The lead feature in the Weekend section of today's New York Times is a long piece by Stephen Holden entitled "Where Film Succeeds and Human Emotion Reigns". It's all about the alternatives to this summer's big-budget disappointments. According to Holden (and it's hard to disagree), if you want to find genuine drama and human emotion, you go either to premium cable (HBO and Showtime) or to the kind of films that Edwin has so carefully tracked in his 2001 Alternative, Art, Foreign and Independent Films thread. The article's list of current recommended films is as follows: Together Hedwig and the Angry Inch Sexy Beast Aberdeen Lisa Picard Is Famous Ghost World The Deep End The Closet Audition The Others Maybe, Baby The premium cable shows mentioned (after the requisite reference to The Sopranos) are: Six Feet Under Sex and the City Queer as Folk Further Tales of the City Dinner with Friends I was pleased to see the inclusion of Dinner with Friends, HBO's filmed version of David Margulies' Pulitzer-Prize-winning play, which Holden says may have been "the summer's best new American movie". Stocked with top Hollywood talent (directed by Norman Jewison; photographed by Coen Bros. regular Roger Deakins; starring Andie McDowell, Dennis Quaid, Greg Kinnear and Toni Collette), the film captured the essence of the hit play's merciless examination of the relationships among four married friends. It's a work in exquisite miniature that, on the stage, prompted audiences to wonder just how well they know the people they think they're closest to. The film admirably preserves the play's intricate choreography among the four leads, and the acting is superb. M.