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Six Picks: Recommendations from the Monitor staff

'This American Life' radio show in theaters, a new movie vault with downloadable classics, 'The Reader' on DVD, and more.


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Radio on view

This American Life, the hit radio show, plans to make its humorous and profound stories visible for one night. On April 23, host Ira Glass (right), along with several contributors, will perform the show at the Skirball Center for Performing Arts at New York University and broadcast it live in a simulcast to 400 movie theaters nationwide. The theme of the two-hour stage version: "Return to the Scene of the Crime."

Art in a pocket

Books designed to carry in a pocket often offer solace, but Hundertwasser: Complete Graphic Work 1951-1976 (Prestel) offers eye-popping ecstasy. With 98 color illustrations by the visionary Austrian artist and architect reproduced in shimmering, iridescent splendor, this jewel of an art catalog displays Hundertwasser's phantasmagoric way of celebrating nature and culture. With swirling, vibratory waves of Technicolor radiance, trees and humans appear on the brink of exchanging leafy abundance. Sun and moon light transform houses into glowing planets. Hundertwasser transformed the magical, pantheistic spirit in folklore and Surrealism, creating rhapsodic images awash in childlike glee and sage reverence for nature.

Never too late

Hard as it may be to believe, there are still Holocaust stories to be told and to be moved by. Swimming in Auschwitz unfolds the harrowing details of six women who passed through and then out of one of the war's most notorious death camps. This uniquely female perspective on what is now a well-documented story is unexpectedly uplifting in its generosity and humanity. Now out on DVD in time for Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 21, the film plays on PBS throughout April.


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