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September 21, 1979 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-21

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 21, 1979-Page 7


More is less

George Lucas' American Graffiti was
° a smooth-as-silk, astonishingly authen-
tic picture of the end of the greaser era,
as represented by one fairly aimless
dusk-to-dawn night in the lives of a
dozen or so high school seniors, Class of
'62. Lucas managed to capture that
Taimlessness so well that the movie
never quite captured one's full atten-
tion; it was merely amusing in a
- draggily nostalgic way.
Still, the minor-league antics of the
characters rang true most'of the time,
aided by flawless background details
and a great rock soundtrack. By listing,
documentary-style, the eventual fates
of the major male characters (the
females were droppe'd cold), Lucas
tidily turned his picture of one fairly
w routine evening in the lives of some
unexceptional adolescents into a sort of
melancholy warm-up for the horrors of
Vietnam that lay just around the bend.
If American Graffiti were the ap-
petizer, then More American Graffiti

ought to be the real feast. After all, the
sequel brings nearly all of the original
film's characters to maturity against
the backdrop of an era that has camera
possibilities that just won't quit.
Liberated from the claustrophobic
small-town setting of the original, More
has everything to work with: campus'
protests, flower power, Vietnam
sequences, '60s rock and : drug
psychadelia, collapsing marriages and
the death of the all-American dream-
UNFORTUNATELY, the hot dogs in
Hollywood don't always aim as high as
we might like, even when they've got
the golden opportunity to do so. Oh,
what a swell idea for a movie! Those
campus riots were pretty colorful,
right? How about. . . hey, listen to
this ... using Vietnam as just another
backdrop for some crazy-war comedy
stuff? Sure, you can always stick in
some blood and gore to let the audience
know you're taking things seriously,
but, let's face it, one should never pass

up an opportunity for latrine jokes.
And just for the hell of it why not use
all the keen things you learned about
from watching "The Monkees," like
speeded-up motion, strobe lighting,
fish-eye lenses and slow-motion head-
bashing? Since the 1960's were sup-
posed to be so spacey and trippy, how
about filming the whole movie in
multiple images so the viewer is con-
stantly bombarded by several pictures
simultaneously? The kids will go crazy
for it, right?
WELL "THE KIDS" just might fall for
it, but to any sober mind More
American Graffiti is an insult. Only if
you like the idea of seeing all the pain
and trauma of the sixties realized on
the screen as one big collegiate
Disneyland - big, shiny and plastic,
with Day-Glo colors and lots of perky
Mickey Mouse people at every turn-is
this dizzyingly clumsy sequel the movie
for you.
Fragmented editing and disasterous

structure make it difficult to determine
exactly what the filmmakers intended
(one anxiously hopes that they didn't
reach this low intentionally, but as it
stands More has less basic intelligence
working for it than any major
Hollywood film in memory.
MOST OF THE characters and actors
from Lucas' original have been
resurrected to appear in this con-
tinuation, but the new screenplay dies
from the start, dragging all the on-
screen unfortunates down with it. John
"Madman" Milner (Paul Le Mat), the
tough cruiser with a 24-karat heart in
Graffiti, is given no chance to develop
beyond his second-hand James Dean
act. He mxerely continues to exert his
macho cool here while winning stock
car races and carrying on an idiotic
romance with a dewy Olivia Newton-
John-ish Swede (Anna Bjorn), with
whom he can't even communicate.
Laurie (Cindy Williams) and Steve
(Ron Howard), originally an amusing
all-American Suzi Cheerleader Meets
Joe Jock couple, are here sunk in
dismal marital conflicts. She wants to
get out of the house and get a job. He
wants her to stay home-and raise the
kids. She throws dishes. He yells. This
situation comedy scenario comes com-
See AMERICAN, Page 12




