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April 12, 1970 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1970-04-12

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sundav. April 12, 1970

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sundov Anril . i, ... ,, .

11

cinema

M A S- H:

Heroically subverting the military

"FOUR STARS * * *HIGHEST
RATING ... A GRATIFYING
ACHIEVEMENT."
-Wanda Hale, N.Y. Daily News
"EPIC BATTLE OF THE SEXES."
-Vincent Canby, N.Y. Times

By NEAL GABLER
It is only natural for the
television generation that T.V.
would have a tremendous impact
on the way we view war. For the
first time we can see and hear
it unfold almost as it happens.
As a result war has lost its fas-
cination for many of us. Maybe
ts Just the nature of the Viet-
nam War, but battle no longer
seems as heroic as John Wayne
had led us to believe in all
those Late Show movies.

In M*A*S*H, now playing at
the Fox Village, we get this
"modern" perspective. The he-
roes are the people who subvert
the military system, not the men
on the front lines bringing our
brand of religion to the ignorant
Asians; the fighters here are
not bedecked with medals but
with blood-stains. Television has
indeed brought home to some of
us, at least, that war is lunacy
that would be funny if no one
had to die for the joke. So

Wayne has been knocked off
his pedestal to be replaced by
modern Bilko's, monkey-wrench-
es in the war machine.
It is almost impossible to talk
about M*A*S*H and its concept
of war without mentioning
Catch-22. Watching it, the scent
of Heller was thick in my nos-
trils. And with Nichols' film
due for a June premiere, it
seems likely that M*A*S*H
producer Ingo Preminger is try-
ing to capitalize on that long
awaited event. Nichols aside, this

music
Fulfilling a jazz' obligation

By BERT STRATTON
Having concentrated on the
McDonald's / Burger Chef cir-
cuit as a kid, I naturally miss-
ed out on the equally thriving
Lemon Tree / Inteilude Lounge
scene.
But alas, last weekend I fin-
ally fulfilled my young-adult ob-
ligation by going to the big
daddy of all lounges - Baker's
Keyboard Lounge in Detroit
It is the place, as their match-
book covers say, where one finds
"great jazz and comedy, em-
bellished with good booze." It's
also the place where one can go
broke at $3.50 cover charge plus
drinks.
The pure motive behind my
seeming bourgeois depravity is
simple; I really wanted to see
the stage show, which was bill-
ed as the Battle of the Saxes:
Sonny "Bebop" Stitt vs. Gene
"Jug" Ammnons.
Apparently the last time
Stitt and Ammons had gotten
togetherdwas in 1961. S i n c e
then and up until this year,
Ammons was in the "jug" (pri-
son), serving time on a nar-
cotics conviction. Presently
on parole from the rest of his
fifteen year sentence, he was
returning to Baker's to take his
old friend Stitt in battle.
The crowd, which filled the
lounge (about as big as Can-
terbury House) knew a lot more
about what was going to hap-
pen than I did. I'd never heard
either of the two musicians,
even on record, while most of the
audience looked as though they
remembered Stitt and Ammons,
from the days when they play-
ed tenor in Billy Eckstine's
Band. (circa 1940's). Needless
to say, I was the token .young
man in the crowd, as well as
being the token white man.
Sonny arrived before Ammons,
and he warmed up his drum-
mer and organist, as they ran
through some' old Charlie Park-
er tunes. But Stitt didn't use
an alto like Parker used to, in-
stead he had a Varitone sax,
which is an electric tenor that
can play more than one note at
the same time. With the press
of a button on his amp, Stitt
could make the sax switch from
a strident high octave to a
bellowing bass.
He was just starting his set,
when Ammons came walking in,
and yelled out "Hey Bird!", be-
cause Stitt happened to be play-
ing a Charlie Parker tune at
the time. Ammons looked about
twice as heavy as Stitt, a n d
Gene's blue sharkskin suit and
alligator shoes easily- matched
Sonny's. besides which, G e n e
upped Stitt one gigantic dia-
mond ring.

