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September 07, 1972 - Image 39

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1972-09-07

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Thursday Septpmber 7, 1972

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Three

Thursday, September 7, 1972 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Three

societie,
vas
das groov
By NEAL GABLER
Vas is das groovy? That, my
friends, is an extremely impor-
tant question for us all, because
if you're an incoming freshman,
groovy is what you will aspire to
be; if you're a sophomore,
groovy is what you are in the
process of becoming; if you're a
junior, groovy is what you , are
supposed to have, arrived at; and
if you're a senior, groovy is
what you are in the process of
purging so you can go out into
the cold, heartless, conformist
world (that is, unless you hap-
pen to go to Harvard or Yale,
in which case you can become a
cab driver or carpenter and still
hold onto your grooviness long
after you should have right-
fully given it up). The New York.
Times (it is debatable whether
or not it is groovy to read the
Times; on the one hand the
Times is full of words and old-
hat liberalism, but on the other
hand, groovy people are in some
measure groovy to extent that
they are better -than everyone
else, and being well-informed is,
on occasion and in some circles,
an indication of that superior-
ity)-anyway, The New York

Times each year around gradua-
tion time, publishes "before and
after" pictures of some repre-
sentative college graduate; the
"before" picture from h i g h
school graduation shows a baby-
faced seventeen year-old whose
hair style is undecided between
a crew and a Beatle cut, while
the "after" picture from college
graduation (by the way, it is
most definitely UN-groovy to
have a college graduation pic-
ture taken here) shows the same
fellow, now with a mop of shoul-
der-length hair and a Moses
beard. Then the accompanying
article tells us that the graduate,
invariably from some small out-
back town, is very "into" ecol-
ogy, pot, army jackets, John
Sinclair, the Grateful Dead, his
girlfriend, various and sundry
Third World peoples, the occult,
frisbee, AND movies.
As for the last, which con-
cerns us here, it is written-it is
written, mind you, graven in
stone somewhere-that collegians
value movies above all other art
forms. Marshall McLuhan keeps
on telling us that ours is a visual
culture, and kids keep on con-
firming the theory. Film, after

all, is as much the opiate of the
young masses as opium itself (an
exaggeration for the sake of
symmetry), and having grown up
with it, having lived vicariously
through it, students must defend
their art form - protective as
parents and all-knowing as ex-
perts. In fact, that self-styled
expertise, which consists largely
of having seen The Maltese Fal-
con and knowing who Stanley
Kubrick is, is practically com-
pulsory for the dyed-in-the-wool
groovy. Remember that. Go to
many movies, be fruitful, and
multiple, my sons and daughters.
Of course doubters can claim
that the young just as religious-
ly read Vonnegut and Hesse-
brothers in some grand mystic
scheme; but I'd cynically wager
that groovies read these fellows
less for incandescent insights
about the Great Void than for
the brevity of their volumes..
Yes. A minimally literary cul-
ture, this. It takes more time to
watch the film Slaughterhouse
Five than to read the book. Still,
there are-and here is where the
mind ultimately falls to the eyes
-more prodigious times than
Cat's Cradle or Siddartha, and

