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March 26, 1983 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-26

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ARTS
Saturday, March 26, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Page 5:

Animation keeps the ree

s ralling

*1

By Katie Brewer

S TRANGE CLAY FIGURES and od-
dly mutating images held audiences
captivated in a musty old lecture room
in Angell Hall Thursday evening. The
occasion was the Ottawa International
Animated Film Festival presented by
the Ann Arbor Film Cooperative.
The night began with a series of
recent animated films, two of which are
in the running for this year's Academy
Award for Best Animated film.
The Great Cognito (Will Vinton, 1982,
USA) concerns a comedian/imper-
sonator who mutates into the figures he
imitates. The storyline is effectively
brought out by the use of claymation -
using clay figures to carry out the ac-
tion of the story. The comedy sketch
revolves around political figures of
World War II and goes so far as to por-
tray the various battles on the
shoulders of the comedian as his head
disappears. Finally, he leaves the stage
in tears amidst the cheers of the
audience claiming that he cannot con-
tinue to do something in which there is

no humor. The film is an examination of
the thin line between serious matters
and comedy material.
Tango (Zbigniew Rybczynski, 1981,
Poland) is another film nominated for
this year's Oscar. Stunning in its
realism, the film portirays a number of
people going about their own personal
business in one small room. To the beat
of a steamy tango, more people enter the
room until there are close to twenty-
five persons in this very small space.
The film is a commentary on fate and
the impersonalism of human existence.
According to film professor Frank
Bearer, Tango has the best chance of
winning the 1983 Animation Academy
Award.
There were other films included in
the festival which were equally enter-
taining and interesting. Opens Wed-
nesday (Barry Nelson, 1981, USA) was
a rousing beginning to the festival
presenting a series of bizarre and
changing images under the premise of
a play preparing for opening night. This
piece is entertaining in its artistic
presentation as weird creatures are
cleverly transformed into other odd

shapes. For instance, a fish swallows a
man who is fishing then becomes the
man himself until a female fish kisses
him and returns him to fishood. He and
his bride fly to their house, which the
fish transforms into right before it ex-
plodes into a new segment of shapes
and configurations.
Also included in the festival were a
number of foreign films. One Japanese
short was especially delightful. It
follows the story of adorable pink and
blue monkeys in their quest for the,,
moon. The driving jungle music as well
as the colofufl animation creates an ef-
fective mood for this film. It is also a
good example of the way in which
animation can break language barriers
in telling a story.
Like ali films, animation has its share
of films honored for their symbolic
value. The most striking of these were
the films that illustrated the struggle
between freedom and individuality and
repression and conformity. Although
these films had a point to drive home,
they did not lose their amusing quality.
Two films stood out as having quite a

different message; one more contem-
porary and obvious. Current Events
(Bruce Woodside, 1981, USA) is a film;
made in cooperation with the Southern
California Energy Conservatoon
Association. It presents a series of
sketches showing wasteful energy
practices which was quite entertaining
in presenting its message.
The other was a film entitled Doin'
What the Crowd Does (Peter Wallach,
1981, USA) of which Paul Newman ser-
ved as executive producer..This film
presented a group of realistically-
drawn teenagers singing of their own
identity apart from the drug-oriented
group.
As a special treat, the Ann Arbor
Film Cooperative displayed a collection
of past Academy Award winning,
animated films between showings that
were as enjoyable as the batch of recent,
films. This second feature included a{
rhythmical children's story by Dr.
Suess, a Pink Panther cartoon,a short
called The Critic which was narrated
by Mel Brooks, and a fascinating use of
sand animation called The Sand Castle.

