Episode #1211

The Fall of Spider-Man

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark marquee The Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark marquee at the Foxwoods Theater on December 22, 2010, the day after an actor fell 20 feet during a performance. (Jemal Countess/Getty)

With director Julie Taymor out, will Spider-Man soar or splat? Jennifer Egan’s book A Visit from the Goon Squad goes inside the music business, with sleazeball executives, aging stars, and pathological journalists. And Kurt Andersen speaks with two Japan scholars about the imagination of disaster.

Japan: The Imagination of Disaster

Last week, Japanese-American historian Bill Tsutsui found himself in Tokyo in the middle of the earthquake: “We were outside this hotel and the earth started moving.  And all of a sudden people started running out.  First just a few, but then wave after wave.  And after it was ...

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The Saga of Spider-Man

The new Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark finally opened this week ... or actually, not. The producers just fired director Julie Taymor, and previews may be closed for an overhaul. “Those of us who followed Julie Taymor’s career,” says theater critic Jeremy ...

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Jennifer Egan on A Visit from The Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan's novel, A Visit from The Goon Squad, follows a group of music industry types — sleazeball executives, aging rock stars, kleptomanical assistants — jumping forward, backward and sideways in time. Innovative (one chapter, narrated by a child, is written entirely as a PowerPoint presentation) and poignant, ...

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Behind the Scenes with Daniel Lanois

In the behind-the-scenes realm of music producers, Daniel Lanois is a legend. He's the guy you call to juice up your career if you’re U2, Emmylou Harris, or Bob Dylan. Lanois recently published an autobiography, Soul Mining. Pejk ...

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Catherine Deneuve: The Queen of French Cinema

Catherine Deneuve became an international star in films like Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Belle de Jour, and Roman Polanski’s Repulsion. She still epitomizes a kind of continental classiness. Deneuve's now 67 and stars alongside Gérard Depardieu in the new comedy Potiche, a French ...

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Your Comments: Can You Go Home Again?

We aired a story last week about John Steinbeck and Monterey, California. After returning to Monterey as an older man, Steinbeck wrote, "What we knew is dead…what's out there is new, and perhaps good, but it's nothing we know." Kind of a downer. We asked what your ...

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Rolf Olsen from Lebanon, NH

When Lion King opened on Broadway, I declined the opportunity to see it. I had no interest in supporting the ‘Disney-fication’ of Broadway. I think Julie Taymor is a genius, but her ventures into this realm of commercial theater baffles me.. Why does Broadway feel the need to emulate film. The two media are inherently different. The power of live theater lies in its ability to engage the minds of audience members in that process called “the willing suspension of disbelief.” In film we can be shown, quite literally, events and worlds that we wouldn’t experience in “real life.” That doesn’t require active engagement, only special effects. I must also admit to smirking when I hear about movies being repackaged as novels in print. Let each medium or genre take best advantage of its strengths and not try to be something it’s not.

Mar. 21 2011 09:24 PM
Jill McElmurry

I hope Daniel Lanois has permission and/or acknowledges Matt Johnson and The The for the title Soul Mining.


Mar. 18 2011 04:24 PM

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