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February 11, 1973 - Image 3

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Michigan Daily, 1973-02-11

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Sunday, February 11, 1973


Page Three

Sunday, February 11, 1973 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Three

Everyone Welcome!

The Emigrants:
Swede views U.S.


8-10 p.m.
West Conference
Room, 4th Floor

Non-Native Speakers of English
All Speakers of English as a Second Language* Are
Invited to Take Part in an Experimental Test of
English Language Proficiency to be Given in RACK-
OF FEBRUARY. You will receive $5.00 for Approxi-
mately 1 72-2 Hours of Your Time. If Interested You
Must Call and Register at the Following Number:
764-2416 on or before February 14th.
*No ELI Students Currently Enrolled in the Intensive English
Courses Are Eligible for the Test at This Time.
at the
9I tiei &ele( &t((et
2333 E. Stadium
5-8 P.M.
You know what to expect-high rents, inadequate
code enforcement, overcrowding and tight, dis-
criminatory markets. City Council can move now to:
" enact tenant-controlled code enforcement;
* set up machinery for tenant-run rent control;
* pressure the University to meet its responsi-
bility for more low-cost housing.
Was it a desperate heroin addict, or the Ann Arbor
police making another one of their famous "mis-
takes"? Council must:
Sdemand complete answers to citizen com-
plaints about police;
" take responsibility for setting law enforcement

0 fund addict rehabilitation programs, while sup-I
porting decriminalization of heroin.
We need user-controlled facilities where everyone
can obtain basic strvices. As a start, $50,000 of
revenue-sharing money could fund a free or low-
cost abortion clinic. The City can pressure the Uni-
versity to provide child-care facilities for the 1,400
youngsters living in married student housing.
mes a ELE m r emma a ===

School for Scandal
School for Scandal...

couldscarcely be finer'

After seeing the New Y o r k
City Center's production of Sher-
idan's School for Scandal, at the
Power Center this weekend, I
no longer wonder at how this
work became the most popular in
the language during the 18th
century. The New York com-
pany, in magnificent harmony,
has fashioned a production which
could scarcely be finer.
All the points of Sheridan's
wit,, whether merry or vicious,
are sharpened here with superb
precision. Every hair is in place,
and the walk of each actor upon
the stage is in step with the con-
current line in the script. The
genius of repertory theatre is
brought to bear upon us, and our
laughter is tempered only by
our respect. There is, to be sure,
an ocasional excess, but so vital
a performance may be permit-
ted this. Indeed, I might be forc-
ed to admit that I prefer it
this way, as perfection can be
Those who are unfamiliar with
the work should trouble t h e m-
selves to make its acquaintance.
Their researches will end in de-
light, I can promise. Never-'
theless, those among us who had
known this work before, come
away from the City Center pro-
duction with a feeling akin to
having strengthened an old
friendship. Director Gerald Free-
man and his cast deserved many

thanks for such excellent mid-
Set in the salons of mid-18th
century London, The School for
Scandal details the passions and
prejudices of well-to-do English
society in that era. For all the
extravagance of its plot-line-
mistresses hiding behind screens,
wealthy, long-unseen uncles dis-
guising themselves to inquire in-
to the characters of nephews
they have liberally endowed -
this is an essentially h o n e s t
play. Our foibles are essentially
unchanged over two centuries,
and so this comedy of manners
fascinates us nearly as much as
it did those people whom it di-
rectly describes. _ Virtue m a v
emerge triumphant, but not with-
out its perils exposed; and evil
may be banished, but without :is-
surance that it shall not reap-
I grant that these are sober
words for so light-hearted a
play, and yet I think them useful
in praising this production. The
work itself is witty enough to
earn laughs from even the drear=
iest performance. But Freeman
and his cast have labored to .le-
tail the individuals - something
all too rarely done in productions
of works which describe a style
of life that has vanished - and
therein lies the secret of their
There is no weak acting in the
entire cast, but certain work de-

