The Michigan Daily Sunday, April 11, 1982 Page5
fr Om N el
EIL SIMON has a talent for writ-
ing "people" movies - movies
that present the common, everyday
problems that are a part of contem-
porayj lifestyles. Because he reflects
current social trends, Simon's work is
accessible to everyone beacuse it is
easy to relate to and because it fulfills a
desire to be entertained.
Usually. This time, however, Neil
Simon falls short of his characteristic
style. "I Ought To Be In Pictures"
never manages to get off the ground.
It's almost entertaing, but not quite.
It's funny sometimes, but not consisten-,
tly. It's good, but not really.
The movie tells the story of Libby
Tucker, a spunky, nineteen-year-old,
played by Dinah Manoff, who travels
from New York to California to become
A movie star (she says), but really to
see her father, who deserted her family
sixteen years before. What follows Lib-
by's surprise arrival in Hollywood is a
r6union with her father, played by a
not-so-funny Walter Matthau, who is, a
gruff, lazy, unemployed screenwriter
.(hardly the person to help Libby enter
- Ultimately, he learns a lesson about
life from his confident, tough, high-
spirited daughter. Ann Margaret
(almost unrecognizable in her subdued
role) is Matthau's girlfriend, Steffie,
who also benefits from Libby's visit.
There are obvious parallels between
the various characters and their per-
sonal problems. Libby's appearance in
the life of her father naturally creates
new conflicts, but mostly it forces him
to face the old ones.
When Libby comes to him for advice
about dating and sexuality and love, he
has to confront, for perhaps the first
time, his own feelings about these
topics. Maybe life isn't so bad after all..
By Jerry Brabenec
RONALD SHANNON JACKSON
and the Decoding Society lived up
to their reputation as one of the most
exciting neo-funk bands of the '80s when
they appeared at the University Club
Performing with energy and
assurance,the band bases its innovative
sound on a comprehensive understan-
ding of such diverse influences as Miles"
Davis, Charles Mingus, Terje Rypdal,
Ornette Coeman and Jimi Hendryx.
Jackson's career has taken a major,
leap since his association with
Coleman. However, where Coleman's
music often features repetitive, chant-
like melodies that fade into free im-
provisation, Jackson's works are more
coherent and planned. The rhythm of
Jackson's music is more smoothly
physical and danceable than the ner-
vous, distracted pace Coleman often
Early in the show, Jackson stopped to
ask the audience if all the instruments
were coming through in the mix.
Hearing all the parts is central to this
music, which often derives its unique
mood from the tension generated by
several apparently disparate styles
played simultaneously. All the players
were featured as soloists from time to
time, but often the emphasis was on the
interplay of all the parts, as each player
seemed to serve a particular function.
Jackson's drums featured a fairly
modest set of floor toms, with 8: or 9
cymbals suspended over the drums,
tilted inward. All of the horns and
guitars employed a full arsenal of
sound altering devices, including wah-
wah pedals, distortion devices, echoes,
and Vernon Reid's Roland guitar syn-
Henry Scott was the real find of the
night-a fiery trumpet player with the
high chops and the brilliant sound to
play lead in a big band. His solos tended
to be brief and condensed, and
generated great excitement, as Scott
displayed great technique and
flexibility and- a style that seemed to
combine Davis, Freddie Hubbard, and
Don Cherry. Saxophonist Zane Massey
had a more lyrical style, and he utilized
more repetition and inflection, nicely
Guitarist Vernon Reid was also very
impressive as he used his bank of
devices to good effect, particularly as
he played a full blown, Jimi Hendrix
style showstopper in the second half.
Bruce Johnson, on bass, played lower,
busier rhythm parts which contrasted
with Melvin Gibbs more atmospheric
,upper parts. The interplay of the bass
guitars was fascinating and confusing,
as the lines were. dovetailed so well it
was often difficult to tell who was
The first of the two sets opened with
the title tune from Jackson's most
recent album, Nasty. Opening with
slow rising phrases in the horns and
leading into a be-boppish horn melody,
this tune featured a strong trumpet solo
with a long slow countertheme in the
alto sax. "Catman" was slower with a
Davis style funk beat. In this piece
Scott blew a forceful opening solo
before playing a much simpler section
modulated into questioning tones by a
The next number was.-in a disco-like
two beat rhythm accented by a cowbell.
Jackson left his drum kit and played a
solo on a small double reed instrument
called a zirna, wailing long nasal tones
over a rapid bassline and a percussion
section of cymbals, tambourine, hand
Monday, April 12-8 p.m.
GUILD HOUSE - 802 Monroe
Bargain hows $2.50 Before 3 PM
drum, and electric guitar struck with a
drumstick. Jackson introduced this
tune as "American Gypsy, with a
The tunes in the second set weren't
introduced by title, but seemed more
complex formally, each comprised of
several contrasting sections. On at
least one number the seams between
different rhythmic passages were not
exactly airtight, and it seemed that
drummer/composer Jackson had sim-
ply picked two' beats that didn't fit
together too well.
See JACKSON'S, Page 7
+ INDIVIDUAL THEATRES
- 5 -At -t-bery -761-9700
Dinah Manoff and Walter Matthau in Neil Simon's latest comedy-drama, I
Ought To Be In Pictures.'
LME ON THE
FRI, MON-6:55, 8:35, 10:15 (R)
SAT, SUN-12:15, 1:55, 3:35, 5:15,
In two hours, the three main characters
Herb, Libby and Steffie, learn an
amazing amount about living and
loving. You never dreamed it could be
None of the characters come alive,
which eems a fault of both the actors
themselves and the script they had to
work with. The actors don't seem to be
using- their full potential, but even if
they are, the dialogue is just not that
funny to begin with. The jokes are the
same, typical ones we've heard a
million times before.
The movie improves somewhat
during its conclusion. Here the film's
message emerges. Matthau says,
"What I fear most about attachment is
unattachment." This is simple wisdom
and therefore realistic to the audience.
Most of us can understand Matthau's
fear. It exemplifies, however, the tone
of symbolic moralizing that lies under
the guise of lukewarm comedy and
characterizes the entire film. Some
people may find "I Ought To Be In Pic-
tures" enjoyable, saying that it is cute
and entertaining. Ultimately, it's a lit-
tle too cute, a little too predictable, and
hardly entertaining at all.
4th Smash Week!
The trap is set...
For a wickedly funny
I y Don Rubin
Which of the following play-
ing cards are standard, that
is, of typical design? And
which have been doctored?
Simply draw an "X"
through each of the frauds.
This week's solution will ap-
pear in next Saturday's Daily.
LAST WEEK'S SOLUTION:
The solutions (da sinistra a
1) Rabbit Redux
2) Breakfast of Champions
3) Lord of the Flies
4) The Grapes of Wrath
5) For Whom the Bell Tolls
6) The Kandy-Kolored
7) Armies of the Night
8) Great Expectations
9) Of Mice and Men
10) Death in the Afternoon
11) The Last Tycoon
12) (Henderson) The Rain
13) Treasure Island
14) The Breast
15) The.Sensuous Woman
16) On the Road
17) Gone with the Wind
18) To Have and Havenot
19) Catcher in the Rye
20) In Cold Blood
21) Of Human Bondage
FRI, MON-7:15, 9:25 (PG)
SAT, SUN-12:45, 2:55, 5:05,
J: l i
Jx * 9i
0 1962 United Feature Syndicate, inc.
LAST WEEK'S WINNERS:
1. JC04 nwith these crazyV Puzzles?
C6Cl Up WiM