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September 27, 1983 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-09-27

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, September 27, 1983

Page 5

'Zelig:' Success sans zeal

- ..

By Richard Campbell
W OODY ALLEN'S latest film is al-
most as odd as Leonard Zelig, the story's
main character. That makes Zelig, the
movie, peculiar, light, and not par-
ticularly interesting.
Allen holds a unique position in
American film history. Few directors
have developed their art so publicly.
His early films, Take the Money and
Run, Bananas, Sleeper, were
sight/gag-filled jokeathons. Combined
with his esoteric brand of New York in-
tellectual humor, Allen seemed
destined to make such comedies
forever.
But rather than remaining static, as
Mel Brooks has, Allen's craft has con-
tinued to grow. Love and Death wrap-
ped many of Alen's best comedy around
more difficult;issues, such as love and
death. With Annie Hall, Allen directed a
classic romantic comedy in his own bit-
tersweet style and justly walked off
with Best Picture and Director Oscars.
But then Allen seemed to question his
potential for comedic exposition. In In-

teriors, Allen aped Bergman's overly
dramatic style with little success. Yet it
was a gamble that a lesser director
would not even have attempted.
Manhattan gave us more romantic
comedy, but with a darker, more
anguished edge. Stardust Memories
flatly explored Allen's comic dilemma:
How do you put laughs in serious films?
After that wrongly maligned exercise,
Allen gave us Midsummer Night's Sex
Comedy, a wonderfully summery
movie that appeared to indicate a cer-
tain cinematic maturity. Allen seemed
completely, aware of his talents and
used them to make a joyous minor
masterpiece.
Now we have Zelig. It's difficult to
place it in the continuum of Allen films
because it is so inconsequential. Zelig
looks as though Allen has filmed one of
his short stories from Without
Feathers. The style and direction are as
sharp as ever, but there just isn't much
content. The film is only 80 minutes
long, and even that's stretching the
material a bit.
The main character, Leonard Zelig,
is a man with a hidden talent. Zelig,
with his secret wish to be safe by con-
forming, transforms himself into those

people to which he is nearest. Speaking
to an overweight man, Zelig gains
weight. As doctors analyze Zelig, he
starts talking psychological double-
talk.
This amazing idea may be the star-
ting point for a brilliant movie,. but
Zelig isn't it. The joke is never
developed beyond its most superficial
limits. Zelig undergoes hypnosis to
reveal the root of this malady, and we
learn that he changes in order to
remain inconspicuous, to remain safe.
Not a very interesting insight.
Allen's mimicing of the documentary
style is nearly perfect, however, and
gives the material much needed in-
terest. Combining old newsreel footage
and badly lit interviews with Zelig's
contemporaries and biographers, Zelig
relishes in the mixture between reality
and illusion. The photography by Gor-
don Willis, usually beautiful in itself, is
now reduced to just the right shade of
scratched, jerky film which makes it
indistinguishable from the original
footage. Allen, as Zelig, walks around
these antique photographic frames with

complete ease; one wonders if perhaps
Zelig didn't really exist.
The cast that Allen has rounded up is
worthy of uniform praise. Mia Farrow,
as the psychologist who cures Zelig and
with whom Zelig naturally falls in love,
portrays her own insecurities and
inadequacies wonderfully. Her acting is
all the more amazing when one realizes
that most of Zelig is composed of either
silent movies or still photographs with
only a typical documentary narrator
for explanation.
Ultimately Zelig is just as much of a'
curiosity as Leonard Zelig. It is
amazing to read some of the other'
reviews of the film which indicate that
it is celluloid's version of the second"
coming. On the contrary, Zelig is an.4-
fable little film, that doesn't try to d&
too much and succeeds on its own level
of entertainment. After all, Allen did'
write the screenplay, so it is still filled,
with Allenesque puns, jokes, and rid
dies. The fact that the film isn't up to
Allen's directorial calibre doesn't mea,
that Zelig isn't a fun film by itself. Just
don't expect a heck of a lot else.

In his latest film Woody Allen plays Leonard Zelig, a chameleon-like charac-
ter who shuns individuality in order to gain social acceptance.

