A weekly update of video releases

* THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK - Dramatized version of a Jewish family's experiences while hiding in an Amsterdam attic during the Nazi occupation, based on the sensitive diary kept by a family member just entering her teens. Directed by George Stevens in 1959, the film has been criticized for diminishing the singularity of the Holocaust by arguing that misery has been inflicted on many groups and races throughout history. Hollywood movies are not the most likely place for rigorous moral philosophizing, however, and as such spectacles go, this one is carefully produced and contains some thoughtful performances. Shelley Winters won an Oscar for hers. At nearly three hours, this two-cassette package gives the picture at full length, but the original wide-screen images are chopped off at the edges. (Fox Video)

* FEAR OF A BLACK HAT - Clearly inspired by "This Is Spinal Tap," the memorable 1984 satire of rock documentaries, Rusty Cundieff's movie gives the same treatment to an African-American rap group with three members named Ice Cold, Tasty-Taste, and Tone Def. Their language is foul and their misogyny is outrageous, but the filmmakers poke so many holes in rap-scene pretensions that the group's macho swaggering turns to hilarious mush before your eyes. Cundieff directed from his own screenplay, and portrays one of the main characters. He's definitely a filmmaker with a future. (R, Fox Video)

* THE WEDDING GIFT A middle-aged couple prepare for their son's wedding while coping with problems related to a troubling illness. Based on real events, Richard Loncraine's drama paints a portrait of married life so ripely sentimental that it's hard to take seriously at times, especially when Jack Rosenthal's screenplay gets overly impressed with its own verbal cleverness. Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters are perfect as the husband and wife, though, and the story is life-affirming even when human difficulties are at their darkest. Based on a memoir by Deric Longden. (PG-13, Miramax)

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