News In Brief

IT LOOKS MUCH BETTER NOW

For 69 years it gathered dust in the attic of All Saints' Episcopal Church in West Newbury, Mass. - a gift painting that parishioners thought was "too ornate." But then someone decided maybe it ought to be appraised, just for the heck of it. Good move. "Madonna and Child" turns out to be an authentic masterpiece by Andrea del Sarto of the Florentine Renaissance and is expected to fetch as much as $1.5 million when it's auctioned next week at Sotheby's in New York.

THIS COULD START A TREND

The roses and chocolates obviously didn't work. But maybe a subway ad will. At least, that's the hope of a Czech who's renting space in 105 Prague public-transit cars to beg a woman identified only as "M" to come back to him. She has only 11 more days to see it, though - if she hasn't already. After Jan. 31, the space goes to another advertiser.

'Life Is Beautiful' tops poll of favorite foreign films

Moviegoers have a soft spot for Italian cinema, at least judging by the Landmark Theatres Favorite Foreign Language Film Poll, announced last weekend in Palm Springs, Calif. The top three in the survey all were made in that language, plus 13 more in the list of 100. To qualify, movies had to be made by a foreign national in a language other than English. The Top 10 films, with the primary language of each and the year made:

1. "Life Is Beautiful," Italian 1997

2. "Cinema Paradiso," Italian 1988

3. "Il Postino" ("The Postman"), Italian 1994

4. "Like Water for Chocolate," Spanish 1992

5. "Das Boot" ("The Boat"), German 1981

6. "Babette's Feast," Danish 1987

7. "The Gods Must Be Crazy," Afrikaans 1981

8. "The Seven Samurai," Japanese 1954

9. "Shall We Dance?" Japanese 1996

10. "The Bicycle Thief," Italian 1947

- Business Wire

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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