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Winter Sleep

The running time of his new picture Winter Sleep, three hours and change, suggests weight, but at it happens, this movie struck me as both…

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Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

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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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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Watching movies, thinking of you

From Bill Wren:

I'm sure you're inundated by get-well e-mails so please excuse this addition to the the pile but I wanted to send a note along if only for my own sense of well-being. I can understand the need for time and privacy -- while I haven't had this experience myself, a number of people I've know have been there so I have some sense of what's required to get back to normal living.

I only hope that all this technology we've got around these days helps with the time needed for healing, by which I mean it allows you to stay in contact with people, provides the ability to see movies and otherwise keep your mind engaged while it waits for the body to catch up. And to alleviate the problem of boredom.

I've been watching quite a few older movies recently (particularly John Ford-John Wayne films since I picked up the Warner DVD set recently) and have been thinking about you as I watched them. As I watched, I wondered, "What would Ebert have to say about these Ford-Wayne films?" (Yes, I have read your review of "The Searchers.")

I also thought of you when "Snakes on a Plane" was released the other day. I haven't seen it -- I've no idea what its merits are. But seeing it hyped made me think of 1997's "Anaconda" (Luis Llosa, director). As movies go, it was junk -- but it was good junk and I totally agreed with your views on that movie. It was fun in all the best ways for that kind of movie. I remember reading that review way back whenever and thinking, "Yes, this guy knows what movies should be."

Anyway ... hope all goes well and things heal quickly and you're life is back to normal as soon as possib"le.

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