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The Scheme

There may be no March Madness this year but there’s something truly insane related to college basketball this Tuesday.

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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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Bitter victory

From: Edward Aycock, New York, NY

When "Crash" won, I felt a big pain in my gut because frankly, I couldn't stand the film or its preachiness. Speaking out against the fans of "Brokeback Mountain" won't win you any new ones. In the larger picture, there's alot of hurt, a lot of disappointment, a lot of anger in the air that anybody can sense over the past few years. I liked "Brokeback: because it DIDN'T speak to me as a gay man, but was a wonderfully filmed movie with a great, heartbreaking story. However, my enjoyment of the film was tempered by all the nasty Right-wing hatred toward it, and that made me root for it all the more. Can't you see that when an audience has a reaction like that to a film that something is going on, that we have reached a cultural milestone?


Do you know what it's like to wake up in the morning and know that the pundits will be gloating that it lost, that America has been saved from perverts? Do you know what it's like to wade through this stuff after several months until you feel almost worn down? Do you know what it's like to have a heartwrenching film be called anti-marriage and anti-family while these critics ignore the lauded "Bridges of Madison County" which can be accused of those very same sins? And the funny thing is, the love for the movie wasn't overdone for political reasons, but it turned out to be a fantastic film; for those two hours we were in these people's lives as they made real mistakes, not scripted Hollywood mistakes as in "Crash."

As a rule, I have never been impressed by the didacticism of gay-themed film, but this time the didactic film was about race and I feel the Academy awarded itself, not out of homophobia, but because "Crash" is much more of an insider movie, but not, and I say this firmly, NOT a better movie. Critics can be just as wrong as civilians, and let's not forget, when one pays outrageous ticket prices for a movie, something like "Crash" can seem a LOT more bitter than to the paid critic.

I feel the Academy made a bad choice, and hearing people like Tony Curtis say he would never see Brokeback because he doesn't believe in it is an insult, especially from somebody as flamboyant as he. We get where you're coming from in the critic's chair, but do you really get where we're coming from anymore?

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