Cinema: A Festival of Diamonds and Zircons

THE New York Film Festival isn't what it used to be. Perhaps it never was. True, previous festivals did provide American debuts for some major foreign films: Poland's Knife in the Water (1963), Czechoslovakia's The Shop on Main Street (1965), Italy's The Battle of Algiers (1967). But movie enthusiasts tend to forget the undistinguished and unmemorable fare that made up the bulk of the programs. Even at its best, Lincoln Center offered the viewer only a few diamonds in a setting of zircons.

The 1968 festival may contain more costume jewelry than ever before....