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April 17, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-04-17

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i 3r4igan DailI
Eighty-Six Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104.

Film co-ops


Saturday,, April 17, 1976

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan






ANN ARBOR is often called the film
center of the Midwest due to the
existence of the University's five major
film societies - Cinema Guild, Cinema
II, the Ann Arbor Film Co-op, the New
World Film Co-op and UAC Mediatrics.
This is the last of five articles on the
movie industry.
The film groups are similar in that
they are all non-profit organizations, en-
trusting their operations to volunteers
from the Michigan student body, the
faculty, and the Ann Arbor community.
They are also alike in that each group
serves the public by exhibiting a diverse
selection of films (mostly in 16mm as
opposed to commercial theaters' 35mm)
at sub-commercial theater prices.
Michigan's film societies recruit mem-
bers from all walks of life who, sur-
prisingly, need not have a consuming
passion for film. They look for people
who are interested in the organizational
and business aspects as well.
"The recruiting process," says Pat
Murphy, former chairperson and now
active member of Cinema Guild, "usu-
ally consists of advertising for prospec-
tive new members, interviewing them
and having them apply. The members
choose films and handle the business
end of the operation. There's no profit
-just free movies."
BEFORE DRAWING UP a film sched-
ule, each group submits a request to
the Student Organizations Board (SOB)
for auditorium space. SOB processes all
requests, works with the Scheduling Of-
fice to iron out all schedule conflicts
with academic events, and eventually
allocates auditorium space.
Since each film groups is well es-.
tablished in its home, they encounter
little conflict with other groups over
scheduling. In many ways, the film
groups have been a blessing to the
auditoriums in which they operate, since
their operation has resulted in many
building improvements.
Cinema Guild's $10,000 investment in
the Architecture Auditorium, for ex-
emple, has equipped that facility with
better lights, a new screen and com-
fortable new backings for the chairs.
"The auditorium," says Pat Murphy,
"is now a much more comfortable place
to enjoy a movie."

to show less popular films at a con-
siderable profit risk."
Cinema Guild, originating in the late
'50s, is the oldest of the five and spe-
cializes in pro-'60s classics. "We started
out," says Pat Murphy, "as an alter-
native to commercial theaters and tele-
vision. We're inclined to show less well-
known films of major European and
American directors to shed light on
their careers."
Murphy says that there is "a mo-
mentum generated by seniority. We've
never had any problem getting space
in the Architecture Auditorium because
we've been there so long."
THE UNIVERSITY places no restric-
tions on the films shown by Cine-
ma Guild, but, says Murphy, "we're
not entirely independent of them." They
share their projection equipment with
the University because "apparently you
can't have private equipment in a Uni-
versity-owned building."
Murphy expresses the philosophy of
all film groups in saying: "All film
groups try to make money; it's how
you use the money that's important. We
need money to show money-losing pro-
grams - like our pet project, the
Ann Arbor 16mm Film Festival."
Though not a profitable venture, fest
is considered prestigious. A 1975 win-
ner - Rob Gardiner's and Will Vin-
ton's Closed Mondays. - later won an
Academy Award for animated short sub-
jects, an indication of the quality of
the films entered.
In the late '60s, Cinema Guild had
established its priorities with classic old
films, but with the public's desire to
see more contemporary works, a Cinema
Guild by-product - Cinema II - began
to flourish.
TODAY CINEMA II is best known as
a showcase for "arty" contemporary
films and has the unique good fortune
of having 35mm projection equipment
installed in its home, Angell Hall's Audi-
torium A.
Also in the late '60s, a rash of film
groups sprang up (the Orson Welles and
University of Michigan Film Societies
included) which, for various reasons -
including criminal charges-were forced
out of business.
The Ann Arbor Film Co-op survived
the mass bankruptcy, and continues op-
eration today at the Modern Languages
Building and Angell Hall. It combines
a healthy dose of intellectual films
with solid commercial favorites, and

Since each film group is well established in its home,
they encounter little conflict with other groups over
scheduing. In many ways, the film groups have been a
blessing to the auditoriums in which they operate, since
their operation has resulted in many building improve-
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son in
Butterfield theater chain (which includes
the Campus, the State and the Michigan).
They see the film groups as financial
New World originated in 1972, when
it operated off campus at the People's
Ballroom. When that building burned
down, the film group - then calling it-
self Third World - moved to the Mod-
ern Languages Building, where it book-
ed mainly social commentary films.
It changed to a commercial film for-
mat, says Kenny, "to make possible the
free International Film Series, a multi-
media presentation on world affairs."
The series, now defunct, was held each
Friday at the Undergraduate Library and
focused on individual nations of the
But differences with the University
administration led to almost insurmount-
able financial obstacles.


