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''Here and Elsewhere'' is the English-language title of this earnest, complicated essay on the power of words and images in our lives. Directed by the great Jean-Luc Godard in collaboration with Jean-Pierre Gorin and Anne-Marie Mieville, the film was begun in 1970 as a revolutionary polemic about the Palestinian cause. But changing political conditions led the filmmakers to give their material a whole new shape, questioning and criticizing the ability of cinema to mask hidden agendas with compelling sights and sounds. Completed in 1975, this picture marked the close of Godard's most radically experimental period, although he has remained richly adventurous in subsequent years. (Not rated; Facets Video)

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Having lost their taste for life, four hedonistic men and a woman they've met seclude themselves in a mansion, planning to eat until they literally drop. People who think Hollywood invented the gross-out movie will learn otherwise from this Rabelaisian tragicomedy, which should be approached with extreme caution even though it was directed by the respected Marco Ferrari and stars great actors like Marcello Mastroianni, Philippe Noiret, and Michel Piccoli. Also known as ''Blow Out'' and first released in 1973. (Not rated; Water Bearer Films)


Joan Crawford as a famous playwright learns that her new husband has an old girlfriend he still loves, and worse, they plan to murder her for the fortune she's about to inherit. Crawford is tough as usual, but she also plays the vulnerability card well in this skillfully made ''film noir'' thriller, which delivers plenty of suspense after its lackluster warm-up scenes. Crawford got an Oscar nomination for her starring role, and Jack Palance competed for the supporting-actor prize as the menacing spouse. Gloria Grahame rounds out the cast as the scheming other woman. Technical support comes from solid pros like cinematographer Charles Lang Jr. and composer Elmer Bernstein, whose score helps propel the fast-moving finale. Directed by David Miller in 1952. (Not rated; Kino Video)

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