TABLES; Serious About Settings In 26 Fraught Minutes

A 26-minute documentary by Judy Fiskin, "Fifty Ways to Set the Table," follows the judges of the 2001 tablescaping competition at the Los Angeles County Fair as they examine and score table settings. The categories that year were valentine, magic, sports, vineyard, country Christmas and ''The Lion King,'' below. Among the highlights are the judge's comments, which include, ''The cow skulls don't say 'Christmas!' '' These table settings will not be showing up at Le Cirque, but the competitors are serious. ''We had someone a few years ago that had died, and her family actually came and set up her table,'' one judge says. The film, part of a group of shorts titled ''Real People,'' will be shown at the 11th New York Underground Film Festival on Saturday and Monday; information from Tickets are $8.50 at the box office at Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue (Second Street).

- Stephen Treffinger