Pink Flamingos and closed it doors in.
definitely. Dallas Kenny's impassioned
pleas for $20,000 (the amount needed to
reopen the Matrix) have been to no
avail; the theater's future remains un-
The newest of the major film groups
is Mediatrics, a division of the Univer-
sity Activities Center (UAC). Mediatrics
specializes in contemporary favorites
like Blazing Saddles and Shampoo, with
the intention of showing such films at
low prices.
Of all the film societies, Mediatrics
is least interested in preserving film
art, but most interested in catering to
the general public's taste. In its regular
weekend screenings at the Natural Sci-
ences Auditorium, Mediatrics teaches its
employes as much about the movie busi-
ness as it disregards film aesthetics.
"WE DEAL IN entertainment films,"

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Tuition: Let Lansing hear

THE DAILY urges students to join
the Michigan Student Asseibly
(MSA) protest of the newest tuition
increase, announced at the Regents'
meeting yesterday. A clamor loud
enough to be heard in Lansing Is
urgently needed.
It is somewhat fatiguing to speak
once again of the financial plight
facing both the taxpayers and gov-
ernment; nevertheless, it is import-
ant to note that there is no readily-
available scapegoat in this matter.
Money is short, and cuts must be
H o w e v e r, spiralling costs are
threatening quality education, an en-
tity which must rank high on a list
of state budget priorities. It has sunk
alarmingly low in the eyes of Gov-
ernor Milliken and the state legis-
lature, and it is to them that we
must address our appeal.
Michigan residents pay taxes
among the highest in the nation, yet
allocations for higher education rank
near the bottom. There is no ques-
tion that state-supported universi-
ties, Including our own, have already
suffered, and further cuts will make
Editorial positions represent
consensus of the Daily staff.

a shell of the University's formerly
well-regarded self.
Where are our chief advocates in
Lansing? This role is the Regents'
and it was clear this week that they
were embarrassingly ignorant of the
details of the tuition hike. They are
elected officials and it is their obli-
gation to throw their collective
weight around the legislature and
the Milliken administration to the
best of their abilities. Where have
they been?
The administration is by no means
blameless. The tuition increase will
account for roughly half of the $10
million deficit, while the other half
will come from internal cuts - made
by the administration, of course. Are
they lean themselves? Will programs
and faculty posts suffer before the
administrators? Have they substitut-
ed tuition money where funds could
be saved by the elimination of obso-1
lete positions?
Protest. We have no other choice.
NEWS: Dana Baumann, Lani Jordan,
Jay Levin, Cathy Reutter, Jeff Ris-
tine, Bill Turque.
EDITORIAL PAGE: Marc Basson, Mi-
chael Beckmon, Jay Levin, Jon Pan-
sius, Tom Stevens, Jim Tobin.
ARTS PAGE: David Blomquist.

"THE UNIVERSITY," says Kenny,
"tried to take over our funds. We
had to change the structure of our out-
fit and cancel the International Series.
Then they (the administration) cut off
90 per cent of our auditorium space."
Kenny believed the answer was to
move off campus and create a "people's"
movie theater in what is today the
"Our intent," he says, "was to con-
trol our own funds."
Selecting a location on William St,,
Kenny initially estimated the Matrix's
building fee at $20,000. Safety standards
eventually ran that cost up to $70,000.
Kenny personally raisedythe funds
through loans from faculty members
and private citizens.
Initially, the Matrix presented a di-
verse selection of films and introduced
live entertainment to movie audiences.
But the considerable debt incurred in its
construction had recently confined it to
repeatedly showing proven money-making
yet artistically questionable films like
Pink Flamingos, Flesh Gordon and Em-
"lucky this term, since we got the MLB
on Thursdays and Saturdays," prime
play-dates. But because of the Matrix
debt (which they had hoped, perhaps
futilely, to have paid off in two years),
New World scheduled a spate of big
money-guarantee porno films at the
MLB. Herein lies the all too common
necessity of sacrificing artistic stand-
ards for big profits.
Moreover, New World's continuing
problem with repaying the debt recent-
ly caught up with them in full. On April
9, the Matrix held a final screen of

