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May 16, 1969 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1969-05-16

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Page Two


Fridav Mov 16 1969


--Y/ I-y





Vacuum-packaged satires

The most powerful feature of Finney is its theme-song, "Little-
boy," sung at the film's ,outset by the Arbors to get the film off to
a syrupy and embarrassing start.
Throughout the rest of the film the audience remains tense,
worried over the possibility that the insipid background music will
lead to another vocal outburst by the Arbors, but p'roducer-director-
writer Bill Hare is too sensitive to repeat this mistake; instead we
are treated to some fair folksinging by Joan Sundstrom (as Joyce
Finney) along wtih the insipid background music.
Not that there aren't other problems to keep the viewer on
edge. When football player-star actor Robert Kilcullen (who plays
Jim Finney) goes to a football practice there is always the chance
that he will sprain an ankle, and his wife could break a string on
her guitar at any moment.{
Our story, melodrama lovers, is of professional football player
Jim Finney. He is too old to play with the big boys anymore and
doesn't know what to do with himself. He struggles with the no-
tion of becoming an artist but something is hampering him until
Eureka!, hg discovers his forte is doing works of art about foot-
ball-although it seems that only half an hour earlier in the
movie he had refused a coaching job because he wanted to get away
from the game.r
But despite his personal vision of his function in the inter-
planetary cosmos, the art dealers say "no."
Frustrated with his moping, the little woman makes the big
time with just a voice and a guitar. The marriage fizzles. And
now what was once a proud, noble athlete is an apathetic bar-
tender. Sob. Yawn.
Lead actor Robert Kilcullen actually was a defensive tackle
with the Chicago Bears. As an actor he is not just a defensive
tackle, at his high points -you could- swear he was a halfback. The
rest of the cast manages to maintain his pace.
And so the only real questions that arise are whether or not
a guitar string or an ankle will snap. The non-existent tension of
Kilcullen's non-acting makes it difficult to believe that anything
happens at all.,
As it becomes clear to Finney that he is going nowhere, his
realization seems to signify that he has realized that his bus will
be a few minutes late.
i Finney is a shoestring movie made on a shoestring budget.
For $140,000 Hare's production is technically all right, but ir-
relevant landscape shots and meaningless stop-actions do not fall
into the advertised category of "beautiful photography." Film-
maker Hare is now deep in debt and I do not belittle his plight,
but Fellini and the Grateful Dead are also in debt and they have
something worthwhile to offer.
to Daily contributing editor and ace music reviewer R. A. Perry
and his wife on the birth yesterday of their new daughter, Claire.

son's comment: that man must
be aware of all the processes
that lead to the product, all the
processes that influence man
himself as a product, a conse-
quence of the paths of commer-
Simpson's "Rolling Grassy
Hill" is made of artificial green
grass, reminiscent of the rolling
western part of Nebraska. He
says it is a 500-mile chunk of
Nebraska, scaled down. This is
where the hills are sloping to-
wards artificial commercialism,
not natural to the land. Upon
the grass there is a mobile or-
*gan in erection, which can be
moved anywhere on the grass,
or even removed. Philosophize to
your heart's content - see it as
the sperm of the land, see it as
the elements of man and na-
ture, or see it as the farce of an-
ticipating growth and life from
artificality. Anyway it is view-
ed, the piece is dynamic, involv-
Simpson has just completed
graduate study at the University
and will soon complete his
term of teaching at Flint Col-
x Also exhibiting at the gallery
are Bill Davison; a teachet at
the University of Vermont, and
Michael M a z o r, a teacher at
Davison has just received a
University scholarship to con-
tinue his work in lithography.
He uses mixed medium of silk
screen, carborundum, emboss-
ment and flocking, among many
others. He has won m a n y re-
wards and national recognition
for his me'thods. The "Throne"
piece is an excellent example of
his technical proficiency, al-
though the lighting in the gal-
lery works against h i s subtle
Mazor, a Yale graduate, is ex-
hibiting primarily large etch-
ings which are of interest be-
cause of the different shaped
plates he uses. He cuts his own
plates according to the size he
The exhibition funs, through

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The art of L. C. Simpson, now
on display at the Editions Gal-
lery on Washington St., is funky
and satirical-commercial vac-
cuum packed pieces with decals
and sexual symbols.
But Simpson's art at the same
time is serious. He has taken
man-made objects out of their
usual context, and placed them
before man to view again in a
different manner. He displays
banquet plates and bronze chal-
ices not just as objects for eat-
ing and drinking "from, but as
symbols of their inherent beau-
ty; Yet simultaneously they re-
main as symbols of our porce-
lain personalities.
Simpson's creativity is not the
sterile, passive museum art for
which we cap feel admiration
but no involvement. It is not the
art we can view only from be-
hind ropes, and is beyond our
touch- One example is the form
of a woman, hollow, sucking in

the angular mixed media parts
of man. The entire piece is
striking in its contrasts of an-
gles, colors and materials, such
as foam rubber and flocking.
Most exciting is the base of
the piece, which Simpson has
surrounded with the hard, black
vinyl that usually borders the
floor' bases in large institutional
rooms and schools, to protect
the walls. It is durable and fuwic-
tional. It is commercial, a far
cry from the delicate bases of
marble statues that are not to
be handled.
Simpson's art is involving. He
is not - like others - simply
striving to express and to prove
his own originality. He sees
what is happening in the envir-
onment, what is being created,
and he places this before the
viewers. He is "making a slam
at the people who have a wrong
idea of what it's all about, and
if what is all about themselves

All his media are commercial,
and the results are satirical and
funky. ("This, is a new low in
funkiness," reads a comment by
Sylvia Turner in the gallery
guest register.) He uses com-
mercial glazes. artificial grass,
decals, and plastics. His themes
are topical. His Jesus Christ ser-
ies is vaccuum formed and pack-
aged in plastic, by the same pro-
cess by -which everyday commo-
dities are packaged. The grass
is green paper, the sky glitter.
Paradoxically, the Christsrare
both stylized and fundamental.
'the packaging is stylized; yet
the pieces consist only of the
Christ figure, the earth,,-the wa-
ter and the sky. This is Simp-

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