FREEZE FRAMES

A weekly update of film releases

BLACK ROBE - The story depicts a Jesuit priest's expedition to an isolated Canadian mission in the 17th century, and his attempts to convert native Americans who see no need for a religion other than their own. Bruce Beresford's film is very conscientious about authentic-looking details, including graphic glimpses of sex and torture, and the screenplay airs religious issues rarely considered in films. But the drama is weakened by wan performances, an impossibly stiff visual style, and oversimplified treatment of theological matters. (Rated R) LUCKY STAR - Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor star in this 1929 romance about the love between a farm girl and a handicapped war veteran. The film was thought to be permanently lost until a print was recently discovered in the vaults of a Dutch museum. Its revival is a major event for silent-movie fans, and yet another tribute to the brilliance of Frank Borzage, the underrated Hollywood master who directed it. (Not rated)

NOTEBOOK ON CITIES AND CLOTHES - German filmmaker Wim Wenders directed this very personal documentary on Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, and looks at the ways fashion resonates with contemporary culture in general. The movie draws few memorable conclusions, but it adds an interesting chapter to Wenders's extremely varied body of work. (Not rated)

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