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February 02, 1977 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-02-02

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Arts Entertc lnr ent Wednesday, February 2, 1977 Page Five

.. .. ..

u Cu l t '4 ...:.:.....*...v......... ,:nom .. ;.
Bruce ee:Cul hero
By DOBILAS MATULIONIS aging the person's eyes). Needless to ing his regrettably short career, and it is
ODAY'S film world literally abounds say. an incredible feat. Lee's speed was now legend that none of these challeng
with various genres, idols and cults incredible; take his skill with nunchakus ers succeeded. Bruce Lee didn't often
, which achieved radically differing de- ("karate sticks" to the laymas), for in- fight challengers, but when he did, the>
grees of success. But probably none has stance, as demonstrated in Return of the 'man was quickly dispatched wih a min-
been more successful, or more misunder- Dragon. The technique, which took him imum of bodily harm. However, Lee was
stood and misrepresented, than the a decade of hard work to master, per- sometimes verbally arrogant and head-
"kung fu" cult founded by the late great suades many skeptics to declare that strong (understandable behavior for a
Bruce Lee. "the film was speeded up". talented but unknown "streetwise punk" t
Critics have as a rule dismissed mar- Of courses, some of Lee's films are who was suddenly rocketed to fame and
4 tial arts films as worthless; lumping better than others. Some swear by Re- fortune).
them all under the category of "kung turn of the Dragon, because of the last Ss
phooey" trash. While most of these films fight scene between Bruce Lee and Chuck Some claim that Lee's death was u
were indeed mere attempts to cash in on Norris, one of he best one-on-one fight caused by a D
vr{ (like timed-release fatal acupuncture, ex- 1
the craze, ,any diehard fan of the genre scenes ever filmed. My personal favor-
cept administered by a blow) delivered
.,wl recognize the clear superiority of ite, however, is Enter the Dragon, star- by a jealous or vengeful martial artist.s
the films starring Briuce Lee. ring Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly. The Lee was often hit, either by someone in
Although Lee made only four com- film is spoken in English, not dubbed; it a mob of screaming fans or by a clumsy
. plete feature leng h films (though he was is lavishly filmed and set, though poorly extra in a film. However, the Delayed I
a child actor and also made cameo ap- written and acted (though not as campy Death Touch - like acupuncture - has
pearances here and there), he was im- as Return of the Dragon).
mediately catapulted to fame in the East nevrr consi ence
and to varying degrees of stardom in IN THIS FILM, Lee plays a self-styled More conclusive evidence suggests that
America. In fact, at the time of his death James Bond charac'er who cracks an in- e tdia rare bodilyacversion toswel ing
in 1973. Bruce Lee was the highest paid ternational prostitute/white slavery/ killer Lee took shortly before his death
actor in the world. blackmail/drug ring and gets into some (he had been complaining of a head-
dynamite skirmishes along the way.
w THE REASON for this hero worship by Bruce Lee's other two films, The Chi- ache)
millions \is no surprise. Bruce Lee nese Connection and Fists of Fury, are To some, Lee's death is unacceptable;
brought to the screen dynamic physical for the more dedicated fans. They are fanatics write books about his "faked"
prowess coupled with personal charisma. bo h somewhat monotonous (particularly death as a device to retreat for a few L
No one who has seen a Bruce Lee film Fists of Fury; it is well into the film that years unnoticed, while other search in
fails to leave the theaere flabbergasted Lee throws his first punch) but still very vain to discover where he's hiding. Ut
by Lee's martial arts feats, for the enjoyable. fortunately, this is no repeat of the Mc-st
simple reason that he was the best in One other film needs to be mentioned: Cartney scam - Bruce Lee is really I
Sthe world. Joe Lewis, former United Game of Death, including an appearance During his lifetime, Lee was very mis-
States kara'e champion and member of by Kareem Abdul Jabbar. It is only half understood. No one, perhaps not even his
i karate's Hall of Fame, admits that Lee shot as of now (because Lee died before widow Linda, understood why he was so
had the fastest arms of any man he ever i' could be finished), but reliable sources devoted to the martial arts (Lee never
met. say that a final script has been approved stopped exercising; he continually flexed b
A simple trick Lee used to perform in and that the remainder should be shot his muscles or practiced isometric exer- f
i front of fans illustrates his speed and soon (with a stand-in for Lee). Warning: cises, even while talking or watching t
con}rol: a volunteer, placing his hand on do not see any other "Bruce Lee" film T.V.). His drive, like many other things i
his own chin, would stand at arm's other than the aforementioned, because about Lee, will 'remain an unsolvedr
length away from Lee. Lee would then most of the rest are rip-offs (I cannot enigma. His life was one of triumph1
lash out with his hand, gently close the say all because I haven't seen all of turned to tragedy, but fortunately his r
volunteer's eyelids with his fingers, and them) as I have painfully learned. films live on for posterity, a celluloid
J snap back before the man could touch rendering of one of the few really great n
{ Lee's hand (and, of course, without dam- LEE WAS plagued by challengers dur- personalities of cinema.a
Royal inni peg a e tsupers

