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January 17, 1984 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-01-17

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, January 17, 1984

Page 5

No

By Joseph Kraus

B EFORE YOU read this review,
you should realize first, that you
can jurge all stories the same way.
Second, when you're judging the
tradition of Jewish storytelling, you're
in another ball park altogether.
With that in mind, we can talk about
Joseph Buloff and the stories he told
Saturday night.
Buloff is certainly a fantastic
storyteller. Note, however, that he tells
Jewish stories. That's not a judgement
at all, simply a clarification.
A Jewish story differs from a goyish
story, in two important ways. First,.
there is less emphasis on a punch line or
resolution. Like all stories, a Jewish
story creates tension, comic or other-
wise, but because of the lighter em-
phasis on resolution, this tension is not
fully resolved. Somebody not ac-
customed to Jewish stories might feel
almost cheated at this. However, the
second distinction more than makes up
for the first. Most of the humor in a

Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Joseph Buloff intrigues his audience Saturday night with his stories of Jewsish history.

wive's
Jewish story comes from the way the
characters look at life and each other.
In other words, a Jewish story is. a
celebration of its characters, their
foibles, and ultimately what makes
them loveable.
Enough technical talk, I want now
you should hear the good stuff.
Buloff'put on a very good show. He
began by reading a story in Yiddish. He
made clear in his introduction that he
felt torn between doing the entire show
in Yiddish for the sake of those in the
audience who could speak the
language, and therefore longed to hear
it, or to do the show in English so that he
could share that world with more
people.
His compromise was to read only one
five-minute story in Yiddish, but even
then he didn't forsake his English
speaking audience. He read the story
with such vigor and with so many
"noises" that obviously couldn't have
been a part of the language, that even
we English speakers were gept enter-
tained.
He followed by reading another story,
this time in English, and then moved in-
to several anecdotes about the Yiddish
theater, which had its heyday almost a
century ago.
Buloff was himself an actor most of
his life, but, he said, "I became an actor
accidently. If you want to know that I
had any outstanding qualities (when I
was a youth), the answer is no. I used
to get a 'one' (for my grade in school),
you know, the worst ever... (but) I was
the best in reciting poetry."
Comparing his current career as a
storyteller with his earlier one as an ac-
tor both on Broadway and the movies,
he said, "I like better playing theater,
but I know one thing (about the
storytelling), if it's a good audience,
they like it. I entertain them in a
serious way by telling them something
they already know but never talk
about."
An important part of ]uloff's work is
reminding people of the artistic con-
tributions that the Jewish people have
made.
"The Jews had great writers and
,some of their things are great

tales
things-extraordinary things-but they
starved to death," he said.
Buloff was somewhat evasive when it
came to predicting the future of Yiddish
culture. "Who can foretell, we don't
know what may happen. .. I'm not the
man to judge, nobody can judge," he
said.
He went on to say, "However, I'm not
a pessimist so I should tell you
something that would be a more
positive thing-you see there are two
things (in this world), one thing I don't
know, the other I don't like. What will
happen I don't know; what happened
everybody knows but doesn't like. I am
in the midst of it."
In short, Buloff gave us a picture of
another world, about which he said,
"We are all very far away from that
world, that world does not exist any
more."
But through his stories, Buloff made
that world live again, at least for Satur-
day night's audience.

The movie that.was a fop

By Emily Montgomery
VERY ONCE in a while a movie
comes along which is exciting,
spgctacular, captivating; and a "must-
see" for viewers of any age or gender.
The Man Who Loved Women is not
-such a film.
As I watched The Man Who Loved
Women I found it hard trying to picture
just who the intended viewer was. I
could not imagine any females enjoying
it. I was highly offended, myself, by its
ignorant depiction of women as sex-
starved, mindless devotees to this one
man (Burt Reynolds), who changes
partners as often as he changes socks
and he does both with about the same
amount of consideration.
So, it's meant for the male (T & A)
viewer, then, correct? Not unless he
has a very vivid imagination. There is
only one real skin scene and even that
is not explicit enough to endear the film
to this type of viewer.
What kind of viewer would enjoy it
then? Well, that's just the question I
pondered while watching TMWLW.
} The movie certainly did not offer any
other, distraction. The conclusion I
finally came to was that nobody would
enjoy it..
Blake Edwards has directed some
hilarious comedies in the past (10, Vic-
tor/Victoria, and of course seven Pink
Panther films). So what went wrong
this time? '
The main problem is believability.
The Man Who Loved Women has none.
Eight women, if my count is right (and
'it: was implied that there were many,
,many more), fall completely in love
with, and practically donate their

