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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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A queasy-cam warning?

From Sam Duncan, King of Prussia, PA:

Is there any standard way that reviewers can warn potential movie-goers when a movie, such as "Rachel Getting Married," has the "all over the place" style of camerawork? I read the reviews for that movie, went to see it, and had to leave after less than ten minutes because of the style of camera movement. I think it was supposed to give a "you are there" or "immediacy reality" feel to the audience.

But in my own life, my eyes never jerk around in my reality like that camera did. Not even home movies nor home videos have that continually - make that continuously - herky-jerky motion. I won't quibble with why it's done, because my opinion won't matter at all, but it does seem very off-putting and, in fact, nausea-creating. I thought steady-cams had already been invented.

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So my suggestion is this: how about warning movie-goers when the film uses that technique for more than occasional sequences? The latest Bourne film had some of that, but there were long periods when everything proceeded normally, and it was quite watchable. Not so with the Rachel movie -- even without watching the entire movie, I know, because one of my younger friends said she had to sit through the entire movie with her head down, unable to look at the screen. In my case, my companion and I had to go to the manager and get a pass to another movie playing at about the same time.

Just a heads-up in a review would be great!

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