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Birdman

One of the best times you'll have at the movies this year, and possibly the year's best film overall.

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Rudderless

If this directorial outing was in any sense an audition for the talented Mr. Macy, he should be congratulated on passing it.

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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 (08/29/1999)

Q. There was an article in Entertainment Weekly about your feud with Jack Valenti over the MPAA rating system. Discussing your call for a new A rating, Valenti said if a film got rated NC-17 under your system, the producer could sue for punitive damages. He added: "If Mr. Ebert's employers would legally indemnify the ratings system, then I'd serious consider the A rating in a week." Any comment? (Casey Anderson, Schaumberg)A. Now I understand. Valenti agrees with me that the A rating is worthy of serious consideration, but it prevented from implementing it because he fears pornographers would sue him if the MPAA said their movies were dirty. Jack's argument is pure horsefeathers because porn movies are never submitted for ratings, and the A rating would cover all adult movies that were not hard-core pornography.Q. Just finished reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John LeCarre. On page 97: "The Dutch set him a honey trap, my dear, and he barged in with his eyes wide shut." Do you know the origin of the expression? (Michael Marren, Chicago)

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