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FREEZE FRAMES

By David Sterritt / February 1, 1991



A weekly update of film releases

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KILLER OF SHEEP

-Since the arrival of Charles Burnett's insightful ``To Sleep With Anger'' in 1990, interest in this long-respected 1978 work has increased. It's more rough-hewn in style and performance, but still makes a powerful impression with its tough-minded portrait of an African-American laborer and his family. (Not rated)

MERMAIDS

-Eccentric mom, sensitive but kooky teen-age daughter. This comedy-drama has pretensions to seriousness, pulling in jokes about weighty matters like ``family values'' and religion. It doesn't add up to much, though, despite energetic performances by Cher and Winona Ryder. (Rated PG-13)

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF PARKING LOTS

-Strained relationships lead to violence among the young characters of this offbeat drama, which isn't nearly as original as its title. (Not rated)

A TALE OF THE WIND

-Shortly before his death in 1989, master director Joris Ivens visited China to film this parable about an elderly man whose ambition is to photograph the invisible wind. Marceline Loridan codirected the visually and intellectually dazzling work, which blurs the boundaries among fantasy, autobiography, and political documentary. (Not rated)

WAIT FOR ME IN HEAVEN

-Comedy about a nondescript worker who's drafted to impersonate Generalissimo Francisco Franco so the real dictator won't have to worry about his enemies. Antonio Mercero directed the Spanish production, which goes on too long but has perky performances and many good laughs. (Not rated)