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July 26, 1974 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-07-26

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Friday, July 26, 1974

THE MCHIGAN DAILY

cinemo weekend

Page Five

Pick of the week:
Darling
Friends of Newsreel, MLB
Fri., Sat., 7
Darling is a 1965 British film
that has got to be seen to be
believed. Julie Christie receiv-
ed an Academy Award for her
portrayal of the young and
swinging London model who
sleeps her way to the pinnacle
of sucecss, only to have the price
of the laundry bill topple her
over so the end.
Directed by John Schlesinger,
who deserved an Academy
Award for making Christie look
like a star (but didn't get one),
Darling is a sometimes bril-
liant, often emotionally draining
work of art for the Midnight
Cowboy director.
Of course, Schlesinger could
hardly do no wrong, seeing as
how Frederic Raphael did t h e
script for a cast that also in-
cluded Dirk Bogarde and Laur-
ence Harvey. Harvey is the pro-
fessionaldoutcast ofythe film,
and his death last year makes
his presence even more sinister
than ever on the screen.
Bogarde, meanwhile, is his
typical Death in Venice brooding
self, but gives a nice imperson-
ation of English manners, mor-
es, and morbidity.
The picture is a worthy
achievement in that you hate it
because it works so well. They
just 'don't make them like this
any more in any studio.
-Michael Wilson
WUSA
Cinema II, And. A
Sat., 7:30, 9:30
Stuart Rosenberg's WUSA
(1970) was a financial bomb be-
cause nobody wanted to go see
Paul Newman in a serious poli-
tical statement about the times
we live in.
Still, the picture is a sleeper,
filled with excellent characteri-
zations by Newman, Anthony
Perkins, and Joanne Woodward.
The dialogue sounds phony at
first, but just remember New-
man wrote (sans credit) 80 per
cent of the script himself, out of
anger and frustration.
Like so often, Paul plays a
drifter - super-cool, smiling,
and smoking the way we're used
to him. This time, however, he
drifts into a country-western ra-
dio station with the "wrong"
political leanings.
The result is, granted, struc-
turally a mess, but the scenes
involving Newman and W o o d-
sard are the best they've played
together in years. Perkins
works for the welfare depart-
ment and almost satirizes his
hopelessly neurotic, imagina-
tively psychotic working-class
idiot into his finest performance
since Psycho.

Watch for Cloris Leachman in
a bit as a cripple with more
on her mind than crutches, and
for one incredible scene where
the old Wally from Ozzie and
Harriet pops up as an over-
weight radio station executive.
WUSA is super fun, and a
heck of a picture as well. Go
see it - it's a high-class
achievement.
---Michael Wilson
For Pete's Sake
Michigan
Barbra Streisand stars in this
quasi-sequel to the very success-
ful What's Up, Doc? Pete's pace
is just as frantic and some of
the lines are just as funny as
the material in the original
Peter Bogdanovich feature. Bas-
ically, however, Pete s i m p 1 y
doesn't stack up.
Streisand portrays a harried
housewife who, having plunged
her husband into debt to cover
a nebulous investment, now
must come up with a scheme
to raise $3000 in a hurry. Her

Everything You've
Always Wanted To
Know About Sex
The Movies, Briarwood
Never in a milion years wilt
WoodyeAllen approach the tal-
ent he displayed in the late six-
ties as a nightclub comedian
and rising filmmaker. In be-
tween all the hoopla about his
talent and cute looks and funny
plays, Woody made this f ii m
based on the infamous David
Reuben book and turned in some
of the best acting and directing
of his career,
True, Everything has its low
points, but there are scenes in
this film that have got to be
some of the most hilarious and
imaginative satires to c o m e
around in a long time. There
are some great foreign film
takeoffs, for example, featuring
Allen in a deft pair of sun-
glasses.
Everything is being shown as
a double-bill with Mr. Majestyk,

