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October 19, 1979 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-19

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, October 19, 1979--Page 7

PA CINO'S LA TEST:
...AndApathy For All

r CINEMA I:I
ON G N PRSENT °~
t ~THE INNOCENT y

By ALISON DONAHUE
For the past several months,
Hollywood has been trying to scare the
life out of us: Alien, When a Stranger
Calls, and Prophecy have successfully
removed us from the horrible experien-
ces of real life by substituting make
believe terror of tqe richest order. Alas,
the fear entertainingly instilled by
these movies lasts only as long as the
flick itself.
... And Justice For All grabs a real
life Monster by the tail. Directed by
Norman Jewison and starring Al
Pacino, the film bucks this recent
Hollywood trend by presenting a
satirical yet realistic view of the U.S.
legal system with all its absurdly funny
and powerfully frightening con-
ditions.
JUSTICE exposes injustices and
suggests methods of dealing with them,
but unfortunately, Jewison seems to
think that "normal" people are in-
capable of working effectively to im-
prove the system. In this presentation,
only those with strength bordering on
super-human can meet this task's
demands: By creating hero Arthur
Kirkland (Pacino), this film effectively
absolves us of our personal respon-
sibility to affect change.
The film makes every effort to shoot
down traditional belief in a legal
system where judges and lawyers treat
each other with mutual respect and
criminals get due process.
The mental stability of the judges
ranges from wackily eccentric (Judge
Rayford (Jack Warden), blows off his
gun in the courtroom to regain order),
to dangerously pathological (Judge
Fleming, whose hobby is raping young
women) Lawyers rough each other up
in the hallways, and are such frustrated
individuals that they're contiiilly on
the verge of flipping out. Some do.
Those accused of crimes are undeser-
ving of their punishments: A man
whose only offense is a broken tail light
languishes in jail because of a
Rich Kids
('onf inued rom N9e G
with a terse (and more satisfying) "I
love you, but your braces hurt. "
THlE KIDS (and sometimes the
adults' are occasionally given overly-
bright lines that come too clearly from
the writer's head, but the overall effect
is remarkably convincing. Rich or not,
these are riwl kids. Ralph Bode's
warm, muted cinematography keeps
things scaled down to the right level of
intimate comedy, but it also takes full
advantage of the camera possibilities in
the film's only fanciful setting, Ralph's
wild bachelor flat:
Alvarado and Levy are, like the
children, disarmingly close to perfec-
tion. There's no slick flavor of acting in
their performances; they manage at
once to be both natural and
professional.
The adults are an immensely likeable
lot, and David Selby, as Madeline's
lover Stephen, is a good deal more than
that. He turns up unexpectedly here as
the one relaxed adult among a crowd of
nervous parent types, and although it's
officially a supporting role, the actor's
raffish charm nearly dominates the
movie. By making the maturity that
Franny and Jamie anxiously face seem
affable and healthy (the other adults
are cheerful neurotics by comparison),
Selby gives the film a core of
reassuring emotional stability. His per-
formance is one of the sweetest sur-
prises in a film that is full of small
triumphs.
Rich Kids' executive producer is
Robert Altman, the director of
M*A*S*H and Nashville, whose recent
films have included such intriguing

financial flops as Quintet and A Perfect
Couple. At A time when his own projects
seem to be hedging increasingly away
Ghr
Mfit han
is preserved on
The Michigan Daily
420 Maynard Street
AND
Graduate Library
atA s/$$$$'absK

(LUCHINO VISCONTI, 1978)
movie, Giancarlo (SEVEN BEAUTIES)

STEADY THERE, GUYS, IT'S JUST A MOVIE. Al Pacino and Jack Warden
restrain the shaved Jeffrey Tambor in "... . And Justice For All," a Colum-
bia release. Tambor has gone berserk. YOU find out why.

