100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

March 15, 1969 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-03-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday,

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Complexity--

theatre

Surprises in Cherry Orchard'

on

the surface

By BRUCE HENSTELL
There is a good chance that Richard Myers' Akran shown last
night at the film festival will win first prize. The film is feature
length, 118 minutes, and while there might be a slight favoritism
in. the jury for a film of such a length, there need be no shuffling
of feet. Myers' film is interesting and definitely a work of skill.
The problem is that it is impossible not to compare it to the
other feature-length film shown, Manupelli's Dr. Chicago, even
though the latter is out of competition. Viewed from the stand-
point of the bulk of the films so far shown, Akran and Dr. Chicago
stand far and above.
Viewed together, hvever, Myers' film pales considerable. I
almost wish that Manupelli were not a local filmmaker so that
I would not be open to the charges of partiality. The problem
is that the difference is up there on the screen. Manupelli's is
an indredibly rich film beneath an apparently simple surface.
Myers' film possesses a handsome exterior which conceals a
paucity of ideas.
Akran suggests what might have resulted if Celine had direct-
ed Two for the Road. It would have been a voyage through the
filth and stench of life as appears in Celine's novels, and would
have used the flash forward and back in time that appeared i
Two. But Myers was not up to the task and in the end the film
falls,
Akran concerns a young man in the midst of life who con-
fronts himself and loses. It is a pessimistic film. He meets a girl
while posing for a still photograph and is attracted to her by a
long forgotten memory suddenly jarred loose. As the film pro-
ceeds, we see them pose in various aspects of their present rela-
tion. Their relationship as mirrored in the man's mind (essentially
his memory of the past) and in flashes forward to what might be.
The problem, then, is the ever-present "me," the "I" which
defines reality and in so defining it, limits it and limits it such
that there is no room for another. Caught up in themselves, the
man and woman attempt life until they are forced to strike out and
try to help each other. The incident ends in death for the girl,
eternal damnation in him self for the man.
The film is seemingly a complex one, but alas the complexity
consists in Myers' lack of concern over his film. The complexity
is on the surface: vivid images stretched over a bare frame.
This may seem too harsh a judgment, but Myers has breaded his
film with an apparently serious purpose. He is far too fine a film-
maker, as indicated in this film, to rest content with pseudo-
seriousness and flimsy substance.
lle Tree': Lots
By LESLIE WAYNE Adam living idyllically in h i s
Arts Editor own domain, God thrusts an
Somehow cavernous Hill Aud. unwanted and perplexing force
.r H-Eve.
never quite makes it as a set- While Adam tries his best t
ting for any truly dramatic pro- fight this intrusion which trea-
duction. The actors bodies are tens his world, his simple plea-
engulfed into the protective sures, in short, himself, he real-
and concealing womb of a stage izes the inevitable chance must
take place. Yet an even great-
and their voices never hit the er frustration is created as he
back registers of the second bal- somehow can never understand
cony. Yet fill it with lavish neon the logic of the force that con-
sets, gaudy costumes, a brassy trols him.
orchestra and aproduction can Will Mackenzie, who plays
" almost fight for the Hill. Adam, -transforms banal frus-
Last night's production of trations of the suburban m a n
The Apple Tree, replete with forced to cut the grass or watch
technicolor trappings almost the kids into an almost uni-
won the battle. While the pro- versal expression of men caugh
duction could visually c o m - under woman's domination.
mand the auditorium the sub- . And Eve, played by R o s e-
stance behind its feathers prov- mary Prinz, brandished t h e
ed to be more downy fluff than smug and caculating nature o1
a.supportive base, the woman who knows her de-
In three short playlets deal- sires -will win over.,
ing loosely with the wry and However, once the play move
comic relations between m a n from Eden into the world of
and woman, The Apple Tree ran knowledge and sin, it ambitious-
the gamut from the very true ly attempts to probe the mys-
and very human aspects of ttries of life and death. From
life and love to the retread and the fresh exploitation of a
falsely glamourous tales of man simple idea, this developmen
wants woman, woman wants pushes the play to the brink o
man, melodrama.
The first of these playlets, a The other two playlets, "The
simple narrative of Adam a n d Lady or the Tiger" and "Pas-
Eve deftly portrays the inhibi- sionelia," fail to match the
tions and anxieties .of this (and modest yet successful approach
all) first encounters. On an of "Adam and Eve." Instead the

