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The Circle

A high tech thriller with plenty of tech and not enough thrills.

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How to Be a Latin Lover

Eugenio Derbez’s attempt to seduce U.S. audiences with a cheesy bilingual spoof of an ethnic stereotype long past its expiration date.

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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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Mr. Capra went to Hollywood

Frank Capra was a member of the most exclusive club in the world of film - those few directors with a style so personal that their names have been turned into adjectives. Words like "Felliniesque," "Hitchcockian" and "Wellesian" summon up instant images of the distinctive universes of their creators. And "Capraesque" evoked a world of little guys who stood up against the system, of poor people who insisted on their dignity, of small towns with bedrock values, of government that sometimes balked but almost always did the right thing when the voice of the people was heard.

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My talk with Spike Lee

A dozen things I learned while talking with Spike Lee:1. The Bulls will win it: "Michael Jordan said to me, there's no guarantee they're ever gonna make it back. So he guarantees this is gonna be the year."

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David Lean, a filmmaker of epic scale

On the day I went to visit David Lean's set of "Ryan's Daughter" in Dingle, Ireland, in 1969, the sun was shining and it reflected a dazzling light off the sands of the beach. The next day it started to rain, and within a week Robert Mitchum made his famous observation, "We've shot for one day and we're eight days behind schedule." Months later, Lean eventually took cast and crew members all the way to Natal in South Africa to match the sunny beach. He could, of course, have started over again and shot the beach scene with an overcast, but an overcast wasn't what he had in mind. He wanted sun, even in Ireland, even in March.

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Julia Phillips' unsparing Hollywood tell-all

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On the jacket of this book you will find this information: "Julia Phillips lives in Beverly Hills." Everything else Phillips can possibly think of to tell you about herself is inside the book, the most outspoken Hollywood memoir in recent history. Reviewers have generally disapproved, finding it trashy and its author pathetic. Reading it, however, I found myself developing a kind of admiration for Julia Phillips. She is honest. And if she is merciless, at least she does not spare herself. Not even Kitty Kelly could write a more scathing portrait of Phillips than she has written of herself.

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Albert Brooks defends his cinematic life

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LOS ANGELES This is a very small anecdote, but maybe it will lead somewhere. I went to interview Albert Brooks out at his office at Warner Bros. We were going to talk about "Defending Your Life," his new comedy about a man who discovers the afterlife is a place named Judgment City, and you go on trial there. We had a good talk.

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