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"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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Harry Potter and the Increasing Darkness

From: Dan Alonso, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The words I am about to write do not come from a deranged Harry Potter fan. Instead, they come from a devoted fan of your writing and of good writing and good storytelling everywhere.

After reading your review of the latest Harry Potter movie ("Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix") I can only conclude that you have not read any of the Potter books. This is the only way to explain what appears to be your frustration at the dark turn the books have taken. I believe you have totally missed the point of the movies. Several people have made the mistake of thinking the Potter books are "children's books". They are not. Or more precisely, they are not only for children. The stories are deep, complex, multi-toned and yes, increasingly dark. Come to think of it, a lot of popular children's fairy tales are the same way.

So, Mr. Ebert, I think you should definitely prepare yourself for darker movies to come. More characters die. Harry grows up and becomes darker and more brooding. As I high school teacher, I can tell you, this is perfectly normal for high school kids to do. I can only imagine it would be more pronounced when someone representing pure evil is trying to kill you. So brace yourself Mr. Ebert! It's going to be a dark and stormy ride to the end of this series!

I look forward to reading more great writing from the likes of you and J.K. Rowling.

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