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Life struck me as several cuts above “meh” but never made me jump out of my seat.

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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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In "Broozh" or in "Broo-gha," it's beautiful

From Hal Dvorin, Palatine, IL:

I enjoyed your review last week of "In Bruges" and wanted to mention that the preferred name is Brugge [pronounced "Broo-gah"]. Bruges/Brugge is in Flanders, the western part of Belgium and the Flemish have become very particular about their cultural heritage. Many communities that once had French names now have Flemish names. My wife an I have been to Bruges twice and found it to be a wonderful place to visit despite the frequent rainy weather. The old city is sufficiently compact that you can explore it on foot. Bruges is one of three old cities in western Belgium, along with Ghent and Ypres. We took a World War I site tour based in Ypres which included both British and German cemeteries, recently unearthed trenches, and the Essex Farm dressing station where "In Flanders Fields" was written. Ypres was the site of two major WWI campaigns and the whole city was virtually destroyed. Many of the historical buildings were re-built after the War. Fortunately, Bruges being about 50 miles north of Ypres was not damaged.

Also wanted to mention that "Le Doulos" is available on a BFI DVD (Pal, Region 2) which can be bought from Amazon UK or from eXploited Cinema in Cleveland. I am a real Melville fan and got my copy about 1-1/2 years ago. BFI also has published "Leon Morin, pretre" which also stars Belmondo. I doesn't fit well in Melville's two usual genres: crime and war.

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