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February 09, 1973 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-02-09

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Friday, February 9, 1973


Pa9e -Three

Friday, February 9, 1973 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page .Three

Capra Festival
Mr. Smith Goes
to Washington
Cinema Guild
Over the years, Mr. Smith Goes
to Washington (1939) gained a
reputation as a classic American
political comedy and a thorough-
ly impassioned plea for liberty
and justice. The movie's indict-
ment of crooked national poli-
tics had Washington in an up-
roar when the film was first re-
leased - Joseph Kennedy, then
U.S. ambassador to England,
even wrote to Harry Cohn (the
film's producer) asking that the
movie be pulled off the market.
It wasn't. And when, in France,
the Vichy government placed -a
ban on all English language films,
theatres across the .c o u n t r y
chose to show Mr. Smith the.
night before the ban went into
The film is a Mr. Deeds on a
grander scale, filled with Cap-
ra's patriotism, and love of free-
dom. Naive Jefferson S m i t h
(James Stewart) stumbles into a
Senate seat and goes to our Cap-
itol only to have-his ideals shat-
tered by a head-on clash w i t h
the corruption and graft that
made Washington what it is to-
* * *
Meet John Doe
Cinema Guild
To reveal the premise of Meet
John Doe (1941) would be to
spoil one of the cleverest open-
ings of any Capra film. What
Capra did here was to study the
mass American movements of
Huey Long and Father Coughlin,
1 all the while keeping Hitler and
Nazi Germany very much in the
back of his mind, and to come up
with a still timely and frighten-


High and Low
-Cinema II
Japanese imports frequently
surpass their American counter-
parts in technical quality. This
is especially true of Director
Akira Kurosawa's High and Low.
Based on the novel King's Ran-
som, by Yankee Ed McBain, the
suspenseful kidnap yarn is re-
located from Manhattan to Yoko-
hama, where Kurosawa compos-

ing film about the possibility of
American fascism: It Could Hap-
pen Here. This is Capra's finest
treatment of crowds - m o r e
stunning than the crowd treat-
ments in American Madness
(1932) or Mr. Smith. The climac-
tic rally, filmed in Wrigley Field,
is truly overwhelming. The film
suffers from a lack of a con-
vincing endigg (Capra realized
this himself and filmed f i v e
different, unsatisfying denoune-
ments). Yet even while the last
scene's logic fails, the mise-en-
scene - atop a city office build-
ing on a quiet, snowy Christmas
Eve - is nevertheless quite ef-
* * * '
It's a Wonderful Life
Cinema Guild
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
is Capra's favorite film, so it
is quite fitting that he appear.
after the 7:00 show to discuss the
film with the Cinema Guild aud-
ience. This is Capra's most ser-
ious and reflective 'film, a post-
War recollection of an era and
the study of a man's spoiled
dreams and eventual dissillus-
ionment. The movie is at times
tremendously powerful, a n d
James Stewart's performance
(the actor's favorite of all- his
roles) includes some of the fin-
est acting ever done in Holly-
wood. The love scene with Ste-
wart, Donna Reed, and a tele-
phone, is absolutely classic.
* * *
The Bitter Tea of
General Yen
Cinema Guild
Very atypical. This 1933 film

theatre are always quickto
stress the mobility of the cam-
era over the limited range of
the stage. Whereas the theatre
must construct representations of
the real world within its walls,
the camera is free to roam the
world, picking up sights along
the way. What happens when the
camera decides not to go any-
where? In a few cases things
work out very well; certain in-
tensities can be created between
characters enclosed in s m a 11
snaces. However, in The Lower
Depths, a story about frustrated
friends and neighbors who are
unable to overcome their motley
lives and living conditions, the
feeling of claustrophobia defeats
much of the compassion the
characters can generate in the
As an adaptation of a Maxim
Gorky play, the film is able to
hold its own for a good part of
its duration. While most of the
action takes place in a rather
rudimentary two-room dwelling
(one room of which we never
see), director Akira Kurosawa
shifts his angles and viewpoints
in an effort to keep the film's
physical appearance from drag-
ging. The bickering of its inhab-
itants - friends, wives, lovers,
parents, and children - is off-
set by the presence of a tempor-
ary lodger, a calm, serene old
man who finds their torments
somewhat amusing. Still, time
pushes on, passions and quarrels
are finally drawn out too far, the
muddy grays of the photography
begin to tire the eyes, and the
tight space grows uncomfortable
until the end of the film brings
relief. The movie tries hard, but
it might have benefitted by con-
trasting the misery-ridden hutch
with those places where the old
man found his serenity. Instead
he, the only outsider, is made to
talk about his experience, and
the film remains a play.
* * *
New Morning Films
Fri., Sat.
Considering Jane Fonda's po-
tential for brazen public actions,
a lot of people were disappoint-
ed when, upon receiving an Os-
car for Klute,rshemurmured
something like, "There are a lot
of things to say - but I'm not.
going to say them now."
Even more people must be dis-
appointed in Klute itself, which
also has a few things to say and
never gets around. to saying
them. Its opening scenes prom-
ise a fairly interesting look at
a hip, unabashed prostitute. But
the film soon befuddles the prom-
ise with various weak repeti-
tions, including a mysterious, ob-
scene tape recording and s o m e
overly tellings cuts to discussions
with her analyst.
Klute is really a so-so suspense
story, although it tries to be
much more. The free-wheeling

-Daily Photo- by RANDY EDMONDS
Noted poet Robert Francis read yesterday in the UGLI Multipurpose Room.

Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper in a scene from Frank
Capra's "Meet John Doe."

Global Books

is Capra's try at artiness. Me-
gan Davis (Barbara Stanwyck)
journeys to China to marry her
missionary childhood sweetheart,
Dr. Strike (Gavin Gordon) -
that is until she meets the amor-
al, sexy Chinese warlord, Gen-
eral Yen (Nils Asther). Bitter
Tea is sensual, erotic, lush, von
Sternbergian. This is a rare print
of the film that Columbia Pic-
tures dug up for us out of their
* * *
Lady for a Day
Cinema Guild
Capra is bringing us his own
personal print of this 1933 film
not ordinarily available for pub-
lic viewing. This is the original
Pocketful of Miracles, the story
of an old poor apple-vendor who
passes as an aristocrat. I have
not seen the film, but ,it w a s
very well received when Capra
showed it at Yale and at Co-
lumbia. Mr. Capra will discuss
the movie after the double fea-

es what might be termed a meta-
physical thriller.
Business exective Toshiro Mi-
fune receives an ominous phone
call from kidnappers demanding
a large sum of money for the
safe return of his son. Unfor-
tunately, for all involved, t h e
culprits have mistakenly c a p-
tured the chauffeur's boy. Mr.
Mifune is confronted with a grave
decision concerning personal re-
sponsibility in the form of an
action melodrama. Should he use
his fortune to save the servant's
child, or to advance his own ,en-
trepreneurship? Kurosawa heigh-
tens the conflict with many vis-
ual confrontations between Mi-
fune and his business associates,
police, servant and kidnappers.
The directorhas lacedmthe har-
rassment of a man's moral char-
acter with a compelling sleuth
drama, and the result is a siz-
zling success.
* * *
The Lower Depths
Cinema II
Sat. & Sun.
Comparisons between film and

female, deep down inside, needs
a meaningful relationship. Along
comes Klute, a small-town po-
liceman who hits the big city zo
fin'd a missing friend.
With an adequate mystery plot
for an excuse, the film goes
about the inevitable process of
one plus one. Donald Sutherland
plunges into the role of Klute like
a cement block plunging into
water. When the rock of m a 1 e
strength begins to tame the live-
ly, if unhappy, hooker, the movie
spits a bad taste into your mouth
that never quite goes away.
* * *
I have labored long and hard
trying to figure out the sexual
politics of Casablanca. Is Bo-
gart really the tough liberal, ar
is he just a Fascist individualist
posing as a John Bircher? And
if so, why does he insist on
smoking menthol cigarettes?
Does Ingrid Bergman take the
pill? If not, is she anything
more than a beautiful, middle-of-
the-road housewife with a turn-
ed-up nose disguised as a pseudo-
starlet? Whatever the answer to
these critical questions, she is
still very attractive, and should
spend more time on her acting
instead of directing stupid films
like Hour of the Wolf.
* * *
Sounder has been touted by
some New York film critics
as the Black equivalent of The
Grapes of Wrath and one of the
finest films about Black life ever

made. Who knows? T
very well might be a
Still, it is all too easy,
good ethical intent w
excellence; could it be
tin Ritt's Depression
Black kid growing up
been highly lauded be
White Liberal heart
viously in the rightr
ther way, we'll have a
see for ourselves when
makes its Ann Arborc
day. By the way, Cice
performance as Rebec
has been very highly
by both Sounder's adn
* * *
The Emigra
The Emigrants is a
in that it is rare for
be successful on the s
its sheer physical bec
er films have made th
but most frequently, l
Madigan, there is a
lack of anything else b
swaying wheatfields.
In this film, however
is led by Liv Ullman
Von Sydow, two memb
"Ingmar Bergman tro
do not suffer when deta
the master. They play
erant Swedish farmir
left with little altern
to set out for America
their utter poverty
The seasons come a.
wistful regularity, an
fect is beautifully
against the dirty finge
runny noses.

