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November 06, 1981 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-11-06

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ARTS
Friday, November 6, 1981-

The Michigan Dairy

Resurrection of
1927'Napoleon'
cinematic gemus
Gance originally intended to cover
By Richard Campbell the life of Napoleon Bonaparte in six
parts. Due to financial problems,
V ERY FEW people have seen silent however, he was only able to complete
movies as they were meant to be parts one and two. In the first we see
seen by the original filmmakers. The Napoleon grow from a student at the
fact is, they were never meant to be military academy of Brienne, to an en-
silent at all, and they were never meant terprising and fearless leader.
to be shown strictly in black and white. Beginning with a snowball fight at
At the very least, piano players ad Brienne, Gance employs a frenetic
libbed to what they saw on the- screen; editing style. By the end of the sequen-
at the best, orchestral scores were ce, we are watching single frames of
commissioned for major premiers. And Napoleon juxataposed with frames of
quality silent films featured either in- the fight itself. As Napoleon's side
dividually-colored frames or uniform finally begins to win, his face-intercut
tinting throughout. with the skirmishes-begins to smile, a
Audiences this week have the rare op- striking image foreshadowing his
portunity to see Napoleon-one of the destiny.
truly great silent films-as it was Gance had sections of Napoleon tin-
meant to be seen, at the Ford ted to contrast the moods of different
Auditorium in Detroit. ' scenes. When Napoleon attacks his
Napolean, completed by Abel Gance schoolmates for releasing his pet eagle,
in 1927, is a film surrounded by intrigue; the faculty punished him by sending
until recently, the remaining fragments him to sleep outside. Projected in a blue
of it led most critics to consider it a light, Napoleon rests on a cannon and
failure. But the current version, weeps-when suddenly his eagle retur-
restored by Kevin Brownlow, shows ns to watch over him.
Napoleon to be one of the most inspired After Napoleon has graduated from
motion pictures ever made. the academy, he happens to be present
in the hall where a young officer is at-
tempting to introduce a new song -"La
'-SH IRT Marsellaise," of course-to the crowd.
Again Gance uses quick cutting and
hr.L LZ~ I multiple exposures of the people, the
composer, the flag of France, and a
Ann Arbor's fastest! model portraying "Winged Victory"
F ot-800hours f screnprint- urging the crowd on, all to present the
ed wthin24 Hurs f orer.euphoric attitude of the populace.
Multi-color printing our specialty. Gance never allows the technical ef-
You supply art or use our expert fects to dominate his style. They are
design staff. always firmly bedded in an effort to
Hundreds of surplus T-shirts only reveal either a great truth or an over-
$2 each. Locted bendnOhe 8ind Pg cafe powering emotion. His most brilliant
work comes as he thematically links a
physical storm faced by Napoleon at
C EE N sea to a political storm raging in Paris.
After encountering anti-French. sen-
timents in his native Corsica, Napoleon
__steals the tri-color flag and escapes in a
IA NrN ARit.3 x boat with no oars or sails. While he
struggles through an apocalyptic storm
with only the flag for a sail, the
See 1927, Page 7

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10

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[ Al Jarreau: Eminently spontaneous.
Jarreau: A vocalist
with rhythm, energy

By Jim Clinton
A L JARREAU enhanced his
reputation Wednesday night at Hill
Auditorium as one of the most talented
and innovative jazz vocalists on the
contemporary scene. The two hour set,
which covered 20 numbers and
represented in relatively equal propor-
tion his 6 albums, exhibited the wide
diversification of influences Jarreau
has incorporated to develop his current
sound.

Influences from Motown, R&B, Afro-
Caribbean percussion, and Brazilian
music bespeak an ability to effectively
usurp stylistically myriad forms, al
consolidated by the energy of his unique
vocal sound.
From the blistering opening, "Can't
You See," Jarreau and his band
sustained an intense energy level. A
walking percussionist himself, the
kinetic, always effervescent Jarreau
continuously pleased the audience with
his tongue-twisting scat innovations, as
well as the more familiar tunes nmos*
had come to hear.
Two beautiful ballads, "Our Love"
and "We're in This Love Together,"
both from the new Breaking Away
album, exhibited Jarreau's formidable
vocal diversity His raport with the
audience was energetic, congenial and
humorous throughout the evening.
It's difficult to single out any par-
ticular style as he moved freely frot an
uptempo jazz sound to more conven-
tional formula ballads with equal
aplomb. At one point (accompanie
only by a virtuoso pianist), Jarreaj~di
a beautifully stylized version of James
Taylor's "Fire and Rain;" his in-
novative vocal capacity lent a whole
new dimension of poignancy to the tune.
His rendition of the Dave Brubeck
composition, "Blue Rondo" (which
Jarreau provided lyrics for) lent fur-
ther credance to the fact that in ,ad-
dition to his originality, he is an inter
pretive artist of imposing proportions.
The show stopper was "Teach .Me
Tonight," the old Sammy Cahn number
that Jarreau has resurrected on his new
album. In time this tune may evolve in-
to a Jarreau signature piece.
The band members, all veteran
session players of distinction, perfor-
med professionally. Of special interest
was Lenny Castro on percussion, whose
rhythm, energy, and expertise
provided the texture that much of the
music was built upon.
The overall performance was enter
taining and no doubt pleasing to
Jarreau afficionados, as well as the
uninitiated. He gave a performance
simultaneously persuasive and
charismatic; Jarreau is a vocalist in
full command of his art.

SA

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