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Bushels of Offbeat Fare in Autumn Crop


Though the commercial titles continue to dominate the video market, fans of independent, foreign and classic films won't be left out in the cold this fall.

The new lavish version of Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" (Warner), arriving Tuesday, is worth watching only for the sets and locations.

New and noteworthy for the following week are "The Daytrippers" (Columbia TriStar), the acclaimed low-budget comedy starring Parker Posey; the downbeat "Drunks" (BMG), featuring Richard Lewis in a rare dramatic role; and Henry Jaglom's "Last Summer in the Hamptons" (Live), starring the late, great Viveca Lindfors.

Helen Mirren headlines the powerful Irish drama "Some Mother's Sons" (Warner, Sept. 23), which got lost in the shuffle of Christmas releases last year.

A young girl refuses to talk in the unusual Australian import "The Quiet Room" (New Line), due Sept. 30. Bill Paxton and Julianna Margulies headline the quirky independent comedy-drama "'Traveller" (Evergreen, Oct. 7), and Vincent D'Onofrio stars in the romantic drama "The Whole Wide World" (Columbia TriStar, Oct. 14).

If you loved "Trainspotting" you might enjoy the bizarre Scottish comedy "Twin Town" (PolyGram), set for Oct. 21. Also due that day are "Nowhere" (New Line), Gregg Araki's final chapter in his "Teen Apocalypse Trilogy"; "Paradise Road" (Fox), Bruce Beresford's World War II drama starring Glenn Close; and "The Van" (Fox), Roddy Doyle's adaptation of his novel about two friends who operate a food van.

For romantic comedy fans, there's Kevin Smith's sleeper spring hit, "Chasing Amy" (Miramax), which is expected in stores some time in December.

Documentaries on tap for the fall include the Academy Award-nominated "Mandela" (PolyGram, Sept. 16); "Hype!" (Republic, Sept. 16), which looks at the Seattle music scene; and "A Perfect Candidate" (First Run, Oct. 7), the acclaimed chronicle of the hotly contested 1994 Virginia senatorial race.

Foreign film fans have a lot to choose from this fall. Arriving Tuesday is the 1996 Oscar-winning Czech comedy "Kolya" (Miramax) and two of French great Alain Renais' best: "Hiroshima, Mon Amour" ($30) and "Night and Fog" ($20). Both Renais titles are from Home Vision.

The following week, Columbia TriStar releases the restored version of Vittorio De Sica's Oscar-winning 1971 Italian drama "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis," and Fox Lorber offers the award-winning Greek epic "Ulysses' Gaze," starring Harvey Keitel. On tap for Sept. 23 is the 1964 Pietro Germi comedy "Seduced and Abandoned" (Hen's Tooth).

On Sept. 30, Kino is set to release "The Lumiere Brothers' First Films" ($50), which features 85 remastered "actualities" filmed between 1895-1897. Also new from Kino is "Films of the Soviet Avant-Garde," scheduled for Oct. 21.

If you loved Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman," you can check out the original Italian version starring Vittorio Gassman (New Yorker) on Oct. 7.

Home Vision presents the remastered, restored version of Fritz Lang's "M" ($20) on Oct. 14, and the following day, Interama releases the rarely seen 1947 Oscar-winning French drama "Monsieur Vincent."

Among the oldies but goodies due for fall is the landmark 1961 British drama "Victim" (Home Vision, $30), set for Tuesday. The following week, Warner Bros. Classics ($20 each) presents a letterbox version of "Dirty Harry," plus the remastered 25th-anniversary editions of "Deliverance" and "Cabaret."

The six-video "The Eddie Cantor Collection" (HBO, $80) is on tap for Sept. 23; and Columbia TriStar is set to release the terrific 1946 Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger fantasy "Stairway to Heaven" ($20) and the riveting 1957 drama "The Strange One" ($20) on Oct. 14.

Universal is scheduled to unveil in October its new "Universal Matinees" collection ($15), which includes a full-length feature, cartoons, newsreels and a serial chapter starring legendary cowboy Buck Jones.

On Nov. 11, Kino pays tribute to actress-director Ida Lupino with the three-volume set "Ida Lupino: Queen of the Bs," featuring "The Hitchhiker," "The Bigamist" and "Not Wanted."

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