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March 16, 1973 - Image 3

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Michigan Daily, 1973-03-16

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Friday, March 16, 1973


Page Three

Friday, March 16, 1973 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Three

11th Annual Ann Arbor
Film Festival
Cinema Guild
Fri., Sat., Sun.
When forced to work within
tight budgetary limits, a bonus
is reaped in ingenuity. Most of
the films in the Eleventh Annual
Ann Arbor Film Festival, even
if they fail, find a "new" way
to be bad, and are invariably
short enough not to leave a
sticky aftertaste. These "fail-
ures," then, are infinitely more
satisfying than mediocre success.
This is not to say that all of
the films are failures or that
they are all involved in hysteri-
cal attempts to define a "new
cinema." Far from it. Many of
the films deal, in thoroughly con-
ventional techniques, but even in
these, the human interest docu-
mentatries, for example, the
unique choice of subject matter
Two of the films Wednesday
night were short, idiosyncratic
exposes of cooks, Spider, and
Gino's Pizza. The legendary
short-order cook in Spider, an
eight-minute film by Gary An-
derson, is without a doubt the
fastest food-making human I
have ever seen. Not only does
the non-stop Spider, a wrinkled
and wiry former boxer, expertly
flip pickles into plates and slam
drawers with a hip-shake, but he
also lights anyone's cigarette sit-
ting at the counter. When asked
whether he'd still be working at
Paul's Diner if he had a lot of
y money, Spider quickly replies,
MARCH 20 & 22

"It's not work," simultaneously
flipping four hamburgers onto
the grill.
The narrow scope of these
little documentaries seldom stays
narrow. Film-makers like An-
derson, supposedly versed in
recognizing the inherent qualities
in a Campbell's Soup Can by
somebody in the sixties, are
working with a genuine aware-
ness of the impact that can be
squeezed out of the apparently
insignificant people and events
of every day.
The true artistry of Spider's
work as short-order cook, juxta-
posed to the artless level of the
field he has mastered, produces
a comic, and then even a poig-
nant, effect. Tied to how Spider
has mastered his job despite the
job's punyness, the film itself has
a chance, like Spider, to rise
above the limitations of its eight-
minute analysis.
A more comic, although less
successful rendering of a similar
theme was Gino's Pizza, a film
about how, predictably enough,
Gino makes his pizza with his
special toamto sauce. Nervously
narrating the p r o c e s s, Gino
thanks the director for letting
him show the world what he does
(which is to run his hand
through his hair before running
it through the diced cheese), and
then drops the pizza on the floor
before it gets to the oven, where
it's "550 degrees of solid heat."
The best film I saw Wednesday
night was Correspondence, a
three-minute letter presented by
Bob Mathes. The letter, dated
1941, was a message from Ire-
land to the U.S., in which an old
man was-keeping his son inform-
ed about the revolution, about
who had died and who deserved
to rot in hellfire, and about how
he still needed money. The letter
was read while, again, old snap-
shots were arranged in sequence,
but in this film there was a
pleasing continuity to the string
of pictures, the harshness of the
letter contrasting with the mel-
ancholy stillness of time in the
.pictures, the sense of reality
growing large in light of the cur-
rent situation in Ireland.

