* THE CONGRESS OF PENGUINS - This unusual movie blends striking documentary material with a darkly whimsical narration to focus attention on environmental damage, hunting abuses, and other humanly caused problems in the Antarctic region. Directed by Hans-Ulrich Schlumpf. (Not rated)

* L'ENFER - A man becomes obsessed with the idea that his wife is being unfaithful to him. French filmmaker Claude Chabrol brings a chilling sense of conviction to this grimly effective psychological drama, based on an uncompleted project begun by Henri-Georges Clouzot in the late 1960s. Emmanuelle Beart stars. (Not rated)

* HOUSEGUEST - On the run from mobsters, our goofy hero poses as the childhood friend of a man he's never seen before, moves into the comfy suburban home of his unwitting host, and gets tangled up with sitcom-style family problems. The story is incredibly silly, but the comedian named Sinbad gives a suitably wacky performance in the title role, and director Randall Miller moves the action at a breakneck pace. Special credit goes to film editor Eric Sears, whose creative splicing makes even the quiet scenes as frenetically energetic as a Steven Spielberg chase sequence. (Rated PG)

* TIGRERO: A FILM THAT WAS NEVER MADE - In the mid-1950s, director Samuel Fuller headed for the forests of Brazil to prepare a Hollywood epic with John Wayne as a fearless hunter and Ava Gardner as the woman he loves. That movie never got into production, but Fuller recently returned to its Brazilian setting to renew acquaintances with the area's native community and to show them footage he shot during his original visit. Joining him on the nostalgic journey were two other filmmakers, much younger but equally ornery in their movie careers: Jim Jarmusch, who acts as Fuller's on-screen traveling companion, and Mika Kaurismaki, who wrote and directed this unconventional mixture of travelogue, ethnography, and behind-the-scenes cinema lore. (Not rated)

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