Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

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MADADAYO Writer/director Akira Kurosawa's last film, the movie features Tatsuo Matsumura as Hyakken Uchida, a beloved professor who leaves his job to become a writer after his house is destroyed in air raids on Japan in 1943. His old students plot to move him from the hut he and his wife now inhabit to a bigger home. Jan. 19-25 at 12, 4:15 and 8:30 p.m., GSU's cinéfest.

THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME The longest running one-man stage production in New York theater history, Larry Kramer has now made the jump to celluloid, with less than thrilling results. The play's writer, David Drake, performs with admirable energy and verve, a semi-autobiographical version of one man's life, ranging from his budding homosexuality as a child to his final resting place in New York City's by turns competitive/supportive gay community. There is some real insight here, but one has to trudge through so much theatrical affectation and so many superficial clichés about what constitutes being "gay" it may not be worth the effort. Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Benefit, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., IMAGE film & Video Center. -- FF

RASHOMON In this 1950 Akira Kurosawa movie, a woman is raped and her husband is murdered. Fortunately, four witnesses come forward to tell what they saw. Unfortunately, the witnesses give four different accounts of the events. What really happened? You decide. Jan. 19-25 at 2:30 and 6:45 p.m., GSU's cinéfest.

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (R) The cult classic of cult classics, the 1975 horror spoof follows an all-American couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) to the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a drag-queen/mad scientist from another galaxy. It's all fun and games until Meatloaf gets killed. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Fridays at midnight, Lefont Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave.

RUBIN & ED Crispin Glover stars as Rubin, a loner who keeps his recently deceased cat/best friend in the fridge. He hooks up with fellow loser Ed, and the pair set out on a road trip to find the perfect burial plot for the dead pet. Must be 18 years or older to attend. Free admission and $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon offered. Monday Night Movies, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m., Echo Lounge, 551 Flat Shoals Ave.

THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT Set in the Napoleonic era, the film follows a captain who finds a strange book. Similar to The Arabian Nights, the captain begins to live the magical adventures depicted in the book. Wojciech Has' 1965 film is in Polish with subtitles. Films at the High, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m., Rich Auditorium.

SPERLING AND THE BURNING ARM Detective Sperling witnesses the beating of a Berlin restaurant owner by a group of men demanding protection money. Sperling mounts an investigation into the attack and discovers that the group is part of the Albanian mob. But before he can act on the information, the restaurant owner takes the situation into his own hands. The 1998 film is in German with English subtitles. German Criminal Films, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., Goethe Institut Atlanta.

TWISTER The 1988 film centers on an eccentric family living on a farm in Kansas. A storm is brewing and the wacky family members are all trapped together on the farm. The cast includes Crispin Glover, Dylan McDermott and Harry Dean Stanton. Must be 18 years or older to attend. Free admission and $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon offered. Monday Night Movies, Jan. 29 at 10 p.m., Echo Lounge, 551 Flat Shoals Ave.

THE AMATI GIRLS (PG) 1/2 Mercedes Ruehl, Sean Young, Dinah Manoff and Lily Knight play the daughters of recently widowed Cloris Leachman in Anne DeSalvo's dripping-with-sincerity drama that portrays Italian-American family life without reference to the Mafia. Ruehl's marriage is much like her mother's; Young is ready to divorce a workaholic; and Manoff's afraid of commitment. When developmentally challenged Knight decides she wants "a real boyfriend," most of the family is opposed. Cinematically proficient but not innovative, The Amati Girls probably helped DeSalvo get major family issues off her chest. -- SW

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (PG-13) An enchanting tale set in early 19th-century China, Ang Lee's (Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm) atmospheric Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon rekindles the Hong Kong flame of gravity-defying martial arts action and tender sentiment. Lee invests the usual astounding acrobatics with his characters' pangs of regret, love and loss as two martial arts masters, (Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh) teach a spoiled young aristocrat (Zhang Ziyi) about the moral responsibilities of the Giang Hu martial arts way in this subversive, beautifully realized coming-of-age story. -- FF


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