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April 11, 1975 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-04-11

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Friday, April I1I, 11~75


Page: Five


. , ,



Pick of the week:
Singin' in the Rain
Cinema U,'Aud. A
Sun., 7, 9
The introduction of national
network television in 1950 sent
he motion picture industry
scrambling to come up with1
omething to top the at-home
convenience of its new visuall
Paramount cleaned off the
aboratory shelves and came
p with VistaVision. Twentieth
Century - Fox brought in ster-
eophonic magnetic sound. But
at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, man-
agement elected to. invest mil-
lions in what had always been
the studio's most successful
product - the cinema musical.
Singin' in the Rain represents
the most cohesive effort, from
this era of the last gasp for
the dancing spectacular. Stan-
ley Donen's direction and Gene;
Kelly's choreography blend
magnificently into a fast-paced
piece of entertainment that fea-.
turns a quick wit and a nasty
Kelly,,.Donald O'Connor, and
Debbie Reynolds star as a trio
of actors and technicians caught
in the 1929-1930 Hollywood
changeover from silents to talk-
ies. The touchy situations and
problems they encounter were
quite real in 1929, perhaps ex-
plaining the surprisingly down-
to-earth atmosphere - a com-
rodity only rarely found in
movie musicals.
Nine lighting and -laboratory
work back up a good dones
troupe and surprisingly funny
script. In many ways, in fact,
Singin' in the Rain may just rep-
resent the best of the Holly-
wood studio period.
-David Blomquist
* * *


What's playing this Cinema Weekend
Light entertainment dominates the scene at the fliclis
around town this weekend, as four musicals and two
comedies roll at local theaters.
Opening at the Fifth Forum today is The Four Musket-
eers, Richard Lester's sequel to last year's tongue-in-cheek
comedy starring the same dynamic foursome. Showboat,
the classic Jerome Kern musical, puts in an appearance.
Friday at Cinema Guild.
Here's this Cinema Weekend in detail:
Friday-All the King's Men, 100 Hutchins Hall, 7, 9;
Showboat, Arch. Aud., 7, 9:05; Day for Night, Aud. A, 7,
9:15; The Harrad Experiment, Nat. Sci. Aud., 7:30, 9:30;
It Happened One Night, Couzens Cafeteria, 8, 10.
Saturday - Dames, Arch. Aud., 7; The Gay Divorcee,
Arch. Aud., 9:05; Day for .Night, Aud. A, 7, 9:15; The Har-
rad Experiment, Nat. Sci. Aud., 7:30, 9:30; It Happened
One Night, Couzens Cafeteria, 8, 10.
Sunday - Singin' in the Rain, Aud. A, 7, 9; Native Land,
Let There be Light, Arch. Aud., 7, 9:05.
All weekend -- The Great Waldo Pepper, Michigan (665-
6290); Young Frankenstein, State (662-6264); Savages, Cam-
pus (668-6416); The Four Musketeers, Fifth Forum (761-
9700); Murder on the Orient Express, The Stepford Wives,
Hearts and Minds, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, The
Movies, l$riarwood (769-8780).

Fifth Forum
hero, Lenny Bruce, has cur-
iE ~The Ia t e s t prevailn cul
rently risen to the ultimate1
status of chic. Anyone previous-
Miss Naivete tiptoes into the aesharing any relation with the
exeien ih iiit ,n late comic, however slight. has
feelings of inadequacy, djmade it well known, while it
breezes out with a great deal of eems a intellectual-pus to have
tenderness for her partner and sharebarucesn liberaif rankn
love for her fellow classmates. conservatism a
Of course, this is all non- Thus, the Lenny Bruce phe-
sense, but the directors hoped nomenon has snowballed, and
{it seems) to have won our has of late erupted into some-.
sympathy by focusing on thewhat of a cultural expion.
development of this singuiariy The Lenny Bruce "mystic" isl
All-American female. currently presented with text-.
But their feeble attempts do book clarity with the United
not work, and the viewer must Artist production of "a Bobs
depart not knowing whether to Fosse film" entitled, simpi and
back. y personally, Lenny.
The movie has been handled.
-Sarah Polarek as one of those rare cinematic
* * * events, a la Last Tango in
It Happened One Night Paris. Employing the Michaelj
Todd theory of limited access,
Couzens Film Co-op
Couzens Cafeteria
Fri., Sat., 8, 10
At the beginning of the 47,,h
AnnualAcademy Awards pres-s s
entation last Tuesday, a year-
by-year review named the past
46 films voted the best picturer2
of the year., Among them is it , TODAY AT 7 & 9 P.M.
Happened One Night, which SAT.-SUN. AT
brought well deserved praise to 1-3-5-7-9 P.M.

