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February 24, 1976 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-02-24

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY
A rts &Et r a et Tuesday, February 24, 1976 Page Five

mm

TAXI DRIVER':
Brilliant Sco
By BRUCE WEBER ed. It was simply a place they
DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese would never leave.
last left us with the modest Travis Bickle, the hero of
spire of the Monterey Motel Taxi Driver, is constantly at
glowing in the embers of a red odds with New York, and it1
Tuscon sunset, where just out- takes on a menacing quality<
side of town, Alice undoubtedly for him that sets him adrift in
lives with her son Tommy and a stream of dissatisfaction.
a shaggy - haired folksinger I
turned cowpoke. IN ALMOST every way, Bick-
Though as a successful melo- le stands opposed to his sur-
drama, Alice Doesn't Live Here roundings. He is overwhelmed1
Anymore was often a film of by the unflagging squalor thatc
remarkable perception and the city flings at him, and we
grit, the hesitant optimism of feel he is not accustomed to
its conclusion holds to a signi- the introspection he has as-
ficant insincerity. sumed. Ile drives a cab be-'
It is the city that keeps Scor- cause he cannot sleep nights:
sese honest, and in his new his aloneness and his mounting1
film, Taxi Driver, it is the city frustration keep him alert, and1
that emerges as the implacable his observations screw his in-
enforcer of conflict. In a pre- sides tighter.t
vious New York film, Mean He thinks of himself as per-I
Streets, Scorsese allowed the ' sonable, the city as oppressive-:
city to be more of a backdrop, lv impersonal. He sees himself
a highly charged atmosphere as humane, the city as sick.
that had bred the volatile char- And he is painfully uninformed
acters of the film, in his belief that the city has
IN TAXI DRIVER, the city a heart and that he can pene-j
assumes a different face, but trate his frustration and get
not because Scorsese's vision of to it.
it has changed. The city itself
remains the same, as angry ROBERT DeNIRO as Bicklea
and festering as it was in Mean lets his character stew with j
Streets, the difference being superb restraint. We are awarei
that we get it this time through from the start that he is a com-,
the more intimidated viewpoint bustible figure. His movements
of an outsider. are planted and concentrated in
Mean Streets' protagonists, oppositio" to the way his mind
Johnny Boy and Charlie were at churns.
home in New York. It was not Only once does he succumb|
a place they exalted or criticiz- to a violent instinct - he shootsi

rsese-DeNiro

a man who is robbing a grocery
store-and it frightens him into
greater obsession. De Niro is
riveting because he makes us
believe that Bickle can erupt
at any moment - which is not
at all the case.
The violence is, to Travis, a
last and only resort. By the
time he explodes, the thread of
good will in him has been snip-
ped irreparably. He has tried'
out his good intentions in all
imaginable ways.
HE APPROACHES a girl
named Betsy (Cybil Shepherd)
he sees working in an office
building, and dates her, but
his unfamiliarity with the so-
cial eitquette of a strange place
offends her. When she spurns
him, he becomes obsessed with
his failure.
He attempts to confide in an
experienced cab driver called
Wizard, played with gutter elo-
quence by Peter Boyle. Wizard
is sympathetic to Travis, but
cannot understand him.
"A man becomes his job,"
says Wizard, spouting a deter-
ministic attitude that Travis
finds absurd. A person, accord-
ing to Travis, does not become
what he already is - he must
try to be something else.
IN THE END, Taxi Driver
comes up just short of being
great. The character of Betsy
is never fully explained. The

way she originally falls for
Bickle's dull and pitiable charm
and the way she rejects him
for his naive insistent behavior
are not consistent.
But even more serious is the
epilogue quality of the final
sequence. It follows five of the
most brutally violent minutes
ever screened, and predicts, for
Travis, a recycling of emo-
tion.
The violence has left him
where he once started - un-
knotted for now, but unstable
too, and with his motor already
running. From a narrative
standpoint, the implication is
clear, but from the point of
view of sheer pictures, the
abrupt removal of action in fa-
vor of inaction is plummeting
for the nerves. We relax too

Uo
film 0
quickly.
WHAT IS permanent about
Taxi Driver is a stunning and
utterly convincing portrayal of
a character and a conflict. Ie-
Niro is alarmingly on target as
Bickle.
We recall him as a phenome-
na - the suppressed psycho-
path, the introvert who goes
berserk, and we are left with
a small knowledge of his con-
dition, and a cautious sym-
pathy.
We see New York as Travis
sees it - colorful, but the glar-
ing colors are dazzling and in-
separable. From inside the cab,
the city is huge, gaseous and
dirty. Whatever reaction we
have in Travis's side is there
because of how we respond to

the oppression of Scorsese's
New York. .
THE TWISTED ending keeps
Travis from being labelled
tragic. In fact it is an ironic
twist - his violence is miscon-
strued by the law and he goes
free.