says business manager Ruskin. "Dave
Levick (co-chairman of Mediatrics) is
in contact with the distributors all the
time. We try to pick the newest movies
and what we think are the best."
Ruskin makes no claim to being a
judge of film art, however. If Medi-
atrics' schedule seems somewhat repe-
titious, it's no accident. "We know that
pictures like Harold and Maude and
Clockwork Orange are going to bring
in big crowds," he says, "regardless of
their critical reputations, pro or con."
Significantly, Mediatrics' only two
ventures into anything resembling retro-
spectives on film - mini-festivals on
Charles Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock
last fall-flopped resoundingly.
But Mediatrics'problems are minor
compared to the other film groups. Each
term they secure space in the Natural
Sciences Auditorium because, says Rus-
kin, "no one else wants it."
THE OTHER FILM groups have been
in the past somewhat suspicious of Medi-
atrics, since it is a division of UAC, and
therefore run by the University. "Now
we have good relations with them all,"
Ruskin says. "We don't try to conflict
with their schedules."
Ruskin maintains that the University
seldom intervenes into their operation.
!"They (the University) say we can't
show porno flicks, but they don't enforce
the rule. We don't. show many of them
anyway. "
The University is enchanted with the
idea of Mediatrics, Ruskin says, "be-
cause its profits go into making up loss-
es in other parts of UAC - a fitting'
summation of film group politics.
Chris Kochmanski writes for the Arts
and Entertainment Page.

'When a fim group like the New World Film Co-op
sets out as a political organ, however, it invariably en-
counters drastic deficits which make showing porno
flicks for big bucks an unfortunate necessity. "The prob-
lems are not only those of money," says New World
coordinator Dallas Kenny, "but also originate in the
University administration.'
.................. d+ p.

The film societies order their films
from a number of 16mm distributors
- Universal 16, Swank and Films In-
corporated, to name a few.
various films. A lesser known, but wor-
thy film like John Ford's classic 1946
Western My Darling Clemintine may cost
as little as $50, while a recent Holly-
wood blockbuster (The Sting, for exam-
ple) might cost $500 and a substantial
percentage of the profits for a week-
end's worth of showings.
Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein and
Blazing Saddles turned a combined profit
of over $5,000 for Mediatrics. "This,"
says their business manager, Jim Rus-
kin, "enabled us to purchase a new sound
system (for the Natural Sciences Audi-
torium) and gives us the opportunity

shows cult favorite King of Hearts a
half-dozen times a year.
When a film group like the New World
Film Co-op sets out as a political organ,
however, it invariably encounters drastic
deficits which make showing porno flicks
for big bucks an unfortunate necessity.
"The problems are not only those of
money," says New World general coor-
dinator Dallas Kenny, "but also originate
in the University administration.
versity regulates the film groups' funds
"to control what the audiences see."
He says that the administration con-
tinually applies pressure.
"There were identifiable FBI agents
at our politically oriented International
Film Series," he claimed. "The Uni-
versity also owns a lot of stock in the

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Contact your


Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), 253 Russell Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep), 353 Russell Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Rep. Marvin Esch (Rep), 2353 Rayburn Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Gilbert Bursley (Rep), Senate, State Capitol Bldg.,
Lansing, Mi. 48933.
Rep. Perry Bullard (Dem), House of Representatives, State
Capitol Bldg., Lansing, Mi. 48933.
?:::?: .s"";e . .5}'"?:. . .;. a

'a . . . . . . . . .................. .. .. ,s.F ra.. ......r.... .:r.... s4"''G4: r ": .:..., ...... .- .
Crow Dog vs. the govt.
By ALAN KETTLER such great social good, it would merely be working con-
EONARD CROW DOG is a Sioux Medicine Man. At his sistently in putting down Leonard Crow Dog.
L E n RoW DG a oux Medinha a is The deliberate harm the government deals to peaceful
home in Rosebud, S.D., doctors and pharmacologists spiritual leaders is seriously corrosive of the striving for
have come to learn about the use of herbs. a humane, equitable, peaceful society. With the subversion
His friend Richard Erdoes calls him "a teacher for of the peaceful forces of dissent, an aggressive, exploitive,
young and old, an instructor in the ancient wisdom of his materialistic political system perpetuates itself. If the >'
people, its religion, its langauge, its culture." He has government cannot tolerate the coexistence of peaceful
revived the Ghost Dance at his place for the first time holy men, who will they tolerate?
since the last of the Khose Dancers were massacred in Leonard Crow Dog perpetuates Mother Earth knowl-
1890 at Wounded Knee. edge and practices which developed over the thousands of
Also, he is director of the Sun Dance ceremony, at years of Indian life and adaptation to the North American
which each summer as many as 2,000 Native Americans land. There is a need for the teaching of compassion for
assemble to partake in this rite. Unable to read or write, life and land amidst the prevailing American view of life
Crow Dog has preserved the ancient songs and music of and land as either commodities or worthless entities, with
his people by passing them on in the oral tradition of the the callous degradation and killing this view has dealt
Sioux. to Mother Earth.

