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October 28, 1970 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1970-10-28

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(

Wednesday, October 28, 1970

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

PoQe.>Seven

THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Seven

Radicals leave' U.S.
for Arab countries

(Continued from Page 1) :
volutionaries seeking a return to
their land and dedicated to bring-
ing a just peace to the Middle
East.
This claim runs through the
radical rhetoric and is piped to the
American underground p r e s s
throuh Liberation News Service,
Judic unit
dead locked
(Continued from Page 1)
pletely in the hands of a judge.
selected from outside the Univer-
sity community.
Any final -draft by the cpmmit-
tee would be proposed to the Re-
gents as a replacement for the
interim disciplinary proce :ures
they adopted last April. The in-
terim procedures, which place dis-
ciplinary power completely in the
hands of a hearing officer selected
from outside the University com-
munity, have been sharply criti-
cized by both students and key
faculty members.
The judiciary committee's ef-
forts have been directed at coni-
ing up with a disciplinary system
which is acceptable to faculty
members-many of whom fear
that student-controlled proceed-
ings would be disorderly-and to,
students-who have maintained!
that student trials must be con-
trolled by students in prder to
provide defendants with a fair
*hearing.
Jerry De Grieck, executive vice
president of Student Government
Council and a member of the com-
mittee, said last night that stu-
dents might agree to a one-stu-
dent-one-faculty review panel if
the student on the panel were
able to have veto power over all
"important" procedural questions.'
However, while faculty members.
have agreed to allow the student
veto power on motions to exclude
evidence or bar trial participants
from the proceedings, they appear
to strongly opposed extending the
veto power to other questions---

which has two correspondents re-
porting from the Middle East.
The March 1970 issue of "mili-
tant," the publication of the
Young Socialist Alliance, had this
to say following an explosion
aboard a Swissair jet:
"The truth, though, is that if
in fact a Palestinian individual or
organization had anything to do
with the crash of the Swissair lin-
er, the 47 people who died were as
much victims of imperialism as ...,
the 400 Vietnamese men, women
and children of Son My and the
six million Jews of central and
eastern Europe."
The Black Panther newspaper
has depicted Israel as a "puppet
state of imeprialism," and a re-
cent issue noted the British had
released Leila Khaled, the young
Arab woman who attempted to hi-
jack an El Al jetliner,
Observers of the radical scene
see it as only natural that the
New Left and the aPnthers sym.
pathize with and glamorize the
commandos.
"The commandos satisfy the
three qualifications for New Left
heros," says J. Kirk Sale, who
is writing a history of the SDS-
Students for a Democratic Socie-
ty.

-Associated Press
Nobel prize winner
Prof. Louis Neel, co-recipient of the 1970 Nobel Prize for Physics
along with Hannes Alven from the University of California ad-
dresses the Congress for Magnetism in Grenoble, France in Sep-
tember this year.

Playin
(Continued from Page '2}
dying soldier for the family that
has come five thousand miles to
see him one more than before he
passes on. The family's lines are
morbidly funny; Yossarian's
sadly bitter.
The ultimate achievement
here is Nichols'. He has come a
long way from the static and
stagey Virginia Woolf to the
plastic brilliance of C a t c h..
Visually, he takes a few pages
from the books of other film-
makers, notably Welles' interior
back-lighting, long ; tracking
shots and angular camera style.
But Nichols is no Xerox direct-
or, and everywhere there is evi-
dence of his own phenomenal
skill - his unfailing eye for
composition, his use of sets to
underscore mood, his ability to
rivet the audience's attention to
any spot on the screen, his mas-
tery of pacing, transition, tone.
It is simply a tour de force of
direction.
There is another tour de force
in Alan Arkin's Yossarian. He
is astounding. Arkin IS Yos-
sarian balancing on a razor's
edge of sanity, willing to do any-
thing (almost) if only Colonel
Cathcart (Martin Balsam)
would stop upping the missions
and let him go home. The film
depends upon Arkin at its vortex
to provide continuity and
through this to convey a moral
sense. He must develop with the
film, poising its belly-laughs
against its blood. He must be
whimsical, panicky, pathetic,
desperate, paranoid, berserk - -
all at the same time, Let me say
it again: He is astounding.
Arkin's supporting cast is a
bit more difficult to assess be-
cause the drama lies more in
Nichols' rhythm than in any
buskined brilliance. The perfor-
mances begin loose, almost off-
handed, then seem to fill with
tension as the film wears on.
There are Bob Balaban's baby-
faced Orr, Art Garfunkel's in-
nocent Nately, Buck Henry's
steel-tongued Korn, Anthony
Perkins' misplaced Chaplain
Tappman, Jack Gilford's driri-
ing Doc Daneeka and, Welles'
"shoot 'em" General Dreedle.
(It's an indication of the criti-
cal confusion over the film that
Welles' performance has been
singled out for condemnaLIon