Continuity, however, is far
from a viable standard of judg-
ment during the festival. The
comic attempts, especially, often
play off of their own disorgani-
zation, into a wild sense of ir-
reverence for everything, which
unfortunately includes the film
itself. The Last Laughtrack tries
to embrace this type of lunacy
into a method, creating a jum-
bled parody of the Marx Broth-
ers, the droogs in Clockwork
Orange, the skeleton surprise in
Psycho, and the ending of Dr.
Strangelove: "Mein Fuerher, I
can walk." All against the back-
drop of the relationship of the
two brothers, Straight and Freak,
and their Jewish mother, the
Sue Felter's Pescados Vivos
demonstrated a similar aptitude
for laughing at itself by taking
a frenzied look at American tri-
bal customs. At least that is the
best guess as to what she was
taking a look at, what with the
shots of helicopters landing to
the sound of chirping birds, the
slow-motion jumping up and
down of Neil Armstrong on the
moon, the whirling Christmas
tree, the demolition derby, and
the tribal chanting which de-
generates into a "Sugar in the
Mornin' " sing-song.
The mixture of moods and at-
titudes is a discordant keynote in
many of the films. 1944, while
not as helter-skelter as Pescados,
mingles drama with ludicrosity,
if not comedy. The depressed
hero of the tale, recently split
up with his woman, gets drunk in
a bar and wants desperately to
talk with someone, so he calls
his friend the prostitute, who he's
never seen. Once on the phone,
he fulfills, his irresistible urge to
communicate by singing "Henry
the Eighth," the old Herman's
Hermits number. His action in
the phone booth is unfortunately
as inexplicable as the reason the
directors put in subtitles for the
all-English dialogue. One cer-
tainly cannot win 'em all, but
why get beaten by such an em-
barrassing margin?
The relative paucity of good
political or comic comment was
somewhat made up for by some
of the sheerly visual films, which
deal in color and design. Matrix
III, a computer graphics com-
position, was one o fthe best I've
seen in the floating-and-sinking-
where-am-I division. Chakra was
more concerned with color, radi-
ating about different sized and
textured orbs which swirled in
a hazy atmosphere that conjured
up visions of The Creation itself.
Not bad for a six minute film.
The attempts to fuse design
and movement with the human
form were ont half as success-
ful. One, Ike's Woman, was a
blurry Tina Turner performance,
while the other, Matrix, was a
strobe-like -vision of a woman
who would alternately fade into

nothingness a n d unfortunately,
come back.
Trick Baby
Trick Baby sounds like a really
hokey title for a movie, but it
isn't such a bad fili-at least
not when it sticks to portraying
its basic premise that the world
is made up of suckers and con
men, and that the one exists to
be taken advantage of by the
other. The con men are black,

fession, in one's associates, and,
if one happens to be a teacher
as are the two main characters
here, trust in one's students. Joe
Dobbs (Robert Preston) is a man
who love his students, tries hard
to be their friend and compan-
ion, and prides himself on their
liking for him. On the other
hand, Jerome Mallory (James
Mason), who has taught at the
school for thirty years, is a stern
schoolmaster not without sadistic
tendencies (for a change they
are not put on visual display), is

cin e m a .................,.
o mme amasmmm ssas meme seissisamssagsisiess.*.*.*.*.*.*. isses *..



Play Misty for Me
7 & 9:30 p.m.
Only 75c Tickets on sale at 6 p.m.

played by Mel Stewart and Kiel
Martin, and they are very good
at their game, baiting their hooks
ever so carefully waiting for the
greedy prey to bite. Unfortunate-
ly, one of their victims has a
heart attack when he learns that
the diamonds they've just sold
him are fake-his nephew turns
out to be the most powerful mob-
ster in Philly, and a contract is
put out on them. Their efforts to
avoid these goons, coupled with
their continued endeavors at the
old con game, builds the action
and suspense to a nice, fairly
feverish pitch.
Now if Trick Baby had been
content to keep itself a tight
thriller it might have come off
a little better, but as it is, mat-
ters are complicated by trying
to make yet another "relevant"
statement about black ghetto life.
Alas - nothing but tired cliches
are forthcoming. There is also
some very poor acting, particu-
larly Beverly Ballard playing
Martin's rich bitch girlfriend.
(Miss Ballard should return to
the TV commercials whence she
At any rate, Trick Baby best
succeeds when it is what it
should have remained throughout
-that is, a fast-paced outlaw
film unencumbered by anything
even faintly resembling social
* * *
Child's Play
Child's Play is a rather intrigu-
ing suspense film, one that has
a good chill to it, due largely to
the fact that it is shot almost
entirely in blue moonlight and
deep shadows. No matter what
time of day you may think it is
the parochial school where the
story takes place, it always looks
like night. It's just as well; the
subject of the film is kind of dark
Robert Morasco, who wrote the
play that the film is based on,
thought up a nice, slightly bizarre
way of treating human trust,
i.e., trust in God, in one's pro-
Edward Markward, Conductor
George Frederick Handel
8:00 p.m.
Tickets at the Music Shop, 717
No. University, and at the door.

