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March 21, 1978 - Image 7

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-03-21

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, March 21, 1978-Page 7

16mm
By DOBILAS MATULIONIS
O F THE MANY cinematic events
that take place in Ann Arbor, by
far the most enjoyable and lively is the
annual 16mm film festival. With its par-
tylike atmosphere, the festival
represents the mecca of independent
filmmakers and the reunion of their
easy-going fans. Besides the films, this
year also boasted attractions such as
performances by Pat Oleszko and side-
show acts by. various amateur enter-
tainers.
However, the crux of the festival is
the films themselves. As always, these
works by the varied independent film-
makers were interesting phenomena to
watch, both for their fascinating per-
ceptions as well as for their cinematic
shortcomings. These shortcomings are
not difficult to explain, for independent
filmmaking is one of the most
frustrating and complex arts to master.
Unless one has the talent of Orson
Welles, it becomes taxing on. one's
creative and craftsman abilities to be
cinematographer, director, writer and
actor - not to mention producer, which
can become taxing on one's pocketbook
as well. Many of the films at the festival
represented investments of ten
thousand dollars plus, with much of this
money going towards making the films
look as professional as possible (good
photography and optical effects). This
homage to the Hollywood tradition is
understandable because of the audien-
ces' quality standards and for the fact
that a poorly done film (technically
speaking) smothers any good intentions
it may have. One way to get around the
financial crunch is to receive a grant,

films: A stimulating

array

and many of the best films of the
festival were supported by grants.
BILL FERRIS' Four Women Artists,
a straight documentary on four artists
in the South, was thoroughly
professional and captivated the audien-
ce with its subject matter. Documen-
taries of this type depend largely on the
interest of the people that are covered,
and, in this case, Ferris' choice of four
very fascinating women artists suc-
ceeded in holding audience attention.
Two other grant films were
superlative. One was Phil Borgos',
Spartree, which provided a portrait of a
rugged individual - a lumberjack. The
film's highlights included dizzying
helicopter shots of the lumberjack
sawing off the tops of standing trees
and an original soundtrack that was the
best of the festival. Canadian animator
Jacques Drouin, famous for his pin-
board animation (over 200,000
moveable pins set in a board), provided
some light metaphysics with Mm-
dscape. The film was a bit esoteric but
contained some good visual puns and
transitions.
Animated films, like Mindscape,
were a major force in the festival with
their technical prowess and smooth
calculation. Mike Jittlov's Animato
Fashionation and Sara Petty's Furies
were huge audience favorites because
of their fast pacing and strong, exciting
visuals. Animato Fashionation, in par-
ticular, was faster than a commercial,
and looked like a million dollars. Its
only fault, however, was that it was
somewhat slick and superficial.
Animation films, because they are so
technical and short (by necessity), tend
to overwhelm their makers and leave a

vacuum where content should have
been. Indeed, content or the lack of it
was the biggest problem that most of
the films faced.
IN CINEMA, the unification of form
(the way in which one shoots a film)
and content (the idea itself) is of
paramount importance. Unfortunately,
independent filmmakers are severely
limited in form. It's difficult to shoot an
emotional drama if the actors aren't of
Shakespearean caliber. The crowd
spectacle, a very exciting cinematic
subject, is obviously financially far out
of reach for most filmmakers. The sad
fact is that most filmmakers are forced
to compromise their artistic integrity
by twisting the content to fit the form
(which is usually black.and white film,
no sync sound, and a handful of actors).
This strain manifested itself in some
confused films such as Dolly Cake,
although it did have sync sound.
OTHER FILMS SEEMED to be
almost pure form. Peter Rose's
Analogies: Studies in the Movement of
Time was professional looking, but as
emotionless and sterile as a machine
with its endless optical split screens. A
special mention should be made of
James Benning, who won the festival
last year with his 11x14. This year's en-
try, his One Way Boogie-Woogie, con-
sisted of 60 one-minute shots of stable
environments that were somehow upset
by intricate movement. Benning films
are obsessed with photographic