By CHARLES NICHOLAS
What is surprising, about the
University Players' production of
The Cherry Orchard is that the
seeming failure of the actors
to meet the director's ambitious
demands results in a lively and
sumptuous style that could not
result from a flawless produc-
tion. It is plain that director
Richard Burgwin tries to evoke
life-like ambivalence from his
characters to match the com-
plexity Chekhov demands from,
his play. However, the uneven
performances of the actors,
which in any other play would
hint of disaster, are uniquely
suited for the style of Chekhov.
Almost by chance, the Uni-
versity Players stumble into
expressing the true nature of
Chekhov's objectivity by a coh-
stantly shifting tone that avoids
prediction and resolution. Al-
though this may occasionally
upset the delicate balance be-
tween tragedy and farce, irony
and sentimentality-a balance
fitting Chekhov's fascination
and beauty-it surprisingly suc-
ceeds in the most unexpected
ways.
As the merchant Lopakhin,
William H u n t demonstrates
both the advantages arid dis-
advantages of such an approach.
He combines an imposing phy-
sical preseice, and boyish good
humor to create a character who.
is alternately deferent and over-
bearing, light hearted and
ominous. Rather than a simple
personification of the nouveau,
riche, he evokes much of the
ambivalence of Chekhov's con-
ception. Although his unneed-
lessly exaggerated ebullience
makes it difficult to believe he

has a delicate soul his good will
shines through. In the climactic
scene, especially when he clum-
sily upsets the table, his boast-
ful, half drunken arrogance
nearly costs him our sympathy.
But he deftly regains it by paus-
ing sheepishly to ponder the
absurdity of his behavior.
As his oppoient, Madame Rano-
vskaya, Gwen Arners brings subt-
lety to an equally difficult role.
Always aristocratic and graceful
in a series of lovely gowns, she
is pathetic, in spite of her
cruelty. Insistent about her right
to live an illusion and con-
tinually asking for pity and for-
giveness, she is unwilling to
humor the other characters
when they ask for the same. In
short, Miss Arner's is not a sen-
timental portrait of the decadent
rich, but a vivid demonstration
that the dispossessed are fre-
quently isolated and self-de-
feating.
Thomas Dawber, potentially
sympathetic as the student Tro-
fimov, combines new left post-
uring and vehemence with old
left idealism and idleness. He
delivers his long orations on
the dignities of labor with a
passion that nearly wins the
audience-until he sits down
and resumes his loafing.
As an example of how to up-
date a character without de-
stro'ying its original identity,
Mrs. Dawber's accomplishment
is prodigious.
As Gayev, the billiard playing,
candy munching relic of the
dying aristocracy, Chester Smith
looks like one of the decadents
he discusses with waiters. His
low key, laconic approach makes
him too introspective and mo-

rose for a man who is a genius
at avoiding the issue. But this
superficially impressive silence
does accentuate the absurdity
of his occasional 'outbursts.
James Fellows' characteriza-
tion of Yasha-every inch the
young barbarian and interloper
making it with the maid and
lapping up the "masters' "cham-
pagne and herring-could have
been excellent. Surely he is the
most ominous portrait of the
younger generation. Far more
terrifying, as history has proved,
than either Lopakhin or the
nameles masses. Unfortunately,
however, Fellows is unable to
carry it off,
In short, go to The Cherry
Orchard. It may be occasionally
awkward and far from perfect.
But it captures much of Chek-
hov's comic portrayal of a sup-
posedly tragic situation-the
discontinuous nature of social
change. and its effect on those
who find themselves in its
midst.
Rent your
Roommate with
a Classified Ad

-Associated Press

Good buddies.

Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) is greeted by President Nixon at last night's congressional reception
at the White House. The senator's wife, Nancy, a former Miss South Carolina, wait to meet the
chief executive.

