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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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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert became film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. He is the only film critic with a star on Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and was named honorary life member of the Directors' Guild of America. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Screenwriters' Guild, and honorary degrees from the American Film Institute and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since 1989 he has hosted Ebertfest, a film festival at the Virginia Theater in Champaign-Urbana. From 1975 until 2006 he, Gene Siskel and Richard Roeper co-hosted a weekly movie review program on national TV. He was Lecturer on Film for the University of Chicago extension program from 1970 until 2006, and recorded shot-by-shot commentaries for the DVDs of "Citizen Kane," "Casablanca," "Floating Weeds" and "Dark City," and has written over 20 books.

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The Spectacular Now

(2013)

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Computer Chess

(2013)

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At Any Price

(2012)

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Blancanieves

(2012)

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Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay

(2013)

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To the Wonder

(2013)

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From Up on Poppy Hill

(2013)

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The Host

(2013)

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Ginger and Rosa

(2013)

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On the Road

(2013)

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Phil Spector

(2013)

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Ballad of Narayama Great Movie

(1958)

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Don't Stop Believing: Everyman's Journey

(2013)

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Future Weather

(2012)

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Bless Me, Ultima

(2012)

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A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III

(2013)

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Side Effects

(2013)

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56 Up

(2013)

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Stand Up Guys

(2013)

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Quartet

(2012)

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The Loneliest Planet

(2013)

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West of Memphis

(2012)

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LUV

(2013)

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The Trouble with the Truth

(2012)

In memory of Donald Richie

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More than anyone else, Jeannette Hereniko introduced me to the concept of the cinema of the Pacific Rim. I knew Donald Richie through his books, and in particular learned from him about Ozu. More than anyone else, he was responsible for the introduction of Japanese films to the West, Particularly when he brought a group of great titles to the Venice Film Festival, circa 1960. He also wrote fiction and on Japanese society, and a wonderful autobiographical travel book, The Inland Sea, about a young GI who returned to Japan after WWII and stayed, inspired a film. Here is Jeanette's appreciation of Donald, who died on Feb. 19. Roger

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Bill Moyers on Creeping Creationism in our taxpayer-supported public schools

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Moyers devotes a full program to the way "intelligent design" is being used as a a Horse to smuggle religious fundamentalism into pubic schools. Included here, viewable separately, are his sessions with intellectual Susan Jacoby and with Zack Kopplin, who when he was a Louisiana high school student enlisted the support of Nobel Prize winners in his campaign to draw attention to the practice.

Here's a link to Kopplin's segment, and a full transcript on the issue.

My related blog entry, Win Ben Stein's Mind.

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How I am a Roman Catholic

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On Thursday morning, February 28, I found CNN featuring a continuous shot of a helicopter. The network cut between a close-up and a distant dot. It was Benedict, flying from the Vatican City. This was extraordinary attention for an ordinary cardinal, because as Benedict told the throng awaiting him, "I am no longer Pope." I am not a scholar of Catholic history, but I believe we were witnessing the first time the Papal throne was vacant while an elected Pope was alive.

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