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November 13, 1975 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-11-13

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A rts & Enterta inm ent Thursday, November 13, 1975 Page Five

M 11

Jaws' Spielberg on
By JAMES VALK tle more than a garish freak through the mere manipulation i outc
show, Jaws succeeds in bend- of available tools. sibil
A formul e is beginning to sur- ing and twisting its audience via The construction of the film I In
ace: take one bet-stlling nov- cinematic technique, building on is immaculate, with camera an-j shar
ci, preferably appealing to the the primitive fear of the un- gles becoming noticeable to ing;
ftorbid curiosities of the mass- known, threatening to expose even the unattentive viewer. tor F
es; adapt it to the screen by the hidden menace at some un- When the camera is lowered to the
turninrg the task over to a pro-'te
mrising young director; solicit suspecting moment in the very water level during the opening tshot
the talents of the best special near future. and subsequent beach sequen- that
....................... ......... ... .... ..... .....:an
effects men in the business (in- It appears that the success an.e.r
vade Disney if necessary); of the film as a whole can be.hearl
wait two years through a seem- ! traced back to its very roots.
ingli doomed production sched- Much of the literary filler that
ule; and - presto, anyone re- packed the pages of Peter Tb
senbling a human being will Benchley's enormously popular, tion
be subjected to the final pro- but trashy novel has been elim- is e
duct in one formor another. inated for the conematic adap- posit
sworkedi1973tation, a move that ultimately with
< e p .ssin « k *sent
with, The Exorcist, and it has proved as necessary as film in seal
worked even better this year the camera, for within the mere tual
witkh Jav. But this thims te span of two hours, the director
wit Jas. utthi tie, hecannot possibly expect to gen- mum
seenario is slightly different. In cant possiblyexpcte te-on c
contrast to the Friedkin follies rate a level of anticipated ter- ogles
of two years ago, Jaws, onlyro when the delicate mecha-fim
y nism created is interrupted by flm
the second major film by ce insidious, unrelated subplots.simp
r atic whiz-kid Steven Spiel- in
berg, iS a tense and terrifying The film's screenplay, a co- that
work, constructed in almost effort by Carl Gottlieb and dien
classic cinematic style under Benchley (who both have brief Spie
the tight utilization of the direc- appearances in the film), serves into;
tOr's sense of mounting fear. as the framework by which ..........Th
Unlike The Exorcist, Jaws Spielberg crafts his effort. With ces, an invisible correlation is alloh
p*?pettrates an unwinding con remarkable cinematography by immediately established that emot
tinuum of tension, resulting in Bill Butler and the gut-gripping signifies an approaching force. I ence
an almost unheard of degree of. editing of Verna Fields, Spiel- When the attack on the young that
terror, both seen and imagined. berg has created a film of stun- boy takes place, Spielberg em- Purp
Where The Exorcist proved lit- ning impact that succeeds ploys the same series of shots terli
that were used in the extraor- film,
1 dinary opening scene of the rowi
film - the camera is first a allow
third person observer at the!vent
W aters Flam ingos: level of the water, then assumes toI
the first person perspective of abru
the n ' nlL l's Iobserving the kicking feet from tr
the new 'junk art under the ocean's surface, con- Th
notating an additional presence was
By JAMES VALK . in the immediate area.
After the connection has been tech]
WHATEVER A CULT FILM actually is, Ann Arbor probably establised, aenerus mumb elie
has more of them than any city in the United States. one then realizes that the filmthis
Between Ashby's Harold and Maude and de Broac's King of is working. There is a defi- ject
Ifearts there have probably been more repeat viewings than nite attempt throughout the two tha's
those aienibers of the Gone With the Wind fanclub can claim. hours to thematically relate setts
There is, however, the issue of Pink Flamingos, a film by the; technique with event, allowing set
Baktiora t tometiulos er a!
Baltimore flash John Waters that has played more midnight it to meticulosly act as a sort
showings than any other film with the possible exception of The of bizarre catalyst to suspect- takI
Night of the Living Dead. ed terror. . sal s
Pink Flotingos, which every Ann Arborite knows by now, t k is only in the sequences An
is toe saga of the fight for the title of the filthest person in the mhich take place well away 24-fo
world, led by the one and only Divine, a 300 pound transvestite ence feel unthreatened, for once
whom director Waters has supposedly known for years. Fla- the action nears tie water,the
mitiggs, though, is not your run-of-the-mill cultist epic, as this mere thought of shark becomes
work haS an aura of reeking perversity, an ugly tone that con- an omnipresent force. With the!
tinues through the entire melee. actual visual connection of the
shark withheld until over an
£kE NEED, JOT RECALL the Divine's finale in Flamingos to hour into the film, the tension



