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August 02, 1977 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-08-02

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I'HE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Five

Tuesday, August 2, 1977-

Tuesday, August L, I ~ I7~ IHEM1C1-IK~AN DAILY PageFive

David Keeps, Arts Editor
Phone 764-0562
ecords in.rief

GILLIAM'S 'JABBERWOCKY'
Scum can be fuln

By NICOLA BINNS
God Save The Queen, Sex
Pistols, (Virgin Imports VS
181)
THE NEWEST RAGE in Bri-
tish Rock and roll is Punk
Rock, and at the top of the field
are the Sex Pistols, Their biz-
zare performances have re-
sulted in harrasment from the
public and the music industry.
For the Queen's Silver Jubi-
tee, the Pistols have answered
with "God Save the Queen".
This single with its radical ly-
rics has caused severe contro-
versy in Britain. Three major
record chains and BBC radio
and T.V. have banned the sin-
gle. A seven second advert was
also refused hyI.TyV., Lon-
don's independent video sta-
tion. This commercial was to
announce the Sex Pistols con-
tract with Virgin Records. Yet
none of this hurt "God Save the
Queen's" ratings on B.B.C.'s
music charts.
The single entered the charts
at ntmber eleven and quickly
reached number two. The rat-
ings are based largely on the
sales reports from the stores
that banned the single. That
week two of the Pistols were
beaten up on separate occa-
With the celebrations of the
Jubilee in full color "God Save
the Queen" is a disgrace to the
British bourgeoisie.
The Rolling Stone mentions
that a Parliament member,
Marcus Lipton, said that if
Punk Rock was going to de-
stroy Britians established in-
stitutions "then it ought to be
destroyed first."
The Sex Pistols have spark-
ed a new sensation in music.
Many, new groups in London
have followed their lead, but
none have matched the Pistols'
talent for insulting society.

Soapy love songs don't make
it with the Sex Pistols. "God
Save the Queen" is hard core
and guts, going for the blood of
Britian. Sid Vicious on bass,
drives the heavy beat right
through Parliament. Johnny
Rotten's voice takes the noise
out of grating an onion and
puts into words, singing as if he
has gargled with Drano. (This
is a stunt the group may live
to perform on stage.
Rottens lyrics refer to the
Queen as a "moron," the pro-
duct of a facist regime. And
Pal Cook, on drums, beats the
hell' out of Britain's. upper
crust.
The Pistols soloing follow the
New York Dolls in style, and
their music tends to have over-
tones of the Animals, the Yard-
birds and early Stones.
Although their music doesn't
suit everyone, it sparks a re-
turn to the high energy rock
and roll that has been lost in
the "70's". There is a gather-
ing crowd in Ann Arbor as the
single is frewiently out of stock.
But School Rids Records car-
ries "God Save the Queen" and
other British Punk Rock sin-
gles. They also plan to carry
the Sex Pistols first album
when it is released on Virgin
Records. That release, well
worth waiting for, should be
out in the coming months, in
the meantime God Save the
Sex Pistols.
Have a flair for
artistic writine?
tf you are interest-
ed in reviewia
portry. and musie
or writing feature
stories about tide
drama, dance, nim
arts. Contact Arta
Editor, c/onThe
Michigan Daily.

By OWEN GLEIBERMAN
7"HE SUMMER months having been clog-
ged by such extended exercises in tedi-
um as The Deep and The Other Side of
Midnight, the arrival of a film like Jab-
berwocky is nothing short of refreshing.
The film is a truly original, at times in-
spired, comic look at the Middle Ages, and
all the death, famine and general yuki-
ness that came with it.
JABBERWOCKY is the creation of Ter-
ry Gilliam (he co-wrote and directed it),
who's one other claim to fame is his cre-
ation of the animated sequences in "Mon-
ty Python's Flying Circus." Jabberwocky
will inevitably be compared to (or seen
as a cheap rip-off of) Monty Python and
the Holy Grail, but aside from sharing
the time setting, the two have very lit-
tle in common. As off-beat and hilari-
ous as the Pythons' mode of humor is,
Gilliam has managed to derive his own
unique, comic style.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of
Jabberwocky is that although it is a com-
edy, it doesn't abound in belly-laughs the
way Holy Grail did. But this is only be-
cause the creators of each film' had en-
tirely different intents: Whereas Holy
Grail was simply a vehicle of Python
sketches, Jabberwocky is an examination
of ?the muddle behind the myths and leg-
ends, exploiting in every frame the pure
dinginess of everyday living during that
period.
IN THIS RESPECT, Jabberwocky bears
a striking resemblence to Ken Russell's
The Devils. But where Russell shoved the
rot at you to the point of making the
whole thing unpalatable, Gilliam exploits
everything for comedy, and the constant
combination of repulsiveness and humor
makes Jabberwocky a success.
I won't bother to re-tell the whole story,
but briefly, Dennis Cooper (Michael Palin,
another Pythonite), a cooper's son, is re-
nounced by his father on his death bed
for having "no understanding of crafts-
manship." Through an untypical series of
misadventures, Cooper goes on to slay the
beast that is ravaging the kingdom, and
marry the king's daughter.
The plot is extremely secondary, how-
over, because Gilliam's sole concern is to
portray the muck that it all goes on in.

