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December 06, 1959 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-12-06

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'w ta un
Seventieth Year

Critics and Criticism,

Constant Comment

hen Opinions Are Free
Truth Wiu Prevail'

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

DECEMBER 6, 1959


'rof essional Study of Urban Renewal
Looks Encouraging

THE RAMBLING and often incoherent story
of urban renewal in Arn Arbor, headed for
a quiet denouement within the last few months,
is acquiring a sequel.
Councilman Lloyd Ives has proposed that the
city engage "a' recognized, disinterested pro-
fessional consulting firm" to do a thorough
study of Ann Arbor's municipal rehabilitation
problem. The City Council will consider his
proposal gn Monday.
Ives has suggested that: "the firm .. . review
and make recommendations on scope of re-
habilitation effort required, areas of city need-
ing attention, types of rehabilitation action
appropriate, amount of municipal capital out-
lay foreseen, governmental assistance available
for financing private aspects of over-all effort,
procedures for relocating displaced families, if
any; and any other subjects deemed important
by the firm."
A report and recommendations would be sub-
T asNew Idea
HE STATE ROUSE of Representatives
h suggested, as an addition to the
$34 million dollar Senate "nuisance tax"
plan, an additional five dollar tax on all
moving traffic violations.
By the time this is declared unconstitu-
tional, it ought to have brought in a five
or six million dollar "Wvndfall," and added
a new chapter to the "Taxation by Un-
constitutionality" philosophy seemingly
prevalent in the Legislature.

mitted to the City Council by the firm not later
than six months from the date of contract.
THE PROPOSAL is an attempt to bring a
rational and disinterested approach to the
answering of a highly-charged emotional ques-
tion: what should be the provisions of an
effective urban rehabilitation program in Ann
The answer would be non-partisan, free from
the bewildering pressures of neighborhood
meetings, interest groups, misplaced good in-
tentions, fear, ignorance and political maneu-
vering. A consulting firm wants "just thenfacts,
ma'am." Their recommendations would not bej
politically colored-professional and undeniably
CHANCES ARE SLIM that any consulting
firm's recommendations would vary in any
significant respect from the old urban renewal
plan rejected last summer-including even the
relocation bugbear. But American respect for
experts is legendary: it may be easier to accept
the considered opinion of an expert than the
hammered-out efforts of citizens' groups and
the City Council. And there would be precious
little chance for charges of arbitrary action by
"the government"-local or federal.
The obstacles to implementation of any urban
rehabilitation program remain-primarily in
high cost and difficulties in the relocation of
any displaced families. It would still be an up-
hill fight, but with the understanding of most
of the community, the problems could be solved.
In any case, a consulting firm would bring a
fresh, unweary outlook to a situation which
badly needs one.

Daily Review Staff
BETWEEN the docility of com-
plete ignorance and the sophis-
tication of Aristotlean imitation
stands a creature known, some-
times less than affectionately, as
the Daily reviewer. Many readers
have alternate mental images of
him as a sadistic neurotic who
delights in destruction or as a
sophomoric "nebish" with middler
class sentimental notions of taste.
Neither picture is particularly
accurate description of the 20 or
more reviewers who write periodi-
cally for the editorial columns of
The Daily. These people range
from mathematics majors with a
sensitive appreciation of instru-
mental music to Professors of Eng-
lish to laboratory technicians who
review art.
Most of the amateur critics are
male. Since women have not been
historically marked by reticence
to criticize, it is a puzzlement that
there are few who are willing to do
so in print.
* * *
SOME OF THE staff just wan-
der into the Student Publications
Building and say "I'd like to write
reviews." Such volunteers are
given trial material to criticize
before being turned loose upon
an unsuspecting reading public.
Others, such as teaching fellows
in English or fine arts, are recom-
mended by profesors as capable of
intelligent criticism in a particu-
lar medium. A third category is
the man sought out as an "ex-
pert," perhaps the Engineering
and Science Editor of the Univer-
sity News Service to review a book
on IGY or a practicing poet to
review a new collection of campus
If the reviewer combines wit
with competence he is doubly ap-

