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May 17, 1974 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-05-17

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Friday, May 1, 974

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Fiv

cinemca weekend

Pick of the week:
Such a Gorgeous
Kid Like Me
Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud.
Fri., Sat., 7:30, 9:30
Gorgeous Kid, a good - but
not great - film from the mag-
nificent Francois Truffaut,
comes into town this weekend
for its first Ann Arbor appear-
ance.
The film is a light comedy,
and perhaps that is its major
fault. Somehow this rather trite
story of a flittering female who
rises from a French prison to
become an acclaimed singing
star lacks the biting polish of
Shoot the Piano Player or Day
for Night.
About the only scene that
really rivals the best of Truf-
faut is a fabulously funny clip
near the end in which a 10-year-
old film director (yes, that age
is correct) bars outsiders from
the screening of his 'dailies'.
Still, Gorgeous Kid is far bet-
ter than most pictures, and is
certainly the best of this week's
offerings.
-David Blomquist
King of New York
Fifth Forum
Charlie Chaplin's A King in
New York (1957) is both ap-
pealing and desperate at the
same time. Produced in Great
Britain because the original
cinematic genius was no longer
loved in America, King has
never been allowed a commer-
cial showing in the States up
until a few months ago.
This exclusive Ann Arbor
showing is a must-see for both
Chaplin's virtuoso perform-
ance as the ultimate has-been,
looking for one last fling, and
because it is the last starring
role Charlie ever had. A few
years later he directed Marlon
Brando in Countess from Hong
Kong (1966), but the embittered
tramp stayed behind the cam-
eras.
King contains dialogue ap-
propriately ironic to the
tramps' mistreatment by the
American people in real life,
and also briefly sparkles with
the Chaplin we all once upon a
time had a never-ending crush
upon. Charlie Chaplin may
have been "washed up" when
he made King in New York,
but he certainly knew what he
was doing. The film is bitter,
and deserves to be.
-Michael Wilson
Z
Cinema II, Aud. A
Fri., 7:30, 9:45
Costa - Gavras doesn't make
movies, but "political thrillers"
that are more like roller coaster
rides than they are motion pic-
tures. Z is no exception; it
grabs you in your seat and
doesn't let go until "the end"
flashes on screen and you're ex-
haling again.
Yves Montand stars in this
true story, based on an actual
assassination attempt that oc-
curred several years ago in
Greece. Montand is superb,
but it is Costa - Gavras's direc-
tion that is so overpowering.
There is a car chase scene
utilizing stop - action photog-
raphy that is positively breath-
taking. The plot is so paranoid
that I guarantee Z will turn
even the most casual Marlboro
man into a nerve - wracking
chain smoker.
Twenty years from now peo-
ple will be seeing Z and nail-bit-
ing might come back into fa-
shion. For now I can only sug-
gest you take a deep breath
and enjoy the best of all the
Costa - Gavras thrillers. It's
worth it.
-Michael Wilson

Born Losers
Michigan
Billy Jack is back! Well, not-
really - Born Losers, the first
of the Billy Jack series with
star Tom Laughlin, is out again
for a second time around. Hope-
fully it will be its last.
The old story of a California
town terrorized by a motorcycle
gang ("Crabs" Cooper, "Gan-
grene" Cook, and "Cue Ball"
Tessier), is squeezed for every
last melodramatic drop.
Will the girls testify that they
had been raped? Will the gang
move out of the church and let
the swallows return? Will Billy
Jack continue to plague our
theaters? Yes, yes, yes!
Director T. C. Frank must
have needed the money if he
voluntarily put together this
"dreck". Frankly, you might
as well save your hard earned
dollars and pass this picture by.
-Louis Meldman

a first-class melodrama that
moves with the pace of a snail
but bites like a cobra in heat.
Bogarde's introspective char-
acterization is far and above the
best thing he's ever done. The
film also features Stanley Baker
in an effective supporting role.
-Michael Wilson
Adalen 31
Cinema II, And. A
Sat., 7:30, 9:30
Written and directed by Bo
Widerberg, Adalen 31 is a pic-
ture certainly worth seeing. As
in his Elvira Madigan, Wider-
berg captures the visual beau-
ty of the Swedish countryside,
while here giving us a view of
the 1931 general strike which
toppled the Conservative gov-
ernment forever.
The film jumps about from
the bleak factory to the beau-
ty of nature and from the table

