Birthday Girl. Jez Butterworth. Opens Feb. 1 at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.
Dark Blue World. Jan Sverák. Compared to the high-priced war mayhem Hollywood is rushing to the multiplexes, this quiet, modestly budgeted film about Czech pilots fighting for the RAF in the Battle of Britain is bound to seem almost quaint. But director Jan Sverák and his father, screenwriter Zdenek Sverák (who gave us the touching 1996 fable Kolya) have something else in mind, too: the tragedy of Czechoslovakia itself. The main narrative here tells of two dashing Spitfire pilots (played by Ondrej Vetchy and young Krystof Hádek) shooting down Messerschmitts over the English Channel and falling in love with the same beautiful Englishwoman (Tara Fitzgerald). A second, gloomier story, interspersed with the first, reveals how Czechoslovakia's paranoid Communist government threw its own heroes into forced labor camps after the war. Here is the best evidence yet of how Eastern European filmmaking has cut the old Soviet shackles. In Czech with English subtitles. Opens Feb. 1 at the Plaza Frontenac. (BG)
Mark Dresser Trio. The Mark Dresser Trio will perform along with four experimental films: Luis Buuel and Salvador Dali's landmark Un Chien Andalou; Chronicles of an Asthmatic Stripper; Subonium; and Sonomatopoeia. (See Clubs, p. 60) for futher information on the Mark Dresser Trio.) Plays at 7 p.m. Feb. 2 at Webster University. NR
Not Still Art. A traveling show of films shown at the Not Still Art Festival in New York, Not Still Art showcases the work of artists dedicated to examining abstract and non-narrative films created with computers. This presentation features 18 programs and presents a visionary world of electronic abstraction. Plays at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at Webster University. NR
Slackers. Dewey Nicks. Opens Feb. 1 at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.