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OUT ON VIDEO

A weekly update of video releases

By David Sterritt / March 1, 1996



* AMARCORD - One of the most popular Italian films ever made, Federico Fellini's flamboyant portrait of a seaside village during the Fascist era is still as lively, colorful, and poignant as in 1974, when it was new. It's still a bit disappointing, too, always favoring spectacle and sensation over insight and deeper meaning. Giuseppe Rotunno did the splendiferous camera work - this cassette is ''letterboxed'' to preserve the original wide-screen format - and Nino Rota composed the exquisite score. The title translates as ''I Remember,'' reflecting the film's highly personal nature for Fellini, who wrote the screenplay with Tonino Guerra. Contains nudity and other details of the earthy sides of peasant life. (Not rated; Home Vision)

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* COMMENT A VA?

Making a videotape about the magazine where they work, two left-wing journalists enter a complex argument about the process of news-gathering and the relationsip between words, images, and ideas. Directed in 1976 by French filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Mieville, this audiovisual essay makes cinema another element in the debate, challenging its viewers to consider the role of movies in shaping their thoughts and opinions. Also known in English as ''How Is It Going?'' (Not rated; Facets Video)

* FAUST - F.W. Murnau's retelling of the Faust legend, based on Goethe's deeply romantic drama, ranks with the most imposing silent films of its kind. Set in a medieval village wracked by plague and superstition, the story centers on a thoughtful man who's tempted into partnership with the devil by his wish for power to help his fellow humans. The most memorable character, though, is Mephisto, who seduces his victim with a mixture of ruthless wickedness and impish abandon. Emil Jannings, best known for ''The Last Laugh'' and ''The Blue Angel,'' plays the demoniacal villain. Carl Hoffman did the delirious camera work, calling into play the full resources available in 1926 at Germany's great Ufa studio. Timothy Brock composed and conducted the new musical score for this cassette. (Not rated; Kino Video)