An occasional update of video releases

* FELIX! - Felix the Cat cavorted through a large number of simply drawn but ingeniously conceived Otto Messmer cartoons; this compendium from the silent-movie era ranges from ``Felix in Hollywood,'' costarring Charlie Chaplin and Cecil B. DeMille, to ``Felix Saves the Day,'' which mingles animation and live action. Nostalgic, nonsensical fun. (Milestone Film & Video, New York)

* L'ARGENT - French filmmaker Robert Bresson based his last movie on a Tolstoy story, following the trail of deception and violence that follows a teenage boy's casual decision to pass a counterfeit bill. As always, Bresson is less interested in dramatic action than in philosophical questions, such as how individuals exercise free will and choose between opportunities for good and evil. Made in 1983, this film is streamlined and economical even by Bresson standards, sometimes using a single brief shot to indicate a tumultuous event that any conventional director would string out for an entire scene. The result is bracing in its originality, its thoughtfulness, and its deep concern with moral and spiritual issues. (New Yorker Video, New York)

* YELLOW EARTH - Ten years before ``Farewell My Concubine'' became an international hit, director Chen Kaige helped launch China's acclaimed Fifth Generation film movement with this visually stunning 1983 drama. It's about an idealistic soldier who visits a rural community to gather folk songs for his army comrades to sing, and inspires a 14-year-old girl to rebel against the unwanted marriage her family has arranged. The film's astonishing beauty is due largely to cinematographer Zhang Yimou, who went on to direct such celebrated films as the Oscar-nominated ``Ju Dou'' and ``Raise the Red Lantern.'' Imaginative performances and exquisite music round out this entrancing work. (Fox Lorber Home Video, New York)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today