"Eww" argues Roy Blount Jr., is the universal sound of disgust. So how does that affect our reaction to words that contain that sound, like "cutie" and "beautiful?"
Author Roy Blount Jr.
(Photo courtesy Joan Griswald)
Blount's recent talk at the Hennepin County library is filled with such questions and interesting tidbits, which break words down into their component parts.
The humorist and word lover talks about everything from Mark Twain's friendship with Helen Keller (brought about by the sound "MMM"), to stepping on a friend's hamster and how the experience revealed so much about the word "squelch."
Midday recently rebroadcast Blount's talk, which you can listen to by clicking on the audio link below.
Posted at 11:51 AM on August 15, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Film
What would it be like to have a sibling who was in the same business as you, but was having a lot more luck at it?
MPR's Euan Kerr found out when he spoke to screenwriter John Michael McDonagh.
Don Cheadle and Brenden Gleeson appear as an unlikely pair of crime fighters in John Michael McDonagh's "The Guard." (Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)
For a long time McDonagh was having a hard time getting his scripts turned into films. When one finally did get bought by Hollywood, the director botched the production. Now nobody was interested in McDonagh's work.
To make things worse, McDonagh's brother Martin had become an overnight sensation in London and New York with a series of award-winning plays, including "The Cripple of Inishmaan" and "The Pillowman."
"I hate the theater," John Michael McDonagh states bluntly. "I only go to the theater when he gives me free tickets for his own plays. Because I find it really boring. So he could have had all the success he wanted in the theater world and I wasn't bothered."
But then, Martin McDonagh started making movies.
"I think when he won an Oscar for his short film, that's when I say a little ulcer started in the pit of my stomach, and it grew when he got 'In Bruges' set up," said John Michael.
"In Bruges," a dark comedy about two Irish hitmen hiding out in Belgium, was an indie hit in 2008, snagging Martin McDonagh a best screenplay Oscar nomination.
John Michael says he's close to his brother, but they rarely talk about work.
Now John Michael is getting back in the spotlight with his new movie "The Guard," which he's directed himself.
To find out more about the movie, which stars Don Cheadle, click on the audio link below.
Preliminary numbers indicate 48,350 tickets were issued to the 2011 Minnesota Fringe Festival, down 3.7% from last year's record of 50,222 tickets. But this year also had two fewer productions - 167 instead of 2010's 169.
In a press release issued by the festival earlier today, Executive Director Robin Gillette said she's proud of this year's numbers.
"The past several years have seen enormous growth in the festival's attendance and we're happy to see those new audience members have become loyal Fringers in their own right.
"The numbers may be down a tad, but it was still a blockbuster year," said Gillette. "And what's more important to me than the numbers is the overwhelmingly positive response we got from participating artists, audiences and volunteers."
Preliminary estimates of this year's ticket sales total $357,567, down 3.1% over last year. Festival organizers attribute the discrepancy between revenue and tickets issued to a price increase for the festival's Ultra Pass, which offers holders an unlimited number of tickets for a set fee.
Meanwhile, the 19th annual Minnesota Fringe Festival has already been scheduled: Thursday August 2 through Sunday August 12, 2012.(1 Comments)