and praise, depending on which
review you happen to read.
On the technical side, Catch-
22 is one of those rare movies
that has the look and feel of
perfection, due in large part to
the work of cinematographer
David Watkin and editor Sam
O'Steen. Even in these days
when exceptional photography
is standard equipment on the
worst pictures, Watkin's photo-
graphy stands out. It is flawless
whether it's capturing B-25's
climbing through the heat and
dust like airborne turtles, the
dark whore-house with its 107
year-old man, the deathly white
hospital or the bomb-lit air-
field. His camera is like a mae-
ter's brush. He subdues and
heightens color; he makes fuse
of natural light; he exploits
texture. Out of it all comes pos-
sibly the best color photography
since The Black Pirate.
For a movie of so many bits
and pieces it is miraculously co-
hesive, and editor O'Steen is at
lease partly responsible for wea-
ving the segments together into
one long fabric. The film is a
veritable catalogue of modern
transitions, and it's interesting
to watch how the editing com-
pliments the pacing, so that the
cutting becomes less jagged,
more subdued, as the picture
unfolds. Each scene flows into
the next in a filmic stream of
consciousness. There is never a
fade-out or fade-in, ending one
episode and beginning another.
OK. So Catch-22 is a great
film. If that's true, you may be
asking yourself, why was it so
unfavorably received by our na-
tion's professional arbiters of
taste? It seems that critics, in
the face of greatness, often fall
victim to an odd malady as con-
tagious as consumption. When
Bonnie and Clyde first hit the
screens in the Fall of '67, the
reviewers were near-unanimous
in their enmity toward Penn's
masterpiece. Time and News-
week, those purveyors of pop
culture, dismissed it with a few
perfunctory paragraphs. Then
came the revelations and the
rewrites. Suddenly, Bonnie and
Clyde was the best picture of
the year. A few weeks after the
barbs, Warren Beatty and Faye
Dunaway were gracing Time's
cover.

'Catch'

with

"They are fighting against cap- FINANCIAL
italism, that is Israel. They a r e
doing it with guns, and they are
part of the Third World.j
"There is a self-identification I ro ;r
with the commandos. The rad-
ical left see themselves coming toI

PROBLEMS:
*am may stop

power as urban street fighters,
carrying guns like the command-
os."
Some of the radicals who sym-
pathize with the commandos are
Jewish, although other J e w i s h
radicals support Israel.
Fred Cohn is 30, Jewish, a law-
yer whose clients include the
Black Panthers on trial for con-
spiring to bomb buildings in New
York.
"Israel is a Socialist state andj
has a lot of good things in it. Yet,
they resort to some of the same
tactics the Nazis used," he said, re-
ferring to the taking of Arab hos-

(Continued from Page 1)
gram has been "very good."
The program runs Monday
through Friday from 6 a.m. un-
til 9 a.m. The children, ranging
from first grade to the junior
high level, arrive at the Com-
munity Center around 6:30 at
which time breakfast is served.
After breakfast, the staff,
which consists of college stu-
dents, parents, and high school
students, instructs the children
for half an hour about the
"children's past, present and fu-
ture," according to the BSU re-
port.
The program also provides a
place for kids of the commun-
ity to get to know each other

and enjoy themselves before
going to school," the report con-
tinues.
The children are picked up at
collection points near their
homes and after the program
they are delivered to their re-
spective schools.
In its attempts to increase
community involvement in the
program, BSU encourages par-
ticipation by parents in the pro-
gram.
The response from parents has
"been excellent," Casey says.
"So good," he continues, "that
there is a slight problem in
keeping the number of children
at a level that can be accommo-
dated."

such as a motion to exclude a tages to r taliate for the detention
spectator from the proceedings. of the hijacked passengers.

