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March 03, 1987|MICHAEL WILMINGTON | Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"Mon Oncle d'Amerique." Embassy. $29.98. Alain Resnais' 1980 film bursts at the seams: It's a mixture of social comedy, political-philosophical critique, wistful cinematic poetry and romantic-triangle drama, all framed by a lecture on human animal instincts and conditioning by Prof. Henri Laborit. Resnais, as usual, fragments the action and plays ironically with time, but the film (scripted by Jean Gruault) is so lucid that it never leaves you adrift. Why don't we get more movies as intelligent and challenging as this one? (Too much conditioning?) Gerard Depardieu, Nicole Garcia and Roger Pierre play the central trio, and Depardieu is continuously linked metaphorically with the image of his great predecessor, Jean Gabin--a perfect match. Information: (213) 553-3600.

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