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"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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Pauline Kael's favorite film: "Menilmontant"

menilmontant7-1.jpg

Maggie: What was your favorite movie in your entire life?

Pauline: In my entire life? Well, there's a French movie that probably you've never heard of that I like best...

Maggie: And what was the French movie?

Pauline: "Menilmontant," a silent movie made in 1924 by Dmitri Kirsanov starring his beautiful Russian-born wife, Nadia Sibirskaya.

--From "Afterglow: A Last Conversation With Pauline Kael" by Francis Davis

Another critic who loves it: Ed Howard.

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