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Alice Through the Looking Glass

There is no magic, no wonder, just junk rehashed from a movie that was itself a rehash of Lewis Carroll, tricked out with physically unpersuasive…

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Holy Hell

The story of a cult as told by a filmmaker assigned to glorify it; intriguing but superficial.

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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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Interview with James Coburn

TORONTO, CANADA - James Coburn is one of those movie stars who inspire an instinctive reaction in a lot of people. They seem to believe he's getting away with something. Maybe it's that grin, the one that somehow suggests that fate has given Coburn a free lifetime pass. In the 1960s, that decade when the generation under 30 seemed drenched in euphoria, Coburn's grin hinted that he was...well, always stoned. Now it is 1980, and the grin still hints at the same thing. James Coburn is not, however, always stoned. He just looks that way; it's part of his image.

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Interview with Paul Mazursky (1980)

LOS ANGELES - Paul Mazursky, in 1980, is very much an outsider in contemporary Hollywood. At a time when the bosses of the major studios are engaged in games of musical chairs, when few studio chiefs give any thought to long-term filmmaking philosophies. When the creative deal is more highly regarded than the creative film, when bloated budgets are poured into films that will become either monster hits or complete write-offs...at a time like this, Paul Mazursky is so out of date he seems almost Victorian.

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Interview with Bette Midler

TORONTO, CANADA - About halfway into "Divine Madness," Bette Midler is doing a series of dirty jokes and somebody in the audience shouts out that she should tell the taco joke. "The taco joke?" Bette asks. "You think I'm crazy? I know what the movie audience will go for, how much I can get away with.... Remember, this is the time-capsule version."

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Interview with Glynnis O'Connor

LOS ANGELES - It's a Hollywood rite of passage, a young actress' transition from playing teenagers to playing young women. Agents, managers and the actress herself study dozens of scripts, searching for the right one, the one in which the actress can grow up gracefully and alter her image for the long haul through her 20s and 30s.

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Michael Caine: Doing something with nothing

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BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - Michael Caine is one of the most watchable of movie actors, but why? And why is he an actor almost everyone seems to like - even though until recently, as he cheerfully puts it, "I was a star, but sort of a half-assed star"? I'm trying to figure out the answers to these questions while watching him act in a scene with a very different kind of star: Pele, the soccer player.

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Interview with Robert Altman (1980)

LOS ANGELES - Robert Altman is in an unsettled frame of mind these days. He has moved his Lion's Gate Films out to a large, nondescript factory building in West Los Angeles, and there he sits and broods about the current state of the American film industry. "We are adrift," he declares. "There is nobody at the helm. There is no rudder. The bridge is cut off from the rest of the ship. You don't negotiate with them anymore. You plea bargain."

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