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November 04, 1981 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-11-04

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ARTS
Wednesday, November 4, 1981

*The Michigan Daily

Page 5

THE DAILY
CLASSIFIEDS
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
FAST RESULTS
CALL 764-0557

It -

Filmic gamble loses out'

By Adam Knee
',THE FILM adapters of John Fowles'
The French Lieutenant's Woman
take some big cinematic gambles and,
unfortunately, they don't always come
out ahead.
Fowles' novel of a Victorian-age
scientist faced with the inexplicable
mysteries of life demands such gam-
bles. The novel poses special problems
for scriptwriter Harold Pinter because
it tells a 19th-century tale from a 20th-
century perspective, and because it
offers the reader two endings.
Pinter tries to meet this challenge by
adding a subplot in which the actors are
involved with their own modern-day
drama parallel to the Victorian drama
they are filming. We alternate between
the original course of the narrative and
the (fictional) interactions of the
,people making the film. The two stories
come to their different conclusions on
the same studio set.
The employment of such a device is,
in itself, not unreasonable. One is

reminded of the filming crew's entran-
ce into the final scenes of Lindsay An-
derson's Oh Lucky Man!-an ex-
periment which achieves a good deal of
success. It is not unusual for certain
modern filmmakers to allow the viewer
a quick glimpse of the camera or of ac-
tors between takes, with the effect of
making the viewer aware of the
medium.
Fowles' novel, likewise; continually
draws attention to itself and to the ar-
tistic process through its didactic
narration. Nevertheless, Pinter's
corresponding device has great
drawbacks.
Our attentions are continually drawn
to the device itself, rather than to the
thematic implications of its use. We
wonder how close the real actors are to
the fictional actors they portray, and
question with what degree of
seriousness they approach the film.
The artificiality of the subplot is em-
phasized to such an extent that it often
detracts from the rest of 'the drama,
with events from the two eras
corresponding in all-too-pat, contrived
twists. The modern drama ultimately

serves more to parallel the Victorian
drama than to provide a 20th-century
perspective of it.
Nevertheless, Pinter is a fine, ac-
conplished writer and is quite suc-
cessful in other aspects of the script.
Though no film could match the
thematic complexity and richness of
Fowles' novel, Pinter manages to bring
up a wide range of issues, examining
them sufficiently and pointedly.
Dialogue is masterfully written; it
allows for the subtlest of com-
munications between characters and
remains believable, even when clearly
intended to illuminate specific ideas for
the viewer.}
Director Karl Reisz handles many of
the Victorian sequences with im-
pressive control. Smooth camera
movements, carefully balanced com-
positions, and striking on-location color
photography combine to create a
lyrical beauty fitting for the earlier
age.
Yet Reisz is at a loss as to how to han-
dle the humor implicit in the modern-
day subplot, and this results in a tonal
ambivalence. At times, the serious
lyricism awkwardly gives way to a
humorous grotesqueness. For example,
characters who could be more subtly
satirized are unbelievable pictured as
mannish, growling harpies or severely
dim-witted maidens.
Stars Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons
See FRENCH, Page 7

" ~76'9-1300
- $26TO600PM
ROBERT
DENIRO
ROBERT
DUVALL 5
UNITED R MNE
ART:I:T:4FRI. :SAT.
1:15 3:20 5:30 7:40 9:50

@ c ~ a4

"Two hours of
non-stop thrills,"
-RexReed
A PARAMOUNT
PG PICT URE .
DAILY WILLIAM HURT
1:15 KATHLEEN TURNER
3:20
5:30 5+ODYn
7:40 MidnitetJQ
9:50 Fri, & Sat, HERT r

Meryl Streep: The French Lieutenant's Woman.

a v - -r
-.4 ,,

. . . . . . . . .<:: :.:::: :-::".:.s:r ;.; :: :-;::; ;::;?:::::Yi : :> : ::: ::..: ::: :;;:. ;: : ::::s: :>::5: ::;::: :: ::: i :;:.:::: :::-:;: ::;;::; :<:;::::::

vr"' .

