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April 14, 1972 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1972-04-14

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, April 14, 1972

THE MICHiGAN DAILY Friday, April 14, 1972

I

Macbeth
Campus
Without outlandishly chang-
ing the setting, costuming, or
lush Shakespearean language,
Roman Polanski has created a
"modern version" of Macbeth.
While injecting a generous dose
of spilt blood, overt sexuality,
and the muddy squalor of Me-
dieval times, Polanski has still
endeavored to avoid relegating
that fellow Shakespeare to a
meagre billing below the direc-
tor, cinematographer, and make-
up man.
In a casting coup, the Mac-
beth couple is played by young
people, including a fair-haired
and attractive Lady Macbeth
(clearing up that age-old mys-
tery over why he ever listened
to her anyway). The sexual im-
agery is carried all the way
through - even the witches are
seen naked in their steaming,
evil lair.

The Godfather
Michigan
Director Francis Coppola has
magically transformed Mario
Puzo's The Godfather into more
than a three-hour gangster
movie. Without diluting the vio-
lent aspects of the hoodlums,
some great acting by Marlon
Brando and Al Pacino makes it
obvious that, although -they are
heartless with respect to their
"business," they are much more
than killers. As an old man we
see Brando, playing the God-
father, romping in the garden
with his grandson. Somehow in
the context of the movie the
image of the ruthless Mafia
chieftain and the doting grand-
father are reconciled.
When Michael, the Godfath-
er's youngest son, slowly turns
from smooth-faced war hero to
ice-water-veined Mafioso, links
are established between the un-
derworld and the land of Amer-

ard Vole (Tyrone Power), ac-
cused of murdering an old biddy
who left him a large will.
Vole is defended by Sir Wilfrid
Robarts (Charles Laughton) who
plays tht part of a cranky Miss
Marple, almost a parody of Win-
ston Churchill. He also has a
heart condition, which means
that he needs a nurse, Miss
Plimsoll (Elsa Lanchester).
Billy Wilder has integrated the
humorous with the dramatic,
avoiding the potential boredom
of a long procession of witnesses,
though much of the credit must
go to Laughton. No, it was not
Ms. Peacock in the conservatory
with a wrench.
-Peter Munsing
* * *
Dr. Chicago;
Dr. Chicago, Ride
Modern Languages Building
I have no doubt that 30 years
from now when folks look back

teurish, student films elicting
self-conscious yuks of narcis-
sism; they are carefully crafted
and studded with gems, most of
which shine as bright as, or
brighter than, any screen comedy
in the last decade, though a few
of the gems admittedly have a
dull gloss. But then nobody, not
even Manupelli, is perfect. Al-
most should be good enough.
Friday and Saturday.
* * *
Rugles of Red Gap
Cinema Guild
Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)
features Charles Laughton as
Ruggles, a pudgy, droll, and ir-
resistible comic butler. Ruggles,
lost by his original master in a
card game, is hurled into the
American frontier, life of Red
Gap, where he learns that men
are created equal and that even
the lowliest of men are allowed
to place their left foot upon the

cinemci

weekend

status of a film classic. No, not
a UNESCO goodwill film about
India (though the film does docu-
ment the modernization of In-
dia), but a sophisticated, hu-
man, and brilliant work.
Pather Panchali (Song of the
Road-1954) is the first of the
film cycle and Ray's first movie.
Here, Ray first established his
lyrical, Indian version of Neo-
Realism. Most actors are non-
professionals, much of the movie
is filmed on location, the film's
subject is everyday life in a poor
village. The plot, if it can be
called a plot, concerns Apu as a
small boy, his sister, his ideal-
istic father and his practical
mother. The pace is very slow-
Indian life is much less hurried
than ours-and the tone is both
matter-of-fact and poetic. Fri-
day.
Aparajito (The Unvanquished
-1957) picks up Apu and his
parents now living in the city of
Benares. Apu is now approach-
ing his early teens. His father
dies. He and his mother move to
a smaller village where Apu goes
to school. Then to college at the
University of Calcutta. All of the
virtues attributed to Pather Pan-
chali are attributed to Apara-
Aito--fine photography, beautiful
compositions, exceptional music
(written by Ray, played by Ravi
Shankar), and most importantly
a. touchingly humane vision. Sat-
urday.
The World of Apu completes
the cycle. Apu is now an adult.
He marries a woman he has
never met out of loneliness, a
sense of friendship, and a sense
of Hindu custom, and he learns
quickly to love the girl. Ray
wrote the story line of World
himself (the other two screen-
plays were based on a popular
Indian novel), and this film is
somewhat different from its pre-
decessors. It is more quickly
paced, more Western, less fo-
cused on India's past, but it
faithfully completes the trilogy.
Sunday.
The final impact of all three
films is reputedly enormous.
(Not seen at press time).
-Richard Glatze;