SONNY GEN
ST ..
STARTS PRIDAY ARLlt.UDY_#
HOUS"TON PER
...U,.' EYBOARD
4ra ytl# 1"p~RyA5RE"4 gsiw'of # f

is a good, often brilliant, film
in its own right, and deserves
to be considered as something
more than the Premature Son of
Catch-22.
Like Catch-22, M*A*S*H por-
trays war as thea ter of the
absurd, this time the Pacific
Theater. War as absurdity,
however, can be terrible tedious
as Oh! What a Lovely War more
than adequately demonstrated;
lunacy may elicit a chortle but
seldom anything deeper. It is
only when the consequences of
the insanity of the system are
presented in blood-red that the
device transcends simple clever-
ness.
The makers of M*A*S*H un-
derstood this. T h e y juxtapose
humor and horror in much the
same way Penn used these ele-
ments in Bonnie and Clyde. In
addition, they employ another
technique, combining in the
same scene v i s u a l shock and
audio flim-flam. Because it re-
lies mainly on juxtaposition, it
may turn out to be an easier
film to make than Catch-22 in
w h i c h the insanity gradually
ripens into tragedy. Yessiree!
Pretty f u n n y stuff, dropping
bombs on our own troops. But
then the bloodstarts flowing,
the soldiers' start dying, and it
isn't so funny after all.
The credits set the tone for
the entire picture. Helicopters,
to the accompaniment of John-
ny Mandel's "Suicide is Pain-
less." tote in a cargo of messy
morsels of flesh - once sold-
iers. The surgeons trade quips
as they stitch wounds and saw
off limbs. "If this guy knew the
clowns who were operating on
him, he'd faint." Or, "It's a
The Michigan Daily, edited and man-
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Michigan. News phone: 764-0552. Second
Class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Mich-
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769-6871

good thing, nurse, you have a
nice body. Otherwise, we'd fire
you." The jokes fly, and the
bodies throb.
When it isn't too glib and
cute, the humor, like war it-
self, is cruel and pitiless. The
witty barbs are always directed
at someone. Someone always
suffers. This cruelty, however,
may be the surgeons' substitute
for, and is a hell of a lot bet-
ter than, knocking off gooks or
whatever our GI's called the
Koreans.
It is a tribute to the film that
it had -me laughing on its
terms, at its goats, even though
I felt I shouldn't be laughing.
Yet, I realized both in my re-
action and in the doctors', that
one n e e d s a ballast in this
crazy world, whether you're
watching stupidity in a film or
picking shrapnel out of a moan-
ing soldier. You have to work
the absurdity at your own level
without getting sucked into the
bigger asylum of the war-men-
tality. The closer we are, the
morecallous we must become.
M*A*S*H, which stands for
Mobile Army Surgical Hospital,
is stationed just behind the lines
in Korea. It's 1951, and the war
is raging. The atmosphere is an
inhospitable combination of
mud, canvas and Army. Mean-
while, Radio Tokyo blares orien-
tal versions of "Hi Lili, Hi Lo,"
"Darktown Strutters' Ball" "and
"My Blue Heaven." A n d the
c a m p s' surgeon - pranksters,
played by Donald Sutherland,
Elliot Gould and Tom Sker-
ritt, carry on their subversive
antics.
Program Info: NO 2-6264
HELD OVER!
5th W EEK.. .
SHOWS AT:
1:00-3:00-5:00
7:00-9:10 P.M.

