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Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour stands apart from more routine historical dramas.

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The Man Who Invented Christmas

Not particularly keen on nuance or subtlety, this is a film in which everything, especially Stevens’ decidedly manic take on Dickens, is pitched as broadly…

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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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Goodbye, Smokin' Joe

"Thrilla in Manila" is available on DVD, and in six parts on YouTube.

Joe Frazier was the toughest fighter I've ever seen. I keep a picture of him above my bed. It preserves, in one immortal monochrome moment, the most important punch Smokin' Joe ever threw: the left hook that floored Muhammad Ali, and retained Frazier's world title, in the final round of 1971's "Fight of the Century" in Madison Square Garden.

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The Mountain Goats: Love Love Love

(tip: @rcjohnso)

John Darnielle is one fine songwriter. I'm amazed at how people (mis-)interpret this song, from the Mountain Goats' 2005 album, "The Sunset Tree." Like many great songs, it's open to a variety of readings. But it's not a love ballad to love, love, love...

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