. The Epic that
Never Was
Cinema Giuld
When Alexander Korda decided
to produce a film version of
Robert Graves' novel I Claudius,
he wanted to do a top notch
job. So he hired Joseph von
Sternberg as director and Char-
les Laughton as Claudius, the
Roman emperor. Which soon
turned out to be a mistake; von
Sternberg saw Claudius as a di-
rector's movie while Laughton
saw it as an actor's showcase.
After several weeks of unpleas-
ant shooting, Merle Oberon, the
female lead, was involved in an
auto accident. Everyone work-
ing on the film agreed; this was
a fine opportunity to can the
works. I Claudius was never
conpleted.
In 1965, almost 30 years after
the original project was forsak-
en, BBC television decided to
produce a documentary investi-
gating why a potentially great
film, one that had already in-
curred many expenses, was so
quickly and almost gleefully
abandoned. The result: The Epic
that Never Was-highlights of
the existing original footage 'in-
tercut with interviews with Obe-
SHOWCASE 4!
ibsen's
A DOLL'S
HOUSE
ARENA THEATRE
THRU SAT.
Box Office opens 2:00

ron, von Serntberg, Graves, and
others, and narrated in a very
British manner by Dirk Bogarde.
Saturday.
-Richard Glatzer
TV & Stereo Rentals
$10.00 per month
EEO DEPOSIT
FREE DELIVERY, PICK UP
AND SERVICE
CALL:
NEJAC TV RENTALS
662-5671
FREE
AM & FM Stereo
FREE!
WITH
PURCHASE OF ANY
'72 TOYOTA
FREE
TOYOTA of Ann Arbor

11

- ----

CINEMA II
aud. a; angell hail
Shows at 7 & 9:00 P.M.
Tickets on sale at 6-75c
THIS WEEKEND:
THE APU
TRI LOGY
Dir. by Satyajit Ray;
Indian
"APU, whose conscious-
ness develops from the
village life of 'Panther
Panchali' and the univer-
sity life of 'APARAJITO,'
m a r r i e s the exquisite
Sharmilla T a g o r e in
'WORLD OF APU' and
grows beyond self-con-
sciousness. Rich and con-
templative; and a great,
convincing affirmation."
--C,1NA ERDREICH,
Cinema Retrospective
FRI.--PANTHER
PANCHALI (1954)
SAT.-
APARAJITO (1957)
SUN.-THE WORLD
OFAPU (1959)
all films in Bengali; with
music by Ravi Shankar

