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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Movie Answer Man (05/05/1996)

Q. In one of your comments on "Mulholland Falls," you asked why those four cops driving around in the Buick Skylark convertible are somehow "funny-looking." I can tell you why. It's because they're driving in a convertible at 100 mph with hats on -- and the hats DON'T FLY OFF. I wear a hat like theirs and it isn't easy to keep it on my head when the wind blows. My guess is that the art director fastened them on with a 12-penny nail hammered firmly through the crown and right into the actors' heads. This would explain quite a lot about "Mulholland Falls." (Rich Elias, Delaware, Ohio)

A. In my review, I said "the Hat Squad in their shiny Buick look like male action dolls out for a spin in "Toy Story." But I found this and other stylistic touches part of the movie's appeal. I gather that you disagree.

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