An evening of international
humor from Sy Kleinman

*By Mary Claire Hughes
SF YOU WANT to live a long life,
there's one thing you must
renember - Every day, get up!" And
if you want to have a good laugh,
there's one man you should consider -
Sy Kleinman. A popular Jewish
humorist, Kleinman tells it like it is,
and was. His fast moving reportoire is
mostly comprised of childhood stories
- the quotation above bespeaks, the
sage advice given to him from 'his
grandfather.
While growing up in the Bronx during
the Depression, he acquired a sense of
humor regarding life as a poor Jewish
boy. He fondly recalls, "We always had
a pushkeh (charity box) in the house.
One day I asked my grandmother, Why
,do we put money in the pushkeh? 'It's
for the poor people' she said, to which I
replied, 'What are we?'
At one moment he'll have you
chuckling at the poverty of charity and
then launch into the stinginess of wealth
which evokes just as much laughter:
"My uncle used to say, 'When it comes
Records
Geof Morgan-'Finally
Letting It Go' (Flying
Fish Records)
Many record reviewers here at The
Daily mourn the loss of any respect that
our readers ever had for us. The sad
fact is that too many of you just scan
the page without caring about the ex-
tensive analysis and emotion that go in-
to a good record review. The sly reader
has discovered an instant indicator that
does away with, the need to actually
read our glorious prose. Here's the tip:
the quality of the album is directly
proportional to the length of the review.
I will play along with this harsh jour-
nalistic reality by keeping the review of
(eof Morgan's album Finally Letting It.
Go very short. It would be irresponsib-
le for me to encourage any purchase of
this music by writing a deceptively long
article.
The problem is that he tries to
make his music into a pep-talk-a pep-
talk that turns out to be as convincing
as a punker trying to get you to put a
safety pin through your nose. If you are
one who fell for the old safety-pin trick,
you might just fall for this. In fact, Geof
Morgan is a pretty good antedote for
safety-pin, violence-oriented sound-
music; like stomach flu is an antedote
for the gout. Admittedly, this is nice

to giving, I stop at nothing."' Klein-
man's humor is good-natured as well as
insightful. You don't have to be Jewish
to love, NewYork Rye or to relish
Kleinman's wit.
Kleinman's jokes poke fun at the
quirks and foibles inherent to all human
nature. He intersperses his monologue
with Yiddish accents as well as
Southern, Irish, and Spanish - ap-
propriate to his respective tale. His
punchlines truly stretch the gamut and
you'll be hugging your stomach and
roaring the loudest when you see your-
self in one of Kleinman's jokes.
A man of endless talents, Kleinman is
but a part-time humorist. He attended
Harvard University, is currently a
prominent attorney, and also teaches
law once a week at Columbia Univer-
sity. He comes to Ann Arbor through
the Celebration of Jewish Arts, spon-
sored by B'nai B'rith, Hillel Com-
munity. Tickets are available at Hillel
as well as at the door for tonight's show
at the Michigan Theater. There are
group rates and a nearly 50% discount
rate for students. A show you don't
want to miss!

Paul Geremia revives blues at the cafe

By Jeff Gibson
I REALLY DON'T mind writing
another preview for another Paul
Geremia show at the Blind Pig. Of
course any of you that were fortunate
enough to catch his act last October
need not read any further. I'll see you at
the show. Those of you who have not
been initiated into the world of Paul
Geremia, however, might want to bear
with me.
It may seem profound to categorize
this journeyman country blues singer
as t.1 last of a dying breed. He is not.
Ann Arbor sees more bluesman in six
months than Eric Clapton or John
Mayall could catalogue in an entire
career (witness their latest efforts).
Sadly, the dying breed is the blues
audience that were awakened by the
aforementioned Bluesbreakers in the

mid-'60s. Geremia and his contem-
pories must face a current reality: If
we can't dance to it we won't pay cover,
and if we must sit we would rather be
labotomized by our Blue Oyster Cults,
our Clashes or our Ultravoxes
(although I must confess that I enjoy a
post-orbital once over as much as the
next guy). These days, as much as
anything, we need to slow down every
so often and sit and feel and listen to
where we've come from and not to
where we are going. Ann Arbor offers
many such opportunities. But they
don't come ipuch better in the blues
tradition than Paul Geremia.
So here we have Paul Geremia who is
most likely working his way back home
to Rhode Island promoting his latest LP
I Really Don't Mind Livin' (on Flying
Fish records). He started promoting it
here last October with a most satisfying
two night stand at the Blind Pig. The

