‘To Hold Up The Sky’ Asks A Simple Question: What If … ?

by Jason Sheehan Cixin Liu’s To Hold Up The Sky is a 1974 Chevy van with icy moons and swirling nebulae painted on the side that you saw for sale by the side of the road in a snowstorm. It is a copy of Heavy Metal you found stuck in the back of the rack at Empire Comics when

Yes, There’s Conflict — But No One’s The Bad Guy In ‘Memorial’

by Scott Simon by Scott Simon A lot is going on with Benson and Mike. They have explosive

15 Years On, The Lonely Legacy Of ‘Shadow Of The Colossus’

by Lewis Gordon The first time the player is given control of Wander, the young and androgynous-looking protagonist

My Breast Cancer Diagnosis Came In The Pandemic. I Wanted More Than A ‘Virtual Hug’

by Karin Huster “You have breast cancer,” my doctor announced, faceless behind her mask. Silence. In the middle

‘American Utopia’: David Byrne’s Coming To My House, Via HBO

by Glen Weldon, Chris Klimek, and Soraya Nadia McDonald David Byrne and Spike Lee. Two artists with very defined, very distinct, and yet very different, sensibilities — but when you put them together, it works. The theatrical concert film David Byrne’s American Utopia, now streaming on HBO Max, is a career-spanning celebration of Byrne’s music, both with

‘The Forty-Year-Old Version’ Is Fast, Funny, Multi-Faceted And No Small Feat

by Justin Chang While the American film industry still has a long way to go in nurturing movies made by women and people of color, the Sundance Film Festival has long provided an important platform for marginalized voices. This is the festival that recently introduced us to pictures like The Farewell, from Lulu Wang, and Clemency, from Chinonye

Kevin Young Named Director Of National Museum Of African American History And Culture

by Elizabeth Blair The Smithsonian Institution has announced that poet Kevin Young will be the next director of the National

‘Mulan’: A Beloved Disney Classic Reimagined As Martial Arts Epic

by Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson, Mallory Yu, and Kathy Tu The biggest movie so far to be bumped

As Burning Man Goes Virtual, Organizers Try To Capture The Communal Aspect

by Elizabeth Blair Burning Man — the dazzling, days-long, annual arts and lovefest drawing 70,000 to the dusty Nevada desert — was cancelled this year. But organizers are trying to capture the quintessential, communal arts experience online. For this year’s theme, Multiverse, teams have created 2D and 3D virtual experiences. The program runs Aug. 30-Sept. 6.

In ‘I’m Thinking Of Ending Things,’ A Couple Gets Stuck In A Dreamlike Limbo

by Glen Weldon After finishing writer/director Charlie Kaufman’s latest film, which hurls so many things at you as

Melanie Faye: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

by Bobby Carter The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space. I spend a considerable amount of time in the

‘Lovecraft Country’ Tours The Horrors Of America

by Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon, Audie Cornish, and Ronald Young Jr. The best horror is the horror that

‘Tenet’ Opens Internationally. Will Be Shown In Select U.S. Cities Next Month

by Mandalit Del Barco It’s always been about timing with Tenet. Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated action thriller stars John

What It Looks Like When School, And Everything Else, Happens At Home

by Elizabeth Dalziel A friend posted a picture on Instagram of her 11-year-old daughter wearing a school uniform, sitting attentively in front of a laptop and waving to her teacher during a virtual class. My experience lay in stark contrast. During home lessons, my youngest child, a 7-year-old, often ignores the screen and climbs on me

A World Champion Slam Poet Pivots To Medicine

by Sonia Narang “Memories of my childhood live/between the rings of sand around my ankles/ and the desert

It’s ‘Part Of The Game’: This Artist Isn’t Bothered When His Work Is Demolished

A guy in his 30s, handsome behind his mask (this is pre-pandemic), carries a chisel, drills, jigsaws, sometimes

‘Fall Guys’ Is Candy-Colored Party Battle Fun

by Kaity Kline When you think of the battle royale genre in video games, you’ll probably think of Fortnite.

Snoh Aalegra & Doctor O – “U Remind Me”

Check out this week’s video featuring Snoh Aalegra & Doctor O covering Usher’s classic “U Remind Me”.

Why You Should Stream ‘Watchmen’

by Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon, Soraya Nadia McDonald, and Daisy Rosario The HBO miniseries Watchmen recently earned 26 well-deserved Emmy nominations. And if you haven’t seen the series, now is a good time to catch up. Watchmen is not strictly an adaptation of the landmark comic book series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons — it’s technically

‘Boys State’ Helps Teens Learn How Politics Work — Perhaps A Little Too Well

by Justin Chang Since they were founded in the 1930s by the American Legion, the Boys State and

Diego Luna Says Shared Meals On ‘Pan Y Circo’ Transformed Cast And Crew Alike

by Rachel Martin, Simone Popperl, and Lilly Quiroz Diego Luna wants you to start talking.  The star of Y

