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A Letter to Momo

Even scenes that work, such as a climax on a rain-soaked bridge, feel like they could have been trimmed by a few hand-drawn frames. Maybe…

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Cannibal

Visually striking and confident but frustratingly hollow in terms of character and narrative.

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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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* 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.

#26 September 1, 2010

From the Grand Poobah: Here in Michigan Oink's ice cream parlor exerts a magnetic pull on helpless citizens for miles around. I can no longer sample their countless flavors, but not log ago I took Kim Severson there. She is a New York Times writer doing a piece on The Pot. Oink's is run by my friend Roger Vink, who says, "May the Oink be with you."

(click photos to enlarge)

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A parable about film criticism andintelligence analysis from AMC's Rubicon

So far (four episodes in) I am enjoying AMC's Sunday night "Mad Men" companion, "Rubicon," the "seductive conspiracy thriller," as the ads say. What I like most about it is its "Twin Peaks"-like snail's pace (a two-chord repetition in the score echoes Angelo Badalamenti's) when it comes to unraveling the central mystery, which has something to do with crossword puzzles and four-leaf clovers and suicide and murder/accidents and sets of characters who haven't even met each other yet. I'm in no hurry. The worst parts of any mystery come when they start explaining things.

But this speech, in which a CIA intelligence analyst analyst tries to explain to officials at a National Security Council meeting something about the reliability of subjectivity, taste and evidence, struck me as an interesting parable for the practice, and uses, of criticism. Check it out and see what you think...

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