ROLAND Joffe's 1984 drama The Killing Fields (Pearl 9.30pm, Original Running Time 142 mins) is an emotional powerhouse of a film looking at the devastation suffered by Cambodia in the wake of US involvement of Southeast Asia. The story is based on the experiences of New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg (Sam Waterston), a war correspondent who stayed in Cambodia after the US left, putting first himself and then his native translator Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor) in mortal danger. The first half of the film is violent, messy and complex, and skilfully portrays the confusion and absurdity of war. One of many fine sequences involves Schanberg and colleagues (played by John Malkovich in his film debut, Julian Sands and Graham Kennedy) facing imminent execution at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. Dith is able to save them, but later Schanberg is unable to return the favour and the Cambodian is sent off to face the hell of a re-education camp. Back in the US, Schanberg is racked with guilt about his friend and begins an exhaustive campaign to locate him. David Puttnam produced the film, which won Oscars for cinematography (Chris Menges), editing (Jim Clark), and supporting actor for the heart-rending performance by Ngor, a physician whose own experiences in Cambodia were similar to those he portrays. LESS convincing is Jerzy Skolimowski's screen version of Turgenev's novel Torrents of Spring (World, 9.30pm, ORT 101 mins). It's an international collaboration, which inevitably means all the characters speak in thick, but unidentifiable, dubbed accents. Casting Timothy Hutton in the lead role of Russian landowner is a woeful mistake - whatever regal bearing he can muster instantly disintegrates every time he opens his mouth. He's engaged to German Valerie Golino, but falls in love with aristocrat Nastassja Kinski, who's forced to wear a silly blonde wig throughout. On the plus side: the film looks nice, there's a good duel scene and the finale is mercifully, if bewilderingly, quick. OSCAR-winning director Oliver Stone, the man behind films like Platoon, Wall Street, Born on the Fourth of July and JFK appears on Eye on Hong Kong (Pearl, 7.20pm) to talk about his latest movie, The Joy Luck Club, based on Amy Tan's acclaimed novel. Also, you've seen the distinctly odd ad asking what was the best thing with which Boris Yeltsin came away from the US summit? The answer given is a Yankel Ginzburg sculpture. Now the artist is in Hong Kong regaling Eve Lam with anecdotes about his meetings with various heads of state. ''THE secret developments and tactics relating to control of the sea and the concept of economic strangulation. The projection of sea force as the ultimate weapon of international domination.'' Part of the plot from a James Bond-type movie, right? Wrong. The above is the synopsis describing tonight's final episode of Secret Weapons (Pearl, 8.30pm). Is anybody else horrified? MTV continues its month of tributes to artists who've released successful Unplugged albums culled from the popular, acoustics-only series (MTV, 2am). Tonight it's Mariah Carey, the lass with the phenomenal vocal range, who zapped on to the music scene in 1990, won two Grammys the following year and has had a string of hits since. They include her show-stopping ''unplugged'' rendition of the old Jackson Five song I'll Be There. It was interesting to note that when Michael Jackson performed the same song at the Bangkok concert of his current Dangerous tour, his rendition was far inferior to Carey's. Those soaring vocals of his youth are gone forever.