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Burning Cane

God is destined to forever be a complicated subject for most mortals, yet there’s no question this film has made me a believer in the…

Mountaintop

For fans of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Mountaintop is pretty much a must-see.

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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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Interview: Arthur Penn and Steve Tesich

Vincent Canby of the New York Times selected "Four Friends" as one of the year's 10 best films. In the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, it was described as "an amazingly bad movie." It has been elsewhere praised as a masterpiece and damned as cornball dreck, and somewhere in the middle of all this commotion there resides, I believe, a small film treasure that is about as good as this sort of film can be.

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Werner Herzog's Amazon obsession

Telluride, Colorado -- The most disturbing event at this year's Telluride Film Festival was a screening of scenes from a documentary-in-progress about Werner Herzog, the legendary West German director who has disappeared into the South American rain forest on what looks like a suicidal mission.

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John Travolta: 'Blow Out' in Chicago

John Travolta came to Chicago on Friday. It was a little like a state visit, with tight security, police barricades and long black limousines speeding between luxury hotels and City Hall. Travolta, who is one of the two or three most popular box office attractions in the world, was here to promote his new, thriller, “Blow Out.” People were interested in the thriller, but fascinated by Travolta.

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The First Sundance Workshop, 1981: The more things change...

Sundance, Utah -- Up here above Provo, in the resort he has carved out of a little mountain meadow, Robert Redford is conducting an experiment that Hol­lywood regards with a mixture of suspicion and curiosity. He has selected 10 low-budget films that are in the middle-to-late stages of prepara­tion and invited their directors to spend the summer at Sundance working on their scripts in the company of established directors, writers and editors.

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Interview with Shelley Duvall

LOS ANGELES - "What the neighbors say," Shelley Duvall confided to me, "is that when Yvette Mimieux lived here, she kept leopards up here on her property and all sorts of other animals and a monkey that escaped and conducted a reign of terror against the poor people living down the hill." Yvette was an animal lover?

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Remembering John Lennon

It was that troubled autumn of 1968 that John and Yoko came to Chicago, to show their new movie in the film festival. The shouts of the Democratic Convention had scarcely died down, and Woodstock had not yet been held, and "Hair" was onstage at the Shubert, and here was this goofy home movie by John and Yoko about a butterfly that took 26 minutes to fly in slow motion from one side of the screen to the other side of the screen.

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Dolly Parton: Gee, she's really nice

Update, 2008: This 1980 interview is all quite true, but it entirely misses something. It must have happened at a different time, and I can't track down the piece. Here's what I remember. I had a one-on-one interview with Parton in a hotel suite. As we spoke, I found myself enveloped by her presence. This had nothing to do with sex appeal. Far from it. It was as if I were being mesmerized by a benevolent power. I left the room in a cloud of good feeling. Next day, Siskel and I were sitting next to each other on an airplane. "This will sound crazy," he said, "but when I was interviewing Dolly Parton, I almost felt like she had healing powers."

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