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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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Racially distorted view of L.A.

From: Ann C. Vassiliou, Sherman Oaks, CA

I like Roger Ebert and think he’s an excellent film critic. However, I disagree with his defense of the movie "Crash." I thought it was a powerful, but very disjointed film. I thought "Brokeback Mountain" was a masterpiece. I think there is much validity to Kenneth Turan’s article. Having lived in Los Angeles since 1984, and coming here from the South, I have long thought that L.A. is an extremely racially divided city. It has bothered me for many, many years.

The Academy voters basically echoed my view when they selected "Crash" as Best Picture. It presents a very bleak picture of the city of Los Angeles. Just because a film addresses the issue of racism doesn’t mean it’s a great film. I am a heterosexual Christian. I didn’t view "Brokeback Mountain" as a pro gay-rights film in any way, shape or form. I saw it as a film about love, loss, sadness and the human condition.

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