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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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Temple of Doom: Bang a gong, sing a song

View image The beginning of the dissolve (recall, with nostalgia, when Paramount was A Gulf + Western Company?).

View image The new/old Paramount Pictures Presents.

(... or "You're a Better Man Than I Am, Short Round")

This is a contribution to Ali Arikan's Indiana Jones Blog-a-Thon at Cerebral Mastication.

View image Lucasfilm gets gonged.

"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" tells you how to watch it in the first shot. Well, actually before the first shot, since the Paramount logo dissolves (as it did in "Raiders of the Lost Ark") from one mountain into another, so that it pokes into the movie for a few seconds. This time the twin peak is revealed to be embossed on a gong -- which establishes the retro-1930s "Oriental"-exoticism theme of the adventure, and kicks off Kate Capshaw's Cantonese "Anything Goes" musical number with a bang, beginning with the extended take that immediately follows.

For movie fans of all ages, this gong instantly evokes fond, resonant memories:

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