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December 01, 1971 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-12-01

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Page Two


Wednesdav. December 1. 1971

THE MICHIGAN DAILY Wednesdnv Dec~mi~~r 1 1971

+ . -+ ..7L~u ! v ~ .. I El ' ! t '-

Gilro y films the lives of quiet desperation



c4Ie Daily Calendar


' There are certain things in
American life that it seems you
just can't escape no matter how
hard you try-football, the flag,
violence, McDonald's, Erich Se-
gal, and now, tales of middle-
class travail. Last week CBS Re-
ports featured an inside look at
that most suburban of suburbs,
Birmingham, Michigan. In the
same NET's Great American
Dream Machine included a seg-
ment on a typical, middle-aged,
middle-class couple discussing
their divorce, and followed that
with Carly Simon warbling,
"That's the Way I've Always
Heard It Should Be." Next sea-

son, no doubt, we'll get a sub-
urban All in the Family: Gloria
gets hooked, Archie has an af-
fair, Edith takes to drink, and
the world quietly goes to pot.
As usual, the movies beat tele-
vision at this huge cathartic
self-flagellation and wound-
licking. With higher paychecks
the workers became less con-
spicuous, the middle-class be-
came more conspicuous, and so
Americans got films about the
bourgeois spiritual void. Here at
last was the raw truth about our
lives: Cassavetes' Faces and
Husbands; Frank Perry's The
Swimmer and Diary of a Mad
Housewife; Tucker and Mazur-

sky's Bob, Carol, Ted & Alice;
Irwin Kershner's Loving; andt
just recently, John Schlesing-
er's Sunday Bloody Sunday,
which had most critics genu-
flecting in homage. .Ain't life
With all these pictures float-
ing around, and coming as it
does on the heels of Sunday
Bloody Sunday, Frank Gilroy's
Desperate Characters is likely
to get trampled in the life-is-
shit stampede. That would be
unfortunate, because Characters
belongs at the head of the pack,
the movie Sunday or, for that
matter, i i d n i g h t Cowboy,
should have been and weren't.

rene troubadours de Moliere

On Monday evening, one week
ago, the Pioneer High S c h o o 1
Auditorium was temporarily
transformed into the Palais-
<.oyale with the delightful pro-
duction of Moliere's "Le Bour-
geois Gentilhomme" by Le Tre-
teau de Paris. The performance,
made possible by the Alliance
Francaise d'Ann Arbor, attracted
a capacity crowd of people in-
terested in French language and
culture. - students and faculty
from the high schools and the
University, as well as the Ann
Arbor community.
"Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme," a
comedie-ballet in five acts, evok-
ed hearty laughter from the
audience throughout the entire
performance. The production
was greatly liberalized by the
use of song (based upon texts
by La Fontaine), dance and im-
provisation. This made it pos-
,ible for everyone to be swept
along with the action, although
at times, the actors spoke at
such a rate that even those
,fluent in French had quite a
time keeping up with the dia-
The play'began with a warm
'welcome by the "narrator" (Ro-
bert . Sireygeol, the Dancing
Master), who gave a brief ex-
planation of the plot and a few
words on the moral implications
of vanity. The story deals with
the attempts of Monsieur Jour-
dain; a nouveau-riche, to be-
come an "homme de qualite,'
a gentleman. He fails miserably
(but hilariously) in his ef-
forts to sing, appreciate music,
.ance the minuet, fence and
learn philosophy. His tutors
mock and ridicule him by
pa-ing on his vanity. His wife and
maid berate his foolish behav-
ior as he ostentatiously flaunts
Pabout, pretending to be a mem-
ber of the aristocracy.
Jourdain's main concern is
impressing Dorimene, the Mar-
quess, whom he is to entertain.
Meanwhile, his wife and Ni-
chole, the maid, have more
earthy concerns, namely, mar-
rying Lucille, Jourdain's daugh-
ter, to Cleonte whom she loves
(and whose servant, Covielle, is
loved by Nichole). However,
Jourdain opposes the marriage
Program Information 662-6264
OPEN 12:45
SHOWS AT 1, 3,
5, 7, & 9 :05 P.M.
Ends Wednesday! GP~
Starts °
Thurs --

since Cleonte is not of noble,
birth. Dorante, a Count feigning
friendship with Jourdain, sup-
posedly arranges the meeting be-
tween the Marquess and Jour-
dain, all the while wooing her
himself. At the same time,
Cleonte and Covielle plan a dis-
guise to make Jourdain think he
is the son of the Grand Turk.
Once again, his vanity blinds
him to what is really gofng on
as he agrees to wed Lucille to
the son of the Grand Turk -
opposed, of course, by both wife
and daughter until they are in-
formed of the hoax.
The Marquess agrees to marry
the Count, and the two servants,
Michole and Covielle, get to-
gether while Jourdain (marvel-
ously portrayed by Roland Ber-
tin) is molded into the grand
buffoon he really is. Madame
Jourdain, the voice of reason
and practicality, wins out in the
As in most of Moliere's plays,
the women surpass the m q 1 e
characters in reason and integ-
rity. Mme. Jourdain is really
the head of the family and di-
rects the action. The maid, typ-