course, carried "wit" a bit too far.
There was, for example, the young
man who arrived too late to review
a movie and instead waxed ecstatic
for considerable space over the
popcorn available at the theatre.
Another "critic" described the
architecture of the theatre after
dismissing the movie playing there
in one paragraph. Other reviewers
have peppered their copy with
criticisms of administrators,
praises of certain sororities, and
unsubtle references to female
Frequently the ,staff picks up
stereotyped phrases which appear
with uncomfortable frequency in
reviews. Last summer one alert
reader, finding the word "grim" in
three separate reviews inquired
whether the grimlins had taken
over The Daily.
, * * *
THERE IS a tendency among
those new to The Daily review
staff to emulate the Time Maga-
zine style of criticism complete
with alliteration, quips, sarcasm,
and cleverisms. One explanation
of this trend is that new reviewers
are generally assigned to such
epics as "Rock, Rock, Rock" or
"The Last Badman Rides Again"
about which it is difficult to be "of
high seriousness."
Just how qualified are any of
these people to write witily or ser-
iously about a medium is a ques-
tion irrate readers occasionally
ask, especially when they. dis-
agree wvith a review. Such head-
lines as "Daily Reviews Evoke
'Scathing' Student Response" have
from time to time loomed large
and black on the editorial page.
* * *
REVIEWS have merited such
adjectives as "adolescent," "inept,"
"revolting," and even "woolly"--
often when deserved. Unfortunate-;

ly readers have sometimes ques-
tioned the right of students to
criticize professional performances
or performers.
The philosophy of The Daily
review staff, if any universal phil-
osophy exists in such a free-lance
atmospheres is that a review is
always the opinion of one person-
and must be accepted as such by
the reader. The 'validity of that
opinion is tested by the experience
and critical abilities of the reader
Most reviewers do not pretend
to be professional critics although
they usually possess background
and training in a particular field
that adequately qualifies them'for
their role as evaluator. Most of
them realize that they can make
errors in judgement and court
enlightened criticism of their
PERIODICALLY a review, either
because of its constructive nature,
its perceptiveness, or because of
the controversy it arouses causes
improvement in or evaluation of
the object criticized.
A recent case in point is the
re - evaluation of "Generation"
Magazine largely undertaken after
rather unfavorable criticism both
by its reviewer and by student
critics writing letters in response
to the review. Possibly the re-
evaluation would have taken place
in any event, but it was intensified
by the stormy and healthy contro-
versy of "amateur" critics.
No matter how constructive re--
views may be, they have created
and will continue to arouse criti-
cism from various quarters-per-
formers and performer's friends,
Justly and unjustly irate readers,
and those who are naive enough
to disagree with the printed word.
Intelligent reviewers would be the
last to wish this to disappear-
most of them enjoy excitement.

f ~dot 11


4 '


" ::.

-- t ,;

Messiah Performance
Ordinary At Best

Experimental Films Sparkle.

SGC Plan Revisited

THE RECENT downward trend of the popu-
larity and influence of SGC is not an idle
function of extraneous issues. Replacement of
the present group with another, differently de-
vised group, cannot be expected to remedy the
present problems. This is because the present
situation arose directly as a result of the Uni-
versity Administration's high-handed procedure
following the SGC Sigma Kappa decision of
last year.
Certainly, there was no lack of student in-
terest in SGC last year, nor was any lack of
qualified candidates noticed. Perhaps the un-
paralleled write-in vote for former Council
President Maynard Goldman last November will
help establish this fact. But the disenchantment
of students for their student government de-;
veloped almost immediately after the last Board'
in Review meeting, and has continued without
a break thereafter. It is to be expected that no-
one who values his time would have any in-
terest in affiliation with a mock-government.
THE QUESTION of a presidential veto of SGC
actions has always been unsettled until now.
In the past, some justification for such action
was expected. But in the new plan, veto power
has finally been clarified. It is not for use by the
President,s presumably in time of crisis, when
a grave threat to the well-being of the Uni-

versity community (or more likely, fraternity
property values) might be posed by an SGC
decision. Instead, veto power has been dele-
gated down a rank, to a vice-president.
Why not give veto power to the dean of wom-
en and have done with it?
Although SGC suggested that the alumnus
member of the Committee on Referral be
dropped, the Regents apparently thought that
this inclusion might lead to the establishment
of better public relations with the alumni. And
the alumnus is to be chosen by the Board of
Directors of the Alumni Association, a group
with leanings only slightly to the right of
UNDER THESE conditions, it is remarkable
that any students choose to associate them-
selves with a group so mistrusted by the Regents
and the University Administration.
Curiously enough, after clamping additional
controls on SGC, occasioned by the Council's
decision to attempt to eliminate a clearly
discriminatory group from the campus, the
Regents simultaneously propose that the Uni-
vrsity shall work for elimination of discrimina-
Not through SGC they won't.
Guest Writer