- 1%

(Claudia Weill, 1978)
Klutzy but talented woman photographer and her arty coed friend share an
apartment, until the latter decides to get married. We follow Susan, the
photographer, as she redecorates the apiartment, changes her hair, picks up
a guy at a party, falls in love with her Rabbi, and swears off free-lance
hackwork at weddings and bar mitzvahs. Not a studio film but the work of o
dedicated few over a period of three years. The film has something different
to say about the envy and loneliness between the best of friends. Surprise
critical success ot 1978. Starring MELANIE MAYRON, ELIWALLACH.
Aud A, Angell Hall $1.50 7:00 & 9:00


Applications being taken for new members

The joy (ha ha) of sex

Sex is rarely "a laughing matter in
American films. It is more often a sim-
pering, smirking matter, wanly dren-
ched in a kind of masturbatory infan-
tilism. Perhaps we'll never grow up; it
seems instead we must eternally
default to our elder European cousins
when it comes to depicting with style,
grace and authoritative wit humanity's
most obsessive preoccupation.
A kirld of inverse fate has now
brought to our shores an Italian film
called Malicious. Granted, it was made
a good five years ago; granted, they've
changed the title (from the original
Malizia); granted, it's only here now as
F part of an overseas package deal " of
Laura Antonelli lubricity flicksdaimed
strictly below the American belt in-
tellectually and otherwise. Which only
proves that occasionally even the worst
of intentions go awry: Malicious turns
} out to a shrewd, wicked delight to the
'eye,the mind and the libido.
The wife of a wealthy .Italian
businessman has suddenly died,
leaving husband and three sons bereft
of feminine attentions. Enter Angella
(Laura Antonelli)-an efficient,
breathtakingly lovely housekeeper who
hires on as a live-in employee. Angella
cleans house spotlessly, cooks dinner
sumptuously, potty-trains the youngest
son expertly.
But oh, she is so lovely. Soon a carnal
undercurrent throbs through the
household as father and both elder sons
(aged about 16 and 13) all begin to sub-
tly and not so subtly compete for
Angell's charms. Pop's passion seems
solely geared to carnal con-
siederations-though he dearly desires
Angella in marriage-while eldest son
Antonio's absortion is mere passing in-
fatuation. Yet for 13-year-old Nino,
Angello swiftly becomes a grand,
diabolical obsession.
Nino combines pubescent enthusiasm
with conspiratorial wiles.far beyond his
years to keep Angella only for himself.
He secretly disrupts a-midnight ren-
dezvous between father and
housekeeper by setting off an unstop-
pable burgler alarm; he coerces his
younger brother into believing he sees
his mother's ghost at night (The local
priest will never agree to a new
marriage for Nino's father as long as
mom is still floating around).
Yet Nino reserves his most perverse
schemes for Angella herself. By
degrees his adolescent pranks evolve
into a kind of deadly gamesmanship:
He progresses from sneaking peeks up
her dress to boldly groping her-albeit
clandestinely-at the dinner table."
Things take a psychologically sado-
masochist turn: Unknown to father or
brother, Nino compels Angells to strip