qualities, and although he still seems
unsure of himself as a filmmaker, his
movies manage to have beauty and
some theoretical, "scholarly" con-
tent. His subtle wit was also wel-
come (example: a 55 second shot of
a huge pile of bricks concluded by
someone throwing one more on).
The grand prize-winning film of this
year's festival was Banana I by Nor-
man E. Magden, and even though the
film was funny and entertaining, it was
certainly not cinematic. Using the
camera simply as- a recording device
(i.e., one continuous take, no
movement) - in this case, a filmed
monologue - should have been frowned
upon by the judges. By direct contrast,
Claude Leloch's Rendezvous (the
famous director of Another Man,
Another Chance) was the most
cinematic film of the festival, even
though, like Banana I, it was one con-
tinuous take. The difference was that
Lelouch's film contained a great deal of
camera movement.
Rendezvous (filmed originally in
35mm) was made by mounting a
camera onto the front of a Ferrari,
starting the camera, and then zooming
through the streets of early morning
Paris at incredible speeds (a
disclaimer at the beginning denied the
use of trick photography). Other cars
on the road are treated as stationary
objects as Lelough (presumably at the
wheel) blasts up the road, narrowly

missing groggy pedestrians. The effect
is almost unbearably exciting, because
the viewer knows that the film is un-
staged and that anything could happen.
Ironically, the film ends with him
arriving at his destination and simply
meeting, his wife - a nice charac-
terization of our society's values and
behavior patterns.
The category of sheer abstract films
was dominated by Jordan Belson's
Music of the Spheres. Belson, whose
films resemble Kubrick's Star Gate
sequence in 2001, actually preceded
Kubrick by a few years in his galactic
visions. His work has an honesty that
makes Kubrick's sequence look a bit
gimmicky and contrived. Music of the
Spheres was beautiful in its use of color,
form, and objects,, and it easily out-
shone the other abstract films which
tended to be monotonous and mad-
deningly esoteric.
My personal, and by no means con-
clusive, awards for the festival run as
follows: Best film, Animato
Fashionation; Best abstract film,
Music of the Spheres; Worst film,
Alternation of Perspection (which
edged out about another half-dozen
films); Most annoying film, Elegua;
and, finally, Most exciting film, Ren-
dezvous.

Power Center

New Mahogany Rush

CINEMA II1
Tuesday, March 21
THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE
Director-JEAN EUSTACHE (1973)
In a series of dialogues, a young man. his mistress, and "another woman" explore every con-
ceivable male-female relationship. A very personal movie with a masochistic sense of despair and
a highly emotional interpretation, it is also at the crossroads of various French trends in its view of
Paris cafes and drab apartments, its puritanical morals and its poetic atmosphere of encounter and
coincidences. Jean Pierre Leaud, famous for the Truffaut trilogy. Francoise Lebrun, Bernadette
Lofont.,French with subtitles. "A searing, painful, revealing, egotistical, irritating, often beautiful
document." Molly Haskell, Villogoe Voice.

