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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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Don't blame it on Spike!

An amusing (and characteristically sly and playful) exchange from an interview with Spike Lee over at Slate.com:

Slate: To come back to this, I have to say, I really don't like these movies like "Barbershop" and "Beauty Shop." I just don't. I think of what you were doing—yet you made these films possible, right? 
Lee: Don't put that on me. 
Slate: No, but you created an open field for black filmmakers. 
Lee: Yeah, but it morphed into something else. But no, you can't put "Barbershop" on me. 
Slate: Still, don't you find it ironic that you created the atmosphere that made these films possible, and now they're more popular than more serious movies? 
Lee: I never said that those films should not be made. I just think that they shouldn't be the only type of films that are made. But I'd take "Barbershop" over "Get Rich or Die Tryin'." In "Barbershop," you're not trying to kill anybody.

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