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"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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Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Detour: the guilty soul of film noir


The Ebert Club is pleased to share this classic film noir, streaming free. I invite you to join the Club and dive into an eclectic assortment of wonderful and curious finds. Your subscription helps support the Newsletter, the Far-Flung Correspondents and the On-Demanders on my site. - RE

"This movie from Hollywood's poverty row, shot in six days, filled with technical errors and ham-handed narrative, starring a man who can only pout and a woman who can only sneer, should have faded from sight soon after it was released in 1945. And yet it lives on, haunting and creepy, an embodiment of the guilty soul of film noir. No one who has seen it has easily forgotten it." - From my Great Movies review

Detour (1945) Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. Written by Martin Goldsmith and Martin Mooney. Starring Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald and Tim Ryan.

Synopsis: Al is a piano player who sets off hitchhiking his way to California to be with his fiancee. Along the way a convertible driven by Charles Haskell Jr. stops to pick him up. Al is driving while Haskell sleeps when a rainstorm begins and Al pulls over to put up the top. Haskell doesn't wake up and falls out onto the pavement, dead. Al dumps the body, takes Haskell's money, clothes and ID, then drives off in Haskell's car. In voice-over, Al tells the audience that he didn't kill Haskell. After spending the night in a motel, Al picks up another hitchhiker. As it happens, Vera had earlier ridden with Haskell and blackmails Al by threatening to turn him in for murder unless he gives her the money. Note: At the age of 86, Ann Savage was cast by director Guy Maddin to play a shrewish mother in the film My Winnipeg (2007).

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Rene Clair's "And Then There Were None"


The Ebert Club is pleased to share the following film by the great French auteur Rene Clair  and to invite you to join the Club and see what other mysteries lurk in the tree house!

And Then There Were None (1945) Directed by Rene Clair. Written by Dudley Nichols and based on the novel by Agatha Christie. Starring Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, Roland Young, Mischa Auer, June Duprez and Judith Anderson.  Winner! 1946 Locarno International Film Festival: Best Film.Synopsis: Ten strangers are summoned to a small island off the coast of Devon, by a mysterious note. Once there they discover that their unknown host, a certain "Mr. Owen", has not yet arrived. They're told he'll be there by dinner and so they retire to their rooms to prepare for the evening. Come dinner, their host has still not arrived and suddenly a voice on a gramophone record proceeds to accuse all of them of past murders they were never prosecuted for. The guests strongly deny any wrong doing and a decision is made to leave the island immediately!  A servant however, tells them that there's no way to get the boat from the mainland. There's also no phone on the island and the boat only comes twice a week. It won't be back until Monday morning and it's only Friday night....

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