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Victoria & Abdul

There are multiple pleasures to be had by witnessing a powerful, still-vital woman finding unexpected late-life joy of the platonic variety.

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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 writer against the strike

From Ray Wallman, Ronkopnkoma, NY:

I am an aspiring writer/director/producer, and I seem to be the only person who is against the WGA strike. Writers already get $20,000 for a story or treatment, around $6,000 for a first draft or a rewrite, and $5,000 if the movie or TV show goes to DVD. Those are just the minimums. If a movie or TV show looses money, which most do, the writers don't risk loosing any money. It is the studios and the investors that end up loosing money.

You say that movies don't write themselves, well they don't produce themselves either. Why shouldn't the key grips, the lighting technicians, the extras, the advertising executives or the producers receive some of that revenue.

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I hate the way the writers guild vilifies executives as greedy evildoers only looking out for the profits of their corporation. Do any of you writers know where those profits go? They go right back to paying the writers, directors, and all the other technicians that are involved in the production and marketing of movies. Those profits also go into the training, health care and benefits of all the employees.

You complain about there are not enough original movies. It is that way because the executives need to make their investment back in order to earn a living. And because they are paying astronomically high wages for their writers, directors, actors, laborers and technicians. Now this strike is putting all of those people out of work.

Don't get me wrong, I believe writers have the right to negotiate for their wages, salaries and the results of their intellectual property. But when you look at all the pure propaganda that is being spread on YouTube and through the press, I cannot help but feel disgusted. I ask all the readers to be a little more skeptical and consider other points of view when looking at this issue.

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