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February 04, 1972 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1972-02-04

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P4ge Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, February 4, 1972

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Friday, February 4, 1972
T

t

cinema

weekend

MUCK
by KURT CARPENTER

Editor's note: These reviews were
compiled by the Daily's reviewing
staff: Kyle Counts, NealGabler,
Richard Glatze, Peter Munsing, and
Bruce Shlan.
DIRTY HARRY
STATE
Judging by the quacking,
hysterical reaction to my posi-
tive review of Dirty Harry, it
seems some good liberals, like
right - wing book - burners, can't
see the ideational forest for the
moral or political trees, and feel
the only good movie is one that
panders to their preconceptions.
Dirty Harry doesn't. Other out-
raged readers, taking a page
from Longinus ("Sublimity is the
echo of a noble mind"), carp
that director Don Siegel is too
dumb to make an intellectual
picture, and it takes equally
dumb cryptologists like me to
read all sorts of deep meanings
into the movie. At the risk of
seeming unkind, I think these
folks are middle-brow snobs;
they demand that a "good" film
have Art or Serious Intent im-
pasted all over it, and because
Harry doesn't, they chalk up the
thematic nuggets I extracted to
accident or critical prestidigita-
tion. Pure nonsense.
Dirty Harry Callahan is a ruth-
less, violent cop who rips down
legal barriers to snare his snip-
ing prey. Most of you are bound
to condemn Harry's method, and
most likely you'll shudder to
think of the reinforcing effect
the film will have on know-noth-
ings everywhere. But I'd no
more warn left-wingers against
Dirty Harry than I'd warn right-
wingers against Z. Is it admir-
able? Absolutely not. Is it excep-
tional? Harry is one big punch
in the gut.
-N.G.
* * *
THE FRENCH CONNECTION
FOX VILLAGE
There is so little bad you can
say about The French Connec-
tion that it's been rolling along
on critical steam toward the
status of minor classic. Unlike
Harry, the film is easy to take:
Gruff cops we can feel superior
to, realism, action without con-
sequences, only tiny snatches of
gore. The story concerns the
attempts of Ed 'Popeye' Doyle
(Gene Hackman) and his partner
Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider) to
nab the head of a huge Franco-
American dope ring. Not much of
a skeleton, but director William
Friedkin knows how to put on
the flesh, and the economy and
precision of his direction keep the
movie barreling along. The film's
real centerpiece, though, is Gene
Hackman's burly, bull's-eye per-
formance, which won him the
N.Y. Film Critics' Best Actor
trophy. A good little movie, not
in the same ballpark with Harry.
-N.G.
* * *
SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION
MICHIGAN
Paul Newman's Sometimes a
Great Notion is schlocky Holly-
wood fun revolving around'an
Oregon logging family, and 'Lee-
land, their university- educated
son who suddenly returns home.
Filigreed -with such enjoyable
bits of kitsch as Henry Fonda's
atrocious performance and Man-
cini's glamourously folksy music,
the film's feeble attempt at es-
tablising a Consciousness One
vs. Two theme is, luckily, barely
noticeable. Obviously, Newman's
movie can only be enjoyed by
people who put the Kesey novel
of the same title out of their
minds the moment they step into
the theater.
-R.G.
JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN
FIFTH FORUM
Dalton Trumbo's book Johnny