bureaucratic mix-up; another, who
could be on probation, gets a three year
prison sentence because a substitute
lawyer didn't bother to read his briefs.
While pointing out important flaws in
our Judicial system, this outrageous
setting primarily provides a backdrop
for Kirkland's valiant fight against it.
He is a public defender whose un-
flagging committment to the spirit of
justice goes against the grain of the
system he's worked in for 12 years.
The sacrificial barrister is a great
idol for vicarious idealists, with his still
unfurnished apartment, empty
refrigerator, disheveled appearance,
and absentee family. He's not afraid to
punch out a judge or mouth off to a
judicial ethics committee, and this
maverick candor attracts pretty but
conventional lawyer Gail Packer
(Christine Lahti). She can resist
neither his sexy spunk nor her tem-
ptation to throw the book at his
idealistic notions.
This is definitely Pacioio's film, and
he goes into character with all the gusto
he can muster. We've seen Pacino as
the idealistic loner before, most notably
in Serpico. In that film, he played a
dedicated cop who was reduced to a
'hits mark
from the general audience, it is
somehow comforting to find Altman
backing a film as easily appealing as'
Rich Kids.
Funny and offbeat in its approach to
relatively routine subject matter, Rich
Kids is, in its modest way, an almost
flawless film. It's a rare kind of movie,
so likeable that it crosses all borders of
specialized appeal and should more
than satisfy anyone willing to plunk
down'the money far a ticket.

morosely embittered figure by the
corrupt system he fought against.
Though possibly less realistic, Kirkland
is a lot more fun. He has a cocky charm
that appeals to adversaries as well as
friends, and, unlike his more fallible
colleagues, he has incredible stamina.
One can't help being moved to root
for him because he says and does all the
right things for us. The script en-
courages such vicarious involvement
on the part of the sudience with its
heavy emphasis on dramatic impact:
We aren't given the chance to reflect on
what the .film is saying because we're
never distanced from the action. In-
stead we surren'der to the film's
manipulative roller coaster of
emotional highs and lows.
For example, while Kirkland and his
girlfriend are giggling and messing
around in bed, their fun is interrupted
by Kirkland's partner, who stumbles
drunkenly into the apartment. The man
is terribly distraught because a guilty
client he helped set free on bail on a
technicality has just murdered two
children. The melodramatic intensity of
this scene is soon left behind, however,
when comedy takes over, as we are
taken for a thrilling helicopter rife with
Kirkland. The pilot is daringly suicidal
Judge Rayford, who never knows if he
has enough gas to make it home without
crashing.
This play with our feelings is enter-
taining, and we eagerly flow with the
story to its climatic ending., By then,
Kirkland has lost all support systems
and must make a major ethical,
decision alone.

The film is saved from complete
dramatic overkill by some unexpec-
tedly clever passages of dialogue, and a
few subtle "slice of life" scenes. These
elements create a level of depth that
cinematic theatricality cannot ap-
proach.
There are a few nice visual jux-
tapositions in the film. Victor Kemper's
camera gives an etheral quality to the
opening shots of the courthouse's
stately alabaster halls. This feeling is
quickly contrasted with shots of tacklily
down to earth signs hanging about the.
courtrooms. They warn "No gum
chewing or personal reading."
Apart from these somewhat thought-
ful endeavors, Kemper's technical
capabilities range from acceptability to
embarrassingly inadequate. He seems
to love'the effect of shallow depth of
field, and there's nothing wrong with
that. However, Kemper composes
many shots so poorly that our attention
is often directed to areas of the screen
which are totally out of focus.
... And Justice For All is an enter-
taining story of a hero's victorious
struggle. It is not a movie designed to
create a climate for social change. Af-
ter arousing our outrage over injustices
in the U.S. legal system, the film leaves
us with two solutions: Either become
an idealistic lawyer like Kirkland, or
make sure you hire him if you get
arrested. Bettertto offer us no solutions
than such limited courses of action, sin-
ce no movie is obligated to solve the
problems it presents.
Pacino's Kirkland doesn't even work
as a merely inspirational figure to those
trying to fight any injustice, because
he's not flawed enough to be a truly
human character we can relate to.
Long ago Hollywood picked up on an
American myth that only lone heroes
can effectively challenge our system\
Influenced by this notion, we sit and
wait for "great men" to .rectify our
country's ills.
SECON1D
CHANCE
994-5350