No fear
Sand
loath ing
on this
trail

By Ben Ticho
IN CRAZY Dreaming: The Anderson Campaign
1980, Georgs Golubovskis describes the fate of
political volunteers in America-more specifically,
of volunteers".. . at the base of the campaign."
As a local coordinator for John Anderson, Golubov-
skis worked in Ann Arbor, Flint, and elsewhere in the
Midwest. He put in long hours last year handing
out leaflets, manning phones, ringing doorbells, and
raising badly needed funds-doing the unglamorous
and often tedious duties which comprise the prac-
tical, everyday side of the pre-election process.
Golubovskis' book, currently available in paper-
back at many campus stores, tells his own story. It
follows him from his initial interest in Anderson after
the Iowa Republican Caucus debate, through his first
volunteer work in Chicago for the Illinois primary, up
to the presidential election in November. He spares
few details in the effort to make the reader see the
plight of the campaign worker, not excepting per-
sonality conflicts with co-workers and Anderson
button shortages.
The biggest problem with Crazy Dreaming is that
he succeeds. This is no Fear and Loathing on the
Campaign Trail, with fast-paced political drama un-
folding before dazed, unbelieving eyes. Rather it is
the daily, street-level business of organizing a one

day rally at the University of Michigan, or making
sure a few voters in Hinsdale, Ill. know which
delegates supported Anderson. The tedious details
soon become tedious-to the reader.
The author would hold a higher level of interest
longer by concentrating more on platforms and im-
ages, political climates, and social forces. Golubov-
skis does this, to the extent that he is able. But,
precisely because of his position as a "basement"
volunteer, his scope is limited.
Golubovskis can demonstrate how disorganization
and undermanning at the ground level hurt his can-
didate's chances. Being a relative novice in politics,
however, he can only repeat the nationally-televised
causes of Anderson's broader problems: his initial
shortage of exposure, lack of party backing,
and-perhaps more importantly-the limited appeal
of his generally moderate policies to an increasingly
conservative public.
Golubovskis' own opinions on the subject can
reflect only an obviously well-informed but narrow
perspective. It is more a perspective of the graduate
student he is than of an authority on political theory.
Basically, Golubovskis writes from a truly unique
and often-overlooked position. He is often enter-
taining, especially in his sarcastic quips about the
Republican Convention in Detroit. His observations
on volunteer work are largely accurate and accep-
table. Unfortunately, they necessarily cover narrow
ground-for a limited audience.

CARB(

Double PG Feature
DN COPY 1:30 5:10

TAKE THIS JOB
LAND SHOVE IT

3 20 7:00

Ll ,I

'Rich and Famous' is no treasure

By Richard Campbell
F RICH AND Famous had been a
very bad film, a real loser, it would
be easy to criticize. Or if it had been a
fantastic movie, it would be just as easy
to praise. But Rich and Famous is
neither. It is an average movie. And
they are the hardest to describe.
Superficially, the film looks great.
Directed by George Cukor-who also
directed such classics as The
Philadelphia Story and Adam's
Rib-the film has wonderful style. The
photography is always pretty. The
music swells at just the right moments.
The plot is sufficiently complicated to
give the impression of meaning. But
this is where any resemblance to a good
movie ends, for Rich and Famous has
no discernable meaning.
The story concerns the relationship
of two old friends 'from college : Liz
Hamilton, an earnest writer of serious
fiction, and Merry Noel, a Southern
Belle writer of trash. The film follows
their jealous rages, their love triangles,
and their friendship through four
separate periods-in 1959, 1969, 1975,
and 1981.
Splitting the plot into such disjointed
mini-stories results in a jerky rhythm.
In the first hour we travel from 1959 to
1975, s'tarting and stopping three times.
The movie never feels like it is under
way until the final episode begins. This,
unfortunately, makes the film seem
longer than it really is, because every
time you start into a new period the
movie has to fill in what has hap-