serves special praise. David
Schramm, as Sir Peter Teazle,
stands at the center, and I sur-
mise that each of the other ac-
tors drew strength from his
clear-headedness. As huband vic-
timized by cuckoldry, frazzled
guardian, or surprised old friend,
Schramm's performance realiz-
es the integrity written into Teaz-
le's role.
Our hearts warmed m o r e
slowly to Patti LuPone's Lady
Teazle. The actress is not blessed,
with an outstanding stage voice,
and her thin figure does not im-
mediately impress itself upon
us. Yet her touch is sure, and
with considerable grace, she,
too, wins us over, before the
night is through.
David Ogden Stier,, is solid
as Joseph Surface, but would
do better to leave off the gim-
micks he occasionally employs
to woo the unsophisticated. As
brother Charles, Kevin Kline is
convincing, whether sotted or
In the person of Mary L o u
Rosato, Lady Sneerwell lives no
to her name, as does Mrs. Can-
dour, in the hands of Cynthia
Herman. Extraordinary is t h e
work of Sam Tsoutavas in tw.
character roles- Lady Sneer-
well's many-faceted assistant,
Snake, and Charles Surface's
drinking companion, Careless, in
whose person he roars out a
drinking song whose power lies
in its unintelligibility.
This does not complete the cant
list, but it completes the spe'ific
citations to be awarded by a
critic who does not wish to lose
his reputation for wicked words.
I hail all the others with a col-
lective bravo, and leave it at
Scenery by Douglas Schmidr,
costumes by John David Fidge,
and lighting by Joe Paciti all
function well - which is not al-
ways the case in productions -
we applaud them, too.

Every winter term the Amer-
ican Studies department offers
a course in American film. Twice
a week some 600 students cram
a Modern Language Building
auditorium to learn about Amer-
ican culture through the coun-
try's most popular form of art
and entertainment. Thanks to
the generous heart of its instruc-
tor and the natural attraction of
the films he shows, the course
has become one of the largest
and most enjoyable on campus.
By sheer coincidence, no doubt,
Ann Arbor theatres have taken
this course and blown it up to
city-wide proportions. It's Amer-
ica Week here in town, a n d
wherever you go (almost) you
will find a film which probes
some aspect of American 1 i f e
and history: Cinema Guild is
running the Capra Festival (Cap-
ra, the maker of "classic Amer-
ican mythology," according to
movie critic Richard Glatzer);
Deliverance, Sounder, and T h e
Emigrants are playing in the
commercial theatres.
If one were actually to treat
these films as an educational ex-
travaganza, it would .have to
be done the following way: one
must go to the films primarily
for enjoyment. A film, once ex-
perienced and enjoyed, o p e n s
itself to serious thought, which
can also be enjoyable, assuming
that it helps a viewer to better
understand and perhaps marvel
over what he has seen.
The Emigrants would be the
logical place to start this educa-
tion, were it not for the fact that
throngs of people have already
seen Deliverance and that the
Capra Festival is presently mov-
ing into its grand finale. But
this is just as well; one gains
a valuable perspective on The
Emigrants when it is viewed af-
ter the other films now playing.
Capra's films are tributes to
American ideals and virtues:
honesty, individual integrity,
common sense, fair-play. Their
pace is fast and their language
is fast, and in the comedies at
least, the forces of wholesome
Americanism win out over those
of wealth, greed, and other social
diseases. Sounder I have ,ot
seen, though I know it deals with
the struggles of a poor b 1 a c K
family during the Depression.
Deliverance gets dawn to a
very basic American experience,
one involving the land itself. lt
acknowledges the powar and the
awesomeness of the vanishing
American wilderness, nd it
knows, too, that an encounter
with it on its own terms can rout
a man, twist his head around,
make him change or realize the
truth about himself. The Emi-
grants is as much concerned
with the land as Deliverance,
and as much concerned with
American life in general as the
other films, but in a more in-
direct way.
Even at the begining of The
Emigrants, America is an ever-
present thought, a guarded se-
cret that is kept as a source of
hope What director Jan Troell
is primarily interested in early

on, however, is Sweden and the
Swedish people during the first
part of the 1800s. Early in his
film an elderly man is digging
his hands into his native Swed-
ish soil on a quiet, damp, fog-
gy day. He is clearing rocks
from his field, perhaps for the
spring plowing.
One very large rock must be
moved with the greatest effort.
The man tries, but the rock rolls
back on his leg and he is trap-
ped against the ground. He
groans in pain. The film cuts to
a pair of massive oxen standing
a ways off, indifferent, impene-
trable, silent, and then returns
to the farmer, who is hobbling
back to his cabin, supported by
his wife. It has become the way
of life in Sweden. There is a
great deal of hardship, families
toil in their fields but the crops
consistently fail. Landowners
beat their farmhands, a pastor is
persecuted for spreading God's
Word among social undesirables.
Moments of beauty and humor
are mingled in, such as Kris-
tina (Liv Ullman) rocking gent-
ly on a swing in the summer,
surrounded by yellow wheat
fields and chirping birds, or a
tender exchange between her
and her husband Karl Oskar
(Max von Sydow). But, unfortun-
ately for the people, these alone
are not enough to sustain them.
Almost simultaneously they de-
cide, or feel compelled, to go to
We are in the advantageous
position of being able to com-
pare the film's viewpoint with
those of the other films in town.
Of all the films, The Emigrants
is the only one made by an out-
sider to this country; it is film
about Swedes, made by a Swede,
which certainly lends a lot to
the authenticity of its tones, set-
tings, and characters. Moreover,
it takes a predominantly histor-

