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The Magnificent Seven

Rarely have so many charismatic actors been used in a film that feels quite as soulless as Antoine Fuqua’s update of The Magnificent Seven.

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The Age of Shadows

At 140 minutes, Kim sometimes loses the rhythm of his spy thriller, but he's such a confident filmmaker—and his leading man such a magnetic presence—that…

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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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Saturday night at the movies in my home town

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Painting by Kelly Eddington from St. Joseph, IL, north of Urbana on Route 45. Saturday night was a big deal in those days. Here is Kelly's website.. I own two of her works. She takes commissions,

Marty Moran wrote me:

I discovered your journal a while back as I searched some information about the Rialto Theatre in Champaign and read your piece on the Art Theatre. I have since read many of your entries and I have been struck by the memories you have evoked in me. I too was raised in Champaign - Urbana (having grown up in Champaign I put it first) and attended St Mary's grade school. I've spent my entire life working in the motion picture industry (distribution) and spent a couple of years with Disney that ended somewhat unpleasantly. Your essay on your dad and your memories of him in Nil by Mouth have moved me to comment. My dad also worked at the University of Illinois in the housing division. He had keys to many of the buildings on campus and we would cut through some of the dorms on the way to the July fourth fireworks at Memorial Stadium. He also came home at lunch and made a sandwich... usually salami with mustard.

I figure I am about 12 years younger than you but I grew up in much the same environment. I loved Steak & Shake, preferred Dog N Suds root beer to A&W, frequented Marty K's instead of Mel Roots and walked past the Huddle House on my way to school. We went to Turkey Run occasionally but spent most of our time at Lake of the Woods. My Dad was a Democrat and also hung coffee cans of water in the registers all winter long. Took my first airplane ride (with Dad) at Illini Field and spent some time at the Joy Land amusement park across the road. When your brother in law said; "Could be, when the Lord took away your drinking, he gave you back that memory." ... He probably didn't realize that your memories would trigger so many memories in others. So I am simply writing to say thanks for the memories! I will continue to read your journal regularly and I wish you all the best.

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Bill Moyers on Creeping Creationism in our taxpayer-supported public schools

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Moyers devotes a full program to the way "intelligent design" is being used as a a Horse to smuggle religious fundamentalism into pubic schools. Included here, viewable separately, are his sessions with intellectual Susan Jacoby and with Zack Kopplin, who when he was a Louisiana high school student enlisted the support of Nobel Prize winners in his campaign to draw attention to the practice.

Here's a link to Kopplin's segment, and a full transcript on the issue.

My related blog entry, Win Ben Stein's Mind.

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