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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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An even dumberer list

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That's right -- it's on their list. So are "Amelie," "American Pie," "The Dresser" and "Dumb and Dumber."

A "panel of experts" has compiled for The Guardian a list of 1000 Films To See Before You Die. Apparently, there's no rush. I mean, it's not films you "must see" -- just films "to see." That explains some of the choices. At least it's not restricted to British films, or even English language films. From the introduction:

Out of these million-plus movies, our team of experts has picked what we believe is the essential 1,000 - those that best sum up the dazzling achievement and variety of the movies.

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Just don't plan on dying in the next few days, because they're publishing the list alphabetically, one day (and a few letters) at a time. Told you there was no hurry. As I write this, The Committee's selections for A through G have appeared.

P.S. The list, so far, is partly redeemed by the presence of "Devil in a Blue Dress," "Dazed and Confused," "The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years," "Dig!," "Boogie Nights," "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" and "Le Boucher." And it cites the right "Crash" -- the David Cronenberg one. ("Dead Ringers," too.) On the other hand, there's the smug, frat-boy-naughty "Clerks," the gooey "Ghost" and "The Faculty" -- which just makes me want to throw something out of something else or at something else.

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