ical view of events, and in so do-
ing m,1st concern itself w i t h
the changes the Swedes wall un-
deren in their "iromised land".
Deliverance and the Capra
films (and I presume Sounder
tn4u are Pvnoinations of an
Av",nri"an 0,qr-4ter and clltiire
whii , ,lro.v h'-nome fixed
by the t;,s the films were
mnde- theV ?re criticsms of soc-
i,1 cnstents that mav vary a
litle but are too much a part
of the American scene to be en-
tirelv made over. The Emigrants
os a kind of prelude to these
films. It is an outsider's recog-
nition that, on the one hand,
America is not the great, just,
continent the Swedes are led to
believe it is, and it forshad-
ows their disillusionment.
The people in America are not
divided into "gentry and com-
moners," they have been told.
But on the double-decked steam-
boat to Minnesota after there ar-
duous ocean voyage, the n e w
"peasants" crowd the lower deck
while men and women in fancy
clothes peer down on them from
above. And in a corner of t h e
ship, two black men sit hunch-
ed together, bound in chains.
On the other hand, some of
the claims made for America are
found to be true. The land, for
one, is plentiful, fertile and
cheap, and the Swedes seem eag-
er to create a new, life on it.
In a way they are back home,
for they will be able to do what
they know best - till the soil.
There are intimations of great
changes in the future. Troell's
film, and its forthcoming se-
quel to be called The New Land,
may be as close as we can now
come to feeling what it was like
to be new to this country and
gradually be ingrained in i t s
ways, both the good and the bad.
When the sequel shows up, the
theatres might even run simul-
taneous showings of The God-
father, Little Big Man (equal
time), and the films of Sam
Peckinpah, and perhaps extend
an invitation to the arch-Amer-
ican himself, Richard Nixon. We
all need a refresher course now
and then.

CAPRA FESTIVAL-Cinema Guild continues with It's a Won-
derful Life Sun. at 7 and 9:05 in ,Arch. Aud.; Capra will
appear for discussion after 7 p.m. show; Capra's The Bit-
ter Tea of General Yen at 7 and Lady for a Day at 9 are
featured Mon., with Capra holding discussion afterward
in Arch. Aud.
FILM-Cinema II shows Kurosawa's Lower Depths Sun. in
Aud. A at 7 and 9:30.
CONCERTS-The Musical Society presents George Shirley,
tenor ,at Hill, 2:30 p.m. Sun. The Musical Society gets
high stepping with Yugoslavia's Lado Folk Ensemble Mon.
at 8 in Power.
MUSIC SCHOOL-Sydney Hodkinson directs Contemporary
Directions concert in SM recital hall Mon. at 8.
THEATER-PTP performs Gorky's Lower Depths Sun. in
Power at 3 and 8.
FOLK SPECIAL-UM Folklore Society gives an open house at
Friends Center (1420 Hill) Sun. from 2 until 5, featuring
music and refreshments. Bring instruments.
UPCOMING CONCERT TIP -Forget it! John Denver's show
at Hill Feb. 17 is sold out.

A long-awaited motion
picture classic will be
SAshown today at 1-3-5-
7-9:05 P.M.
-Judith Crist, NBC-TV


.,, adnitz / MATTEL Productions STARRING
A Robert B. Radnitz/Martin Ritt FilmTY
-Chairman Black Panther Party
-Candidate for Mayor, Oakland, Calif.
-Member of Chicago 8
-Chairman Rainbow People's Party -
-Chicano Leader from California
Also film segment "TEN FOR TWO"




~~. - - --
cIR 8481.3300
The Magic Christian is:
antiestablishmnentarian, antibellum,
antitrust, antisepticantibiotic,
antisocial, & antipasto.
y t

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4 Big Valley
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