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October 22, 1978 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1978-10-22
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-- -----Mmopp- ,

Page 6-Sunday, October 22, 1978-The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily-Sunday, Oci

ROOkI ay
Critic Truffaut plays cat and dog

'No nukes!'
Protestors challenge atomic

By Anne Sharp

By Francois Truffaut
Simon and Schuster
345 pp., $12.50
EST KNOWN to American audiences as the
B wistful, understanding French UFO expert in
Steven Speilberg's Close Encounters of the Third
World, Francois Truffaut is a true man of the
cinema. Like the hero of his early masterpiece The
400 Blows, Truffaut spent much of his childhood in
the local movie emporium, playing hooky from his
lycee; he later made his living as a film critic, and
finally a director of films.-
The Films of My Life, published originally in 1975
and newly translated from the French, is an an-
thology of reviews Truffaut wrote for various
cinema magazines in France. The articles cover a
time span from the mid-fifties to the mid-seventies,
and in reading them we discern a literate; gentle
and enthusiastic film lover who can be non-caustic,
even affectionate, in his critiques yet still point to
valid, perceptive aspects of film. What a pleasure it
is to discover Truffaut's essays after years of put-
ting up with Gene Shalit's hollow quips and the ob-

scure menanderings of the New Yorker's Pauline
Kael and Penelope Gilliatt.
"No film is a total success," Truffaut remarks,
"and it's awfully easy to criticize what it's not. It's
our job to try to discover what it is." This man
knows his subject well, in all its various aspects and
origins. The six chapter headings in Films of My
Life illustrate this: "The Big Secret" about direc-
tors who started their careers during the silent era;
"The Generation of the Talkies," both French and
English-speaking;. "Hurrah for the Japanese
Cinema;" "Some Outsiders," which includes pieces
on the unclassifiable Ingmar Bergman, Federico
Fellini and Orson Welles; and a tribute to "My
Friends in the New Wave." Truffaut, of course, is
referring to the beatnik-era "New Wave"
movement among European cinematographers, not
to the new rock and roll institution.
"With time," Truffaut writes in the introduction
to The Films in My Life, "artist and critic settle into
their respective roles; maybe they grow to know
each other, and soon they consider each other, if not
exactly adversaries, in some simplistic image-cat
and dog."

'No film is a total success and it's
awfully easy to criticize what it's not.
Our job is to discover what it is.,
-Francois Truffaut


Fellin i criticism:
neo-realism, leering
priests and Casanova
By Anne Sharp

N ewport, Michigan is a rambling,
disorganized jumble of houses and
,farms just outside of Monroe. There are
a few cultivated fields and most of the
land is given over to pastures and
woods, with some fields left fallow. The
rolling, brown land looks somewhat like
the skin of a potato. It is here that
workmen broke dirt several years ago
to construct the Enrico Fermi II
nuclear reactor.
Because of the area's proximity to
Lake Eric, with a shore marred by
clumps of factories, it has always been
important to business in Michigan.
Businesses such as the commercial
fishing industry have operated for
years in the region, although
pollution has cut back their growth. A
group of utility companies, lead by
Detroit Edison, chose Monroe as a site
for nuclear reactors largely because of
easy access to Lake Erie.
In the late 1950's plans for building a
reactor in Monroe first surfaced. The
result was the Enrico Fermi I reactor,
an experimental form of "breeder"
reactor.. It was hoped that Fermi, I,
America's first commercial breeder,
would shed light on this potentially
earthshaking area of atomic study-for
the breeder reactor, in a sense, can
"produce" more fuel than it uses.
There. was talk of industry and
government plans for the creation of a
"nuclear park" which would have
included several more reactors in the
area. These dreams, however, were
shattered on October 5, 1966. As
workers ran through tests at the sitesof
the uncompleted power plant, there
occured perhaps the most publicized
nuclear accident since the birth of the
industry, when former President
Eisenhower first put the adjective
"peaceful" in front of "atom." -
T he plant' went through a "partial
meltdown:" a failure of the reac-
tor's cooling system to carry off heat
from the core of the plant. If enough
heat builds, radioactive materials can
melt through the constrictions of the
plant's core and seep into the environ-
ment. While the mishap at Fermi I did
not leak radioactivity, it was serious
enough for one plant official to remark,
"We almost lost Detroit."
Later, in spite of many attempts to
make the reactor safe, the plant was
closed down.
But Detroit Edison is confident it has
its nuclear problems licked. It has
committed itself to building the Enrico
Fermi II plant in Newport, slated to run
over one million kilowatts of electricity
for Michigan by 1980.
Members of the Arbor Alliance would
rather see fields lying fallow there, and
ground that looks like potato skin.
The Alliance, born out of a demon-
stration in front of Detroit Edison of-
fices on Main Street in Ann Arbor last
summer, is dedicated to halting the use
of atomic energy, for weapons or for
"We are trying to teach people how
little control they have over their
lives," explains Alliance member
Howie Brick. "People are going to
realize that a real little number of
people control things that affect them."
As they marched last October 7 at the
site of the 80-per cent completed Fermi
R J. Smith is a member of the
Daily Arts staff,