Letters to the Daily

DNA clear oblivion, a by-product of
science's blind faith in man-
To The Daily: kinds' ability to eventually con-
trol his science and protect
FOR ALL OF its glories (arti- himself from it, sufficient wit-
ficial hearts, nuclear weaponry, ness, evidence, data, reason,
space travel, an auto-for-every- andcaution from introducingsan-
parking-space, electric gadgets other such seed of potential
for every finger ad infinitium) monstrosity? How many muta-
modern science has yet to deal tions of chromosomal engineer-
with the basic implications and ing removed from man's pres-
issues stemming from technolo- ent fabric will it take for him/
gy which threaten maniny's her to realize we can't allocate
present and future quality of public and/or private resources
life; the examples are common: to answer every whim and fan-
ozone depletion by aerosols, de- cy that catches the insatiable
pletion and exploitation of non- thirst of science for knowledge,
renewable natural resources, especially when such research,
ruining the land with modern by virtue of our immature ap-
chemical farming, waste dis preciation of its full scope, at-
posal and recycling, combustion tempts to set the bandwagon
by-products in the environment, rolling with mouth-watering
nuclear ener not to mention claims of "a cure for cancer,"
- nuclearobliteration by atom- "developing new ways to feed
ic warfare. How can the miost the starving world," "and elim-
intelligent scientists, cognizant nating birth defects!" Science
of these astounding implications stumbles from time-to-time upon
and ramifications of technology mysterious obelisks, much as
and science they helped devolop the one in "2001: A Space Odes-
be so coarse as to want to in- sev," and, like the fascinated

ence pleads an innate "right"
to "freedom of inquiry and pur-
suit of knowledge" (very often
with public tax monies). If sci-
ence is so bold as to not be
frightened by the starkness of
the truth, and wants so despar-
ately to pursue it regardless of
present and implied dangers,
then please tell me: What man/
woman dares to experiment with
the very fabric of life as we
know it (DNA) with the knowl-
edge and truth facing him/her
that we, not in our wildest *elec-
cal-logical dreams can imagine
what chromosome is responsible
for love, affection, empathy, sus-
picion, greed, envy, or hatred?
Our children and future gen-
erations will have many and
certainly enough problems be-
setting them.. Looking at nu-
clear energy, which was to be
mankind's tool to a limitless
energy supply, I would think
concerned humans would be
somewhat skeptical about wheth-

ethnic purity
To The Daily:
I READ WITH interest your
editorial of April 10. While Mr.
Carter's unfortunate use of the
term "ethnic purity" may ob-
scure it, you may be interested
in knowing that Mr. Udall and
Mr. Jackson take exactly the
same position as Mr. Carter
with reference to the breakup
of long established ethnic neigh-
borhoods. Like Mr. Udall's, Mr.
Carter's record and public state-
ments on open housing and allo-
cation of federal funds do dem-
onstrate a greater concern with
the economic disadvantages of
poor people than with neigh-
borhood preservation. It is also
relevant to point out that it has
been Mr. Udall and Mr. Jack-
son who' have substituted the
term "racial" for "ethnic." In
view of Udall's and Jackson's
identical views on neighborhood
preservation, you might want
also to lump them with George
Orville Faubus. But then they

But this spiritual leader has not lately collected any
herbs nor led any dances. During the past four months,
he has spent his time in 14 jails. Especially since his role
as an Indian civil rights leader at Wounded Knee, he has
been harassed by his political enemies and the govern-
ment. First he was convicted on trumped-up charges
resulting from the Wounded Knee liberation struggle.
ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1975, two days following the second
incident of the year in which he expelled aggressive tres-

THE WHITE MAN has killed the eagles and poisoned
the rivers. Crow Dog can teach ways of living harmon-
iously with our winged and four-legged brothers, and our-
His spiritual teachings do not include words about
violence, guns, or war. Yet for his ability to unite Indians
to hold fast against white racism, ignorance, and oppres-
sion-a 300-year old legacy-he has been threatened with
violence, guns, and war.


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