The film Picnic directed by Josh Logan (who I got to watch close up when I worked on his movie Paint Your Wagon) was a critical and financial hit when it was released in 1955. It starred a charismatic William Holden and an irresistible Kim Novak. It told the story of a former football hero down on his luck drifting back into his hometown on a Labor Day weekend.
The scene in the clip above is a masterpiece of film-making as it visually states in a few minutes the central story of the film. The meeting of the two characters, his reticence and her insistence, the circling of each other, the approach and admission that the attraction is unavoidable, the evident consequence of their feelings and, finally, the intimacy of the dance without a kiss in spite of their physical proximity foretelling the ending of the film is as eloquent and well thought out shorthand for a story as I've ever seen.
The second-by-second orchestration of this poignant scene is so well crafted that it is less seen than felt. I think it should be studied in every film school.
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