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November 30, 1982 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-11-30

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The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, November 30, 1982

Page 7

'Last Unicorn'

By Joshua Bilmes
T HE LAST UNICORN comes from
the people responsible for The
Sword and the Sorceror, Raise the
Titanic, and some of the finest in Satur-
day morning kidvid. While these three
wrongs do not exactly make a right,
they do not make a wrong either, for
The Last Unicorn does have its momen-
ts. The moments just do not add up to a
whole film.
The script, by Peter S. Beagle (from
his novel of the same name) concerns,
not surprisingly, the last unicorn in the
world. She finds out from a butterfly
that she can find all the other unicorns
in the world if she is brave. The other
unicorns, you see, were chased
someplace by the Red Bull. Being
lonely, the last unicorn decides to look
for all the other unicorns.
Along the way, she stops by Mommy
Fortuna's Midnight Carnival. There,
she meets Schmendrik the Magician
who helps her escape, and off they go
again. They pick up another friend for
the journey who is the wife, or
something, of the world's equivalent of
Robin Hood. After a while, all three
reach the fortress of King Haggard,
who, it is rumored, controls the Red
By this time, Schmendrik has
managed to change the unicorn's body
to that of a human girl. King Haggard

and his son fall in love with this girl.
Before they manage to join up with a
yellow-brick road the Red Bull is found,
and the whole affair ends on a more or
less happy note with the Bull and the
evil King Haggard defeated and all the
other unicorns freed. The star unicorn,
by the way, gets back to her own body.
'I'his is all a nice, corny plot, which I
suppose is what animated movies are
supposed to have. The thing is, the plot
walks around without motivation, and
there is no real empathy developed with
the characters, in part because the ex-
position at the film's beginning is not
handled well. All is not lost, though.
Schmendrik's voice is provided by Alan
Arkin, and at times, he manages to
inject some humor into the
proceedings. There are some nice songs
sung by America and a decent musical
score that make the film touching in
parts. The animation, done overseas, is
less detailed than that found in Disney
films, but it is not as awful as the Satur-
day morning TV schlock. It serves to
direct the viewer toward the characters
and away from the backgrounds.
But the film is dull. Because the
characters are so poorly developed and
the plot so unmotivated, you end up not
caring about what is going on in the
film. If you do not care about that, there
is not really much to care about. All you
do is just stare at the screen and laugh
when Schmendrik tries to cast a spell
and cry when it looks like things might

icks out
be going bad for the unicorn. But you
never really get involved.
An all-star cast of voices including
Robert Klein, Angela Lansbury, Mia
Farros and Christopher Lee cannot
read life into the script's unmotivated
characters. At the end of the film,.Sch-
mendrik tells Haggard's son that the
last unicorn would remember him
"when men are fairy tales and books
written by rabbits." I, too, had a sub-
conscious longing to be reading Water-
ship Down. The Last Unicron is, at best,
a small diversion from writing endless
papers and studying for all the finals
coming up at semester's end.


UAC Soph Show '82

Al lShows
"Linda Lee Tracy, a former
stripper who could become to the
80's what GvPsv Rose Lee was
to the 40's" --Vincent Canby
a motion picture about
War-Nin: you are otfended
by~ gr. tic subject matter.
we urge you rnot to see ths film
Tues-4:50, 6:40, 8:30, 10:20
Wed-1:10, 3:00, 4:50, 6:40, 8:30, 10:20
The most praised and loved ro-
mantic film of the season.
Tues-5:10, 7:20, 9:30
Wed-12:50, 3:00, 5:10, 7:20, 9:30

;Nicholas Pennell stars in Shakespeare's 'Tempest' playing opening
tomorrow night at the Power Center.
Stormy spotlght
centers on Pennell

