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Winter Sleep

The running time of his new picture Winter Sleep, three hours and change, suggests weight, but at it happens, this movie struck me as both…

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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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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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Where I've been

My father died unexpectedly the first week of April, three days before I was scheduled to leave for the Conference on World Affairs. The day before I left, my dog Frances surreptitiously ate two containers of dog treats in my parents' garage and nearly exploded, but after an emergency trip to the vet she's now OK (and seven pounds lighter). At my mom's insistence I went to Boulder (with "Chinatown") and then we had the reception for my dad at their house (there was no funeral or memorial service -- he didn't want 'em) when I got back. Two days after that, it was off to Ebertfest, where I was greatly heartened to see Roger Ebert in such high spirits. So, that's what's been going on. Hope to get back to posting regularly now...

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