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November 12, 1971 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-11-12

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, November 12, 1971

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY

_ r

cinema
Zappa cinema: Zapped

By NEAL GABLER
Frank Zappa's filmic debut
has been in the cooker now for
some years, first with the abort-
ed Uncle Meat and then with
200 Motels, which he'd b e e n
touting as a kind of under-
ground Gone With the Wind.
As Zappa told it, Motels was to
be his vision of America as seen
from the lobby of a Holiday Inn.
A man in search of his country
. , . It sounded great because,
after all, the Holiday Inn, as one
on the major signposts on the-
American landscape and t h e
common denominator of North,
South, East and West, is mo-
dern, plastic America. In fact,
one of the absurd things t h a t
strikes me about this land of
ours is that you can traverse it
without ever breaking out of
the homogeneity of highway and
motel. So far, so good.
Zappa's cinematic method was
as outrageously cockeyed as his
plot: he'd compose the score
first and build the film around
that. But while the soundtracks,
for. both Meat and Motels float-
ed around (Motels was given the
full treatment by the Los An-
geles. Philharmonic), and even
found their way onto albums,
the moviesrthemselves somehow
never got made, and I was be-
gining to think that the whole
thing was another Mothers' put-
on, Zappa simultaneously gibing
Hollywood and the freaked-out
zealots of the counter-culture.
Wow! Another Easy Rider!
Well, sorry to say, 200 Motels
wasn't a put-on. It's here, and
it's so downright awful that, as

a pundit once said, they ought
to reconvene the Nuremburg
Tribunal. Naturally, my first
impulse it to lay the blame
squarely on Zappa, but there is
a joint responsibility here;
somebody, anybody, should have
halted these shenanigans before
they got out of hand. Though
the picture is billed -as "Frank
Zappa's 200 Motels" with Zap-
pa's goateed face dominating the
theater posters like some hippie
Svengali, and though he is cre-
dited with the original story and
screenplay, most of the action is
improvised juvenilia. What could
he have written? What's more,
he directed only the "characteri-
zations" and not the visuals, he
didn't edit the film, and he ap-
pears for only a few, very brief,
guitar-twanging moments. That
leaves only the inspiration, the
music and the self-indulgence.
Maybe the jurors will spare him.
The last, that self-indulgence,
seens to trail Zappa, and from
the looks of 200 Motels, it's gain-
ing on him. Now I don't want
to sound like some middle-aged
philistine unappreciative of Zap-
pa's gifts. I like him. At his
best, as in We're Only in it For
the Money," he's a deft, needle-
sharp satirist attacking all cor-
ers. But as his worst, he fancies
himself a junkyard Beethoven
leading the pack of futurist
composers, and managing to
ruin tight, funny albums with
dreadfully overlong melanges of
burps and airplane engines.
With 200 Motels the satirist los-
es out, and the junkyard Beet-

hoven becomes a junkyard Wel-
les.
This means that the spoof of
"road pictures" devised by Zap-
pa's better half has finally
evolved into a whopping phan-
tasmagoria with no direction ex-
cept down. The purpose of all
this swirling junk, Theodore Bi-
kel tells us, is to show h o w
"touring can make you crazy."
So we get tedious snippets of
The Mothers trapped in t h e i r
prime mover's fantasies: a hu-
man vacuum cleaner beating off,
a nun groupie, an exposition on
the various names of the male
reproductive organ, a town nam-
ed Centerville with a cafe call-
ed Redneck Eats, an anti-ero-
tic nude scene, and an animat-
ed instructional film called
"Dental Hygiene Dilemma" in
which the devil contends with
Donovan for the soul of a rock
star. Believe me, it's much bet-
ter on paper than on celluloid.
Threaded throughout are some
pithy remarks by Ringo Starr
impersonating Zappa ("A mu-
sician, if you consider the pat-
tern of ordinary modern life, is
on the outside of it all"), some
brassy accompaniment by the
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,
and some Mothers' tunes, afew
of which are good, like Jimmy
Carl Black's "Lonesome Cow-
boy Burt", but most of which
are boring and endless. Finally,
as if to illustrate another Bikel
gem - "It is possible for sev-
eral subjective realities to co-
exist" - the whole thing is
See MOTELS, Page 9

