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The Farewell Party

High drama and lowbrow, morbid humor get stitched together in this successful tragicomedy about terminal patients and assisted suicide. Works better than expected.

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Sunshine Superman

I found Jean Boenish’s philosophical musings less than persuasive. And I don’t think my fear of heights was the reason for my bias.

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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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Just a few LOST leftovers

They completely lost me with the time travel stuff, which became so arbitrary I just stopped caring. But the series finale did make me weep a few times (especially when Vincent showed up at the very end). Glad that it all concluded with the image it needed to end with (an eye closing, not opening -- "Avatar" stole the latter for its ending). None of the Island Mythology made any sense to me (what's with the big stone cork stopper at the bottom of the glowing cave waterfall -- surely the Cheesiest TV Special Effect Since The Original Star Trek?). It seems to me that LOST went "sideways" long ago, with that wasted half-season that took place in the old zoo on the Other Island (references to which were significantly downplayed in the finale). Everything after that had little or nothing to do with the concerns of the first few seasons -- The Others, the Dharma Initiative, etc. The Jacob/Brother With No Name thing was lame beyond lame. But, still, the finale kind of redeemed a lot of the interminable padding of the last several years -- mainly by ignoring them and by re-framing The Island as a peak experience that bonded a group of people, even if the Thing Itself had no intrinsic meaning. You know, like being together in the army, or a college dorm, or a TV series for a few years... Still, some people have a few questions...

Oh, and in case you forgot: It was Nikki and Paulo's story all along.

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