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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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Ebert's Sundance 2005 photo album

I have been shooting photos at film festivals for about eight years. It's not part of my job description, but I love taking pictures of some of the most famous faces in the world, and regarding their character, beauty and mystery. If the editors include my closeups of Robin Wright Penn and Glenn Close, for example, consider the sculpting in those miraculous faces.

Look at Werner and Lena Herzog and hear her telling me, "It was love at first sight. I did not see one of his movies until we had been together five months. Now it is ten years. I love him more every day." She is, by the way, an engineer.

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Regard the joy of Amy Brenneman, delighted to be at a premiere. Enjoy Donnie Wahlberg goofing with Mary Steenburgen. Feel the warmth of Sidney and Sydney Tamiia Poitier. Here is Pierce Brosnan, knowing he has given one of the performances of his career. Steve and Jo Buscemi on their wedding anniversary. Does anyone have a more spontaneous smile than Catherine Keener? Unless it is Marisa Tomei? Or a warmer one than Stephen Chow, whose "Kung Fu Hustle" must make him grin every time he thinks about it?

My camera is the Nikon D-70, very forgiving, versatile under strange lighting conditions. It was recommended to me by Jim Frost, our Sun-Times photo star, and Andy Ihnatko, our digital affairs correspondent. I dump the photos into my Mac G4 Powerbook via a USB cable, and load them into iPhoto, which automatically pops them into e-mails. Then Bob's your uncle.

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