hated by his students. He insists,
however, that he loves teaching,
and when he is implicated as the
cause of strange, vicious physizal
attacks the students are making
upon each other, with no resist-
ance from the victims, he is out-
raged and immensely distraught.
Dobbs is the evil force-he knows
this, he is absolutely positive.
But Dobbs seems like such a nice
guy that this is nearly unthink-
While all its internal associa-
tions are not fully developed and
the final revelation of what
exactly is happening in the- school
lacks a spellbinding quality,
Child's Play does well enough on
the nature of the relationships
between its characters. It leaves
something to contend with once
it's over.
* * *
Grand Hotel
Cinema II
Greta Garbo, John Barrymore,
Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery,
and Lionel Barrymore. A galaxy
of stars gathered together for one
of the most plush film extrava-
ganzas MGM has ever brought to
the silvery screen. Apparently
all that combined talent made
each of the stars feel he had to
do his or her best to keep from
having the scene stolen by the
others, so that they all give
superlative performances, and
thateaspect, coupled with the ex-
cellent photography and over-all
production quality, makes Grand
Hotel (1932) one of the milestone
movies of that decade.
Most of the action takes place
in the lobby and suites of a large
cosmopolitan hotel, presumably
somewhere in Europe. A good
theatrical background is thus
provided as the characters check
in and out of the hotel, playing
out their individual dramas for
the short time they are there.
Garbo portrays the unhappy,
exiled Russian ballerina Grusin-
skaya who has just lost her lover.
She comes to the hotel, and as
Fate will have it, meets and falls
in love again, this time with the
Baron (John Barrymore). She is
happy once more-but not for
long, for the Baron, it seems, is
involved in some shady dealings
with a corrupt industrialist (Wal-
lace Berry) who finally decides to
have the Baron done away with.
Thus the unhappiness to which
Garbo seems constantly destined
strikes once more.
In the end, then, Grand Hotel
is a series of constantly shifting
.scenes in the lives of its transient
visitors. A metaphor for life?
Of course, but so nicely done
that the audience is never of-