album itself is a remarkable compen-
dium of blues and current originals.
Geremia's thoughts on his own songs
provide an interesting insight into the
bluesman and his personal philosophy:
"The Truth Is on the Streets"-I
wrote this song in 1973, and since
then the world has only gotten more
squirrelly. Big business and mind-
control media threaten us more than
ever.
"See Saw Blues"-Sometimes it's
best to get off the see saw before
your rear end gets sb calloused that
you don't even know you're still on
it.

"I Really Don't Mind Livin"'-You'
pay the price of freedom and you
pay the price for the flip side of the
coin, too. I try to see to it thdr
making these payments is as en-
joyable as possible.
Go to the Blind Pig tonight. Ignore the
noisy floorboards above. Sit back,
relax, sip a cappucino or your favorite.
poison. And realize the blues as they,
were made to be and are performed.
Between sets or after the show, you
may just want to buy Paul a drink (and
ladies, his leer has been known to be
devastating). But, above all, enjoy
yourself by taking it slow and easy for a
change. If you really don't mind.

quiet music that could calm ears
ravaged by AC-DC or the like, it does
nothing, however, to calm a need for
music that contains thought or sincere
original emotions.
Morgan's heart is in the right place
but his music isn't. For instance, he
believes that we should occasionally
abandon convention and just let go.
Witness the way in which he expressed
this sentiment. "I'm gonna be silly,
take it all willy nully/I'm gonna be a
fool, throw away the rules, gonna laugh
when I don't know/I'm gonna be silly,
maybe go dancing on a lily ... " I'm
gonna be sick. All those lyrics leave us
with is a knowledge that he passed kin-
dergarten poetry.
Allow me to preach, Who do so many
musicians feel that they can get away
with meaningless words? Too many
just spew, they don't teach or even

elicit genuine feeling. This is a wonder-
ful case in point. All the time he's
telling us that he's gonna be silly, we're
sitting there saying 'congratulations,
anyone can be an idiot, why not just put
a safety pin through your nose?' We
know that he is silly, what he doesn't
tell us is why he is, or why we should be
silly. So what's the point?
Obviously this album sort of caught
me on a bad day. I might be being a bit
hard on Geof. After all he's a symptom,
not the cause. If bad music can be sold,
the problem lies in he who buys, not in
he who sells. That's where you come in.
With your help maybe we can make a
difference. Don't buy this album, and
tell your friends that this review is
deceivingly long.
-Jim Boyd

UAC MUSKET presents
March 31, A pril 1,2 at 8:00 pm - A pril 3 at 2:00 pm
U of M Power Center * Tkts $5.50 /$6.50
Tickets available at Michigan Union Ticket Off ice
For more info call 763-1107

,\,

THE DAILY
CLASSIFIEDS
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
FAST RESULTS
CALL 764-0551

1k

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ANN ARBOR
2 INDIVIDUAL THEATRES 1
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ACADEMY
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MERYL STREEP
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THIS IS A HELL OF A WAY
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Tootsie
DUSTIN
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A COLUMBIA l ;
PICTURES RELEASE

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GANDHI
The Man of
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A COELUME1A
FiPICTUkdFS RELE ASE

No $1 Tues.
or Discounts

Savannah
300
Smiles 5:00
7:15
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PG J@2 EMBASSY P CTURMS
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--

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A FUN ACTION FILM
IN THE TRADITIONAL
HOLLYWOOD STYLE
)HiGH RoAD
Th CHINA
TOM SELLECK
BESS ARMSTRONG

10:00 T
12:15
2:30
4:45

9:15
10:00
12:15
2:30
5:00
7:00
9:00

4.MAX
4 DUGAN
7 RETURNS

tses

1:00
3:00
5:00
7:15
9:30

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