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February 14, 1975 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-02-14

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Fridoy, Fe$rUdry 14, 1975

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

Friday, Fe~ru~ry 14, 1975 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Pcs~e Five

Pick of the Week:

Young Frankenstein
State
Comedy is an exceelingly dif-
ficult commodity for the film
medium to properly handle. Sc
much of comedy depends upon
fine timing -the developed art
of the performer precisely in-
teracting with each peculiarity
of his audience.
But in cinema, of course,
there is no room for such a
flexible interaction: the same
finished product must serve
many different audiences. One
final cut must satisfy both the
packed New York theater and
the half-deserted Butte drive-
in.
Perhaps that's what makes
Mel Brook's Young Franken-
stein such a unique film. It can
throw almost any movie viewer
into hysteric fits of laughter.
Brooks and lead player Gene
Wilder penned a screenplay
around Mary Shelley's novel
that is many things at the same
time: a satire on the '30s hor-
ror classic (in fact, the picture
is in black-and-white to empha-
size the comparison), a collec-
tion of beautiful little slapstick-
ish bits, and some sharp one-
line joke writing.
Young Frankenstein is a
funny, funny film. You'll die
laughing - and love it.
-David Blomquist
* * *
The Producers
Ann Arbor Film Co-op
Angell Hall, Aud. A
Fri., 7, 8:45, 10:30
Mel Brooks can never be ac-
cused. of subtlety. His humor
has always been a mixture of
black comedy and outrageously
cruel, tasteless burlesque.
Brooks will do almost anything
for a laugh, as he demonstrated
in Blazing Saddles and Young
Frankenstein.
His best film, The Producers,
was also his first. Perhaps this
accounts for its remarkable re-
straint. The action concerns a
theatrical producer (Zero Mos-
tel) and an accountant (Gene
Wilder) who overback a surefire
flop, so that, when it closes
after one night, they will be
left with the oversubscribed ex-
cess.
Mostel, as usual, overacts
gro' 1squely, but Wilder plays
perfectly the neurotic that he
does so well. He is great-right
down to his security blanket.
In addition, there are some won-
derful minor characters who
contribute to the madcap pace.
-Melissa Harris
Harder They Come
New World, MLB
Sat., 7, 9
When thinking of Jamaica,
most people conjure up an im-
8ge of sun, surf, and sand. The
Harder They Come is the first
feature filmed in Jamaica by
Jamaicans, and will carry you
far from the carefree pleasan-
tries of a tourist's impression
of that tropical island.
Set in Kingston, the film fo-
cuses on the short unhappy life
of a young black singer turned
gunslinger. Jimmy Cliff is the
country boy, cutting only one hit
record before he is hurt by his
producer and marijuana hust-
lers.
This disturbing impression of
Jamaica's darker side is hon-
est, natural and energetic. A
musical score of the native
rock - like Reggae music en-
hances the film with the real

cinema

weekend

formance become secondary to
the structural faults of Fiasse's
a p p r o a c h. Ultimately, in its
frantic attempt to be taken ser-
iolsly, the f i 1 m squanders
where it matters most.
-Jimn Talk

rhythm
life.

and spirit of Jamaican
-Gayle Krinsky
* *

and north-side mobster Bugs
Moran.
Movie - grist veteran Corman
managed to land a couple of big

