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Stray Dogs

Tsai Ming-Liang's first feature in five years is a mysterious and alienating series of tableaus about the fragility of flesh and the smallness of humanity.

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The Skeleton Twins

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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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Stray Dogs

Tsai Ming-Liang's first feature in five years is a mysterious and alienating series of tableaus about the fragility of flesh and the smallness of humanity.

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'The Descent': The deeper ending

May Contain Spoilers

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Here's an eye-opener...

As you may know, "The Descent" (which opened in US theaters this weekend) was released last year in Great Britain, where it is now available on Region 2 PAL DVD. The British release has one final scene that was snipped for American audiences, though I really don't know why. I think it adds another note of ambiguity and mystery that... Oh. All right, I think I understand now.

After the jump: Frame grabs and a YouTube clip from the limey version.

"The Descent": Last ten minutes or so of the British cut. SPOILERS!!!

The original ending:

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The post-"Carrie" grabber/hallucination ending, which became a requirement in horror movies for years.

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This is where the US cut ends -- with a (mirror-image) close-up of Sarah's eyes looking into the camera in terror.

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Sarah is unconscious (asleep) on the floor of the cave.

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Her body is twisted and distorted in an uncanny fashion.

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She raises herself up, now moving like a "crawler."

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Sarah peers into the abyss. The illumination comes from the unseen flame of a torch -- or of hell, or... "Mommy." She hears her daughter's whisper.

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The recurring shot of Jessica and her birthday cake -- one last time.

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She looks across the chasm (an echo of the close-up of her eyes just before she awakened).

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The dead daughter. This is the last shot in the film. The camera begins a pan to the left...

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A chasm of darkness separates mother and daughter. They are in the same shot, but they do not share space within the frame

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A pause in the final movement, then...

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Begin pull-out. The screeching, echoing sounds of the crawlers rise above the softly dying music.

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Into the darkness... Too ambiguous for American audiences???

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