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Just Getting Started

Just Getting Started never really gets going. It only kept me thinking, “Is this ever just going to finish?”

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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.

#47 January 26, 2010

Marie writes: Each year, the world's remotest film festival is held in Tromsø, Norway. The Tromsø International Film Festival to be exact, or TIFF (not to be confused with Toronto.) Well inside the Arctic Circle, the city is nevertheless warmer than most others located on the same latitude, due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. This likely explains how they're able to watch a movie outside, in the snow, in the Arctic, in the winter. :-)

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King of the funny skin flicks

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Russ Meyer is dead. The legendary independent director, who made exploitation films but was honored as an auteur, died Saturday at his home in the Hollywood Hills. He was 82, and had been suffering from dementia. The immediate cause of death was pneumonia, said Janice Cowart, a friend who supervised his care during his last years. She announced his death Tuesday.

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Movie Answer Man (12/15/2002)

Q. Recently I came across an Italian poster for the 1952 John Wayne movie "Big Jim McLain." In Italy, it seems, the movie was called "Marijuana." Fascinated, I rented the movie, and found out it was an anti-communist film that starred the Duke and James Arness as HUAC investigators out to break up a ring of communists in Hawaii. There was no mention whatsoever of marijuana in the movie. My guess is that, as communism was not considered inherently evil in Europe in the 1950s, they changed the plot of the film to have Wayne and Arness chasing a drug gang. But to do so, they would have had to reshoot a considerable amount of the movie. Is this what happened, or is there some other explanation for the Italian title? (Jeff Schwager, Seattle, WA)

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Movie Answer Man (11/17/2002)

Q. While watching the most recent trailer for "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," I immediately recognized the music as the excellent score from "Requiem for a Dream." I am familiar with the practice of recycling music for trailers--I can't count the number of times I have heard the score from "Aliens"--but why bother, with a sequel to a hugely successful movie with a ready-made score? If it was slapped on for time's sake, I might understand, but the version I heard on the

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22 secrets gleaned from `Silence'

BOULDER, Colorado -- Do not read one more word unless you're one of those weirdos who can find a hidden meaning in anything. What follows is a close viewing of "The Silence of the Lambs" in which we will discover more in the film than even its director, Jonathan Demme, knows he included. We may even find more in the film than is there.

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