names (George Segal, Jason
Serpico
Robards), then spiced up his
New World, MLB epic with probably the biggest
Sat., Sun., 7, 9:30 collection of movie-hood second-
Serpico seems to me the most bananas ever assembled. Just
overrated film in recent years.-tune in re-runs of The Untouch-
Certainly it stands apart from ables and you're bound to catch
its counterparts in that it's a them all at least two or three
serious "cop" film with a seri- times.
ous message about corruption in , It's all rather shabby stuff
the ranks. And certainly Al Pa- more attuned budget-wise to
cino is memorable in the title TV than to the grade-A movie
role, one in a series of exciting market it pretends to. Still, de-3
performances he's delivered votees of the crime-film genre
since The Panic in Needle Park. should find it rewarding for
But Serpico is nonetheless a the characters involved, if not
glaringly uncinematic film (pe- the script. All others would
culiar for this genre), consist- be advised to steer clear.
ing of little to glue one to his -Kim Potter
seat. Watching Serpico is like
subjecting oneself to the monot-
ony Pacino encounters as he Harry Kellerman
takes his case to each succeed-
ing higher-up and discovers lit- Michigan Fair Tax Campaign
tle more than plain apathy. Physics and Astronomy, 170
Sidney Lumet has been wide- Fri., 7, 9:30
ly acclaimed for his Serpico- Michigan Fair TaxkCampaign
like courage in documenting Michigan air Ti Cmign
the now-exiled honest cop's life. debuts on campus this Friday
He based the film on Peter with Who is Harry Kellerman
Maas's best seller, and al- j n h s esyn l
though his direction isacredit- those terrible things about me?
able, Serpico, as cinema, falls nwhich may or may not have
flat. anything to do with a fair tax,
a: fat... s ,..4 .. ...,t .rnst c nin to firtd

--Chris Kochmanski
S* *
Little Big Man
Mediatrics, Nat. Sci. Aud.
Fri., Sat.,,7:30, 9:45
Little Big Man is an extrava-
gant and ambitious movie that
attempts to capture something
of the American Heritage by
chronicling the life of a 120-
year-old man who may have
been the only survivor of Cus-
ter's last stand.
The man, Jack Crabb, claims
to have been captured by the
Cheyennes at the age of 10,
raised by them as a brave, then
rescued by the white men at
15. He then tells of his several
careers as an Indian scout,
con artist, alcoholic, suicidal
hermit, and, finally, as the sole
survivor of the massacre at Lit-
tle Big Horn.
In the course of his life,
Crabb encounters people who
each contribute to his moral
development. Dustin HoffmanI
Ilay , him with the help of a

but is well worth seeing to tinu
the answer.
Dustin Hoffman, still blush-
ing from his Little Big Man suc-
cess, tried something different
in this tragi-comedy about a hit
rock songwriter who gets the
feeling he's on the social and
sexual skids.
Paranoia strikes deep and
Hoffman's conception of a
malevolent Harry Kellerman
treats us to some great filming
sequences. What makes it all
funny, and drives Hoffman to
fantasies and nightmares, is
what Kellerman is spreading
around town,
-Phil Hadley
* *
Pawnbroker
Law School Films
100 Hutchins Hall
Fri., 7, 9
Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger),
a Jewish pawnbroker in New
York's Harlem, calls his cus-
tomers "scums and rejects".

. n in festival
Schorling Aud.
Fri., Sat., Sun., 7
The filmgoer's weekend is
highlighted by the 5th Annual
Ann Arbor 8mm Film Festival.
The festival, which features
films of varying content from
throughout the country, is one
of the few festivals that is
dedicated to the advancementi
of 8mm filmmaking, a much!
neglected aspect of an other-
wise publicized medium.
The films are not merely an
alternative to the usual fare of
weekend films - they are orig-
inal works by amateur film-
makers that present a legiti-
mate attempt at justifying 8mm
as a serious mode of cinematic
contention.
Friday and Saturday night
will be composed of the best'
films entered in the festival, a
lot that numbered over 100 in-
dividual entries. Varying inI
length from two to thirty min-
utes each, the films shown
each of these two nights willI
be judged as to their overall
excellence, with the "best of
the best" being shown at the
Sunday night finale.
Transcending the usual clas-
sification of "film festival",-
this 8mm competition stands as}
an important recognition of an
overlooked tool readily avail-
able to most would-be film-
makers, and seriously deserves
the attention of anyone con-
cerned with the future of ama-
teur cinema.
-Jim Valk
The Other
Bursley Hall Enterprises
Burslay West Cafeteria
Sat., 9
Director Robert Mulligan ha-
bitually relies on nostalgic,
small-town environments fori
the settings of his "creampuff"
films. The Other, combining the
worst elements of the intro-
spective children's drama with
the gothic suspense tale, emer-
ges as an especially lightweight
exercise.
Based on the best-selling nov-
el by former film star Tom
(The Cardinal) Tryon (which
was, incidentally, superior to
the film), Other exploits the
standard Psycho-inspired theme
of guilt 'trauma over the loss
of a loved one, and the assump-i
tion of that loved one's identity.
This time around, a New'
England youth steps into the
shoes of his long-dead twin;
brother and commits many and,
varied acts of mayhem, mainly
against his family and neigh-
bors.

