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April 17, 1980 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-04-17

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Page 6-Thursday, April 17, 1980-The Michigan Daily

What would their mothers say?!?


Attractive teenage girls are having
trouble losing their virginity! Who will
That's the idea behing Little
Darlings, Ronald F. Maxwell's in-
nocuous little puff of a film in which.a
pair of winsome adolescent cupcakes
race to see which one can lose her
cherry first. Sounds like it ought to be a
very short movie, but no: it drags on for
what seems like hours and hours,
forever trotting out cliches, moments of
embarassing juvenalia, and the worn-
out sort of philosophical wheezings one
might expect from youngsters.
In this enlightened era, a more likely
premise for a film would be which of the
two girls might hang on to her virtue for


A geat way of Weh

April 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19-8 p.m.
as part of the'
For further Festival information call 665-0606
These productions are for mature audiences, nudity is
CANTERBURY LOFT-332 South State Street, second floor
The Ann Arbor Film Coopet1 N8 Presents at Aud. A: $1.50
Thursday, April 17
(Ridley Scott, 1979) 7&9-Aud. A
in s ace no one can hear you scream. The horrifying space epic whose
starting imagery and dynamic soundtrack find you cowering in your seat in
the face of the unexpected. Starring TOM SKERRITT, SIGOURNEY WEAVER,
JOHN HURT and YAPHET KOTTO. "A dazzling demonstration of the state-of-
the-art."-NEWSWEEK. 35mm Cinemascope.
Tomorrow: Peter Yates' THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE and Walter Hill's

the longest time, but clean living makes
bad cinema, and so it will always be.
THE FILM begins with a very
Dickensian juxtaposition of the two
featured characters, Ferris Whitney
(Tatum O'Neal), the rich and refined
young lady, and Angel Bright (Kristy
McNichol), the streetwise, chain-
smoking tomboy straight from projects
housing. The two are on their way to
summer camp surrounded by a host of
stereotypical characters as utterly sub-
stanceless as the supporting players of
O'Neal's earlier film, The Bad News
Bears, and soon they are bullied into a
rush for "womanhood" by a par-
ticularly detestible fellow, camper
(Krista Errikson) who is as hateable
for her bitchiness as forber tendency to
The actual contest itself is quite un-
suspenseful. O'Neal, whose hard little
face is capable of precious few ex-
pressions beyond Happy and Sad, sets
her sights on a 30-ish counselor -layed
by Armand Assante. Assante at first
seems so thick as not to recognize the
unsubtle seduction routine of the junior
camper. When push comes to shove and
O'Neal barges into his cabin, the truth
finally dawns on him, and he brushes
her off with all the jolly paternality of
Robert Young in the old Father Knows
Subsequently, stern moralists in the
audience are shocked to learn, O'Neal
invents her own deflowering, and
claims victory in the contest,
MEANWHILE, McNichol is busily
seducing a chump from the boys across
the lake. While McNichol is a bit of a
hood, Matt Dillon (Randy) turns out to
be twice the sleazeball she ever was.
With his sallow complexion, ratty
dress, Joey Ramone hair-do, and lazy
diction, he belongs in the middle of the
Hash Bash, and not at some mamby-

I i"

of overdrawn handwringing, all thanks
to McNichol.
THE ULTIMATE working-out of the
sexual contest is meant to be
educational, instructive, and amusing.
The film is rated R, however, which
means that those to whom it might
speak are going to have trouble getting
in to the theater. A curious paradox.
There is probably room in this world
for a reasonably thoughful film that
deals with the pressures normal
adolescents feel when confronting their
own sexuality in an age in which the
suggestion leaps from every magazine
and television program that "doing it"
is cool. The cheapening of sex effects
young people most profoundly because,
just as in extremely puritanical times,
the freedom to choose and express
onesself is severely inhibited.
LITTLE DARLINGSwould rather be
cute and stage foodfights than try to
engage the issues. The film fails tq
mean anything because it reaches so
hard to be cute that it ends up
wallowing in its own hackneyed
The irreverent-kids-at-camp scenes
were stale even before Meatballs, and
the precocious-and-foul-youngsters
theme has already been exhausted in
films like Paper Moon and Bad News
Bears. All scenes in Little Darlings, ex-
cept those involving McNichol in her
weary wisdompare too sugary toib
poignant: 90 per cent of the film is 'a
waste of time.
*But what of it? Cable TV program-
mers do, after all, need more chaff;
Kristy McNichol has gone well beyond
what she's ever done on television, and
will soon find her place in somewhat
more highbrow endeavors.
Next year's New Movie Idea: Rich
people are having trouble giving away
their money.