Michigan Daily
Arts e 4

answering the age old question
"Why a Duck?" than any other
is Duck Soup. Perhaps the best
of the Marx Brothers comedies
made for Paramount, Soup is a
tale of political intrigue, love,
and war in the. mythical nation
of Freedonia. The fun begins at
the first appearance of Groucho,
and doesn't stop until the clos-
ing credits.
Full of the glib banter of
Groucho, the terrible puns of
Chico, and the superb panto-
mime of Harpo, .with a great
supporting cast of characters,
including Zeppo Marz, Margar-
et Dumont, and Edgar Kennedy,
this is a tremendously f o n n y
movie.
The brand of comedy that is
to be found in this film is trad-
itional Marx madness. Their
style has been studied to death
in recent years, so suffice to
say that if you like comedy
at its best, you will love Duck
Soup.
-David Warren
Terminal Man
The Movies, Briarwood
Terminal stars George Segal
in a fascinating failure of a mo-
tion picture. Directed and writ-
ten by Mike Hodges from Mich-
ael Crichton's best-selling novel,
Terminal is one-third interest-
ing and two-thirds ridiculous.
Crichton's story of a slightly
disturbed paranoid psychotic
who submits to an operation for
a cure to his "disease" was at
best fairly nice paperback ma-
terial.
On celluloid, the results of this
complex and frightening futuris-
tic medical technology make a
big joke of Segal and seems
closer to a Dean Martin shoot-
em-up than a valid comment on
where we're all headed.
The problem lies somewhere
between the fact that G e o r g e
is making far too many pictures
and the sophomoric essence of
the material. Jean Hackett and
Donald Moffat are also featured
in this terminally slick shock
treatment.
-Michael Wilson
Pumpkin Eater
Friends of Newsreel, MLB
Fri., Sat., 9:30
One of the finest British films
to come out during the '60s was
a Jack Clayton masterpiece cal-
led The Pumpkin Eater, star-
ring Anne Bancroft, Peter
Finch, James Mason, and Yee-
tha Joyce.
Pumpkin Eater details t h e
double breakdown of a woman's
marriage and personality in al-
most Eugene O'Neill-like fash-
ion. There are long, unnerving
sequences of dialogue and over-
worked characters that w il1l

fray your nerves, but the per-
formances are simply astonish-
ing, with Bancroft the standout
and Joyce running a close se-
cond in her small role as a
beauty parlor patron.
Finch plays Anne's decaying
husband and does well with his
understated character, although
standing continually in B a n-
croft's shadow. The screenplay
was prepared by Harold Pinter
from Penelope Mortimer's fas-
cinating novel. All in all, Pump-
kin is a must-see.
-Michael Wilson
Bank Shot
State
We saw in Patton that gruff
old George C. Scott actually
could turn out a dazzling p e r-
formance. But ever since he
starred in Franklin Schaffner's
1970 war extravaganza, S c ott
hasn't lit up the silver screen
with anything resembling bril-
liant acting.
Bank Shot is no exception. It's
a typical shoot-'em-up-and-rob-
the-bank flick, and doesn't even
have the black humor that
made Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
at least somewhat bearable.
We're told now that Scott
plans to peddle his next film
through his own distributing
company. I wonder why.
-David Blomquist
Chinatown
Fox Village
Roman Polanski has a repu-
tation for being a great direc-
tor. However, he also has a
reputation for being inconsist-
ent. His latest film, China-
town, is possibly the best film
he has ever made. It is a thrill-
er mystery of the first order.
It is the tale of a private in-
vestigator, Jack Nicholson, who
is caught up in a scandal and
a series of murders involving
the leading citizens of Los An-
geles of the 1930's.
The action is fast, and the
acting is the best in years. Ni-
cholson plays his role with a
cool and cynical style reminis-
cent of Bogart. Faye Dunaway
plays the woman who is trying
to run away from her past in
the best performance of her
career.
Polanski has been compared
to Hitchcock, but the compari-
son is not justified. Polanski has
proven in this film that he is
equal to any of the great direc-
tors of mystery movies.
-David Warren

ideas: prostitution and c a t t 1 e
rustling. (That's part of the
humor, gang.)
It's an enjoyable picture, but
it could have been better.
-David Blomquist
Hombre
Cinema II, Aud. A
Fri., 7:30, 9:30
Hombre (1967) is a slightly,
sentimental, morally saturated
Western with a penchant f or
slow-moving dialogue and a
brief pause now and then to sa-
lute John Ford's classic 1939
film Stagecoach.
Besides Paul Newman, t h e
excellent cast includes Frederic
March, Diane Cilente and Rich-
ard Boone. Irving Ravetch and
Harriet Frank colaborated on
the "thoughtfully political"
screenplay, which sometimes
borders on tedium when the so-
called "moral issues" are rais-
ed and Newman has to figure
out which side he's rooting for.
Ravetch and Frank, also re-
sponsible for the superior New-
man vehicle Hud, created here
a good old-fashioned shootout
film. Director Martin Ritt weav-
es it all into a great Western
kinetic melodrama.
-Michael Wilson

