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Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

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Annie

The new version of "Annie" is fashionably artificial and not very well directed, but its unabashed good cheer is very welcome.

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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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Saturday night at the movies in my home town

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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