should be heartily congratu-
lated for its first offering of the
new season, seven experimental
art films, which amused, disturbed,
scintillated, but never bored.
This reviewer must admit that
up to now he had never been to
a ' showing of experimental or
creative films and did not know
what exactly to expect. Visions of
being subjected to the - artsy-
craftsy flooded his head.
However this was not to prove
true for any of these films can be
enjoyed by even the most unini-
tiated. This was an extremely well
balanced program that ranged
from a brilliant satirical cartoon
about Hollywood through an ex-
cellent Alfred Hitchcockish mys-
tery to a hand painted abstract
visualization of a jazz trio.
THE MOVIES were introduced
and commented upon by James L.
Lindbacher, head of the Dearborn
Public Library's film department.
Mr. Lindbacher proved to be a very
helpful and witty guide through
this new territory.
The evening got off to a rousing
start with a brilliant British car-
toon, "The History of The Cinema"
by Halas and Bachler, the team
who made the renowed "Animal
This cartoon's satire is that of
the deft jab instead of the heavy
handed wallop. The light touch
turns out to be more deadly be-
cause the more the viewer thinks

about the film with its seeming
artlessness, the more aware he be-
comes of its genius.
One particularly slashing touch
was having the same old joke-a
man falls into a manhole; a second
man comes along but does not fall
in the hole because he uses the
first man's head as a bridge-as
it appears in the original silent
movies, then in talking pictures,
and finally on a wide, wide screen.
This makes the point that nothing
is ever new under the Southern
California sun.
*' * *
"THE HUNTER in the Forest,"
a Swedish film, was next. It was.
an exercise in "pure cinema" -
moving pictures with no dialogue
and natural sounds with a musical
score. "The Hunter" was in black
and white because its creator,
Arne Suchsdorff, feels that the
film is a black and white medium
in which color detracts. This is a
debatable point but all will con-
cede that this movie proves that
plain old black and white on a
small screen can be breathtaking
when a master like Suchsdorff uses
The photographic poem, "Car-
nival" coupled with music by Mil-
haud of the same title was the.
perfect wedding of sight and
sound. Again this was pure cinema
for there was no story, just shots
of an amusement park in full
swing, deserted during the day,
and beginning to awake at dusk for

its nightly fling. One technique
that added greatly to the riotious
atmosphere of the park was the
excellent superimpositions of the
carnival's many lights.
Six" used the gimmick of the sub-
jective camera in which the lens
of the machine becomes the eyes
of the narrator. Suspense and
mood were built up to a climax
which was topped by the revelation
of the identity of the narrator.
"A Chairy Tale" by Norman Mc-
Laren tells the story of a man
who wants to sit down to read a
book. But his chair has a mind of
its own and must be subdued. This
film is the greatest piece of comedy
since Chaplin.
* * *
A CREATIVE documentary about
"The Third Ave. El" in New York
City was followed by the one truly
"out" film of the evening, "Begone
Dull Care." This is a handpainted
film in which the artist scratched,
dyed and painted his way to an
abstract world of beauty.
Parts of it are like jetting over
gigantic rolls of kitchen linoleum
and others are like a multicolored
drag strip. The only drawback to
this picture is that it becomes very
eye fatiguing because its dazzling
patterns race by so rapidly.
The D.A.C. should be thanked
once again for putting on a truly
exciting and enjoyable evening of
distinctive film fare.
-Patrick Chester

