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Alpha

There’s a pleasant, old-fashioned feel to Alpha.

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Minding the Gap

It would be impressive even without the palpable sense of connection and understanding that Liu brings to the material, but its easygoing intimacy is what…

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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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The evolution of Sundance

PARK CITY, Utah -- The most important little film festival in America opened here Thursday. The Sundance Film Festival, the annual trade fair for filmmakers working outside the studio system, will screen more than 100 films before industry-savvy audiences. People who got off the plane flat broke may fly out of town, clutching contracts. Maybe if we're lucky, there will even be another shoving match in a restaurant, like the one last year between guys from Fine Line and Miramax who both thought they bought the rights to the same film.

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Madonna: possessed by ``Evita''

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LOS ANGELES--Madonna, who has always insisted she was the best choice to play Eva Peron, may have been right. It is not only that she holds the screen with charisma and force in the film version of "Evita," but that she understands from the inside out how Evita invented herself - how she used fashion and stage presence and personal flair to make herself seem bigger than life.

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Marcello Mastroiani, 1924-1996

In Rome Thursday night, they turned off the water in the Trevi Fountain and draped the monument in black, in memory of Marcello Mastroianni. The Italian actor, who died early Thursday at his Paris home, made about 120 films, but was best remembered for Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" (1960), in which he waded into the fountain in pursuit of an elusive sex goddess played by Anita Ekberg.

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3 films offer visions of 21st century

H ONOLULU - If there is a nation that seems to have one foot already planted in the 21st century, that nation is Japan, where every new high-tech gadget and virtual reality world seems to get its first consumer tryout. At the 16th Hawaii International Film Festival, which specializes in new films from the Pacific Rim, three movies danced along the cutting edge of new technology and emerging art forms:

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Kim Novak looks back at 'Vertigo'

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Kim Novak returned Wednesday to her hometown of Chicago to preside over a screening of the film many people believe is the best that either she or Alfred Hitchcock ever made. A restored version of "Vertigo" (1958) was shown in a rare 70 mm print at the Chicago Film Festival, and afterward Novak came onstage for a question-and-answer session that spanned her career.

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Jordan reflects on his new film project

Dennis Rodman is Daffy Duck. Dickey Simpkins is Elmer Fudd. Jud Buechler is the sexy Lola Bunny ("sound . . . fundamentally sound . . . although he lacks some of her features"). Ron Harper ("he'll kill me if I say this") is Porky Pig. Phil Jackson is Foghorn Leghorn ("I say, I say . . .").

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Kim Novak on Hitchcock, Hollywood

Kim Novak returned Wednesday to her hometown of Chicago to preside over a screening of the film many people believe is the best that either she or Alfred Hitchcock ever made. A restored version of "Vertigo" (1958) was shown in a rare 70 mm print at the Chicago Film Festival, and afterward Novak came onstage for a question-and-answer session that spanned her career.

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Film festival stresses quality, not quantity

The streamlined 32nd Chicago International Film Festival opens Thursday, with fewer films but better quality control. Emerging from a year of boardroom turmoil and an attempted coup, festival founder Michael J. Kutza has retained his post as director but adopted some of the changes long called for by the event's critics.

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Toronto fest teems with small treasures

The regulars at the Toronto Film Festival are a humbling lot. They take a week off work, arm themselves with backpacks, schedules and bottles of mineral water, and hit as many as six screenings a day. Toronto is said to have the highest per-capita film attendance in the world; maybe that's just all these same people, attending every single movie in town.

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