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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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Movie Answer Man (09/24/1995)

Q. Let me tell you what a local video store does to educate the public about the letterbox format. They have two screens side-by-side playing the same movie. One is letterboxed, one is not. It's a good way to show the average viewer just how much they sacrifice for pan-and-scan. -- Derrick Calcote, Memphis, Tenn.

A. Another method: Cut out two pieces of paper. Make one piece 1 inch high and 1.4 inches wide. Make the other 1 inch high and 2.35 inches wide. Place the smaller on top of the larger, and the parts that stick out show how much of the picture you're missing with the pan-and-scan version.

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