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12 Strong

“Understated” isn’t a word you’d ordinarily use to describe a Jerry Bruckheimer production, but that’s surprisingly what 12 Strong ends up being.

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The Final Year

A documentary about the final year of foreign policy during the Obama administration, and incidentally about the grim surprises that life sometimes has in store…

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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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The arrival of The Prisoner, then and now: "We Want Information!"

AMC's re-do of the classic British TV series "The Prisoner" gets under way Sunday night, following the conclusion of "Mad Men"'s third season last week. The new version stars Jim Caviezel as Number Six and Ian McKellen as Number Two. (The great Leo McKern played Number Two a couple times in the original series, and there were some other repeats as I recall, but generally there was a new Number Two each week.)

From the teasers it appears that the new version (tagline: "You Only Think You're Free") takes place in a desert suburb of Dubai rather than a quaint seaside village. (Actually, the new "Prisoner" was shot in Cape Town, South Africa, and Swakopmund, Namibia.) The big white bouncy billowy security devices are back. But I'm most interested in the opening credits sequence, because I became so enamored with the ritualistic nature of the earlier one, as you can see from the following obsessive video analysis originally published in 2008:

(Rescued and reposted months after the death of iKlipz caused all my video essays to disappear from the web. Originally published -- with more on "The Prisoner" here.)

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