Got His Gun was published in
1939, a time when it was not the
AI
ML~&UA3*~aMr

most fashionable thing in the
world to cast moral aspersions
upon the American fighting man.
Adapting and directing the
movie version himself, Trumbo
has created an emotionally pow-
erful anti-war statement in his
sensitive portrayal of a young
man who went to war and wound
up as a bandaged lump lying on
a table.
A bit gruesome without being
morbid, the film traces the in-
nermost thoughts of the boy, ip-
terspersed with frequent surreal
and colorful interludes made up
of his feelings, dream-like re-
membrances, a n d imagination.
Hidden in a utility room, he is
still very much alive mentally,
and wants the world to acknowl-
edge him.
-.S.
* * *
BILLY JACK
CAMPUS
If any film of 1971 could be
called a sleeper, Billy Jack
would have to be it. Delores
Taylor and Tom Laughlin, the
husband and wife team that
jointly produced the 1967 wheel-
er Born Losers, wrote, directed
and financed it under pseudo-
nyms and made the film into
one of the top grossers of the
year fod Warner Brothers.
The story is a simple, almost
pathetically naive affair about
the trials and tribulations of a
progressive school for young peo-
ple (the homeless, outcast type)
watched over by a restless
half-breed named Billy Jack
(Tom Laughlin) and resented by
the neighboring townspeople. The
great bulk of the film takes place
in the school (run by Delores
Taylor no less) and that's where
the pleasure of the film is. It's
fun to watch the kids improvi-
sationally sing, run encounter
groups and generally express
themselves. The acting is, thank-
fully, mostly by non-professionals
and director Laughlin shoots the
proceedings w i t h imagination
and a sense of humor. And
though incongruous to the plot,
the comic improvisations by the
pros of the cast are hilarious.
Only when the conflicts arise
and tough-guy Billy swings into
action does the film falter. The
white, rowdy types that try to
make trouble for the Indian kids,
for example, are stereotypes and
Billy himself is too often made
to look like a hero, even after
stunts like throwing a punk
through a plate-glass window.
Also the school itself tends to be
too all-loving and harmonious.
If you can accept the fantastic..
goings-on, then, you'll find Billy
Jack a most entertaining film
and a welcome alternative to
the Hollywood shoot'em ups. It
appeals to one's . sensibiilties
rather than intellect, yes. But
what's so bad about that?
-K.C.
* * *
ALEXANDER NEVSKY
CINEMA GUILD
FRIDAY
Cinema Guild, Friday: Alex-
ander Nevsky, based on the Rus-
sian folk-legend, is a giant,
highly influential battle film by
the master, Sergei Eisenstein.
Modern viewers may find Eisen-
stein's diamond-cut compositions
and high theatricality slow-go-
ing. Serious buffs won't care.
-N.G.
LA COLLECTIONNEUSE .
CINEMA GUILD
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Much like his Claire's Knee,
Eric Rohmer's earlier (1967) La

Collectionneuse is leisurely, con-
versational, and summery - a
welcome escape from an Ann
Arbor winter. Once again, Roh-
mer has concerned himself with
people who have time on their
hands and casual mutual inter-
est, here' a group of post-adoles-
cents relaxing in and around a
vacation' house in St. Tropez.
'Adrien (Patrick Bachau), in-
tellectual and a bit stuffy, and
Daniel (Daniel Pommereuelle),
downright weird, discuss and
ponder the free and unworried
behavior of Haydee (Haydee Po-
litoff), a girl who, unlike them,
does not allow her mind to inter-
fere with her desires., Bachau's
unexciting performance, m i1 e s
away from Trintignant's friendly
vulnerability in Maud or Brialy's
warmly suave Jerome in Claire's
Knee, renders Adrien's priggish-
ness overly dull, and makes La
Collectionneuse the least Impres-
sive of the three Rohmer films
I've seen (minor criticism con-
sidering the director's thus far
successful career).
La Collectionneuse is both a
thoroughly enjoyable depiction
of how we allow our minds to
deceive us and a surprisingly
unself-conscious and exact mid-
dle-aged view of people twenty
years younger than the film-
maker.
-R.G.
* * *
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
CINEMA II
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
If you're a Hitchcock enthu-
siast as I am, you'll immensely
enjoy this 1951 film, and even if
you aren't you'll probably still
like it. It took a while for the
master of suspense to re-estab-
lish his directorial prominence
after the likes of Under Capri-
corn and Rope, but he fared very
well with this bona fide thriller
co-authored by. mystery writer
Raymond Chandler.
The title is derived from a
meeting between tennis pro Guy
(Farley Granger) and fan Bruno
(Robert Walker) on a train. In
casual conversation, Bruno sug-
gests a deal whereby he would'
murder Guy's wife (who refuses
to give him the divorce he needs
to re-marry) in exchange for
Guy murdering his overstrict
father. Though a disgruntled Guy
shakes it off, psychotic Bruno
makes good on his part of the
'agreement' and does away with
Guy's wife. The rest of the film
follows Bruno's attempts t3 im-
plicate Guy in .the murder and
the subsequent resolving of the
bizarre crime.
Despite an occasional illogical
turn of events,' a plethora of
psychological and sexual symbol-
ism and a weak performance
by Farley Granger, the film is
quite good. Add two fine per-
formances by Marion Lorne and
Robert Walker, shake well, and

