Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein after an Italian model-actress alleged that he raped her at her hotel in 2013.

As NPR's Mandalit Del Barco reports, "A spokesman for the LAPD says the department is interviewing a 'potential victim' of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein in 2013."

The allegations of sexual assault are the first reported in Los Angeles. Police in New York and London are investigating allegations that Weinstein sexually assaulted five women in those cities.

For more than a week, Marisol Paniagua has been living at an evacuation center. She had been scheduled to pick grapes at a vineyard near the city of Santa Rosa, Calif. But that work was canceled because of the wildfires ravaging Northern California.

"It's very difficult right now because we just have a little bit of gas left in our car. That's how we are still able to drive around," said Paniagua, 37. "But the fact is, we have nothing."

Battle your way to dignity and force others to see your life-or-death struggle. This was the sole option available to the HIV-positive community in the '80s and '90s, when the deadly pandemic ravaged gay people and junkies, populations easy for governments to ignore. Today, with HIV/AIDS much more manageable and treatment options out in the open, it can be easy to think of our progression with the disease as inevitable.

Todd Haynes may not have been at the top of anyone's list of potential kiddie-movie directors before Wonderstruck, but the movie does dovetail with several of the filmmaker's previous projects.

Director Tomas Alfredson is in the ennui business. His films are heavy and portentous, often blanketed in the permafrost of his native Sweden and always just as chilly indoors. His 2008 breakthrough, Let the Right One In, reinvigorated the vampire myth by draining it of sensationalism and using it as an affecting metaphor for the eternal loneliness of adolescence.

Frank Walsh

Dance is perhaps the cruelest art form. The physical toll on the body is immense. Most professional dancers, who probably started dance classes in elementary school, have begun second careers by their early 30s.

But we retain the ability to move into old age, even if it's limited. So why should expressive and artistic movement be limited to the young?

John Sparrow / facebook.com

Of all the iconic names in Milwaukee history, among the most enduring on the musical front is the Violent Femmes. The band emerged from the punk scene more than 35 years ago and scored hits such as Gone Daddy Gone and Blister in the Sun, and became one of the top alternative rock bands of the 1980s. 

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Let me take you back to a day in July 2014 when a man named Eric Garner was stopped by two cops on the street in Staten Island.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Dan Tyminski might have one of the most recognizable voices in acoustic music. He grew up in southern Vermont, fixated on traditional bluegrass and old country. While his friends were buying Def Leppard and AC/DC records, he was playing banjo.

In Northern California, two intoxicants are king — wine and weed.

Both products drive the $3.2 billion-a-year tourism industry in Napa and Sonoma counties. But as wildfires continue to rage through the region this week, marijuana growers and winemakers are struggling to keep their crops safe.

As someone who lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder, novelist John Green sometimes feels like his mind is spiraling uncontrollably.

"It starts out with one little thought, and then slowly that becomes the only thought that you're able to have," Green says. "It's like there's an invasive weed that just spreads out of control."

Hysteria. Panic.

Those were words reporters were using on this day 30 years ago to describe the stock market crash, now remembered as Black Monday.

Oct. 19, 1987, brought the single biggest one-day percentage drop in history — and yes, that includes the 1929 crash that presaged the coming of the Great Depression.

On that frightening Monday three decades ago, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 508 points — more than 22 percent — to just over 1,700.

Olly olly oxen free!

All you young readers in New York City, hide no more: For one day and one day only, the city's three major public library systems are offering unconditional amnesty to everyone age 17 and under who has been charged with late fees. The libraries will also clear the fines of those who are still in high school and 18 or over, if they show up in person by Nov. 2. All money owed for overdue or lost books and DVDs is officially wiped clean for these kids and teens.

It might not appear like an obvious hotbed of contemporary music, but amid the rolling cornfields of western Michigan, at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Bill Ryan has been masterfully cultivating the GVSU New Music Ensemble. And with RETURN, the group's fourth album, Ryan is reaping what he has sewn since founding the ensemble in 2006: All 15 works were composed by his former students. (Full disclosure: Some 35 years ago, I was a young literature student at GVSU.)

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