It is reminiscent of the days
when Phil Silvers used to frus-
trate Paul Ford. There's a re-
ligious fanatic and a tradition-
bound nurse who h a v e their
love-making broadcast o v e r
loud-speakers. There's a den-
tist who announces he'll com-
mit suicide because he's con-
vinced any day now he'll be-
come a queer. There's a wild,
rag-tag football game .between
the 325th and M*A*S*IU - a
funny allegory of war. And these
are just a few of the many sur-
prises that await you.
Sutherland, Gould and Sker-
ritt are a 11 simply fantastic.
They have an off-hand charm
that really telegraphs, (How
could Streisand leave Elliot?)
What's more, they look 1 i k e

they're having such a good time
it almost makes you want to en-
list. But not quite.
T say that M1A*S*H is a red
comedy rather t h a n a black
comedy has become a cliche, but
it is accurate nonetheless.
Frankly, it isn't as good as I had
expected it to be, and I don't
believe this is the movie Nich-
ols has set out to make. But it
is still important for what it
says about the change in our
sensibilities toward Nva r, a
change both Vietnam and the
media have wrought. You'll
laugh yourself sick.
If that isn't enough of a test-
imonial, remember: The armed
forces would not permit t h e
film to be shown on bases. The
film's characters would h a v e
loved that.

R-IcHARD
BURTON
GENEVIEVE
BUJOLD
IiAIIN THE
HALWALLIs PRODUCTION
tie P1ousatzS Vea
AIMVERSAIPICTUR .TECHWICoiOR' PAMVIS*N i m
Shows at
1:10-3:40-6:15-9:00

3110 MICHIGAN
HEALTHY-HAPPY-HOLY ORGANIZATION
WELCOMES OUR FOUNDER TO ANN ARBOR
YOGI BHAJAN
Master of Kundalini Yoga

LECTURE AND DEMONSTRATION
SUNDAY, APRIL 19--7:30 P.M.
TUESDAY, APRIL 21--3:00 P.M.
MICHIGAN LEAGUE BALLROOM
Sponsored by Office of Religious Affairs-2282 SAB-764-74412

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Classifiods

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STRIKE ANALYSIS
- BLACK PERSPECTIVES

As for saxophones, Ammons
rolled out an amp and Varitone
sax as well. A nearby listener
asked him what had happened
to his "true sound", to which
Gene explained that he w a s
merely "moving with the times",
and the Varitone was what he
needed.
Ammons did a quick warm up
set, then both he and Stitt took
the stage together. Similar to
the way Luther Allison and T-
Bone Walker dueled at the
Blues Festival, Gene and Sonny
had it out on their tenors,
matching each o t h e r note for
note, trading identical 1i c k s
back and forth.
Ammons would run an impos-
sible solo followed up by Stitt.
But Sonny .couldn't match Am-
mons' control. Gene was cut-
ting Stitt.
That sounds a little o v e r -
dramatic, considering that the
two old friends weren't really
out to slit each other's throats,
but the hell if they weren't com-
peting.
Ammons was the crowd's fav-
orite. For one thing he sweat-
ed and jumped around alot
more than Stitt, and for ano-
ther, his tenor made a lot more
sense than Stitt's.
One resounding blast by Gene
was worth a whole pattern by
Stitt. Ammons made the tenor
cry, and everybody loved it.
But Sonny wasn't going to let
Ammons completely steal the
show. He had one weapon that
Gene didn't have - an alto
sax, on which he proceeded to
wail.
In the middle of nis solo, an
old black man seated next to
me, tapped my shoulder a n d
said, "That's the closest thing
to Parker!" Yea, I guess so.
Fantastic!

About 2:00 p.m., when Gene
and Sonny were getting ready
to call it quits after t h e i r
five hours of jamming, the old
man next to me started up his
rap again. Seems he played
piano in a group for ten years.
By him, Parker was the best
that ever lived, Coltrane was a
close second. Roland Kirk is a
necessity and he even dug white
vibist Gary Burton when he
saw him in New York.
That was too much to hear
coming from a fifty year-old
man. Meanwhile, the bill I was
running up was getting too
much also. (The barmaid kept
pushing more drinks in front
of me.)
The cultural vibrations and
shocks were taking their toll,
telling this visitor he'd better
get back to good old A2 before
he went broke.
But come May 27, I'll make
another field trip to Baker's
Lounge; that's when Roland
Kirk's gig starts.

