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American Chaos

A heartfelt but scattershot documentary that tries to get inside the mind of Donald Trump's America, but mainly succeeds as a snapshot of the 2016…

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The Predator

With a fantastic cast and razor-sharp pacing, the fact is that this is what you want from a movie called The Predator.

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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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A Holiday Present for Readers

Recently I reprinted a letter sent to my friend Christy Lemire, film critic of the Associated Press. In it, a great-grandmother described how she took four generations of her family, including herself, to see "The Nutcracker in 3D." They all responded, quite naturally, as if they had found coal in their stockings. It was a shocking film to promote in the guise of family entertainment. What does the Holocaust have to do with The Nutcracker Suite?Marie Haws, the good-hearted Hon. Sec'y. of the Ebert Club, was so moved by the letter that she proposed we make the following special page and fill it with these wonderful Minuscule clips and share them with readers, in the hope they raise spirits and spread smiles this Christmas season -- for those disappointed kids, and everyone. Season's screenings! Minuscule is a French series of 5 minute shorts created and directed by Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo. Described as "a cross between Tex Avery and Microcosmos," each features one or more insect characters in a self-contained and often humorous storyline.

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Here for Zone One (North America) is the Miniscule DVD.

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Que sera, sera

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I'll be honest and fight sqare

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We found a baby picture of mine that Chaz asked our assistant, Carol Iwata, to scan. She took it out of the frame and found this document folded behind it. I must have hidden it there.

Judging by the names Doug Pierre and Mike Russell, this must have been second grade. I have no memory of the Yanks or the Oath, but the little drawings seem vaguely familiar.

I've had my doubts about those movies where kids sign childhood pacts. I must learn to be more believing.

Here is the photo Chaz wanted scanned. She said I could use it when readers of my cookbook asked how I got started on The Pot.

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I went to school with Andy Cohen

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And he was just like this. Talented, enthusiastic, expert, willing to share, with a special empathy for music. With him it was very personal. He just plain looked happy while playing. He was at the center of that whole Campus Folk Song Club matrix at the University of Illinois in the early 1960s, which was the creation of the famous folklorist and labor historian Archie Green. It's hard to explain about the club. You had to have been there. Maybe just listening to Andy is one way to know.

Here is Andy Cohen's website.

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This is a dog

Does a dog know how it looks? It knows how another dog looks, certainly. It can tell friends from foes from strangers at a distance, aided greatly by smell. But does it place much importance on appearance? I know a smaller dog may back away from a larger one, but does that involve a mental weigh-in? I think it has more to do with the display of emotions, and I've seen big dogs back away in the face of small dogs in a

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Jones, Jonze, Spike & Co.

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Spike Jones - Sabre DanceUploaded by perruche. - Click for more funny videos.

Spike Jones - 12Th Street RagUploaded by bhgbjazz. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Spike Jones - Indian Love CallUploaded by perruche. - See more comedy videos.

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The Man Who Foretold the Future

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By Roger Ebert / March 6th, 1988

Los Angeles, California - A 1982 documentary narrated by the late Orson Welles has become an overnight hit at California video rental stores, where customers are willing to pay up to $6 a night to view a prediction that California will be destroyed by an earthquake in May 1988.

The movie, named "The Man Who Foretold the Future," was produced by television tycoon David L. Wolper nearly six years ago, and languished in oblivion. It uses old newsreel footage and scenes from Hollywood and foreign features to illustrate the prophecies of the medieval scholar Nostradamus.

Welles, looking appropriately solemn and posed with a cigar and world globe in an opulent library, narrates the story of Nostradamus. And there is footage shot especially for this film showing that when the scholar's body was dug up two centuries after his death, he wore a plaque carrying the exact date of his exhumation.

In the video, Nostradamus is said to have predicted the rise and fall of Napoleon and Hitler, as well as the atomic bomb, the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, and World War III, which he believed will start in 1994.

But for Californians, it is the earthquake prophecy that has made the tape a hot item on the rental circuit. Welles doesn't beat around the bush: A fire from the center of the Earth will cause the quakes, and "Nostradamus has given us the exact month," he intones, "and the year: May 1988."

Sales clerks at the busy 20/20 Video Store on La Cienega Boulevard told me the tape is renting like crazy, and the overnight fee has been raised to $6, reflecting the demand. Spokesmen for Warner Bros. Home Video confirm that "The Man Who Foretold the Future" has emerged as a surprise hit from their backlist.

At the end of the film, Wolper adds a footnote saying that the producers "do not agree with any of the prophecies."

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