of unsubstantiated irrespon- cost of $150,000 each (three were
ities. used), the sharks, affectionally
Jaws, after the violent named Bruce after Spielberg's
k attack in the film's open- lawyer, were designed and built
scene, Spielberg (and edi- under the supervision of former
Fields) extends the terror of Disney ace Robert Mattey, who
moment, cutting in a static was coaxed out of retirement to
of the now quiet waters bring Benchley's creature to the
serve as an affirmation of screen. Although the technical
eerie finality - a sort of difficulties encountered with the
iy testament that establishes mechanical menaces delayed
awesome authority of the the shooting schedules by
en meancebo months, their ultimate effective-
ness on film is nothing less than
ils remarkable colbr~astonishing.
between editor and director
vident in hairraising juxta- But with all the technical
tions of action that pounce wizardy that the film exhibits,
out notice. With Fields pre- the real wonder is 27-year old
throughout much of the ac- Spielberg. Directing with a
filming, Spielberg worked style and pace that is notice-
individual scenes for maxi- able in virtually every shot,
n editing effect, conferring Spielberg leaves his signature
omposition and camera an- with with and intelligence. He
to be employed. Once the leads his audience down blind
ing was completed, it was alleys, and attacks their con-
ply a matter of manipulat- trived tranquilities with start-
the footage in such a way ling precision. Jaws is Spiel-
it literally raises the au- berg's film from beginning to
ce from their seats, turning end, and not a person who ex-
lberg's jocular moments
spasms of pure terror.
is "off-balance" technique
vs the director to maintain P
tional control of his audi-"
,dictating every response
the film's effect will elicit.
posely inserting comedic in-
des throughout much of the
often directly before a har-
ng confrontation, Spielberg
ws his audience a necessary
for motmting tension, only
have their brief recess
ptly snapped by a quick
of cinematic maninilation
e film's success, of course
largely due to Spielberg's
ical history by now. At a
istence in establishing total
vability in his film. It is for
reason that the entire pro-
was filmed at or near Mar-
s Vinevard in Massachu-
with the sole exceotion be-
he night vovage with Hoon-
nd a drunken Broady which lowco
done quite effectively in the * * IN
on the back lot of Univer-
d the film's real hero, the MONDAY, NOy.
ot shark, is cinematic and
Have a fleir for STUDENT UNIO
If you are nt eet-
ed in reviewi TICKETS: $2.50 in AdN
or writing feature Show Available at: TU
stories abouL1t the
dtrm, ac film t tquarters, and Boogie Re
drama, dance, film
arts: Contact Arts Records in B.G.
Editayr, . Ac/ The

periences it can say they didn't
feel his presence.
James Valk is / teFl1il's fim