you have first-class Hitchcock.
-K.C.
* * *
WITNESS FOR THE
PROSECUTION
Veteran director Billy Wilder
did the (near) impossible by
making this 1958 film adaptation
of Agatha Christie's fine stage
play even better than the origi-
nal. It's an execellent courtroom
drama, With fine direction by Mr.
W. and an equally good adapted
script he co-authored with Harry
Kurnitz.
Tyrone Power is the man on
trial for the murder of a wealthy
woman, and slowly but surely
the trial's witnesses, intricate
details and revelations lead to a
stunning 10-minute finale where
Miss Christie almost outdoes
herself in preventing (hopefully)
the audience from guessing the
real murderer. The surprises
revealed just might fool you com-
pletely.
Witness also boasts a memor-
able cast including the delicious-
ly elegant Marlene Dietrich as
the surprise witness and delight-
ful Elsa Lanchaster as the nag-
ging nurse. To no one's surprise,
grumpy Charles Laughton steals
the 'acting honors with a superb
portrait of a beefy defense attor-
ney, Go.
-K.C.
THE NIGHT THEY
RAIDED MINSKY'S
CINEMA II
SUNDAY
This 1968 film by French Con-
nection director William Fried-
kin may not be for everyone's
taste, for the subject matter is
old-hat and the plot is paper-
thin. Nonetheless, it is still an
entertaining, nostalgic and occa-
sionally funny look at the old
days of burlesque.
The story takes place on New
York's Lower East Side in the

1920's and concerns a naive
Amish girl (Britt Ekland, in one
of her few good film roles) who
comes to Minsky's burlesque
theater to be a dancer and acci-
dentally invents the strip tease
when half of her dress falls off.
(Thus the title.) That's about it,
for the plot, but along the way
there are some hilarious looks
at old vaudeville routines and a
bunch of pleasant performances,
including newcomer Elliot Gould
as Billy Minsky, and Jason Ro-
bards as the lecherous burlesque
performer.
Like most productions involv-
ing Norman Lear (Cold Turkey,
All in the Family), Minsky's is
guilty of occasional bad taste
and overly broad humor, but di-
rector Friedkin keeps it under
control and delivers a modestly
successful comedy. Unfortunate-
ly, the film's best piece of nos-
talgia, a small performance by
the late, great Bert Lahr (who
died during filming), is left
dangling because of incomplete
footage. Be thankful for small
favors; they could have cut it
out.
-K.C.
Couzens Film Co-op
Presents
"The Great Race"V
Starring JACK LEMMON &
TONY CURTIS
FEB. 4th & 5th
7:00 - 9:30
75c

4

and

$1.001

HELLO OUT THERE
by WILLIAM SAROYAN
Friday, Saturday-Feb. 4, 5
RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE
AUDITORIUM
8 P.M.
TONIGHT ONLY
Alexander
Nevsky
Dir. S e r g e i Eisenstein
1938. Russian, with sub-
titles. Music by Proko-
fiev. Nicolai Cherkassov
as the medieval warrior
who conquered barbarian
hordes in the great battle
on the ice. An exhilarat-
ing hymn to the Russian
past.
SHORT: Federal Agents
U.S. Underworld, Inc.

