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September 19, 1975 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-09-19

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Friday, September 14, 1975


Page Five

Friday, September 1 ~, 1975 THE MICHIGAN DAILY



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Pick of the week:
Night Moves
The Movies, Briarwood
One might have expected that
the national release of director
Arthur Penn's first film since'
Little Big Man five years ago
would have been one of the
cinema events of 1975. Not so.
Night Moves finally sneaks into
town this week, over three
months after its initial pre-
miere, as the lower half of a
double bill headlined by the
machismo classic Deliverance.
Some critics have suggested
that this lackluster release
scheme represents an effort by
distributor Warner Brothers to
"bury" quietly what turned out
to be a rather unpleasant film.
I don't entirely think so. Sim-
ply put, Night Moves just does-
n't quite make it as movies go:
it never achieves the sense of
unified theme that distinguish-
ed Penn's earlier efforts.
Gene Hackman portrays Har-
ry Moseby. a private investiga-
tor struggling to find an iden-
tity for himself among threads
of a confused past - while at
the same time pursuing, in style
true to the Raymond Chandler
genre, a complex missing per-
son case.
In mood and in psyche, the
Moseby character somewhat re-
sembles the troubled wiretap-
per Hackman played in Fran-
cis Ford Coppola's The Conver-
sation. But Alan Sharp's crowd-
ed screenplay contains too
much action and too little room
for adequate development.
Night Moves could have been
a good film. But Penn, like Rob-
ert Altman in Nashville, has too
much to say and not enough
time to say it.
-David Blomquist
* * *E

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What's playing this Cinema Weekend
An especially wide-ranging collection of directors and
styles highlights this Cinema Weekend. On Sunday, UAC
Mediatrics showcases Modern Times, one of Charles Chap-
lin's outstanding silent features. Contemporary great Mike
Nichols has a new entry, The Fortune, playing the matinee
circuit out at The Movies, Briarwood.
Closer to home, Mel Brooks's comic genius shines bril-
liantly in The Producers, part of Ann Arbor Co-op's Gene
Wilder night at the Modern Languages Building on Friday.
And Phillipe delroca's perennial favorite, King of Hearts,
returns for aniother session at MLB on Sunday.
This Cinema Weekend in detail:
Friday-Smiles of a Summer Night, Cinema Guild,
Arch. Aud., 7, 9:05; The Producers, Ann Arbor Film Co-op,
MLB, 7, 10:30; Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin in the
Bronx, Ann Arbor Film Co-op, MLB, 8:45; Seven Days In
May, Cinema II, Aud. A, 7, 9:05; Jitterbugs, Matrix, 7; Ani-
mal Crackers, Matrix, 9.
Saturday-Flash Gordon, Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud., 7;
Deliverance, Mediatrics, Nat. Sci. Aud., 7:30, 9:30; King
of Hearts, Ann Arbor Film Co-op, MLB, 7, 9; Patton, Cine-
ma II, 7, 10; W. C. Fields Festival, Matrix, 7; Animal
Crackers, Matrix, 9.
Sunday - Lola Montez, Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud., 7,
9:05; Modern Times, Mediatrics, Nat. Sci. Aud., 7, 8:45,
10:30; How I Won the War, Cinema II, Aud. A, 7, 9; W. C.
Fields Festival, Matrix, 7; Animal Crackers, Matrix, 9.

