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A weekly update of film releases

* TITO AND ME - The setting is Belgrade in 1954, and the hero is Zoran, a pudgy 10-year-old who loves Marshall Tito more than anyone else around, including his parents, who aren't convinced that their leader's socialism is such a good idea. When he wins a tour of Tito's homeland by writing a gushy poem at school, Zoran learns a few lessons about the complexity of life and the limitations of authoritarianism. Excellent performances spark this likable and intelligent comedy, which was made in 1992 as a Yugos lavian and French coproduction. Goran Markovic directed from his own screenplay. (Not rated)

* TWIST - First came the jitterbug, the Lindy Hop, and the mambo. Later came the monkey, the Watusi, the frug, the fly, the mashed potato, and others too numerous and idiotic to mention. Between these came the biggest dance craze of them all, sparked by Chubby Checker's hit recording of "The Twist" and Dick Clark's willingness to promote the dance on his "American Bandstand" television show. This invigorating and entertaining film examines the twist in the context of 1950s and '60s culture as a whole, show ing how popular dancing evolved from the rigidly fixed ballroom steps of the postwar years to the free-form self-expression of the Beatles era. The movie doesn't dig as deeply as it might have and raises tantalizing questions that are never answered, such as why "Twist" songwriter Hank Ballard wasn't more upset when Checker's recording upstaged his on the popularity charts. Some of its revelations are as troubling as they are telling, however, as when former "American Bandstand" dancers recall how the white -and-wholesome ambience of the show made it unacceptable to acknowledge the African-American origins of new dance steps. Documentary specialist Ron Mann produced and directed the picture. (Not rated)

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