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April 03, 1975 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-04-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Thursday, April 3, 1975
campu4 ick4
Hard sell: Guarantee
of Hollywood sham?
. By JAMES VALK.
ROMANTIC PORNOGRAPHY. You bet.
In yet another ploy to lure unsuspecting saps into the theatre,
Avco-Embassy, under the direction of huckster-supreme Joseph
E. Levine, has thrown The Night Porter to the masses like a;
bone to the dogs, hoping to score a box-office bonanza with me-
diocre fare at best.
Employing an ad campaign that was shady to say the least,1
Night Porter was billed as"romantic pornography," adding in-
sult to injury by attaching Vincent Canby's name to the quote.
It's not false representation, but rather a classic case of mis-
quotation. Canby did refer to the name by that zesty little,
phrase, but in a review that was undoubtedly negative through-
'out.
The trouble is that film producers generally have but one
goal: filling the theatres at any cost. Some can do it without
tricks, but then some have first rate films. Its the others who
must coax patrons into the theatres by misleading innuendos,
attempting to create "manufactured excitement" before a film is-
even subject to critical opinion.
A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF STAGED euphoria can be found in
the handling of the presentation of Lenny, "a Bob Fosse
film." When it opened in December, the film was carefullyf
booked into key theatres throughout the country, always making
the film uneasily accessible. In Detroit, the film played to a
mere 850 seats in one single theatre, connotating a cinematic
event of the highest order.
With this implementation, United Artists has virtually trans-
cended the factor of quality in 'the determination of success, as
everyone mast see thisufilm, irregardless of whether it's good or
bad. It's important, and that's all that counts.
True, some failures of major talents are better than the
successes of minor filmmakers, but that remains the exception
rather than the rule. More often than not, the film being ped-
dled has uestionable merits as to the "event" it is billed as.
GENERALLY, THE TECHNIQUE WORKS. Warner Brothers
keep the initial showings of The Exorcist to a bare minimum;
in the first few weeks in order to build un the expected frenzy
over the film. Receiving free publicity' from covers of wide-
circulation magazines, the public became frustrated at not be-
ing able to buy a ticket for the film, ultimately paying inflated
prices for this manufactured Product.,
While Last Tango in Paris was a legitimate film of cine-
matic merit, it was seen by literally million who attended be-
cause it was the film to see-it was important-it was chic. The
result was predictable, with dissatisfied patrons, paying $4-S
a head, coniplaining of boredom. These are the people who see
one or two films a year, and Last Tango should not have been
one of them.
As successful as the press tactics generally are, they occa-
sionally backfire. The smutty publicity surrounding the death'
of Sarah Miles' manager and her "relationship" with co-star
Burt Reynolds ultimately hurt the box-office performance of The
Man Who Loved Cat Dancing.
PARAMOUNT'S The Great Gatsby, although profitable, was!
nothing of the success predicted, and in the end was the non-
phenomenon of the century. But Gatsby is encouraging, as it
served as a rebuttal by the public to the "jam-it-down-their-!
throats" philosophy practiced by the major studios.
Shortly .after United Artists charged the unprecedented $5-]
a-ticket in New York for Last Tango, Columbia tried to grab
the fast buck with exclusive showings of Godspell at the newly!
inflated price. The result was bleak to say the least.
The whole mess proves little more than a warning to the
prospective moviegoer: the Tinseltoen execs will do anything to!
sell you their product, irregardless of merit.
Creating a false "elitism" over specially selected film is a
common tactic (Lenny, Tommy), while mass bookings during;
initial runs can turn a real bomb into fast money before thec
bad news leaks out (Trial of Billy Jack is the, classic case, where1
over $10 'million was grossed in the first week)..
AS A RULE, WATCH FOR such pretentious labeling as (and
this is the order in which a film set up for hyping progresses'
in) "exclusive engagement," "now playing at these selected
theatres, and ". . . now all over town."
It seems reasonable to conjecture that any film that must
rely on a clever ad campaign to ensure success isn't necessar-
ily bad - it's just that the probability of legitimate merit de-
creases. And with the price of tickets today, we have a right
to be leery.

