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January 19, 2007 / * ()
Venus
Opal Dream
Art house: God Grew Tired of Us, Divided States of America: Laibach 2004 Tour

Letters from Iwo Jima / **** (R)
by Jim Emerson Editor, RogerEbert.com For a fraction of a second at the very beginning of Clint Eastwood's "Letters from Iwo Jima," you may think that you are gazing overhead at a field of stars. In fact, you are looking straight down into the ground, at waves of black sand on the volcanic island where, over the course of five weeks in February and March, 1945, an invasion force of 100,000 Americans (two thirds of them U.S. Marines) fought 22,000 entrenched Japanese infantrymen. Only 1,083 Japanese survived the battle, while 6,821 Americans were killed and 20,000 wounded.

Editor's Notes: Mr. Lynch Goes to Washington
SEATTLE -- David Lynch returned to the Great Pacific Northwest Wednesday night for two screenings of his three-hour "Inland Empire" (at 7:30 and midnight), bringing with him to Seattle a fresh, hot shipment of David Lynch Coffee. That's good coffee! (Packaging tagline -- from "Inland Empire," it turns out: "It's all in the beans, and I'm just full of beans.") Just a few blocks away, in the Pike Place Market, was a little shop where I used to get my beans, when I first became a serious coffee-drinker in college. It's still there, and it's still called Starbuck's, but I hear there are more of them now. I went to the early show. (When it was 9:45 I probably thought it was after midnight.) Lynch began by introducing a cellist who performed a brief improvisational piece "to set a mood." Then Lynch read a short verse (I've forgotten the source) about spinning stories, like a web, and living in them. And then "Inland Empire" hit the big Cinerama screen (the theater where I saw "2001: A Space Odyssey" in its original release, when I was 10). I won't say much more about the movie now (I just finished a longer piece that will run next week), but the local crowd went wild when a lumberjack appeared. We live in the land of "Twin Peaks" here, you know. Lynch spent some of his formative years growing up in Spokane, on the other side of the Cascades, in what Washingtonians refer to as the Inland Empire (though most people associate the term with California).

Previously On Ebert
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Weekend Box Office: January 12-15, 2007
Stomp the Yard tops the box office with $25.9 million

Daily Box Office: Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Dreamgirls tops Wednesday's box office with $0.8 million

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