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Week of December 5, 2001

Cinema in the City. Webster University sponsors once-a-month Wednesday screenings in Beatnik Bob's Cafe. This month features West Side Story (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, 1961). The amazing, classic adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, relocated to 1950s New York City, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. With lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a score by Leonard Bernstein, the film is an American classic. Plays at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at Beatnik Bob's Cafe, City Museum, 15th and Lucas streets. NR

Ford Free Friday Nights. The St. Louis Art Museum presents music and movies the first Friday of each month. This month's film is Places in the Heart (1984). An old-fashioned populist drama with a timeless feel, Places in the Heart is both simple and familiar: Young widow (Sally Field), left unexpectedly without husband or income, fights to keep family intact and home afloat in Depression-era rural Texas. Aiding Field is a ragtag coalition of relations, blind boarder (John Malkovich) and black drifter-cum-farmhand (Danny Glover). The widow-in-distress plot is inarguably encrusted with clichés, but writer/director Robert Benton chips away to reveal the soft, still-vital center, and he avoids bathos by keeping a hard, realistic edge. Plays at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the St. Louis Art Museum auditorium. (CF)

Images of a Country that Never Sleeps: A Festival of New Greek Cinema. Webster University presents a showcase of Greek films released from 1998-2000. All dramatize contemporary life, are in Greek with English subtitles and play one time only. The festival concludes this week with three films. It's a Long Road, directed by Pantelis Voulgaris, is a series of three vignettes set in Thrace, Macedonia and Vietnam; it plays Dec. 7. Dimitris Stravrakas's The Canary Yellow Bicycle, which plays Dec. 8, is the story of a teacher who decides to help an illiterate boy, only to have his gesture negated by fellow teachers, the boy's parents and other children. Cheap Smokes, directed by actor-turned-director Renos Haralambidis, is a romantic comedy with a revolving cast of quirky characters and plays Dec. 9. Films start at 7 p.m. at Webster University. NR

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