Phe movie Classics Comix comes the 11-
11 of that. lustrated Historical Documents
to confuse Film: Terence -Young's The
ith filmic Valachi Papers. I am unfamil-
that Mar- iar with the Peter Maas book
tale of a upon which the film is based, but
poor has if the events depicted in Valachi
cause it's actually occurred, they certain-
is so ob- ly didn't occur like this. The
place? Ei- film is highly unconvincing; how
chance to long can you suspend your dis-
n the film belief when several 1920's gang-
debut Fri- land battles take place against
ly Tyson's the backdrop of New York's
ca Morgan World Trade Center?
acclaimed All of which might be excus-
nirers and able were the plot particularly
-STAFF exciting. But in its attempt at
pious fidelity to fact, Valachi
serves us a highly undramatic,
ants even, and unsurprising stream of
gangster politics and warfare.
rare film Which makes The Valachi Pape
a film to ers, for all its historically valid
auty. 0th- violence, rather dull.
e attempt, -FRED 'LITTLE SICILY'
t frightful
esides the Ad Yet Another
r, the cast Week Of
and Max
ers of the The Sword and the Stone -
nupe' who State - Take the kiddies, by
ched from all means.
y the itin- Deliverance - Fox Village -
ng couple Okay action film. Warning:
ativescaeut there were huge crowds la s t
* * *
nd go with
d the ef- Not to Mention .. .
┬░rnails and Rebecca, Psycho, and Dial M
--STAFF for Murder - at the RC Aud.,
Fri., Sat.
Something Big - Couzens Film
apers Co-op - Sat.
Bullitt - Bursley Hall Movie


* * *

The Valachi P
Fifth Forum
In the' tradition of]



Announcing a
Everything drastically reduced!
20%-70% OFF
all children's books, posters,
jewelry and Bibles
10%-70% OFF
all other books, cards, records
1205 S. University
Open until 1 1 :00 p.m., Monday through Saturday

50 Dragnet
8:30 4 Hall of Fame
7 Partridge Family
9 Beachcombers
50 Merv Griffin
56 Off the Record
9:00 2 Movie

"A first-rate example of the compassionate thriller,
an adult mystery story that doesn't dodge issues or
the intelligence of its audience."-Judith Crist

"You're a'Big Boy Now" (67)
7 Room 222
9 News
56 A Look at Lincoln
9:3 7 ddCouple
6:00 2 4 7 News 9 Sports Scene
9 Courtship of Eddie's Father 56 The Mime of Marcel Marceau
50 Flintstones1
56 BidgewithJeanCox7 Love, American Style
6:30 2 CBS News 9TmyHne
4 NBC News 50 Boxing ute
7 ABC News50Bxn
9 I Dream of Jeannie 56High School Basketball
50 Gilligan's Island 11:00 2 4 7 News
56 Book Beat 9 CBC News
7:00 2 Truth or Consequences 50 One Step Beyond
4 News 11:20 9 News
7 To Tell the Truth 11:30 2 Movie
9 Beverly Hillbillies "Inside Daisy Clover" (66)
50 1Love Lucy 4 Johnny Carson
56: World Press 7 Jack Paar Tonite
7:30 2 What's My Line? 50 Movie
4 Hollywood Squares "The Searchers" (1956)
7 Wait Till Your Father 12:00 9 Movie
Gets Home "Fear No Evil" (69)
9 Lassie 1:00 4 Midnight Special
56 Wall Street Week 7 Movie
50 Hogan's Heroes "Girl on the Run" (58)
8:00 2 Mission:Impossible 1:30 2 Movie
4 Sanford andSon "Dead Eyes of London"
7 Brady Bunch (German, 1961)
9 woods and Wheels 2:30 4 News
56 Washington Week in Review 3:00 2 7 News



DRAMA-PTP presents Sheridan's School for Scandal; at 8
at the Power ,Center; UAC-Michmimers perform Woody
Allen's play: Play It Again, Sam at Mendelssohn at 8.
DANCE-Int'l Folk Dance at from 8-11 at Barbour Gym.
UPCOMING CONCERT TIP-The Blackearth Percussion
Group, in residence at the University of Illinois (Ur-
bana), will perform -works by two University faculty
composers, Sydney Hodkinson and William Albright, and
a variety of other electronic, improvisatory and inter-
media works Sat. at 8 in Rackham Auditorium.
WEEKEND BARS AND MUSIC-Ark, Lou Killen (Fri., Sat.)
Admission; Blind Pig, John Nicholas accompanied by
Fran and Sara (Fri., Sat.) cover, Classical (Sun.) no cov-
er; Del Rio, Jazz Music (Sun.) no cover; Golden Falcon,
Phase II (Fri., Sat.) cover; Mr. Flood's Party, Brooklyn
Blues Busters (Fri., Sat.) cover, Diesel Smoke and Dan-
gerous Curves (Sun.), cover; Odyssey, Locomobile, for-
merly Bad Luck and Trouble (Fri., Sat.), cover, Okra
(Sun.) cover; Bimbo's on the Hill, Epic (Fri., Sat.)
cover; Bimbo's, Gaslighters (Fri., Sat., Sun.), cover;
Rubaiyat, Iris Bell Adventure (Fri., Sat., Sun.) no cover;
Pretzel Bell, RFD Boys (Fri., Sat.), cover; Mackinac
Jack's, Rockets (Fri., Sat., Sun.) cover.
and special guest star
A ~SAT.,. FEB. 24

8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.
Feb. 8, 9, 10
Mendelssohn Theatre
Tickets on sale

Jane Fonda emerges as probably the finest screen
actress of her generation." -LIFE
Modern Languages Auditoriums3'& 4

Washington at Thayer


in the Fishbowl

- AU~l i CC rA %~r" I- 1A I

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