pened in the intervening years.
Fundamentally, this is a classic
friendship movie. Whether the film is
worth your time depends on if you
believe in the characters and their
.friendship. In Rich and Famous these
elements aren't developed enough to
sustain interest.
Jacqueline Bisset as Liz is charming
to watch: her command of language is
enviable, and she has a real' screen
presence. But Liz Hamilton never
comes across as a convincing human
being.
She rattles off lines from Eliot and
Yeats; she is the intellectually secure
artist. But at the end of the movie she
declares that she wants men to love her
for her body and not her books, an idea
that has taken agonizingly long time to
develop.
Candice Bergen plays Merry Noel as
a slightly more rational version of
Carol Burnett's Eunice. Like Bisset,
Bergen is never boring to watch, but the

script takes too much time as she does
too little. In 1969 we see her in Malibu,
living that plastic life among the stars,
knitting, wearing rhinestone glasses,
and writing a novel on the sly. Her
character is simply shown to us, never
commented upon by Liz, and never
elaborated upon.
The plot of Rich and Famous has
trouble deciding how to present the
story of Liz and Merry. -Half the time
we are watching a standard
melodrama, straightforward action,
and expository dialogue. The other half
is spent in badly edited slapstick
sequences that grate with the
melodrama.
The writers might have wanted to
give a World According to Garp flavor
combining the ridiculous with the
poignant. The result, however, is
uneasiness and uncohesiveness.
Who messed up whose story is hard to
say, because Gerald Ayres wrote the
screenplay based on John Van Druten's

play. If the film had had a tighter struc-
ture and was confined a bit, as in a
play, many of the eccentricities of ac-
tion would probably drop out. But even
without some of that action, the film
would be laden with indecipherable
characters.
George Cukor is famous for getting
great performances out of women. The
shares a lot of the credit for putting
Katherine Hepburn on the screen. Rich
and Famous could have used some of
that genius to develop Liz and Merry in-
to believable people. For when a film
has interesting people, changes in their
lives affect the audience and attain
significance. Without that interest, a
film does not affect an audience and is
quickly forgotten.
m -

IEANN ARI:

F

'- _

s

"The Pan ocha String Quartet may well
ascend to the top rank of international qua rtets, 77
-The New York Times

1~*

CALL FOR DIRECTORS
The University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan So-
ciety requests petitions from persons interested in
being a dramatics director, music director or set
designer for the April 1982 production. Shows under
consideration are Mikado, Patience, Grand Duke
and Sorcerer.
Candidates will be interviewed November 8th. For more
information and for appointment please call April Oja
at 663-7109 or 764-1417.

INDIVIDUAL THEATRES
,[ 5th Ave at lberty 761-9700.
"WONDERFUL ACTING.
HILARIOUS SEX SCENES.
BRILLIANT DIALOGUE!"
JACQUEINE BISSET
CANDICE BERGEN
RICH and
DAILY-7:20, 9:40
WED-1:20, 3:40, 7:20, 9:40

I

4
4
1
4
1

__~

WITH THIS ENTIRE AD
ONE TICKET $1.50. MON.4
THRU THURS. EVE.
GOOD THRU 11 /5/81 "M"

4
n1

II

,U

Qo

She was lost from the
moment she found him...
me~wnd
AieutenantS
W o m ani . "'
HAROLD PINTER JOHN FOWLES
MERYL STREEP

-

Sat

The Panchza
String Quartct
Program
Haydn: Quartet in C major, Op. 33, No. 3 ("The Bird")
Martinu: Quartet No. 5
Dvoriak: Quartet in G major, Op. 106
Lirday, November 7 at 8:3()

Ra ckeati A$ ,di$., ri
Tickets at $8.50, $7.00, $5.50

U -

w

I

11

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