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January 26, 1975 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-01-26

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undcy, January 26, 1975

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

Sunday, January 26, 1975 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Five

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ PERSPECTIVE

Going Places: A French film trapped
fn contradictions, going only in circles

ANN ARBOR CIVIC THEATRE
presents
TARTUFFE
Jan. 29, 30, 31 and Feb. 1
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
CURTAIN 8 P.M.
Box Office opens daily 10 a.m.
763-1085
HAVING TROUBLE CHOOSING A
MAJOR OR OCCUPATION?
A special vocational clinic will be start-
ing soon at the Univeristy of Michigan
Counseling Center.
Pre-registration necessary. For information and
registration call 764-9466, or stop in at the

By RICHARD M. WYATT What kind of freedom? Of
OING PLACES is really go- what does this liberty consist?
ing nowhere. The plot bf Consider the answers offered
his film can't be located with by Going Places. You're free
telescope. Anything resem- when you believe in nothing
ling form in this French film and when you care about noth-
onsists solely of one erotic ad- ing. Also when you commit
enture glued loosely to anoth- yourself to no one, when you
r. Its 'heroes are suffering;
rom the tedium of sexual gr-at a ;: > :: -°::':>::..:. ..:.,"
fication and the audience suf-
ers from the basic tedium of'
eing bored senseless. According to the
Ostensibly the film is about
ne of the oldest subjects in when you bellev
narrative art, the picaresque >~O ~~VV
adventure (a la Odysseus, Ae-
neas, Sinbad). Two young mod- when you care
ls of the Now Generation, just
out of prison, knock around:
France, hopping from one es- Also when you cc
capade to another, trying to .
"live intensely" - the catch
phrase of the French Coke com- fln o ne, when yQ
mercials.
It's our great youth-cult myth, no one, when yOL
life drunk to the dregs, the
candle burned at both ends by
the ardor of passionate living, or influenced byi
by the great dream of Con-
suming Experience..........................#

the flaccidness of the ideology
informing it. The banality of
the movie surely lies mainly
in its perfect predictability.
Women are raped with mechan-
ical regularity, the inevitable
shortages of funds are met with
some run - of - the-mill purse
film, you're free
e in nothing and
about nothing.
)mmit yourself to
i have feeling for
u can be touched
no one.

from the countless imbroglios in
which the heroes become en-
trapped.
The film both begins and ends
with the theft of a Citreon DS,
roughly equivalent to our Cad-
illac. We wind up ultimately
with our two heroes and their
girl cruising through the French
countryside in their just-stolen
DS, on the road, at last, to lib-
erty.
Liberty is a DS. You're free
when you've got 350 horses un-
der your hood. You're safe when
you're protected in your womb-
like world within the safety
and comfort of Body by Fischer.
JT'S EVERYTHING Detroit
would want one to believe.
It s an automobile advertiser's
dream. The very conception of
freedom is cast in the lan-
guage of material consumption.
The medium of their escape is
the very expression of their
bondage. The expression of lib-
erty,which ought to be subver-
sive of technological interests,
is rather the perfect affirma-
tion of those interests.
For all is false gaiety and
specious celebration of a life
style of freedom, Going Places
is really a desperate film.
If even the imagination of

Counseling Center-1007

E. Huron

COUPLED WITH this surface
hymn to the intense life is
the more serious "subject" of
the film-the question of lib-j
erty. Our two heroes, having'
just been released from their1
imprisonment, are looking for
he spiritual counterpart to this
physical liberation. The film,
in short, is an enquiry into
freedom.l

have feeling for no one, when snatchings and stick-ups, and
you can be touched or influ- the cars to bestolen appear withI
enced by'no one. You're free, a providential convenience.
in short, when you disavow any
contact between yourself and WITH THIS LAST repeating

1

s{
,

the world, whether spiritual, " motif in the film, the in- revolt is shown to be confined
physical or human. cessant thievery of cars, we are to cars and money, the very
What this freedom signifies given the key to the film. The mentality that it would oppose,
with regard to our two parolees automobile is the core of the then all hopes for any real
is also crucial. The very form- film. In functional terms, it is emancipation are dashed. Since
lessness of .the film suggests the recurrent means of escape the possibilities for any real
liberation are short-circuited,
Going Places only goes in cir-
/ /cles.

Norman hartweg

I
Is

odyssey:

Richard Wyatt is a graduate
student and an avid ilmgoer.

