Following are capsule reviews of screenings in the American Film Institute's BritFest during the UK/LA '88 Festival.
'BEST OF BRITISH SHORTS'
Monicas, 8:45 p . m.
A variable collection--notable for its concentration on the whimsical. The best: Mike Leigh's "The Short and Curlies," a typically improvisatory and sometimes bitterly funny look at lower class courtship rituals, focusing on a suitor who tells maddeningly bad jokes to his docile fiance; and Harry ("The Kitchen Toto") Hook's "Before I Die Forever," a pantomimed, vaguely Michael Powell-esque fantasy in which a British traditionalist returns from the grave to find his proper angel. Sally Potter's spy musical comedy, "The London Story" is a bit too mechanically fey; Vera Neubauer's witch collage "Midair," a bit too fragmented, and Jenny Wilkes' vacation comedy "Making Waves," good but slight.