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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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"Trapped in the Closet" screened in UK

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Ani-Tom throws his hands up in the air.

The infamous, mysteriously suppressed "South Park" episode that poked fun at Scientology and Tom Cruise (sacrilege!) still hasn't been shown on TV in the UK -- but the prestigious National Film Theatre in London hosted a free, big-screen presentation of "Trapped in the Closet" Monday. The screening was in connection with a Stanley Kubrick Masterclass conducted by "South Park" auteurs Trey Parker and Matt Stone. According to a wire service item that ran in the New York Post and in many other outlets:

Tom Cruise has lost his fight to stop an episode of South Park mocking his Scientology beliefs being shown in the UK....

Organizers were thrilled the actor failed in his attempts to stop the free screening, which accompanied a talk given by creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, insisting it was a display of free speech.

A spokesman said, "If we were charging there may have been legal problems, but it was a free event, so it should be fine."

Free DVDs of the episode were given out after the screening. (BTW, this is Day 65 of "South Park" Held Hostage in America, for those of you who, like me, are keeping a Freedom Vigil. Keep that Mr. Hankey burning in the window... for Freedom.) I wonder: If Oliver Stone can get away with showing a 20-minute promo reel for his "World Trade Center" at the Cannes Film Festival this year, why didn't the festival offer the 20-something-minute "Trapped in the Closet" to those poor Europeans who haven't been able to see it? Bet that high-definition cut paper animation would look great at the Lumiere.... 

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