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October 10, 1975 - Image 7

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-10-10

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triday, October 10, 1975
1

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

rage Seven

~riday, October 10, 1975 IHE MICHIGAN DAILY rage Seven

cinemcl

weekend

'Salesman'

still stands intact

By ANDREW ZERMAN

$1
t ,

Pick of the week:
A Delicate Balance
Campus
Eli Landau's American Film
Theatre was one of the boldest
exhibition experiments in mod-
ern American cinema. Two
years ago, Landau convinced a
select group of movie houses to
drop the regular feature. two
days a month and substitute his
special reserved seat presenta-
tion: a filmed version of an out-
standing stage play, featuring a
stellar cast and a major direc-
-tor.
The venture only lasted two
seasons: fierce objections from
traditional distributors, who re-
sented having their pictures
palled out of 500 theaters a cou-
ple days early, convinced many
exhibitors to knuckle under and
drop the AFT series. It was an
untimely demise. For although
the AFT releases were far from
exciting as films, they neverthe-
less captured and made avail-
able to a wide audience some
absolutely brilliant acting per-
formances.
AFT's production of A Deli-
cate Balance suffers from the
many defects of Edward Albee's
original script. Albee wanders
rather aimlessly through a gam-
ut of emotions and concepts be-
fore finally electing to explore
the meaning and the conse-
quence of friendship - to de-
termine how we decide between
camaraderie and privacy. There
are moments of brilliant exposi-
tion and concise characteriza-
tion in A Delicate Balance, but
they are few and far between
Yet the incredible skill of
AFT's veteran cast, gathered
under the steady helm of direc
tor Tony Richardson, almost
makes it come together. Kath
erine Hepburn shines as the
stifling Agnes, a domineering
woman who pushes her mild
mannered husband (portrayed
by Paul Scofield) aside at every
opportunity. Kate Reid magnifi.
cently brings out the biting char-
acter of Claire, an alcoholic who
may nevertheless be the only
sane individual in the household.
There has been talk of a third
AFT season next year, but it
seems unlikely. The pressure
from the Hollywood hucksters
who would rather subiect us tc
pap like The Master Gunfightei
is far too great.
-David Blomquist
* * * ~