Magic and mystery at
symphony concert

By Elliot Jackson
T HE FIRST of the Theatre
Department's Power Series
productions, Shakespeare's The Tem-
est, opens Dec. 1 in the Power Cen-
er, and features as its Guest Artist
Nicholas Pennell, who will appear as
Mr. Pennell, long one of Stratford,
Canada's premier actors, has appeared
before in University productions; most;
recently in1979 as Richard III.
The director of the Power Series
Tempest, Richard Burgwin, has as his
design concept a Neo-Classical vision of
Prospero's isle. The paintings of
& acques-Louis Davide, according to the
nrofessional Theatre Program's Dian-
ne Cenko, provided much of the in-
spiration for the scenic design.
One of the ideas behind the concept,
explained Cenko, was to minimize the
set, which will be egg-shaped and
raked, with pillars all around. For
example, the ship that is called for in
the first scene will be suggested, rather
than actually appearing on stage, by
lighting, and by the use of revolves on
*tage. The spirit of 18th century Neo-
o Neil mc
combe a
NEW YORK (AP)- Actress Jennifer
O'Neill has made her first public ap-
arance since accidentally shooting
*erself in the stomach last month and
says she's "feeling fine" and hopes to
return to work soon.
Investigators ruled the Oct. 22
shoting at her suburban Bedford Hills

Classicism will shine forth in all
elements of the production-in the
costumes, in the set, and in the music
from the period that is used throughout.
The reason behind this concept, ac-
cording to Cenko, is that The Tempest
"lends itself yery well" to this period,
and, furthermore, that working within
the framework of such a concept would
act as a challenge to the actors and the
director. "The sleek lines of the Neo-
Classical, as well as the spectacle of
this Shakespeare play, will make what
Dr. Burgwin thinks to be a very attrac-
tive show for the audience," she said.
As to the thought behind the spec-
tacle, Dr. Burgwin's own words serve
us best as an indicator. Prospero, after
having neglected his duties as Duke of
Milan to study magic, and had his
dukedom usurped as a result, must use
"his powers to restore the order that
has been broken and . . forego his
supernatural powers and return to his
human responsibility. In the resolution,
there is . . . a realistic appraisal of the
discipline needed for coping with a dif-
ficult, but not impossible, future.
"In this sense, The Tempest is very
much a play for our time."
ikes a
after injury
home accidental. Westchester District
Attorney Carl Vergari said the gun was
unlicensed and a grand jury is hearing
evidence tordetermine whether charges
should be brought.
"You know, it's ironic that this thing
happened, because I really hate guns,"
she said.

By Knute Rife
rainy Sunday afternoon. The Ann
Arbor Symphony Orchestra is giving a
free concert. I walk into the hall. I have
seen better organized riots. It is.
"Family Day"; kids are running all
over the place, mugging people for
I finally find a decent place to sit in an
upper balcony where the ushers are
handing out oxygenmasks. I check the
program: Mussorgsky's"Night on
Bald Mountain," Dukas' "The Sor-
cerer's Apprentice," Williams' "Star
Wars Medley," and Offenbach's "Over-
ture to Orpheus in the Underworld."
Good music for adding a little light to a
gray day.
The music begins. Not bad. Wait a
minute. There are flashing lights all
over the place. And pyrotechnics. And
flashy props and costumes. What's
next, Mick Jagger?
No, it's Franz Harary and Company's
Odyssey in Illusion, a multi-media show
featuring magic, and mime accom-
panied by symphonic music. The Com-
pany is a local group, and the show has
won awards from magic organizations.
People appear, disappear, and
levitate in thin air as the Mussorgsky
swirls in the background. The kids next
to me are saying, "I know there's a
trick there' someplace." Pseudo-
sophisticated, snot-nosed punks these
days. Finals loom before me; I have to
believe in magic.
Mime Ken Norman and some

assistants act out "The Sorcerer's Ap-
prentice." Not bad, but too complex for
some of the younger elements in the
audience. The Williams' piece is ac-
companied by more magic. The
arrangement sounds simplified,
especially in the brass. Good thing,
because the trumpets have been weak
all afternoon.
Now it is the orchestra's turn to
laugh. The concertmistress is marched
to the scaffold, and, after much ado, her
head is placed in the guillotine. The
blade falls and her head..,tremains at-
tached. In the final trick a member of
the company was less lucky, as she was
chopped into four parts and shuffled
before they finally got her back
together, all to the strains of "Gaiete
Parisienne" from the Offenbach piece.
The show was over, and it was time to
return to the real world. For the
duration of the concert I had forgotten
about hard-edged reality, quite a bit to
ask these days.


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