Tuesday, March 2, 1982
The Michigan Daily-
'Taxi' attacks mainstream life
pornographic film posing as a poignant
The obvious criticism is that it is
straightforward pornography. That
viewpoint, while accurately describing
about half of the film's content, unfairly
locks the film into a very prejudiced
category. Taxi Zum Klo is not in the
same league as Debbie Does Dallas
because Taxi has a detailed plot with
characters that are complex. The film
is a far cry from the calisthenic won-
ders that you can see on Fourth
The movie is definitely a
breakthrough in detailing life outside
of mainstream culture. The film opens
with a camera panning across post-
cards and photographs that detail
Frank's sexual preferences, as he asks,
"Do you want to come with me on my
adventures?" By the time the film ends
we've seen it all, from voyeurism to
S&M, from snippets of stag films to gay
love-making. Making Love hardly
dares to show two men kissing, Taxi
goes a great deal further.
As a movie, however, Taxi Zum Klo
has a few problems. Foremost is its
slow, deliberate pacing. Frank is an in-
teresting character but too often
nothing happens in the film. His lover,
Berndt, wants a sedate home-life,
Frank wants action and no respon-
sibilities. In the film this tense relation-
ship just comes across as dull.
Along with the low-budget production
values, which are manifested in bad
lighting and out of focus shots, Taxi
doesn't make it as a complete movie.*
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . .. . .
W HILE THE vast majority of the musical world is con-
tent to perform works from Haydn to the present, a
growing faction has reached back and rediscovered the
baroque period. The Versailles Chamber Orchestra, which
presented a concert at Rackham Auditorium on Feb. 18,
seems to be a part of that faction.
Led by Bernard Wahl, the first work on the program was
the "Suite de Symphonies" by Aubert. In this rather dry
French work the group exhibited considerable technical
precision, but lacked the spirit that was so prevalent in the
Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields' performance of similar
works last year.
The second work, "Concerto No. 1" by Rameau, was a little
livlier in character. The harpsichordist added some very nice
punctuations and although her realizations were a little spar-
se at times, they were very much in character.
The Bach "Concerto in E major for Violin and Orchestra"
featured Maryvonne le Dizes, the first violinist, as soloist.
This Bach work, always a crowd pleaser, provided the first
real signs of life of the evening. The mournful Adagio
movement was particularly enjoyable with its understated
bass line and dramatic accompaniment.
The second half of the concert began with the Mozart
"Divertimento in C major." This work should not have been -
programmed after the Bach because its subtle elegance
sounded trite after the heavy, contrapuntal drama. However,
the first Allegro movement contained enough lilting lyricism
to lend the piece its proper nobility.
The concert ended with the "Sinfonietta" by Roussel. The
most modern work of the evening (Roussel died in 1937), it
was quite heavily scored. Unfortunately, it sounded a little
dull, probably due to the incessant wild gestures of conductor
Wahl who looked as if he were conducting an orchestra of
hundreds rather than one of slightly more than 10.
For an encore, the group performed the last movement of
the "Sonata in D minor" by Leclair, and the audience was
transported back into the land of the French baroque. It's a
nice era to visit, but be glad that the rest of the musical world
doesn't live there.
MARCH 6 & 7
Saturday: 6 & 9:30pm
Sunday: 2 & 8pm
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City' is a
By Kathryn Glasgow.
A CITY POSING as a metaphor?
Sounds odd perhaps, but that's
what's happening in Louis Malle's
Atlantic City. The young and the aged,.
the old and the new, all come together
in this frantic place where dreams die
as quickly as they are born, and then
are hurriedly built again.
The film seems innocent enough. It
tells a tale of dirty life on the boar-
dwalk, complete with dangerous mafia
men, a few violent murders, and a
slightly unusual, heartwarming
romance. h fmakes for a captivating
story, but not an uncommon one. Atlan-
tic City is like a modern-day western
with a somewhat predictable plot, but
an entertaining one nonetheless. True,
we leave the film satisfied, but not
What of this dangling metaphor?
There is a nagging feeling that
something has been left unanswered, or
not wholly understood. The city a
metaphor-for what, and why? We are
used to finding all of the meaning and
symbolism in the story itself, with the
setting acting as a relatively
unassuming backdrop. In this film,
there seems to be a switch of roles. It is
not until we realize the importance of
the setting in Atlantic City that we
begin to understand the film's message.
The acting is wonderful. Burt Lan-
caster plays Lou, an older, surprisingly
lovable ex-mafia member who gets in-
volved in some profitable drug dealing
and pulls off a couple of boastful mur-
ders. Susan Sarandon is Sally, the
woman Lou falls in love with, a young
aspiring blackjack dealer. She plans to
"deal her way to Europe" where she
hopes to find culture and refinement.
Their relationship is rare, not just
because of the dispartity in age, but
because of its protective, preserving
. nature. It provides, at first, a direct
contrast to the city, which fights for
preservation, but remains ironically in-
tect because it accepts, even welcomes,
change, destruction, and complete
The stability of Lou and Sally's
relationship proves temporary too, as if
the city swallows any merging of the
young and the old in its frenzied pace.
Lou finally settles for Grace (Kate
Reid), the cantankerous, bedridden
woman.that he takes care of.
All of this takes place amidst casinos,
old buildings that-are being demolished
and replaced by modern, more attrac-
tive ones, and signs that read "Atlantic
City. You're back on the map again."
But like the buildings on the boar-
dwalk, the sins of the city resurface as
quickly as they are eliminated.
The best scene in the movie comes at
the very end. We see Lou and Grace
stroll off together down the boardwalk
and the film cuts to a huge, white
building being demolished - by a
swinging wrecker ball. Each time the
giant ball hits, the background music
changes, playing songs we have heard
in other scenes throughout the movie.
Each type of music represents a dif-
ferent character. Their ages vary,
times have changed, but their dreams
are still similar. They are bonded
together in this common place, living in
both the past andthe future, in a city
that awaits its rebirth.
by 5:00 PM
Feb. 22, 1982
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