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FREEZE FRAMES

A weekly update of film releases

By David Sterritt / May 7, 1991



CHAMELEON STREET - A young black man discovers that he has the ability to mirror the expectations of the people around him, and proceeds to build short-lived careers in journalism, medicine, and other professions. Based on the true story of a man who actually did something like this, the comedy-drama has been made with much energy and derring-do by Wendell B. Harris Jr., a promising new talent. But it veers in as many different directions as its main character, never coming together as a coherent whole. Impersonation buffs should stick to "Zelig" and "The Great Imposter." (Not rated)

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A KISS BEFORE DYING - A woman unwittingly marries a psychopath who's willing to commit any crime, including murder, for his own profit. Such clumsy performances and graceless filmmaking are rarely seen in a slick Hollywood production, although the climax has a grim sort of energy. James Dearden directed from his own screenplay, based on an Ira Levin novel. (Rated R)

* REQUIEM FOR DOMINIC - A man returns to his native Romania shortly after the recent revolution to investigate reports that an old friend was responsible for a massacre there. Robert Dornhelm directed this unconventional and often powerful drama, which blends fictional scenes with authentic newsreel footage, and is based on Dornhelm's own inquiry into the fate of a Romanian friend. (Rated R)