fended by its cliches, rather, they
are entertained by its richness, of
texture and force of characteriza-
* * *
The Heartbreak Kid
The Heartbreak Kid is not a
hilarious laugh riot, despite the
inclusion of the Elaine May film
on many New York critics' ten
best lists. It flucuates between
mildly amusing and boring, al-
though suffering under some un-
fortunate handicaps.
One major setback is the
screenplay by noted playwright
Neil Simon. He is court jester
for the over 40 set and I defy
anyone who hasn't been married
for at least 15 years to label any
of his works a killer. Admittedly,
theater critics and audiences
have heaped praise on his plays
for the past decade, however the
critics and those who can afford
the mezzanine prices are grey-
Simon's trademark one-liners
on the ethnics, sex and New York
have found a perfect vehicle in
The Heartbreak Kid. The story
concerns the fated marriage of
Lenny Cantrow (Charles Grodin)
and Lila Kolodny (Jeanne Berlin)
and their three days of conjugal
bliss at the Fountainbleu. For
obvious reasons, Lenny takes
after a blond beauty, following
her back to Minnesota. All of the
characters in the film are odious.
Lila is a hog-chomping on Milky
Ways in bed, and Lenny is a
superficial sycophant. Even if
The Heartbreak Kid is remins-
cent of a long situation-comedy
TV show, the ending is of sur-
prising substance.
Play Misty for Me
Fri., Sat.
Acording to New York Times
film critic Roger Greenspun,
Play Misty For Me, Clint East-
wood's first shot at directing, is
a decided zero. Pehaps a dis-
jointed rip-off of Mr. Greenspun's
account will place the film in its
proper perspective.
" . ..the story of a California
disc jockey (Eastwood) who one
night meets Evelyn (Jessica
Walter) a . . . devoted listener
who . . . asks that he play Errol
Garner's "Misty" for her . . .
an affair . . . But Evelyn has a
personality quirk . . . obstinate
possessiveness . . . homicidal
mania . . . the disc jockey has
a real girl friend (Donna Mills)
.err.rEvelyn's response is . . .
terror . . . suspense .
". .(all aspects of the film)
recall other, better movies . . .
the movie fails to make sense
... dense ... weak in sensibility,
in that logic of emotional re-
sponse that is the real motive
power of the atmospheric criller
... Eastwood the director makes
too many easy decisions about
... events . . . atmosphere . .
perfomances (including his
* * *
Fritz the Cat
Fifth Forum
Yessum. Dat Fritz da Cat shore
is a pussy. Little Tom is cavortin'
at da Fifth Forum and he dun
been in a mess of trouble. Dat
puss goes to a wild party 'n da
policemens dun go on aftuh him.
He scapes 'n goes to a Jewush
church. Den he burns down da
college 'n den he runs off to da
black folks, only des crows. An'
den he ruled a ree-volt 'n scapes
off ta Californy. Den da kitty
puts a bomb on da buildin 'n
gets hisslef 'ploded. Dat's the
troof! I ain't got da slightest
idee what dis is sposed to be
bout but I knows dis: Da police-
mens are piggies. Da negroes are

MUSIC-SPECIAL-New Heavenly Blue performs at 8 in Men-
delssohn in a benefit for Carol Jones, Dem. City Council
DRAMA-U Players perform Shakespeare's King Lear in
Power at 8; the German Dept. presents George Buchner's
Woyzek in the RC Aud. at 8
MUSIC SCHOOL-Raymond Wheeler performs on the clarinet
at the Recital Hall at 8.
DANCE-Int'l folk dancing at Barbour Gym, 8 to 11. (teaching
8 to 9 p.m.)
CULTURE-SPECIAL-UM Foreign Students presents World's
Fair "73, int'l variety show with arts, crafts, and food at
Burns Park School, 7-12 p.m.
WEEKEND BARS AND MUSIC-Bimbo's features Gaslighters
Fri., Sat., Sun.; Blind Pig brings John Nicholas Fri., Sat.,
and Classical String Trio Sun.; Del Rio presents Jazz
Sun.; Mackinac Jack's presents Ramblecrow Fri., Sat.,
Sun.; Mr. Flood's Party brings Cadillac Cowboys Fri., Sat.,
and Diesel Smoke and Dangerous. Curves Sun.; Pretzel
Bell features RFD Boys Sat., Sun.; the Ark presents John
Roberts and Tony Barrand.

crows 'n dey look like em too.
Da cat shore nuff gets da pussy.
Dey talks dirt too. Dey even
smokes what dy calls da weed
'n den dey starts cavortin' round
and doin' da craziness. Yessum.
I don't know wetter dats sup-
posed to be funny but I didn'
laugh. But I dun learned a few
thing 'n dat's ok I guess. An'
dat's da troof!
Me and My Brother
Pull My Daisy
Friends of Newsreel
Fri., Sat.
Me and My Brother and Pull
My Daisy are two films by
Robert Frank about the Beat
Generation, a generation which
has aged enough to begin look-
ing back at its artifacts. Both
of the films center around the
personalities of Beat artists like
Ginsberg, the second film being,
in fact, narrated by Jack
If acquainted at all with the
writing of either Ginsberg or
Kerouac, these two films provide
visual landscapes which put their
respective works in a very
"alive" and emotionally vivid
framework which is hardly sepa-
rate from their art.
* * *
Kind Hearts and
Cinema II
Alec Guiness is an actor you
can trust. With his enormous
versatility he can place himself
in almost any role, in any'style,
and give a good, if not superior
performance. Being an English-
man, he is best when called
upon to satirize a British upper-
class stuffed shirt or portray a
p r o u d, stiff-upper-lipped army
commander, as in The Bridge on
the River Kwai.