Maltese Fiaiconi
Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud.
Sat., 7, 9:05
Perhaps "classic" is an over-
used adjective in film vocabu-
lary, but it aptly describes War-
ner Brother's 1941 production
of The Maltese Falcon. Based
on one of Dashiell Hammett's
most intriguing mystery novels,
the film marks both the direc-
torial debut of John Huston and
the advent of the private-eye
genre.
Humphrey Bogart stars as
Sam Spade, a cynical and cal-
culating private detective whom
Brigid O'Shaughnessy (M a r y
Astor) employs to find her
, missing sister.
j Spade begins his search but
soons finds himself submerged
in an underworld mire of inter-
national thieves, punk gunsels,
and bungling cops, all of whom
are hotly pursuing the Maltese
Falcon, a bejeweled statuette.
Outstanding performances by
{ Sidney Greenstreet, Peter
j Lorre, Elisha Cook, Jr., and, of
c o u r s e, the incomparable
Bogey, complimented by Hus-
ton's fine direction, make this
film a viewing adventure. The
Maltese Falcon is, in every,
sense of the overused word, a
Iclassic.
-Jeff Ferro
Cluniy Brni
Cinema II, And. A
Sun., 7, 9
In consideration of the films
of Ernst Lubitsch there is one
work that the majority of cri-
tics ignore. This neglected work
is his last complete film, Cluny
Brown. There really is no jus-
tification for the slighting of
Cluny Brown as it is a magnifi-
cent film reflecting the charm
and style of Lubitsch.
As in countless other Lubitsch
films, one has a tendency to
fall in love with the principals.
Jennifer Jones is a joy as
Cluny, the girl with a passion
for plumbing and an aversion
to pomposity. Joining her is
Charles Boyer, marvelous as
the Czech refugee-author.
These and countless other
acting gems (Una O'Connor in
particular) plus the unique Lu-
bitsch touch make this skillful
satire a film not to be missed,
-John Frank
Rancho Notorouis
Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud.
Sun., 9:05
In Rancho Notorious, Marlene
Dietrich offers one of her least
notable performances. She
plays Altar Keane, a drowsy
former dance hall girl who op-
erates a hideout for outlaws in
Texas.
The flimsy screenplay con-
cncerns the conflict between
vengeful cowboys, Arthur Ken-
nedy and Mel Ferrer. In a mi-
nor role, William Frawley who
later gained fame as Fred in
"I Love Lucy", appears.
R. K. O. probably hoped to
cash in on Miss Dietrich's fame
in this 1952 technicolor flop.
Whatever the intentions, the
Fritz Lang film comes off as
just another horse opera.
-Joe McMullen

rn 7 1 t"+ iT'P -I 7

-John Frank
'~ *'*

Streetcar Named
Desire
Ann Arbor Film Co-op
MLB, Aud. 3
Sat., 7, 9

the film has opened at "selected
theatres" across the country at
showcase prices.
With all the hype surrounding
the film, it becomes required
viewing for all who claim in-
terest in contemporary cinema.
And to their dismay, it proves
a dramatic disappointment.