Finally, the movie is a thriller,' ty Python's Flying Circus, a: film, but just tossed in for fun. If you still have any doubts ast
as good as anything that Hitch- I lunatic group that has run ram- When Allen helps a motorist to what theatre is and why ita
cock has ever produced, and one pant in Britain for some time, park his car, for example, wav- just isn't the same as movies orh
that kept me on the edge of my invades American theatres with I ing him back until he crunches television or novels or football L
seat. . ninety minutes of irreverent, E the auto behind, it's terrific, but games. you would do well to see
-Steven Selbst i simplistic nonsense in the form , hardly necessary. -Death of a Salesman this week-o
* * * of Monty Python and the Holy! Some movie end at Power Center.e
GraildSome of thism e is dated, Theatre is that queer art formc
Farewell, y o ely This is not to be mistaken as eand some of it unfunny, but in which spectators watch an
' bad entertainment. The com- even o, te shis as a ea- actor pretending to be a schizo- i
Michigan pleted tale of a search for the tainly without peer in our time. phrenic man of 63 who s play- d
Farewell, My Lovely is a cur- holy grail contains witty vign- taine wihut per iur ing cards at his kitchen tablet
iously disjointed and disturbing ettes and running gags that are ' with another actor who is pre-Z
film. One never knows whether novel in both concept and pre- -Steven Selbst tending to be his neighbor. Allg
director Dick Richards and sentation, but never solidifies as * * * of a sudden, the schizophrenic f
screenwriter David Zelag Good- a completed film. man begins to remember and b
man are mocking the Bogart- Of course, this is exactly the . Charade relive conversations that ' took b
type private eye melodramas course by which Woody Allen's ; place twenty years ago with a
(a la Altman's Long Goodbye) early films proceeded, and thus Couzens Film Co-op, man now dead and we privi-r
or praising them (as Polanski's the sole basis of evaluation is Couzens Cafeteria leged spectators get to see a
Chinatown may or may not left up to the arbitrary scale 8:00, 10:00 third actor pretending to be that c
> have done). of personal humor. I dead man and he is walking
Rober-t)Mitchum is an odd But forthose devotees famil- The thunder of a train shat- around right in front of that a
jchoice to play Raymond Chand- iar with the style of Monty Py- ters the tranquility of the kitchen table.
ler's hard-boiled Philip Mar- thon, there is no doubt cause for French countryside, and as it We aren't just reading about K
lowe, as Mitchum is clearly be- elation. The mere fact that the races by, a battered and bloody what the schizophrenic thinksI
coming old and paunchy and has boys from Britain have made it I corpse hurtles out and drOps or hearing strange music to let
a face that "looks like an old to the American screen with onto the sun-drenched meadow. us know he is hallucinating: wet
catcher's mitt" (Newsweek). some reasonably amusing fare i With this abrupt opening, di- actually see and hear this other
Furthermore, he delivers the assures mainlanders of some fu- rector Stanley Donen proceeds conversation. So there on stages
stilted private eye dialogue ture cinematic rival for Woody with Charade, a fast-paced are three men, one of whom is
p *-Ja Ves the ded m the past and one of whom ise
The first half of the film is,* *emurderedman. somewhere in between, going-
slow-moving, confusing, and Audrey Hepburn, the man's crazy before our wide, gullible
clumsily directed. Action se- Fantasia 'widow, joins up with Cary eyes. It can be positively eerie.
sequences especially are poorly Grant, whose status as detective This new production of Arthur
choreographed and strangely State or criminal remains uncertain. Miller's masterwork, part of the
low key. Fantasia, a film generally ig- Together they roam through Guest Artist Series, is not with-
The second half, however, nored at its release, has since Paris, escaping the attempted out significant flaws, but it of-
picks up considerably with a been hailed as an experimental atrocities by three thugs (James fers a simply perfect perform-
blackly funny scene in a decay- "must-see" classic. Walt Disney Coburn, George Kennedy, and ance by William Leach. For
ing brothel that ends in a hi- was under the impression that Ned Glass).
larious, completely incongruous if cartoons could sell fairy tales Ultimately, these five people.............. ..........
. dream sequence. From there to the American public, they all tr to locate aequarter ofpa
- the film moves to fairly involv- could also sell classical music. lltooasefqber dbya
t ing intrigue that neither direc- And that about sums up Walt million dollars left behind by the A
torial incompetence, over-act- Disney.
f ing, or lack of thematic intent The film consists of sevenParis.
3 can diminish.1 pieces of music, including Stra- Of course, Cary and Audrey
. -Chris Kochmanski vinsky's Rite of Spring, Tchai- fall in love, thus enabling Hen-
*nv Nutcracker Suite. and r Mancini to unfold his sr

scenes like the one just men- acquaintance. "Stealing" is
tioned to work, there can't be called "borrowing" when a La-!
any doubt that Loman believes man is the thief.
himself talking to his hero, Willy was competitive, self-
Uncle Ben. centered and potentially ruth-
From the moment he walks less. Were he not pathetically
on stage, Leach is a lost and weak and insecure as well, he,
exhausted man, distracted and would be almost despicable.
confused beyond comprehension. He is not a prince at all, but
His mind is not, just cluttered, he is a human being and, there-
it is inundated with memories, fore, as his wife pleads, "at-
disappointments, conflicts, con-; tention must be paid" when he
tradictions and frustrations. becomes helpless.
Like the output of a computer
gone haywire, everything spews The playis also about father-
forth at the wrong time, jumbled son relationships, and here a
but relentless. until. Wi1ir finall similar theme is echoed. Willy

uncomfortably close to a Mickey
Rooney impersonation. Miller
wrote that Happy was "seem-
ingly more content" than Biff
but Martin doesn't suggest the
repressed frustration that Hap-
py must have felt. Martin was
too composed and controlled at
the funeral. Isn't Happy at all
g'iilty? Can he so easily dis-
miss the implications of his
father's suicide? There should
be more to Happy than is im-
mediately apparent, but unfor-
tunately, there wasn't in this
performance.
Director Richard Meyer has