FHE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

VHE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Five

By BILL LOOMIS
The Museum of Art has an exhi-
bition running from March12-April
6 which includes etchings, litho-
graphs, and paintings from a tumul-
tuous period in French history, 1774-
1830. The exhibit, entiled "Reflec-
tions of an Era of Change," is small
but interesting.
The Museum has gathered the
pieces into four periods: Monarchy,
Revolution, Empire, and Restora-
tion. The thematic and stylistic
changes range from, rococo to ro-
mantic.
During the first period, "Mon-
archy," rococo came to replace the
formal constraint of baroque. Ro-
coco is characterized by small
curves, sensuousness, and a con-
cern for feminine beauty. Clearly

Iart graces.
it is an aristocratic art reflecting "Revolution." Rococo sank in po
the pursuit of pleasure on and off larity with the upper class. Art l
the court during Louis XVI's reign. the aristocratic playground and t
One of the best pieces from this on a political, highly moral them
period is an etching and engraving Artists returned to antique artf
by Jean Michel Morea le jeune en- neo-classicism.
titled "Les Petit-Parrains" (The The Roman republic exemplif:
Little Godparents). Morea dwells on all the values of the Revolutioni
the small superficialities of his so- cluding liberty, heroism, and a n
ciety. It is an excellent portrayal of order. The style is direct and cle
an aristocratic way of life soon to The figures take on a sculptureda
be trampled in the rage of a revo- pearance, an idealized form. The:
lution. synchronized with the popular sur
Another humorous color engrav- of natural law and human reas
ing, "La Rose Ma Defendue" by Jacques-Louis David is recogni
Debucourt, shows the tinge of deca- as the most important artist of t
dence which is found in many of period.
the rococo pieces. Naturally the Among the Revolution pieces
struggle for the rose takes place an engraving of David's "Death
in the bedroom gridiron. Socrates" by Jean' Massard. M
The next division of the era is sard received a commission fr

Art Museum

pu-
eft
ook
me.
for
ied
in-
ew
ar.
ap-
me
rge
on.
zed
his
is
of
as-
om

the Committee for Public Instruc-
tion to make the engraving of stoic
courage for propaganda purposes.
As Napoleon takes the throne, the
third division "Empire" begins. The
human ideals still exist in this per-
iod but they lean toward a roman-
tic national spirit. Artists chose con-
temporary subjects and the style
loosens up a bit. David became an
avid Bonapartist.
A painting on display by Baron
Antoine Jean Gros entitled "Murat
Defeating the Turks at Aboukir"
typifies this patriotism and bombas-
tic portrayal of calor. General Mu-
rat remains unflinching in a wave of
wide-eyed scimitar-flaying Turks,
who have been pushed to the beach-
es.
Also in this collection are two en,

tre dishes, silver gild, by J. B. C.
Odiot which characterize the silver
design of a country enjoying a sta-
ble regime. Their splendor and so-
lidity shows the sharp change from
the flourishes of rococo.
"Restoration" is the final division.
By the time of the Bourbons' return,
neo-classicism is completely gone
and romanticism has - taken over.
Gericault, Charlet, Vernet, and
Delacroix are the big names of this
period choosing rich and exotic sub-
jects.
Delacroix holds all the romantic
sensibilities such as liberty, a de-
sire to understand the world's com-
plexities, and extreme emotional-
ism. They capture the new social
situation in a private world of
imagination and personal reaction.

'Old

pro'

Bob Seger rocks

'Chances Are'

into frenzy,

By JOAN RUHELA we can see that his music has mickry, but from his music it-
Bob Seger, at Chances Are on evolved as rock music gener- self, and especially from h i s;
Tuesday night (actually Wednes- ally. has, yet always remained deep, expressive voice. This
day morning), proved that he unique. voice was at its best during
is a "veteran" rock musician in One of the best of Seger's "Beautiful Loser," the title song
the best sense of the word. newest innovations is his use of of Seger's excellent new album.
Few musicians have written Robin Robbins on the melotron The song climaxes as Seger
as many songs about rock music to create vitality in such songs sings several different; one-lineI
itself as Seger has - from the as "UMC" and "Back in '72." melodies to an accompani'ment
rock 'n roll of "Heavy Music" Also, "Lucifer" and "Ramblin' of swelling and then fading mu-I
to the mellowness of "Turn the Gamblin' Man" reminded the sic. Also, its lyrics are an ex-
Page," both of which were well- audience that Seger keeps ex- pression of rock philosophy -
done at the concert. perimenting with new arrange- if you're medium about every-
Listening to a conglomeration ments of old favorites. thing, you won't win at a n y -
of the songs Seger has perform- Seger's ability to move an thing.
ed, dating back as far as 1967, audience comes, not from gim- 1 Seger also did "Traveling

Man," another fine song from
,the new album. It's tune is par-

ticularly appropriate to its ly-
rics because the notes jump up
and down along the scale to
create a sense of travelling.
"The Silver Bullet Band" did
an excellent job accompanying
Seger. "Lightnin'," which ore-
ceeded Seger, was quite good
but should have played for a
shorter time since they mere-
ly served as a warm-up.
STODAY or
TOMORROW
If you plan to attend
the M a y commence-
ment, you must order
a cap and gown by
Friday, April 4, 1975.
university cellar
769-7940
4-
t-

i

MAKE TRACKS
TO
516 E. LIBERTY ST.
April 4, 1975
4:30-7:30
FEATURING:
DOCTOR BOP and the
HEADLINERS
from Madison, Wisconsin
Dance to the Music of the
50's

