Most kidnapping melodramas have final scenes — after their climaxes — that are, effectively, throwaways. There are sighs of relief, tearful reunions with families, cameras that dolly back on domestic tableaux to suggest the world has at last been righted.
I think it's telling that in Captain Phillips the most overwhelming scene is after the resolution, in the infirmary of a ship. So much terror and moral confusion has gone down — so much pain — that the cumulative tension can't be resolved by violence. The movie's grip remains strong even when it cuts to black.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 3:19 pm
The partial government shutdown was part of the buzz this week at an international gathering of mayors, city planners and urban experts in New York City.
Passing mentions of the U.S. government during several seminars at the CityLab conference sent knowing chuckles rolling through the audience. As in: "Those guys? They're closed for business! At least we're still on the job."
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 8:16 pm
"This is a godsend!" exclaimed Utah Gov. Gary Herbert late Thursday night, as he signed an agreement with the Department of the Interior to use state funds to reopen eight national park areas in his state for at least 10 days.
The Republican governor wasted no time in wiring $1.67 million to Washington overnight so that some of the areas can open as early as today. Rangers and other National Park Service employees will staff the parks as usual.
Elizabeth Smart was just 14 years old when she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Salt Lake City home in 2002. She was held captive for nine months and forced to act as Brian David Mitchell's second wife. He raped her nearly every day and told her that the ordeal was ordained by God.
Smart says there were moments when she felt there was no one to turn to — except God. She writes about how her Mormon faith played a key part in her survival in her new memoir, My Story.
Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison for corruption. But do the Barbershop guys think the sentence was too stiff? They weigh in on that and the week's other top stories.
According to a recent study, more than half of the Mississippians who file for bankruptcy do so because they cannot pay their medical bills. Clarion Ledger reporter Jerry Mitchell tells host Michel Martin what's causing such devastating costs.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 11:40 am
The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday awarded the 2013 peace prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a group that's only recently been thrust into the spotlight as it works to dismantle Syria's chemical program.
The OPCW, which is based at the Hague, was established in 1997 and now has an annual budget of $100 million and a staff of about 500 people. Here's a profile of the group.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 12:59 pm
Human Rights Watch has accused Islamist Syrian rebels of slaughtering nearly 200 unarmed civilians belonging to the minority Alawite sect and kidnapping hundreds more during an offensive against pro-regime villages.
The New York-based group issued a 105-page report on Friday outlining the atrocities it says were committed on Aug. 4 in more than a dozen villages in Latakia province.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 6:34 pm
We're all guilty of it. Even if we don't want to admit it, we've all been suckered into grabbing a bottle of wine off the grocery store shelf just because of what's on the label. Seriously, who can resist the "see no evil" monkeys on a bottle of Pinot Evil?
But the tricks that get us to buy a $9 bottle of chardonnay — or splurge on a $40 pinot noir — are way more sophisticated than putting a clever monkey on the front.