Local 'bluegrass opera'



USING BANJOS, guitars, fid-
dles, mandolins, a steel gui-
tar, an autoharp, and an elec-
tric bass, a group of local mu-
sicians has been performing for
a couple of years a bluegrass
"opera' called Stuck in Detroit.
Last Sunday night at the Ark
coffee house, they won over yet
another audience with it.
Written several years ago by
a national news magazine re-
porter, Bud McKirgan, the op-
era has evolved from a com-
plex play-like presentation -
which has been shown in De-
troit dnd Chicago, to the sim-
ple format of Sunday evening's
performance. Herschal Free-

man, David Cahn, Steve Whal-
en, Lee Kaufman and Tim Wil-
son sing and play the various
parts, and Sue Kaufman works
a slide machine that shows pho-
tographs taken by McKirgan.
The plot, featuring several un-
related characters who travel
from the South in search of work
and fortune in Detroit, ceters
around Tip Busker. After a
rousing overture, we hear that
Tip is moving north to Detroit,
leaving his sweetheart Inez be-
hind. Unlike his other buddies
who swear to their sweethearts
that they will return soon with
fortunes, Tip promises Inez he'll
return only when he has enough
money to bring her up, to De-
troit with him.

instrumentals, and narration ex-
plain what happens to him and
others like himself when they
reach the Motor City. "Pick it
up and Put it in" refers to the
struggles and boredom of work-,
ing on the assembly line.
"Ilene" is about the owner of
a restaurant that featured blue-
grass regularly until she dis-1
appeared one day, leaving the
Appalachian workers with no
place to go for "clean," liquor-
free entertainment.
Tip finds a "good" job and
soon makes down-payments on
a car and a home. However, he
soon discovers tlat - like thou-
sands of others - he has be-
come trapped in Detroit.
We also learn of Pueshin Brow-
er, a classic capitalist success
story. This man worked his way
up from lowly line worker, like
Tip, to owner of a chain of tool
and die shops. He discovers,

however, that "Money don't
mean hothing if you ain't got
the essentials." Despite his
home in Grosse Pointe and his
loving wife, his three children
hate the bluegrass music he so
dearly loves,
FROM WINO TO disciple is
the story-line of "Jesus is work-
ing in Detroit," a song about
the stransformation of a disillu-
sioned worker into a happy re-
ligious fanatic. "Snow on the
Ridges and Blood on the Coal"
tells of mining deaths back
home in Kentucky. Tribute is
also paid to the woman who or-
ganized the Flint Sit Down
Strike, the first one in labor his-
tory, in "Put the U in UAW."
In true bluegrass spirit, en-
ergy flowed from picks to bows
to strums to hands to smiling
faces. The opera is by no means
I'great work, but its perform-
ance makes for a fabulous eve-

