A growing group of scholars from around the world have begun studying songs in video games. These so-called “ludomusicologists” had their first North American conference last weekend, in hopes of legitimizing this type of music in the academic world. Steven Reale, assistant professor of music at Youngstown State University, shares why this form of musical composition and new field of study is gaining recognition world-wide.
Forty years ago this month, a game was introduced to the world that changed pop culture forever: Dungeons & Dragons. Helping The Takeaway to celebrate this milestone, and explain how Dungeons & Dragons withstood the test of time, is David Ewalt, author of "Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons and Dragons and the People Who Play It," and John August, a D&D enthusiast and screenwriter behind “Frankenweenie,” “The Corpse Bride,” “Big Fish,” “Charlie's Angels,” “Go,” and many other blockbuster films.
Motown has become an American institution. But Motown also had a spoken-word label called Black Forum, which was set up in 1970. Two years after he was assassinated, the label released a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Television and radio broadcaster, Alvin Hall recently completed a half hour story on the Black Forum label for the BBC. He shares what he learned and describes why Motown got involved in civil rights recordings.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen recount their encounters with wildlife in the city and ponder the ways that dance-offs are better than shoot-outs. It's all in honor of the animated feature, "The Nut Job," the buddy cop comedy, "Ride Along," and the spy thriller, "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit." Rafer and Kristen also weigh in on the Oscar nominations, which were announced this Thursday. And there's a big trivia-related mea culpa as well!
Movie villains are everywhere in the films hitting the box office this week—from Victor Cherevin in the new film “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” to the mysterious secret kingpin in "Ride Along," which stars Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. But where do these villains come from? Helping us to understand how our villains have evolved is James Furbush, he’s co-author of the essay “Hollywood’s Evil Men: A Symbol of America’s Collective Fears.” As usual, the Movie Date team—Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer—give their reviews of the new releases.
On and off film, war isn't what it used to be. Nowadays, it seems like war films may represent a dual yearning to revisit combat experiences by those who served, and a desire to better understand conflicts by those who haven't. Award winning film author and lecturer Robert McKee has done extensive research on the depiction of war in the movies. He discusses how public sentiment and the kinds of wars we fight have changed what we see on the screen, and how the box office performs.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen review the new Renny Harlin action flick, "The Legend of Hercules," starring Kellan Lutz. They also give their predictions for the major film categories of this weekend's Golden Globes (Sunday, January 12). And, bonus: this week's trivia winner gets a very special prize!
One of the biggest challenges in American cinema has been bringing the stories of war to the civilian big screen. "Lone Survivor" is a new film by director Peter Berg that attempts to bring the story of a mission gone wrong in Afghanistan to a civilian audience. Donna Axelson's son, Matt, was one of the SEAL team members killed in the mission. She discusses what it was like to see her son portrayed on film and shares her thoughts on how and why filmmakers should attempt to bring the realities of war to a civilian screen.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence in South Sudan that erupted last month, following a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar. The Takeaway talks with Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, about the roots of the current crisis. Deb Dawson, of Fargo, North Dakota also weighs in. Dawson works closely with Sudanese Lost Boys and Lost Girls both in the U.S. and abroad.
The song that frames an Olympic figure skater's routine needs to have a variety of tempos. It needs to have emotional resonance and perhaps a little bit of edge. Most importantly, it needs to be something the skater can listen to over and over and over again. As competitors gear up for the 2014 Olympics, Kristi Yamaguchi, the 1992 Olympic Champion in ladies' singles, reflects on the kind of music that brings home medals.
Nothing says happy birthday to one of the world's most ruthless dictators more than a basketball game led by former NBA star Dennis Rodman. Today in honor of Kim Jong-Un's birthday, Rodman has assembled a 12-member team to play a game in North Korea. Is this just classic Dennis Rodman? Or is there something deeper going on? To help us get inside his head we've called upon William Rhoden, sports writer for our partner The New York Times.
The latest film by British director Stephen Frears is Philomena, the true story of BBC reporter Martin Sixsmith's effort to reveal the extraordinary tale of a mother’s search for her lost son. Whatever the subject, this filmmaker prefers stories that get to the heart of the matter, but he says that any genius in directing is about getting out of the way.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen answer a few of the many listener letters they've recently received. Along the way, they try to lend some movie therapy and (hooray!) end up on a surprise speed date. Bonus: Rafer and Kristen have some big announcements to make. Among them: a recent smackdown with the Game Night Guys and an upcoming singles mixer at WNYC.
If Friday's winter storm has got you stuck indoors this weekend, the timing couldn’t be better because it’s officially the start of awards season, with the Golden Globes just 9 days away. Joining The Takeaway to fill you in on all the must-see films that you may have missed before awards season are Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for The Takeaway.
Jazmine Fenlator is like a lot of Olympic athletes. She played sports growing up, excelled in high school athletics, and was recruited by a university to compete on their Division 1 Track and Field team. She holds the university’s records for the indoor shot put, outdoor shot put, and discus. But while it sounds like Jazmine is the track star we’ll all be cheering for in the near future, she is, in fact, the pilot the U.S. Olympic Women’s bobsled team.
The highly anticipated fourth season of Downton Abbey premiers Sunday night, and Lucy Lethbridge, author of Servants: A Downstairs View of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times, argues that the servant/nobility relationship shaped nearly everything in British life.
More than five years ago, photographer Rachael Jablo developed chronic migraines. As a side effect of the medication she took to help treat those migraines, Jablo developed aphasia which caused her to lose her ability to remember language. Slowly, she was able to speak but could no longer remember certain words to identify simple objects or feelings. Eventually, she came up with the idea of using photography as a way to relearn language.
About 40 percent of Americans make new years resolutions, but just 8 percent actually achieve them. Samantha Henig, digital editor for the New York Times Magazine, has been interviewing a family with an outstanding New Year's resolution track record. Robin Marantz Henig, a freelance science writer for our partner The New York Times, has been looking into the science of new year’s resolutions with the NYU Motivation Lab.
The year ahead is full of promise and pitfalls, and The Takeaway is there to make sense of it every step of the way.
What’s in store this year for the U.S. economy? Will unemployment fall back down to pre-recession levels? Will we see a soaring stock market and stabilized ...
It was almost four years ago that Oscar Grant was killed in Oakland, California. Grant was a young, black man, shot in the back by a white BART police officer, just hours after midnight on New Years Eve. That tragic New Years Day for Oscar Grant was captured in the film, "Fruitvale Station," the first feature-length film produced by the very young Ryan Coogler, who by all accounts, has had a very good year.