short takes (2)

* Robert M. Young is a striking bright and talented filmmaker. Though his career is still only a few years old, it stretches from the adolescent charm of "Rich Kids" to the dark prison drama of "Short Eyes" -- a remarkable range, considering that each picture is market with empathy and intelligence. His fame hasn't taken off, so far, and his latest movie flopped: the underrated "One-Trick Pony" with Paul Simon. But now his very best film is due for a belated New York premiere at the Public Theater on Feb. 10. Called Alambrista, or The Illegal, it's the sensitive and dramatic story of a young Mexican who sneaks into the United States in search of work. Understated, superbly acted, and directed with masterful control, it has won major awards at film festivals and rave reviews from critics. It deserves to be seen as widely as possible, so here's hoping its New York run is the start o f a long and highly visible life.

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