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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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Political Thumbnails 6/23/17

Special edition of Thumbnails with political articles: How to live with critics; Obama on the new health care bill; Trump says the poor can't be…

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Razzle Dazzle: Projections of fame on the screen

The production team of Aaron Aradillas (writer, producer), Steven Santos (writer, producer, editor), Matt Zoller Seitz (writer, producer, editor) and Richard Seitz (producer, editor) have posted the sixth and final chapter of their extraordinary video essay series, "Razzle Dazzle: Fame Through Movies," a rather dazzling prismatic look at how the cinema has dealt with the power of celebrity.

Totaling about 70 minutes all together, the segments are all available at Moving Image Source: Part 1: The Pitch; Part 2: The Hero; Part 3: The Fraud; Part 4: The Parasite; Part 5: The Maverick; and Part 6: The Takeaway.

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The series reaches its apotheosis in this final chapter, in which images, ideas and speeches from movies and television -- factual and fictionalized, journalistic and infotainment -- collide with one another, as if you were watching TV with a remote run amok. "The Takeaway" focuses on the movies' treatment of other mass media, from TV news to talk radio, mashing together the quick and the nimble ("The Insider," "Videodrome," "Being There," "A Cry in the Dark") with the leaden and fumble-footed ("Network," "Talk Radio," "Absence of Malice," "Natural Born Killers") and letting them kick it out amongst themselves...

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