Michigan Daily
Arts

alibi that this flick is science
fiction: the foundations of sci-
ence fiction - imaginative
speculation, alien-ness, removal
in space and/or time-are no-
where to be found. That the
film is set in a future century is
irrelevant: it could just as well
have been set in 13th century
China, 18th century Ireland
(remember A Modest Propos-
al?), or 20th century
(fill in your favorite continent).
For a filmmaker who has
been called visionary, Boor-
man's visions seem limited to
two: one of barbarian feudal-
ism, and one of technocratic
feudalism. Space limits me to
just one comment on Boor-
man's perception of a society
where women are whole and
strong: paranoia strikes deep.
Save your money.
-Marnie Heyn
Blazing Saddles
The Movies, Briarwood
Actually, this latest M e I
Brooks "movie" is not much
more than an ordinary TV com-
edy sketch extended out to fea-
ture film length. Nevertheless,
a few great one-liners and some
brilliantly composed situations
makes Saddles a top candidate
for the funniest film of the year.
On the outside, Saddles is a
spoof of the grade B western
flick. Yet there's more to the
film then just satire, since
Brooks seems to have permeat-
ed the whole work with an al-
most Laurel and Hardy atmos-
phere.
Cleavon Little and Gene Wild-
er head up a fine cast, w i t h
some hilarious backing f r o m
Harvey Korman, Madeline
Kahn, and Brooks himself.
-David Blomquist
Serpico
Campus
Serpico is a fine example of
how a film can wrestle with a
controversial subject and come
out on top.
Al Pacino exquisitely portrays
Serpico, a Greenwich V ill a g e
intellectual who decides to join
the New York City police force.
Disgusted by rampant corrup-
tion among patrolmen, he com-
plains to his superiors, but each
time receives the same blunt
answer - an order to keep his
damn mouth shut.
Easily Sidney Lumet's best
movie, Serpico also happens to
be producer Dino De Laurentis's
first picture since setting up
shop permanently in the United
States.
-David Blomquist

The Sting
State
The fascinating aspects of The
Sting are limitless: you could
spend days trying to figure out
what makes this film so success-
ful and never come up with the
right answer because there is
none. The movie is utterly de-
void of cinematic talent and
completely claustrophobic.
The screenplay by David Ward
is strictly third-rate stuff -
most of the "plot tricks" a r e
about as hard to figure out as a
three letter crossword puzzle.
Stars Paul Newman and Rob-
ert Redford smile, sweat, swear
and swing a lot, but you know
underneath it all they're just
bluffing until the paychecks are
cashed and the percentage man-
ey starts rolling in.
The saddest thing about The
Sting, however, is the direction.
George Roy Hill used to make
fairly decent pictures like Toys
in the Attic (1963) and T h e
World of Henry Orient (1964),
but ever since he became a com-
mercial success with Butch Cas-
sidy (1969) he substituted non-
sense for talent. But fear not,
dear reader - The Sting will
doubtless be back - the only
question lies in possbile titles.
How about Son of Sting? The
Bride of Sting? Or perhaps
Don't Worry About Talent, We're
Wearing Tuxedos?
-Michael Wilson
The Exorcist
The Movies, Brlarwood
Director William Friedkin
(French Connection) has said
that this movie was intended to
scare people. It is the story of
how a little girl (Linda Blair)
becomes possessed by the Devil.
The little girl masturbates
with a crucifix, turns her head
all the way around, and swears
a la Jack Nicholson.
--Louis Meklman
The Day of
the Dolphin
The Movies, Briarwood
Mike Nichols must have been
sleeping when he directed Day
of the Dolphin. Either that ot
he was drugged, because it's
just inconceivable that he would
go for this kind of Saturday-af-
ternoon-rainy-day-popcorn-juven-
ile-fantasy about a brilliant
scientist who teaches a dolphin
to talk.
I guarantee you'll get itchy,
then restless, then bored, then
finally fed up. I almost walked
out, but I wanted to see the
final credits to make sure it was
the right Mike Nichols.
-Michael Wilson

