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October 14, 1983 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-10-14
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for Joan
Joan Baez
Office of Major Events
Hill Auditorium
8 p.m., Thursday, October 20
By Jim Boyd
A MERICA suffers today, not as a
whole, but as the pitiful sum of its
parts. The individual stands alone
confronting the blinking colored lights
and bleeping colored noises of the har-
nessed and yoked imagination.
* We are divorced from our infancy by
the oppressive apathy of those who
fight only themselves. Our childhood
was filled with murder, war, and
distrust in our leaders. Fifteen years
ago we weren't all alone; crying was
done communally, not within head-
phone-induced isolation. Standing
together was not always useful, but it
was always healthy.
We've got plenty of murder, war and
distrust now, but we've also got
blinking lights and electronic mazes to
chase. Very frightening it is to
recognize one's childhood as being that
much different from the present-the
gaps only widen.
Our generation was molded by civil

rights, the Vietnam War, and
Watergate. And yet we don't really
know what it was that changed us.
Those who understand are 40 years old.
How can that past exist so that its
children might understand it?
In knowing our past we might realize
that it is not so different externally from
our present. The internal changes
resulting from such a realization are
needed today. It is nesessary to get in
touch with that crazy infancy of ours.
It is here suggested that you do so by
going to see Joan Baez; but really just
pulling out an old Bob Dylan album
could also work. These people shaped
us. Joan is 42 years old, she is one that
Her musical career encompasses our
youth. In 1958 she made her professional
singing debut at the Newport Folk
Festival and throughout the '60s she
filled concert halls preaching the
struggle for a non-violent world.
She once told a crowd, "The world is
such a mess. I'd like to do something,
but I don't know just what." She ended
up doing a hell of a lot.
For a number of years in the early
'60s she began a close involvement with
the civil rights movement and Martin
Luther King. She was also a very ac-
tive demonstrator against the war in
Vietnam, was arrested and sentenced
to 90 days in jail for acts of civil
In '72 she traveled to Hanoi and was
profoundly affected by the violence she
witnessed there. Her belief in the san-
ctity of life grew ever stronger. In ad-
dition she founded the Institute for the
Study of Nonviolence and presently

Harold and Maude
Starring Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort
Directed by Hal Ashby
Playing midnights at the State Theater
Fridays and Saturdays

Joan Baez: Still crazy after all these years

heads a human rights organization,
"Humanitas International." She
possesses a very special perspective on
our childhood as well as our present.
The essential similarities and differen-
ces between the two should become

Music hath charms, but in the right
hand. it also has a hell of a lot of thought.
Joan Baez is the means by which those
of our generation can learn about the
things that shaped us and the world in
which they were born. Opportunities
such as this are disturbingly rare. [0

Richard Thompson and the
Big Band
Cellar Door
Second Chance
9:30 p.m., Sunday, October 16
By Ben Ticho
WHO'S GOING TO cure the heart of
a man in need? Consider, before
you volunteer, the melancholy, the
hesitant hopes, the earnestness this
man seems so apparently able to inflict
on his compatriots.
Consider a man who burns both ends,
who seeks comfort even as he learns
to hide emotion, who wants to but can-
not tell it, who loves and yet is vaguely
unhappy, restless.
Consider Richard Thompson. How
disturbing to realize that the Chelsea
wind which blew 1982's Shoot Out the
Lights now carries only half of the
Richard/Linda Thompson wonder. And
yea the marital sheets are shorn and
yea we hear every strand break in a
tear of heart-rending brogue.
Thompson, whose Hand of Kindness
(Hannibal Records) is surely one of the
year's more memorable offerings (not
saying much, but still), is not frenetic

inompson: nalf as mucn, twice as
or snivelling. As with his more
adolescent cousins, Big Country, you
can hear every drop of sad Irish
whiskey slide down Thompson's adept
guitar gullet. This man sings, Let me
take my chances on the Wall off
Death, and it is not frightening, but it
isn't all smiley either.
All is not down, of course. There is
beat and dancing and even rocking, as
Richard tries to be light-hearted on
"Two Left Feet" or even "Tear-Stained
Letter." -
But attend Second Chance, if you will,
for the outreach of more leaden fingers.
Consider Richard's own invitation: Oh
stranger, stranger/It don't do to
waste time/You stretch out your
hand/I stretch out mine.
Ah, the touch, the electric touch. 0

