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April 06, 1980 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-04-06
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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-S

V9

-w

The Michigan Daily---4

Page 2--Sunday, April 6, 1980-The Michigan Daily
poetr y

I like mnovies

The pageant

WATCH THE SUN, NOT THE CLOCK

I crept into attic
memories as the day is hushed
by autumn greys
and found in trunks
under bitter roses ripped
from ball go wns fading

of

doo

-doo0,

death that is

diaries turned dust at my touch,
a command: Watch the clock,
not the sun! When did we
last see the sun in this grey
dissolving time? Golden-
glow waltzing in the rain.
Sprung back from the ground,
stalks throw a month of suns
at a sullen sky.
Never mind the clock.
-Jacqueline Moore

",

Free space

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ni
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to

'Flamingo9s'
D~ O e poorly-acted, not-very-funny 16mm
Fy Ow nhome-movie that may nevertheless b
~1U'L.the purest piece of shock-cinema ever
sieiberman released on a large scale. Movies like
Bunuel's Un Chien Andalou and L'Age
D IVINE, FLAMING star of Pink d'Or,.Kenneth Anger's Fiieworks and
UFlamingos, is a 300-pound trans- Scorpio Rising, or even the recent
.estite with a huge, egg-shaped head Erasherhead may celebrate decay and
ind the corpulent-physique of a Sumo violence and perversion, but their
vrestler. Recently, she's become dreamy poetic conceits and self-
;omething of a darling among New conscious shock-the-bourgeoisie sen-
eork's flamboyant fag-hag set-or so sibilities instantly spell "art" to most
>ne would gather from' a glance at viewers. Pink Flamingos is rarely ar-
,ecent issues of The Village Voice or In- tful, and it doesn't try to be. Instead, the
erview Magazine. Divine frequents movie is a naked document of its
Mardi's and Studio 54 and gets her pic- creators' multifarious nauseating ob-'
uire snapped with celebrities for People sessions (which include incest, murder,
Magazine (where she's euphemistically and excrement)-a grand tour of the
lescribed as a mere "female imper- underground devoid of any aesthetic
Donator") ; this past summer, she even cocienceeekona
opped up on The Tomorrow Show, Thuhte wrekona
engaging a dumbfounded Tom Snyder exhibitionists' showcases, the films
n some genteel banter about the joys of that came out of Any Warhol's Factory
hinese-porcelain collecting. (directed by Warhol himself, and then
But it is Pink Flamingos for which by Paul Morrisey) always had implicit
)ivine is famous-a movie in which she moral underpinnings and aesthetic
lays a hulking, scatologically-minded pretentions. The very idea of calling a
monstrosity whose gleefully obscene. film studio a "factory" scored its own
,xhibitionism makes the Warhol minor moral point: Andy Warhol per-
>uperstars 'look like so many ceived that art was being turned into a
stablishment pansies. "dehumanized commodity, so instead of
Originally released on New Ycork's displaying raw outrage his protest took
underground cinema circut in 1971, the unconventional form of utter
'ink Flamingos (or, as the flick is passivity.' It was an original idea, but a
:nown to its eccentric fans, "Pink limited one, and when Devo pulled a
'lams") returned to Ann Arbor last similar stunt; indicting America's
eekend for the first of several mid- homogenized mass culture and
ight shows at the State Theater. Direc- systemitized social organization by
ed by John Waters, a Baltimore-based revelling in it, they were greeted as a
adependent who attended film school joke.
n New York during the late sixties and Yet people are still awesomely in-
ceenbuatly got rich from his cult timidated by Warhol's celebrated
lassic, the film is a crudely-made, amorality, even though his refusal to
_______________________ "comment" on the objects and people
~ailywritr Own y. he depicts is a transparent, pointed one,
)oiy witr OenGleibermantre as calculatedly anti-bourgeois as
i hide the fact that he has an auto- anything Salvador Dali ever did.
raphed, 8 x 10 glossy of John Tra- Warhol's specialty is invisible
olta hanging in his bedroom closet, polemics; for someone who carefully.
cultivates the appearance of a shell-
shocked mongoloid he manages to
" devote enormous energy to explaining
T1( / Jhow he doesn't care about anything,
and his claim that there's no special at-.
titude behind what he does isn't another
,," confusing "stance": It's a lie.

rya
,' ~
,,
t
' r - ,
r
. c

.yS

.

T HE IMPLICIT moralism of the
-Warhol aesthetic came out into
the open with Trash, which satirized
rich, cruel suburbanites while begging
for a drop of basic human sympathy
toward its poor, lost, trashy characters.
Trash was the Velvet Underground's
"Heroin" on film-a long, dazed howl of
agony centered around the evils of
smack. Dramatically, it was lethargic,
but morally it was "The Little Match
Girl" stripped of sentimentality and
with some weak exhibitionism thrown
in to create a perversely contemporary
milieu.
Pink Flamingos goes "farther", than
anything Warhol imagined. There's
nothing moral about John Waters, and
about all you can feel watching his
;characters is revulsion (tinged, of
course, with an undeniable voyeuristic
fascination). It's no accident that Pink
Flamingos is billed as "an exercise in
poor taste." Unlike Warhol's work-butt
like most pornographiy-the movie has
nothing, even on the most implicit level
imaginable, to "say."~
Instead, it's a glorification of a
peculiarly revolting sensibility that
pays no attention to that sen-
sibility's relationship (however ob-
scure) to the rest of the world. Divine,
Mink Stole, and the film's other per-
formers are so absorbed in their funny-
violent bitch-fights and bathroom
humor that it's almost impossible to

make
and th
fromN
Watch
sensat
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as to w'
In P
transf
of Amy
a blazi,,
inches
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and ax
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snarli
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dance
mono]
her
daugh
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flamirt
tastel(
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and t
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