the film has opened at "selected
theatres" across the country at
showcase prices..
With all the hype surrounding
the film, it becomes requiredl
viewing for all who claim in-
terest in contemporary cinema.
And to their dismay, it proves
a dramatic disappointment.
The film, in its stricv cly ie-
mnat ic context, is extraordinary,
particularly considering itis
only Fosse's t hird film. But
when one 'examines the direc-
tor's characters thro'ugh the
black and white cinemaiagraphy
of Bruce' Surtees, we find only
shallowness; not only :n Hoff-1
man's interpretation of Lenny,
but in the entire present-1ast
technique that Fosse rliies so
heavily on.
Julian B e r r y ' s screenplay
strives desperately to become
an active support that makes
Fosse's film more than merely
a pretentious tribute.
-Jim Valk


Reefer Madness.
Cocaine Comed
(Mysteries of the Leaping Fish)
TONIGHT, Fri., April 11
7:001 8:45, & 10:30 $1.25



The Great Waldo
The Great Waldo Pepper is
good solid Saturday afternoon
entertainment (or better yet,,
Wednesday afternoon, w h e n
aduls are admitted for one
thin buclk), but definitely not
the stuff of which dreams are
made. In short, the aerial scenes
are of . "edge of the seat" va-
riety; however, the intrusive
ground sequences never get off
the ground.
Robert Redford, in impressive
matinee idol fashion, plays the
same starry-eyed romantic hero
ever in search of lost and/or
never gained glory that we've
all come to know and love
through, w a t c hi n g "Action
Movie" every Saturday after-
Redford's ideals never waver
as he scratches a meager exis-
tence from dangerous stunt fly-
ing, all the while, dreaming of
the glory of World War I's
flying aces and the chance to
battle Ernst Kessler, the great-
est of them all, for the distinc-
ion of the world's greatest
The entire film builds up
(rather slowly at times) to their
Itimate, inevitable showdown--
which occurs, incidentally, at
the expense of the motion pic-
ture crew that's filming the
story of Kessler's flying career
with he and Waldo Pepper (Red-
ford) employed to perform the
aerial stunts.
In the course of this rather
episodic film, Pepper witnesses
several dramatic deaths of
friends that result from his per-
sistence in practicing his dying
act. But in one highly melodra-.
matic dialogue with the now bit-
ter Kessler---a scene that un-
comfortably summarizes Pep-
per's theme-the "great" Waldo.
Pepper recognizes the heroism

