Arts

The Two-Way
7:07 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Book News: Author Criticizes S.C. School Funding Cuts Over Gay-Themed Books

Alison Bechdel is the author of the graphic memoir Fun Home and the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For.
Elena Seibert Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Fri February 28, 2014

The Count Of Many Mistresses: Alexandre Dumas' Lively Life

For this second installment of the NPR Books/Code Switch Black History Month project, we asked the legendary Kyle Baker — his work includes Why I Hate Saturn, and stints on the X-Men, Deadpool and Plastic Man — to illustrate one of his literary inspirations. Baker chose Alexandre Dumas, creator of the Three Musketeers — whose life was almost as eventful as his fiction. We recommend you click on the enlargement to get the full effect of all the detail!

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Oscars 2014: The 86th Annual Academy Awards
2:20 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Keen Eyes, Uncanny Instincts Keep Films In Sharp Focus

On location for Walk of Shame, camera crew members Larry Nielsen (center) and Milan "Miki" Janicin (right) help set up a crane shot. The wireless focus remote Nielsen will use is hanging from that purple carabiner on his jacket.
Cindy Carpien NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 1:41 pm

You won't believe it — I didn't — but the person responsible for keeping each and every shot of a movie in focus never looks through a camera lens.

"No," says focus puller Baird Steptoe. "We do not look through the camera at all."

Steptoe has worked as a first assistant cameraman on films from The Sixth Sense to Thor to last year's Grownups Two. He says he's learned to judge distances — precise distances — with his naked eye alone.

"I mean, I can tell you roughly from you to me right now," he says. "I would say about 2-11."

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Oscars 2014: The 86th Annual Academy Awards
2:18 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Oscar Glow, Today's Tech Help Short Films Find Their Fandom

One of this season's Oscar-nominated shorts is Mr. Hublot, a French-language animated film about a reclusive man who must learn to adapt to a new housemate — a robot dog.
Zeilt Productions

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:53 am

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Movie Reviews
6:39 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Mouse, Meet Bear, And Let's All Make Friends

A bear named Ernest, voiced by Forest Whitaker, befriends the young mouse Celestine, voiced by Mackenzie Foy, even though their societies forbid it.
Gkids

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 12:26 pm

Animated movies excel in bringing to life the impossible stories, the ones drawn from fairy tales and mythology and the ones exploring the imaginary lives of creatures and things. It's an incredibly attractive notion, isn't it, to imagine there's a whole world going about its business, just out of sight?

The French-Belgian animated film Ernest & Celestine takes on that idea twice over, investigating the fictional lives of bears and mice, two societies living side by side, utterly intrigued by and terrified of each other.

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