A Prankster gets off the bus

(Continued from Page 3)
in large puffs of smoke at one
time with great force.
"It sounded like something
was going on in San Francisco
and I wanted to check it out.
Kesey suggested that I come
up and cut film (the Prankster
film of the bus trip across the
country). What they were do-
ing eventually ended up in the:
Acid Tests and I stayed for
that.
"THE TESTS WERE purej
chaos. Lights, all sorts of
sound effects, plenty of acid and
the Grateful Dead playing for
all hours. These things would
last until dawn. Just chaos."
No one can accuse Norman
Hartweg of reticence, but he;
does not add much to the pub-,
lished story of his life with the
Pranksters. "There isn't much
to add to the (Wolfe) book," he
says. "Wolfe sent me some
blank tapes and told me to tell
him everything I could remem-,
ber. So those parts about me'
are from my point of view be-
cause they are almost verbat-!
im what I told Wolfe on the
tapes. There just isn't much I,
can add to that."
ACID TEST details not only.
the rise of the Merry Prank-
sters but the prank which op-
ened wide the schism that:
cracked the Prankster move-
ment: Kesey's flight to the Rat
I.ands south of the border and
the disintegration of the move-
ment. After aborted attempts
to reconstruct, Hartweg decided
to pack it up and head East al-
most as capriciously as he
joined up with Kesey at La
Honda.
ASLEEP IN THE back seat of
an automobile, Hartweg
woke up one August 1966 day to
find himself in a Las Vegas
hospital with his legs useless,
but his mind still active.
When he had recuperate4
enough to be moved, he was
flown to Veteran's Hospital in
Ann Arbor, his old hometown.
Flat on his back he decided tof
make do without walking. When
he got up from his bed he de-
cided to enroll in graduate
school in philosophy here.
In his pre-Acid Test days,{
Hartweg was what could be
termed an underground play-
wright, what the label makers
today would call "alternative."
The play which has garnered
the most attention is "The Pit."
The story revolves around a

three-year old girl named
Mary Ann Vegetable who falls
down a pit. As the play un-'
folds there are several attempts
- or non-attempts - to save
her. "It's a typical sixties' des-
pair play," Hartweg recalls.

and did all those crazy things.
"You can't repeat the past
and it's senseless to try. The
Pranksters are part of history.
What they did can't be brought
back.
""NE OF the things I have

Have a few extra moments
during the day? Need
something to occupy your mind?
THEN, tuck a copy of
Crossword A u zle
under your arm.

ALL THIS VANISHED in his v'realized is that what
post - Acid Test days. Hart-, made those times so thrilling
weg became immersed in ab- is that they were ripe with
stract ideas rather than their potential. Now that change has
expression. He has abandoned occurred, partly as a result of
film and theater, although the Pranksters and their chal-
when he does attend he says lenge, the possibilities are lim-
he fights the urge to stand up ited and nothing will be as en-
and yell "Hey, that's all wrong. thralling as the moment when
It should go like this." change is eminent.
Given his life and times, one "I wouldn't trade those ex-
wouldn't be at all surprised to periences for the world. They
find Hartweg both nostalgic and were something totally differ-
depressed. He is neither. ent from anything I ever did
"Of course, I am hopeful," before. The only thing I regret
Hartweg says. "I have good is my accident."
reason to be. The pessimism So today Norman L. Hartweg,
most people have now is based author of 'The Pit', film edi-
on misreadings. In the last tor, graduate of the Acid Tests,
three years, two of the most teaches two courses - one an
unprecedented events have I n t r o d u c t o r y Existen-
taken place. For however di- tialism course in Pilot' and one
verse the reasons, the Ameri- for Inteflex.
can people ended the active in- But what of tomorrow for
volvement of American forces this veteran of forty years?
in Vietnam. They had to give Maybe a tour of the West
it up because the people didn't Coast, writing again, or teach-
want it any more. ing at Oakland University.

; .
i
})
t

ATIENTlOI'

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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN THEATRE PR
BR1EAD ad Re,
a new ployby Donald Hcd

" EVER IN THE history of
the West, as least as far as,
I know it, has this happened.
We may not have approved of:
the pace but at least it was
done."
Secondly, Hartweg mentions
the upheaval of the elected gov-
ernment after the Watergate
scandals. This is not to say
Hartweg is an incurable opti-
mist, a Pollyanna in freak'sj
clothing. But it is to say he
believes that the momentum
started by these events will
have its effect in the future.
"I'm not nostalgic. I don't
sit around and say I wish I had
the good old days back again
when we got stoned every night
is what
Ann Arbor
needs.
Listen for it Soon!

WHATEVER it is, one gets
the feeling that Norman
Hartweg hasn't cashed in all
his bus tokens.
SOMETHING
NEW
IS IN THE AIR!
SOON!,

TtR }U ; .r, r
1i, w
i'
j.
* a ."mot 1

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T HE R ET U RN OF
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in the Bicentennial Era"

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