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May 22, 1974 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-05-22

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Wednesday, May 22, 1974


Page Five

Wensa, Ma 2 94TEMCIA AL aeFv

Truffaut views exploitation
in 'Such a Gorgeous Kid'

Daily Film Reviewer
The recognition of directors
as attleurs, as creators of a
complete body of work that en-
compasses all of their films, has
become an absolute necessity in
viewing the most recent films of
Bergman, Bunuel, and Truffaut.
A director's relation to his
own work can even be obsessive,
as in Bergman's attempt to re-
duce his chamber drama to a
single pure emotion residing in
the "cries and whispers" be-
yond language, to the plane of
blood red beyond ,he human im-
BUNUEL'S last film, The Dis-
creet Charm of the Bourgeoisie,
also had this quality of cnping
all of his previous work, at least
insofar as a large part of the
discreet charm involved tioe sur-
realist Bunuel in his gesture of
bowing out of the cinema.
Similarly, Fellini's Roma was
structured as a documeoary -on
the city of Rome, but it was
really more of a iourney through
all of the man's previous films
and where they fou-sd their seed.
Truffaut, in his career as a
film critic, was the foremost
proponent of the auteur theory,
and now his work is beginning to
see itself in a retrospective
sense and comment upon its cwn
development. Truffaut has al-
ways tread a very delicate line
between soppy senti'sentaiism
and real tragicomic drama. The
artistic event, when it happen-
ed, usually drew its trength
from the differences i- tone,
between what was happening
and how it was preastei. Thus
the child Leaud in 400 Bows is
charming and witty while de-
scribing his traumatic childhood
to a social worker. This is the
"Truffaut touch," which is al-
ways double-edged; it is aisaoys
part "sentimental," but th tra-
gedy of romantic idealism is al..
ways played out in the back-
THIS IS the romantic tragedy
of Truffaut's Antoine Domel
shrouded in a se'imentality
character, that his dilemma is
that will leave him always co-
fused. In Two English G i r I s,
Truffaut buried the amazing
character Doinel, having his re-
lation with two sisters twist his
attempt to make weekend
moviegoing a little easier,
The Daily has for several
years run as a regular fea-
ture each Friday the Cine-
ma Weekend column.
Well, with hopes of providing
a similar service for midweek
film freaks, the Cinema Week-
end column - beginning today-
becomes a daily feature under
the title Cinema Tonight.
Movies for Friday, Saturday,
and Sunday, as well as pictures
at the area commercial thea-
ters, will continue to be review-
ed on Friday, as in the past,
as Cinema Weekend.
But for Tuesday through
Thursday movies, watch for
Cinema Tonight each weekday.
Tonight's best bet:
Beat the Devil
Friends of Newsreel, MLB 3
8, 10
One really can't say that
Beat the Devil is a bomb - the
cast and crew that made it are
just too good to turn out a
compktely bad motion picture.
Let's just leave it at "this film

dream of love into the lirenmoni-
tion of old age.
Now he is left with -he "Trif-
faut touch" and 'h-s 'not tick-
ed up another film persona to
speak through, eveni'aly 'ising
himself in Day for Night. the
result is that he .'s llosving his
style to clash more apenly with
the events he is deoick'ng, he
reality shifts are made shock-
ingly obvious, and in general his
movie Such a Gorgeous Kid
Like Me is by far his most vio-
lent, frenzied, and self parodic
It resembles most closely the
Italian film that 'von the Can-
nes prize last vear, Le Grande
Bouffe, in which Mtarreilo Mas-
trianni and three other Italian
gentlemen calmly eat themselv-
es to death in a country home.
Of course, after a while, things
no longer stay calm, turning al-
ternately to the m.snotsoaos md
the obscene to sustain i~selt as
a film.
TRUFFAUT has never been
as concerned with the perverse
element in human exploitalon
as he is in Gorgeous Kid. In
this film everyone expl-uts each
other as much as possibi, aid
the horrible isolati tn and greed-
iness that they display is only
counterpointed by the accidental
nature of everything that hap-
pens to them, all twists of
chance, as Ti-iffait enphas-ed
in the screenplay re and God-
ard did for Breathless. The
spontaneity of Camilla Bhs es-
caping from the leration home,
donning her high-heeled shoes,
hailing a car with some lasciv-
ious gestures and marrying the
driver is too outrage >os for us
to consider if it was a ' good
idea." It is something o, a
pure event insofar as it is
drained of meaning.
Getting married is to Casilla
the same kind of proposition as
that of wrangling CamAl cigar-
ettes from her sociologist inter-
viewer while being interviewed
in prison.
THE KITSCH element of com-
mercial art, the draining of
meaning, becomes the subject
matter of Truffaut'; art. He
chooses a kitsch personality, an
Xaviera .Hollander comnmercial
figure (who Camilla resembles
insofar as she becomes famous
(See TRUFFAUT, Page 9)