AS HAS become traditional in
Ann Arbor at the beginning of
the Advent season, the Choral
Union under the direction of Les-
ter McCoy with the assistance of
the Musical Society Orchestra and
assorted soloists performed George
Frideric Handel's "Messiah."
Needless to say, "Messiah" is
one of the monuments of music
and there need be no excuses for
performing it at any time. How-
ever, if one wishes to make a tra-
dition of performing such a work
year in and year out, it should be
expected that each year might
see some improvement and some
interesting innovations in the
It is usual to give a curtailed
performance of "Messiah". There-
fore, it could be possible to use
different portions of the work in
succeeding years and to vary the
work to that extent, This is not
the case with the Choral Union to
any degree.
This year's chorus was on the
whole rather agreeable if one
wants to consider the group as
strictly an untrained amateur or-
ganization. I am willing to con-
cede that it is an amateur group.
But not untrained.
IF A MASSIVE chorus is not
able to negotiate a florid line
without recourse to the use of as-
pirate "h's", then it is my opinion
that it should not sing a florid
line. The huge chorus so often em-
ployed in this work is a mistake
from the very beginning,
The most beautiful sounds of
the chorus were in the soft singing.
Oftentimes in loud passages the
group resorted to shouting. This
was particularly noticeable in "The
Hallelujah Chorus" despite the at-
tempt to disguise it by having the
audience participate.
The orchestra was no worse
than ever, but, I'm sorry to say,
that is no compliment. The trum-
pet player, who usually stars in
his big opportunity, "The Trum-
pet Shall Sound," failed to bring
it off.
With the exception of the solo-
ists brought in for last May's per-
formance of Handel's "Solomon,"
I have never heard a more inade-
quate quartet of singers. Not one
of them showed the least concept
of how to sing this music.
"Messiah" is full of pitfalls for
the unwary singer. The slightest

fault in musicianship, vocal pro-
duction, or artistry is immediately
* * *
SARAMAE Endich, the soprano,
has a pleasant voice with a poor
top range. Many sopranos of her
caliber are to be found in any re-
spectable school of music.
Gladys Kriese sang the alto
solos in a throaty and often in-


religious emphasis
audible voice. If she should try to
brighten and project her voice, it
might be heard.
The tenor, Charles O'Neill, has
a not very pretty voice and no
idea of the meaning of his text or
of a musical line.
Yi-Kwei-Sze sang the bass solos
with some authority, but in no
particularly impressive manner.
-Robert Jobe
New Books at Library
Bowles, Chester - The Coming
Political Break-Through; N.Y.,
Harper & Bros., 1959.
Burlingame, Roger - I Have
Known Many Worlds; N.Y., Dou-
bleday & Co., 1959.
Campanella Roy-It's Good To
Be Alive; Boston, Little, Brown &
Co., 1959
Canaday, John-Mainstreams of
Modern Art; N.Y., Simon & Schu-
ster, 1959.


What Ike Will See

Italian Exhibit Demonstrates Variety of Influences

NEW DELHI -- What will President Eisen-
hower see when he comes to New Delhi and
to India?
He will see two cities: an old one with mina-
rets and towers, with slums and dirt and a
jangling Bedlam of sound; and a new one with
beautiful tree-shaded st'reets and stately resi-
He will see in these two cities the old and the
new India. Rarely on this sub-Continent does
one see the contrast so sharply. On the one side
is the India of caste, poverty, superstition, of
swarming people, of bazaars and mosques and
Hindu temples. On the other side is the India
of the Third Five Year Plan, of government
buildings and clerks, of the big luxury hotels
and the Diplomatic Enclave and the Parlia-
mentary debates.
HE WILL SEE a bicycle civilization, whose
streets are jammed with cyclists pedaling
to and from work. Back of this he will see a
horse-and-cart civilization, with gallant little
horses pulling the two-wheel Kangas or car-
riages into which a whole joint family may be
crowded. Back of this again he will see a
bullock-and-cart civilization, with the bullock
trudging through the busiest streets as he has
trudged for centuries along untraveled roads,
stoical and unhurried, while the driver lies
sprawled out on the cart in unheeding sleep.
He will see traffic-snarls that make New York
or Boston or Detroit seem like models of order
and discipline. When you are driving in an
automobile and trying to pass a motor-cycle
scooter-rickshaw which in turn is passing a
dozen bicycles, while toward you comes a bus

He will see women of every description, from
the most stylishly dressed ones to a few who
still wear the black veil of purdah over their
faces. He may even, if he is lucky, see beautiful
young women clothed in the most fragile look-
ing saris in delicate colors, carrying heavy loads
on their heads as workers on construction jobs.
HE WILL SEE vendors selling delicacies, and
peddlers with their bicycles loaded down
with wares, going from door to door with hope
of atle never extinguished.
He will see barbers squatting on the grass or
the sidewalk, clipping the hair of some humble
farmer just in from the village, for whom a
haircut by a barber has become the mark of a
new living-standard.
He will see Hindu marriage-processions in the
street, with the groom riding on a white horse
to meet the bride; and funeral processions, with
the corpse carried on the shoulders of the
mourners, with some musicians in the lead if
he was an old man.
HE WILL SEE prosperous business-men
dressed in their best white or yellow coats
and gaiters; and their wives with jewels in their
noses, and the red dot painted in the middle
of their foreheads.
He will perhaps see a young Maharajah in a
sports car, or an elderly one with the frayed
vestiges of a glory he once possessed. He will
see Communist farm workers marching down
the avenue with red banners, chanting slogans.
He will see troops of school-children in their
shorts and jackets marked with their school

