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Transcendence

"Transcendence" is a serious science fiction movie filled with big ideas and powerful images, but it never quite coheres, and the end is a copout.

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Bears

"Bears" could have used a lot more science; more substantive information in the place of wacky one-liners. Still, the images trump everything.

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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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Which great director is not-so-great?

As part of the Contrarian Blog-a-Thon, here's a chance to really vent your spleen (in a rational and persuasive way). Please cast your vote below, and then elaborate on your selection in Comments. Give your reasons. Try to change our minds. I happen to have a great deal of affection for all of the below, but I chose these because they have passionate partisans and detractors. (And, besides, nobody doesn't like Howard Hawks... RIGHT?!?!) Defend your favorites -- or explain why you'd choose a filmmaker who's not on this abbreviated list. (BTW, although a valid e-mail address is required to post a comment, it won't be visible to the public and nobody will send you any mail as a consequence. It's just a way to help filter out some of the vast quantities of comment spam that comes in.)

P.S. Do you know which of the above is still alive?

UPDATE (3/19/07): I can't believe I forgot to include Ingmar Bergman, once considered the greatest living filmmaker by so many. I'm not so sure I know where his reputation stands at the moment...

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