In Visconti's final

Giannini stars as

Tomorrow: JAMES BOND NIGHT

. "vv va "vv

the husband of the exquisitely beautiful Laura Antonelli. Forsaking his
marriage bed, he conducts a long standing affair with Jennifer O'Neill.
Viewing himself as the complete modern husband, Gianntini is stunned
into a blind rage when he finds that his wife has been having an affair
of her own. The film moves effortlessly from a beginning of high social
comedy to a dramatic finale. (115 min.)
ANGELL HALL $1.50 7:00 & 4:00

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in the pack,

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Join The Daily!

I

ADVANCE TICKETS GO ON SALE TOMORROW
AT 1:00 P.M. FOR FRI-SAT-SUN-MON EVE SHOWS

The Michigan Theatre Presents
1
RICK NELSON
TUESpAY, OCTOBER 23
8:00 p.m.
Tickets $8.50 at the door or at these locations:
WhereHouse Records-Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti
Huckleberry Party Store-Ypsilanti
Falsetta's-Ann Arbor
Aura Sounde-Ann Arbor
proceeds to support the Michigan Theatre
The Ann Arbor Film Coo rative Presents at MLB:
FrldayOctober19 NEW WAVE CINEMA
(1977.79) 7 & 10:20-MLB 3
DEVO, the spuds from Akron, OhighO, are back in five shorts by Chuck
Statler, including two new ones: The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprise and
Rollout the Barrel. Also see ELVIS COSTELLO do Peace, Love and Understand-
ing and Oliver's Army and Graham Parker do Local Girls and Protection.
Plus: PUNKING OUT (1978). This documentary shot in New York's famous
punk/new wave club "C.B.G.B." was a favorite at the recent Ann Arbor
16mm. It features RICHARD HELL, the Dead Boys and THIS RAMONES-both
on-and offstage.
NATIONAL LAMPOON DISCO
BEAVER FROM OUTER SPACE
(Joshua White, 1979 8:40 only-MLB 3
Brought to you from the folks at NATIONAL LAMPOON. In a Groove Tube-
type format, this film tells the story of Disco Beaver who comes to this
lanet looking for love and friendship, only to find that prince of darkness,
Draqula. Don't miss a chance to laugh your ass off.
Plus shorts: HARDWARE WARS--a hilarious Star Wars spoof; RITZ NEW-
SIOLA: 107% (John Nelson)-Ann Arbor's own 2001 short.
(Bernardo Bertolucci, 1977) 19007 only-MLB 4
An epic film of massive scope ana power. Acuording to THE VILLAGE VOICE,

Once in awhile
someone fights back.
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri
7-9:40
Sat, Sun, Wed. 12:00-
2:20-4:35-7:00-9:40
AL PACING
in

STARTS
FRIDAY,
OCT.
19th

A NORMAN JEWISON Film'
AL PACINO
"... AND JUSTICE FOR ALL' JACK WARDEN - JOHN FORSYTHE and LEE STRASBERG
Music by DAVE GRUSIN Lyrics by ALAN & MARILYN BERGMAN WrittenbyVALERIE CURTIN & BARRY LEVINSON
Executive ProducerJOE WIZAN Produced by NORMAN JEWISON & PATRICK PALMER Directed by NORMAN JEWISON
RESTRICTED
PARENT R ADUOT GUARDIAN A Columbia Pictures Release Read The Ballantine Paperback c 1979C01.UMBIA PICTURES INDUSTRIES.INC. Pcturs

....,.... .................... ............. . ..., .................. ..r... ., .... .. ......,............, ...............,.. .... ...
y

It's five miles wide...it's coming a
and there's no place on Ear

STARTING FRIDAY
OCT."19th
at 30,000 m.p.h....
rth to hide!
SAT.
SUN.
WED.
2:30
4:45
7:15
9:50

ADVANCE TICKETS
GO ON SALE
TOMORROW
AT 1:00 PM
FOR FRI-SAT-SUN
MN. EVE. SHOWS

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