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October 17, 1968 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-10-17

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, October 17. 1968

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cinema
'Stranger' in the mnd's eye

i E-

Cockadoodle dandy's Moffat, Miss Helm

APA: I
By MICHAEL ALLEN
What is the cock? Well, it's
the spirit of old Ireland or, in
the priest's words, the "onrush
of paganism," the spirit of
gaiety and joy and lighthearted-
ness, which the men have 'al-
most banished from their lives,
but which the women still pre-
serve, or at least try to preserve,
from the meanness of the priests
and the old and the credulous,
who see nothing in it but "the
scourge of materialism sweeping
the world."
For the first two-thirds of the
play, we have a rip-roaring
farce: a farce which springs
from the superstitious reactions
of the old cronies to "the strange
dodges of the unseen" inside and
outside the cottage. This is cloth-
ed in some of the most extra-
vagant, sumptuous blarney ever
heard: lines like Shanaar's "for,
the circumambulatory nature of
a woman's form often has a
detonatin' effect on a man's
idle thoughts,' or Mahon's "Bing
Bang Crosby" sending a bless-
ed blast over th' wireless," ought
to convey an immediate sense of
vivid reality.
.But, unfortunately, last night's
performance, directed by Jack'
O'Brien, started off badly be-
cause it failed to tackle this
blarney with enough confidence
or 'verve. This was quite apart
from the sad' fact that not one
of the cast had really managed
to get a real Irish brogue, Sha-
naar . (Louis Beachner)-"the
old cod of a prayer blower," the
one person who must be quin-
tessentially Irish-least of all.'
The cock, (Barry Bostwick)
was wonderfully cock-like, but
pranced unnecessarily long at,
the very beginning. And then
Mi c h a e I Marthraun (Philip

I

eli-tale
Minor) took a long time to settle
into his part; his hand move-
ments were jerky and his whole
approach too nervous and un-
varied for the whole of the first
scene with Sailor Mahan (Don-
ald Moffat), who was excellent
throughout the performance,
controlled in his movements and
effective in his timing. Finally,
the direction of the first scene
showed little imagination or.
polish and the whole thing
seemed to need a lot more re-
hearsing: it 'dragged horribly.
However, in the next scene
the whiskey bottle is "forced
into a misunderstanding with it-
self" and the odd, fey, lepre-
chaunish goings-on around the
house are tackled more confi-
dently. Michael improves and
the women come on to enliven
things: Marion (Katherine Hel-
mond) and Lorna (Gwen Arner)
are consistently delightful and
the horseplay with the gun and
the hat and the white/speckled/
barnacle/ goose hen is reason-
ably ,successful.
In the final scene Sean
O'Casey suddenly becomes angry
and . the farce changes into
something more abrasive: the
cook and Loreleen and all that
is good in Ireland become the
victims of spite and cruelty at
the hands of the village toughs
led by Father Domineer (Rich-
ard Woods - a limited, but
convincing performance), and
the play ends with bittersweet-
ness. The women leave Nyad-
nanave for a better place than
the Ireland of the tyrannical
clergy and the obsequious flock.
Michael is left to die, a forlorn,
pathetic, symbol' of Irish' man-
hood which has forfeited t h e
laughter and youth of its wo-
menfolk, and of life itself.
Whether or not O'Casey's de-
cision to switch from farce to
bitter indictment is wholly jus-

-J. Edw. Bailey
and and Minor
blarney
tified in ternis of dramatic unity
is debatable, but the APA man-
aged to bring off the change in
tone. Indeed their presentation
of the darker sides of the play
was more pungent, more memor-
able than their evocation of its
initial gaiety. It was an uneven
performance, but I think it will
improve with time.
Mafred in
Anoell Hall
The Lord Chamberlain's Players,
a handful of faculty-student, pro-
fessional amateurs, will present
this weekend Lord Byron's drama-
tic poem Manfred in the foyer Hof
Angell Hall.
The part of Count Manfred, "a
combination of Dr. Faustus and
Hamlet," will be read by Prof.
Donald Hall, of the English de-
partment, and Prof. Bert Horn-
back, also of the English depart-
ment, will play the abbot of Saint
Maurice.
Hornback, the "censor" and co-
founder of the Players, explains
Manfred explores "the problem of
Romantic aspirations and anguish.
"Manfred turns out to be, not
the prototype - with Childe Har-
old - of what is pejoratively and
condescendingly labelled the 'By-
ronic hero'; rather, as Manfred
learns what both life and love are,
he stands as the most substan-
tial and significant character, dra-
matically and philosophically, In
all Romantic literature."

By HENRY GRIX
Luchino Visconti treaded sa-
cred ground in directing a film
of Albert 'Camus' Nobel Prize
winning novel, The Stranger,
now showing -at the Fifth
Forum. He risked the blasts of
literary buffs who demand a
reverent, if boring, translation
of the twentieth century master-
piece as well as the criticism
of cinema purists who expect a
visually impressive, if slightly
amended, work.
Visconti placed his faith in
Camus and produced a
thoughful and often painfully
effective film which must par-
tially satisfy almost everyone.
Camus wrote in a physical
spare style that easily trans-
lates into good cinema. Visconti
has distilled select, suggestive
images from the first half of
the novel to mount an effective
collage of the mindless life that
led Meursault.
Entire episodes are washed
out, like sun-drenched Algiers.
The hurried wake of Meursault's
mother, which opens the film, is
oppressively and appropriately
dominated by the spectre of the
sun.
And although marred by a
noisy and annoying score, the
murder on the beach is likewise
an amazingly effective cine-
matic reproduction of Camus'
stunning prose. The sky seems
to rain white fire. The camera
realizes that Meursault "has
destroyed the equilibrium of the
CAMPUS
Dial 8-6416