Polished pork achieves heights

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By Joe Hoppe
L OOK, UP IN THE SKY. It's a bird,
it's a plane, it's a Pig With Wings
soaring high over Tuesday night. The
pig's wings are loaded with missiles;
the -technology for which has indeed
been researched and developed in Ann
Arbor, in the streets, in the Residential
College, and in the city's secret
bohemian corners.
Boom goes one missile. It lands in
East Quad's basement and sets up the
Coffee Cabana. Whoosh, in comes the
second strike, fun and entertainment
burst from its multiple warheads. The
Stress Babies spring forth with in-
telligent pop music. An organist echoes
his instrument off the walls of the Cof-
fee Cabana. Jazzy piano gets played.
Two poets read. Maybe a bluegrass
band turns up. Much other stuff hap-

pens -all under the wings of the pig.
Pigs with Wings is officially a student
organization, supporting all manner of
arts in any way that it can. Right now it
mainly sponsors free fun times like the
one tonight at the Halfway Inn, but the
ever-hungry beast is always expanding.
According to Jay Frost, president of
the pig, right now the organization has
four goals: 1) Investigating a national
hotline for scholarships. 2) Pulling
together all the campus magazines
having to do with literary works. 3) Ex-
panding into profit and nonprofit
divisions. And 4) providing a low-priced
music referral service. And then of
course there are the shows. Watch for
performances once a month in East
Quad, and then beware of other hap-
penings in the future, hopefully at
places like The Performance Network.
Tonight's show is the season
premiere. The pig has been flying
around Ann Arbor for three years now.

Last year's highlights included a great
showcase of Residential College poets'
readings (including several Hopwood
winners), a performance by Impact
Dance, and the debut, of the shortlived
Dharma Bums.
Witness the flight of the pig for free.
Get involved if you like. "We're looking
for people not just to perform, but to
work," says Frost, whose phone num-
ber is 764-3685 for those wishing to par-
ticipate in the flying porcine.
ULTIMATE TAILGATE PICNIC
FOR RENT: 35' Luxureous Motor
Home. Home and Away games.
Groups up to 20.
Call 663-5162

FREE MEDIUM SIZE OF RI K
rchs P
expires 10-5-83x

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Fr

tAVAiAM4

Double guitars pick the Ark

FREE UNIVERSITY COURSES NOW OPEN
Six week free courses on social change
FREE UNIVERSITY COURSES " all are about some aspect of social change for human liberation " meet once a week,
for up to two hours, for six weeks " involve minimal readings or outside work + begin in the week of October 2nd.
ALLFREE UNIVERSITY COURSES ARE + open to all U-M students as well as others interested 0 offered free of charge + led by
knowledgeable people who have volunteered " participatory in style - free from grades, credits and other
restrictions 0 sponsored by the Michigan Student Assembly, LSA Student Government and Canterbury Loft.
TO SIGN UP " just come to the first meeting at the place listed below. a The first meeting is informational. People
formally join the course by coming to the second meeting.
FOR MORE INFORMATION 0 about specific courses, call the resource person at the number indicated. About the
Free University generally, call 665-0606. Here are the tourses offered this Fall:

By Frank Schraner
A S THE FIRST of 14 scheduled per-
for mances in the 1983-84 Kithara
Classical Guitar Series, guitarists
Helene Rottenberg and Michael Casher
will be appearing at 8 p.m. Tuesday at
The Ark.
R The duo's program will consist of
three solos apiece and five duets, in-
cluding Ravel's "Pavane For a Dead
Princess." Other composers represen-
ted in the program include Albeniz,
Bach, Carulli, Coste, Dowland,
Granados, Mudarra, Scheidler, and
Tarrega.

Rottenberg, 30, a Detroit resident, has
played guitar for 17 years and has a
master's degree in musicology from
the University of Michigan. She is a
full-time guitar instructor at Herb
David Guitar Studio in Ann Arbor,
Madonna College in Livonia, and
Clarkston Conservatory of Music in
Clarkston.
Casher, 32, an Ann Arbor resident,
has played guitar for 20 years. Besides
being a guitarist, Casher is a
psychiatrist with a private practice in
Ann' Arbor. He is also on the staff of
Mercywood Hospital in Ann Arbor and
does consulting work for Ann Arbor's
University Hospital, the Washtenaw
County Community Mental Health Cen-

ter, and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
Rottenberg and Casher have played
as a duo for over three years and their
performance Tuesday night will be
their third ever in the Kithara series,
dating back to 1981. Admission is $5.
THE DAILY
CLASSIFIEDS
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
FAST RESULTS
CALL 764-0557

