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April 06, 1984 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-04-06

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The Michigan Daily

Friday, April 6, 1984

Page 6

Father knows best

By Rich Fortinberry
Newman). He is very good
looking, moves with style and grace,
and demolishes buildings. Sounds like a
strange combination, doesn't it?
Welcome to the world of "Harry and
San" directed by and starring Newman
himself. This is one more in a line of
fun, and often funny movies starring
Newman and, you guessed it, Joanne
Newman introduces us to his world in
an interesting way. The film opens on
-the inside of a dark building as a
wrecking ball smashes through the
.outer wall. Keach is the man wielding
the power. If you are having a hard
time picturing Newman driving a
wrecking ball, welcome to the club.
Although this film has some great
;themes and fun scenes, immediately its
basic flaw is, apparent: Newman just
doesn't fit the part.
"HARRY AND SON"is based on a
.screenplay written by Newman.
,Although this story is not about the
death of a son, it is obviously derived
from Newman's life; his teenage son
died a drug related death. Apparently,
Newman could not get financial
backing for the movie unless he put his
kiser on the screen. This explains the
out-of-place casting.

This movie is worth watching
because of its cast. Robbie Benson stars
as Harry's son Howie. He gives an
engaging light-hearted performance,
which unfolds at the end of the movie
into a truly great portrayal. This per-
formance shows the versatility of Ben-
son as an actor.
Benson also suffers from a role he
cannot fit. Howie is supposedly a
blossoming young writer who works at
a car wash while he waits for his ship to
come in. Early in the film, there is a
scene in which Harry and Howie sit
down to a candle-lit dinner, and we see
that Mrs. Keach has been dead for two
years. Then, as Newman sits with his
fork and knife pointing straight up,
Howie says, "Ain't this nice Ambiance
to eat by Pa?" It is implossible to
reconcile this kind of dialogue coming
from a character who is introduced as
the high school valedictorian.
Woodward gives her usual off-beat
and interesting character portrayal. In
this story she is Lilly, pet store owner
and practioner of "phrenology." She
claims to be able to tell everything
about a person simply by feeling bumps
on his head. Need I say more?
Ellen Barkin is a great young actress,
and she further proves her capabilities
in the role of Howie's girlfriend, Katie.
She enters the film ominously

pregnant. Although we never really
know who-dunnit, Howie assumes
responsibility for the little guy, who is
named Harry.
As the movie progresses, we can
begin to see some of the themes
Newman is exploring. Harry suffering
from a strange malady which causes
him to have blurred vision and terrible
headaches. As a result of this, he loses
his job and pushes Howie to get a
"real" job.The dramatic tension arises
from Howie's youthful apprach to
responsibility and belief in his creative
abilities as a writer versus Newman's
traditional beliefs. This is captured
when Harry exclaims, "That's just
great, I want to work and can't, you can
and don't."
It is really sad to see Harry, who had
this power to destroy hugh buildings,
unhorsed by his sickness. His
frustration is brought home when he
gets drunk and goes to his old wrecker
in the middle of the night and commen-
ces to knock down a building. His total
helplessness is staggering to him.
Although "Harry and Son" has some
credibility problems, it is an enter-
taining film about interesting people.
Excellent acting and realistic themes
make up for the movie's problems. It is
refreshing to see a film which does not
rely on glitter, hypeor naked teenagers
to make a point.


Harry (Paul Newman) and son Howie (Robby Benson) disagree over the latter's employment plans in 'Harry and Son.'


T T -

By Anne Valdespino
events usually draw decent
-crowds, but every so often a super'
luminary will attract throngs of music
school types; they race down from Nor-
th Campus just in time to grab an Olga
and fries before pushing their way to
the box office for $3 standing-room

Ma amazes audience with

classic skill

tickets under the first balcony.
Wednesday night the tee-shirts and
jeans quietly took their places behind
the minks, ties, and cashmere jackets
- UMS's subscription audience - to
hear Yo-Yo Ma, a cellist with a world-
class reputation.
From the outset, Ma commanded at-
tention with an intense presence that
most performers do not settle into until
halfway through a program. He began