The case of 2001 is a bit moe
subtle. Critics found it a boring,
unintelligible piece of super sci-
ence fiction. Audiences found it
one of the most exciting, radi-
cally different films in years. It
wasn't long before a good many
people realized the critics had
blown it; but this time there
were no retractions. instead,
2001 crept into greatness, and
now it is accepted as verity fhat
Kubrick's film is a masterwork.
And then came Catch-22. Jo-
seph Morgenstern fired the first
salvo, calling it "a deeply fla'v-
ed satire of lunatic men at war."
Hollis Alpert followed suit, and
in the grand Bonnie and Clyde-
2001 tradition, others hopped on
the bandwagon. The New York
critics had spoken. The consen-
sus: Catch-22 is not a master-
piece. It is too cluttered. Its
structure never makes it. Nich-
ols gave it a game try but .. .
Sorry, Mike. We praised your
first two flicks. Don't you re-
member? Catch-22 was sup-
posed to be even better.
This reaction shouldn't be too
surprising. Most critics - with
quite a few exceptions, half of
them on the Daily News-have
been trained to appraise a film
aesthetically through its com-
ponents, which is a perfectly
legitimate way of dealing with
a movie. By this approach a
film is only as good as its parts,
and that's all well and good for
the t y p i c a 1 narrative film.
Catch, though, isn't the typical
narrative film; the whole is
much greater than its parts,
and that compels the critic to
evaluate the film by some new
criteria.
Of course, most critics aren't
prepared to pull out new criteria
and throw away the old, so
they have criticized the film on
very conventional grounds: Ni-
chols did not do a good adap-
tation of Heller. The book
Catch-22 had a zany style all
its own that just couldn't be
copied on the screen with per-
sonae and structure intact. Be-
cause most films are literary,
we often lose sight of the fact
that cinema and the novel are
different forms, each with its
own aesthetic, and that certain
alterations and modifications
have to be made in moving from
paper to celluloid. Something
like Catch-22 tests the real
craft, and reveals Nichols' real
feat, of using the elements of
film to recreate the effect of
the novel. (Indeed, the film is
at its worst in its more Heller-
prose filled moments.)
That's why Catch-22 should.
be judged not on how faithful
it is to Heller, (if you're going
to enjoy the film you're going
to have to forget Heller), but
on whether it has its own im-
pact equal to the book's. I
think it does. Like the book it
drives home its points with a
devastatingly brutal aim. But
it is not a filmed novel. It is a
film with its own devices and
as a film it ranks with the fin-
est ever made. Ever. Period.
This is not to say that it is
without faults. It has its share.
It is based on the book after all,
and, in condensing 463 pages to
two hours, something has to be
sacrificed. What's missing here
is character development. Even
though Nichols cut Winter-
green, Scheisskopf, - de-
Coverly, Peckhem, to name just
a few, there are still too many
people running around to allow
very many of them to be real.
Because of the film's structure
Nichols manages to survive pret-
ty well on sketches, but you can
feel the lack of depth in a eene
like Aarfy's crack-up and rape,
which seems to work in spite of
itself, in McWatt's aerial gym-
nastics or in the short shrift
given Major Major. Familiarity
either breeds contempt or afec-

tion, and too often I felt neith-
er.
Perhaps more offensive to or-
thodox worshippers of the book
are the liberties Nichols and Co.
have taken with Milo Minder-
binder (Jon Voight). Milo, Hel-
ler's roguish wheeler-dealer, the
ultimate con man trading live:
for shares in the ubiquitous MM
Enterprises, is less lovable in the
Nichols version. He becomes a
black-gloved fascisti cruising
down the boulevards of Rome,
phalanxed by a group of strong-
arms. It isn't Heller, but it is
so much in the spirit of Hel-
ler's over-blown portrait of the
Army that it has Heller-like im-
pact.

