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Mortdecai

Not only is it a one-joke characterization, the joke is on the level of a below-average knock-knock joke.

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Son of a Gun

Avery’s more than capable behind the camera, he just needs to be met halfway by his screenwriting, which dwells in overly familiar territory.

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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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Tammy Faye's story captured in documentary

PARK CITY, Utah -- "When she was born," her aunt recalls, "she had perfectly manicured fingernails." She still does. She also has eyelashes so firmly attached that she never removes them: "They have to sort of wear out. When one falls off, I replace it." Tammy Faye Bakker, once the evangelizing queen of a global satellite network, now "living in virtual exile in a gated community in Palm Springs," came to the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend and won the hearts of the heathens.

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Indie filmmakers go digital

SALT LAKE CITY -- About half of the films at the Sundance Film Festival this year have been shot the low-cost digital way, and 26 percent of them were directed by women. Those two statistics, possibly related, point the way into the new millennium for American independent filmmaking.

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Rays of hope at Sundance

PARK CITY, Utah -- Beverly Hills slicksters and Manhattan indie distributors are packing their goose-down coats and Elmer Fudd hats and gearing up for the Sundance Film Festival, held every January here in this Utah ski resort, often in the middle of a snowstorm.

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Finding nirvana in a Calcutta theater

CALCUTTA, India This is the story of one afternoon at the Calcutta Film Festival. I meet my driver outside the hotel. Everyone in Calcutta who has a car has a driver. This is not because they are too lazy to drive themselves. It is because they are too frightened. Driving in Calcutta traffic is like living inside a dangerous and violent video game.

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Calcutta Film Festival

CALCUTTA, India I have been here at the Calcutta Film Festival for five days without once hearing the word "Miramax." No one has discussed a deal. There has been no speculation about a film's box-office prospects. I have not seen a single star. I have been plunged into a world of passionate debate about film - nonstop talking about theory, politics and art. For the visiting American, dazed and sedated by the weekly mumbo-jumbo about the weekend's top 10, this is like a wake-up plunge into cold water.

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1999 Calcutta Film Festival

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CALCUTTA, India - I have been here at the Calcutta Film Festival for five days without once hearing the word "Miramax." No one has discussed a deal. There has been no speculation about a film's box office prospects. I have not seen a single star. I have been plunged into a world of passionate debate about film--nonstop talking about theory, politics and art. For the visiting American, dazed and sedated by the weekly mumbo-jumbo about the weekend's ten grossers, this is like a wakeup plunge into cold water.

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Going to the movies in India

HYDERABAD, India--After the Calcutta Film Festival, I stop for a few days in Hyderabad, the pearl capital of central India, where they are holding their 14th annual Golden Elephant Children's Film Festival. Headquarters is the Holiday Inn Krishna, where a papier-mache elephant dominates the lobby. After Calcutta's bump-'em traffic, Hyderabad is a relief; the drivers here are as laid back as the typical Manhattan cabbie.

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