Neda Ulaby Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR's Arts Desk.
'Hammer' Author Mickey Spillane Dies at 88
Getty Museum to Return Greek Artifacts
Spelling Bee Craze Moves into the Bars
NPR Producer Kitty Eisele pointed out to me yesterday that right now, there are no fewer than three movies featuring public radio personages in the theaters. Public radio has heat. First, of course, there’s A Prairie Home Companion, starring down-home public radio figures like Lindsey Lohan, as well as teen hottie Garrison Keillor. Har, har. That was a little Prairie Home humor right there. Then there’s the Pixar movie, Cars, in which “Dusty and Rusty Rust-eze” are raucously voiced by Car Talk’s Tom and Ray Magliozzi. And finally, there’s Wordplay. The documentary about New York Times crossword puzzle master Will Shortz has sent NPR into something of a crossbranding tizzy. That’s because you can hear Shortz stumping listeners every week on Weekend Edition Sunday with Liane Hansen. Both Hansen and Talk of the Nation host Neal Conan are among the famous cruciverbalists featured in the documentary.
"No good deed goes unpunished." That famous quip was coined by Billy Wilder. Well, no good life goes unprofiled. Day to Day has a fabulous piece on the Austrian-born director today, what would have been his 100th birthday. Even people who think they hate old movies, love Billy Wilder films. He directed Some Like It Hot, Sunset Boulevard and Witness for the Prosecution. Oh, and Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend and The Apartment, the last of which earned him Oscars for writing, producing and directing. Wilder also wrote the screenplay for one of my all-time favorite screwball comedies, Ball of Fire...