ichols
Tor most citiers, Poxxee',this
won do. Ileilc' .1Orms aove the
proceedings like a restive dei-
y, and this nrly religious de-
votin lo the book 'unfirly
dooms Nichols from the outset
to the role of inompetent
pieacher for its powerful mes-
sage about war and, more im-
portantly. lie, and about the
"eatches" in both. The famous
catch, of course, is 22 hat ter-
ribly elusive yet all expamsive
rule which means everything
and nothing, For Yossarian, it
says that 1. if you're crazy you
can't fly any more missions;
but 2. i you say you're crazy
because you don't want to fly,
then you can't really le crazy
because 3. if you really were
crazy you'd keep on flying. Get
it?
Yossarian is in the same posi-
tion as Kafka's K with things
reversed. He is one of the few
sane men in a world gone mad.
He is pathologically paranoid;
everybody is out to get him.
But he is paranoid with good
reason: People are dying all
around him. The other airmen
go about their bloody business
with bloody efficiency and no
questions asked. Every time they
get close to the maximum num-
ber of sorties, Colonel Cathcart
adds a few more. It's all for the
good of the country, men. And
maybe Cathcart will even get
his picture in The Saturday
Evening Post.
As in the novel, the film
builds to parallel climaxes that
twist briefly to convergence.
There is Snowden's death re-
curring every so often and
showing us the trauma that has
pushed Yossarian to the brink
-the brink of sanity. There is
also Yossarian's determination
to get away from it all. The two
strains grow, meet in Snowden's
agonizing death-agonizing 'be-
cause Milo has traded a share
of MM Enterprises for the sty-
rette of morphine - and then
once again diverge in Yossari-
an's improbable scheme for es-
cape.
It's a strange blend of cyni-
cism and optimism, and Catch-
22 is unique precisely because it
is so cynically optimistic. Until
now anti-war films have al-
ways portrayed war either as
deadly serious business (Grand
Illusion, Paths of Glory, Shame)
or as total absurdity (Oh! What
a Lovely War, How I Won the
War). Catch-22 is the first film
that succeeds in portraying war
as the deadly serious absurdity
it is. Catch deals literally with
the gut issue: Somebody has got
to be crazy in this crazy world
of ours. It's either the Yossar-
ians or the Cathcarts, the harm-
less paranoids or their insensate
opposites. Take your choice.
War, though, is no more than
the capstone on a pyramid of
lunacy, and Heller's book ex-
poses not only the deadly illo-.
gic of battle but also the deadly
illogic of life itself. Yossariars
dilemma is that he is trapped
by a lack of control over his
own death. To the impersonal
forces that nmake our lives, he.
isn't very important. So he can
flee the war, but who knows if
he can flee the forces, those ter-
rifying forces, that make the
war possible; powerlessness is
an implacable companion.
Henry, too, says his script is
about dying, and this is the on-
ly major point on which I have
reservations about the film.
Catch-22 is unrivalled as a film
of moods about war; but does
Heller's metaphor remain or is
the picture thematically flabby?
Unfortunately, these are war
conscious days we're living in

and almost everything that
shows blood becomes anti-war
or anti-violence (Note The Wild
Bunch). On the other hand,
since everyone has either read
the book or is at least familiar
with it, things tend to get read
into the movie. Whether it's
Heller or Nichols is sometimes
hard to say.
I come down on the side of
Nichols. Maybe Catch-22 isn't
a profound film, but it is pro-
foundly moving and though I
hesitate to commend a film on
those grounds, my emotions say,
I must. Maybe someday when
our passions about the Vietnam
war and about the book itself
cool a bit, the other critics will
come around. Until then Vin-
cent Canby and I will have to
stand alone in calling Catch a
great film. And if it's planned,
well . . . maybe there's a catch.
Yossarian would think so.

GRADUATE A SEM LY
SPECIAL MEETING
TONITE
7:30 West Conference 'oom
RACKHAM

. . ti:SCE:. _::.. Al.r ::: 5 u Y ... G Y F '' ,. _ R _

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