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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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Moments Out of Time 2006

brick.jpg

"Brick": The third shot of the movie.

For 35 years, on and off, critics Richard T. Jameson and Kathleen Murphy have annually assembled a montage of memorable impressions from the year's movies in a feature called "Moments Out of Time." It began in the pages of the Seattle Film Society's magazine, Movietone News, and continued in Film Comment under Jameson's editorship. This year, it's at MSN Movies. Whether the films themselves are big or small, good or bad, "Casino Royale" or "Climates," nearly all of them have their indelible moments...

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A few samples to whet your appetite:

  • In "Brick," our hero's dreamgirl (Emilie de Ravin) dead in a drainage ditch...
  • Lucy, the dog in "Old Joy," always finding a stick to carry, and undeterred when it's too big...
  • "Shortbus": The lights go out in all the windows of a colorful, handcrafted model that stands in for New York's skyscrapers, and a trick of shadow turns the buildings into crowded tombstones, a city of the dead...
  • At the end of a New York pocket park in "Man Push Cart," Ahmad (Ahmad Razvi) opens his cart for business just before dawn, as the lights in a line of little trees blink out one by one...
  • "The Queen": The royal face arranged as public mask, softening imperceptibly when Elizabeth (Helen Mirren) asks a child if she can place a bouquet of flowers among the great drift of Diana's tribute, and is told: "It's for you."...

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