Shot just before his death at 88, this 1963 TV documentary presents Robert Frost in meditation at his rural Vermont home, in conversation with John F. Kennedy, visiting college campuses, and,
briefly, touring a U.S. aircraft carrier. Shirley Clarke directed (though it’s the producers who receive the “film by” credit), and her talent for establishing intimacy with her subjects is evident
throughout. Frost comes across as painfully isolated, guarded and skeptical even during rare moments of candor. In its study of a man trapped inside his storytelling persona, the movie anticipates Clarke’s Portrait of Jason (1967). Those who mistakenly characterize Frost as a sentimental poet should find it especially eye-opening.