the latest Charles Bronson thril-
ler.
-Michael Wilson
Love and Anarchy
Campus
This is beatifully constructed
Italian pornography, starring
Giancarlo Gianinni in a sort
of Day of the Jackal takeoff
about a man who has a bullet
with the initials "B.M." that
he plans to fire into Mussolini's
skull.
Unfortunately, Tunin, our
hero, bumps into a pretty
streetwalker (portrayed incred-
ibly well by Lina Polito), an d
becomes momentarily detoured.
Many of the scenes take place
in the inevitable house of il1l
repute, and director-writer Lin-
da Wertmuller makes this an
advantage by using real-life to-
cations and brilliant co-stars.
Wertmuller is a fine technic-
ian and willrno doubt be heard
from again. She is a welcome
addition to an industry that is
desperately lacking in female
directors.
-Michael Wilson
Duck Soup
Cinema Guild
The film that comes closer to

Handel wins duel of musical rivals

By CHARLES SMITH
George Frederic Handel never man-
aged to vanquish his musical rivals in
18th-century London.. It was left for
later musicians to deliver the verdict of
his superiority over his contemporaries,
a verdict made all the more obvious on
listening to a selection of pieces by the
composers in question.
In a program entitled "Handel and
His Rivals", the Philidor Trio, a group
of three young musicians, played a va-
riety of pieces. Some were by Handel's
lesser contemporaries, Porpora and
Bononcini, and were wisely placed at the
beginning of the program, followed by
music of Handel himself (including arias
in florid keyboard transcription by his
pupil, Babell).
A potpouri of songs and instrumental
pieces associated with John Gay's The
Beggar's Opera (with music arranged
from popular tunes by Pepusch) ended
the generally successful program.

The Trio played best in the better
music. Elizabeth Humes, the soprano,
has a fine voice and seemed consistently
the most enthusiastic and musically con-
scientious of the three. Shelley Gruskin
plays recorder excellently and flute well,
although he got off to a relatively slow
start. As the evening wore on, his play-
ing became more colorful, well thought-
out and interesting.
Edward Smith's harpsichord playing
was problematic. His accompanying was
generally colorless, as he avoided using
articulations to provide variety, relying
on registration changes instead. There
were problems in his pacing, as he
tended to rush ahead of his two com-
panions.
Smith came to life in his performance
of the solo transcriptions, however, al-
though he could have allowed himself
more room- to breathe and relax with
the music. His playing was occasionally,
sloppy in these more difficult pieces.

The group as a whole played effective-
ly, with nicely worked-out ensemble and
a pleasing balance of solo and ensemble
sonorities. Detracting from this overall
favorable impression, however, was the
poor stage presence of the two instru-
mentalists, especially their tendency to
cut off the ends of pieces as if in a hurry
to begin the following piece.
The best number of the evening was
the storm aria from Handel's opera,
Julius Ceasar, with excellent recorder
playing and singing. The other Handel
arias, from Julius Ceasar and Alcina,
were also done well, although occasion-
ally constricted by the rigid forms in
which the music was written.
The second time through an Aria da
capo should never be allowed to sound
like just the second time around. Al-
though some pains were taken, especial-
ly by the soprano, to reornament and to
some extent reinterpret the music, the
completion of the Aria da eapo structure

was rarely projected as musically inter-
esting as its beginning.
Handel's Sonata in D minor for record-
er and harpsichord and the three arias
from Bononcini's Astarte which opened
the program were well executed. By
comparison, the pieces by Popora, his
Sonata for flute and clavier, and the
secular Cantata, 'Ecco infausto lido",
were the low point of the program.
Popora is remembered these days as
an opera company manager who rivalled
Handel, a singing instructor, and a
teacher of Haydn, but not as a compos-
er. Neither of these pieces seemed to
be worth the trouble of performing, and,
as the program was long anyway, might
profitably have been cut.
The encore, which was an 18th-century
French setting of a la Fontaine fable, for
soprano, musette, and clavecin, was so
well performed that it made one regret
that tIere weren't some Frenchmen in
London rivalling Handel.

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