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"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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Animation comes of age

From Will Collum, Columbia, SC:

Anytime I notice a new animated movie, my interest is piqued. When I saw the still from "Persepolis" on your site today, it was no different. I found your review thought provoking on two fronts.

First, just the existance of a new animated film of high quality always feels like cause for celebration. I've loved animation since I was a kid in the 60's. I love it just as much now. A friend introduced me to Miyazaki's work. What a delight! And "Graves of the Fireflies," the film that, as you put it, "forces a re-thinking," ranks as powerful for me as any film of any type I've ever seen. A simply stupendous, film, that as much as I loved it, I haven't quite had the nerve to watch it a second time just yet. One day. So I very much look forward to "Persepolis." Thanks for the recommendation.

As to the coming of age aspect of the film, your observations are interesting. I'm 49 and haven't been to war, haven't known any real tragedies in my life, and neither have most of my friends. Most real conflicts that many Americans of my generation have are self-created. There's not a lot in my life or the lives of most of my friends that would be obviously film worthy. One would have to look deeply. On the other hand, for the young Iranian girl, a lot, by any standard, has happened. Coming of age is indeed a big event for everyone from the inside looking out, but isn't always from the outside looking in. I wonder if Hollywood isn't just looking in the wrong place for material?

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