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This is one of the best films of 2015.

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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…


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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Welcome aboard the first train to blogville!

After eight months of existence, Scanners has finally grown up and become (not unlike Pinocchio) a real live blog. With a Moveable Type publishing platform and everything. While I continue with unabated enthusiasm in my capacity as founding editor-in-chief, webmaster and contributor to, the new interface for Scanners should make it even more clear than it was before that what appears here is... just totally my fault. Don't blame Roger. According to the principles of separation of church and state upon which our nation was founded (though it's not clear which site represents the church and which represents the state), and Scanners exist, side by side, as distinct entities. Scanners is devoted to the criticism and opinionated observations of Yours Truly alone -- hence the new logo and byline and design and URL and e-mail address and wee goofy picture that collectively say, with wry understatement, "You're not in anymore." But you're never more than a click away, as the top navigation menu indicates. Remember: If you're seeing gold, you're in Ebert's fold; if you're seeing blue, it's You-Know-Who.

(Thanks to Roger and Cath and John and everybody else at the Sun-Times who made this possible.)

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