17-at 8:00 P.M.
vance and $3.50 Day of
Student Union, Head-
cords in Toledo; Finders

r4a1}z* exactly where director Waters is going. But the builds where terror breeds most
disturbing aspect of the film is that the whole thing isn't taken effectively - in and of the
lightly- -the film isn't just a joke, but an actual undertaking unkno n.rg realizes the bene-
that one must interpret as a serious endeavor. And to stretch fits of cinematic restraint, and
the nigtmare even farther, film critic Judith Grist found the his film surpasses the banality
film wertby enough to review in her prominent column in New of blatant gore for a plateau of
York mngazine earlier this year. generated terror. Allowing each
If Pink Flamingos is to be interpreted as a single misguided individual scene some degree
venture by a frustrated director, the theory is quickly dissolved of resolution by which to pro-
when Female Trouble enters the scene (this weekend at midnight ceed, the director avoids one
in Ann Arbor). The ads warn that some audiences have found otice e osert lethal cinematic
the film sexually and morally offensive despite the X ratig, blood-curdling scream magical-
an opinion which is quickly verified by the ultimate show stopper: ly turns into the ringing of the
Divine reaching a new personal and cinematic nadir by chewing telephone or the blare of the
an umbilical cord in half. siren.
Friedkin used this trick in
E tACT'LYWHAT ALL THIS MEANS is hard to surmise. The: virtually every "traumatic"
films, done on shoestring budgets in 16mm, have absolutely scene in The Exorcist, cutting
no personality of their own, except for the bothersome image of auIickly and smugly into unre-
hted sequences that separate
Water's warped vision they reflect. It becomes even more te suences thepre
disturbing when one ponders the question of what the director action i-st n o neDrm-
will seek out next in order to satisfy his fullfillment of artistic tictrelief? No, just a cheap way
conq1uests. - - - - - - - - - -
One can only speculate on the foreseeable limits that will
demarcate the boundries of cinema as art. But as long as TICKETS
pramei*npt forces in film like Crist recognize this slop as N SA
letitim~te works, we can only fear a regression into the days NO O S L E
when Palixe Kael will again have to ponder the question of CAC Concerts Co-op Presents
trash. art and the movies. I thought we were past that.
uI e


U Scho of Music




Thursday, Nov. 13-FRANK ZAPPA NIGHT
Shorts by Calvin Schenkel, Frank's graphic designer, including THE NAKED APE, Apostrophe
commercial, and a surprise!
KCET-L.A.-TV SPECIAL (1 974), 7 ONLY. Not yet aired, a live performance of Frank and
Mothers of Invention with some raps, animation, and startling NEW visual effects.
HEAD (Bob Raphaelson, 1968) 8 ONLY. Co-written with Jack Nicholson. Featuring the
Monkees, Ray Nitschke, Annette Funicello, Sonny Liston, Victor Mature, and a special
auest appearance, by Frank the Critic! With fascinating visual effects and songs by Carole
King and, Harry Nilsson.
200 MOTELS (Frank Zappa and Tony Palmer, 1971), 9:30 ONLY. Frank's surrealistic
documentary on what it is like to be "on the road." The first feature to be made in color
video and transferred to 35 mm film stock, which results in a visual orgy of innovative
soecial effects. Zappa mixed rock, electronic music, the Royal Philharmonic, dance, and
even a rancid cartoon "Dental Hygiene Dilemma." With Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Theodore
Bikel, and Mothers.
TONIGHT in Aud. A, Angell Hall
Show starts at 6:30 p.m. $1.25

' I





HAPPY HOUR--9 p.m.-11 p.m.
All Mixed Drinks and Beer, 2 Price
56c DISCOUNT On Admission With Student I.D.
516 E. LIBERTY 994-5350


Thurs., Nov. 20
Power Center
Avail. Mich. Union 10:30-
5:30 (763-2071) Sorry, no
personal checks.
Smokinq & beveroaes prohibited

wo rds by,
Torn Jones
music by'
Harvey Schmidt

Choreographed and Danced by
University Dancers
with the
University Chamber Choir
and the
University Symphony Orchestra

Original Choreography


in conjunction with

Elizabeth Weil Bergmann
Gay Delanghe

Conductor, Thomas


and Dance Soloists: VERA EMBREE,

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