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Billy Jack
The Movies, Briarwood
Tom Laughlin, the man be-
hind the legend of Billy Jack,
will go to any extreme to en-.
rage the noble ranks of film
critics. At the present time he
is promoting a new film, The
Master Gunfighter, with an ex-
travagant anti-critic ad cam-
pign sure to hit home with
thse that have known all along'
that film critics are perverts.1
But the films that truly made
Laughlin a millionaire, and a
symbol of sorts, are Billy Jack
and The Trial of. Both films are
distinguished by the grossest
sentimentality imaginable -
sentimentality aimed not at
weepy-eyed housewives, but at
starry-eyed teen-age idealists
with no place else on which
to vent their enraged concern.
And Laughlin has spared
nothing in his films. Cute little
girls sings ballads of flower
power - cute big girls tell
lecherous rednecks to kiss off;
Billy Jack himself fights vio-
lence with violence, but is in-
credibly righteous in doing so.1
Pauline Kael finds a curious7
charm in Billy Jack - where:
she's looking, I don't know. The
film is funny at times, but only
because of its own outrinht in-.
anity. And when one thinks that
Laughlin is serious abot what!
he's doing, one can't help feel-
ing nauseous.
Cinematically, the films are
overly lone, tedious, poorly edit-
ed, episodic, and basically in-
coherent. Still Laughlin must be
credited with touching the
American nerve - Billy Jack is
making millions and is nrovid-a
ing him with an easy outlet for E
his hysteric nolitical ideology.
-Chris Kohmansk
** *
Smiles of a Summer
Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud.
Fri., 7, 9:059
The sophisticated souffle that1
is Ingmar Bergman's Smiles oft
a Summer Night was made im-
mediately before his grim
classic. The Second Seal: that
is, before his most profound
(some say boring) films, with
Man In Search Of God as
Instead, Smiles is man and u
woman in search of love and
lust in turn-of-the-century Cwe-
den. The smiles are those be-
stowed upon three kinds of lov-
Day Color
Print ServiceI
Ann Arbor's
processing lab.

ers - the very young, the cyn-
ical middle aged ,and some
rather idyllic rustics.a
Bergman uses an entertain-
ing game of musical lovers to
satirize now only romantic foi-
bles but also the pretentious-
ness of the upper class.
The basis for the Broadway
musical A Little Night Music,
Smiles won a deserved special
commendation at the 1956 Can-
nes Film Festival. It is worth
seeing if only to contrast Gun-
nar Bjorstrand's deft Frederick
Egerman with his wrenching
portrayal of the bitter minis-
ter in Bergman's Winter Light.I
-Cynthia Cheski
The Producers
Ann Arbor Film Co-op, MLB
Fri., 7, 10:30
Everyone who has seen a Mel
Brooks movie knows its basic
ingredients: zamness, an ab-
surd plot, a bizarre conglomer-
ation of actors, and a lot of silly
but hilarious one-liners.
The Producers, an early
Brooks film, stars the incom-
parable Zero Mostel as a
Broadway producer desperate
for money. Working with a neu-
rotic accountant (played by
Gene Wilder), he produces a
show so terrible that it seems
certain to bomb - thus earning
him a fortune in investment tax
credits. ,
Wilder and Mostel's product
is a musical entitled Springtime
for Hitler, lavishly staged with
booming cannons and dancing
human swastikas. People al-
ways say the Springtime se-
quence alone is worth seeingi
the movie for, and they're right.
Wilder stands out in the pic-
ture, although Mostel is excel-
lent as well, and they're en-
lightened by a cast of weirdos-
But don't try to get something
profound out of The Producers.
The best thing about it is the'
fast-paced nuttiness, seasoned!
with that special Mel Brooks
-Mary Jo Peer '
The Fortune ;
The Movies, Briarwood
The release of The Fortune is
easily the most melancholy
event of the cinema year-la-
mentable because it drops di-
rector Mike Nichols into that
saddest of all artistic categor-
ies: inconsequentiality.
It is hard to believe that the
man who made The Graduate
and Carnal Knowledge could
have created this sour, incred-
ibly threadbare comedy about
two con men who attempt to
bilk a young heiress out of
her fortune first through mar-
riage, then through attempted
murder (yuk).
As the con artists, Warren
Beatty and Jack Nicholson
work frantically to wring some
laughs out of the prevailing un-
pleasantness but just don't pos-
sess the chemistry to play off
each other a la Newman-Red-

