''Melo'' (France), 9 p.m., Best Director Award. French director Alain Resnais is probably the cinema`s leading poet of time and its passage (''Hiroshima, Mon Amour,'' ''Last Year at Marienbad''). This film rests on a single, simple gesture-to film a 1929 stage piece exactly as if it had been written today-and yet it gives a full, moving play to Resnais` themes. Time here is measured not historically but stylistically, in the gap that emerges between the play`s dialogue and attitudes and…
If ''The Far Country'' is the culmination of Mann`s classicism, ''The Man from Laramie'' (July 19 at 4 p.m. and July 26 at 6 p.m.) suggests the opening of a new gothic phase, which would be continued with Gary Cooper in 1958`s ''Man of the West.''
Working for the first time in CinemaScope, Mann seems to have smoothed out his jagged landscapes to suit the strong horizontals of the new format. The action takes place largely in a single flat…
We may still be waiting for the Great American Novel, but John Ford gave us the Great American Film in 1956. The Searchers gathers the deepest concerns of American literature, distilling 200 years of tradition in a way available only to popular art, and with a beauty available only to a supreme visual poet like Ford. Through the central image of the frontier, the meeting point of wilderness and civilization, Ford explores the divisions of our national character, with its search for order and its need for violence, its spirit of community and its quest for independence.
One of the landmarks—not merely of the movies, but of 20th-century art. Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 film extends the theme of Rear Window—the relationship of creator and creation—into the realm of love and sexuality, focusing on an isolated, inspired romantic (James Stewart) who pursues the spirit of a woman (the powerfully carnal Kim Novak). The film's dynamics of chase, capture, and escape parallel the artist's struggle with his work; the enraptured gaze of the Stewart character before the phantom he has…