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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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Children of...?

quint.jpg

Hey, does this sound at all familiar?

"[This character] was life and hope, as she is the only one carrying a child. This is a society without procreation, so that's why they make such a fuss about finding a girl being pregnant. I got that whole idea by reading about elks in Lapland: suddenly these herds would stop reproducing, and no one could figure out why."

A description of the premise of a certain dystopian thriller now in US theaters? Nope. It's Robert Altman describing his 1979 picture "Quintet," quoted in "Altman on Altman," edited by David Thompson (2005).

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