WINNER OF 1
ACADEMY AWARD
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
GIG YOUNG

Followed by a Program of Black Art as Protest
Sponsored by
BAM AFRO-AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM
MOVEMENT TO INCREASE BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS
SUNDAY, APRIL 12
3:00 p.m. Auditorium B, Mason Hall
BLACK DANCE-Lecture Demonstration, Vera Embree
MONDAY, APRIL 13
7-9:00 p.m. Residential College Rooms 124-126
WORKSHOP-Goals and Organization of BAM
Ron Harris, Cynthia Stevens
Frank Yates, Darryl Gorman, Jack Cole
9-11 :00 p.m. Residential College Rooms 124-126
INTERPRETIVE READING-Artee Young
TUESDAY, APRIL 14
1:00 p.m. Auditorium D, Angell Hall
TOWARDS THE THEORY OF A BLACK POLICY, Archie Singham
7-9:00 p.m. Room 4200, School of Education (top floor)
WORKSHOP-MEDIA, PUBLIC OPINION AND PROPAGANDA
Gloria Marshall, Esau Jackson
9-11:00 p.m. . Room 4200, School of Education (top floor)
MUSIC AS PROTEST, Milton Stewart

.#

Ak4-

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CIIRCILE BOOIKS
Zen, Yoga, Tarot
Alchemy, Astrology, Theosophy
Tarot, Magic, Parapsychology Q
Macrobiotics and Health Food Books
215 S. ST ATE . .. 2nd Floor
ID A.M.-8:30 P.M. 769-1583
Read and Use Daily Classifieds

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with comiexiori Problems
Cool it and get Fostex... the great pimple stopper.
See yourself smooth and clear. Wash with Fostex and
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Sold in drugstores.
sendftor tree sample
WESTWOOD PHARMACEUTICALS INC. Buffalo, New York 14213
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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15
7-9:00 p.m. Residential College Rooms 124-126
WORKSHOP-MASS ACTION AND WHITE COALITION
Grace Mack, Roger Short
Dave' Lefis, Madison Foster
9-11:00 p.m. Residential College Rooms 124-126
BLACK DRAMA, Artee Young and David Rambeau
THURSDAY, APRIL 16
7:00 p.m. Residential College Rooms 124-126
SUMMARY AND PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE
REPORTS FROM GROUPS AND BLACK RESEARCH
Archie Singham, Harold Cruse
Gloria Marshall, Ron Thompson

WINNER
SFOREIGN

"' damn near
knocks you out
of your seat."
--Pauline Kael, The
New Yorker

"The last word
in thrillers.
Terrific."
-Gene Shal it, LOOK MAGAZIlNEB,

"Enough intrigue
and excitement to
eclipse James Bond.Y
-PLAYBOY

-.P- I

-^

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R ADIC AL FI LM SE RI E S
presents
a benefit for Legal Self Defense Fund
DIAL M FOR MURDER-Hitchcock (1954) MON. 13
starring RAY MILLAND, GRACE KELLY
TUE. THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM-
* -based on the storv by EDGAR ALLEN POE. starrina VINCENT PRICE

'Is there
a"Pauilis t
in the crowd?
Believe it or not, a campus pro-
test group is not an unlikely
place to find a Paulist.
Why? Because Paulists are the
mediators of our time .. . stand-
ing betweenGod andman.:.
understanding, helping, loving
... trying to bring together the
extremes of the world we live
in and the Church.
Wherever he is ... as a college
chaplain, working in a ghetto
or helping in a parish ... the
Paulist is serving.
If you're interested in finding
out more about the Paulist
priestly spirit, write for our
illustrated brochure and a copy
of our Renewal Chapter Guide-
l1:...

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