ALAIN RESNAIS' Me'lo, a 1986 release, has affinities with Eric Rohmer's "Comedies and Proverbs," a French trio of films about love affairs. These movies are visually static because the emphasis is on ideas -- the characters spend much time talking out their problems. "Me'lo" is Resnais' third collaboration with the same cast. And the subject, again, is love; specifically, extramarital love and related questions of honesty. Based on a Henry Bernstein play from the '20s, the film is deliberately stagey with art deco designs and fake night skies.
Marcel (Andre' Dussollier) is a virtuoso violinist tormented by past love affairs. He's a victim of dishonesty, he feels. Lamenting about this over dinner with his friend Pierre (Pierre Arditi) and Pierre's wife Romaine (Sabine Azema), Marcel unknowingly attracts Romaine. They have an affair with tragic results. And when Pierre confronts Marcel many years later, Marcel finds himself facing his own criticism. French New Waver Resnais, the maker of Hiroshima Mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad and Providence, hasn't made his best film but this is one that keeps you in a spell. It plays Sunday at 6 and Monday at 8:15 at the American Film Institute. Admission is $4:50. Call 785-4600. Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky's final film, The Sacrifice (and the last in the National Gallery of Art's eight-film series), will be shown Saturday at 2 and Sunday at 6. Admission at the Gallery's East Building auditorium is free.
The songs of Irving Berlin, which put the signature on films such as Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Top Hat and Easter Parade (Al Jolson was singing his "Blue Skies" in The Jazz Singer), will be featured at the Museum of American History's Palm Court on the first floor, Sunday at 1:30 and 3:30. "Let's Face the Music and Dance: Irving Berlin in Hollywood," will be performed by singers Cindy Hutchins and Michael McCoy with pianist Howard Breitbart, and is free.
The National Theatre will show The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz for children on a free, first-come-first-seated basis. "Oz" (with Judy Garland) plays Tuesday at 2, Wednesday at 10 a.m. and Thursday at 2. "Wiz" (with Diana Ross) plays Tuesday at 10, Wednesday at 2 and Thursday at 10. Santa will be there, not to mention Lucky the Lion, Woody the Chipmunk, Happy the Hippo and other alliterative characters. The theater is at 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.