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February 06, 1979 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-02-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Page 6-Tuesday, February 6, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Sharp skaters
glide to star.dom
ByKR RSA

OF IM! U-M GLEE C IN U SJ IrII O f t"a IU.AE cum
SAT. FEB.10 AT RACKHNI AUDITORIUM
800 P.M. TkT 42.50($3. AT THE D0OR)
TIM. A~t1CBL MICH.UNION, WKTS. CENTRAL & THE FRIARS
HEALTH CARE IN THE
PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Campus & Overseas Course
Undergrad. & Grad. Credit
On-Campus Seminar July2-13, 1979
Peoples Republic of China
study tour July 30-Aug. 2'0,1979
Open Info Meeting: Thurs. Feb. 8, 1979
U-M Int'l Center
offered by: U-M Dearborn
Contact: PROF. MARILYNN ROSENTHAL, Instructor

By KURT GROSMAN
The shimmering steel of the skater's
blade glides over the smooth ice of the
crowded arena, tracing a routine that's
been practiced in months of grueling
training. The graceful adolescent
moves in perfect time with the classical
music accompanying her precise per--
formance. As the youth nears the end of
her routine, the crowd sits in silence,
enchanted by the skater's skill and
beauty. She puts in a final revolution as
the sonata dies, then basks in the thun-
dering reward of the audience's ap-
plause.
This scene is in both of the ice-skating
sagas currently capturing the
imaginations of frustrated figure
skaters nationwide.
A RECENTLY-AIRED CBS presen-
tation, Champions: A Love Story, por-
trayed the teeny-bopper romance of
two young skaters. A newly-released
Columbia motion picture, Ice Castles,
features a slight variation of the same
plot. In this film, a skater, nearing her
dream of Olympic competition, loses
her sight in a devastating accident. In
typical Hollywood style, she regains
her spirit with the help of family and
friends.
In addition to sharing similar plots,
both films feature a surprising over-
night success story for their respective
leading ladies. Neither actress has had
any formal acting instruction, and the
pair attribute their success to the
proverbial "lucky break."

against a lot of competition for the part.
Fortunately, the other girls considered
for the part declined it to preserve their
competitive skating status, and Joy got
the part.
After seeing her performance in
Police Story, Executive Producer
Philip Mandelker and writer-producer
John Sacret Young cast Joy in an-
episode of their Short-lived series, "The
Fitzpatricks." Following that, Man-
delker and Young gave her the lead in
Champions.
Although Joy's ability to skate clin-
ched the part for her, Mandelker says,
"She's an appealing actress, perfect for
the part." Apparently critics agree, as
Joy's performance has brought her
much acclaim.
The blonde, blue-eyed starlet's reac-
tion to her recent success is one of sur-
prise: "I consider myself very lucky,"
she said, "everything has come to me
easily."
Joy says her mom and dad were par-
ticularly helpful in providing needed
support. "They watched and observed
what I did, and were willing to help me
when I needed them."
IN THE FUTURE, this beauty of the
blades hopes to break away from being
type-cast as a skater. "I hope to pursue
other areas of acting," she explains.
Lynn-Holly Johnson, the 19-year-old
star of Ice Castles, was born in Chicago
and raised in Glenview, Illinois. This
attractive new star has her own Cin-
derella story:
Johnson's lucky break came when the