ford. They receive no assist-
ance in these endeavors from
newcomer Stockard Channing,
an actual former debutante
who lends experience, but no
discernible talent, to her role.
The Fortune could easily be
written off as a regrettable tri-
viality were it not for its direc-
tor - a man who probably did
more than anyone else to
change the face of American
film in the last decade. Nich-
ols now seems hell-bent on un-
doing all that he accomplished,
and that is a tragedy not only
for him but for everyone who
loves film.
-Kim Potter
* * *
Warhol duo
If its pure high art you're'
searching for, then your time
has come. Never before has
such a double bill unleashed
such a continuum of entertain-
ment without being the least bit
redeeming. Combining Andy
Warhol's name with Paul Mor-
rissey's talent (a debatable
point),' Bryanston Films have
combined the warped visions
of Frankenstein and Dracula
on the same screen for the
same price.
The films, which were both
made during the summer of
1974, are an undefinable cross
between the original novels and
Gray's Anatomy. Directed with
a flair for eliciting the abso-
lute worst performances ever
recorded on film, the films fea-
ture the same actor, the unfor-
getable Udo Kier, in both title
Frankenstein, which was or-
iginally released in 3-D as the
ultimate gimmick, is far more
graphic than its counterpart,
but Dracula more than makes
up for the visuals lost with ter-
rific cameos by Roman Polan-
ski and Victorio deSica. And
the mere sight of the Count,
drained of life by a lack of
"Virgin" blood, stands as a
few of the great moments in
unmemorable cinema.
--James Valk

The Movies, Briarwood
and Mediatrics, Sat.
Deliverance is about the week-
end that the guys didn't play
golf. They should have. Instead
of testing their survival in-
stincts on the river and its na-
tives, they maybe should have
remained on the links and
then maybe bowled a couple of
Jon Voight, as the good-na-
tured young modern father-
big but gentle (could have play-
ed guard in some small college
conference), and hairy Burt
Reynolds, as the gladiator ma-
cho - prince, star as two of
the four suburbanites trying to
recover, or synthesize, their
faded masculinity, but instead
lose two lives, one leg, one vir-
ginity, a few arrows, a canoe,
and any imagined connection
with the elements.
Taken from the novel by
James Dickey (who plays a
country sheriff), the film is
highly entertaining with lovely
shots of the river, Reynolds'
mangled leg, Voight looking re-
flective, and of course the ro-
deo scene in which the natives
play squeal with one of the de-
If not an accurate portrayal
of modern man's divorce from
the rhythms of the earth, the
film offers at least a subtle ad-
vertisement for playing golf, or
for joining the Sierra Club.
-James Levin
King of Hearts
Sat., 7, 9
Saying you like Phillipe de
Broca's King of Hearts is like
saying you like a song on AM
radio: you're not supposed to
like it, because "everybody"
likes it.
The main argument behind
this statement is that King of
Hearts is, supposedly, simplis-
tic. During World War I, a sol-
dier comes across a town that
is deserted, except for the oc-
cupants of an insane asylum
I who roam the streets and have
a good time, unaware that the
war is going on. The film, made
in 1967, is typical of that time
with its "message" that the
by Kids for Kids

crazy people aren't as crazy as
the sane people.
But so what if films like
Morgan, Petulia, and even A
Hard Day's Night "say" the
same thing? Each film comes
to this conclusion in a different
way, and I think we owe much
of the creativity in films today
to the innovations that were
first experimented with during
the anti-war movement years
of 1964-1969.
Each minor character in
King of Hearts portrays a dif-
ferent aspect of 1967 protest
philosophy. For example, the
woman who tries to spread love
by running a whorehouse ques-
tions existing attitudes toward
I'm not sure why King of
Hearts is more popular now
than it was in 1967. It could be
that Alan Bates, as the soldier,
and Genevieve Bujold, as the
"crazy" girl he falls in love
with, are better known than
they were then. Bates is al-
ways able to make a character
If King of Hearts were as
simplistic as it is accused of be-
ing, it wouldn't appeal to so
many different people.
-Joan Ruhela
If you are interest-
ed in reviewing
poetry, and music
or writing feature
stories a b o u t the
drama, dance, film
arts Contact Arts
Michigan Daily.


September 2 -28
Union Gallery tues 4h o
in cooperation with the sat. sun126
Ann Arbor Public Schools

Bursley Hall Enterprises
SAT., SEPT. 20-8:30
Student ID's required

Admission $1.00




THE PRODUCERS (Mel Brooks, 1968) 7 & 10:30 p.m.
The first and best film by the director of Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. This
outrageous force stars Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder as a producer and an accountant teamed
up to produce a Broadway flop-a musical entitled "Springtime for Hitler." Dick Shawn is
purposefully miscast as the well-known dictator. Hilarious.
(1970) at 8:45 only
A rare treat for Wilder fans. This melancholy and romantic comedy stars Wilder as an

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