THE CURRENT show at the
Museum of Art, "Painting in
Post-War Italy: 1 9 4 5 - 19 5 7"
opened yesterday and will be on
view until December 20. The ex-
hibition is a vital one, particular-
ly since it represents the painting
phase of the minor renaissance
Italy has enjoyed since the end
of World War II.
The exhibition, chosen by the
well known Italian art critic,.
Lioriello Venturi, certainly indi-
cates a far-ranging and almost
exuberant vigor of style. It is de-
cidedly internationalist in tone.
Though one senses an excited,
agitated involvement with con-
temporary idioms, there is little to
suggest an "Italian" quality as
such. The strong back wash of
European painting flooded into
the war-splattered and provin-
cially narrowed boot of Italy al-
most before the fighting ended in
Perhaps even more potent was
the slightly later influence of
American abstract expressionism.
These pictures give clear evidence
of the 'strength of the influence
even among the older painters.
* -* *
THE ITALIANS were anxious
and eager to imbibe the intoxicat-
ing qualities of the international
art developments. They had them-
selves contributed to the earlier

THOUGH we can roughly sense
the generations, the show as a
whole demonstrates a convincing
cross-section of the dominant
themes and styles of twentieth
century painting. However, the
imposed concepts of schools and
movements, the categorizing of
painters into nice pigeonholed
fragments does much to distort
the essentially unique and indi-
vidual quality each painter pos-
It is a particular sentient ex-
pression in form that character-
izes an artist. Though we may
gain insight into the adjunctive
(the social and historical or bio-
graphical) aspects of art, it is
only in terms of a basic relation-
ship between onlooker and paint-

ing in an immediately empathet-
ic quality that painting is seen
and appreciated.
The work does not have to be
understood through the prism of
an Italian label.
*S * *
THERE WERE several paint-
ings that were especially reward-
ing. Giorgio Morandi's "Still Life"
is a good example of this artist's
economy of means, of the work of
a lyrical painter who holds an in-
terior monologue with the univer-
sal nonentities such as bottles,
jugs, and cups. -
Morandi has never submitted to
the blandishments of his contem-
porary peers, and has expressed a
solitary, poetic insight in his own
Sergio Romiti, one of the

younger painters, is also a deli-
cate and essentially intellectual
artist. His "Composition" is a
finely balanced canvas with softly
brushed tones of gray and brown.
Though he is abstract, he is much
closer to Morandi than is Emilio
Vedova, whose tempera "Cruci-
fixion" is a shrill romantic tour de
force of avant garde art.
* * *
Streets" evokes tthe fixed images
of more primitive art, but, para-
doxically, in recalling the past he
makes strong comments for today.
Afro, perhaps the best known
of the Italians in the United
States is represented by "Citera."
This painting is a fresher, bolder
color statement in comparison to
some of the very cloying, sweet,

and thinly painted examples I am
familiar with.
Whereas Afro is elegant, Gut-
tuso displays vitality. Though
Guttoso insists upon communicat-
ing in creating representational
figures which the masses could
understand, there is a wealth of
good, strong painting in "The
It is spectacular and vivid, but
the moral tones are set with a
knowing painting hand.
* * *
ALBERTO BURRI is another
vigorous figure. His "Combustion"
is dark and ominous. Though the
material is unusual, burlap, this
work succeeds in creating an im-
age that does not go beyond
painting as is often intimated
when unusual materials are used.
Rather it simply makes its point
in a fresh manner.
There are many other worth-
while paintings: Santomaso's "Re-
membering a Walk" quiet and
evocative; Capogrossi's "Surface"
which is certainly a spatial per-
spective which could only grow
out of a concern with the me-
chanical nature of our century;
Magnelli's "Nothing Involuntary"
a geometric discipline that is al-
most formula compared to the
more imaginative Capogrossi.
Alfred Chigbrine's "Evening"
is a relatively successful linear



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