the "Prelude" of Stravinsky's Suite
Italienne with hearty bow strokes,
switching to leggiero or lighter bowing
in the folk-like "Serenata." In the
"Tarantelle" movement, Ma began to
spill his bag of musical tricks. He slid
gracefully up a string for an unsuspec-
ted glissando and used a dry, non-
vibrato tone for far-away effects. In
another memorable moment, Ma
sneaked stealthily back into the
beautiful "Serenata" theme with such
spontaneity it was as if he had im-
provised the thought himself.
He continued to use his magical in-
terpretative powers in Franck's
"Sonata in A Major." Here he exhibited
a thorough intellectual knowledge of
the score tempered with the innate sen-
se of artistic timing necessary to keep
the average music lover entertained in
a piece of this length. In this four
movement work, Franck used fewer
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themes than most classical sonatas, but
with Yo-Yo Ma performing, the audien-
. ce was never bored. In the "Alegro ben
Moderato," cellist and pianist in-
troduced the main theme. Rather than
overplaying its dramatic Romantic
shapes, the two stated the melody sim-
ply and tastefully.
As the sonata progressed, Ma
brought the theme back in many guises,
sometimes agitated, sometimes
poignant. He also varied it by painting
the melody in different sound colors:
once it was soft and feathery, another
time it was so vibrant the bow seemed
to shiver across the strings. At last a
new theme was introduced in the last
movement. Its lighter lyricism was as
welcome as a rainbow after a thunder-
Before the Franck, Ma tackled the
difficult job of playing Bach's Suite #5
in C minor on the modern cello.
Although considered an expert in this
area, his rich romantic sound worked to
advantage, or disadvantage depending

on the movement. His full vibrato and
imperceptible bow changes were lovely
in the prelude. Beginning on the lowest
string, he seemed to pull one long line
from start to finish in this piece. But the
lushness of his continuous sound was
detrimental to the inner dances of the
suite. Without the rhythmic breath of
more frequent articulations, the
characteristic rhythmic patterns of
each dance were lost: "Courante" and
"Sarabande" were indistinguishable.
In spite of this particular point of
style, watching Ma play Bach was still
an enjoyable experience. While most
professionals are visibly uncomfortable
performing these treacherous works,
Ma played entirely from memory with
a power and beauty reminiscent of
recordings made by the late-great Bach
player, Pablo Casals. Like his

predecessor, Ma proved to the audience
that he sincerely believed these pieces
to be his own.
After the three-course banquet of
Bach, Stravinsky and Franck, listeners
were presented with a tray of musical
desserts. Ma played four virtuosic
miniatures, "Elegy" and "Papillon" by
Gabriel Faure, "Melody" by
Tschaikovsky, and Paganini's "Moses
Fantasy." All were performed with an
impeccable rubato and a great sense of
When the tumultuous applause and
resounding bravos subsided, the
audience was treated to two encores,
"Liebeslied" and "Liebesfreud," by
Fritz Kreisler. By performing these
favorites of the violin repertoire on the
cello, Ma showed his virtuosity limitless
and his graciousness heartfelt.

King gets into step


For Psychological Study
at Med Center
Must be healthy and
between ages 20 and 55
$8 per session
for further information
9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

ByDonnajean Ward

'JOLANDA KING and Attallah
Shabazz will probably always be
known as daddy's girls. It is hard to
ignore the fact that these two women
are the daughters of Martin Luther
King Jr. and Malcolm X. Tonight,
however, they will be presenting
themselves on their own merits in the
play "Stepping Into Tomorrow.."
The show is a blend of music, comedy
and drama and deals with the problems
of young! adulthood. "Stepping Into
Tomorrow" is one of several plays in
the repertoire of the theater company,
Nucleus, which King and Shabazz foun-
ded in 1980. Nucleus has produced
several plays centered around social,

political and cultural themes. The
group cites the "support, en-
couragement and reinforcement of
young people" as their aim, but
promises that the show has something
for "all ages."
"Stepping Into Tomorrow" will be
presented as a benefit for the Student
Advocacy Center here in Ann Arbor.
The center is a non-profit group whose
policy is to work for "equal educational
opportunity for public school students,
regardless of race, socio-economic
status, or handicapping condition." Ac-
cording to Ruth Zweifler, who works at
the center, their aim is to "find ways to
help them make school better." Studen-
ts at the center range from pre-
schoolers to young adults, with the
majority being minorities or handicap-

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

................." "f' Tl


S The certer chose to bring the King-
:: Shabazz production to Ann Arbor
... because of their complimentary
ideologies. "It felt right in terms of our
concerns," commented Zweifler. Al
Wheeler, co-chair of the center's board
of directors remarked, "So much of
our work is on behalf of minority
students, and you can hardly have bet-
ter representatives of the black com-
munity than the daughters of Malcolm
X and Martin Luther King Jr. And,of
course, their focus on young people fits
right into our work."
The show begins tonight at 8:00 at the
Michigan Theatre. For more infor-
mation call 668-8480, or 995-0477.
~ AC~0

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