so we all go to the moviehouse,
smoke some dope, spend a couple
of hours passively letting the
movie wash over us, and leave
the theater with the exclama-
tion, "Wow!" We can hardly
afford not to be movie buffs
when it takes so little effort.
And so . . . allow me to shift
gears here where the rumina-
tions end and the orientation be-
gins. Those of you who've ac-
tually read this far, you literary
creatures you, will forgive me
my cynicism; if you've been
here or, for that matter, on any
campus, awhile, you may get
this way too-ornery, sceptical,
tired of groovy cliches and,,
worse, tired of seeing people
sacrifice their college lives to
groovy cliches, and, for ame at
least, wary that film, our art!
for Heaven's sake, is being con-
verted (has been converted) into
cne of those cliches. But if Ann
Arbor provides an opportunity
for that conversion, and it cer-
tainly does, it also provides an
opportunity for the study or just
plain enjoyment of movies. With-
out further ado, then, I'll come
to the real meat of the atter
film societies and movie the-
aters; where they are and what
they show.
CINEMA GUILD: The Guild,
located in the Architecture Audi-
torium, is easily the best film
society on campus and will prob-
ably be the haunt of the serious
film enthusiast. Its debits are
nearly incalculable, but if there
is one, it's the Guild's lack of
ambition-more likely than not,
for example, no filmmaker will
visit our fair city this year.
Moreover, even when the Guild
does get ambitious, as in its
Festival Weeks which occur
once or twice every semester,
the programs are seldom com-
prehensive enough; a Laughton
"Festival" screened only four
films. It is, however, much
easier to tabulate the Guild's
many assets, so I will: the price

local drama
offers diversity,

is only seventy-five cents; the
auditorium is comfortable if not
luxurious. and the projection
equipment, t h a n k s to Peter
Wilde, is usually kept in good
repair; silent films are accom-
panied by Donald Sosin on the
piano, and Eosin's accompani-
ments are incomparable; the
Guild operates six days a week,
more than any other campus
society; and finally, and most
importantly, the Guild's program
is varied enough to satisfy just
about everyone.
If you were to sneak behind
the scenes, you'd see that the
variety springs from the Guild's
c u r i o u s balkanization, which
works something like this: auteur
advocates push for Fuller, Sirk,
Siegel, etc.; art film lovers
thump for Ozu, Satyajit Ray, Ku-.
rosawa,, Bergman, etc.; histor-
ians opt for Griffith, von Stro-
heim, Pabst, etc.; and politicos
raise their clenched fists for
films of the Third World, the
newest addition to the Guild
satellites. There are shifting al-
liances, concessions, and so out
of it all comes a schedule with
everything from Rock Around
the Clock to The Music Room.
Nor are those folks who shun
the old bourgeosis narrative
film (usually English graduate
st u d e n t s) disappointed; for
them, each Spring the Guild
sponsors the Ann Arbor Film
Festival, a prestigious week-long
showcase for underground mov-
ies. I should caution that the
Festival, and here I mean the
movies and the audience, may
remind you of that old picture
where Jack Oakie, a novice di-
rector, forgets to turn on the
klieg lights and unwittingly pro-
duces a highly acclaimed art
film even though the image is
entirely black. In other words,
it takes either a strong stomach,

well-developed pseudointellectual-
ism. or speed to help you sur-
vive the Festival's dots, designs,
St. Vitus' cameras, groovy nudity
tone film a few years back had
a fellow urinating on his radio;
another had a guy masturbat-
ing), and general amateurism.
But the point is that for better
or worse it's here, we've got it.
CONSPIRACY: Partly by de-
fault and partly by effort, Con-
spiracy has become the second
best society cn campus. Its loca-
tion in the Alley Coffeehouse is
admittedly not the best-it looks
like some half-finished, cinder-
block basement rec room-and
with its level floor and creaky
wooden seats, if someone with
an Afro or a large head happens
to sit in front of you, you'll see
only dandruff for the rest of the
night. In spite of the room, The
Conspiracy people have tried to
make the place a little more
homey by setting up some tables
in the back and throwing in a
beverage with the one-dollar ad-
missicn. I think it's paid off.
Even more to their credit,
though, they've gotten away from
the typical Midnight Cowboy-
Women in Love scheduling; last
season their program included
Norman Mailer's Maidstone, the
Canadian picture Goin' Down the
Road, Rene Clair's A Nous La
Liberte, some Robert Flaherty
documentaries, and highlights of
the New York Erotic Film Fes-
tival. Last but not least, before
each film there is usually a short
spiel a bout upcoming Conspiracy
events with a pinch of radical-
ism for flavor-a raised fist and
See MORE, Page 10

