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Noelle

Noelle has more going for it than just being one of the easiest ways for Disney+ to make a good first impression.

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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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* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.

#332 July 10, 2018

Matt writes: I just returned from covering the 53rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic, where I saw some excellent films, and got the chance to meet many extraordinary people. The full table of contents contains links to my conversations with Terry Gilliam, Richard Linklater, Barry Levinson, Caleb Landry Jones, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Denis O'Hare and "Leave No Trace" star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie. You will also find reviews of such unmissable titles as "Cold War," "Putin's Witnesses," "Girl," "Winter Flies," "Crystal Swan," "Museum," "Moments" and more.

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Thumbnails 8/21/15

Lessons learned from "Rosemary's Baby"; What's missing from "Straight Outta Compton"; Keith Gordon on "The Singing Detective"; Rose McGowan's feminist revolution; Memories of Musso & Frank.

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A world of apartheid and apartness

May contain spoilers

Sometimes people learn a hard life lesson about their world when they are young and innocent. Molly, a young white South African girl in "A World Apart" (1988), learns it in a way far more hurtful than usual. She wants her normal comfortable life to resume again, but her world is Johannesburg in the 1960s. She begins to grasp lots of injustices in her world, even while confused and hurt a lot by her parents as well as what happens to her and her family.

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Now I lay me down to sleep

Although most religions forbid it, human societies throughout history have accepted suicide as a reality. Sometimes, as in Japan, it was seen as a matter of personal honor. Usually it was seen as an act of despair, or a manifestation of insanity. It can also be seen as a rational act, and to assist someone in committing it can be seen as an act of mercy.

I have never, even in my darkest hours, considered suicide. But with my troubles I have been fortunate; I've never had unbearable physical pain. In Barry Levinson's movie "You Don't Know Jack," Dr. Jack Kevorkian's best friend says his mother told him: "Imagine the worst toothache you've ever had. Now imagine that's how it feels in every bone of your body."

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Barry Levinson on how to handle criticism

In a reply to what he feels is a misleading (nay, delusional) review of his essay film "Poliwood" by New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley, Barry Levinson offers this sound advice:

To reiterate, criticism is a part of a filmmaker's journey. Any time you attempt to tackle a subject that is complicated, one is open to criticism. It comes with the territory. A WARNING: to any thin-skinned filmmaker, get out of this line of work quickly or you'll die a hemophiliac. But when one's work is used as fodder for a critic such as Ms. Stanley, then I feel I must speak up... and throw caution to the wind. [...]

The New York Times is known throughout the world as one of the leading newspapers in this country. It has excellent film criticism and book reviews. And a very strong op-ed page. Where Ms. Stanley fits into this strong lineup is questionable at best.

As a filmmaker, all you can expect is for your work to be examined for what it is....

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