Arts & Culture

The Salt
5:05 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Rosh Hashana's Sacred Bread Offers Meaning In Many Shapes And Sizes

The author's braided round challah.
Deena Prichep NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 1:43 pm

Challah is a rich, eggy bread baked every week for the Jewish sabbath, or shabbat. But for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year that starts tomorrow at sundown, it gets a few tweaks. There's a little extra honey or sugar, for a sweet new year. And instead of the usual long braid, it's round.

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Monkey See
5:45 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: O Canada!

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We taped this week's show with half of us in D.C. and half of us — me and Trey, plus NPR's own Bob Mondello — in a studio in Toronto. Why? Because of the Toronto International Film Festival, which provides the front half of the show. Trey, Bob and I talk about a bunch of the films we saw, many of which you can see covered on the blog's TIFF '12 section.

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Books
5:27 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

This Week's 5 Must-Read Stories From NPR Books

iStockphoto.com

Once A Cheater...

One of the most interesting books I've read so far this year has been This Is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz. And there's a reason it's such a well constructed read — as NPR's Steve Inskeep pointed out — it took Diaz 16 years to write.

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Monkey See
3:05 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Jackie Chan: Portrait Of The Action Star At 58

Actor Jackie Chan appears at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

Onstage at the Toronto International Film Festival, Jackie Chan describes his first visit to the United States. "I speak no English at that time — I do not even know how to order breakfast. Everyone know ... you know the story?"

"No," says the audience, almost in unison.

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Movie Reviews
12:45 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

'The Master': Filling A Void By Finding A Family

Joaquin Phoenix stars as Navy veteran Freddie Quell in The Master.
Phil Bray The Weinstein Company

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master is both feverish and glacial. The vibe is chilly, but the central character is an unholy mess — and his rage saturates every frame. He's a World War II South Pacific vet named Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix to the hilt — the hilt above the hilt. We meet him at war's end on a tropical beach where he and other soldiers seek sexual relief atop the figure of a woman made out of sand.

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