' S

of flying and the moral neces- unknowns, with the exception of director Frank Capra in 1934.
sity of his pursuing it. Susie Blakely, is pretty good. The fast-moving comedy, stars
George Roy Hill (responsible Individual opinions about Sav- Claudette Colbert as Ellie An-
for story and direction) makes ages are sure to be extremely drews, a stubborn heiress who
this a more personal film -han. varied, so see it for yourself. tries every possible means to
his preivous efforts (Butch (as-: -Joe McMullen spite her well-known father. She
sidy, The Sting), as all the big- * * * escapes her father's dominion,
shot Crits have poin ted out. -D y for Night and during her flight she en-
Yet, Hill remains an eter- Cinema I, Aud. A counters the outspoken news-
tainment" director and falters Fi.emat ,I7An:d. A paper reporter Peter Warne,
badly when he tackles heavier Fri., Sat., 7, 9:15 pae yCakGbe
tdym eks I think it would be difficult played by Clark Gable.
themes. for anyone not to like a Fran- Romance develops baween
Thusly, Pepper proves an ex- cois Truffaut film. His elegant this unlikely pair as they dis-
citing two-fifty's worth when good nature has an infectious cover a life of hitchhiking and
the camera takes to the sky but quality hard for any moviegoer tourist camps.
falls flat. on Robert Redford 's
pretty face wn grounded.' to resist. It Happened One Night en-
-Chriy face when grounded. But is it really possible to do dures as a classic of the cinena
-Chris Kochmanski more t h a n like Truffaut? 40 years since it was released.
* Critics rage away pro and con Multiple viewings of this movie
over the latest Fellini or Ku- cannot lessen its comely ;m-
Savages brick, while there on the fence pact.
Campus sits Truffaut, cloistered in leis --Joe McMu'lea
S a v a g e s is simultaneously amorphous cotton candy films, * * *
funny, seriously symbolic, off- whimsical and safe. . ,
beat, brilliant, and weird. It Day For Night is Truffaut's All the Irn s Aen
makes its Midwest premier in paean to movie-making itself. It Law School Films
Ann Arbor after playing in New is a fictionalized documentary 100 Hutchins Hall
York and on the West Coast. of the trials and tribulations of Fri., 7, 9
In a forest, seen in black- putting together a motion vic- Robert Penn Warren's prize-
and-white, are a clan of sav- ture-a sort of film within a winning novel, All the King's
ages attired in their ritualistic film. Men, based on the rise and fall
clay masks and feathers, ad The people involved portrav of Huey Long, was turned into
smeared with mud. They are essentially themselves, although a film by Robert Rossen in
preparing to make a human using fictitious names. Truffaut 1949.
sacrifice when a croquette ball himself plays the director; pe- Men tells acomplicated ,tory
falls from the sky into their rennial alter-ego Jean-Pierre of a self-made, righteous, coun-
midst. Leaud is one of his stars, with try lawyer (Broderick Craw-
Fascinated by the ball's per- Jacqueline Bisset and Jean ford), who cheats his way to po-
fect, divine shape, they venture Pierre Aumont also figuring litical kingdom in a southern
out of the forest to an abandoned nrominently. Naturally, Day For state. The film gets bogged
Victorian mansion. The savages Nieht is impeccably made and down by incredible melodrama,
discover a world of jewels, mu- verv enjoyable. .But that's all. and only occasionally offers
sic, and clothes. Truffaut long ago abandrned psychological insight.
The fM1 m jumps abruptly meaningful cinema: his films Consistency of dramatic struc-
ahead to a croquette game on radiate all the charm in the ture-or of character revelation
the lawn of the mansion. The world, but the master no longer -is nowhere to be found in the
time is not definitely given, but takes risks, no longer reaches film. Crawford concentrates tre-
several hints indicate roughly out. Rather. Truffaut seems con- mendous energy into his role,
the 1920s. tent with his niche as a kind of but Rossen's screenplay (his
Now seen in color are a group: will-o'-the-wisp, bewitching the own) fails to transfer from Mr.
of elite society: the hostess, an mind and senses-but never the Warren's book any depth of un-
English lord and lady, a capital- heart. derstanding of the characters.
ist, a debutante, an eligible -Kim Potter A ost - Watergate audience
young man, several young men *A * * m pig t We rgdthi ln-
and ome, alesbananda Imight well find this film in-
and women, a lesbian, and a The Harrad teresting. Ugly illustrations of
transvestite. back-room spittoon politics and
The mysterious croquette ball Exnerirnent ilid illuminations of howling
interupts their dinner party and Mediatrics, Nat. Sci. Aud. nolitical mobs abound. Hard-
somehow affects them all ment- Fri., Sat., 7:30, 9:30 hoiled henchmen. and corrupt
ally. Their irrepressible sexual A small Eastern college be- oliticos are a-dime-a-dozen. So
desires and involvement with, comes the site for an unconven- that's where Bernstein and
witchcraft cause them to re-' tional exercise in academia by Woodward got that title . . .
gress, and by the end of the a dignified but "with-it" sociol- -Nathalie M. Walker
film, they are all savages. ogy professor. In The Harrad , * *



