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Goodbye to Language

Jean-Luc Godard's latest free-form essay film may be, more than anything else, a documentary of a restless mind.

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The Great Invisible

Winner of the SXSW Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, the film is strongest when it focuses on the micro rather than the macro. How the…

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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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Monsieur Hire

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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A double feature every day!

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Cahiers du Cinema books the ideal repertory theater:

La cinémathèque idéal selon Les Cahiers du cinéma . Internet Scout: Larry J. Kolb, ex-CIA. My TwitterPages are linked at the right. var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname = "Roger Ebert's Journal"; a2a_config.linkurl = "http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/"; a2a_config.num_services = 8;

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A Holiday Present for Readers

Recently I reprinted a letter sent to my friend Christy Lemire, film critic of the Associated Press. In it, a great-grandmother described how she took four generations of her family, including herself, to see "The Nutcracker in 3D." They all responded, quite naturally, as if they had found coal in their stockings. It was a shocking film to promote in the guise of family entertainment. What does the Holocaust have to do with The Nutcracker Suite?Marie Haws, the good-hearted Hon. Sec'y. of the Ebert Club, was so moved by the letter that she proposed we make the following special page and fill it with these wonderful Minuscule clips and share them with readers, in the hope they raise spirits and spread smiles this Christmas season -- for those disappointed kids, and everyone. Season's screenings! Minuscule is a French series of 5 minute shorts created and directed by Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo. Described as "a cross between Tex Avery and Microcosmos," each features one or more insect characters in a self-contained and often humorous storyline.

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Here for Zone One (North America) is the Miniscule DVD.

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Que sera, sera

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I'll be honest and fight sqare

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We found a baby picture of mine that Chaz asked our assistant, Carol Iwata, to scan. She took it out of the frame and found this document folded behind it. I must have hidden it there.

Judging by the names Doug Pierre and Mike Russell, this must have been second grade. I have no memory of the Yanks or the Oath, but the little drawings seem vaguely familiar.

I've had my doubts about those movies where kids sign childhood pacts. I must learn to be more believing.

Here is the photo Chaz wanted scanned. She said I could use it when readers of my cookbook asked how I got started on The Pot.

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I went to school with Andy Cohen

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And he was just like this. Talented, enthusiastic, expert, willing to share, with a special empathy for music. With him it was very personal. He just plain looked happy while playing. He was at the center of that whole Campus Folk Song Club matrix at the University of Illinois in the early 1960s, which was the creation of the famous folklorist and labor historian Archie Green. It's hard to explain about the club. You had to have been there. Maybe just listening to Andy is one way to know.

Here is Andy Cohen's website.

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This is a dog

Does a dog know how it looks? It knows how another dog looks, certainly. It can tell friends from foes from strangers at a distance, aided greatly by smell. But does it place much importance on appearance? I know a smaller dog may back away from a larger one, but does that involve a mental weigh-in? I think it has more to do with the display of emotions, and I've seen big dogs back away in the face of small dogs in a

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