In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

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Beanpole

Kantemir Balagov has the confidence to tell his story chiefly through the faces of his characters as well as their placement in the frame, thereby…

Wendy

Like listening to someone else tell you about their dream.

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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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Four-star faves for January

per.jpg

Ben Whishaw in a stinky place in "Perfume."

Roger Ebert on "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer": "Why I love this story, I do not know. Why I have read the book twice and given away a dozen copies of the audiobook, I cannot explain. There is nothing fun about the story, except the way it ventures so fearlessly down one limited, terrifying, seductive dead end, and finds there a solution both sublime and horrifying. It took imagination to tell it, courage to film it, thought to act it, and from the audience it requires a brave curiosity about the peculiarity of obsession."

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Jim Emerson on "Letters from Iwo Jima": "In both his films, Eastwood empathizes with the "expendable" soldier on the ground, the "poor bastard" who is only a pawn in a war conceived by generals and politicians, some of whom have never come anywhere near a battlefield or a combat zone. And Eastwood fully commits to a boots-on-the-ground POV: The raising of the American flag, presented as a routine, off-hand task to the soldiers in "Flags of Our Fathers" (2007)(and which would have remained that way if a photographer had not been present), is only glimpsed obliquely from afar by the Japanese in "Letters from Iwo Jima." Life or death, heroism or folly: It all comes down to which side you're on, and which piece of ground you're occupying, at any given moment in the battle."

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