A weekly update of film releases

BOOK OF LOVE - Yet another teen-age boy comes of age, and the only surprises happen at the beginning and ending of the story, which look like they were borrowed from another movie. Robert Shaye directed from William Kotzwinkle's screenplay. (Rated PG-13)

CLOSET LAND - Charged with putting subversive messages into the children's books she writes, a woman is tortured and interrogated by a male government agent. At first the film appears to be voyeuristic and possibly even pornographic, but it gradually emerges as a deeply intelligent parable that explores the dynamics of male domination on many levels of modern life, from the openly political to the intimately personal. Radha Bharadwaj wrote and directed this startling and courageous drama. (Rated R)

DEFENDING YOUR LIFE - That's what you do after death, according to this good-natured comedy by Albert Brooks, who plays an advertising executive trying to convince the cosmic authorities that heaven is the right place for him. The laughs and social commentary aren't as biting as in Brooks's best movie, ``Lost in America,'' but the picture has irresistible charm. (Rated PG)

MR. JOHNSON - He's a West African clerk who works in the British bureaucracy during the heyday of colonial rule, and he practically worships the stodgy Englishmen who lord it over him and his country. The situation is as absurd and unworkable as imperialism itself, and leads to tragedy for all concerned. Bruce Beresford directed this conventional but absorbing tragicomedy, which is superbly acted by a multiracial cast. (Rated PG-13)

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