day, of the beach where I had
been happy." While Time grinds
to a halt on the beach, then
proceeds relentlessly out of
Meursault's control, the film
enters into a phase dominated
by Camus, not Visconti.
During the trial and empris-
onment of Meursault's free
spirit, the film becomes more
psychological, less cinematic.
The action is inside Meursault,
and only Marcello Mastroianni's
consistent understatement of his
role preserves the film from
total tedium. Although Meaur-
sault's interviews with the pro-
secutor and the priest, taken di-
rectly from, the book, are psy-
chologically excruciating, much
of the anti-hero's monologues in
prison are plainly boring for
those who failed to establish
any rapport with a stranger.
Ironically, in it's adherence
to the source, The Stranger
lends itself to an explication of
the text not usually preferred
by literary critics.
Although, the film remains
anti-existential in tone, it is
hard for the viewer to to accept

the conventional interpretation
that philosophical Meursault is
a better man in death than the
hedonistic Meursault was in
life. Pensive Meursault in his
dank cell is, on camera, less
appealing than the content
physique in bed with Marie
(adequately acted by Anna Ka-
rina).
On film the prize of the anti-
hero's bitter and belated self-
awareness seems far too steep
for the gain. As he re-lives his
life in his mind's eye, the view-
er keeps wishing Meursault could
simply go on living mindlessly.
Perhaps inadvertently, per-
haps 'cynically, Visconti pulls
this coup. He deviates from the
traditional approach to the work
and makes a plea for life, prob-
ably not unlike the one intend-
ed by Camus.
All this makes dazzling intel-
lectualizing, a rare enough com-
modity in films. However, it
sacrifices the eye to the mind
which Blow-up, and more re-
cently, Belle de Jour and Hour
of the Wolf all manged to avoid.

Are you interested in workinginEurope!
Are you interested in working in Europe? We have
student job opportunities in Britain, Germany, Bel-
gium, France, Holland and all of Scandinavia. We
provide assistance to those who would like to do
something constructive while learning a language
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countries. For full particulars inquire at the student
newspaper office. (Dept. of National Advertising).
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FRI.- SAT., OCT. 18-19, AUD. A

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WINNER BEST PICTURE
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL

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GUILD HOUSE
FRIDAY, OCT. 18

802 Monroe

TATE

Hea
*'COLO ,wur

NOON LUNCHEON

25c

BELLE
dii
JOUR
with
CATHERINE DENELIVE

DEAN FRANCIS A. ALLEN
Law School
"Issues in Higher Education"

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FRIDAY EVENING, 6 P.M.

The sun woke Mick up barly.

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GUILD DINNER

(at cost)

For Reservations, Call 662-5189

Next: "Inadmissable Evidence"

I

---

t
l '
i
1
,

She was different in body...in mind..
than she was yesterday.
And there was no one.to talk
to except Mr. Singer, who
couldn't speak or hearonly "listen".

Homecoming

1968

Alumni Relations Committee

****HIGHEST RATING !
"AN ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT!" - N.Y. Daily News
rachel, rachel is a double-barreledtriumph! Joanne Wood-
ward is extraordinary-Paul Newman's direction is excellent. This is
Joanne Woodward's triumph and should make her a prime contender
for an Academy Award." -David Goldman, WCBS Radio
-.-C-

and the

with his heart.

University'of Michigan A lumni

Association

cordially invite all students,
faculty, and alumni
to a Reception in honor of

in th PAUL NEWMANproOtIoim
achel
______ rachel
, IlitisM MTR u aaS]
TE ChNICLO~i III W111H1E BRS-SEYEii ARTS 4

DOCTOR HAZEL LOSH

Program Information - 5-6290

,'il
i '

Saturday, Oct.

26,

Alumni Assembly Hall
Michigan Union Basement

)

4-6 P.M.

'

1 1

"VISCONTI HAS MADE A BEAUTIFUL, DISCREET,
PERCEPTIVE FILM OF THIS EPOCHAL WORK OF THE
20TH-CENTURY WORLD ... FILM ACTING AT ITS
PUREST... THIS IS THE EXPRESSION, THROUGH
THEIR ART, BY SOME FINE FILM ARTISTS OF THEIR
SYMPATHY AND LOVE FOR CAMUS' GREAT BOOK."
-Stanley Kauffman, The~Vew R~epublic
"MASTROIANNI'S PERFORMANCE IS IMPECCABLE.
ANNA KARINA IS MOVING AS HIS MISTRESS. IT
IS AN IMPRESSIVE FILM AND A RARITY."
-Hollis Alpert, The Sat/rday Review

w

I

I

I

I

U N D ERG ROUN D

at the Vth Forum

"ONE OF THE BEST"-s.quire
"AN EXCELLENT FILM!"-Life

N
D
E
R
G
R
0

Thurs., Fri., Sat., Sun.-11:00 P.M.
-separate admission required

5th Ave. at Liberty; Ann Arbor

EXPANDED CINEMA is a revolution. A new way of seeing. A new way of thinking. A new
way of being. The image is the idea is the word is the act. Expanded awareness. A taste of
the essences. Expanded Cinema says it. It says: Revolution.

4i

THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER with the DOORS-The Doors do their thing!

C i jAn -
cAdd4

GARDEN OF PROSERPINE by Ben Van Meter-latest film by this most talented cinema genius.
"Nymphs in the woods," "exotic," "sensual."
MYSTERY OF THE LEAPING FISH-Douglas Fairbanks in a hip silent comedy classic. "An opium
eating detective on the trail of opium dealers." "Wild."

3ieieeaf rt
is a eLondyf
'Hute'

r

PLASTIC BAG by Wardall-parody on plastic American society.

I.

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