FIRST OFF . . .
“Mississippi Burning,” a film about the battle for civil rights in the South in the ‘60s, was the big winner in the National Board of Review’s 1988 film awards Tuesday, winning kudos for best film, best actor (Gene Hackman), best supporting actress (Frances McDermond) and best director (Alan Parker). The board, composed of movie critics, historians and film makers, also singled out “Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown” (best foreign film; Denmark’s “Pelle the Conqueror” finished second), Jodie Foster (best actress, for “The Accused”), River Phoenix (best supporting actor, for “Running on Empty”) and director Errol Morris’s film “The Thin Blue Line” (best documentary).