Cinema: X Marks the Top

Two fine new films get the adults-only label

X as in toxic. That label, slapped on films by the Motion Picture Association of America's ratings board, means that no one younger than 18 may be admitted. But the classification has other hazards. Most newspapers will not run ads for X-rated movies. Most pay-cable networks will not air them. And, because the letter has been appropriated by the porno industry, to many people X stands for sex -- impure and simple.

But what if X also stands for exemplary, exciting, extraordinary? Such is the case with two new films -- The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover and...

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