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Just Getting Started

Just Getting Started never really gets going. It only kept me thinking, “Is this ever just going to finish?”

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The Rape of Recy Taylor

A documentary with a great subject and powerful testimony, undone by its unnecessarily obtrusive style.

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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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Toronto's vast film buffet serves fare for all tastes

TORONTO -- The program for the Toronto Film Festival falls with the thud of the Yellow Pages. This year, more than 300 films from 53 countries will be shown at the largest and most important film festival in North America, which opened Thursday, and as usual, the crowds will be lining up for everything - literally everything. If your movie can't fill a theater at this festival, you might as well cut it up and use it to floss with.

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Streep at her best exploring people

TELLURIDE, Colo. -- If there's one thing she can't stand, Meryl Streep said, it's the sensation that another actor is watching her act, while they do a scene together. That sense of scrutiny stands outside the scene and makes it difficult for her to work. She wonders if it isn't one of the reasons "The French Lieutenant's Woman" didn't succeed for her: "It didn't get my rocks off," she said, smiling charmingly during an onstage conversation at the 25th Telluride Film Festival. "I don't know any other way to say it."

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Telluride focuses on '28 classics, guest favorites

TELLURIDE, Colo. For its 25th anniversary celebration, which more or less coincides with the first century of film, the Telluride Film Festival is plunging gleefully into the past. Although there's the usual selection of premieres, at least half of the screenings this year are retrospectives: a look at 1928, the last great year of silent film; personal selections from the festival's guest programmers over the years, and a salute to black-and-white cinematography.

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Telluride surprises are worth the trip

Most film festivals trumpet their offerings, bragging about their premieres and stars. The Telluride Film Festival, which begins Thursday, treats its films like a poker player treats his hole cards. One imagines Bill Pence and Tom Luddy, the co-founders, looking at the programs from Montreal, Toronto and Venice, and sneaking another peek at their hands.

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Cannes winners share theme

CANNES, France -- No films could be more different than the two top prize winners in this year's Cannes Film Festival. And no directors could have accepted the awards more differently - one with joy, the other almost defiantly.

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The year nobody deserved to win

CANNES, France -- Can there be a Cannes Film Festival without a winner? Is the jury obligated to award the Palme d'Or? Could they send a message by refusing to award the top prize? These and other murmurings and mutterings are growing louder, and they add up to a depressing consensus: Going into the closing weekend, there is no film that seems great enough to deserve the Palme.

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Controversial films test limits

CANNES, France -- Lolitafest, they could call it, on the basis of three controversial films about child sexual abuse that are playing at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Two of them are apparently more extreme than the much-debated "Lolita."

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Hawaii fest honors films of Pacific Rim

HONOLULU -- "Twelve Storeys," a film from Singapore about the residents of government-subsidized high-rise housing, won the Golden Maile Award here last week at the 17th Hawaii International Film Festival. Directed by Eric Khoo, the film involves three families who are affected by the suicide of a building resident. The film raises questions about the tightly controlled Singapore society, in which the government provides security, but demands control.

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