Episode #1451

Julie Taymor & the Year in Culture

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Beyoncé performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana Beyoncé performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana (Ezra Shaw)

The director Julie Taymor walks away from a high-profile flop and into a dream. She tells Kurt Andersen what went wrong on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and how she reinvented A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a new production off-Broadway. We look back on the year in culture: from Beyoncé to Miley to Macbeth. And just four years out of Juilliard, the actor Adam Driver (Girls, Inside Llewyn Davis) has arrived as Hollywood’s new star.

The Forecast for 2014

2013 has been a year of opposites attracting. Consider some of the year’s collaborations in pop music: the rapper LL Cool J and the country singer Brad Paisley, Daft Punk and Pharrell, Jay-Z and Coldplay. Alfonso Cuarón, director of exquisite small movies like Children of Men ...


Creative New Year’s Resolutions: A Recital Realized

Michael Relland teaches music at an elementary school near Phoenix, but a year ago, he decided that 2013 would be his year to learn. He resolved to play his first public cello recital — a concert for friends, family, and his community — that would run the gamut from Bach to Shostakovich ...

Bonus Track: Michael Relland, Beethoven’s “Cello Sonata No. 4 in C major”


Julie Taymor's Midsummer Night's Dream

In 2002, Julie Taymor was the new Queen of Broadway: a MacArthur genius and the creator of The Lion King, which became the most lucrative Broadway musical of all time. But soon after, she was hired to create what became the most notorious Broadway debacle in recent years ...

Bonus Track: Spider-Man — behind-the-scenes

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The Marlon Brando for Millenials

Adam Driver steals scenes as an angsty, masculine and vulnerable boyfriend in HBO's Girls. He'll try to do the same in the Coen Brothers latest film, Inside Llewyn Davis.


Tim Minchin's Christmas Carol

Tim Minchin’s musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda perfectly conjures both the naughtiness and sweetness of kids being kids. When it comes to Christmas, Minchin is a bit of a cynic. But we think his Christmas song, written for his daughter, is a modern classic. ...

Video: “White Wine in the Sun" (live)

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