Join The Dally

Photo © DAVID RAPP

Karl Struss

MACYis
NAKED &
FUNNY..
Oh-,,
Cafc'"

Struss exhibit recalls
a photographic genius

a;,
. 3

SUOWTIMES: MON.-SAT. 7:00 & 9:00:
SUNDAY 5:00-7:00-9:00

By JANE SIEGEL
SOMEWHERE during the!
shuffle between New York
and Hollywood, Karl Struss's
name seems to have gotten lost.
In Robert Doty's Photo-Seces-,
sion: Photography as a Fine

still and motion picture photog-
raphy, Susan and John Harvith
have broughtttogether the
works of Karl Struss.
The exhibit, which premiered
at Cranbrook, opens in Ann Ar-
bor on February 25 at the Mu-
seum of Modern Art. The dis-

+t
3
t
t

Unusual sounds reverberate
7 - t 1 -' r! L 1 Er~i- t -~ . w ax - -% L~!"h111C T - ! /

Art, hi isteapas a rather b- play of 96 still'photographs is 1 oA#I1
e hotgrapherned to be seen along with
"Strauss". aweek of film showings.
From his films we remem- Struss, 89, will be in resi- By NANCY COONS I formance techniques. No long-
ber not the cinematography, dence during the film festival.1' er limited to their intrinsic;
but the names of actors, direc- He will appear at the opening ITHE CONTEMPORARY Di- tone, the instruments are
tors and "stars." Even among of the exhibit as well as at the rections Ensemble present- plucked, muted and slapped for
photographers Struss's name is screening of Sunrise the follow- ed a sampler of sounds Satur- musical effects. The results
not exactly a common house- ing Sunday night. day night at Rackham, per- were fascinating.
hold word. And it is no small The exhibit itself is divided forming in unusual combina- While this trend in instrumen-
wonder that, while his contem- into three sections. It traces tions and producing a wide va- tal experimentation is hardly
poraries have received wide- Struss from his membership in riety of aural effects. new to composition, local mu-I
s p r e a d recognition, Struss the Photo - Secession in New The instruments were not sicians still refer to lesserl
himself has been more or less York to his Academy Awards only combined in colorful ways, works as "funny music," and
forgotten. for cinematography in Holly- but their sound potentials were those works which rely on spe-!
FOLLOWING their interest in wood. explored with expanded per- cial effects for their substance,
~~~~~~-~-c-c asionalu nickervr,.

their instruments, pluck them
with pencils, and alter the
strings with paper strips, as
well as play them "normally"
The combinations of sounds
were extremely effective.
The least directional of the
works on the program were
those of Eastern Michigan Uni-
versity's Anthony lannaconne,
who attended the performance.
Both Hades and Three Mythi-
cal Sketches, scored for two
euphoniums and two tubas, pre-
sented little more than a unique
sound.
THOUGH THE final number,,
Poulenc's Le Bal Masque, is

OFFICE OF STUDENT LIFE Presents
o4
The Sinners
plus SPECIAL GUEST STAR
NATALIE COLE
Friday, March 12
8 P.m.-Bowen Fieldhouse
EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
$6.50 reserved-$5.50 general admission
Tickets on sale at McKenny Union
Also at Mr. Music at Briarwood, Huckleberry Party Store,
Richardson's Pharmacy, Where House Records, Hudson's.
No smoking or alcoholic beverages allowed
in Fieldhouse

Mask show at East Quad
t'was not 'brillig,' but dull

the audience.
THE ONLY snickers heard
Saturday night were during the
intentionally humorous Poul-

1
E'

By CAROLYN SMITH created a slight tension in the only action involved.c
audience; thus, the final act "The Champ" could be con-}
S THE SHOW began, the seemed the most enjoyable, if sidered the climax. This actl
stage was black. Two whitel only because it was accompa- brought the whole ensemble of
gloves clenched the curtain.Inied by music. characters together. Two boxers
Then, a leotard - clad figure The show's humor was de- were brought on to fight along
emerged wearing a flourescent rived primarily from the masks with their promoters and a
green mask, slowly contorting worn by members of the com- "masked" w o m a n to cheerj
like a caterpillar. It was defi- pany. Made in Switzerland, the them on.
nitely not your ordinary theater Basel Masks were, large, white, The aggressive, active fighter
performance. and plaster-like with exagger- was knocked out with surprise!
Thus began the mime and ated features. punches from the nervous un-
mask show T'was Brillig that However, after the initial won- derdog who, in turn, became!
was performed at East Quad der and amusement of the an aggressive champ. Ending in
last weekend. Unfortunately, the masks wore off, the acts should mass rug and towel throwing,