Somehow remaining a 1 o o f
from the madness through most
of the film is Julian, the song-.
writer. He sits alone in the
attic playing the cello.;
James Ivory has molded the
screenplay by former National
Lampoon editors George Trow1
and Michael O'Donoghue into a
strange fable about civilization.
The dialogue at times is a bit
to quasi-symbolic, and many'
incidents are left unexplained.'
The acting, done by New York1

Experiment, James Whitmore,
who is usually a very fine ac-
tor, looks ridiculous in this
wholly unprofessional and for-
gettable film.
The experiment concerns the
mating of students enrolled in
the program, with Whitmore en-
couraging the couples to develop
a sexually (and otherwise) sat-
isfying relationship. B u t of
course the scrupulous heroine,
who is all sugar and spice,
throws a wrench into his plans.

Jazz style progresses, yet
the old and new both shine

Jazz started back at the turn
of the century with the straight-
forward tradition of Dixieland
-the music that the Preserva-
tion Hall Jazz Band had car-
ried through the years. But
From that classic tradition has
evolved a more expansive,
broader form of jazz - such as
displayed by the University Jazz
Band. And as the two groups
performed here this week, it be-
came increasingly clear that
jazz, in whatever form, is pre-
sented in a unique chronology.
Preservation Hall started with
3 relaxed, easy come-on - the
rinky tink sound of an old wood
piano combined with the pulse
Vf a drum and a low mellowing
:rumpet. Enter right: a dixie-
and clarinet crying for atten-J
.-+- to . 'I n- hnnn

effects added interest. Perform- walking down a street, half liv-
ing excellence was shown ing in another world, they had
through arpeggios, chromatic- more to say than most of us
ism and bent notes. The drum- have thought of yet. And they
mer successfully augmented said it.
the solos. The clarinet display- The University Jazz Band,
ed perfection on the high notes, conducted by Edward L. Smith,
and the audience responded with had completed the spectrum
well-deserved eruptions of ap- Monday night. The group show-
plause. ed proficiency on multiple in-
Nobody handed you a list of struments for a tight, polished

The Gay Divorcee
Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud.
Sat., 9:05
Fred Astaire a n d Ginger
Rogers made their debut as a
dancing and romancing team in
1933's Flying Down to Rio, but
the following year's The Gay
Divorcee marked their first ac-
tual starring dual venture.
Divorcee is typically predict-
able: Astaire d a n c e s and
charms his way into Rogers'
heart, but she must first obtain
a divorce from her rarely, if
ever, present husband.
The lovers are aided and abet-
ted by Edward Everett Horton,
Alice Brady, and Erik Rodin
(who steals the show as the
bumbling "correspondent") as
they establish a model for sup-
porting actors in all subsequent
Astaire-Rogers vehicles.
Seen as a whole, their films
attain the classic stature cri-
tics and cultists have afforded
them over the years. But when!
seen individually, the musicals
of Astaire and Rogers are mere-
ly entertaining and decidedly
lightweight. Divorcee is no ex-
YetMark Sandrich seems the
ideal director for Fred Astaire,
as his turns on the dance floor,
with and without the equally
nimble Ginger Rogers, remain
as breathtaking as ever. "The
Continental," for its words and
music won the Best Song Oscar,
and as a giant production num-
ber is the film's high point-
alone making Divorcee well
worth seeing.
-Chris Kochmanski

songs - it wasn't needed. Ev-
ery song sounded brand new,!
yet recognizable and centuries
old - like a handed down story
which takes on new meanings,
new interpretations, new ex-t
pressions with each telling.
Willie Humphrey sways his
his and creates such sweet,
soft sounds with his clarinet
that one is astounded when he
suddenly whins up and down
the stick with the sneed of a.

effect. They functioned at their
best while playing hand, fast!
"Spinning Wheel" was a great
arrangement for the Jazz Band.
The transitions were covered!
well; the baritone sax was solid
and one damn good tenor really
succeeded with his licks.
Capping off the evening was
the Jimmy Wilkins Band, a
professional group out of De-
troit. Jimmv also commented
.hmit :av. "We n 'Ond of rP.P-

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