Every character is grotesque and rotting;
the town is a virtual chamber of hor-
rors.
NOW YOU MAY well wonder where the
fun comes in watching all this, but the
comedy stems simply from the fact that
nobody has the slightest idea that they're
all living in scum. What the audience finds
utterly repulsive and at times even horri-
fying, the characters look upon without
batting an eyelash. In one scene, the king
and his daughter watch watch a series
of duels between knights, until they are
both totally (but seemingly unknowing-
ly) drenched in blood. No one thinks twice
as a vendor walks by peddling hot "Rats-
on-a-stick." Jabberwocky abounds in many
such tasty. tidbits of grotesquerie.
In perfect counterpoint to this constant
squalor is Dennis Cooper's schoolboy op-
timism. Cooper is the one character who
isn't utterly repulsive, and as played by
Palin, who displays the undaunted cheeri-
ness and ear-to-ear grin he brought to his
best Python roles, he is the eternal op-
timist in a virtual hell of a society.
Because Cooper is so likeable, it is all
the more horrifying when he gets caught
up in the scummy world Gilliam creates.
His one true love is obese, ugly, and cares
nothing for him, yet he loves her enough
to carry around a rancid turnip she threw
at him contemptuously as a love momento.
Cooper is so utterly normal and inoffen-
sive, that he often seems to be from an-
other planet.
Jabberwocky does, in my mind, have one
distinct flaw: Gilliam is so intent on cre-
ating his own world, and the film is so
singular in this intent, that the constant
sickness occasionally becomes redundant.
In particular, there -are just too many
scenes in which five-odd people scramble
around in some pseudo-fight for no ap-
parent reason, and the idea that they're
just too plain dumb to be doing anything
else can at times wear thin. The constant
use of close-ups, hand-held camera, and
wide-angle lenses serve to put us in the
thick of things, however this can result
in a feeling of calustrophobia; you want
some time to stand back for air.
But these are merely the excesses of
what amounts to an original and truly
funny film, about gore, muck, and how
people live in it.

JT classics woo fans

Lunt 'critical
following surgery.
GENESEE DEPOT, WIS. (AP) - Actor. Alfred Lunt, one
of America's greatest stage stars, was reported in critical con-
dition Monday following cancer surgery at a Chicago hospital.
"Mr. Lunt is quite ill," George Bugbee said when reached
at the Lunt home here, west of Milwaukee.
Lunt, and his wife, Lynn Fontanne, achieved stardom in
sophisticated comedies on the Broadway and London stage, with
vehicles including Arms and the Man, Amphyriton 38 and Pygma-
lion,
Lunt, 84, was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital
in Chicago July 21 and had cancer surgery eight days ago, a
nurse said. He was conscious but has been in critical condition
for four or five days, she added. He was in an intensive care
unit of the hospital Monday.
Bugbee, who was at the country -home Lunt and his wife
Lynn Fontanne have had here for more than half a century,
said Lune went to the Chicago hospital from home.
"There was not a critical episode," Bugbee said. He said
Lunt was suffering from various illnesses, but declined to elab-
orate,
Miss Fontanne, 90, remained at their home lere in Waukesha
County, where the Lunts now live year-round.

By SUSAN BARRY
JAMES TAYLOR seems to be suffering an-
other identity crisis. He may not realize it but
the gifted, soft-spoken performer of gentle love
songs and nostalgic ballads is slowly turning into
a mediocre rock and roll star.
When JT warmed-up into his opening per-
formance of "Sweet Baby James" at Pine Knob
last Monday night the result was sheer magic.
Taylor, aged nearly ten years since the song
was made popular, looking gaunt and a bit scrag-
gly, retained the soulful tenderness which made
his rendition a timelessly sweet memory.
OFFERED A BEER by the rather over-en-
thusiastic audience, Taylor shrugged, said "OK,"
and accepted a can of Strohs to the delighted
cheers of the crowd.
This small act seemed to win them over and
from there Taylor could do no wrong. He then
offered a rendition of the oldie "Get Yourself
a Job." Although it went over well it was ob-
viously not up to the quality of other songs
Taylor has recycled such as "Handyman," chief-
ly because the success of the latter is due pri-
marily to Taylor's mellow stylizing..
When he plays hard rock and- straight old-
ies, Taylqris.style tends to fade'and 'his perform-
ance is subiued. ntil it resembles that found
in the type.ofnsmall time, rock.band that- might

play for a high school dance. Only the powe of
Taylor's physical presence sets it apart.
Likewise -when Taylor was joined by the band
"The Section," much of his charm was dissolved
with the change of pace. Danny Gootchin's sopho-
moric ego, however legendary, does not belong
on the stage with Sweet Baby James. Conse-
quently the best moments of the concert were
when Taylor performed alone.
OCCASIONALLY, as on "How Sweet it is"
and "Mexico" the full band had a nice effect.
But for the most part it was the solos that
made the evening worthwhile.
The performances of "Carolina In My Mind,"
"Wandering," "One Man Dog," "Fire and Rain,"
and "Country Road" were, by themselves, enough
to make the concert memorable.
Although somewhat reserved at the beginning
of the show, Taylor loosened up and got into his
performance. He seemed to garner confidence
from the enthusiasm of the audience. Encouraged
by their applause he returned for four encores
and concluded with Carole King's "You'ye Got
A Friend."
It is difficult to interpret the direction in
which his latest music is leading him, but James
Taylor proved that, at least in Michigan, his musi-
cal contributions are still recognized and a change
in style is not necessary to insu-e him a warr1
reception.

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