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Theodora Goes Wild " ""t ' """" ' Clockwork Orange
Cinema Guild Arch And satisfying film experience on
Sun,, 7 all levels and as such deserves The Movies, Briarwood
A particularly rich tradition at least one viewing. Back for another round of fAn
in film has been that of the -John Frank and games are Alex and his
screwball comedy. Such cla-* droogs, courtesy of a giant na-
sics as You Can't Take It with tion-wide promo effort !y War-
sicssYou Cant Te t Twt Jenny ner Brothers. Perhaps they will
You, Mr. Leeds Goes to Town make this a yearly pageant, the
and Bringing Up Baby have Fifth Forum 1 i k e I i h o o d of Clockwork
come out of this genre. The 1 a t e s t prevailing cult Orange's transference to TV be-
The position of women in the hero, Lenny Bruce, has cur- ing remote at best.
screwball comedy has almost rently risen to the ultimate It isn't easy to add original
traditionally been a secondary status of chic. Anyone previous- comment to what is already the
one. There have, however, been ly sharing any relation with the most praised and damned film
a few screwball comedies late comic, however slight, has since Citizen Kane. Let mi n-ven-
which have utilized a female made it well known, while it ture a few opinions: The novel
protagonist. One of these is seems a intellectual-plus to have is distinctly sharper than the
Richard Boleslawski's Theodora shared Bruce's liberal ideolo- film; Malcolm McDowell, on
Goes Wild. gies back in an era of ranking the other hand, is the most
The story: A prim, proper wo- conservatism. marvelously true Alex imagine-
man living in a small town Thus, the Lenny Bruce phe- able; Stanley Kubrick seems
writes a scandalous best-seller nomenon has snowballed, and (mistakenly, I think) to view
under a pseudonym. At first she has of late erupted into some- Alex's brutalities as a basically
denies the work. Later, with what of a cultural explosion. positive force against the steril-
the aid of an artist, she ac- The Lenny Bruce "mystic" is ity of a behavior-mod suo;iety.
cepts it and becomes an out- currently presented with text- A word to the wise: Warner
j spoken advocate for women's book clarity with the United Brothers, in a fit of generosity,
rights. Artist production of "a Bob has decreed all passes and ds-
Despite the film's unusual Fosse film" entitled, simply and counts to Clockwork Orange
twist it comes off as quite an personally, Lenny. null and void. This mean no
ordinary effort. The highpoints The movie has been handled d o 11 a r matinees, two-for-te
of the film are the perform- as one of those rare cinematic nights or any other such bar-
ances of Irene Dunne as the events, a la Last Tango in'gains-it's a straight two ffty
writer and Melvyn Dougles as Paris. Employing the Michael or nothing, folks.
the artist. Todd theory of limited access.,i Pte

Marlon Brando gave one of The film, in its stric'ly cne-
the best performances of his matic context, is extraordinary,!
career in Streetcar Named De- particularly considering it is
sire, acting his heart out as only Fosse's t bird film. But
Stanley Kowalski, and for it when one examines the direc-
he got an Oscar nomination. tor's characters through the
But despite the magnificence black and white cinemazcgraphy
of his portrayal, he's nearly of Bruce Surtees, we find only j
upstaged by Vivien Leigh, who shallowness; not only n Hoff-
did manage to capture one of man's interpretation of Lenny,
Hollywood's favorite pieces of but in the entire pressnt-1asti
statuary for her job as Blanche. technique that Fosse rAies so
All in all, Streetcar is su- heavily on.
perb, but admittedly it's easier Julian B e r r y 's screenplay.
to make a fine film when you strives desperately to be.;ome
start with a good base like an active support that makes
Williams' classic story of South- Fosse's film more than mea ely
ern decay. Elia Kazan direct- a pretentious tribute.
ed this movie, widely acknowl- Unfortunately, the handsome;
edged as one of the best jobs craftsmanship of the film and
done of putting a play on film. Valerie Perrine's superb per-
-Stephen Selbst

IS SYRACUSE READY
FOR COLLEGE PIPE BAND?
SYRACUSE, N. Y. (M) -
Students in Douglas Cutter's
bagpipe classes at Syracuse
University, believed to be the
only credit course in the High-
land bagpipe offered in the
United States, should be able to
play the Scottish national an-
them, "Scots Wha' Ha'e," be-
fore the thistles bloom.
Cutter is teaching three
courses in Highland bagpiping.
He is a MacDonald through his
grandfather's family. He has
played the bagpipe for 16 years
and been an instructor for six.
During the last two summers
he has competed in 13 Highland
gatherings in the United States
and Canada, placing first in
seven, second in five and third
in one.
"I hope to make this class a
training group for a campus
pipe band," Cutter said, adding
that it may be two years before
the group is ready to perform
in public.

