T he following are capsule reviews of this week's screenings at the AFI Film Festival of Los Angeles. Screenings take place at the Los Feliz Theater, 1822 N. Vermont Ave., Hollywood, except where noted. Tickets and information: (213) 520-2000 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. MONDAY
"U.S. Short Fiction II" (U.S.A., 1985-86, 8:30 p.m., Barnsdall). Four more short dramas from American film makers of varying quality. "Two Soldiers," from a Faulkner short story, is a gentle, mildly diverting story of a young boy's journey from rural Mississippi to the Memphis recruiting station where an older brother has enlisted to fight the Japanese. Considerably more laconic is "Spoil the Child"--based on a Howard Fast vignette about a family struck by tragedy on the Santa Fe Trail in 1865--and "Night Train," a nightmare yarn set in the catacombs of New York City's subway, evolves into downright hostile toward its audience. The rough jewel of the lot is "Spares," a heart-wrenching comedy of the disenfranchised set in the unlikely locale of a seedy bowling alley. Wonderfully observed and acted by the late George Memmoli and Peter Frechette, the last film is the unexpected pleasant surprise of the program.