LIU{. 1 G2G1162GA., U l.V
breaks down altogeth
Death of a Salesni
reallya play about sa
capitalism or the ur
of America so much
play about a misfit ai
and a not especially 11
The rat race didn'
well-adjusted, noble n
The play makes it
Will had the wrong, s
to begin with. He con
to Charlie and Bei
showed no understand
er people and ethics a
were concepts with
had little more than

lir. utu was a drastically misguided and mae Unc-e Be, played by
er. ujsl eadn father,' made Uncle Ben, played by
unjustly demanding t Jack van Natter, into a myster-
an is not while Biff could be atstubborn, ious, almost surreal character,
baesmen or exasperating son. Yet, simply emphasizing rather obviously
banization because they are father and son, Miller's use of Ben as a symbol.
as it is a they must not desert each other. But Ben was also a real person
na loserj Diane Tasca as Linda never and Willy's memories should
kable one. convinced me that she had been have the same air of reality as
't drive a through a life of hardship or the rest of the play. At one
nan crazy. was even over 26. Linda's point I actually began to wonder
clear that strength and perseverence lie whether Ben had existed at all.
illy dream quietly beneath the surface and Wth the play's impact depending
descended display themselves only occa- on the audience accepting the
rnard, he sionally during the play. The flashbacks as truth, this aroused
ing of oth- Linda I saw the other night uncas prves a r flaw
nd morals would not be mending stockings uncertainty proves a major flaw
which he -she'd have gotten a job. in the potential success of the
a nodding James Martin as Happy came production.

r
i
s
C
r
V

A NOSTALGIC RETROSPECTIVE
OF CLASSIC 1950's TELEVISION
A 150 MINUTE ORGY !

t
A Streetcar Named
Desire

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yl
0
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t
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r

Cinema Guild, Arch. And.
F riday, 7, 9:05
Streetcar Named Desire is!
one of the few plays that sur-
vives the transition to film with
all its dramatic virtueQ intact.
Although Elia Kazan's direction
is rather "'stagey" at times and
the camera work is, at best,
competent, this version of Ten-
nessee Williams' finest drama is
embellished with two of the fin-
est performances of any Ameri-
can actors or actresses ever
filmed.
Marlon Brando plays the brut-
I n.C , f.~ . .Tnnn.1 . o mt-

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KOs yS , NL:Qr~. UM9dl y MU11 1 11 U11 y Upy
Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. score - a two-fold background
Cued to these pieces are car- for romance and gruesome kill-
toons suggested, supposedly, by ings. Although Peter Stone's
the music. Particularly irritat- screenplay runs a bit too melo-
ing sequences include the Bach| dramatic at times, Charade
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, maintains a level of suspense
represented on the screen by throughout that makes the en-
dashes of color bouncing and j tire affair worthwhile.
dancing to the tonal motifs of
the music, and the simplistic -Joe McMullen
representation of good and evil
in a piece by Mussorgsky and
one by Schugert. The one out- ' s n
standingly good sequence isI
Mickey Mouse in Dukas' Sorcer-
er's Apprentice.
S t o k o w s k i, as conductor, e P
brings a delightful interpretation TONIGHT AT 7:00 & 9:00
to the music, and the film is an OPEN AT 6:45
aural delight. Visually, however, T
s THE ELY LAN1DAU ORGANIATION,4 INC. AND
it fails. Whimsy is fine in its CINEVISION LTEE PRESENT
place, but profound whimsy is KATHARINE HEPBURN
merely pompous. A movie to PAUL SCOFIELD
see with your eyes closed. LEE REMICK
-Jeff Selbst KATE REID

T
S

The sister drank
too much. The
daughter divorced
too much. They're
all there at the
family get-together
and tear
010

ish Stanley Kowalski as a gum-'
The Conversation chewing, sweaty primitive,1
while Vivian Leigh co-stars asI
Mediatrics, Nat. Sci. Aud. a fragile, aging Southern wo-
7:30, 9:30 man whose best years are be-
The Conversation is absolutely hind her. She lives in a dream'
the best movie made in the last world, the world of the "Old
year. Forget what they said at South." But Kowalski cruelly
Oscar time. Francis Ford Cop- shatters that vision, leaving her'
polla's film is simply a master- a hollow wreck of a human fig-
piece; there's nothing wrong ure, and reminding us that
with it. Stanley is every bit as hollow
The Conversation, a slice in himself, and incapable of dem-1
life of Harry Caul, a profession- onstrating any sort of care orI
wiretapper played brilliantly by affection for anyone who refusest
Gene Hackman, is a success on to live life on his own terms. t
every level. Not only is it made Williams' message is 'pro- t
well, that is, it maintains a tone foundly negative - one is finally E
appropriately cool for such sub- left with a sense of hopelesst
ject matter, it raises intelligent despair. In fact, the strongest
moral questions, has fine act- criticism that can be made oft
ing, and is tautly thrilling to the play and the film is that it
boot. What excellence. leaves the discerning viewert
The essential theme conce with the uneasy feeling thatI
the moral guilt of toe h things can't be all that bad, de-
through performance of their spite what Williams says. Nev-I
jobs, may directly cause harm ertheless, even the most severe
to others. Harry Caul confronts critic of Williams' point-of-viewt
this problem when he discovers must admit that Streetcar
that his assignment for a client Named Desire includes some of1
appears to endanger the lives of the most superlative moments1
two people he's never known. in the American film, courtesty
The superbly executed sub- of Brando and Leigh.1
issue is whether secrecy is in --Jeff Sorensen '
itself inherently evil. The movie *
never answers that head-on, but
does show Harry's personal dis- Monty Python
integration as he tries in vain to
cover virtually every facet of' Fifth Forum
his existence because he fears In a questhat securing what,
having anything known about might possibly be interpreted as
himself. National Lampoon on film, Mon-
WHERE HOUSE RECORDSt
PRESENTS
Deodato