WHAT IS A NICE GIRL TO DO? Poor Kristy McNichol and Tatum O'Neal
have a problem in Paramount's current Little Darlings: they can't get laid.
That's right, those two young ladies play summer-campers in hot pursuit of
"becoming a woman," "going all the way," etc. in order to win a bet concer-
ning who can get, uh, despoiled first. Why aren't there agencies to take care
of this sort of dilemma? And to dispose of this kind of movie?

pamby summer camp. Still, she finds
him quite the hunk.
Their romance, proceeding in curious
fits and starts, is ultimately consum-
mated in a disappointingly tasteful
scene in a secluded boathouse. Momen-
ts like this featuring McNichol shine
with an intense realism and depth that
transcend the shallow script she works

After the fact is accomplished, she
sits heavily in the straw and wears a
haunted, pained look. She says, "It
wasn't what I thought it would
be . . . God, it was so personal. . . I
feel really lonely." What could be a bot-
ched, melodramatic, moment is han-
dled intelligently and with a minimum

U. Symphony triumphs

The Music of Gustav Mahler is a
highly personal expression- of the
emotions and beliefs of that composer.
Mahler was a moody and strong-willed
genius who vacillated between creative
ecstasy and fitsof deep depression, and
his music mirrors this dynamic nature.
Mahler's Second Symphony, the
"Resurrection," is such a work, and it
was given an overwhelming perfor-
mance by the University Symphony
Orchestra and several choral groups all
under the direction of Gustav Meier, on
Tuesday at Hill Auditorium.
The Resurrection Symphony is a
vast, dramatic work which calls for
immense performing resources, in-
cluding a very large orchestra and
chorus as well as soprano and alto
soloists, off-stage brass orchestra, and
organ. It is, as the title suggests, an
evocation of death, the resurrection and
the afterlife, and is something of a
Poetry Reading
Thurs., April 17-7:30 pm
Henrietta Epstein
Stephen Tudor
Reading from their works
No admission charge-Refreshments
GUILD HOUSE 802 Monroe

sequel to Mahler's First Symphony.
The first is full of autobiographical
references, and Mahler wrote of the
second, "It is the hero of my First Sym-
phony whom I bear to, the grave. Im-
mediately rise the great questions;
Why hast thou lived? Why hast thou suf-
fered? Is it all a hugh frightful joke?"
Admittedly, these are heavy questions
to be answered in music, and Mahler
has been criticised for this, but if
anyone could ever come close to
musically expressing such ideas, it was
Mahler. The composer described the
general impression the symphony
creates when he said, "You are bat-
tered to the ground with clubs and then
lifted to the heights by angels."
THE WORK is divided into five
movements instead of the usual four,
and runs almost an hour and a half. The
first three movements are purely in-
strumental and in the fourth the alto
sings a song based on a medieval poem,
"Eternal Light." In the finale Mahler
unleashes the orchestra in an over-
powering depiction of the last judgment
and ends with a glorious chorus affir-
ming the afterlife. Bruno Walter, the
great conductor and exponent of
Mahler's music, said that the sym-

phony's first performance in 1895 made
such a great impression, "that his
(Mahler's) emergence as a composer
dates from this performance."
If Tuesday's presentation had been
the premiere, Walter's remarks would
have been just as true, for Gustav
Meier conducted a superlative and awe-
inspiring performance. The actual Ann
Arbor premiere of the Resurrection
Symphony was given a little over
twenty-two years ago by the University
Symphony under Josef Blatt, and
though it was good, it cannot compare
with the one on Tuesday. The playing of
the orchestra was on a much higher
level, as was the singing of the chorus
and soloists. Whereas there were
frequent problems with the tone and in-
tonation of the strings and horns in the
premiere, these problems were
negligible in the recent performance.
Where there had been muddled and
coarse choral and instrumental sec-
tions there was now clarity and balan-
ce. Climaxes were more intense and
exciting, melodies were more ex-
pressive, and on the whole Tuesday's
performance conveyed the cosmic
nature of the symphony much more
It was apparent that the performers,
numbering over three hundred, had
been well rehearsed, and there were
hardly any slips from anyone. This is
especially admirable considering the

involved nature of the finale. In this
movement Mahler employs an off-stage
brass orchestra to represent the trum-
pet heralding the last judgment, an
the group was placed up in the balcon
where the sound took on a reverberant,
other-worldly quality. As musically ef-
fective as this arrangement was, it also
meant that the brass group had to
follow a second conductor who con-
veyed the beat to them. However,
everything went smoothly and with
great effect.
THE SINGING was quite as good as
the instrumental performance, and tha
huge chorus of over two hundred soun-
ded amazingly clear and firm. In most
performances of Mahler's Second Sym-
phony the chorus sounds thick and
muddy, but the individual vocal lines
were clearly distinct on Tuesday.
Soprano Carlotta Wilson and con-
tralto Rosemary Russell turned in fine
performances, especially Ms.
Russell's rendition of the fourt
movement, "Eternal Light". She san
this short section with a beautiful un-
derstated intensity which gave the
movement a great deal of weight
despite its modest diAensions.
On the whole, Tuesday's performan-
ce was exceptionally good, and it did
justice to Mahler's difficult and
demanding work. The more spec-
tacular portionsof the music came off
with hair-raising effectiveness whil
the lyrical and graceful sections were at-
tended with equal care. Though
perhaps not quite at a top-notch
professional level, the performance
was amazing for a student group, and
it will probably be a good while before a
School of Music performance tops it.





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