I

When in Soutliern California visit Universal City Studios

I

I

of leaves, little core

Program Information 662-6264
COMPLETE SHOWS AT
1,3 5,7,& 9:05
"COOGAN'S BLUFF"
Starts 20 Min Later
COOGAN
(Arizona Sheriff)
RINGERMAN
(Dangerous
Hopped-up
Killer)
NEW YORK
(The Fun City)
x Watch'for RQd Steiger
As "THE SERGEANT"
-Coming Soom-

sets become more garish as the
plots become more barren.

e
0
e
d
r
t
e
rf
s
if
n
a
It
If
ez,
e
e

In fact, in "The Lady or the
Tiger," based on the short story
by Frank Stockton, has little to
offer other than its extravagent
Las Vegas setting of show girls
and feathers. The choice be-
tween the lady and tle tiger is
merely a justification for t h e
songs and the sets. Little is de-
veloped, nothing is resolved.
"Passionelia," the tale of a
poor chimney sweep (portrayed
with a gamine charm by Miss
Prinz) transformed into a vul-
gar Hollywood star is a retread
tale that even film clips and
Jazzy dancing cannot spice.

Yet under all this pseudo
glamour, the freshness of Miss
Prinz shines through. She de-
lectably prances around, loving
her fabulous new body with a.
joy that almost reaches ecstasy.
Unfortunately Tom Ewell, who
plays a constantly transforming
serpent, was often muffled and
in the case of one song was to-
tally inaudible. However, his
leering eyes and sly grin brought
out all the devilishness that
must lurk somewhere in the
heart of every dirty old man.
And Will Mackenzie proceeds
from frustration to defeat, while
revealing he somehow enjoyed
every minute of the pain.

Sua~ested for Mature. Audences
CL. flT'EavSTfWOOD
.lC 'OO Ga0n',S BLUff"
SUSAN C[RKDON SIRO VBrJISHA SJE[LINtC-BElY FIELDO °[E[ I COBB
HERMAN MILLER, DEAN RIESNER and HOWARD RODMAN HERMAN MILLER DON SIEGEL RICHARD E. LYONS
IN COLOR- A UNIVERSAL PICTURE

TECHNICOLOR' PANAVISIOW~
.I'M WattDisny Production$ !I)

11

.I

'I

Hey Booby!

HUkD OVERmdnBIGWEEK
"It is right on target with some keen potshots at Viet Nam, smut peddling,
nymphomania, underground newspapers, pop art and
sex and the single hot-blooded young man.
A funny film, with something to say, and it will make you
laugh. How many big-time comedies can make that same /
claim?"
-Bob Salmaggi, WINS

>.
, °

+ ;
C

is the night for

I

JAN15 JOPLIN and BAND

plus the

I

ALICE'S RESTAURANT
l Alice Lloyd Hall

JAMES COTTON BLUES BAND

JACK QUINE
9:00

to do it

EVENTS BUILDING

8:30 p.m.

i

-FREE FOOD

Admission 50c

TICKETS: $3:50, $3.00 and $2.00 on sale
Building Box Office.

from 9 A.M. to 8:30 P.M. at Events

PRESENTED BY CANTERBURY HOUSE

PROFESSIONAL THEATRE PROGRAM
presents
National Theatre of Canada
-2 NEW PRODUHCTIONS-
Ben Jonso's Hilarious Satire
THE ALCHEMIST

wl

wUf

-0 - --

ZO ' 6 ACA i HELD ON
. includingY4
BestActress-Joanne Woodward
Best Actor-Alan Arkin
Best Picture
NAMED ON 60D"TEN BEST"LISTS

VER

Weeart is a
'Lonelu'Hunter

SCREENPLAY BY CHARLES HIRSCH AND BRIAN DE PALMA
DIRECTED BY BRIAN DE PALMA - PRODUCED BY CHARLES HIRSCH
A WEST END FILMS PRODUCTION - A =SIGMA iII RELEASE IN COLOR

"X" no one under 18 years of age will be admitted

f;

.;;:

i

I 1 0 .. :

_--

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan