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Out on Video

KUKLA, FRAN AND OLLIE - Long before there were Muppets there was this highly popular TV puppet show, featuring Fran Allison and various pint-sized friends including a witch named Beulah, a rabbit named Fletcher, a dignified lady named Madame Ooglepuss, and, of course, Ollie the dragon. Their show premired on NBC in 1947, and in the simpler style of that early-television era, it presented its skits and songs with a minimum of fancy tricks but a hefty amount of sly humor aimed at grown-ups as well as the children, who were the program's main audience. Burr Tillstrom was the puppetmaster behind the scenes. Many volumes are planned. Fun for all. (Not rated; New Kid Home Video)

LIEBELEI - A young Viennese soldier breaks off his affair with an officer's wife and falls in love with a beautiful singer, but he can't escape the wrath of a jealous husband who discovers his philandering. This captivating drama was directed in 1932 by the great Max Ophuls, who's still renowned for his romantic spirit, his knack for eliciting superb performances, and above all, his ability to coordinate actions of his characters with the inquiring eye of a restlessly moving camera. Nazi authorities tried to destroy this movie because it criticized military customs - such as dueling - and because some of its makers were Jewish. This cassette was made from one of the few original copies to survive. It carries a strong emotional impact despite some technical problems. (Not rated; Kino Video)

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Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Mieville directed this clinical 1975 study of a French family, which argues that pressures of the modern workplace can lead to emotional misery and sexual violence at home. The movie is at once a melodrama, a sociological study, and an essay in the relationship between film and video, with much of the action depicted on TV monitors framed within the cinema screen. Contains explicit sexual material, presented in a candid manner that is sometimes disturbingly blunt but never titillating or exploitative. (Not rated; Facets Video)

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