Arts & Culture

Monkey See
6:26 am
Sun July 27, 2014

At 75, Batman Still Seeks Justice, Not Revenge

"What Batman provides, what all superheroes provide is this notion that good will triumph over evil," says author Glen Weldon. "That evil will have its day, but there will be somebody up there who will keep trying, who will keep looking out for us. ... He's catharsis in a cape." Above, Adam West, as Batman, makes a road safety film with child actors in Kensington, London in the late 1960s.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 6:24 pm

It's been 75 years since Batman first swooped onto the scene in 1939. Glen Weldon, author of The Caped Crusade, says it's important to note that for the last three quarters of a century, Batman has been seeking justice, not revenge.

"Once his parents are killed he doesn't seek revenge," Weldon tells NPR's Arun Rath. "That's what distinguishes a superhero from an action movie hero. He doesn't go out for revenge. It's not a vendetta, it's a crusade. He represents the idea of: 'This thing that happened to me? Never again.' "

Read more
Book News & Features
6:03 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Lessons From Behind The Counter At A Comic Book Store

Jason Aaron also writes Amazing X-Men and Original Sin for Marvel.
Jason Aaron

When the news broke that Thor, the hyper-masculine thunder god, had become a woman, my Twitter feed exploded. It seemed like everybody had something to say. "Who will play the female Thor in the movies?" came up a lot. Meanwhile, I first had to figure out who Thor was. To me, stories about superheroes were for nerdy white guys imagining a world where they could lift heavy things and somehow get the girl. In short, boring. I was hopelessly behind the times.

Read more
Book Reviews
6:03 am
Sun July 27, 2014

A Foodie Detective Solves Crime In A Delectable Italian Mystery

Angelica's Smile cover art.

The Inspector Montalbano books, by Italian author Andrea Camilleri, supply everything I need for the beach. A good mystery. An exotic location — in this case, the beaches and piazzas of Sicily. And great writing that wears its fineness lightly, and keeps the pages turning. All with the most charming fuss-bucket of a detective to come along since Hercule Poirot: Inspector Salvo Montalbano.

Read more
Code Switch
4:11 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Hoping To Reach A Wider Audience, Lifetime Breaks Out Of Familiar Formula

On Wednesday, Lifetime premiered BAPs, a reality show that follows "an exclusive, privileged and affluent group of African American friends from St. Louis who self-identify as 'BAPs' — Black American Princesses and Princes."
Richard Knapp

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 6:29 pm

TV viewers have come to expect a certain formula from Lifetime shows — stories of desperate women, sudden teen pregnancy, or sentimental romance — starring women who are, for the most part, white. But on Wednesday, Lifetime added something different to their lineup with the premiere of a new "docu-series" called BAPs. BAPs stands for Black American Prince or Princess. The reality show follows a group of young, wealthy African Americans in St. Louis through dinner parties and shouting matches.

Read more
Movie Interviews
4:11 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Director Says Hoffman Inhabited 'Most Wanted Man' Role

Anton Corbijn directed Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final roles — playing a haggard German intelligence agent in the film adaptation of the John le Carré spy thriller A Most Wanted Man.
Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 6:29 pm

When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of a heroin overdose in February, he left behind several unreleased films.

His most significant role: The haggard German intelligence agent Gunther Bachmann in the spy thriller A Most Wanted Man. Hoffman's character leads a fictional intelligence unit and is tasked with recruiting informants within the Islamic community to uncover terrorist plots.

The film is based on the 2008 John le Carré novel by the same name. It's set in Hamburg, Germany, more than 10 years after Sept. 11.

Read more

Pages