Out on Video

ALPHAVILLE

"A Strange Adventure of Lemmy Caution" is the subtitle of Jean-Luc Godard's classic satire of Hollywood science fiction. It's about a secret agent investigating an intergalactic city controlled by a supercomputer that eliminates all enemies who don't conform to its "logical" ideas. American actor Eddie Constantine and frequent Godard collaborator Anna Karina head the cast, but the real star is Godard's incisive vision of a dehumanized society enslaved by its addictions to technology, conformity, and materialism. Astonishingly well-photographed by Raoul Coutard, who makes Paris of 1965 look exactly the way you'd imagine Alphaville to be. Contains some violence. (Not rated; The Criterion Collection)

RED BALL EXPRESS

Following the Allied invasion of Europe in World War II, some American troops made such quick progress through Nazi-held territory that supplies lagged far behind. This necessitated a hastily assembled truck convoy to carry rations and gasoline. Directed by action-movie wizard Budd Boetticher, this 1952 drama spices up its historical subject with fictional subplots about personal rivalries among soldiers and, more interestingly, racial tensions that are heightened by dangerous conditions. Jeff Chandler plays the convoy's fearless commander, and Sidney Poitier gives the strongest supporting performance. The screenplay is by John Michael Hayes, best known for Alfred Hitchcock's magnificent "Rear Window." (Not rated; MCA Universal Home Video)

WHAT HAPPENED WAS ...

Two office workers, a secretary and a paralegal, get together for a quiet dinner at the secretary's apartment, and by the end of their date we've had a harrowing glimpse into the deepest recesses of their personalities. Written and directed by Tom Noonan, this finely observed drama manages to be meticulous, compassionate, and excruciating at the same time. Noonan and Karen Sillas give near-perfect performances as the highly imperfect couple. Contains some rough language. (Not rated; Hallmark Home Entertainment)

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