Of mice
and men
Olu Dora Quartet
Eclipse Jazz
9 p.m., Saturday, October 15
By C. E. Krell
L ast year Eclipse Jazz presented a
fascinating jazz concert which
consisted of a group called Double Ex-
change, a drum and bass duo of Cornell
Rochester and Jamaaladeen Tacuma.
With them was one "special guest"
trumpeter name of Olu Dara.
Eclipse brings the Olu Dara Quartet to
the U-Club on October 15, at around 9
p.m., for five dollars.
First, there is dirt. Black, crumbly,
dirty dirt. Dirt much like that under
houses, fingernails, etc. But what is
dirt? Well, who cares. Why argue
about it? It's filthy.
OK, inside the dirt, mixed in with all
the other yucky things, is something
called a mineral. It is a chemical con-
coction of something called a metal.
Take said mineral and throw a bunch of
other things (swiss cheese, a donut,
editors, and small children if
necessary), melt 'em down, and even-
tually after a billion processes that
nobody who really cares about will tell
you about, you come up with a hard
shiny substance known as metal. We
like metal.
Metal is great. You know, if mice

only knew how to use metal, they could
probably beat us up. I am kind of glad
that we humans know about metal.
How do mice beat people up? I guess
they probably curl up their little micey
feet and punch you. Worse, they might
manufacture some- sort of metal or-
thodontia to improve on their already
real sharp teeth, and sit there and gnaw
on your body until you are a mass of
strings and goo, andliquid.
But, thanks to fate, I guess, humans
are the only creatures to have mastered
metal. Trumpets are made of metal.
They have a lot of curves, and valves,
and tubes, and have a bell at the end.
Mr. Dara puts his mouth on this thing.
Who could do such a thing? Cold,
smooth, heartless, dead material
against your precious lips. Sort of
makes the heart jump. So anyway,
Dara, after putting his mouth on the in-4
strument, shoots a column of air down
all the tubes and valves, and a noise
comes out of the bell.
Of course, it is all conjecture..
Eclipse promises that this is what will
happen. And chances are, they are
right. However, an explanation like
this leaves one a little like tube steak in
the freezer. I hope that something a lot
more interesting happens. I have
reason to believe that it will. For if you
remember, this whole thing started
with a concert that happened last year.
Well, then Mr. Dara did more than play
the trumpet. He did lots of other neat
things with that phallus of metal. So I
recommend going to see him
manipulate the geophysical processes
of earth bound metal before your eyes.
Music to dig lots of air by. Zounds of
sounds with a variety of historical and
rhetorical imagination and inter-
pretation of a language that not the
majority understand.

