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January 10, 1971 - Image 6

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-01-10

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Page Six

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, January 10, 1971

.ae.i.T EM.H.A..I..una..a uay.0 1 7

Cinem
(Continued from Page 2)
music, audience identification
rather than empathy with char-
acters, and a decreasing reliance
on the word.
In theory student revolt would
lend itself well to the emotive.
It is contemporary. Kids iden-
tify. The outlines are all there
(cops, hair, an Issue), and all a
movie has to do is fill in the col-
ors and provide rock adcompan-
iment for the slaughter. So in
1970 kids protested and the mo-
guls gave them Getting Straight.
Kids' got bashed and the mo-
guls g a v e them Strawberry
Statement. Kids got killed and
the moguls gave them Zabriskie
Point. But happily, kids aren't
quite as gullible as movie ex-
ecutives would wish, and the
studioes themselves took a beat-
ing.
Maybe the whole idea of
spending a couple of million
dollars bringing the revolution
to the screen tu'rned the kids'
off. In any case, speaking crit-
ically, this year's "youth" mo-
vies failed because they mistook
the symptoms for the disease.
After all, placards can't begin
to scratch the surface of stu-
dent discontent; and the films
young people relate to haven't
been simple chronicles of pro-
test; they've been metaphors. In
:asy Rider it was the odyssey.
Alice's Restaurant it was the
sad search for community. In
Z it was the trek through the
labyrinth of justice. E a c h of,
these films understood that rev-
olution is an effect, ald therein
lies the difference between last
year's art and this year's ex-
ploitation.
There are, admittedly, sever-
al pictures which I haven't yet
had an opportunity to see and
which may give a slightly rosier
cast to my present gloom 7
Five Easy Pieces, Little Big Man,
Gimme Shelter, The Confession,
Wild Child. But with all those
free days around Christmas and
with, all those Christmas bonus-
es (Were there any Christmas
bonuses this year?), m o s t of
these films were held for a De-
cember release in New York;
which means that we folks in
the hinterlands will have to wait
a few months. (Gripe: At least
one film, Eric 'Rohmer's My
Night With Maud, has b e e n
around for quite a while, and
it's high time someone brought
it to Ann Arbor. Any city that

Ten-

can afford to show Dirty Ding-
us Magee can show a film con-
sidered to be one of the better
pictures of the last few years.
End of gripe.)
* * *
Now to the list. I myself am
a great lover of lists and "ten
best" lists most of all. They're
neat. Not too long. Not too
short. There are ten dimes in
a dollar. And ten matches the
number of fingers we have, bar-
ring unfortunate accidents (or
even fortunate accidents, if
Curtis Tarr is after you). So my
deepest apologies to all you
year-end fans of the "ten best"
list. I tried. Believe me, I tried.
But there just weren't ten films
I thought voithy of mention as
"best."
This isn't to say that I didn't
see ten films I liked. With few
exceptions (Futz, Dirty Dingus
Magee, The Damned, Zabriskie
Point, The Activist) I liked most
of the films I saw. But the re-
viewer's function, as Renata Ad-
ler once said, isn't to tell the
reader what the reviewer likes;
I'm sure you could care less
what I like. Rather, the review-
er's function is to tell'the read-
er what the reviewer thinks is
good. And there is a big differ-
ence.
My standards for what I con-,
sider good are the two very gen-
eral and often overlapping qual-
ities of education and enrich-
ment. Simply put, this means
that a film unable to get the in-
tellectual juices flowing or un-
able to move us can't be con-
sidered good. At least not by me.
There will always be some peo-
ple who use enjoyment as the
sole aesthetic criterion. I cer-
tainly have nothing against en-
joyment, but enjoyment isn't all
there is to aesthetics. If it were,
the Sound of Music might very
well be the best film of all time.
But who, w a n t s to dispute
aesthetics? The list is the thing.
As in last year's list I'm con-
fining myself to movies that op-
ened in Ann Arbor during 1970
but were made no earlier than
1969. T hWa t excludes Chabrol's
La Femme Infidele which would
certainly have been n e a r the
top:
1) Catch-22 - N e e d I say
more?
2) Woodstock - A remark-
able film about the last days of
Eden. It came closer to being a
cinema 'high than any other

)est minus
film I've seen, and not because erally
of its flashing, whirling, neon, the-mi:
psycheeeeedelic images. If one especia
were to catalogue the good '31, TI
things of Youth Culture he'd Merma
wind up with this picture. Good
music. Good company. Good Other
times. Freedom. And that rar-
est commodity of all - com- Cat
munity. jBestt
3) The Passion of Anna - st
Ever since Bergman ended his son,
preoccupation with God, he has Best
become a less tedious film-mak- ols,
er. In Passion he lucidly takes Best
Persona one step further a n d Best
shows us how difficult it is for Bs
people to communicate. The hu-
man is too complex, he operates
on too many levels; and so we
are left lonely and anxious, hop-
ing for understandingand con- For
demned to live without it.
4) M*A*S*H - I seriously
misreviewed this film, an error
somewhat mitigated by the fact
that just about every other re-
viewer made the same mistake. COP
After seeing it several more
times I've come to the conclu- l Stir
sion that a.) It has terribly little
to do with Viet N a m; b.) It Bel
doesn't try to depict men of
human decency reacting to hu- DEN
man indecency; c.) It is a very, Bu:
very funny (if often cruel) film.
5) Fellini Satyricon' - You Be
can't be neutral about it. You Pr(
either loved it or found it in- Su
sufferable. Fellini has become a
painter of film, and it is appro-
priate that his look at ancient
Rome, and at our modern world fi
as well, be seen as fresco sprung,/'J
to life. If not the best, then it
is surely the most imaginative
and possibly the most important
film of the year. Stat
I would like to add several
films that I thought were gen-

five

r

U

superior to the run-of-
l stuff I'd seen but not
lly memorable: Adalen
'he Landlord, Mississippi
id and Salesman.
* i. *
"bests":
Actor: A l a n Arkin,
ch-22
Actress: Glenda Jack-
Women in Love
Direction: Mike Nich-
Catch-22
Screenplay: Ring Lard-
, Jr., M*A*S*H
Cinematography: David
tkin, Catch-22

Pr

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