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September 30, 1976 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-09-30

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Arts' EntrtaimentTHE MICHIGAN DAILY
Thursday, September 30, 1976

RPige-,Five

Wertmu tier

By JAMES HYNES
1ENA Wertmuller's S e v e n
Beauties is a film about sur-
vival. It chronicles the adven-
tures of an ordinary man in ex-
traordinary times, who becomes
by the end of the film a dis-
illusioned, embittered man.
Pasquilino (Giancarlo Gianini)
does not merely survive his
ordeals, he excells at surviving,
deliberately sacrificing his honor
and human dignity in order to
comeout of World War II alive.
Unlike the radical seaman in
Swept Away, Wertmuller's last

film, Pasquilino shows a rather
horrifying tendency not to care
at all even as fascism rises in
his country. He develops into a
totally vicious man-the common
man who, through ignorance of
hard reality, is forced into situa-
tions in which a choice between
dignity and survival must be
made.
THE STORY of Pasquilino's
choice is presented by juxta-
posing two segments in his life.
Before the war, Pasquilino is
a strutting, swaggering man of

the streets whose main concern
in life is maintaining the dignity
of his family name-his family,
being his mother and his seven
fat, ugly sisters. The film's title
does not refer to his sisters, of
course, but seems to apply to
seven qualities about him which
attract women (although he re-
fers to himself as "ugly").
When one sister's fiance hires
her out as a prostitute, Pasquil-
ino kills him, Set against this
scene is his struggle to survive
in a Nazi concentration camp
during the war. Ile abases him-

U. Utah' sings aLJord Ark

self in order to live., first by
making love to the immense
commandant of the camp and
then by shooting a fellow pris-
oner-in contrast with the first
murder, performed for honor.
WERTMULLER makes it clear
that it is the common man's
lack of concern for politics that
gets him into such fixes. For
instance, the film opens with
newsreel footage of World War
11 battles and . a voice reciting
a bitter litany of those who
didn't care. The only people in
the film who merit any respect
are an antifascist prisoner Pa~-
lino mieets whileon1is way
to prison (for murdering the
pimp) and an old anarchist he
gets to know in the concentra-
tion camp. For Wertmuller, the
onlv dinity worth having is that
gained bv working for a cause
grenter than the individual.
Pasquilino, instead, seeks re-
snect only for himself and be-
comes rather a buffoon. The
murder of the pimp, a stomach-
turning sequence in which the
body is cut up and shipped to
three cities (labelled ':pro-
volone'), becomes a slapstick
routine.
And when he is finally camyht
and tried, all seven sisters slhw
tn in the courtroom in the heavv
makeup and tight dresses of
whores.
PASQUILINO is not a mere

L i1m ol circumstance, ihe
mtrkes his. choices quite delib-
eratelv. 1k loses all iliusi4)ns
and ideals and becomes defi-
antdy self confident-so hard-
ened that when, in the last
scene, he returns home to find
both mother and girlfriend are
whores, he doesn't care. le has
rejected honor completely; all
he can say in the fndeout is
tYes I'm alive."
This film is Wertmuller's first
masterpiece, perfectly balanced
a richly detailed. Ghanini is
stunning creating with his per-
formance a sort of Everyman.
Seven Beauties places her Wert-
of itaian cinema.
Have a or
If '.ou re e eet-
poetrv. an mu"e
or wr Io, fe r i
"rin d e un
di t or. wo Toe

By SUSAN VINTILLA
[THE DUDE in the line at the
Ark last Saturday night
with a western twang was
B r uic e Phillips, otherwise
known as U. Utahi Phillips ._
when's he's singing, playing
guitar and spinning yarns, that
is.
Utah seemed to enjoy teas-
ing and amusing his audience
w i t h outrageous anecdotes
more than anything else, but
he also proved to be a compe-
tent guitar player and folk
singers
The tone of most of his songs
was based on support of various
downtrodden humans. The first
was a "Kids Liberation Song"
inspired by two small people in.
the front row, and from there!
Utah took off. He sang a work-
ers' song to the tune of "My
Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean",
which voiced regret of the gov-
ernment's callousness on the
unemployment situation.

ONE OF the funniest parts of
the evening was when the sing-
er complained of harassment
from a Nashville firm for using
the "Wabash Cannonball",
which was writtenin the 390's
before copyright laws. He then
proceeded to sing the song to a
different tune, and his audience
enthusiastically joined in.
The remainder of Utah's re-
pertoire was devoted to songs
about hobos, railroads and la-
bor songs.
U. Utah actually hails from
Spokane, Washington, where he
pursues alternate life-styles of
farming and writing. One of his
big complaints to the audience
was that vegetables are boring
("Have you ever looked at a
turnip?"). He explained to the
listeners that he- was dressed
up in his "Saturday night shirt"
and jokingly derided them for
their relatively grubby appear-
ance.
UTAH'S joke - telling style

was without equal, but he would,
be a better overall entertainer
if his story-telling time was
more evenly balanced with his
singing.
Actually, behind the quips,
he is a pretty sober fellow. lie
calls himself an anarchist -
defining anarchy as leading a'
creative life free from con-
straint. He introduced his fans
to make their own music at
home for enrichment and to
avoid "feeding the capitalists
by buying rock and roll re-
cords."
He himself will hole up in
Spokane, Utah announced, until
he finishes his book - entitled
Fundamental Anarchists.

4

C

STEVE GOODMAN, guitarist and songwriter, wil play at Power Center tomorrow night
along with jazz fiddler Vassar Clements. The concert touches off another season of Major
Events from UAC.
lay

I
D RINKING &DA NC G
Fria38p.m.'

By JIM STIMSON
POLK MUSICIANS Steve Good-
man and Vassar Clements
will appear at the Power Cen-
ter tomorrow night.
The word "folk" is used here
for lack of a better term. Both
artists span a broad range of
musical styles.
Vocalist - songwriter - guitarist
Steve Goodman is noted for
writing John Denver's "City of
New Orleans." An articulate
and topical songwriter in a'
class with John Prine, he's re-
corded songs ranging from Mike.

Smith's mournful bail ''Spoon
River" to vintage rock 'n' roll
like Bbbv Lewis' "Tl oss;in' and
Turnin."
VASSAR CLEMENTS is a
modern fiddle player, if there
is such a thir. He was a men-
ber of the Virginia Boys in the
SO's e early 60's, and help-
ed r luegrass to its cur-
rent i { of acceptance in this
count V,
More recertly, ClemenS has
played with Dicy Betts of the
AlIman Brothers a Gar-
cia of the GadteflemDead.
Goodman iand Clem-ents have

played tu eiber befare, on GOod-
nan's 19 release,',Jessie 's
Jig And Other Favorites.''
What will yoa hear at the con-
c 1r Probablv a lot of differ-
cut styles, held together by
G nlmam's sense of humor and
1 eo t virtuosity. But what-
ever they play, you can expect
to hear mme relaxed profession-
al and ha e a good time.
Ticket are S5, and the show
stai'5 at7: :30.

NOON LUNCHEON
Homemade Soup and Sandwich SOc
Friday, October 1st
Two members of the U.S.-China Peoples
Friendship Assn:
IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA
at Guild House
802 MONROE

NO COVER

0

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JOIN OUR
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SUNDAY
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All Drinks at Reduced Prices
NEW MENU-NEW PRICES
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SINGLE SALES BEGIN MON OCT
From
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4 PTP BOXOFFICE, MENDELSSOHN LOBBY

__.

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