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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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Dialogue as music

Couric and Palin, on piano. This is an ear-opening way to hear spoken words. As notes.

I can think of so many movies in which the images play the orchestra (or band, depending on the kind of music the movie suggests) and the actors are the soloists. Dialog by Billy Wilder, or Preston Sturges, or the Coen Bros. often strikes me as fundamentally musical. But I didn't hear this one coming.

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