languidly for a fat, comically
vouyeristic classmate of his. The next
morning, threatening blackmail, he
forces her to expose herself to his
father, who sleepily tries to assault her.
Angella accepts these indignities with
an intriguing duality, juxtaposing her
righteous outrage with an undisguised,
flirtatious exhilaration over the
ongoing power struggle. There's
clearly a profound love match taking
root here, however unlikely the
preparations; the macabre courtship is
ultimately consummated in a wild
flashlight chase through the night-
darkened house, complete with thunder
and lightning raging surrealistically
outside. It becomes Angella's moment
of triumph as she stealthily turns the
tables on Nino in a kind of reverse rape.
A bargain is struck, a kinky pact
sealed: Nino drops his objections to
Angells wedding his father, the
marriage takes place and the family
appears ready to settle into normal
nuptual bliss. Yet as Nino and his new
stepmother stare soulfully at each other
in the freeze-frame final shot, you
realize the fun is just beginning.
Malicious's director Salvatore Sam-
peri understands both comedy and
eroticism .like a . book, and more
crucially knows how to blend them
together into perhaps the rarest kind of
combination in film. Samperi's camera
moves like a whirling dervish over,
around and through his protagonists,
mixing bellylaughs with a sensual pride
which unashamedly challenges would-
be moralists to debunk it. The direc-
tor's energetic gentleness overrides
what could, in different hands, have
been a nasty exercise in perversity.
Malicious pre-dates the similarly-
themed Get Out Your Handkerchiefs by
four years and tops it in nearly every
way. The thunderstorm sequence is a
literal microcosm of the love-hate com-
plexities of relationships, with Angella
screaming her rage at one moment, at
the next skittering mischievoudly and
nakedly through the darknes,
gigglingly daring Nino to come catch
The jury is still out on Antonelli's
thespian capacities, but Malicious is
an excellent example of one's sheer
physicality rendering one's talent
slightly irrelevant. Antonelli's film
characters habitually take the passive
rather than active mode, yet in this
case her submissiveness seems
aesthetically if not politically justified.
Malicious's real wonderment is the ac-
ting of the then-young Allessandro
Momo as Mino; Momo's performance
is wise and frighteningly precocious.
These elements combine to make
Malicious a wholly memorably exer-
cise in jovial eroticism. It is our good

fortune that such a brilliant film was
slipped in with the current promo
package of Antonelli schlock-sex icons;
it is our aesthetic shame that such a
slum package contract was, the only
means which allowed us to see it.

Barbierei out offest
Gato Barbieri, the saxophonist slated to headline the Saturday, September
29, show of the Second Annual Ann Arbor Jazz Festival, has cancelled his
appearance. Spokespersons for Eclipe Jazz, the sponsors of the festival, say
reasons for the cancellation are a mystery.
Guitarist Larry Coryell has been added to the festival to replace Barbieri.
Also on the bill for the Saturday evening show is the Mingus Dynasty Band.
Coryell, known for his work with the pioneering "fusion" group Eleventh
House, as well as for recordings with Gary Burton and Phillip Catherine, will
be performing solo on both acoustic and electric guitars.
The addition of Coryell to the festival makes the Saturday show by far the
most Mingus-oriented one in the festival dedicated to the music of the late
jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus. The Mingus Dynasty Band is
made up of Mingus' band alumnus, and Coryell has recorded with Mingus in
recent years.
As Charlie AlInut, the boozing, cynical river boat captain, BOGART found a
perfect foil in KATHERINE HEPBURN'S prim, English spinster and his first and
only Oscar. Forced by circumstances to take Hepburn with him, Bogart must
battle Germans, leeches and Hepburn on African rivers. Filmed on location
-with a screenplay by James Agee. Short: POSTCARDS (Andrew Lugg-
1974) live action recreation.


7:00 & 9:05






apfor $5.99
Sept. 21 thru
-- = pct 7
I a a
I G 4r d




_ _


Sophisticated fun."
-Gene Shalit. NBC-TV
-Richard Freedman.
-Bernard Drew,


Save $1.59 on two
Extra-Cut Rib Eye Dinners
Dinners include: Baked Potato... All-You-Can-Eat
Salad Bar... Warm Roll with Butter.
Unlimited Refills on Coffee, Tea and Soft Drinks.
I Save 1.59 Save*1.59 .
$5.99 (Reg. $3.79 each) $5.99 (Reg. $3.79 each)
* Beverage and dessert are not included. * Beverage and dessert are not included.
Limit one coupon per couple.M Limit one coupon per couple.
Not redeemable for cash. Cannot be used Not redeemable for cash. Cannot be used
with other discounts. Void where prohibited. with other discounts. Void where prohibited.
Applicable taxes not included. At Participating * Applicable taxes not included. At Participating
Steakhouses. Steakhouses.
Offer good . Offer good
Sept.21 " -1Sept.21 M
thru Oct. 7,. thru Oct. 7, T
1Q7 flQf




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