ARCH ITECTU RE
AUDITORIUM

J"

I

7 & 9 P.M.

75c

Join The Daily Sports Staff

HmnRights uParty Conventio
SATURDAY-Homer Heath Lounge,
3RD FLOOR MICHIGAN UNION
PLATFORM PLANKS:
1-5 p.m. Community Planning, Commu-
ity Services, University Education, Racism
and Education
7:30-10:30 p.m. City Charter
Party Structure
SUNDAY-Anderson Room, Michigan Union
1-4 p.m. City Council Candidates Nominated
Campaign Strategy
Steering Committee Elections
Platform Finalized

i

"ONE OF THE YEAR'S 10 BEST !"
--Bob Salmaggi-WINS Radio
-Frances Taylor--L. I. Press
-Archer Winsten-Pete Hamill-N.Y. Post

I

I.

1971
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS

1971
ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS.

Special Inter- Interfilm Golden Golden Dove
Jury national Jury Poenix Peace Prize
Grand Critics/ World Best of
Prise Prize Council Festival
of Churches
ONEOFTHE GREAT FILMS
A TRUE GIANT UNFORGETTABLE THE ACTING IS EXTRAORDINARY
c- TY -CATIC FLM NEWSLETTE -N.Y. DAILY NEWS

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
CALL 761-6621

"Magnificent!"
-After Dark
"Truly a remark-
able film!***!"
-News

I

17

i

i ;-

CONTEMPORARY DIRECTIONS
PRESENTS
MUSIC FOR INSTRUMENTS II
Sat., February 5, 1972-8:00 P.M.
Rackham Lecture Hall

- Dalton Trumbo's
johnyotIis Gun 4
A BRUCE CAMPBELLPROCIJIM FiFom the book that sold over a million copies,
JERRY GROSS PRESENMACPETiOW 10eUSINESBaREAS8
'Has the impact of a recoiling howitserY'--Newsweek
MON.THRU THURS. FRI.7 0 9
:-- -70 eSAT. 5 " 7 0
" "& 9 SUN. 5 e97

11
9 .11
0 9

-PROGRAM-

iI

Ma rek Kopelent
Morton Feldman
William Albright
Loren Rush

Stilleben (Zatisi)
Between Categories
Marginal Worlds**K
Dans Le Sable

UAC-DAYSTAR PRESENTS

4

American Premiere
*World Premiere
Sponsored by the Composition Department of the
University of Michigan School of Music
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

"Lightfoot sounds and writes like nobody else.
Both talents are magnified when he per-
forms."
-TORONTO STAR

1111

"Gordon Lightfoot cast a magic,
Carnegie Hall ... transporting the

spell over
full house

$1.50 830

Rec. Artist
HEDY
WEST

'Ohwhere Have You Been?
BILLY JACK, BILLY JACK!
Oh Where Have You Been?
Charming BILLY!
HIS REAL NAME IS Tom Laughlin
Some people call him billy Jack ... and, like Billy Jack, nobody really knows much
about him.
Intelligent, sensitive and something of a misfit, he also explodes suddenly and violently
... resulting on one occasion the most exciting karate fight ever filmed.
In France they say he's a combination MarIon Brando and Gary Cooper.
Minneapolis' Ben Kern described him as coming on with the controlled fury of a James
Cagney and the agility of a Douglas Fairbanks.

back to a day when showmanship was no
substitute for substance."
-CONCERT REVIEW
"The greatest folk singer around."
-SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

SAT., FEB. 12, 8 p.m.-HILL AUD.-$4.50, $3.00, $1.50 gen. adm.
Tickets going very fast... don't miss this one... get your tickets Today

GORDON LIGHTFOOT

w

-COMING-

. powerful . . . stun-
ning .."
-Albany Times Union

Delaney, Bonnie, & Friends
also IRIS BELL
SAT., FEB. 19
8 p.m.
HILL AUD.

Billy Preston

I SUN.-' I

m

I

sm

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