A weekly update of film releases
* BAD GIRLS - Fact mingles with fiction in this unconventional drama about an author who researches his latest book project by moving into a rough Manhattan neighborhood and conducting long interviews with prostitutes who live and work there. Some of the documentary sequences are heart-wrenching, with their vivid portraits of chronically abused women living desperately sad lives. Unfortunately, the surrounding material is tritely written and dully directed by Israeli filmmaker Amos Kollek, who also plays the leading role. (Not rated).
* SAVAGE NIGHTS - A man under medical treatment for an AIDS-related condition becomes sexually involved with a young woman who doesn't know about his illness. This uneven but energetic drama has received much international acclaim, including the Cesar award for best movie of the year, which makes it the French equivalent of a top Oscar winner. Its ragged structure and inconsistent attitudes detract from its effectiveness, though, marking the late Cyril Collard as a filmmaker of considerable but sadly unfulfilled promise. ``Les Nuits Fauves'' is the original French title. (Not rated).
* SECUESTRO - This harrowing documentary chronicles the kidnapping of a young woman in Colombia, incorporating tape recordings of the arduous telephone negotiations between her father and abductors who demanded a huge ransom for her release. The film is overproduced, attempting to boost its visual impact and narrative appeal through cinematic devices that interfere with the raw power of its basic material. Still, it etches a sharp picture of everyday terrors in a tragically contentious nation where similar abductions occur with frightening regularity. Directed and produced by Camila Motta, a sister of the kidnapping victim, with Barry Ellsworth as coproducer and cinematographer. (Not rated).