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plays al'1 WL1Lm 1VP v VLlV iua s.
lot of make-up and an interest- He is insensitive to the people
ing, sometimes uneven, script who come to pawn their goods
by Calder Willingham. i for some understanding as well
Director Arthur Penn has at. as cold cash.
tempted to make a simple Nazerman inexplicably escap-
statement on the contrariness E ed death while his family and
of the American experience, but friends died in a Nazi concen-
in the process produces a film tration camp and finds refuge
of epic proportions that is, at t from brief and guilt by wallow-
times, a contradiction in itself. ing in self - pity. The Pawn-
-Melissa Harris broker deals with Nazerman's
* * * discovery that man must go on
St. Valentines, Day helping his fellow man.
Steiger, in one of his finest
massacre roles, gives a charged, intense
Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud. performance. He perfects the
Fri., 7, 9:05 colorless expressions, the fat
Rat-a-tat-tat go the machine and sallow body, the dismal
guns, Al Capone chomps his aura of a broken man.
cigar and gangland Chicago Director Sidney Lumet high-
lives for the upmteenth time in lights fine acting with skillful
Roger Corman's 1967 film, The cinematography. Using flash-
St. Valentine's Day Massacre backs, contrasts, and dismal
(quaint scheduling). settings, Lumet frames a dis-
For the historically uninclin- turbing portrait of a pitiable
ed, Massacre details the blood- man and the circumstances
iest mass gangster - slaying of that smother him.
the '20s war between Capone -Cathi Suyak

,'
l';

Yet any mood of eeriness Mul-
ligan is able to achieve suffo-
cates under the overly lush
photography of Robert Surtees,
and unnecessary similarities
with their previous combined
effort, Summer of '42, abound.
Furthermore, the perform-
ances are painfully strained all
around; especially glaring is
the phoniness of stage actress
Uta Hagen's forced Russian
accent typical of the 1972 re-
lease's many faults.
-Chris Kochmanski

Wuthering Heights
Cinema II, Aud. A
Fri., Sat., 7, 9
Perhaps the most pleasant
surprise on campus this week-
end is this revival of William
Wyler's classic Wuthering
Heights. Wyler, whose credits
include The Little Foxes, Fun-
ny Girl, and Dead End, outdoes
himself with this film.
The acting is in a word su-
perb. Laurence Olivier captures
the passion of Heathcliff ex-
clusively. Merle Oberon is sim-
ply amazing as Cathy. Other
excellent performances are
turned in by such reliable
stand-bys as Leo G. Carroll,
Donal Crisp and David Niven.
Perhaps the most striking
thing about Wuthering Heights
is Gregg Toland's photography.
The scenes in the moors and
especially those involving the
; heather are simply breathtak-

W -j~MEDIATRICS
PRESENTS
Dustin Hoffman
E Little Big Man
Fri., Feb. 14 Sat., Feb. 15
7:30, 9:45
NAT. SCI. AULD.LN
STILL ONLY $1

WAN ..gy Km 'S

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603 east(bert TONIGHT at n Tonight at 7 and 9 p.m. only! . Fri.-Mon.-Tues.-Thurs.
7 & 9:15 p.m. ONLY! Open at 6:45 at 7 & 9 p.m. only-open at 6:45
MICHIGAOpen at 645Sat Sun. open a1T-3-5-7-TA
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PLUS 2 GREAT SHORTS! 6 BOUND TO BE THE BEST 4F WEDNESDAY is BARGAIN DAY'
FOREIGN FILM OF 1974 uni ,.A1 et 10
"It represents some of the finest work "MADDER, FUNNIER, MORE INSPIRED THAN ANY-
.h.aTHING BEING DONE IN MOVIES TODAY."
From the Smash Fellini has ever done-which also means -Jay Cocks, TIME MAGAZINE
Suspense Novel that it stands with the best that anyone "MEL BROOKS' FUNNIEST COMEDY TO DATE!"
of the Year... ry;. in fiIms has eve rhieved." --Vincent Canby, N.Y. TIMES

VI.
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Bunuel said it is the
only film about what the
modern world really means.
A great film
whose time has come.
A Staniey Kub' c~ 4' Poduct& n A CLOCK~WORK ORANGE tarrng 'cc cc Mc Dowell "PRat'c4;kMagee .Adrenne Cprc.
rt and Mntam' K(ari crSeenolay by Sacey Sutr( k Basd 011 tle rovei byAntho~nyBurges ." Protuced and

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