Local bands,

'Spectrumt'and'

*COCKTAILS *0DANCE
DONATION $3.00

* FOOD

Masquerade,' vary styles

Another Trolley Extravaganza
A BENEFIT PARTY FOR'ANN ARBOR
STREET RAILWAY & MUSEUM
Chances Are

By ROBERT GORDON formance was the drumming of,
Few local bands do justice to Danny Spencer, a local prodigy
the music of John Coltrane and of "Mixed Bag" fame. Spen-
Thelonius Monk..,Yet"Spec- ce solosintrigued the a u d-
trum" performed vintage jazz fence with their speed, and of-
material with taste and accur-_ten bizarre cadence.
acy last weekend at the Blind Ted Harley was creative and
Pig. versatile on acoustic bass. He
Little is left of Spectrum's ori- and Margo communicated well
ginal personnel, all from t h e' enough to make the young band
University of Michigan J a z z sound tighter than one would ex-
Band. Though theepresent group pect.
has an abundance of individual
talent, they lack experience In the "Chances Are" tradi-
working together. tion, "Masquerade" rock and
This limits the band in depth, rolled for dancers at an op-
and in the dimension of original pressive, distorting volume last
compositions. Guitarist " Bob
Margo hopes that the band will
play more of their own material,
but added, "Believe it or not, I
we've only had three or four!
Nevertheless, Spectrum com. illiana Cavanl's
plemented each other and us-
ually mastered difficult tempor
changes. The group played sen-
sitivel'y on restrained tunes,
such as Coltrane's "Naima." Po R
David Ronstein's sax solos were
unusually expressive, and Peter The most Controvf
Farmer's muted trumpet added
a somber tone to the softer with DIRK
jazz.
Spectrum's energetic tunes, TONIGHT! T
especially "Freedom J a z zi
Dance," displayed tremendous Aud. A,
individual speed, though the
group occasionally lost t h e 7
music's rhythmic tension. The
highlight of the night's p e r -
- nnc~nu i E ~A E £ ' ma

weekend. The band will surely
go deaf by middle age.
Basically a local group, Mas-
querade imitated well, espc-
Tally in their Rolling S t o i e sI
medley. But they mutinously
disarranged "The Story in Your
Eyes" by the Moary Blues, and
tunes by Jethro Tull. They also
failed in trying to imitate Mck
Jagger when flirting with t h e
audience.
The band's idea of creativity
was using two identical black.
electric guitars. Masquerade
played music to dance to - not
much else can be expcted.

University -Dancers
in CONCERT
POWER CENTER
FRI.-SAT.---APRIL 4-5
EVENINGS 8 P.M.
SAT.-SUN.-APRIL 5-6
MATINEES 2:30 P.M.
Tickets on sale at the
Power Center Box Office
U-M Dance Dept.
Barbour Gym
764-6273

film cooperative

41GHT
tTER

Michigan Daily
Arts

E
1
r
,

ersica film of 1974!
BOGARDE
hurs., April 3
Angell Hall
& 9:00

I

.....

AI ILE ,e AI

i'I
'

{ARSON WELLES' *ITI&N RANE& ih941
This is Welles' directing and acting masterpiece-The Great American
(though not Hollywood) Film. Given reign for the first and last time in the
RKO Studios, Welles came up with piercing look at an idealistic rich young
man who takes over publishing and putting out a newspaper he owns asa /
pet project. His incredible success at it is shown in conjunction with the
gradual decline and fall of his original principles. A great cast (including
Joseph Cotton and Agnes Moorehead) and talented technique share in every
frame of this momental movie.

!
J
,I
i

CZECH FILM FESTIVAL
FRI.: Passer's INTIMATE LIGHTING (at 7 and 10)
Forman's BLACK PETER (at 8:30)
Adm. only $1
TONIGHTATC Old. Arch. Aud
Coloquium:'Latin Americans in Struggle

i
1
I
E
i
3i
t
f
i

0'II
U r

FRI.-SAT., APRIL 4-5: "Politics and Society in
Latin America:" Two-day discussion on the char-
acteristics, implications, and explanation of con-
temporary authoritarian regimes in Latin America.
Speakers and participants: Guillermo O'Donnell,
Argentine Political Scientist, now at Princeton;
Philippe Schmitter, Political Scientist, Chicago;
Peter McDonough, Political Scientist, Michigan;
Jose Nun, Sociologist, Toronto; Shepard Forman,
Anthropology, Michigan.
FRI., APRIL 4: Guillermo O'Donnell, "The Political
Economy of Bureaucratic Authoritarian States."

n

5

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