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Friday Fun: Trailer Talk

There’s no enticement quite like an artfully made movie trailer, and it doesn’t spoil the fun to get a better idea of how the pieces come together – and increasingly fly apart. Film Historian Wheeler Winston Dixon helps NPR’s Monkey See put some of the classiest recent trailers in context: “The shots are shorter and […]


Friday Fun: Feeling Bookish?

When am I not? In the newly released Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books, contemporary authors including Philip Pullman, Claire Messud, Lev Grossman and Alison Bechdel talk shelving and the future of books. Speaking of shelves, Brainpicker’s selections from December 2009 are worth a second look. Books now provide the “dressing” and the inspiration […]


Friday Fun: The Woollett Question

Shortly after docking in Liverpool, The Ambassadors‘s Lambert Strether meets the cordial American expatriate Maria Gostrey, who, on hearing of his mission, inquires as to the nature of the industry that calls Chad Newsome back to Woollett, Massachusetts; Strether declines to name it. The little manufactured item is at once, he suggests, too “familiar, too […]


Friday Fun: I Heard It Through the Grapevine

In Up from Slavery, Booker T. Washington makes reference to the “grape-vine” telegraph, the unofficial and effective, if not always entirely accurate, means by which Civil War-era slaves kept themselves informed as to the goings on of the nation. The term became even more popular when Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight and the Pips (above) […]