DRYLANDERS is the first feature-length fictional movie ever made by the National Film Board of Canada. It’s a seventy-minute domestic drama about the settling of the Saskatchewan prairies. It was made in the Swift Current district and took two years to prepare for release at a reported total cost of $200,000. The scenario, by Montreal’s M. Charles Cohen, fails to probe the minds of the characters, and much of the offscreen narration is wordy; but the story has eloquence and power and it's strongly acted by an all-Canadian cast under the direction of Toronto’s Don Haldane, an ex-westerner himself. James Douglas and Frances Hyland are the greenhorns who begin growing wheat in 1907, become happy and successful and then encounter long years of drought and depression during the dusty 1930s.
£2?" 8V2 is the opus-number title of Federico Fellini’s latest export from Italy and in its bizarre fashion it’s a fascinating film. The Fellini-like central character is a gifted but confused film director (Marcello Mastroianni) who painfully examines his own psyche while trying to escape from a creative slump. The
camera leaps backward and forward in space and time, and the story proceeds on several levels of awareness. The result could easily have been chaos but Fellini's special blend of poetry and craft succeeds in unifying the discordant elements. A notable successor to La Dolce Vita.
£27" DONOVAN’S REEF makes it harder than ever to understand why director John Ford is still venerated by a dogged cult in Britain and Europe. Frenzied slapstick and beery sentimentality have always been conspicuous in his work, but in days gone by he also had an acute sense of period and character, and few rival directors excelled him in sheer photographic splendor. Ford's latest is a melancholy exhibit from the man who made The Iron Horse and The Grapes of Wrath and The Informer. although its cheerful corn can be enjoyed on an Abbott-and-Costello level. John Wayne and Lee Marvin are ex-GI buddies on a South Pacific island who demonstrate their robust affection by engaging in a series of saloonwrecking brawls, and Elizabeth Allen is a prim cutie from Boston who must be tamed by Wayne.
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