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Finds that laughter-through-tears sweet spot, often in the unlikeliest of places.

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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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Ebert's Statement re: Thumbs™

Associated Press story on Ebert contract negotiations (uncorrected)

Roger Ebert's statement in response to a recent Disney press release:

I am discussing with Disney my association with the show that Gene Siskel and I started more than 30 years ago. In addition to my personal involvement, we are discussing the continued use of our Thumbs™ trademarks, owned by myself and the Siskel family.

Contrary to Disney’s press release, I did not demand the removal of the Thumbs™. They made a first offer on Friday which I considered offensively low. I responded with a counter-offer. They did not reply to this, and on Monday ordered the Thumbs™ removed from the show. This is not something I expected after an association of over 22 years. I had made it clear the Thumbs™ could remain during good-faith negotiations.

During my absence from the balcony, I have been excited to participate in the show in ways other than being on the set. I love the show and I love the Thumbs™ and I hope we will all be reunited soon.

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