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TODAY AT AFI FESTIVAL

<i> Compiled by Michael Wilmington</i>

F ollowing are The Times’ recommendations for today’s 18 schedule of the American Film Institute Los Angeles International Film Festival, with commentary by the film reviewing staff. Information: (213) 466-1767.

Highly Recommended:

KING HU TRIBUTE: “LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN"(Hong Kong: 1979; director King Hu; Nuart, 8 p.m.). King Hu, the dean of Hong Kong action films, shot this Buddhist martial-arts epic in 1979, amid gorgeous scenery and hordes of leaping, tumbling, kicking and body-flipping priests and warriors, enmeshed in nonstop intrigue, warfare and somersaults. It’s full of magical transformations, flashbacks, demonic duels and good and bad witch-heroines. Like all Hu’s best movies, this one plays like an improbable mix of Sergio Leone and “Siddhartha.” (Hu will attend.)

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“RED SUNRISE"(Mexico; Jorge Fons; AFI Warner, 6:45 p.m.). Jorge Fons has a good subject--the 1968 Mexico City riots--and he does well by it, making one of those claustrophobic left-wing thrillers at which Sidney Lumet excels. A divided family is relentlessly swept into a storm of rebellion and police oppression in one packed 24-hour period, the tension mounts inexorably, and our sense of outrage is steadily inflamed.

Others:

“A Little Stiff” (AFI Warner, 8:45 p.m.), a study of unrequited love . . . “perhaps too self-conscious”

“Stowaways” (AFI Mark Goodson, 9 p.m.) got a split vote: “The Hungarian ‘Midnight Express’: flashy, xenophobic, intensely dislikable” (K.T.) but “27-year-old director Sandor Soth has force and talent” (M.W.).


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