ical of Moliere's minor roles,
serves to report and intepret
the action. In general, the wo-
men are the ones who possess
foresight and a clean view of the
situation. Although all the ac-
tors were excellent, Frederique
Ruchauld, as Madame Jourdain,
stood out above the others be-
cause she played the strong-
est role, the person with t h e
most character - and did it
Due probably to the fact that
the Treteau de Paris is a travel-
ling show, the one set used was
only fair and the costumes,
though good, lacked the rich and
luxurious fabric common to the
time period. IHowever, the exu-
berance of the company more
than compensated for the tech-
nical shortcomings of the pro-
duction. The virtuoso use of
guitar and recorder through-'
out greatly enhanced the action,
and served to interpret a good
deal of parody and emotion. In
all, the live music, dance, and
the enthusiasm of the actors
made one feel as if he were wit-'
nessing a band of troubadours
entertaining somewhere in the
French countryside.
- - -- - - -- --

It's a modest picture on a small-
scale (Shirley MacLaine had to
sign for her disastrous TV series
before she could get the pic-
ture any backing), and it has
neither the resources nor the in-
clination to be artsy-no gloss,
no homosexuals, no pretty mon-
tages of New York squalor with
a Nilsson soundtrack. What it
has instead is humanity, a
strong concern about its prota-
gonists, which is rare in this
age of fancy camera-work and
symbolic shorthand. Schlesing-
er thinks movies; Gilroy thinks
Gilroy's people here, his des-
perate characters, are Otto and
Sophie Bentwood. She - about
thirty-five; two miscarriages;
father committed suicide. He-
a successful lawyer whose long-
time partnership with his best
friend has just cracked. They
live in a white-washed brown-
stone in a fashionable section
of New York City ("fashion-
able" meaning that the drunks
wear suits); and everywhere
they seem to run into or trip
over the hazards of city life-a
brick tossed through a window,
an obscene telephone call, an
old man carrying on an animat-
ed conversation with himself,
streets decorated with filth and
out-of-order phone boaths, and
a black invader who says he
only wantstosuse their phone.
Facing these perils daily, it
doesn't take long for an urban
dweller to become paranoid,
since paranoia is the logical ad-
justment under the circum-
stances. That's what Little Mur-
ders, in its own sledge-hammer
way, was trying to pound across.
Urban life is, and soon all
American life will be, danger-
DIAL 8-6416
Shows at 1-3-5-7-9
40 mmi tm mun
AMm ftmummm

ous; as one friend of mine said,
there are concentric circles on
our backs. But Sophie and Otto
are beyond that point. They've
begun to internalize their para-
pola, to accept these dangers as
an integral part of this lives.
So when the Bentwoods return
to their brownstone after an ex-
cursion to their summer home
(which they found vandalized
showing that even out idyls
aren't safe), and Sophie says,
"Suppoose they've been here
too," Otto calmly replies, "Not
yet," as if it's only a matter of
See A NEW, Page 6

Wednesday, Dec. 1
Alley Cinema, 330 Maynard
Ingmar Bergman's "Persona" 7, 9:30 and 11:15 p.m.*
Fifth Forum
"Joe Hill" 7 and 9 p.m.*
Michigan Theater
"Play Misty for Me" 1,3,5,7 and 9 p.m.*
State Theater
"Bless the Beasts and Children" 1,3,5,7 and 9 p.m.*
Campus Theater
"Medicine Ball Caravan" 7 and 9 p.m.*
*denotes events for which admission is charged.



330 Maynard
Starring Liv Ullman and BiBi Anderson
SHOWS AT 7, 9:30, 11:15







The Supreme Court v~l-
Civi Liberties Decisions:
(illegal searches, confessions, etc.)
Professor Michael Bann
Department of Political Science-Purdue University
TODAY 3:15 P.M.--Law Club Lounge





American Revolutionary Media
Jean-Luc Godard and
the American Youth Culture
an exercise in instant nostalgia
-three films
Vladimir and Rosa...
and Abbie and Jerry
YlPPIE! Godard's latest film (1971) "relating to last year's Chi-
cago Conspiracy Trial, women's liberation and 'Black Power,"
intercut by Grove Press with Abbie Hoffman's and Jerry.Rubin's
antic comments and reactions at a private screening. "The film
is delightfully candid and quite funny . . . the humorous, ironic
tone is the film's essential quality. What makes it so good is
Godard's usual intelligence and far-out sense of humor."
72 minutes color
-Michael Goodwin, ROLLING STONE
Haight six-minute Newsreel short made in 1968. 40-minute doc-
umentry Godard in America by Ralph Tannhauser. During April,
1970, Godard toured major U.S. campuses with SEE YOU AT
MAO. The confrontation in Berkeley was historic.


Dir. John Wayne, 1967
With John Wayne and
David Jansen. Duke goes
to North Carolina, alias
\/; f~fr .fX C nA 1tif

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