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A COMPOSER'S NOTES -- ``Philip Glass and the Making of an Opera'' is the subtitle of this documentary, which offers a portrait of the artist as a nice guy. Glass wittily explains his ``minimalist'' music and narrates a behind-the-scenes look at productions of his opera ``Akhnaten'' on two continents. The settings range from Texas to Egypt, but Glass looks most at home scrunched into a seat on the New York subway, clearly in tune with the urban rhythms all around him. Directed by Michael Blackwood. (Not rated) DEAD END KIDS -- That title is chillingly appropriate for this impressionistic history of nuclear power, which traces today's atomic attitudes back to the dreams of the alchemists and Marie Curie's mingled hopes and fears concerning radium. Structured like an avant-garde variety show complete with a repulsively crude comedian, the action also touches on issues of social control and male-female relations. Directed by JoAnne Akalaitis and based on her indelible Mabou Mines stage production of six years ago. (Not rated) JUMPIN' JACK FLASH -- A bank employee falls in long-distance love with a spy who's tapping into her computer and sending urgent calls for help. Whoopi Goldberg brings a terrific, low-key intelligence to the main role. Still, the movie falls apart at the halfway mark, when stupid farce and chase scenes take over. Directed by actress Penny Marshall in her filmmaking debut. (Rated R) RATBOY -- The title character is a feral youngster with rodentlike features and a painful need for affection. He falls into the clutches of an ambitious woman who thinks she can help him, and enrich herself, by exploiting his weirdness in the media. The story is supposed to be a modern fable. It's too poorly written and acted to make much impression, though. Directed by actress Sondra Locke in her first effort behind the camera. (Rated PG-13) RATE IT X -- A documentary look at American male-chauvinist piggery, finding benighted attitudes in big cities and small towns alike. The people interviewed range from a baker, who explains how to slice a birthday cake shaped like a woman's torso, to a successful cartoonist whose favorite comic character is a child molester. The film's biggest revelations are how consistently sexism and racism go hand in hand, and how often both are excused and justified in the name of healthy capitalism. Directed by Lucy Winer and Paula de Koenigsberg. (Not rated) ROUGE BAISER -- ``Red Kiss'' is the English-language title of this drama about a 15-year-old girl transplanted from Poland to Paris, where her adolescent daydreams become a starry-eyed mixture of romantic visions and Communist slogans. Charlotte Valandrey gives a strikingly mature portrayal of the teen-ager who's wooed and abused by both the left and the right. The action may be too intense and abrasive for some viewers, though. Directed by Vera Belmont. (Not rated) RATINGS: Films with ratings other than G may contain varying degrees of vulgar language, nudity, sex, and violence.

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