‘The First Sister’ Is Stylish, Substantial — And Very Cool — Space Opera

by Jessica P. Wick Linden A. Lewis’s debut novel The First Sister (book one in a trilogy of the same

PHOTOS: South Africa’s Zip Zap Circus Brings A Big Heart To The Big Top

by Tommy Trenchard and Aurelie Marrier D’Unienville Editor’s note: This story was reported and photographed from February 2019 to March 2020. The text has been updated to reflect the activities of the circus during the pandemic. Phelelani Ndakrokra prefers not to talk about his past. But what the 23-year-old acrobat will say is that if

‘You Had Me At Hola’ Had Us Right From The Beginning

by Kamrun Nesa Alexis Daria’s You Had Me at Hola had me at Latinx representation, sexy soapy plot, and a

Asher Gamedze’s Astral Jazz Will Carry Your Soul To Utopia

by Marcus J. Moore Asher Gamedze‘s music is meant to realign your spirit, to carry you from melancholy to utopia. On his debut album, Dialectic Soul, the South African drummer makes elegant, astral jazz seemingly informed by John Coltrane, Lonnie Liston Smith and Brother Ah. At the height of free jazz and spiritual jazz in the late 1960s, Black

‘Black Is King’: A Beyoncé Film With A Disney Twist

by Stephen Thompson, Kiana Fitzgerald and Soraya Nadia McDonald Last summer, Beyoncé Knowles released an album called The Lion King: The

PHOTOS: Living Tree Bridges In A Land Of Clouds

by Prasenjeet Yadav It was a cloudy monsoon afternoon, and I had been trailing my guide Bah Drong for over an hour. Despite the slight but persistent drizzle, Bah Drong marched along unfazed, his seasoned calf muscles carrying him swiftly along the rough, mountainous trail. I had to hurry to avoid falling behind. Every now

Why Forgiving Someone Else Is Really About You

by Stephanie O’Neill Forgiveness has a PR problem. Think about all those useless idioms used to describe it.

An Oral History Of How Barbie Lost The Presidency Yet Again

by Danielle Kurtzleben On July 28, 2020, Mattel announced it would be releasing its seventh presidential Barbie. They have released one in nearly every cycle since 1992, but of course, America has yet to see Barbie in the Oval Office. But this year, for the first time, Mattel gave her a campaign team. Candidate Barbie 2020

In ‘Intimations,’ Zadie Smith Reflects Back To Us The Early Days Of Now

by Ericka Taylor If narrative and storytelling are among our most essential tools for making meaning of the

The Modern All-Stars: A Newport Jazz Festival Special

by Nate Chinen and Alex Ariff Christian McBride was 19, a vigorous young bassist just making his name on the scene, when he paid his first visit to the Newport Jazz Festival as a member of Jazz Futures. Skip ahead some 30 years, and McBride is the artistic director of the festival, as well as

Like Her ‘Radioactive’ Elements, Marie Curie Didn’t ‘Behave’ As Expected

by Leila Fedel Like the elements that she discovered — polonium and radium — Marie Curie was “unruly,”

Prize-Winning Phone Pix Dial Up Moments Of Freedom And Serenity

by Malaka Gharib Jumping through the air, floating in the wind, a firework shooting off — these scenes evoke a sense of freedom that so many of us staying home due to the pandemic haven’t felt in a long time. But we can feel them vicariously in some of the winning entries of this year’s iPhone

Saucy, Slimy, Super-Secret: Behind The Scenes With ‘Floor Is Lava’ Star … Lava

by Matt Kwong If you’ve already watched the hit Netflix gameshow Floor Is Lava, you know the rules: “Don’t fall in,” host Rutledge Wood warns contestants, as they enter an obstacle course filled with 80,000 gallons of gurgling goop, “because the floor … is … lava!” It’s a goofy grown-up take on a kids’ playtime staple,

App Lets You Destress By Screaming Into Icelandic Wilderness

by Emily Alfin Johnson and Lisa Weiner 2020 has been a lot. And we’re barely halfway through.  Luckily,

‘I May Destroy You’ Let Michaela Coel Explore Dangerous Areas In A Safe Place

by Terry Gross Note: This interview discusses, and the show contains, scenes depicting, and stories about, sexual assault.

4 Decades Of Seascapes From A Color Photography Innovator

by Catie Dull In the foreword to Harry Gruyaert’s photography book Edges, sculptor Richard Nonas sums up the work of his good friend. “Harry Gruyaert ignores the grammar of center and edge, finds the blurred boundaries of overlapping life, the places where one thing has begun to be another thing,” Nonas writes. “He photographs processes, not results.

Opinion: An Ode To Manny’s Cafeteria And Delicatessen In Chicago

By Scott Simon I’ve had lunch with politicians, clergy, reporters and people who’ve just been indicted at Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen in Chicago, and there’s a code of silence over the clatter: it doesn’t count. The schmear of cream cheese thick enough to be a ski jump? No calories! Potato pancakes hefty as manhole covers?

It’s A Good Time To Head To Mars

By Joe Palca If you’re planning a trip to Mars, now is the time to go. For a