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CINBLAST - Volume 1 of a quarterly series devoted to short films. Shorts used to be a staple of moviegoing in theaters everywhere, but economic changes have sadly reduced their visibility, even though they provide an invaluable forum for new voices who'll be tomorrow's brightest stars. "Cineblast" is thus an excellent concept, and the overall quality of its first edition is high and varied, with eight items ranging from Brooke Smith's charming "Sheep Meadow," about a young woman and a little boy on an idyllic outing in the park, to Garine Torossian's dynamic "The Girl From Moush," a dazzling celebration of Armenian culture. Gil Holland selected the movies and Ron Tregenza published the collection. A couple of entries contain foul language or other stuff that would draw an R if the cassette were rated. (Not rated; Cinema Parallel)

DAVID HOLZMAN'S DIARY - The year is 1967, and the title character is a young man who decides to sort out his problems by keeping a diary on 16mm film. The project falls amusingly apart before it gets very far, but not before providing a razor-sharp reflection of youthful attitudes in the late '60s. Directed by Jim McBride, whose later films have never equaled this debut effort for humor, charm, or chutzpah. The cinematography is by Michael Wadley, of "Woodstock" fame, and L.M. Kit Carson gives a near-perfect portrayal of the camera-toting protagonist. This is one of the movies selected for the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress. Contains some nudity and sexual talk. (Not rated; Fox Lorber/Orion Home Video)

LYRICAL NITRATE - Until about 40 years ago, movies were manufactured on a nitrate-based material that produced vivid images but was discontinued because it was dangerously flammable. This compilation includes visually gorgeous fragments from movies created on nitrate stock between 1905 and 1915, reconfirming the vibrant and versatile qualities of early cinema. It's a captivating collection, even for people who don't think of themselves as film buffs. Conceived and assembled by Peter Delpeut. (Not rated; Kino Video)

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