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Here Come Art-House Hits, Buck Jones and the Nelsons

January 01, 1998|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

If you love old movies, arthouse fare and foreign flicks, you're in for a treat in 1998.

Among the foreign films due in early 1998 are Joseph Losey's 1977 French thriller "Mr. Klein" (First Run), set for Tuesday. Also arriving that day is the acclaimed 1996 French comedy "When the Cat's Away" (Columbia TriStar) and "Love Play" (First Run), a little-known Jean Seberg flick from 1965.

The latest film from Chinese director Chen Kaige ("Farewell, My Concubine"), the lush "Temptress Moon" (Miramax), arrives the following week. Leslie Cheung and Gong Li star.

New Yorker Video presents the acclaimed 1995 Italian drama "Lamerica" on Feb. 17.

In late February, Home Vision presents two of French director Agnes Varda's best-loved films, "Chloe From 5 to 7" and "Le Bonheur." Fox Lorber's Jan. 27 offerings include Chiara Mastroianni and Jean-Pierre Leaud in the romance "Diary of a Seducer," as well as "Nico Icon," an offbeat look at the '60s pop icon.

Hen's Tooth has unearthed "What a Woman!," an obscure 1956 Italian comedy starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, set for March 3. The legendary Mastroianni stars in one of his last films, "Three Lives and Only One Death" (New York), due March 17.

Waltzing into stores on March 24 is the lauded Japanese comedy "Shall We Dance?" (Miramax).

British director Mike Leigh's latest comedy-drama "Career Girls" (Fox) is scheduled for Jan. 13. Also new on that day is the Australian comedy "Children of the Revolution" (Miramax), starring Judy Davis, Sam Neill and Geoffrey Rush.

Ewan McGregor fans can catch the popular Scottish actor in the comedy drama "Brassed Off" (Miramax), due Jan. 27, and in Peter Greenaway's controversial "The Pillow Book" (Columbia TriStar), set for Feb. 3. McGregor appears in the full monty throughout most of "Pillow Book."

Oldies but goodies include the "Universal Matinee" collection (Universal, $15 each), arriving Tuesday. Each video features a cartoon, newsreel, a serial episode starring western legend Buck Jones and a feature western with Jones.

Also new that day are the widescreen versions (MGM, $15 each) of the musical classics of "West Side Story," "Brigadoon," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "Gigi" and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."

The curio "Here Come the Nelsons" (Universal, $15) arrives Jan. 20. The 1952 movie stars Ozzie, Harriet, Ricky and David Nelson and Rock Hudson and preceded the long-running TV series "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." Also due that day from Universal are three more installments in its popular "Deanna Durbin Collection" ($20 each): "Something in the Wind," "Up in Central Park" and "For Love of Mary."

The following week, the eclectic Kino offers two early British rock flicks ($25 each): "Expresso Bongo" and "Beat Girl." Set for Feb. 3 from Universal is the widescreen, director's cut of Steven Spielberg's 1979 flick "1941" ($20), as well as a new edition of the 1980 "The Blues Brothers" ($15 for pan-and-scan; $20 for widescreen), which includes 20 minutes of additional footage.

Just in time for Black History Month is Kino's "Paul Robeson: The Centennial Collection" ($25 each), due Feb. 10. The four-volume set contains the Robeson films "Song of Freedom," "Big Fella," "Jerico" and "Body and Soul."

Universal presents the 35th-anniversary edition of the Gregory Peck classic "To Kill a Mockingbird" ($20), scheduled for Feb. 17. This widescreen version features a 20-minute "making of" documentary.

Also new that day from Universal ($20 each) are the vintage films "Love Letters," with Jennifer Jones; "To Each His Own," starring Olivia de Havilland in her Oscar-winning role; "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine," with Henry Fonda; "Shepherd of the Hills," starring John Wayne; and "All That Heaven Allows" with Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson.

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