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Winter Sleep

The running time of his new picture Winter Sleep, three hours and change, suggests weight, but at it happens, this movie struck me as both…

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Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

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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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Magic in `Moulin Rouge'

CANNES, France -- "With money like this, think what could be done with the Chicago Film Festival!" declared a Cannes Film Festival visitor Wednesday night. I think the visitor was me. I was not referring to the cost of the Cannes festival, but to the cost of the party after the opening night premiere of "Moulin Rouge." There has never been a Cannes party like it - and take it from me, I've seen plenty, including the bash on Roman Polanski's pirate ship.

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Giants return to Cannes

CANNES, France-- Forty-one years after his "Breathless" swept in the French New Wave and helped herald the modern era of filmmaking, Jean-Luc Godard is back at the Cannes Film Festival with a new movie. The onetime enfant terrible is now 71, and the 1960s "film generation" that marched under his banner is old and gray, but his very presence inspires a certain trembling in the air as the 54th Cannes festival opens. The giants are back in town.

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Stimulation is the real issue of 'Intimacy'

PARK CITY, Utah--Here is the most fundamental rule of film criticism: A movie is not about what it is about, but about how it is about it. The subject does not and cannot make a movie good or bad. Only the style, the approach, the method, the craftsmanship, the purpose and the message can make a movie good or bad.

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Indie films alive and well

PARK CITY, Utah -- This was an especially satisfying Sundance Film Festival. Day after day, clicking off three to four screenings, I became heartened by the good health of independent films. Of course, thanks to the dumbed-down movie distribution system and bookers with blinders, some of the films I liked most may never play in some cities (or states). But at least they exist, and thank God for cable and video stores.

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Errol Morris: Megatron, Son of Interrotron

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PARK CITY, Utah -- There is a tall curtain at one end of the room, and from time to time, Errol Morris peeks out from behind it like the Wizard of Oz. All of the seats are taken in the House of Docs for his demonstration of his latest interviewing device -- Megatron, Son of Interrotron -- at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Technicians scurry about, wearing ski parkas instead of white lab coats, but nevertheless looking like the minions of a James Bond villain, about to demonstrate a device that will (cackle) gain control of mankind.

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Believe it or not

PARK CITY, Utah "The Believer," a controversial film about a Jewish anti-Semite, won the Grand Jury Prize as best dramatic film at the 20th Sundance Film Festival here Saturday night. "Southern Comfort," about an extended family of transsexuals in rural Georgia, won the Grand Jury Prize for documentaries.

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Six from Sundance

PARK CITY, Utah -- A jilted transsexual, a city priest, a rock musician, a man with no memory, a Jewish anti-Semite and a headless chicken. Six movies ranging from good to great. After two more days at the Sundance Film Festival, I review my notes.

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Mick moves into movies

PARK CITY, Utah -- Mick Jagger is taller than you'd think, thin as a rail, dressed in clothes that were never new and only briefly fashionable. There is a studious unconcern about appearance, as if, having been Mick Jagger all these many years, he can wear whatever he bloody well pleases.

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Beauty's comment bedevils

PARK CITY, Utah -- You can't take food or drinks into the Eccles Center here at the Sundance Film Festival, so you stand in the lobby, gobbling sandwiches from the little refreshment stand. I had my mouth full of roast beef on French bread with some kind of horseradish cream sauce, when a beautiful woman smiled at me.

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