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March 11, 1971 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-03-11

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, March 11, 1971 10

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thursday, March 11, 1971 *

Film f!
By JOHN ALLEN
If opening night of the 9th
Ann Arbor Film Festival was a
fair sam'ple of the week's fare,
it's , going to be a great week.
And a great festival.
Next to Charlie Chaplin's The
Gold Rush, the funniest film ev-
er made may be Doug Wendt's
Up and. Atom - a two-and-a-
half-minute glimpse of a licking
dog. Yes, that's what I said, a
licking dog. The dog sits still,
the camera sits still, the lens
and the lightink sit s till -

estival: Innovative

repeti tion

UNPRECEDENTED
DOUBLE FEATURE!

trait of Plastic Man as Super-
star.
If the evening had a theme,
in fact, the theme was "repe-
tition" - a n d the variations
w e r e immensely inventive.
Frank Gardner's Young Girl at
a Window toyed with t i m e,
space, and scale through the use
of mirror - image symmetry.
What gave the film its pecul-
iar power was the non-synch-
ronous character of the left and
right images - they moved at
different times, overlapping one

... images

entry, Horseopera. As in Bessie
Smith, Levine's footage comes
from old films, this time from
westerns. The repetitions a n d
superimpositions begin almost
as comic farce and then build
inexorably to a climax of action
and carnage that may be the
most eloquent commentary yet
made on the annihilation of the
Indian. Horseopera most assur-
edly puts to.shame a concoction
on a similar theme like John
Ford's Cheyenne Autumn.
Because it was not well-liked
by the audience and is a com-
plex film, it is perhaps appro-
priate to speak at greater
length "about Levine's accom-
plishment - also, because its
placement on the program was
unfortunate: it demands the
kind of concentration and cere-
bration which do not come eas-
ily after six hours of festival-
watching.
In its defense I would call at-
tention to the evolution of em-
phasis that takes place within
its repetitions, and its relation-
ship to the whole genre out of'
which it grows. The western has
been a Hollywood staple since
Edwin Porter's The Great Train
Robbery in 1903. Personal as
well as racial 'violence have been
exploited endlessly in this gen-
re since the beginning, partly
because of their pictorial attrac-
tiveness as a source of action
imagery, partly because of subt-
ler things like the archetypal
selm-image of the predominant-
ly white audience in American
society.
What Levine has created in
his agitated repetitions Is a cap-
sule history of the genre, a lyric
tribute to the beauty of motion
as the camera can record it,
and finally a searing commen-
tary on the ruthless extermini-
nation of the Indian - an ex-
termination that goes on and
on - in fiction films, in real-
life racism, perhaps even in the
heart of our bloody involvement
in Indochina. A film that be-
gins looking like a J o k e and
then metamorphoses into the
poetry of motion ultimately de-
vastates - as the facts behind
tte Hollywood illusionrever-
berate through the cycles of
black-and-white positive and
negative images: genocide as a
pasttime of the White Man.
So much for Horseopera, pos-
sibly, the most memorable film
of the evening though the least
popular. There was much more
that was memorable, too much
to do Justice to in a brief re-
view. For example: John Stew-
art's penetrating portrait of a
young hunchback in Qui Qui Va;
Scott Bartlett's . beautiful if

slightly conventional tribute to
orgasm in the abstract Love-
making (a film somehow less
satisfying filmically than his en-
try of a year ago, Moon 1969.)
One should also mention, for
its economy, Donna Deitch's
otherwise commonplace Memor-
abilia: virtually a one-shot pan
with shifting focus that takes in
flag-decked grave markers, a
wind-up robot toy, and a poster
of Nixon - "wanted for mur-
der." Nothing new, conceptual-
ly - but a model of filmic pre-
cision, cla'rity, a n d sharpness:
virtues too often absent in prev-
ious cinematic diatribes against
the war in Vietnam.
Daniel Seymour's Flamenco-
logia was a poignant rendering
of an art that some fear to be
dying out. Perhaps t h e bored
looks on the faces of children as
they sat with their families in
a Spanish bar listening to' the
guitarist prove the point. In any
case, Seymour's camera w o r k
records faces and figures and
milieu which mesh beautifully
with the music recorded by his
tapes.
Danute Miskinis's Rocky pro-
vided Ann Arborites with a fic-
tional western in that most real
of 10 c a 1 settings, Mr. Flood's
Party. Saul Rouda's Waldo Point
provided a realistic glimpse of
hip life in a far more fiction-
alized setting: houseboats off
Sausalito in San Francisco Bay.
In its .muted colors and lyric
camera work, Rouda's entry was
a small masterpiece of control,
a welcome and insightful record
of a unique community.

G. Barnes and Runs Good by
Pat O'Neill. The latter is one of
the better efforts in lab-proces-
sing cinematography. It, too,
focuses on repeated images.
In a way, opening night of the
9th A n n Arbor Film Festival
was itself a repetition of prev-
ious festival themes, techniques,
and images, but it seemed a rep-
etition of highlights only. Al-
most all t h e films would be
worth' seeing again, and some
of them would be a joy to see
again and again ... and again.
Which may be as good a
measure as any, at first view-
ing, of the inherent worth of
any work of art: if it invites re-
peated'encounters, it works. If
it continues to reward those en-
counters, it is a success. The fes-
tival this year is at least work-
ing; hopefully it will also be a
great success.
v-

I

JOHN GLEN KIM
WAYNE CAMPBELL DARBY
HAL WALLIS'
WCWmCOlOR.-A PARAMOUNT PICTURE

t .