I

Bananas
Ann Arbor Co-op, MLB 4
7:10, 8:50, 10:30
Woody Allen's Bananas is
proof that a funny movie need
not be a good one. Bananas is a
paradox, clever enough to make
the audience gasp for breath be-
tween fits of laughter, but
empty enough to seem cheap la-
ter.
The real artistic problem is
that Allen hadn't mastered the
art form yet. He alternated be-
tween stretches of brilliant,
manic humor and vapid or
stale vignettes whichvnever
raised a laugh.
But the criticism shouldn't
overshadow the fact of Allen's
genius. The dialogue is often
hysterical, and banana republic
life is mercilessly skewered.
The best part, however, may
be the throw-away lines, those
not essential to any part of this

JOSEPH COTTEN
BETSY BLAIR
WEDWARD ALBEE'S
A UffPize Wt
"A
DELICATE
BALANCE"
ATONY RICARDSON FIlM
E Aecutrve ihodiccf Ad~ated for the Sreen by
NEIL HARTLEY EDWARD ALBEE
p jodby Direded by
ELY LANDAU TONY RICHARDSON
Reeased r r
AFT Distributing Corporation. pow'i

FEA TURING:

HELD OVER!
SECOND TERRIFIC WEEK
TONIGHT AT 7:00 & 9:00
OPEN AT 6:45

The
plant sale
I
you ve
dreamed of
is coming.
October
14!
Imagine 18,000 lush,
healthy tropical plants
overflowing the Union
Ballroom on the Mich-
igan campus. You'll
save from 20%-50%
over retail prices
October 14, 15, 16,
and 17 from 10:00
a.m.-8:00 p.m. Select
from over 35 varieties
of plants and you'll
benefit Multiple
Sclerosis.
20%-50%

I

I

'I

SUPERMAN (1956)
Streak! Streak! Falling for the oldest trick in the
books, Lois is caught on the ropes. But what's a
little twine to the man of steel?
GROUCHO MARX IN
YOU BET YOUR LIFE (1955)
Groucho's insane contestants tonite include the zoo
keeper from San Francisco who sleeps with the ani-
mals! Don't miss the Mad Duck who pops in when
the Secret Word is said!
RICHARD NIXON'S
CHECKERS SPEECH (1953)
Accused of accepting bribes, the former President
responds with the most transparently fraudulent
and hysterically funny speech in the history of Amer-
ican politics. This one will bring the house down!
ELVIS PRESLEY ON ED SULLIVAN (1955;
Pure magical nostalgia as Elvis pounds out Love Me
Tender & Don't Be Cruel. And he was censored from
the waist down!
OZZIE AND HARRIETT (1957)
Don't miss it. Called Father's Night At The Frater-
nity, this one features R i c k y pounding out some
Golden Oldies. Also stars the absurd Wally!
THE LONE RANGER (1952)
The very first episode! In which we learn why the
Ranger dons his mask and how he meets Tonto!* A
howl from start to finish.
PLUS: Burns & Allen, Ted Mack Amateur Hour,
Liberace & Special Surprises!
E U D C C M fUL1T"CAMYC r: V .~CM4 . & c l a

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Monday, Oct. 20th-8:00 p.m.

l

I 5' ~ X"'I//L# ~- ~A~' NW'

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