FREEZE FRAMES

THE BIG BANG - This talking-head documentary was directed by James Toback, who filmed interviews with people completely different from one another, then chopped up the footage into bits and pieces of conversation that bounce off each other like molecules in a chain reaction. Parts are roaringly funny; others are in scathingly bad taste. Definitely one of a kind. (Rated R) JESUS OF MONTREAL - This offbeat Canadian drama centers on an actor who agrees to play Jesus in a production of the Passion Play, and lands in trouble with the authorities when he interprets the role according to his heart rather than the orthodox rules. The story of the film is too self-consciously clever and takes on too many ideas. But the movie is smartly acted and beautifully filmed. Written and directed by Denys Arcand. (Not rated)

THE RAGGEDY RAWNEY - Unusual comedy-drama about a band of Gypsies living a nomadic existence in an unnamed European country that's been ravaged by years of war. In addition to starring, Bob Hoskins makes his directorial debut. He isn't quite ready for auteur status, but the movie is colorful if not very coherent. (Rated R)

CHATTAHOOCHEE - Drama based on the true story of a disturbed Korean War veteran sent to a Florida state mental hospital, where he rebelled against a system designed to warehouse inmates instead of curing or even treating them. Gary Oldman gives a pungent performance, and some portions of the story are gripping, especially the very first scene. But the filmmakers are better at detailing the hero's extremes of misery and triumph than at showing the step-by-step process that moved him from one to the other. Directed by Mick Jackson. (Rated R)

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