By Sarah Ellin Siegel
H AROLD and Maude lynched itself
after a short run in Ann Arbor 12
years ago. That was not unusual. In
1971, as a fresh but misunderstood film,
it was destined to die everywhere it was
shown. But in 1979, Barry Miller,
manageruofthe State Theater, reached
into the film archives and brought it
back to life right here in Ann Arbor.
The film, with its soundtrack by Cat
Stevens, stars Bud Cort as a suf-
fering and pseudo-suicidal 19 year old,
and Ruth Gordon as his life-charged 80-
year-old friend. The two meet at a
funeral, though the ensuing plot is
anything but grave.
Harold learns how to "be alive" from
Maude. During one of Harold's first
visits, Maude sounds more like Thoreau
than Thoreau himself when she says,
"Greet the dawn with a breath of fire."
And during a smoke-filled evening in
the living room of her converted
caboose, Maude convinces Harold to
"live - otherwise, you've got nothing to
talk about in the locker room."
Despite Harold and Maude's
energizing plot, the film flopped its first
time around. Because of this, when
Miller purchased the movie for a
second run eight years later, he knew
not what to expect. Unpredictably,
though, Harold and Maude gained great
momentum and ran to receptive
audiences for a month.
Having watched the movie's new
success, Miller was ready to take some
more risks. He began showing it on
Fridays and Saturdays at midnight.
The rest is glorious history. This
weekend, for instance, marks Harold
and Maude's 232nd consecutive week in
Ann Arbor.
Still, even though Harold and Maude
has had good fortune in Ann Arbor for
the past four years, the film did not
make a profit nationwide until 1983. In
fact, when Ruth Gordon received a
$50,000 profit check earlier this year,
she mistook it for a sweepstakes tic-
ket and nearly threw it away.
When it was looked at in terms of its
profitability on college campuses
around the U.S., the film's popularity
never reached the heights that it has
here at the University.
At the University of Texas, the film is
shown about once per semester.
Michael Saenz, a University of Texas
senior says, Harold and Maude is a lit-
tle off the wall, but it's a pretty good
film...Maude's motives are not
pragmatic and it gets a little too sen-
timental and mystical towards the
A University of Iowa senior, Susan
Fisher, did not even know how frequen-

tly it played at Iowa. She did say,
however, that when she saw the film it
was sold out. Also, in contrast to
Saenz's comments, Fisher said she ap-
preciates Harold and Maude because,
"It's all about reaffirmation of
life...and it says, 'Keep the sunny-side
up.' And plus I like all the music."
Joe Oppenheimer, a junior at the
University of California at Berkeley
agrees with Fisher. "Just this afternon
I was singing 'Miles from Nowhere'
(one of the film's songs). That's right, I
was at Point Reys at the time, where
they filmed one of the movie's scenes."
Over at Harvard, Harold and Maude
plays about once a month at the Har-
vard Square Theater, which is a little
more frequently than at other cam-
puses. Jake Schlesinger, a senior at
Harvard, says however, "It's not of
Rocky Horror proportions out here...it
hasn't got that much lasting value." He
takes a swipe at the film's cult status by
saying, "It's profound and funny the
first time, but after that it's too much."
Yet, here at the University students
can't seem to get enough of Harold and
Maude. Marni Rachmiel, a freshman in
the Music School, has seen the movie
about 20 times. "When I see this movie,
I say 'Damn right,' and I want to go out
and live, and have 'things to talk about
in the locker room.'"
LSA senior, Michael Mabry, who
has seen Harold and Maude more than
a dozen times since his freshman year
says,"It's an attractive movie. I think
it's certainly on equal footing with Gone
with the Wind, Casablanca, and Rocky
It's Harold and Maude, though and
not Rocky Horror, that is Ann Arbor's
most popular midnight film. Miller
reports that the State Theater is the
only place that plays the movie at 12

a.m. He feels that time slot is a very
important reason for the movie's suc-
cessful run here.
Perhaps the major attraction for Ann
Arbor audiences is the combination of
being an "up" movie that is shown at
the most fortuitous point of the
weekend. If you're in a dismal mood,
there's no better time than a weekend
midnight to go see a movie that
celebrates life. Steve DeChambeau, the
State Theater's assistant manager
suggested, "If you see Harold and
Maude when you're in a down mood, the
suicide scenes are especially
DeChambeau also refuted the myth
of a characteristically Harold and
Maude-type moviegoer. He says, "For the
midnight shows, there's always both a
hard-core rock movie and Harold and
Maude. We can never be sure who in
line will be going to which movie."
The cult popularity of Harold and
Maude was solidified last spring when
Weekend published its "Best of Ann
Arbor" issue. Listed under the category
of "Before you graduate, you simply
must..." was seeing Harold and Maude
at midnight.
Whether you have yet to see Harold
and Maude or you have already seen it
Subscribe to

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Harold and Maude: Ann Arbor love affair

4 Weekend/October 14, 1983


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