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FISH SANDWICH
Some fish story!
JUST UP FROM ARBORLAND

1

By GLORIA JANE SMITH
Supplement Co-Editor
Quantity . . . yes, scanning
stages cross-campus we indeed
find a profusion of dramatic
productions. Everything from
the slickest professional to the
unpolished amateur awaits our
oggling eyes. But is there always
the satisfaction gleaned from ex-
citing theatre?
"Satisfying dramatic experi-
ence," Robert Schnitzer, former
Executive Director of the Uni-
YYf:{ :v . Y.;f.Y. ...r j-.".;.};."..",.
"Satisfying dramatic ex-
perience should be some-
what like the sex act. We
can see the performers as
the male and the audience
as female, and through an
interaction of both partici-
pants, a climax is reached."
-Robert Schnitzer,
P.T.P.
:";"' d 'r:.., ,%' ',.'.k'r 4r+'"+,% :rr;";.:i ;

Ann Arbor is, in fact, steeped
in a tradition of professional-
ism, begun in 1928 by Valentine
Windt who directed and pro-
duced a five-week Drama Fes-
tival each spring for many
years. After his death, over
fifteen years ago, there was a
short period of inactivity soon
filled by PTP.
This year also marked for
PTP the pre-Broadway, world
premiere showing of The Grass
Harp, based on the novel by
Truman Capote, presented in
celebration of the opening of
the new Power Center.'
In an attempt to provide dra-
ma students with professional
experience, PTP sponsors an an-
nual New Play Project, last year
being Hopwood Award winning
Danny Lipmann's play Last Re-
spects.'
But alas, professionalism .
it's almost ruined us. Known
nationally as a famed cultural
center, we have nearly sacrific-
ed student theatre, taught it to
emulate its finer elders.
In the midst of today's bur-
geoning experimental theatre,
most local student groups have
been somewhat less than ad-

-"

Players produce a varied sched-
ule of plays, sometimes with
stunning success, sometimes
dismal failure.
Last year, the UP Playbill in-
cluded such notables as Sam-
uel Beckett's Waiting for Go-
dot, Jean Genet's The Maids.
and Eugene Ionesco's Victims of
Duty. The UP Showcase Pro-
ductions included Georges Sche-
hade's Vasco and Henrik Ib-
sen's A Doll's House.
A more informal extension
of the University's speech de-
partment is found in the Stu-
dent Lab Theatre (SLT), which
presents student-produced one-
acts almost every week. The
performance is usually present-
ed twice to a filled arena thea-
tre.
In addition to this, various
language departments, includ-
ing French, Spanish, Latin, and
German, present classical and
See LOCAL, Page 8

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versity's Professional Theatre venturesome,
Program (PTP) once said, sell hits.
"should be somewhat like the Gone are th
sex act. We can see the per- theatre and t
formers as the male and the au- lain's Player
dience as female, and through der the fina
an interaction of both partici- foundation gr
pants, a climax is reached." tle-produced
Well, carrying his analogy matic worksa
even further, let us suffice to The "offici
say that lately Ann, Arbor dra- tre group is1
ma just hasn't been getting it (UP), affiliat
up with great frequency. department.
While granted, there is a lot oz;
of excellent drama to be en-
joyed in town, that certain glint
of innovation common to young c Fo
dramatists, almost expected in
a community as culturally pro-
gressive as Ann Arbor, is miss- a
ing.
We do have our professionals,
in the name of PTP, whose ex-
cellence is seldom denied. Last
year, the program brought such 5
notable Broadway hit produc-
tions as Company, Butterflies
are Free, and Last of the Red
Hot Lovers.
L
FT ~~l <4 d4v a

relying on sure-
he days of guerrilla
he Lord Chamber-
troupe, which un-
nces of a private
rant presented lit-
literary and dra-
a few years ago.
ial" student thea-
University Players
ed with the speech
Each term, the

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