Mime Theatre

sho w entertaining
By SUSAN BARRY brought each picture to life
T WOULD BE difficult to with a pantomime incorporating
imagine a more enter- the subjects of the paintings
taining way to spend a weekday with actions suggested by the
evening than with the Claude musical interpretation - result-
Kipnis Mime Theatre. And ing in a broad range of atmos-
those noticeably few who ven- phere.
ured out to the Power Center In all, the evening presented
Monday night were well re- a variety of extremely well-
warded for their effort. executed imitations of human
The roue cnsits f svensituations and ideas in an un-
The troupe consists of seven usual medium that was refresh-
erformers, including creator usgandiuntataseng.
Kipnis, who have backgrounds mng and entertaining.
n theatre and dance. They haver
been acclaimed for their per-,
formances throughout the coun-
ry both as" a company and as
Monday night's program be-
gan with a piece entitled The
ircus, in which a group of
slightly inept, but enthusiasticTH
performers, with Kipnis as theTH
master of ceremonies, offered1/ OFF ON P
a variety of acts which includ-
ed an impressively acrobatic Cover only $1
muscle man, two reluctant
ightrope walkers, and a re-
markably comic presentation '
by Jay Natelle of a sword
swallower which displayed as ,, . '
much imagination as physical ~
The Circus was followed by a 1
Party, which was.a painfully
realistic protrayal of- a man
preparing to lay his machismo
on the line in. venturing out into
a social entanglement which, as
evidenced by his frenetically
emotional face, abounded in po-
ential ego hazards. This piece
emphasized Kipnis' ability to
:reate and effectively panto-
mime fresh but intensely hu-
man situations.
THIS EFFECT was carriedis
:o pathos in the following act,
[he Bottle subtitled "a fantasy written
>n alcohol", it portrayed a * *
dream which became a night-
nare and then a frightening
The first half of the program
nded with several enactments
f fantasies suggested by dif-
erent movements of a Moza-t
second half of the pro-
ram, which consisted of a A great place to
theatrical interpretation of nwppro h
Moussorgsky's Pictures at annewspaper on the
Exhibition. T h e company


PITCHERS--Wed. nights
before 10 p.m. on Wed.


N .

The Roadhouse is lo-
cated four mles north
of Ann Arbor at U.S.
23 and N. Territorial
Rd. Information 665-
Enjoy dining before the
s h o w upstairs at the
Hill Lounge

U.S. 23

te. Teiritar'al

SATURDAY'S perfrmance by
the Royal Winnepeg Ballet -
one of their two weekend shows
- was marked by superb chor-
eography well suited for the
styles and abilities of the danc-
Two-thirds of the show was
accompanied by a live orches-
tra. This added a richness to the
overall impression that is often
lost in the canned music most
companies bring with them.
"Grand Pas Espagnol", the
firstfiece, had some pleasing
technical moments, but left one
feeling flat and dry. It was little
more than a nice demonstration'
of Spanish dancing as seen by'
19th century Russians. A little
irritating was the dissynchroni-
zation oft the three women,
whose individual interpretations
of this Russian-Spanish style did
not always match.
The second classical work,
"Pas de Deux Romantique,"
was very well performed. Gary
Norman showed a strength and
vivacity not often seen. (Nor,
regrettably, was he seen again
for the rest of the show.)

"SEBASTIAN" was the coup
of the production. Sheri Cook
showed an exquisite sensitivity
as the lovely Courtesan whom a
Moorish slave (Salvatore Aiello)
I secretly loves. Supposedly set in
17th century Venice, it more
closely resembled a space-age
fantasy with its stark but vivid;
costuming, severe hairstyles,
and eerie stage effects.
The sweet and romantic mu-
sic, written (as was the scen-
ario) by Gian Carlo Menotti,
was an ironic counterpart to
John Butler's highly erotic
choreography, modern in style
with an infusion of ballet. Soft,,