Antonio Pas Mortes
<>' BRAZIL, 1969 dir. ROCHA
A revolutionary folk epic out of the elements of
folk history superstition and social injustice.
T HURS.-9:30
ALICE'S RESTAURANT FR.-~-9:30
F R 1.--7 & 9:30r
Alice Lloyd Hall SAT.-9:30
SPECIAL SHORT: "ST. LOUIS BLUES" (1929)
featuring Bessie Smith
F f st. f {F { $ :i:2:ii4:-{::;i>:>:"Y/ Y:is

One Night Only Before Chicago Opening
ON ACCOUNT OF
SID SHRYCOCK
"Musical comedy at its funniest"
TICKETS AT DOOR

1.4

Marilyn S. Miller's original play "On Account of Sid Shrycock" opens Saturday prior to its pro-
jected five-week run in Chicago. The play is cast and crewed by University students.
records
Colosseum: Out of obscurity

SAT., NOV. 13

Union Ballroom

101

WUOM: In the public interest

By HARRY HAMMITT
Records are coming out at
such a rapid rate that many of
the releases are bound to be
overlooked by the consumer.
It's really a shame because some
of these records are excellent.
Guillotine (Ampex A-10122) is
yet another entry in the big-
band brass-rock category. One
thing that does set them apart
is that they come from France.
Nevertheless, they sing in Eng-
lish. They have a girl lead who
is obviously imitating Joplin,
but because of the language dif-
ference she doesn't reaaly mas-
ter the necessary inflections.
The band itself sounds good.
The record has too much vocal
which doesn't help it any, but
on "If You, Don't Call That

Love," and particularly "I Can't
Believe It," the band really gets
together for some pretty good
music.
When the Smothers Brothers
had a show a while back, a new
composer-singer was brought in-
to the spotlight. This was Mas-
on Williams who now has a new
album entitled Sharepickers
(Warner Brothers 1941). As
the title implies, he shares the
record with a few people he
he knows. The music is never
particularly bad, but it never
reaches any great heights. The
best things are the fiddle tunes
"Little Beggar Man/ Hamilton
County" and "Orange Blossom
Special."
John Stewart has a f a i r 1 y
strong reputation in the folk

circuit in California and re-
cently he was put into the
studios. The result is The Lone-
some Picker Rides Again (War-
ner Brothers 1948). There are
some nice tunes on the record,
including a Stewart song that
the Monkees did in their hey-
day, "Daydream Believer." All
See OVERLOOKED, Page 9

5th WEEK M DIAL 8-6416
At 7-9 P.M.
"THE MOST BEAUTIFULLY PHOTOGRAPHED HORROR STORY
YOU'RE EVER LIKELY TO SEE. BRING A FRIEND."
-Ed Miller, Seventeen Magazine

By BILL PRITULA
WUOM is a small FM radio
station, owned and operated by
the University with studios tuck-
ed neatly away on the fifth floor
of the LSA Bldg. Located at 91.7
on the dial, it broadcasts at 270
kilowatts which means it can
reach most anywhere in south-
east Michigan. The University
also owns WVGR, a satellite sta-
tion in Grand Rapids, which
covers most of southwest Mich-
igan. In addition to this WUOM
has a tape service which pro-
duces tapes and distributes them
to other stations in the state.
This wide range gives WUOM a
poential listening audience of
over five million.
Also, the station is a member
of the National Public Radio
n e't w o r k which occasionally
carries educational, informative
type ' programs produced by
WUOM nationwide. But despite
this broad range, WUOM remains
relatively obscure. The primary
reason for this obscurity is that
the station is a non-commercial,
educational 'public' broadcast-
ing unit in direct competition
with commercial stations for
listeners.
WUOM is funded by the Uni-
versity through general funds
allocated to the University Rela-
tions and Development Service.
Since much of the money comes
from the people of the state, the
station feels it is obligated to
operate in the public interests of
its listeners. Neal Bedford, act-
ing manager for the station,
states that the main purposes of
the station are 1) to inform,
2) to respond to the needs of the
entire community, and 3) to pre-
sent materials that will enhance
life. "WUOM is simply an ex-
tension of the University," says
Bedford, who emphasizes the