1-593-5195 1-593-5520
490 Evergreen
Dearborn, MI 48128

U-M Dearborn

The Ann Arbor Film Cooperative presents at Aud A
Tuesday, February 6
A MAN ESCAPES
(Robert Bresson, 1956) 8:30 only-AUD A
Bresson's masterpiece is based on a true account of the escape of French
Resistance leader Andre Devigny from a Nazi prison hours before his
scheduled execution. "In Atnerica, escape is a theme for action movies. In
A MAN ESCAPES, the Bresson hero's ascetic, singleminded dedication to
escape is almost mystic. The movie was shot at Montluc with fantastic
authenticity . . . an austerely beautiful, marvelous movie."-Pauline Kael.
Subtitled.
THE MARRIED WOMAN
(Jean-Luc Godard, 1965) 10:00 only-AUD A
Through his story of an unfaithful wife obsessed with brassieres and the
idea that she's being followed by a detective, Godard traces out the edifice .
of a society which sacrifices value and meaning for the privilege of consump-
tion. Starring MACHE MERIL. Subti'tled.
Tomorrow:. RASHOMON'& THE MAN WHO SKIED DOWN MT. EVEREST

I U
T Play by

Lynn-Holly Johnson
'Castles' saved b
Brinker
By ALISON DONAHUE
If you came away from Turning Point or Saturday Night Fever feeling
that the dancing saved the movie, you might have a similar view of the skating
in Ice Castles. In this film, as in the others, the presence of a pure art form lifts
it up from the slushy bog of melodrama into which it is continually slipping and
transforms it, for a moment, into something completely fresh.
The person responsible for this transformation in Ice Castles is Lynn-
Holly Johnson. She skates on ice with such unabashed joy that you're convinced
she is happiest nowhere else. What's more, director Donald Wyre knows how to
make the most of this inherently, visually stimulating rt. His low, wide-angle
tracking shots take us right out into the ice with Johnson. Wrye chooses music'
that shows off Lynn-Holly's Olga Korbut-like spunk, as well as her effortless
grace.
Although Lynn-Holly Johnson turns in a good performance off the ice as
well, the movie itself has troubles. One of the biggest is the predictability of its
story..A naive farm-girl slater, Lexie Winston, is "discovered" by a big time
coach and invited to train for world class competition. Lexie's promising career
is cut short in mid-training when an accident leaves her almost totally blinded.
Through sheer perserverence, as well as the help of friends and family who
have been brought closer together by the tragedy, Lexie makes a triumphant
comeback.
IT WOULD SEEM an uphill battle for'anyone to keep this plot from sinking
into the melodramatic pits. But Wyre helped write his own script, so he asked
for it. He comes closest to winning the fight when he doesn't let the film take it-
self too seriously. We see Lexie going through hours of grueling training at the
mercy of her no-nonsense coach. Things lighten up a bit when we're in the
presence of Lexie's motor-mouth skating buddy, she fills her in on all the details
of the amateur skating business in a way that's both matter-of-fact and
comically insightful. This one percolates along so fast that one wonders if the
braces in her mouth aren't evidence of some kind of electrical circuitry.
The part of thi film in which we find out about Lexie's blindness has the
most potential for a no-holds-barred outpouring of emotions on everyone's part.
Wrye approaches it more subtly. We learn of the gravity of Lexie's affliction
from a medical technician who is so enthalled with the abilities- of his high-
powered x-ray machine, that he's totally oblivious to the emotional implications
of Lexie's condition. After explaining her physical problem, the man shrugs and
tells Lexie's father, "After a few days, what you see is what you get." The
man's brezzy manner in light of the situation is somewhat shocking, but its ab-
surdity is funny. Through this character, the-director has added a bit of dry
humor that makes Lexie's accident seem all the more tragic;:
Although Wrye's script hinders his actors. with its ,predictabiUty, it does
allow whem to grow witnin tne trm. Each character starts out as a stereotype:
The possessive father (Tom Skerritt); the crusty sniall time coach -(Colleen
Dewhurst); and the high school sweetheart who gets jilted (Robbie Benson).
But through conflict each is able to break through to a new conception of self.
This growth is evidenced most clearly in Robbie Benson. In the first part of the
film, words slide around in his mouth until somehow they manage to slip out one
side or the other, of their own accord. Benson gets a firmer grasp on his charac-
ter as the movie progresses, especially after Lexie's setback, as if the-challenge
of confronting her accident actually matures him as an actor. Amazing.
ALL IN ALL, Ice Castles is good family entertainment: What causes it to
transcend other films of its genre are those electrifying moments on ice. During
those times, too short and too few, the screen is illuminated by something
special, and all the film's tritest aspects recede temporarily into the shadows.