indirect lighting on bare flesh
and a collage of bodily forms ac-
centuated the sensual genre of
the piece, as did an unusual Pas
de Deux between two men. In
its totality, the dance touched
all of one's sensibiilties, leaving
one at an emotional peak when
the slave takes death for him-
self to relieve the Courtesan's
slow death by witchcraft. She
is left unaware of the cause of
her wild pain and suffering; left
ignorant of the act of love which
saved her..
"Hands", the next dance seg-
ment, was welcome comic relief
after "Sebastian". A series of
small spoofs demonstrated the

acting capabilities of the com-
pany, and choreographer Paddy
Stone's subtle humor. A skrim
(semi-opaque screen) was very
effectively used, both frontlit for
shadow play and backlit to rep-
resent fantasy.
The music ranged from Eric
Clapton and a Beatles arrange-
ment tovMozart and aspiritual.
This gave the audience an in-
side look on improvisation from
a choreographed theme and the
kind of clowning around that oc-
curs during rehearsal. "Hands",
in other words, conveyed a feel-
ing of the sheer joy of dance in
its uninhibited form.


... that working for a
newspaper can be exciting,

rrUSrraf ng, enjvya e Ona

Manchester maintains charm

meet people, drink 5c cokes 'and learn about a
Business, Editorial or Sports Staffs.

T HAS BEEN almost four
years since Melissa Ma'nches-
ter stepped out from behind
Bette Midler, and she's, all the
better for it. From the days
when traces of Midler's hysteria
lingered in her voice, she has
developed her own style; her
own audience. Her voice main-
tains its vibrant/soft contrast,
minus the abrupt and violent
shriekings embedded in her
earlier concerts.



sa and Better Days and Happy David Wolfert's guitar backing,
Endings, reflect flexibility and Lenny Castro's percussion and
creative advancement. j Manchester's own piano accom-
paniment accentuate the final
MANCHESTER'S latest effort, product.
Help is On The Way, although If there is one problem with
disappointing, flaunts a new and Melissa Manchester's latest 're-
improved Manchester. She re- lease, it would be that some of
affirms her "blue-eyed soul" the songs seem strained, as if
reputation with less of the imi- pulled from a previous mold.
tation so characteristic of the "Headlines" and "There's More
Average White Band or the Bee Where That Came From," for
Gees. Songs from the album example, sound like clever re-
like "Be Somebody" and "Mon- arrangements of "Happy End-
key Do," "take you there" with ings" and "Just You and I,"
effortless, rhythmic progres- from her previous album.
sions. "Talking to Myself," is Melissa Manchester claims she
a sincere introspective rhythm doesn't have the soul of Joni
and blues number that succeeds Mitchell. But while Mitchell la-
in not sounding affectatious. Al- ments, she 'lambents.' And un-
though limp and aimless, the like Mitchell, she doesn't seem
title cut "Help is On The Way," bored with success. Her music
remains inspirational, still reflects interest in her art,
Manchester surrounds herself as displayed in Manchester's re-
with a backing that is not over- cent lyric: "I sing from my
powering, but that fits neatly soul, everything I have - ev-
into her naturally phrased songs. erything I know ..."


Unlike many artists emerging
from that Arista Records mu-
sic factory, Manchester is not
overpackaged. Barry Manilow's
songs sound too much like TV
commercial lingos and David
Pomeranz's work is too calcu-
lated to be great. Manchester's
style, however, is smooth, car-
ried across lithe chords.
With her first album, Home
to Myself, she established an as-
sured, mature style of mellow
ballads. Carole Bayer Sager's
lyrics added a feminist per-
spective, that gave the songs
a firm, almost defiant quality.
Her subsequent albums, Melis-

ANN AI0F0C0 I[M C0-0 I
t ousan Makavejev, 1975) $1.50
7, 8:45 & 10:30-AUD. A
Ann Arbor finally gets its premiere of Dusan Makavejev's (WR:
MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM) X-rated, controversial film of

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