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October 16, 1981 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-10-16

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ARTS

PRE-LAW

dhe Michigan Daily.

Friday, October 16, 1981

Page 5

I

I c I

'Vaults of Memory'
whets the appetite

DAY

' s(A

By Carol J. Poneman
T O UNDERSTAND "Vaults of
Memory," the new exhibit at the
Kelsey Museum of Archeology, it must
be looked at from an historical rather
than from an artistic viewpoint. As an
art exhibit alone, it is not successful.
But it is successful as an educational
experience, enlightening the viewer
with a brief look into the ancient Roman
Catacombs and some of the problems
connected with them today.
Due to the ravages of time and man,
many of the frescos that cover the walls
of the catacombs are being destroyed.
Since the catacombs are not transpor-
table, this exhibit of color photographs
was started at the Boston Public
Library by Estelle Brettman, executive
director of the International Committee
for the Preservation of the Catacombs
in Italy.
The exhibit is a kind of plea to the
world; these priceless cultural resour-
ces must not be allowed to fade and be
lost.
In the 2000-year-old Roman
Catacombs, one finds the tombs of
thousands of Jews, Christians, and
pagans. Because man buries his dead
surrounded by representatives of his
culture, the catacombs are rich in the
cultural heritage of these civilizations.,
The photographs of the catacombs are
arranged according to subjects like
"Rites and Ritual," and "Cycles of Bir-
th and Death" to communicate the
cultural links between many of the

images. The Jews and Christians
shared much of the same iconography;
now, when these religions seem to be so
different, it is interesting to see what
they once shared.
The photography is unexceptional-in
no way a substitute for the real image.
And while it is true that reproductions
never are satisfactory substitutes,
these photographs in a sense detract
more than they add. Falling short of
communicating the awesome mystery
of the catacombs, they leave one with a
feeling of deflation.
See VAULTS, Page;6

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- -

Treat Williams: Driven by guilt

I, - I.

~ ce' proves
~a royal bore

By Pam Kramer '
F RANK SERPICO and Robert
F Leuci are both former New York
City cops who, independently of each
other and at different points in time,
decided to expose and combat police.
corruption in New York City. In 1973,
4irector Sidney Lumet turned Serpico's
story into an excellent film. And now he
has taken on Leuci's story, Prince of
the City, and transformed it into a,
well . ..less than excellent film.
~Prince is similar to Serpico only in
{t4 it tries to deal with NYC police
corruption realistically. Danny Ciello
(Treat Williams), a narcotics detective
jn, the Special Investigation Unit is a
cop on the take-a "prince."
f Because Ciello has rationalized what
4-4nd the other princes do on the job,
he is pretty flippant during a routine
questioning by District Attorney Rick
Qpippalino (Norman Parker).
,But the rationalization can't quite
hold- up to Ciello's sense of guilt and
npegI for absolution. Eventually, he
meets with Cappalino and, after con-
Aiderable hesitation and several delays,
,:agrees to work undercover to expose
_pme of the corruption on the force.
, quilt is what this film is all about.
This monster works on Ciello so per-
, ,istently that the need to be absolved is
,jrrepressible. The guilt is more power-
,fJu, than the fear that his bugging
40vices will be detected and he will be
killed, more powerful than the fear that
,his family might be hurt.
f Finally, the guilt becomes more

powerful than the most important thing
in his life: his ties of loyalty to his par-
tners. This, in turn, generates more
guilt and the final reward is misery and
a meaningless absolution from a pom-
pous, corrupt investigative committee.
Prince of the City js an intense story
which loses a great deal of its intensity
in the transition to film for two major
reasons: It is longer than it has any
right or need to be (2 hrs., 45 min.), and
through a good part of it, Treat
Williams just doesn't convey the guilt
he's supposed to be feeling.
He is at his best when he is reacting to
outside circumstances: his "coolness"
during the dangerous meetings at
which he gathers his information, his
cockiness when he turns it over to his
superiors. And through Williams we
can see Ciello's mind begin to break as
the pressure mounts. He is more than
capable of portraying the decline in
trembling believability. There's been a
considerable improvement in his acting
since Hair.
But there isn't quite enough dep-
th-partly because of the script, and
partly because of Williams-to express
the profound sense of guilt and selfish need
for absolution that drives Ciello. It's
difficult to feel either a great deal of
sympathy or, on the other hand, con-
tempt for the character.
Prince does a fine job of examining ,
corruption in its lower forms in the New
York slums to all its glory in the ad-
ministrative offices designed to curb it.
In fact, this scrutiny is one of its
strongest features.
Even this, however, does not merit

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See PRINCE, Page 6

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