By R. J. Smith

rnoto by WAYNt ABLE

Edited by Peter Bondanella
Oxford University Press
314 pp. $4.95
POOR FEDERICO Fellini, who
someone once labeled "The Busby
Berkley of metaphysics", has often
found himself chased up a tree by
slavering reviewers. In editor Peter
Bondanella's Federico Fellini: Essays
in Criticism, we find several typical at-
tacks on Fellini's artistic style. Fellini
came out with his 1954 masterpiece La
Strada when the major Italian film
auteurs all followed the doctrine of neo-
realism which, I gather, demanded the
artist's strict attention to working class
La Strada, a poetic story packed with
religious and psychological detail
surrounding a simple, Chaplinesque
girl and her bestial master/husband,
infuriated the neorealists. Guido
Aristarco, a Marxist film critic in-
cluded in this volume, intending to in-
sult Fellini's fresh, subjective outlook,
complains: "Transcribing certain
memories, contacts, moments, 'moods
of his life - and on a sentimental level
at that - is already in his view tan-
tamount to the creation of poetry. His
Anne Sharp is a member of the-
Daily Arts staff.

participation in reality is episodic,
fragmentary, only sporadically
enriched by realistic elements and at-
titudes; in Fellini we do not have the
sense of our actual experiences." But
Fellini retorts, "For me, the story of
one man who discovers his neighbor is
as real and as important as the story of
a strike."
Many essays included in the an-
thology, especially the later ones writ-
ten by northerners, take Fellini's part
in his ridiculous struggle with the in-
dignant neorealists. The old tug-of-war
seems particularly futile now, since the
issues at stake have been dead for
twenty years and each side has left
behind monumental films which tran-
scend artistic and political theory: The
neorealist Bicycle Thief and Open City,
and Fellini's La Strada, La Dolce Vita,
8 ...
Even today Fellini tends to alienate
viewers with his "irrationalism" and
his "baroque tendencies," with his
never-ending parade of leering priests,
cripples, and fat whores.
One writer analyzes his use of
musical themes, constantly aided by
his composer Nini Rota; another char-
ts his symbolic - use of color in
Satyricon; a third compares the
enigmatic director to T. S. Eliot. They
have many interesting things to say
about this strange and wonderful artist,
up Ato his last , much-despised film

II reactor, however, at least one person
scorned the group's opposition to
W RILE HER husband chased dem-
onstrators away from his property
bordering the plant, a woman laughed
and called out, "You can protest and
picket and complain all you want, but
you can't stop it. It's the government."
Like scores of groups across the
country, the Arbor Alliance is hoping
The anti-nuke movement germinated
when 1,414 demonstrators were
arrested at an occupationof a plant at
Seabrook, New Hampshire in April,
1977. With a conservative governor
enlisting the aid of five state trooper
squads to squash the rally, and the
publisher of the state's largest
newspaper calling the demonstrators
"communists" and "perverts," New
Hampshire was an unlikely place to
spawn a nuclear opposition. But the
occupation at Seabrook proved that the
anti-nuke movement is perhaps the
strongest political mobilization since
the anti-war movement.
Opposition to the construction of the
plant at Seabrook was based largely on
environmental issues. Several months
before the Seabrook incident, New
Hampshire coalition called the
Clamshell Alliance quietly organized.
"The Clam," as the group became
known, began staging several marches
and non-violent sit-ins that culminated
in the April demonstration. Since then,
more demonstrators have protested at
the plant, and the government has
consistently waffled on its plans for the
plant's fate.
Today the Clam is a model for anti-
nuke organizations. Divided into small
affinity groups that stress non-violent

methods of civil disobedience, the Clam
has gained support from members of
the New England community who
refused to join the violent anti-war
HIS HAS been the case across the
nation, as groups including the
a metto Alliance, the Crabshell
Alliance, the Armadillo Coalition and
dozens more have sprung up and
gained support from all sections of
"It's much more a grass-roots thing
now," said Arbor Alliance member Dan
Uselmann. "During the war it was so
much just students. There was a lot of
uncivil disobedience, stone-throwing at
police, general violence . . . to get an
anti-nuclear movement - a revolution-
ary movement - to catch on, we have
to get the support of the people. That's
what they are doing," Uselmann ex-
The Clam's impact in Ann Arbor has
surfaced in various ways. While groups
such as the Friends of the Earth and
Science for the people were- around
before the occupations, they have
expanded and often followed the
example of the Clam. And
organizations like the Detroit-based
Safe Energy Coalition or the anti-nuke
group forming at East Quad might not
be in existence, if not for the
demonstration at Seabrook.
And if there had been no Clamshell
Alliance, there would be no Arbor
Alliance, which is by far the best
example of the Clam's influence in this
"I'm really happy to see this," said
Keith Gunter as he stood alongside thei
Dixie Highway watching members of
the Ann Arbor Alliance and the Safe
Energy Coalition demonstrate at the

Fermi site. "A
the mobilizatic
England it's j
"This is rea
organization ti
two or three y
who has work
whose brother
For Arbor
Gunter's wo:
often say t
incidents arise.
Such an oc
the Russian i
south Ural n
1957. From td
Soviet scien
references, a
curred: a nuc
how exploded
cloud over mil
number of dea
but allegedly ]
thousands --
were jammed
plosion. Acres
plowed under,
area was destr
Ten years la
to abort fetus
to deformed ci
And the Am
has had its cal
At a stora,
discovered wo
been dumpir
plutonium int
plutonium wa
amounts, a
warned, the s
and explode "li
"The nuclea
existence sinc
said Alliance
"They, to this c
a solution to
waste is in stor
"One of the
threat of the
putting things
be guarded for
no single gove
nearly that lon
a complete coll
that the pr
is a serious on
be solved. Sol
treatment of t
which would b
stored substa
waste would b
underground f
half-mile below
But so far, p
not come to frui
sent underg
industries, ove
waste has le
storage tanks.
considered put'
the ground in
was stopped wl
survey discove
authorities had
No energy s
counter indus
out that a nuck
See NI.


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