The Heartbreak Kid
Friends of Newsreel, MLB
Fri., Sat., 7:15, 9:30
Elaine May directed The
Heartbreak Kid with all the
compassion of a stale and salty
onion bagel. Yet the laughs
overcome any and all emotion-
al obstacles because Neil Si-
mon and his touch of gold wrote
the screenplay.
This Jewish fairy tale con-
cerns a poor. schnook (Charles
Grodin) who meets the girl of
his dreams in Miami after just
getting married to another girl
in New York. The unlucky bride,
played miserably and flawlessly
by the director's daughter Jean-
nie Berlin, must sit and suffer
in the hotel room with a sec-
ond - degree sunburn while her
husband romps on the sandy
shores with Cybill Shepherd and
falls in love all over again.
Chaos results when the
schnook decides to free himself
from the chains of marriage
and proposes love to this new-
found bikini - pal, but the pain
of a heartbroken romance for
his newly - divorced wife is al-
most too much for the viewer
to bear.
Eddie Albert co-stars as the
father of the second bride, and
there are some great shots of
Miami Beach sunbathers. The
thing not to miss, though, is
Grodin's brilliant performance
as the most pathetic barhop-
ping marriage maniac in the
history of the movies.
-Michael Wilson
Accident
Friends of Newsreel, MLB
Fri., 7:15, 9:15
Joseph Losey is an extreme-
ly inconsistent American direc-
tor who can be very good (The
Damned, The Servant) and also
quite miserable (Secret Cere-
mony, Bond). Fortunately, Ac-
cident (1967) is one of his bet-
ter works, starring Dirk Bo-
garde and Jaqueline Sassard in
a moody story about adulterous
love between a married college
professor and one of his more
appealing female students.
Losey collaborated with the
British playwright Harold Pin-
ter on this one, and the result is

of the rich factory owner to the
table of a worker, but is quite
often very funny: one townsboy,
for example, continually tries to
seduce little girls by hypnotiz-
ing them.
In the end, Adalen 31 proves
to be asthetically and meaning-
fully fulfilling - and that's
saying a great deal.
-Louis Meldman
Zard oz
The Movies, Briarwood
To give credit where credit is
due, Zardoz had potential. Too
bad it didn't live up to it. At
least there's good stuff on TV
this weekend.
You wouldn't believe a plot
synopsis, so the vivisection will
begin with the technical side of
this pile of celluloid. The cam-
era work is great, the editing
unobtrusive, the costumes and
sets delightful, and the special
effects ranged from adequate
to hokey.
Unfortunately, no combina-
tion of these could have salvag-
ed this turkey.
Nor can unfavorable criti-
cism be brushed aside with the

The films coming for Christmas:
Ordinary, yes, but entertaining

By DAVID BLOMQUIST the direction of Francis Ford
Traditionally, the major mo- Coppola and a blockbuster
tion picture studios announce cast headlined by Al Pacino,
what movies they will have Robert Duvall, Robert DeNiro,
ready for the biggest film week Diane Keaton, and Peter Sell-
of the year - Christmas week- ers.
each May in the Cannes Film 0 Y o a n g Frankenstein,
Festival issue of Variety. a Mel Brooks film with script
Well, the 1974 list is out, and by veteran Brooks - directed
even though it isn't as asthetic- actor Gene Wilder. Wilder
ally exciting as one would stars.
hope (but, then, it never is), it . The Towering Inferno, a
does appear as if quite a bit of joint product of 20th Century
good, although commercial, fare Fox and Warner Brothers that
will be around and thriving in is being produced by Holly-
the theaters this Christmas, wood's top sci-fi man, Irwin Al-
Among the highlights expected len. Basically, Inferno promises
this December's holiday week to be not much more than an
are: attempt by Allen to slide in
" Godfather, Part II, which and clean up on the reputation
is presently finishing up under of his 1973 Poseidon Adventure,

which (somehow) managed to
pull in $40 million at the thea-
ters.
. Lenny, a film biography of
Lenny Bruce being put together
by Cabaret director Bob Fosse.
Dustin Hoffman has the title
role.
* The Front Page, a remake
of the classic story of life in
the newspaper business. Oscar-
winner Jack Lemmon is joined
by Walter Matthau and Carol
Burnett; Billy Wilder is direc-
tor.
* Casanova, the newest Fel-
lini film which just may be
ready for Christmas. Dino De
Laurentiis is producing this pic-
ture, which got underway last
month in Rome.

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