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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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New from Ebert: "Your Movie Sucks"

"Your Movie Sucks" is now available -- click to buy.

From the introduction to Roger Ebert's new book of reviews, "Your Movie Sucks":

Some of these reviews were written in joyous zeal. Others with glee. Some in sorrow, some in anger, and a precious few with venom, of which I have a closely guarded supply. When I am asked, all to frequently, if I really sit all the way through these movies, my answer is inevitably: Yes, because I want to write the review.

I would guess that I have not mentioned my Pulitzer Prize in a review except once or twice since 1975, but at the moment I read Rob Schneider's extremely unwise open letter to Patrick Goldstein, I knew I was receiving a home-run pitch, right over the plate. Other reviews were written in various spirits, some of them almost benevolently, but of "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo," all I can say is that it is a movie made to inspire the title of a book like this.

On the other hand, I learned a thing or two. Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny" struck me, when I saw it at Cannes, as definitively bad. I engaged in an exchange of views with the director. When I saw his considerably shorter final cut, I had to concede that I could now see what he was getting at. A critic must be honest.

If a film of yours is included in this volume, take heart and be of good cheer. You may yet rank among the Gallos and not the Schneiders.

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