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September 07, 1978 - Image 41

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-07

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 7, 1978-Page 41

!\ow playing at your campus film co-

op

By OWEN GLEIBERMAN
Somewhere over the last few years,
e pattern of movie-going among
>lege students changed drastically.
h, I suppose we've always liked
ovies quite a bit, and that the
ergence of the "film generation"-a
phemism for a generation reared on
levision-was really inevitable. But
e way this tranformation from mild
Itists to self-proclaimed students-of-
Im has proceeded is truly extraor-
nary, when one considers the cynical
ti-commercialism so prevalent
ong students.
At the University there was
iginally a single campus film society
inema Guild), and it showed nothing
t "classics." Nowadays, "classics"
e not the only movies serious cinema
nnoisseurs want to see, and it seems
e very term is too exclusive to en-
ompass our vision ,of cinematic ex-
ellence.
PREVIOUSLY, A small, die-hard
roup that used to be called the "art
ouse audience" went in for movies by
artists" like Ingmar Bergman and
obert Bresson, as opposed to those en-
yable (but, it was always asserted,
erely entertaining) Hollywood
oducts. Now, the distinction is per-

manently blurred. Of the film fans that
like to throw the word "artist" around,
few would deny the title to such
esteemed directors as Robert Altman
or Sam Peckinpah, even though it's im-
possible to separate economic factors,
which somehow never applied to a
Bergman, or a Truffaut from these
directors' best work.
The University sponsored a Robert
Altman Festival in 1977, and by far the
question most frequently asked of Alt-
man and his associates was whether or
not he was going to be "allowed" to
make Breakfast of Champions. (Tran-
slation: is Dino di Laurentiis going to
stop victimized, trampled-upon Altman
from directing any film of his choosing,
by diverting the necessary funds to six
sequels of Smokey And The Bandit?)
Well, the fact is that Altman, directly
after his financially disasterous Buffalo
Bill and the Indians, was easily able to
garner $3 million plus to make 3
Women, probably the most uncom-
promisingly self-indulgent work to have
been concocted by an American direc-
tor in recent years.
The point is that movies, because of
their technical complexity, are by
nature a commercialized medium.
Hollywood, therefore, can no longer be

called an utter enemy of 'art.' Surely
many who consider themselves serious
film buffs devoutly take in showings of
Nashville, Chinatown, Dirty Harry, and
Annie Hall, all of whose best qualities
are inseparable from the concept of
"entertainment." Thus, that same film
co-op that formerly presented only the
"classics" of filmdom now includes
selections like The Godfather, Bar-
barella, and Deliverance.
ONE OF THE explanations is purely
financial, the classics crowd is simply
not large enough to keep an
organization which specializes in Erich
von Stroheim festivals from going un-
der. But that is only part of it. These
newer films, modern classics, if you
will, are what the college audiences
want to see. To a generation that could
be zapped by instant thrills as quickly
as it could flip to the latest episode of
Batman, Howard Hawks' witty wor-
dplay just doesn't stack up against the
flamboyant ferocity of Mean Streets.
Though Cinema Guild retains its af-
fection for vintage favorites (montage
maniacs can be kept at bay with an
ample supply of Eisenstein and the like,
often with piano accompainment), it
offers a sizeable dose of the new, as well.

There are four major film co-ops
currently in operation on-campus, and
at $1.50 a shot, no one's complaining.
Only one, Mediatrics, a division of the
University Activities Center (UAC),
diverges from the standard fare, by
presenting something close to the
cinematic equivalent of junk food.
Although some quality flicks generally
sneak their way onto the premises, it is
purely incidental-the group's sole in-
-terest lies in trotting out the block-
busters and raking in the big bucks.
THE FORMULA works quite well;
Mediatrics rarely fails to fill the
Natural Science Auditorium with its
consistent screenplays of Paper Chase,
Serpico, and other standard collegiate
fare, a statistic all the more amazing
when one considers that it would be an
insult to show even home movies in Nat1
Sci Auditorium, which boasts uncom-
fortable seats, a myraid of skewed
viewing angles, and a heating system
that has no mercy.
Five years ago, each of the other
three co-ops had their own preferences
regarding film selection. Now, although
they retain some of their own idiosyn-
cracies, for the most part, all have con-
verged on showing an agreeable mish-

