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Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

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Annie

The new version of "Annie" is fashionably artificial and not very well directed, but its unabashed good cheer is very welcome.

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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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Two manifestations of genius in music and animation

"What would I give if I could live / Out of these waters? / What would I pay just for one day / Warm on the sand? / Betcha on land, they understand / Bet they don't reprimand their daughters / Bright young women, sick o' swimmin' / Ready to stand!"

"Part of Their World" by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, from "The Little Mermaid" (John Musker and Ron Clements, 1989).

(reminder: @ryknight)

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"Sometimes, I think / When I look up real high / That there's such a big world up there / I'd like to give it a try! / But then, I sink / 'Cause it's here I'm s'posed to stay / But I get so lonely down here / Tell me why's it have to be that way? / Up there, there's so much room / Where babies burp and flowers bloom..."

"Up There" by Marc Shaiman & Trey Parker, from "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" (Trey Parker, 1999).

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