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As a fetish object, it’s impressive. But as a fully satisfying feature-length drama, it’s a bust.

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"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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"The ultimate liberation": "Shoah" on Blu-ray reminds us of why it is essential cinema

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Patrick Z. McGavin writes about "Shoah," which was just issued on Blu-ray by Criterion in a thorough package that makes the film's unique storytelling more transparent to the layperson. "Lanzmann has said the form and construction is the key to understanding his film," McGavin writes, "and with this new version, that process has never been more intuitive."

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