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This film could have been titled “There Will Be Beef.”

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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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A considerable contribution

From Don Campbell & Christine Walsh, Moultonborough, NH:

Please send Mr. Ebert and his wife our best wishes and prayers for his quick and complete recovery. We regret that it was news of his surgery that has enabled us to overcome our inertia and finally to send our long-felt thanks for his considerable contribution to our lives. That may sound like hyperbole, but it isn't.

Unlike the majority of other critics whose reviews we read, Mr. Ebert brings a very impressive breadth and depth of knowledge beyond the world of filmmaking to his film reviews. He is not a mere film critic; he is truly a man of letters. His knowledge of literature, mythology, history and philosophy shine through his reviews and prompt his readers, when appropriate, to look well below the surface when enjoying and interpreting film. And yet, he is not stuffy or pompous and is quite capable of enjoying and recommending movies that are pure, unashamed cinematic romps -- the kind that both kids and unstuffy grown-ups can revel in. His reviews enrich not only our enjoyment and understanding of the films we see, but also our understanding of our lives outside the movie theatre.

So, we say again: Thanks, Mr. Ebert, for your considerable contribution to our lives. And hurry back, please!

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