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Naomi Watts, Mulling 'The Impossible'

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami touched people in all corners of the globe. In The Impossible, Naomi Watts plays a tourist whose family is torn apart when the disaster strikes. She speaks with NPR's Melissa Block about waterborne work, and about her own fear of the sea.
NPR

Shedding Grim Light On A 'Dark' Story

Zero Dark Thirty tells a story most Americans know all too well, detailing the search for Osama bin Laden from Sept. 11, 2001, to the SEAL strike on his compound in 2011. NPR's Bob Mondello says the film brings a degree of complexity to a story with a very dark side. (Recommended)
NPR

In 'Red Pyramid,' Kid Heroes Take On Ancient Egypt

Our latest pick for NPR's Backseat Book Club is The Red Pyramid, a tale of two kids who must rescue the world from Egyptian gods. Author Rick Riordan, a former schoolteacher, combined his obsession with books with his passion for mythology to write this book about ordinary kids doing heroic things.
NPR

'Not Fade': Rock 'N' Roll, Here To Stay

In his new film, Sopranos creator David Chase tells a coming-of-age story about Jersey boys in the 1960s who dream of riding the wave of the British invasion all the way to stardom. Chase teams up with Steven Van Zandt — of the E Street Band and The Sopranos — to make the movie's music rock.
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Bigelow And Boal, Dramatizing The Hunt For Bin Laden

NPR's Renee Montagne speaks with director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal. The team behind The Hurt Locker is out with a new film, Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
NPR

Self-Publishing: No Longer Just A Vanity Project

It used to be called the "vanity press," a name that carried a sniff of derision. But Lynn Neary reports that self-publishing has become a booming business, spawning best-sellers, and attracting the interest of Amazon and the major publishing houses.
WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Dec. 19

With two days left until the end of the Mayan calendar, opportunities to enjoy the arts are dwindling.
NPR

At A Real-Life Santa's Workshop, Christmas Comes Early

An unassuming brick building in Brooklyn houses a factory that makes animatronic puppets, elves and polar bears for the holiday season. NPR's Neda Ulaby drops by Mechanical Displays Inc. to talk with professional window dresser Lou Nasti.
NPR

'Unchained' Admiration Between Actor And Director

Austrian actor Christoph Waltz won an Oscar for his portrayal of Nazi Jew hunter Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds. Teamed up with Tarantino again in Django Unchained, he says Tarantino's writing and the rhythm of the language speaks to him as a performer.

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