use of humorous masks to con-; have held more dramatic in- this act was more lively, but
vey impressions cannot carry a terest. ultimately dragged too.
performance by themselves. FOR EXAMPLE, in "Love in All in all, the Roadside At-
R o a d s i d e Attractions are the Morning," two people dis- tractions performance showed!
mime artists from Oakland Uni-' cover each other and comically, that masks can be used to hide
versity who were featured in frantically rotate one another's emotions, but they should never
T'was Brillig. Although dedi- toes. It was humorous up to a be used to cover-up shallow
cated to "new" theater innova- point, and then became slightly material and a monotonous
tions like the use of masks, expasperating as this was the pace.
monotonous and reputitive ac- - - -
tion marred this collection of
short mimes.
TO BEGIN with, the entire FREDRIC MARCH As 1932
show was performed in silence
except for the last act. This
¢ ~(AT 7)
Stud in This early film version of the Robert Louis Stevenson tale
Sdiis a classic chiller that features array of visually dazzlinq
Guadalajara, Mexico film techniques. Starrinq Miriam Hopkins. Cinematography
by Karl Strus.

enc: the rest of the concert not a direction which contem-
provided several examples of porary music is taking, the 19321
absorbing and powerful music. "music carnival" is great fun
Farberman's Progressions and ended the program beauti-
onened the program. Skillfully fully.
blending and contrasting flute Any occasion where Leslie
with a variety of percussion in- Guinn performs is a treat, es-
str'iments, the work alternated pecially where humor is involv-
between a free cadenza style ed. One of the most flexible
and a ranid, steady tempo, performers in the area, baritone
breaking on one occasion into a Guinn has sung works by
sonhisticated fugue. Brahms, Telemann, Orff, and
The three performers, Nancy civil-war song-writer George
RPffer on flute with David Col- Root this year with the same
son and William Moersch on relish.
percussion, approached the mu- The Contemporary Directions
sic sensitively and A ith a flair concerts, presented by the Com-
for the fluttering and shimmer- position department of the
ing effects. - School of Music, are rehearsed
I M P R O V I S A T I 0 N,;and conducted by Uri Mayer,
by Conrad Fakin, required whose mastery of the contem-
harpist Elinor Niemisto and pi- porary non-idiom is more evi-
anist Donna Coleman to slep dent each season.
At..
JTRV

3 hok ; G ~a t s O S 3 C~~avER i I O y Mr a r i p S E A x
FO EI Nazcnrradas. ,
,~)TTTTQIX~~I!sa toda Blanca, C ' '
'i.,M..pA..ib iad de I t '
t o : S A Iplc y aboniiga. Las v;
-~ Q l L~ Denmadniigada Ana Ib
vat's, ., do..Kf
i'i .' -,rr
ry.;imy L A V T' 7 '.VN,'w,.. g t
' -.- . 'S. 'tit,>
- ~sr~ru 'f ~0 0',~
/ ll~ ~50X ~-
rt .Mr G", ROI p 5 !"X
NE t ~NiTO { gs'E ' G 1 ji ~ {, ' "s f sA'j f
° '/ aTsuI jE l' i.,pelLO:?11
[/ { ' '" L Z(, v'} 1tk- j)/
<ag "'~4! D /} +7'y(7i y{ K q.I hfiP\ t. } L 1
"; " .>D F RI, AP O

The GUADALAJARA SUM-
MER SCHOOL, a fully
accredited UNIVERSITY OF
ARIZONA proaram, will of-
fer July 5-Auqiust 13, an-
thropolo y, a r t, education,
folklore, history, political
science, lanquage and litera-
ture. Tuition and fees, $1 95;
board and room with Mexi-
can family $280. Write to
GUADALAJARA SUMMER
SCHOOL, Office of Interna-
tional Proqrams, University
of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
85721.
CAMPIN
"dr A n

Is JAMES STEWART or JOHN WAYNE 1962
THE MAN WHO SHOT '
LIBERTY VALENCE
(AT 9:05)
Starrina Stewart, Wayne, Lee Marvin and Vera Miles in
INI .MflGUILD BOTH SHOWS OLD ARCH.
FOR $2.00 AUD. I
3TOURS OF EUROPE
111 1"' l I~nr AiTfJ/ C1A/ AC "

SPATCHWORK JEANS
PRE-WASHED
in Den im & Painters Cloth
/ MOON STRIDERS'j
PRE-WASHED
28" Wide Bottom
by LEE
I BIGOTOPSI

U

THINK SPRING!
TROPICAL PLANT SALE

20%/-SO / BELW
£.JOO R ET AIL

MICHIGAN UNION BALLROOM

t A YUUNG EUKROPEAN IHIS.) UMM r
FOR PEOPLE BETWEEN 18 AND 30 YEARS OF AGE
TOUR : Three week tour through France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Ger-
many, Holland, Belgium plus London. Dates: June 14/July 12, July 9/August
6, August 2/August 30.
TOUR II: Five week tour through Belgium, Holland, W. Germany, Den-
mark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, USSR, Poland, E. Germany plus London.
Dates: June 7/July 19, June 18/August 1, July 26/September 6.
TOURS INCLUDE: Round Trip via chartered jet, hotel in London for 7 or 9

i
5
R.

TUESDAY
February 24-9 A.M.. to 8 P.M.
WEDNESDAY
February 25-9 A.M. to 6 P.M.
r- nrr . -r- r~ir - - - '

I

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