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Pat Dowell

  • Lewis, whose comedic duo with Dean Martin launched him to the peak of showbiz, starred and directed in dozens of films. He was perhaps just as famous for his charity work fighting muscular dystrophy.
  • Godard, who has been making films for more than half a century, shared the 2014 Jury Prize at Cannes for his 3-D film, Goodbye To Language. He likes 3-D, he says, because "there aren't any rules."
  • The star of Blue Velvet follows up her Webby-winning Green Porno series with another cheeky look at animal behavior. In Mammas, she channels mothers of many a species, challenges the belief that mothers are universally self-sacrificing — and eats an offspring or three.
  • The new film from the director of Man on Wire and Project Nim, James Marsh, is a fiction film about the period toward the end of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It stars Clive Owen and up-and-comer Andrea Riseborough.
  • No One Knows About Persian Cats tells the story of Iranian musicians trying to put together a band in a country where heavy metal, rock and hip-hop are illegal. The film won two prizes at last year's Cannes International Film Festival, and opens in this week in the U.S.
  • The Boston-based composer is remembered, 100 years after his birth, for a string of three-minute pops-concert classics such as "Sleigh Ride," "The Typewriter" and "The Syncopated Clock."
  • This Wednesday, Steven Spielberg's version of The War of the Worlds opens across the country. The film is based on H. G. Wells' classic novel, which has been adapted many times since it was published in 1898. Most famous is Orson Welles' 1938 radio play, which frightened millions who mistook it for a news report. The 1953 film version appeared during a wave of sci-fi movies that hit American screens in the 1950s, a time of great fear in the United States.
  • Volker Schlondorff is an Academy Award-winning German filmmaker who has focused on many aspects of German culture and history, but vowed never to make a movie about concentration camps -- until now. The Ninth Day tells the story of a priest who is torn between what is best for the church and his people.
  • Productions Peter Pan have reflected changing social attitudes toward children over the years. The result is that until recently, Peter, the boy who wouldn't grow up, was played by a woman. NPR's Pat Dowell explores the history of the character.
  • Ancient Rome and Greece seem to be the hot topics for major motion pictures once again. Troy, with Brad Pitt as Achilles, opens in theaters next weekend. Alexander, directed by Oliver Stone, opens this summer. Pat Dowell reports on why filmmakers find the ancient venues so appealing.