A little more than 16 years ago, independent producer Joe Richman equipped a group of teenagers with tape recorders to report on their own lives. The groundbreaking series, Teenage Diaries, produced some of the most personal and memorable stories heard on NPR, and helped to pioneer a movement of first-person narratives on public radio. Since then, listeners have often asked: Where are those teenagers now?
If you've followed the story of "Prisoner X," the mysterious Israeli-Australian national, who allegedly committed suicide in an Israeli prison after being secretly held, you have no doubt asked yourself: What did Ben Zygier, who worked for Israel's spy agency, do for the country to imprison him and then keep everything about his arrest — or even his existence — secret for years?
Animated as ever when it comes to the topic of film, director Martin Scorsese delivers the 2013 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities at the Kennedy Center on April 1.
Credit Studiocanal Films Ltd.
The Magic Box (1951) made a lasting impression on Martin Scorsese when he first saw it in 1952. He says this is the film that made him think he could be a filmmaker. "The thing about that film was not just the moving image, but it was the obsession and the passion of the people at that time."
Credit Eadweard Muybridge / Public Domain
In 1878, landscape photographer Eadweard Muybridge set up a series of still cameras side by side at a racetrack, rigging them to be triggered by threads stretched across the course as the horse passed. Considered an intermediate stage in cinematography, Muybridge's photographic experiment captured the kinetic movement of a horse at full gallop.
Credit Public Domain
D.W. Griffith's The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) is thought to be the first gangster film.
Credit Public Domain
Edwin S. Porter'sThe Great Train Robbery (1903) is a 12-minute film that employs one of the first known uses of the cinematic "cut."
Martin Scorsese is a legend of a director — and he's also a great film teacher, a man who balances a passion for the medium with a deep knowledge of its history. Delivering this year's installment of the National Endowment for the Humanities' prestigious Jefferson Lecture — a talk he titled "Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema" — Scorsese demonstrated his speaking chops as well.
Let me tell you a quick story from NPR's move from our old headquarters to our new one.
When I was emptying out my old desk and workspace, in addition to all the shoes under my desk and an alarming number of vessels designed to keep coffee warm, I had quite a lot of books lying around. Some were upcoming books, most were old books, and a few were books I neither had any use for nor could bear to get rid of. One of the tests I applied was that if I picked up a book and the first page I opened to made me laugh, it survived.