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TODAY AT AFI FESTIVAL

Following are The Times’ recommendations for today’s schedule of the American Film Institute Los Angeles International Film Festival (AFIFEST), with commentary by the film reviewing staff. Information: (213) 480-3232 or (213) 520-2000.

Highly recommended:

“THE WOMEN ON THE ROOF"(Sweden; Director: Carl-Gustaf Nykvist. Cineplex Century Plaza 2, 9:15 p.m.) Spellbinding coming-of-age tale: A menage a trois in pre-World War I Stockholm, between a naive young girl, a jaded porno-photographer and an acrobatic rover, rendered in tense tableaux, vivid performances and nervously romantic colors. An exciting directorial debut by Sven Nykvist’s son, aided by Sweden’s other great cinematographer, Jorgen Persson (“Elvira Madigan”). (Michael Wilmington).

“VIENNA IS DIFFERENT"(U.S.; D: Susan Korda, David Leitner. AFI Warner, 7 p.m.) As Vienna celebrated 50 years of the Anschluss , its annexation to Germany by Hitler, simultaneously with the Waldheim controversy in March-April 1988, American documentary filmmakers Korda and Leitner were there. Their interviews were frank, verging on rude, but the result is many-layered and mesmerizing. Terrific stuff. (Sheila Benson).

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“A TRIBUTE TO STANLEY DONEN"(Century Plaza 3, 7 p.m.) One of the two great masters of the MGM movie musical joins the audience and faces the music--along with clips from his films. Moderator: Albert Johnson.

Recommended:

“FLYING FOX IN A FREEDOM TREE"(New Zealand; D: Martyn Sanderson. Century Plaza 3, 9:15 p.m.) Although marred by awkward, self-conscious performances from some of the nonprofessional actors, this is an affecting, perceptive coming-of-age tale, taken from Albert Wendt’s novel about a Samoan youth caught in a cultural conflict, but sustained by his shaman-like Europolynesian friend. (Kevin Thomas)


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