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The November Man

In this excitingly nasty but ultimately confused action picture, Pierce Brosnan plays a retired government hitman drawn out of retirement to untangle a global political…

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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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Stephen Colbert on the role of artists in popular culture

After Bruce Springsteen referred to "present company included, the idiots rambling on on cable television any given night of the week" in an interview with something called Soledad O'Brien (what is a Soledad O'Brien, and why was Springsteen having an interview with it?), Stephen Colbert was outraged. He offered these Words of Wisdom -- something to keep in mind during the summer movie season, as well:

"All Soledad did was ask a perfectly legitimate valid question about whether artists should do anything other than entertain us! I've said it before: Popular music should be a series of meaningless cliches strung together by a pleasing melody to help pass the time during long commutes or loveless marriages."

C'mon, people: Isn't willful vacuity, and the lack of any ambition other than the monetary, the very recipe for what makes life so worth living?

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