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When Marnie Was There

It is filled with the luscious, beautiful 2D animation that we’ve come to expect from Ghibli, and if the storytelling sometimes gets a bit lethargic…

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Sunshine Superman

I found Jean Boenish’s philosophical musings less than persuasive. And I don’t think my fear of heights was the reason for my bias.

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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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Ann-Margret: Still cracking that whip

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LAKE GENEVA, WI -- There is just no keeping up with all the new Ann-Margrets. Last year's new Ann-Margret abandoned her image, as the press releases say, to play a committed graduate student in "R.P.M." Her quandary: Should she still shack up with Anthony Quinn after he stops being a radical professor and becomes a moderate administrator? That's a dicey quandary, believe me, because Ann-Margret was playing a liberated woman even if she didn't have her own motorcycle and had to ride on the back of Anthony Quinn's.

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Interview with Mike Gray

NEW YORK - After the second screening of "The Murder of Fred Hampton" at the Museum of Modern Art, Mike Gray was sitting at the bar of the Chelsea Hotel and trying to decide how to take New York by storm. The museum screenings have generated a lot of enthusiasm and favorable reviews, but it costs $30,000 minimum to open a movie in New York and advertise it properly.

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Interview with Dalton Trumbo

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Dalton Trumbo's "Johnny Got His Gun" seemed for years to be one of those novels that could never be made into a movie. It took place entirely within the mind of a soldier who was so grievously wounded in World War I that he had only the most tenuous contact with the world. He had no arms, no legs, no sight or hearing, no way to speak.

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Interview with Mort Sahl

I went back to Mister Kelly's the other night to catch Mort Sahl again, and found myself sitting next to a friend who writes for another local newspaper. He was there to do a story on the girl singer - a very good girl singer - who is also there, and when she'd finished singing my friend got up to leave.

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Interview with Gene Wilder

It was just that moment of the evening when you need the lights but you don't quite want to turn them on. There were two big old overstuffed wing chairs facing each other in front of the fireplace, and in one of them Gene Wilder had thrown his leg over the chair's arm and was talking softly and slowly...

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Woody Allen goes 'Bananas'

When the word came through from New York that Woody Allen wanted the Chicago movie critics to see his new movie separately, I figured good old zany Woody Allen was up to his old stuff again. See, the studios have this superstition that critics won't know a comedy is funny unless they see it in a room with at least 500 other people, all laughing their heads off. So they may preview a drama in their screening rooms, but for a comedy you've gotta have a sneak preview in a big theater.

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