"ANOTHER ST EP TOWR TOMPLEPH
STRICK B R O K E SIMILAR GROUND
WITH 'ULYSSES.' BUT BY COMPARIS-
ON THE FRANKNESS WAS A RIPPLE!
SOME OF THE INCIDENTS ARE WILD!
BUT WOE TO THE PRUDE!"
-William Wolf, Cue Magazine
"REALLY BETTER THAN THE BOOK!"
John Wingate, WOR Radio
"THE U.S. CUSTOMS BUREAU
BARRED IT AS OBSCENE!
READERS FOUND IT SHOCKING
AND SCANDALOUS!AND NOW, '
FOR ANYONEOVER 18I A.)
IT IS A MOYIE!"-iugm.Aern
HENRY MILER'S
FITH POUM THUR.-7:15, 9:00
|i| N FR 7:AT5ERTY 9:00,1A
DOWNTOWN ANN ARBOR ' :45
fNFtORMgT1ON 78R.9700 FR. 7:5

PUL NEWMaN
as cooHNDL
LUKEsDPEARCE MRPIERSON
CORDONU001 r.hw SIRRI ROSENBERG
-4 WARNER 5SMI. SEMENAin *
TOMORROW AND
SAT. NIGHT

The Place to Meet
INTERESTING People
BACH CLUB
presents
PETER GRIFFITHS
performing on
CLASSICAL GUITAR
Thurs., March 11-8 P.M.
S. Quad, W. Lounge
REFRESHMENTS
Featuring Tacos by Susan Lavery
EVERYONE WELCOME!
Further Info: 769-1605

Nat Sci.

at
Auditorium

For sheer beauty of image two
films deserve mention: Two Po-
ems of the T'ang Dynasty by R.

The Project Con nity
presents
IKE & TINA TURNER REVUE
plus SUC
FiaMarch 1 2th. TICKETS ON SALE
Michigan Union
2 Shows 1:00 & 9:30 Students International
10:00 A.M.-8:00 P.M.
Hill Aud. $2.50, $3.00, $3.50
Block tickets still available

4

-Daily-Jim Judkis

nothing moves but a pink ton-
gue in a . shaggy brown mutt.
Someone feeds him a fingerful
of a sticky, sweet substance, and
the film is underway. N e v e r
have so many been so thorough-
ly amused for so little. Anyone
doubting the possibility of mak-
ing a great flick for the price of
one roll of unedited color film
has not seen Up and Atom.
It is testimony to the truth of
Maya Deren's comment as re-
corded in Film Culture for Win-
ter, 1965: "Improve your films
not by adding more equipment
and personnel but by using what
you have to the fulest capacity."
If what you have includes a
shaggy dog with a story to tell,
lots of personality, and a sure
sense of comic timing, of course,
it helps.
Almost as funny, in spite of
the lesser talents of its star, was
a film by Peter Lawrence called
Ad Hominem. Filmed off a TV
screen, this black-and-white bit
of nonsense featured your fav-
orite local President and mine,
Dicky Nixon, doing what he does
- best: smiling . . . and° smiling
. . . and smiling . . . his Pepso-
dent teeth in that Latex face,
silly putty with a bite. Lawrence
takes a few feet of revealing
footage and repeats them in
varying sequence and at varying
pace to create a devastating por-

another temporally and spatial-
ly, to create a complex orches-
tration of images and causality.
Furthermore, the shifts f r o m
close-ups to medium. shots pro-
vided a counterpoint of super-
impositions suggesting huge hov-
ering presences beyond the win-
dow which framed the screen.
Charles Levine, whose film on
Bessie Smith was seen at the
festival a couple of years ago,
utilizes once again a technique
of repeated images in this year's

r{ Nominated7 Academy
For Awards
Best Picture
Best Actress
Best Director
Best Actor
AND OTHERS
Paramount Pictures Presents
Ali McGraw " Ryan O'NealI:." .
John Marley C, Ray Milland
Program Information 5-6290
GP IN COLOR
DOORS OPEN 12:45
Shows at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 P.M.
603 E. LIBERTY FREE LIST SUSPENDED

I

CRAFTS FAIR
CREATIVE ARTS FESTIVAL 1971
MARCH 27 Union Ballroom
SELL WHATEVER YOU MAKE
AT NO COST TO YOU
Must Register at UAC
Office to Participate
$2.00 Fee to Cover Costs

I

DIAL 8-6416
Doors open
at 6:45

pgm--CAMPUS]

Tonight
at
7 and 9 p.m

1214 SOUTH UNIVERSITY
"'The Twelve Chairs'
is uproarious funl
Any true fan of
comedy,
has to

9th ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL, Tuesday through Sunday Night in the Architecture Auditor-
ium, Architecture and Design School, Tappan and Monroe. Screenings at 7, 9, & 11 p.m. Tuesday
through Friday, 7 & 9 p.m. on Saturday. Single tickets 75c, Series Tickets $10 (eligible for Water-
bed raffle). Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m. for that night.

4

see itV '
-ABC-TV

. : _ .

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University of Michigan Film Society (ARM) presents
a Josef von Sternberg double bill

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