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Happy Valley

Director Amir Bar-Lev doesn't push the irony. He doesn't push anything, really. He just recounts the whole sordid story of the Penn State football scandal…

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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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When they torture the animals

From Astrid Rachelle Fiano, Esq./M.A., Bronx, NY:

I appreciated your take on the movie "Untraceable," and on that basis would see it but for the fact I was warned that it contains scenes of animal torture, specifically a kitten. Movie lovers/animal lovers should be warned in reviews of animal torture or death, such as "Single White Female," "Turner and Hooch," or "Hide and Seek." Yeah, it might be strange that animal deaths bother us more than human death & torture, but I think that has to do with the fact animals have less ability to make choices and free will, etc. The cat is just there by fate, not making the choice to go down in the basement or backpack across Europe, or whatever. I have to wonder when filmmakers gratuitiously kill an animal if they are turning into the sociopath's classic triad.

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