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Movies to Tape

June 09, 1991

Frida (Bravo Monday 8 p.m., Tuesday at 1 a.m.). Paul Leduc's exotic, experimental 1985 film pays homage to artist Frida Kahlo (Ofelia Medina), who is shown as the eternal long-suffering victim, married to painter-Communist leader Diego Rivera (Juan Jose Gurrola), portrayed here as a bellicose, fiery bull of a man, a genius-glutton.

Islands in the Stream (Channel 13 Tuesday at 4 a.m.). Franklin Schaffner's splendid, melancholy 1977 film of the autobiographical Ernest Hemingway novel, skillfully adapted by Denne Bart Petitclerc, stars George C. Scott as Hemingway alter ego Tom Hudson. Central is Hudson's relationship with his sons, seen with tenderness and pride and touched with the pain of loss.

Limelight (AMC Tuesday at 6 p.m., Wednesday at 12:30 a.m.). In this 1952 masterpiece, Charles Chaplin takes a sentimental backstage story of a budding ballerina (Claire Bloom), suffering from psychosomatic paralysis but restored to health by an elderly clown (Chaplin), and transforms it into an incomparable, profoundly moving portrait of the artist as an old man.

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Cinemax Wednesday at 10 p.m.). Starting from a base of craziness, Spain's ever-outrageous, ever-provocative Pedro Almodovar manages to launch a cockeyed paean back to being normal when a somewhat disturbed young man (Antonio Banderas) imprisons a young but fading actress (Victoria Abril) in her Madrid apartment with unexpected yet surprisingly credible consequences.

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