bodies at the drop of a hat (or shall we
say pants) to a man, Burt, who they
have just barely met. Yet they feel no
jealousy whatsoever toward one
another when they find out that there
are others. C'mon, Blake, you don't
really expect us to swallow that, now do
you?
These women would be scratching
each other's eyes out, not hugging and
comforting each other about their
common loss. And while we are
speaking of believability-what about
that krazy glue scene? Krazy glue
might be "powerful enough to hold a
man suspended in air," but one little
tube could not possibly glue Burt's feet
to a rug, his hand to his mouth, his other
hand to a dog, and a woman to his belt.
There are limits, you know.
Despite all this inconceivable ac-
tivity, The Man Who Loved Women still
manages to drag in places, most
noticeably in the scenes between David
(Burt) and his psychiatrist (Julie An-
drews).
The only mildly exciting part conmes
when David meets up with the mayor of
Houston's nymphomaniac wife (Kim
Basinger) who molests David in every
possible setting: a carwash, a race
track, while getting written up for a
speeding ticket; this woman knows no
shame.
Julie Andrews as David's
psychiatrist is as interesting as lint.
She tries to cure him of his girl-
collecting tendencies and ends up, as is
the inevitable fate of every woman in
this film, in his bed, babbling of her un-
deniable devotion to him. David throws
her on the pile with the rest of his
conquests and is once again hot on the
heels of all woman-kind. I think a bet-

Reynolds, and Andrews bore audiences with their listless, predictable
romance in Edward Blake's latest film 'The Man Who Loved Women.'

ter title for this film would be The Man
Who Used Women.
And now a look at the hairy chest who
supposedly inspired all this rampant
admiration, David Fowler (Burt
Reynolds). Burt, as David, does as well
as could be expected from any man
with this extremely demanding part.
However, Reynold's performance isn't,
nor should it have been expected to be
strong enough to carry the weight of
this slow moving, highly improbably
film.
As should have been self-evident with

the remake of Jean-Luc Godard's
Breathless, redoing French films is not
always such a good idea. Blake Ed-
ward's explanation for deciding to do
The Man Who Loved Women after Truf-
faut's film of the same title was that he
wanted to raise some questions as to
whether the lead (David) was'a "lover
or a womanizer."
Unfortunately, after watching this
movie the only question raised in the
viewer's mind is why he just wasted $4
and two hours of his time on this
literally impossible, outwardly in-
sulting film?

1984
HOP WOOD,
UNDERC LAS SMAN
A WARD
Academy of American Poets
Bain-Swiggett and Michael R. Gutterman
Poetry Awards
Roy W. Cowden Memorial Fellowship
READING BY NOVELIST
WILLIAM GADDIS
AUTHOR OF "The Recognitions"JR
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Wednesday, January 18, 4:00 p.m.
Rackham Lecture Hall (main floor)

11

Licad's

performance has a competitive edge

y Anne Valdespino
ROM THE MOMENT she stepped
F'on stage Saturday night, pianist
Cecile Licad gripped the audience with
her commanding presence. The
opening unison passage of Beethoven's
Sonata in D Major Opus 10 was
executed with a sure touch. Her solid
attacks were later tempered with quiet
releases in more lyric moments.
Although not exceptional, her ren-
dition of the piece was confident, clean
aid faithful to the score; all qualities
which might be attributed to the in-
fluence of her former teacher Rudolf
Serkin.
aBut this careful approach dissap-
peared when she beganthe first of four
works on the recital by Frederic
Chopin. A new surge of self-assurance
changed her whole demeanour and
revealed a phenomenal technique as
she brought hands to the keyboard to
begin the Scherzo in B Major.

Using relaxation -rather than force
she balanced and redistributed her up-
per body weight as skillfully as a
supreme master of the martial arts.
This natural strength flowed through
her arms in abundance when she
played full chords in both hands but was
withheld, concentrated in the finger-
tips, to play passages marked
delicatissimo that virtually fluttered
away.
During the Ballade in g minor Licad
proved her interpretive powers were
also exceptionally mature. In contrast
to the usual sentimental self-indulgence
of many of today's young virtuosos, no
lesser phrases were overdone.
Focusing on long bass lines for direc-
tion, Licad moved the piece forward in
sweeping dramatic gestures. This was
the delight of her Chopin playing-its
great continuity and expert timing.
In contrast to the intensity of her
Chopin set, Licad's selection of
Scliumann's Carnival to end the
THE
UNERST

program was just for fun. She painted
colorful tone pictures of each character
in the short vignettes; among them the
dreamy Eusebius, ardent Florestan
and passionate Chiarina.
In Pierrot, Arlequin and all of the
waltzes her elegant ease in performing
difficult leaps made her as thrilling to
watch as a graceful tightrope walker.
But in this performance Licad's
magnificent artistry was often over-
shadowed by her unusual stage depor-
tment. A smile rarely escaped her
lovely face. Eye contact with the
audience was kept to a minimum while

she crossed the stage and was com-
pletely impeded by her long dark hair
which continually fell like a curtain in
front-of her.
This certainly could not represent the
behavior -that won her the Leventritt
Medal. But perhaps for Licad the con-
test is not over. Her choice of a
strenuous program and encore
(Chopin's Revolutionary Etude) coup-
led with her severe manner may be
making a statement about the
unyielding pressures of an early suc-
cess.

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