mosh of generally quality films from
the past and present. Cinema II, which
still exhibits a slight bent towards
foreign films, shows only on weekends
and in the best location
available-Auditorium A in Angell
Hall. Cinema Guild still cultivates a
slightly Bohemian atmosphere by
holding its screenings in the Old Ar-
chitedture Building. The Ann Arbor
Film Co-op, which comes closest to
showing films every night, divides its
"TW ICE THE S
Fis
ST
SIRLOI
T-BONE
Low pr
SE
Open1
217 Sou
Ann Arbor.
7E

time between Angell Auditorium and
the large lecture rooms of the Modern
Languages Building. None of these
locations boast quality sound systems,
but all the co-ops (Mediatrics excepted)
try to obtain the best prints available
and show a reasonable percentage of 35
millimeter prints.
Collectively, these groups present
enough diversity to satisfy most
anyone's tastes. Included in a random
See AND, Page 49
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sh " Chicken " Salad bar
Beer and Cocktails
TEAK CHOICES INCLUDE:
N TENDERLOIN RIB-EYE
E CHOPPED SIRLOIN FILET

CLOSE TO CAMPUS
rices and quick cafeteria service.
erving Ann Arbor since 1967
11 am. to 9p.m., 7 days a week.

i

th State Street
Michigan 48108
61-0630

COMMERCIAL CINEMA

Blockbusters and big bucks

By OWEN GLEIBERMAN
The six commercial movie establish-
tents Ann Arbor houses provide
lequate, if short of perfect, coverage
the major studio releases.
Briarwood, Ann Arbor's deluxe in-
oor mall, has four theatres, but may
main out of reach for students un-
illing to traverse the city's transpor-
tion systems. Briarwood gets the
rgest share of the bona fide block-
usters, but unfortunately shuts out
any worthwhile films by booking cer-
in movies for inordinately long
eriods. Star Wars, albeit a crowd-
leaser, flashed on the Briarwood
creens for almost a year, and Satur-
ay Night Fever and The Goodbye Girl
ere each rooted there for well over six
onths.
WHILE A FILM like Close Encoun-
ers Of The Third Kind will eventually
nake its way into town one way or
mother shortly after its world
>remiere, many fine movies end up
ere months after opening or, oc-
asionally, don't even show up at all.
If having to wait a month or two to see
n Unmarried Woman is slightly in-
onvenient for the zealous cinema-
iound, then the situation concerning
irst-run foreign films is nothing short
f abominable. As of this writing (June
), the new films of Bergman, Truffaut,
vertmuller, not to mention Bertoluc-
:i's 1900, have yet to open in our fair
:ity. And as far as less prominent
orks like Black And White In Color go,
me may as well resort to praying.
There are four theatres with
easonable proximity to the campus
rea, and one of them (the Campus)
ised to feature foreign films. Not
mnymore. While a multitude of movies
tood by waiting to work their way into
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toward programming the kind of soft
fare (The Other Side of the Mountain, If
I Ever See You Again) that can leave
an audience feeling as if it had over-
dosed on sacharin.
THE FOX VILLAGE, which is
beyond walking distance, has recently
been converted into a double theatre
and receives some of the more impor-
tant films released. On weekend nights,
it offers midnight shows ranging from
comedy favorites to rock concert films.
Although those bent on seeing com-
mercial films as soon as they open will
have to learn to be patient in Ann Ar-
bor, most should find that the city's
theatres provide ample coverage of
current movies.

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Ann Arbor, the Campus was busy run-
ning Julia for a whopping three months.
This situation becomes even more
enigmatic when one realizes that
during that final month, the crowds
were no longer coming.
THE STATE AND MICHIGAN
theatres, along with the Campus, com-
prise the Butterfield chain. Besides
being situated next to campus, the most
salient characteristic of these three
theatres is their uncanny ability to
retain a thin layer of sticky grime on
the floors. Rumor has it that the
theatres are sprayed with Coke daily to
preserve that quaint, old-fashioned
kiddie-matinee feeling.
At the Butterfield theatres on Mon-
day nights, two may get in for the price
of one ($2.50), and on Wednesday after-
noons, the price of a single ticket drops
to $1.25. At Briarwood, all showings
prior to 1:30 in the afternoon are $1.25.
Depending on the theatre, the standard
admission is either $2.50 or $3.00.

The Fifth Forum, a few minutes'
walk from campus, is more posh than
its Butterfield rivals, but often leans

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ADJACENT TO CENTRAL CAMPUS

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