The Draft and Militarism
We will deal with the ethical and legal implications of facing
the draft and militarism. Technical and philosophical
questions reagrding Selective Service and military service
will be considered. The many forms of resisting militarism
will be discussed as well as issues of veterans.
Resource Person: Mary Roth, evenings at 663-5378
First Meeting: Thursday, October 6th, 7:30 PM, Quaker
House, 1416 Hill St.
Feminist Poetry: Writing for Social Change
A group for those trying to write feminist poetry or with an
interest in it. We'll meet as peers and discuss whatever
issues (in writing and feminism) concern us. If the
art/craft/skill, as well as the politics, of feminist poetry is
important to us, how can we learn to utilize new standards
and methods of criticism gleaned from' our work as
feminists?
Resource People: Ruth Schwartz, 663-3514, or Theo tight,
761-5957
First Meeting: Wednesday, October 5th, 7:30 pm, Canter-
bury Loft, 332 S. State St. (above Bivouac).
issues and Perspectives in City Government
This course offers the opportunity to observe first hand how
local government operates. Students can attend one or more
City Council meetings (Mondays at 7:30 PM) and one or more
Democratic Caucus meetings (Fridays at 4:30 PM at City
Hall). Weekly course meetings will focus on issues and
strategies with elected Democratic councilpeople. .(City
Council and Caucus meetings are optional.)
Resource People: Kathy Edgren, Rafe Ezekiel, and Larry
Hunter
Phone Contact: Larry Hunter at 668-6165
First Meeting: Thursday, October 6th, 7:30 PM, City Hall,
First Floor, Democratic Council Offices (5th Ave. at Huron).
Land, Peace, and Justice
The course will examine the role and future of agriculture in
the United States. Areas to consider include: urban sprawl
and the politics of farmland preservation; conflict between
agribusiness and small-scale regional agriculture; and local
action alternatives for change.
Resource Person: Kathy Hayes, days at 663-1870
First Meeting: Monday, October 3rd, 7:30 PM, Pine
Room, Wesley Foundation, 602 E. Huron St. (corner of
State)
Nietzsche, Marx, and America
Neitzsche and Marx reiected morality, Christianity, and ab-
stract sociological methods. They were concerned with
the problem of how to create a'space' where individuals can
express the most vital parts of the self. We will consider their
similarities and differences and work to form some notion of
the American destiny.'
Resource Person: Glen Perice, evenings at 996-2894
First Meeting: Tuesday, October 4th, 7:30 PM.
Rnnm 290 TvlIr Hnus Fnet Ond

Non-Violence in Action
Sessions will focus on non-violent action with an emphasis
on practical matters. This course should prepare people for
non-violent campaigns on a variety of issues. We will
operate on both intellectual and emotional levels.
Resource Person: Richard Cleaver, days at 761-8283
First Meetin: Monday, October 3rd, 7:30 PM, Quaker
House, 1416 Hill St.
The Politics of Nuclear Disarmament
The theme of our course concerns the political issues
surrounding the arms race, the cold war, and connections to
and influence upon militarism, interventionism, and social
oppression. We will talk about the possibilities and prospects
for disarmament, peace, and social justice. This course is
aimed at people who wish to become more informed about
this issues and for those who want to become active.
Resource People: Justin Schwartz and other members of
the Michigan Alliance for Disarmament (MAD), at 995-5871
First Meeting: Thursday, October 6th, 7:30 PM,
Room 220 Tyler House, East Quad
Spirituality and Social Action
Many people feeJ the need for a spiritual base in their lives
and as a support for their social action. This course if offered
for those who want to examine a variety of approaches to
spirituality, whether or not they are now part of any one
tradition. The format will be personal sharing around ideas
such as committment, detachment, courage and gentleness,
and finding a spiritual center.
Resource Person: Jonathan Ellis, 665-0606
First Meeting: Thursday, October 6th, 4 PM, Canterbury
Loft, 332 S. State St. (above Bivouac).
Women's Lives: The Personal is Political
We will try for a composite view of women's issues from the
personal perspective. Likely topics include gender
specialization, racism, violence against women,
health/sexuality, bridging cultural differences, and feminist
theory. Sessions will be based on small groups and con-
sciousness raising.
Resource People: Julia Gittleman and Marian Milbauer
Phone Contact: Julia Gittleman, at Michigan Student
Assembly, 763-3241, 1 to 5 PM daily
First Meeting: Wednesday, October 5th, 4 PM, Canterbury
Loft, 332 S. State St. (above Bivouac)

which led yOu to your degree ---
could lIso led yOu to
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FREE UNIVERSITY SPECIAL
LECTURES OPEN TO EVERYONE
A series of lectures on social change for human
liberation will take place on Tuesdays at 4 p.m., at
Canterbury Loft as an adjunct to the Free University.
They will involve half hour or so presentations,
followed by discussion, and are OPEN TO EVER(YONE
whether or not you, are taking a Free University
course.

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