In Birdman, Ed Norton (right) plays a talented but pretentious actor in a Broadway play being directed by an actor he disrespects (Michael Keaton, left) for having starred in a series of Birdman superhero films. Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Caitlin Doughty is the founder of The Order of the Good Death, a group of funeral industry professionals, academics and artists who focus on the rituals families perform with their dead. Mara Zehler/Courtesy of W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. hide caption

itoggle caption Mara Zehler/Courtesy of W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.

Lena Dunham's new collection of personal essays about her relationships, friendships and obsessive-compulsive disorder has received rave reviews. Autumn de Wilde/Courtesy of Random House hide caption

itoggle caption Autumn de Wilde/Courtesy of Random House

André Benjamin plays Jimi Hendrix in the new film Jimi: All Is By My Side. Patrick Redmond/Courtesy of Open Road Films hide caption

itoggle caption Patrick Redmond/Courtesy of Open Road Films

John Darnielle writes literary lyrics for the Mountain Goats, often telling stories about fictional characters or stories from his life. His new book, Wolf in White Van, is about a man who survives a trauma. Lalitree Darnielle/Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux hide caption

itoggle caption Lalitree Darnielle/Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was displayed at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair in 2013. Book critic Maureen Corrigan — who calls the cover "striking" — says she likes to think that if it landed on her porch today among the more than 200 books she receives a week, she would read it. Oli Scarff/Getty Images hide caption

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Dana Goldstein has reported on education for several years, including in The Atlantic and The Daily Beast. Her new book is The Teacher Wars. Michael Lionstar/Courtesy of Doubleday hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Lionstar/Courtesy of Doubleday

The Titan II intercontinental-range missile, pictured in 1965, sits ready for launch on its 150-feet-deep underground launchpad. "The one warhead on a Titan II had three times the explosive force of all the bombs used by all the armies in the second world war combined — including both atomic bombs," says investigative reporter Eric Schlosser. Keystone/Getty Images hide caption

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On Masters of Sex, Allison Janney plays Margaret Scully. Janney was nominated for an Emmy as outstanding guest actress in a drama series for her performance. Frank W Ockenfels 3/Showtime hide caption

itoggle caption Frank W Ockenfels 3/Showtime

Roger Ebert was surrounded by movie memorabilia in his office. The new documentary Life Itself captures how Ebert lived life and faced death. Kevin Horan/Courtesy of Kartemquin hide caption

itoggle caption Kevin Horan/Courtesy of Kartemquin

Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason in the new movie Boyhood, was 6 years old when director Richard Linklater picked him for the role. Courtesy of Matt Lankes hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Matt Lankes

Comedian Joel McHale spoke at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in May. He says everyone wanted to see his jokes ahead of time, but he likes keeping them a secret. Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Director Gillian Robespierre (left) co-wrote Obvious Child as a short film in 2009 with an empowered lead female in mind. Jenny Slate, who starred as Donna in the feature film, says she was excited about the role. Courtesy of A24 Films hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of A24 Films

John Oliver's new political satire Last Week Tonight airs on HBO. Oliver says the network gives him an almost "confusing amount of freedom." Eric Liebowitz/Courtesy of HBO hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Liebowitz/Courtesy of HBO

In addition to managing careers, Gordon (left) was also instrumental in creating personas — he was the one who dreamed up some of Alice Cooper's (right) onstage antics. Dogwoof Films hide caption

itoggle caption Dogwoof Films

Denzel Washington plays Walter Lee, the role played by Sidney Poitier in the 1959 Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun. Sophie Okonedo, known for her Academy Award nomination for Hotel Rwanda, plays Ruth Younger in her New York stage debut. Brigitte Lacombe hide caption

itoggle caption Brigitte Lacombe

Max Beckmann's biblical and political triptych Departure (right) hangs on the same wall as Adolf Ziegler's Four Elements triptych, which Hitler owned. Both pieces are part of the Neue Galerie's "Degenerate Art" exhibit. Courtesy of Hulya Kolabas for Neue Galerie New York hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Hulya Kolabas for Neue Galerie New York

Reporter Glenn Greenwald speaks to reporters in Hong Kong on June 10, 2013, just days after publishing a series of reports about the NSA's mass surveillance programs. Vincent Yu/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Vincent Yu/AP