promising Young Woman, Cassie (Carey Mulligan) works at a coffee shop by day and hunts sexual predators by night. She goes to bars, pretends to be falling down drunk — and then confronts the men who try to take advantage of her.

Cassie is avenging the death of her best friend, who, the movie implies, has died by suicide after being raped at medical school. Writer and director Emerald Fennell says the film was inspired, in part, by the messages other movies send about alcohol and consent.

Director Antoine Fuqua and actor Will Smith, who together are producing the upcoming 1860s-set film Emancipation, announced Monday that they are moving the film's production out of Georgia due to the state's newly enacted voting laws.

In a statement provided to NPR on Monday morning, Fuqua and Smith said:

Pages