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Bears

"Bears" could have used a lot more science; more substantive information in the place of wacky one-liners. Still, the images trump everything.

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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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Cast and Crew

* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.

D D L J - Dee Dee Ell Jay

May Contain Spoilers

Streaming on Netflix Instant.

The movie starts out so beautifully. The great Indian actor Amrish Puri stands there with his dignity, dressed in a perfect mix of Western and native Indian attire, feeding a flock of pigeons in London's monochrome rain-soaked concrete Trafalgar Square, thinking fondly about the sunny, colorful, musical world he left behind in the bright green and yellow fields of his home country. Twenty years of life in England, he runs a generic convenience store, with the goals of giving his daughters the life he never had. In his daydreams, however, he is longingly feeding pigeons not here, but in India.

That very short moment provided a profound insight into the lives of a whole population of first generation immigrants. But, I'd say that the movie takes a nose dive from there, and it does temporarily, because Puri seems to spend the rest of the film with a frozen glare that is frightening enough to make Indiana Jones pull out his own heart. And, similarly, I just wish that that punk Raj (Shah Rukh Khan) would stop his giggling. This is Aditya Chopra's "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" (1995) and it is easily one of the most popular of all Bollywood films, at least for a certain demographic of women between the ages 15 and 45, in a way that "Sholay" is the most popular of all Bollywood films for whatever male demographic I belong to.

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Going to the movies in India

HYDERABAD, India--After the Calcutta Film Festival, I stop for a few days in Hyderabad, the pearl capital of central India, where they are holding their 14th annual Golden Elephant Children's Film Festival. Headquarters is the Holiday Inn Krishna, where a papier-mache elephant dominates the lobby. After Calcutta's bump-'em traffic, Hyderabad is a relief; the drivers here are as laid back as the typical Manhattan cabbie.

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The magic of Indian cinema

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HYDERABAD, India After the Calcutta Film Festival, I stop for a few days in this pearl capital of central India, where the 14th annual Golden Elephant Children's Film Festival is taking place. Headquarters is the Holiday Inn Krishna, where a papier-mache elephant dominates the lobby. After Calcutta's bump-'em traffic, Hyderabad is a relief; the drivers here are as laid back as the typical Manhattan cabbie.

Continue reading →