• Mélo

    Mélo

    ''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…

  • The Man from Laramie

    The Man from Laramie

    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…

  • Sumurun

    Sumurun

    The 1920 ''Sumurun'' (Feb. 21 at 6 p.m.)-a picaresque tale of traveling players in 9th Century Baghdad-was based on a famous Reinhardt stage production and features Lubitsch in his final sustained acting role, as a cunning hunchbacked clown. Available for years only in shortened, low-quality copies, the film recently has been restored by the George Eastman House and is promised here in a revelatory new print.

  • The Doll

    The Doll

    ''The Doll,'' at 8:15 the same evening, is another strongly stylized comedy, beginning with a self-consciously modernist prologue in which the director himself appears to set the scene (literally) of his film. Using distorted sets, bizarre costumes and exaggerated gestures to establish a folk tale format, the film tells of a young man whose search for the perfect mate leads him to marry a life-sized doll (Ossi Oswalda, again), only to find the doll developing real feelings.

  • Kohlhiesel's Daughters

    Kohlhiesel's Daughters

    Two of Lubitsch`s most casual and delightful films of the period are the matched pair of Bavarian comedies drawn from Shakespeare, filmed back to back on location in 1920 and to be shown as a double bill on Feb. 14 at 6 p.m.

    ''Romeo and Juliet in the Snow'' documents the tragic feud of the Capulethofers and the Montekugerls; ''Kohlhiesel`s Daughter'' is a ''Taming of the Shrew'' that pits mountain man Emil Jannings against the terrifying Liesl, played in thick makeup and clodhoppers by one of the most beautiful and popular stars of the time, Henny Porten.

  • Romeo and Juliet in the Snow

    Romeo and Juliet in the Snow

    Two of Lubitsch`s most casual and delightful films of the period are the matched pair of Bavarian comedies drawn from Shakespeare, filmed back to back on location in 1920 and to be shown as a double bill on Feb. 14 at 6 p.m.

    ''Romeo and Juliet in the Snow'' documents the tragic feud of the Capulethofers and the Montekugerls; ''Kohlhiesel`s Daughter'' is a ''Taming of the Shrew'' that pits mountain man Emil Jannings against the terrifying Liesl, played in thick makeup and clodhoppers by one of the most beautiful and popular stars of the time, Henny Porten.

  • Madame DuBarry

    Madame DuBarry

    Also from 1919, ''Madame Du Barry'' (showing Feb. 9 at 6 p.m.) was Lubitsch`s first international success, and the prototype of a series of historical epics that Lubitsch would continue to create up until the end of the silent period. Featuring Polish vamp Pola Negri as the courtesan who ended her career on the guillotine, and Jannings as Louis XV, the film displays a sense of spectacle inherited from Lubitsch`s mentor, Max Reinhardt, as well as a staging of crowd…

  • The Oyster Princess

    The Oyster Princess

    ''The Oyster Princess,'' to be shown at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, is a surprisingly bitter and grotesque social satire from 1919, about an American millionaire who has come to Berlin in hopes of marrying his nymphomaniacal daughter (Ossi Oswalda, Lubitsch`s favorite comic lead of the period) to a genuine European aristocrat. Filmed in the immediate aftermath of the war (1919), the film features startling traces of a ''Caligari''-style Expressionism in its stylized sets and exaggerated performances. Though his style would shift…

  • The Merry Jail

    The Merry Jail

    Although only one year separates ''The Shoe Palace'' from Saturday`s co-feature ''The Merry Prison,'' Lubitsch had made no less than 10 films of varying length in the meantime, none of which survive. Based on ''Die Fledermaus,'' ''The Merry Prison'' moves toward a more sophisticated comedy of sexual intrigue, and features Lubitsch`s first collaboration with Emil Jannings, who became, with Lubitsch`s help, the leading star of German silent film.

  • Shoe Palace Pinkus

    Shoe Palace Pinkus

    The first feature in the Film Center series (Saturday at 6 p.m.) is the 1916 ''The Shoe Palace,'' in which Lubitsch directs himself as Solomon Pinkus, a sly, flirtatious apprentice who connives his way to the top of a Berlin shoe emporium. Though heavy and crude by Lubitsch`s later standards, the film is invaluable for its sustained record of Lubitsch in performance, as well as an example of a rough and affectionate Jewish humor that would soon be banished from the screen.

  • Five Corners

    Five Corners

    ★★★

    The teeming, craftily constructed urban tale ''Five Corners'' is another screenplay by John Patrick Shanley, author of the current hit ''Moonstruck.'' Although ''Five Corners,'' as directed by Tony Bill, is a somewhat darker, more socially pointed piece, it contains most of the techniques that contributed to ''Moonstruck`s'' success-a busy, multilayered plot structure, a wide cast of eccentric characters (who shade off into caricature at the fringes) and a sure sense of the emotional rhythms (wisecracks alternating with shocks, blossoming romance…

  • Five Corners

    Five Corners

    ''Five Corners'' (U.S.A.), 10 p.m., Biograph 1. Dishearteningly slick, Tony Bill`s independent feature tells of heroism and sacrifice in a Bronx neighborhood of 1964, where a reformed street fighter abandons his Gandhian principles of non-violence to protect a young woman (Jodie Foster) from a vengeful psychopath. Largely a series of smoothly calculated effects, it`s the sort of film that treats the death of a penguin as high tragedy while turning the casual murder of human beings into a running gag.…