The Michigan
Daily Arts
Page is now
poetry for
Submit work
to Arts Editor
co The Daily.


In Kind Hearts and Coronets
he has several outlets for his
talents. The film, a 1948 satire
on Edwardian morals and man-
ners, concerns a young man
named Louis (Dennis Price) and
his aspirations to become duke
by killing off, in the most'refined
and considerate ways possible,
the real duke's family. This
means murdering Guiness eight
times, for, as Duke, Banker,
Parson, General, Admiral, Young
Ascoyne, Young Henry, and Lady
Agatha-each one a little crazed
in some way-it is he who plays
the entire clan. Guiness and
Price received a good deal of
acclaim for their share in the
film, and the story itself was
found at times to be exceptionally
funny. Not seen by press time.
* * **
Also this Weekend..
Couzens Film Co-op shows
Metzger's The Libertine. Friday
and Saturday; Bursley shows
Catch-22 Saturday; New World
Film Co-op shows The East Is
Red Friday at 8, UGLI Multi-
purpose room.


New Chamber Music by
Saturday, March 17
Rackham Auditorium-8 P.M.

6:00 2 47 News.
9 Courtship of Eddie's Father
50 Flintstones
56 Operation Second Chance
6:30 2 CBS News
4 NBC News
7 ABC News
9 I Dream of Jeannie
50 Gilligan's Island
7:00 2 Truth or Consequences
4 News
7 To Tell the Truth
9 Beverly Hillbillies
7:30 2 What's My Line?
4 Hollywood Squares
7 Wait Till Your Father
Gets Home
9 Lassie
50 Hogan's Heroes
8:00 2 Harlem Globetrotters
Popcorn Machine
4 Sanford and Son
7 Brady Bunch
9 woods and Wheels
56 washington Week in Review
50 Dragnet
8:30 2 Ed Sullivan's Broadway
4 NHL.Hockey
7 Partridge Family
9 Pig and Whistle
50 Merv Griffin
56 Off the Record
9:00 7 Acts of Love-and Other
9 News
56 Turning Points
9:30 Sports Scene
56 Jerformance: Jazz
10:00 2 Lily Tomlin
7 Love, American Style
9 Tommy Hunter

50 Perry Mason
56 San Francisco Rock
10:30 7 What About Tomorrow?
11:00 2 4 7 News
9 CBC News
50 One Step Beyond
11:20 9 News
11:30 2 Movie
"Pepe" (1960)
4 Johnny Carson
7 InConcert
50 Movie
"Calling Northside 777"
12:00 9 Movie
"Agent for H.A.R.M." (1966)
1:00 4 Midnight Special
7 Movie ,
"Johnny Cool" (1963)
1:30 2 Movie
"Mr. Hex." (1946)
2:30 4 News
3:00 2 TV High School
7 News
3:30 2 News
cable tv
channel 3
Cable TV Listings
3:30 Pixanne
4 Today's Woman
4:30 Something Else (Rock)
5 Stratosphere Playhouse
P 5:30 Locals news and events
6 Model Cities
6:30 NCAA Sports
7 Community Dialogue
89.5 'fm
9 The Morning After Show
12 Progressive Rock
4 Folk
7 Live folk
7:30 Rhythm and Blues
11 The Oldies Show

CAMPi . S 'i

AT 1-3-5-7-9 P.M.

v uuuQV 111Qt V I l uu.

U U U ~ U - mm- 1.1 I"J R.InI* I. J1Ij

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