the same
By TIM YAGLE
FRANK MARINO and Mahogany
Rush have latched onto the live
album craze with their new album Live,
but it really doesn't create the ex-
citement many other live albums havei
such as Kiss Alive II and Foghat Live.
Many parts of the LP have a good
technical quality. However, others just,
don't make the grade.
"The Answer" opens what could,
almost be called the Frank Marino
guitar solo album with some punchy
rock that becomes a bit repetitive in
spots and includes the omnipresent
decent Marino guitar solo.
A slow, bouncy number, "Dragon
Fly" follows. It's a nice tune but you
won't be missing anything if your tur-
ntable skips the song.
"I'm a King Bee" is a purely blues
number that has the same melody as
the blues favorite, "I'm A Steamroller,
Baby".
"A New Rock 'n' Roll", a fast paced,
jumbled-up tune, isn't new rock 'n' roll
at all. It's some of the material that can
bore you quite easily. The vocals sound
slightly similar to those of Edgar Win-
ter.
Most, if not all, of the songs on Live
have that same drawnout metallic
guitar sound that simply gets to you af-
ter awhile.
EVERYBODY'S FAVORITE "John-
ny B. Goode" begins the flip side and
Marino and his band do a pretty good
job on this extended version of re-
creating "the good old days" of Chuck
Berry.
You could swear the next cut,
"Talkin' 'Bout A Feelin' " is a Hendrix
tune. "Talkin' " begins a medley of
four songs supposedly "climaxed" by
Mahogany Rush's theme song "The
World Anthem , which sounds fairly
bad. The medley includes a well-done
excerpt from "Who Do Ya Love",
featuring a good, long, heavy Marino
solo with a variety of bizzare sounds.
Then a fair and short drum solo is
followed by "A World Anthem". The in-
termittent crowd noise on live albums
is dropped in here (it sounds like the
applause between the end of their
regular set and the encore) and you
can't wait for the next number to begin
ATTITUDE
ADJUSTMENT
HOURS-
3:00-6:00 p.m.
Monday-Friday
% PRICE
DRINKS
1SC HOT DOGS
w/oll the trimmings

old thing
because the crowd noise drives you
nuts.
If I was wrong about Hendrix the first
time, I'm not this time. His classic
"Purple Haze" is played so as not to
make Hendrix turn in his grave (alas).
Not a lot can be said about Frank
Marino and Mahogany Rush Live. It
didn't really excite me like it should
have, being a live album. Perhaps with
only three guys oh stage, what more
could I expect? If you're a Frank
Marino fan his solos fill the album, so
indulge. If you're not acquainted with
this trio, the LP may not be worth the
investment.
COUPON
R COLOR COPY
Regularly 95ยข NOW FREE!
From 35mm SLIDES $1.20 NOW $.251
DOLLAR BILL
COPYING
611 CHURCH 665-9200
Around Corner from Brown Jug
Above The Blue Frogge
WE ALSO MAKE
IRON-ON T-SHIRT
TRANSFERS

Sat., Apr. 8,
special children's mat. 3p.m.

Fri, Apr.7, 8pm.
Sat. Apr. 8, 8pm.
Sun., Apr.9, 3 p.m.

flE UNVER'-I T U
OF MCHIGAN
~~Crwny

7 p.m. ONLY

MLB 3

$1.50

l.

FRIDAY: Mulligan's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

1J] '

ANNOUNCES
AN EVENING WITH

SHOWN PHILLIPS

Tuesday,
April 11th
A l18 p.m.
Michigan Theatre
TICKETS $7.50 - $6.50 Reserved
Available at Michigan Theatre Box Office, Ann Arbor Music Mart, Bonzo
Records and all Hudson's stores.
A Son of Bomboo Production

I Per Person

Good Only Wed 3/22

mm

11IVERSITY 5%MUSICAL C8OCIETY present
This recital marks the Ann Arbor debut of this
brilliant young Korean-born violinist. Since
her European debut eight years ago, Kyung-
Who Chung's tours of Europe, the For Ea'St,
Israel and the U.S. have established her as
an outstanding young talent.
For this recital she will be joined by Samuel
Sanders, pianist, to perform:
Sonata in D major, Op. 12, No. 1... Beethoven
Sonata in F minor, Op. 80......... Prokofieff
Sonata in A majoar...............Franck
Tickets at $7, $5.50 and $4 are available at
Burton Tower, weekdays 9-4a:30, Saturdays
9-12. Telephone: 665-3717.

THE BREAD~ ANP
PUPPET THEATER
TOGETHER wrr Th E
WOR D OF MQUTH
CHORUS PRESErTS
A M6 STELA
BY 30OLV~IN DESPRIES

Mendelssohn Theatre/Sunday March 26, 2 & 8 p.m.

ML-

eFar
toe
o&,ve ove that Failed
by Jean Anouilh
University Showcase

. i

I

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