4r

Whether it is "the way
Shakespeare would have wanted
it' is dubious, but if the Old
Bard liked picturesque earthi-
ness, he woul probably see this
one more than once.
-Bruce Shlain
* * *
The Garden of
Finzi-Continis
Fifth Forum
Whether you think The Gar-
den of the Finzo-Continis is
good or bad depends on how you
look at it. If you see it as a film
about Jews awaiting the Holo-
caust it's only mildly successful
-it doesn't say all that much
about why some Jews left and
why some waited, or why people
in general react to that type of
amorphous fear in the way they
do. If you look at the Finsi-Con-
tinis' garden as a symbol of an
oligarchic aristocracy trying to
ignore a world it no longer con-
trols it also tells you little.
I found it most successful as
a love story, which is what dom-
inates the plot anyway. In thi
context the film's setting is
merely that - not the major
theme. The basic story is the
unrequited love of Giorgio, a
middle class Jewish boy, for
Micol Finzi- Contini in an in-
creasingly anti-semitic Italy,
beginning with Elvira Madigan--
Love Story theme music and
ending with a Kaddish-type la-
ment. In addition to the music
the film's subtlety is marred by
"lyric photography" - lots of
soft, out of focus shots of leaves,
or hazy vaseline-over-the-lens
shots, as well as an over-empha-
sized and incestuous brother-
sister relationship.
However the characterizations
are sufficiently complex that
the syrupy presentation is only
a minor annoyance. It's not as
bad as Sunflower, but it lacks
the depth of de Sica's earlier
films. Better luck next time .
-Peter Munsing
Hospital
Fox Village
Whatever may happen to you
on the streets of our cities in
these troubled times, there is
always the chance that you'll
survive with hospitalization -
the last resort. Hospital com-
pletes the cynical circle with a
hospital that kills its patients in
a bureaucratic quagmire, a world
where "It is axiomatic that
n u r s i n g home doctors are
wrong.'
The film describes the mur-
ders of five medical personnel
and their solution by the medi-
cal director of the hospital
(George C. Scott), alternating
between black comedy and good
potboiler. However the events are
all plausible, and the plot moves
quickly enough so that it never
degenerates into soap opera -
there are too many things going
wrong to have long stretches of
unadulterated angst. The tone is
cynical but not despairingly so.
As George C. says, life is "like
pissing into the wind" but he
does it anyway.
-Peter Munsing

ican dreams, which Michael had
belonged to. On this level, The
Godfather becomes a film about
the very nature of the quest for
power.
-Bruce Shlain
The Last Picture Show
State Theater
Anarene, Texas-1951: I guess
you had to be there at the time.
I just can't get worked up about
The Last Picture Show, though
I can see why it's so popular
among critics and the film-going
public. It's a simple narrative,
no flash backs, no New York
style neurotics, just plain folks,
a time when things were simple.
Director Bogdanovich, a critic
and film historian, has photo-
graphed it in black and white to
give it that authentic classic
feeling.
Which is part of the problem-
its main point seems to that this
is 1951, not surprising when you
consider that Bogdanovich has
compared it thematically with
Orson Welles' Magnificent Ander-
sons. However I happen to think
that the change from the nine-
teenth to the twentieth centuries
was a true change of eras, that
Bogdanovich's metaphor of the
small t h e a t r e is pretentious
whereas Welles' use of the car
was natural, and that overall
Andersons was a helluva lot bet-
ter film.
The Last Picture Show is a
good TV show (another era-now
it would be a made-for-TV
movie) and equally forgettable.
Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bot-
toms) has the hots for the local
rich girl, as does everyone else
including his buddyrDuane (Jeff
Bridges). He discovers something
like love with the wife of his
high school football coach, and
with the interitance of the town's
pool hall, he passes into man-
hood as America goes through a
change of life.
Nice, linear, unconfusingabut
it didn't tell me much about
friendship, love or the early fif-
ties except that they had a dust
problem.
-Peter Munsing
* * *
Witness for the
Prosecution
Cinema Guild
With a script by Agatha Chris-
tie, you know this film is going
to be mere courtroom drama in
the Perry Mason tradition. The
witness for the prosecution is
Marlene Dietrich, who is testi-
fying against her husband Leon-
DANCE
ELLSWORTH-ELLIS
THESIS CONCERT
Friday and Saturday
April 14& 15
8 P.M.
Schorling Auditorium
School of Education
FREE

