10-minute movies hit Showtime

Sometimes brevity can be a virtue. Showtime invited seven acclaimed international directors to make 10-minute movies for a summer film festival called "Ten Minutes Older." The cable network will air one film every Monday night at 9:45 p.m. over the next seven weeks.

In tonight's offering "We Wuz Robbed," director Spike Lee documents the fateful confusion on election night 2000 by presenting first-person interviews with the Gore campaign workers who scrambled to keep the vice president from conceding defeat as the Florida vote tightened to a razor thin margin of victory.

Later offerings will include "Int. Trailer. Night," (July 8), directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Chloe Sevigny as a movie star trying to take a 10-minute break in her trailer. Spanish director Victor Erice offers "Lifeline," (July 15), a gorgeous, moving little film about an infant teetering on the brink of death. Werner Herzog's "Ten Thousand Years Older" (July 22) recalls a brief 1981 encounter between remote Brazilian tribesmen and a camera crew that take the natives from a Stone age existence to modern times. But, within months, many in the tribe die of small pox and other diseases. After a decade, their old way of life completely passes away and their children feel embarrassed of their "savage" parents. Herzog's film is poignant, harrowing and true. And it all takes place in 10 minutes. The best of these films have the distilled lyrical nature of a poem, or even a prayer. Showtime deserves special praise for "Ten Minutes Older," a must-see event for film buffs and all viewers in search of inventive and inspiring storytelling.

� Billy Bob Thornton wrote, directed and starred in the 1996 drama "Sling Blade," (7 p.m., ABC), playing a mentally challenged small- town man trying to adjust to freedom after serving a 20-year prison term for killing his mother and her lover. Young Lucas Black stands out as a local youngster who befriends Thornton's pitiful character, in this stark, brazenly original film. Look for John Ritter in a memorable role.

� Summertime means murder on PBS. "Mystery," (8 p.m., check local listings) returns with "Forgotten" a three-part drama starring Amanda Burton as the bereaved mother of a murdered child.

Tonight's other highlights

� Fred Savage and other members of the cast and crew of "The Wonder Years" look back on the hit series on "Biography," (7 p.m., A&E;).

� Scheduled on "48 Hours," (9 p.m., CBS): did a seemingly "perfect" father kill his two infants?

� Wallace Shawn guest-stars as a state psychologist on a repeat of "Crossing Jordan," (9 p.m., NBC).

� Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu star in the opera "Romeo & Juliet" by Charles Gounod on "Great Performances," (9 p.m., PBS, check local listings).

� Alyssa Milano discusses her career with Jules Asner on "Revealed," (9 p.m., E!).

Cult choice

A dissipated college professor (Michael Douglas) suffers from a peculiar bout of writer's block in the 2000 drama "Wonder Boys," (7 p.m., Showtime).

Series notes

"Dog" is new ... Deacon's new girlfriend bugs Carrie on "King of Queens," (7 p.m., CBS) ... Joe Rogan hosts "Fear Factor," (7 p.m., NBC) ... Harper flips when he finds out about his daughter's much older boyfriend on "Boston Public," (7 p.m., Fox) ... Darryl worries about Sydney's internet privacy on "The Hughleys," (7 p.m., UPN) ... On back-to-back episodes of "7th Heaven," (WB), Mary comes home (7 p.m.), and bickers with Lucy (8 p.m.).

Greg feels unmanned on "Yes, Dear," (7:30 p.m., CBS) ... Breanna may have witnessed a murder on "One on One," (7:30 p.m., UPN) � Brooke Burns hosts "Dog Eat Dog," (8 p.m., NBC).


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