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The Man Who Knew Infinity

An account of a remarkable person should strive to be as equally remarkable as its subject, not the timid and tidy boilerplate special of a…

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Ratchet & Clank

At some point, the movie has to rely on the things at which it previously poked fun.

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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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Movie Answer Man (01/11/1998)

Q. You wrote in your review of "Titanic," "At one point Rose gives Lovejoy the finger; did young ladies do that in 1912?" This very question came up during an American Dialect Society's online discussion of anachronisms in "Amistad" (where characters say "hello" despite the fact that the word was not used until the invention of the telephone). Apparently, the gesture has been used at least since the last century (there are photographs of 19C people giving the finger), although I'd say it's unlikely that a young lady would have done so in 1912. (Alan Baragona, Staunton, Va.)

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