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MOVIES TO TAPE

September 19, 1993|Kevin Thomas

Comfort and Joy (Bravo Sunday at 5 and 11:30 p.m.; Saturday at 1 a.m.), Scottish filmmaker Bill Forsyth's dryly delightful 1984 comedy, stars Bill Patterson as a Glasgow wake-up disc jockey coping with abandonment by his longtime girlfriend (Eleanor David).

La Traviata (A&E Thursday at 6 and 10 p.m.) Ultra-lush 1982 Franco Zeffirelli treatment of the Verdi opera with Teresa Stratas and Placido Domingo. Their voices are all but upstaged by the sets and costumes.

The Icicle Thief (Bravo Thursday at 6 p.m.) is directed by Italian filmmaker Maurizio Nichetti, who was outraged at how TV chopped up his films and got inspired revenge with this delicious 1989 comedy-satire. A mysterious power outage mixes up the worlds of film with that of TV commercials. The characters end up in crass, silly commercials, with Nichetti managing some nifty commentary on contemporary materialism.

Meeting Venus (Cinemax Friday at 11 a.m.) is an elegant, wise 1991 romantic comedy of manners. Directed by Hungary's Istvan Szabo (in his English-language debut), the film stars Glenn Close as a Swedish opera diva of abundant temperament and sensuality and Niels Arestrup as a Hungarian conductor on the verge of major recognition. Sly, sophisticated and complex in its view of art and life, sex and creativity, East and West.

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