THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Fridav. March 29. 1968
Page w o T E M IC IG ANAIL
SIFridv+.Y MeYV1-1ch .4 19/V
A look at.
'The President's Analyst'
by Daniel Okr
Toronto 's Ozawa Shines Bright
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DEMOCRAT 3rd WARD -APRIL 1
IT IS VERY FITTING that Hollywood is located where it is.
Nestled there among the palm trees of Los Angeles, America's
Super-Duper Film Capital blends well into the Southern California
neurosis, For over forty years, the big studios have generally pro-
vided us with a red, white and blue diet of Wholesomania, with
a little bit of skin thrown in and every so often a product that ac-
tually does stimulate the mind - but only every so often, and
then in\a heavy-handed fashion.
The President's Analyst, now at the State, while no over-
whelming work of art and not uproariously funny or exceed-
ingly profound, does fall out of the mold. Through the establish-
ment of an entirely preposterous situation, exaggerated with some
absurd caricatures, director Theodore Flicker has still managed to
make a fairly humorous movie that combines well with some
satire so unsubtle that it becomes farcically wry.
JAMES COBURN, whom I've liked ever since he outdrew
some desperado in The Magnificent Seven with the knife he had
just been using to pick his teeth, plays Dr. Sidney Schaefer, an
almost too-hip psychiatrist who has been picked to serve as the
President's pacifier; he's to listen to Our Leader whenever he's
particularly bothered with the burdens of his job. But, psychia-
trists manage to get a lot of information, intentionally or not,
from their patients; Coburn is no exception.
With his valuable knowledge, Coburn earns the attention
of a few people; namely, the spies from half-a-dozen countries
(including our own) interested in what's inside the President's
mind.' They all have orders to catch him (kill him, if necessary,
so that no one else gets him). It is, indeed, a slightly over-
burdened situation, almost dangerously so, but Flicker and the
film still manage to come out credible.
Despite the unreality of The President's Analyst, it still con-
tains some worthy commentary and some potent criticism, aimed
especially at J. Edgar Hoover, complete with morality hang-ups,
and the cold war situation, notably the charades of international
hostility. Yes, it falls on its face in the portrayal of a vagabond
hippie company, as do most films that make the mistake of try-
ing. Yes, its end is grossly contrived, and looks unmistakably
staged. But, the things that it says are pure, and it says them
without being too overpowering. That in itself is praiseworthy.
PROBABLY THE BEST THING the film says is in portray-
ing the top spies from the CIA and Russia's secret service as
worktime enemies and after-hours chums.
Godfrey Cambridge, the white man's black man, and Severn
Darden play the two spies, and together they're so ludicrous that
it is almost unbelievable. That grown men actually run around
with lugers in their holsters, garrotes in their pockets, eavesdrop-
ping devices in the soles of their shoes and tear gas pellets prob-
ably stuffed up their recta, is very hard to comprehend. Especially
when you realize that they all accomplish very little - they're just
playing grown-up cops and robbers with real bullets.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
PROFESSIONAL THEATRE PROGRAM
By H. F. KEUPER
Let it be said simply and blunt-
ly: the Toronto Symphony Orch-
estra is poming on both hard and
strong as a dynamic and most
capable musical organization.
It is extremely difficult to at-
tempt objective appraisal of an
organization so vastly improved,
both in dexterity and repertoire.
It is difficult, as well, to refrain
from attributing all of this change
to one man: Seiji Ozawa, Musical
Director and Conductor.
As one who had heard the Tor-
onto Orchestra many times in the
pre-Ozawa days, I can but express
the delight with which I watched
and listened to the performance
in Hill Auditorium last night.
To be certain, there are areas
in which the orchestra can, and
no doubt will, improve - some
rather muddy passages in the
strings, a few mismatched utter-
ances by the woodwinds and at
times overly bombastic brass en-
semble. But what the group is still
developing by way of technical
precision is already more than ac-
counted for by the vitality, viva-
city and dynamic capability which
has been fused into it.
From the first moment that
Ozawa literally skips his way to
the podium there is no question of
who is in charge.
Opening the concert in a rath-
er non-traditional way with the
"Overture and Love Death" from
Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde,"
rather than one of the more char-
acteristic rousers so popular with
concertgoers, the orchestra de-
monstrated its uncommon capa-
city to vary dynamic intensity
without destroying the lovely mel-
odic form of the composition.
Respighi's "The Birds" served as
the climax and finale to the first
half of the concert. Composed in
the same period as his "Ancient
Airs and Dances for Lute," the
format and style of "The Birds"
is in places quite similar. Consist-
ing of an intriguing set of bird-
calls and other variations, it is
certainly a likeable, if not over-
Strauss' tone poem, "Don Quix-
ote," completed the post-inter-
mission section of the perform-
ance. Again, the orchestra was led
by Ozawa through the intricacies
of the nine separate variations
on the theme of the life and
troubles of the fabled man of
La Mancha. Solo cello, violin and
viola performances, while spotty,
were certainly better than any-
thing one had a chance to hear
with, the old Toronto Symphony.
Playing to the backs of scores
of audience members scurrying to
their autos, the Orchestra was
awarded two encores. This proved
to be quite a reward to the re-
mainder of the house, as the en-
cores demonstrated the group's e
new-found and considerable skill1sa
in the "pops" field. du
All in all, quite an evening: the S
Orchestra possessed by a dash and
fire which I cannot recall, the re- in
pertoire of the organization show- me
ing continuing improvement and in
xpansion and the verve and ver-
atility of one of the leading con-
uctors in the music world today,
eiji Ozawa, showing clear.
Torontans might will take pride
i what must certainly be the
ost rapidly improving orchestra
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"Perhaps the most beautiful movie in history."-Bren-
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The performers are per-
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