Francois Truffaut

never gets off the ground." ema scen
Humphrey Bogart plays the all filmgt
lead in this wry little spy spoof of Fu A
drawn from James Helvick's goodie re
novel, but Billy Dannbreuther is Hollywoo
not one of Bogie's better roles. Boris F
A stellar supporting cast - their idol
Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrig- is probab
ida, Robert Morley, and Peter of Horro
Lorre - tries hard, but just Everyone
can't seem to get into the spirit thing to4
of the picture. supportin
And behind the camera for all Lewis St
this we find John Huston, who period di
seems to have forgotten the bin.
acting end of the movie entire- And, a
ly and concentrated primarily enough,
on having fun with photographic thrown in
effects. That's nice, but this for good
isn't one of Truman Capote's what sho
better screenplays, and the film able prog
could have used a stronger hand
on the helm.
Still, Beat the Devil is a rare- Eroti
ly seen ninety-odd minutes. of
Bogie, and perhaps in the end
that makes up for this film's Ann
other rather glaring shortcom- And
ings. You mt
-David Blomquist about th
M *erotic in
so -ago.
Mask of Fu Manchu signial th
Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud. ing to of
.7:30, 9:30 - Actuall
For once we have on the cin- able feat

ie a horro
oers can en
lic of theg
Karloff fan
's perform
bly one of
rs' greate
else wil
cheer abo
g cast (N
one) and;
rection by
s if all I
four Betty
ould be a

r movie that happens to be the first "adult" by a group
njoy - Mask feature scheduled after the pro- student revo
an oldie-but- nouncement of the Fleming ptr- The theme
grand days of no guidelines. American st
If you've got nothing better to revolution in
s will enjoy do tonight, you could drop by is told throw
nance (Mask Aud. A and put in your two of the revolu
the Master cents worth as to whether or not proof that th
st pictures). showing Zorro represents 'ma- tore is not a1
I find somne- ture judgment." But do to at claims, but
t in a good your own risk: I have it on Good perfo
Myrna L o y, good word that Zorro is no: an by all of the ,
some classic easy man to deal with. excellent pox
Charles Bra- -Z by Yves Mon
State of Siege makes a val
that wa. n t New World Film Co-op rection, but
.)uild has MLB Aud. 3, 7:30, 9:30 drag in spot;
y Boot shorts State of Siege by Cos-ta-Gav- Neverthelet
to top off ras is the account of the kid- articulate, at
very enjoy- napping of an American CIA of American
agent, Philip Michael Santore,

of South American
of the film is the
sppressi'>n of the
South America. It
gh the ac a:tioas
tionaries, and t h e
iey have that San-
businessman, as he
a C.I.A. agent.
rmances are given
actors, including an
rtrayal of santare
tand. Costa-tavras
ient attempt in di-
the film seems to
so, this film is ar
nd bitter indictmen'
-David Warren


ic Adventures
cif Zorro
Arbor Film Co-op
d. A, 7, 8:45,.10:30
ay have seen the spread
is example ,c f cinema
n Playboy a year or
Usually, that's a good
at the picture has noth-
fer on its own.
y, about the only not-
ure of Zorro is that it

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