A Play by
THENiKolai Gogal
INSPECTOR
GENEPAL

Wed.-Sat., Feb. 14-17, 8 PM
Sun., Feb.18, 2 PM,
The University of Michigan
Professional Theatre Program
Guest Artist Series 1979
Power Center - Ann Arbor

Featuring Philip LeStrange as the Mayor

'a

01
as

U
11

1

tin........

I

.................
...........
..........

1

. . . . . . . . . ...

flu

eID

Tickets at the PTP Box Office
in the Michigan League
313/764.0450 & through
all Hudson's Stores.

Presented as part of an
all campus Russian Arts
Festival.

S I

Joy LeDuc
Joy LeDuc, sixteen-year-ld star of producer of the film, John Kemeny,
Champions, was born in Brantford, On- was confronted with a dilemma: The
tario, Canada. Lacing on her skates difficult nature of figure skating
before most children could tie their demanded finding a skater who could
shoes, Joy began skating professionally act, and if the numerous skating scenes
at age seven. Along with her parents had to be faked the film would lack
and younger sister, she performed in credibility.
the Ice Follies before "retiring" to Los After a nation-wide search, several
Angeles in 1975. sources suggested Lynn-Holly Johnson,
HAVING ACTING ambitions, Joy a total unknown, for the role. Kemeny
auditioned for a Police Story episode. was impressed with her potential to
The plot called, for a young girl who combine skating and acting. He noted
knew how to skate, and Joy was up that she captured the 1974 National

Novice Free Skating silver medal, and
was a featured skater with the Ice
Capades.
This skater-turned-actress firmly
believes one profession complements
the other: "My skating coach used to
tell me that every time I went on the ice
I should concentrate on telling a story
with my skating."
ALAso lacking previous acting ex.
perience, Johnson is delighted with her
experience in making Ice Castles and in
working with the noted stars, like
current teen heart-throb, Robby Ben-
son. "Everybody was very helpful to
me," she says, but gives her director,
Donald Wrye, credit for pushing her
through her film debut: "]e gave me
guidance and was very patient with
me."

MARGOT HARLEY, administrator
of the Theatre Center at the highly ac-
claimed Juilliard School in New York
says, "Overnight success stories are
very rare." Mrs. Harley says most suc-
cessful actors and actresses had actirng
or theatrical training. "For the most
part, actors who do finally get the big
break have been close to the entertain-
ment business for some time,"
While incredibly few make it big the
way Joy LeDuc and Lynn-Holly John-
son did, University drama students
striving for a similar lucky break can
view their stories as a source of in-
spiration and-perhaps envy.

Wherever You're
Coming From,
Milton Nascimento
Speaks Your Lgnguage-
Ten giant steps from
Wayne Shorter's
"Native Dancer" partner.
New moves from
Brazilian musicman#1!
MILTON NASCIMENTO
~~ 1
Also available on A&M Records:

A'e..lp se
j 4E kPJAZZ ARTISTS ON TOUR!
GRIOT GALAXY
SAM SANDERS & VISIONS
THE PARADISE THEATRE ORCHESTRA

$3.5
4.5
5.5

Featuring
AL.LEN BARNES
MARCUS BELGRAVE
RON ENGLISH
KENNY GARRETT
L-MONTE HAMILTON
DOC HOLLADAY
RON JACKSON
LEONARD KING
DON MAYBERIY
0 KEITH VREELAND
i0 LYMAN WOODARD
0
Tickets On Sale TODAY!
Mon-Fri, 11:30-5:30 Michigan
Union Box Office. And Wednes-
day, Feb. 7 at Schoolkids' & both
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