point that the primary function
of the station is to inform and
not simply to entertain. WUOM
was created not only for students
and the student community, but
as an alternate service to the
people of the state of Michigan.
The content of the daily program
reflects this point.
Practically fifty percent of
the time spent on the air is de-
voted to informative lectures,
discussions, and guest speakers.
WUOM frequently goes about
campus taping lectures and
broadcasting live events such as
concerts and sports event. The
station has separate divisions
Airplane hijacked
Due to an injury sustained by
Paul Kanter of The Jefferson
Airplane, the Airplane will play
in Crisler Arena on Jan. 14 in-
stead of the previously an-
nounced date of Nov. 20. All
tickets will be honored for the
new date. Ticket prices will be
refunded starting Monday morn-
ing at the Union for those who
would desire a refund.
for news, music and sports, with
specific directors in charge of
these areas. In addition to this,
WUOM presents a complete and
comprehensive news program
three times daily. The remain-
ing half of the broadcast sched-
ule is given to music, ninety five
per cent of which is classical.
With this type of program-
ming, WUOM feels that it is
accomplisshing its main objec-
tive of informing instead of en-
tertaining the listener. The sta-
tion also is in constant search
of change in order to upgrade

the quality of the programming
and to better inform the public.
Bedford explains that the sta-
tion follows no set pattern or
formula (in contrast to a more
conventional, commercial sta-
tion), and is ready to change
the format when the staff feels
change is needed.
When asked to estimate the
size of the station's audience,
Bedford simply shrugs his
shoulders and honestly replies
that it is difficult to even guess.
WUOM has a mailing list of
over 17,500, (who receive its
monthly Program Guide), but
receives so little feedback that
it is impossible to judge the
numbe.r of people listening in.
The problem lies in the fact that
the general public turns on the
radio primarily for entertain-
ment and very few are concern-
ed with learning from radio.
Therefore, the station is broad-
casting to a specific minority
and tries to be as responsive as
possible to their interests. But
those who do listen give little
feedback, so Bedford and the
staff are not nearly as aware as
they would like to be about their
audience's reactions to a given
program.
Working under the auspices
of the University andsState does
indeed restrict the staff as to
the type of political viewpoints
they- voice, and it also affects
the selection of topics and is-
sues to be discussed on the air.
Despite this restriction, the staff
takes it as a challenge and tries
to work around it. The week to
week programs show that em-
phasis is placed upon the more
controversial issues - issues
which are relevaiit to the entire
See INFORMING, Page 9

GODAR'D

I

AT
Cinema Guild
NOV. 15-22

IHELLSTROM CHRONICLE I

I

Z,_

One of the most exciting
C films you'll see this year
Det. News
CLINT EAST WOOD01

I

4

__- --- --. -- - _ - -

i,

COME TO
FANNERIO'S
Grand Opening
Featuring
LINDA- FORD
FRIDAY, NOV. 12
9:00-12:00

F,(1

rI

GODARD!
AT
Cinema Guild
NOV. 15-22

Sociology Colloquium
Dael Wlfle
(Professor of Public
Affairs-U. of Washington)
"PH.D. MARKET FOR SOCIAL
SCIENTISTS ,IN THE 1970'S"
4 P.M.-FRIDAY, NOV. 12
Rm. 429, Mason Hall

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~FOREI[5N FAKE'
Arevealing portrait of
the new liberated woman
* BLAZING COLOR *A
PIus 2nd feature* '
C'1efEM 492330012 2 N
- PARKIN I
The School of Music and Department of Art present
MOZART'S OPERA
The Magic Flute
English translation by Josef Blatt
NOVEMBER 19, 20, 22, & 23-8 P.M.
MENDELSSOHN THEATRE
$1.50& $3.00 ($1.50 tickets for U-M students only)
Conductor Josef Blatt Stage Director: Ralph Herbert
TICKET INFORMATION: 764-6118
MAIL ORDERS: School of Music Opera, Mendelssohn Theatre,
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Please enclose self-addressed, stamped envelope
BOX OFFICE OPENS MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, AT 12:30 P.M.

I

i f

Thursday and Friday
BAKER'S
WIFE
Dir. MARCEL PAGNOL,
1939. The vilage baker
cannot work because he
laments his wife's depar-
ture with a stupid, sexy

at

r

I - Bursley's Panneri'
C .-____________ ___________________________________

0o

THE ALLEY

presents
IT NOV. 11-12-13

*

I

Thurs.-Fri.-Sat.

TONIGH

BUDDY GUY and JUNIOR WELLS

2 Shows
Each Night
7:30-9.30

Adv. Tickets-
'Salvation
Records
330 Maynard

eEUt d43~da ~*s Ei~ -m ~~ N-'- v 17_..1Ad

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