on our films (McCabe and Mrs.
Miller, Dirty Harry, The God-
father), they'll shake their heads
and grouse, "Movies today aren't
as good as they used to be .
except maybe comedy." Why the
exception? Because aside from
the biennial Woody Allen epic,
there just isn't very much funny
happening on the screen. Sure,
Norman Lear can try to resur-
rect Preston Sturges' old eye-
brow-arching, but in the 70's
cynicism comes off as really cyn-
ical and not sympathetic. Sure,
Peter Bogdanovich can scoop up
the wacky screwball formula and
try to set it down in our modern
soil, but that transplant doesn't
take either. Ours is the era, of
the Great Stone Face.
Thank God we have George
Manupelli (cinematography prof
at the U) struggling in the comic
mines and making a claim as
one of the best comedy directors
ai'ound. His claim is well justi-
fied. Not too many people have
heard of Manupelli or his fan-
tastic creation, Dr. Alvin Chi-
cago, which just goes to show
how slowly genius surfaces in our
cultures-even a genius as neces-
sary, amid the humorlessness, as
Manupelli's. His are not ama-
$ .
&I* $2.OO

rail of the corner saloon. Not
just buffoonery - Ruggles'
wrestling with his traditional
habits vs. his new environment
manages to say a lot about the
Old West. Friday.
--Bruce Shlain
The Apu Trilogy
Cinema H
We Americans, no matter how
cosmopolitan we may try to be,
have an insti11ed prejudice
against Eastern culture. Take
the Chinese ballet recently tele-
vised here; I was totally amazed
how finely photographed that
film was. Much better than any
American film of stage action
I've seen.
Satyajit Ray is another case in
point. Can an Indian from West
Bengal make good films? Well,
in spite of our tendency to dis-
regard Eastern art, The Apu
Trilogy has by now achieved the

907 N. Main

663-8567

Open Mon. and Thurs.
till 9 p.m.

Sat., April 15

8 p.m.

Power Center

..-....-... .

DR. CHIC AG
is back
"the underground film classic"
Special Benefit Sponsored by Students for
Walter Shapiro, Candidate for U.S. Congress
the original DR. CHICAGO
Friday, April 14
AND
RIDE, DR. CHICAGO, RIDE
Saturday, April 15
7 and 9:30 p.m.
Modern Language Bldg. Aud. 3
Tickets $1 at the Fishbowl or at the door

the incredible
Robert Pete Williams,
Discovered in Angola State Prison, like Leadbelly, Robert
Pete williams was able to sing his way out. One of the
most intense and moving artists of blues today, in one
of his rare appearances in the North. A hit at the New-
port and Ann Arbor Blues Festivals, Robert Pete Williams
is a man with a style of immense strength who creates
blues out of his own experiences worthy of the term
tragic. Perhaps the effect on his fellow prisoners in Angola'
is the best testimony to his power: "T made up a sad
talking blues about my family (Prisoner's Talking Blues).
Some of the prisoners around there, they couldn't stand
it so I had to cut off. All them prisoners, standing around
crying, thinking about their homes."
Son House, and Mance Lipscomb in what
evening of music.

ROBERT PETE
WILLIAMS

See Robert Pete Williams,
promises to be a legendary

TICKETS: $3; at Salvation Records, the Michigan Union (11-2 p.m.)
or at the door

ii

U

ow

SATURDAY NIGHT, APRIL 15, 9 p.m.
Bursley Hall Enterprises Presents:
MAGGIE SMITH and ROBERT STEVENS in the
Academy Award Winning
THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE
25c popcorn charge (at door)
FOR ALL THE POPCORN YOU CAN EAT!
Admission complimentary SURSLEY HALL WEST CAFETERIA

PRESENTS
ELSA LANCASTER-Star of the Bride of
Frankenstein, Witness for the Prosecution,
Wife of Charles Laughton, Author of My
Life with Charles
ELSA LANCASTER WILL APPEAR AT 8:30
THIS EVENING IN ARCHITECTURE AUDI-
TORIUM FOLLOWING THE 7:00 SCREENING
OF
THE EPIC THAT
NEVER WAS
DIR. JOSEF YON STERNBERG, 1937
Commentary and sequences from the unfinished,
detailed epic I, Claudius.
LAUGHTON AT HIS REAL BEST
EPIC SHOWN AT 7 & 9:30 P.M.
ELSA LANCASTER WILL APPEAR ONLY

4i

::5:?t

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