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October 23, 1984 - Image 6

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-23

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A

Page 6- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 23, 1984
Francois Truffaut dead at 52

I

By Byron L. Bull
F RANCOIS TRUFFAUT, the widely
celebrated French director who
spearheaded France's New Wave
movement in cinema, died of cancer
Sunday at the age of 52. Doctors at the
American Hospital of Paris said Truf-
faut had been admitted ten days
earlier, and had lapsed into a coma,
awakening only sporadically before his
death.
Apparently Truffaut had been
diagnosed with a brain tumor last year
and had retreated into seclusion, seeing
only his very closest friends.
Truffaut's 25-year career as a film-
maker revealed a substantial body of
intelligent, compassionate works of the
highest skill. A consumate director
who subscribed intensely to the auteur
school of thought, Truffaut's work was
characteristically honest in tone,
realistic in texture, and vitally fresh in
execution.
Most of Truffaut's films were done on

a low budget, which suited him well as
he strove for a documentarian,
unglossed clarity in his studies of
humanity. Truffaut's camera work and
editing had an unrigid, often inten-
tionally choppy feel, full of sudden
cutaways and rapid montages, par-
ticularly in his complex, ground-
breaking Jules and Jim (1961).
Unabashedly in love with film, Truf-
faut's affection for his art form quite
frequently spiled over into his work.
From the Hitchcockian The Bride Wore
Black through his loving homage to the
Hollywood B-movies he loved, Shoot
The Piano Player, Truffaut made films
that celebrated film. In one of his wit-
tiest, most acclaimed works, Day For
Night (1973), Truffaut created a film
about the making of a film, and cast
himself in the role of director.
A public school dropoutrwho later
enlisted in the army only to desert,
Truffaut's serious initiation into film
came when the French film critic An-
dre Bazin asked him to write for his
periodical, Cahiers du Cinema.

On the staff of the magazine, Truffaut
met writers like Eric Rohmer and
Jean-Luc Goddard, who shared his ob-
sessive love of film, as well his own
radical dreams of how they should be
made.
It was this pool of critics who raised
French film criticism to a new level of
consciousness, with effects also
strongly felt abroad. It was Truffaut
and his contemporaries who were the
first to champion the American studio
films of the late 30's and 40's, par-
ticularly those by Howard Hawks and
John Ford, whose works embodied
many elements of auteurism.
In 1958 Truffaut was ejected from the
from the Cannes Film Festival due to
his vehement criticism. Undaunted,
Truffaut only returned the next year
with his first feature, the intense, semi-
autobiographical portrait of a neglected
young boy, The 400 Blows, and won the
Festial's Golden Palm Award. It was
this that opened up financing for other
hitherto ignored critic/filmmakers,
that led to the New Wave revolution.

Truffaut
... honest direction skill
RNN
5th1-venue at LibertSt
,/ ~761 -9700h:

Taj Mahal will bring his own coourof the blues to The Ark tonight.
Taj Mahal movedtoArk

Atlanta

By Mike Gallatin

Under the direction of Robert Shaw
the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
played to an enthusiastic audience at
Hill Auditorium Sunday. An en-
thusiastic audience to works unknown
can either be interpeted as a warm
reception or attributed to ignorance.
Separating response from the works or
art persormed from.the way they are
played is sometimes a tricky
proposition. In this case, the or-
chestra's performance was bland and
dull at moments to pieces that deserved
better fare.
The program was a varied one begin-

Symphony 4
ning with Haydn's symphony - 98 com-
posed in the year 1792. The Haydn was
under interpreted. The orchestra didn't
seem sufficiently warmed up and the
foreshortened Baroque ensemble didn't
create a large enough sound to properly
fill the auditorium.
The symphony is one of vitality and
good cheer but the orchestra's dragging
tempo particularly in the opening
Allegro created more a feeling of
lament than jubilation. While it is true
Haydn needs to be played with classical
restraint and a chamber music-like in-
timacy, in this case it was carried too
much to the extreme. The string sec-
tion came across as shy and
unassuming and the brass was not for-

Practicing Pharm. D.s discuss
Career Opions
For
Doctor of Pharmacy Graduates
A U-M College of Pharmacy seminar
open to all students
Wednesday, Oct. 24-7-9 p.m.
3554 C. C. Little Bldg.'
(corner of Church & Geddes)
College staff members will be present to answer questions about
admission to U-M Doctor of Pharmacy program.

r
r
r
f

Orchestra
ceful enough. The Presto Finale
showed more life but again the solo
violin passages were barely audible
and could have done with more feeling
and less classicism. The brief entrance
at the end of a rippling harpsichord ac-
companiment was a breath of fresh air
and reminded us that Haydn usually
conducted his own works in that
capacity. In this case the keyboardist
was too far removed from the Baroque
ensemble to create that intimate
chamber music quality this disappoin-
ting performance lacked.
From the 18th century the orchestra
moved to the present with a Symphonic
Suite composed by Karel Husa in 1984.
The composition is divided into three
movements; "Celebration",
"Meditation", and "Vision." The piece
relies heavily on a modern use of the
percussion section of the orchestra to
create a feeling for the temper of our
time. From an almost tribal African
sound accomplished through the use of
a gong and wood blocks in the "Vision"
to the sporadic use of the xylophone and
glockenspiel in the "Celebration", a full
gambit of percussive potential is ex-
plored.
The brass section and horns in par-
ticular played much better in this com-
position as they rang forth hopes of
exultation and promises of a bright
future. Yet the "Vision" fades away in-
to the mists in a haunting and eerie
fashion as the strings play tritones and
high-pitched half-tone harmonics
reminding us in this Star Wars age that
the future is always uncertain.
The final composition was Paul Hin-
demith's most popular and best known
work, "Mathis der Maler." (Mathias
the Painter) This symphonic poem is
based on orchestral interludes taken
from the opera of that name also by
Hindemith. This piece is a fine exam-
ple of the program music as the suite
describes scenes from Mathias
Grunewald's (c. 1480-1528) tryptich in
his Isenhein Alterpiece. Unfortunately
again the string section played in a dull,
stiff and mechanical fashion as if they
were sawing wood instead of making
music but the brass possessed a full-
throated sound and overall the or-
chestra played up to par.
The danger of program music is that
too great a reliance on extraneous
associations can weaken the status of
music as an art in its own right. There
are two basic kinds of program music;
that which is good music regardless of
the program and that which is poor
music although it may have an in-
teresting program. The Hindemith
composition is both good music and an
interesting program; one of the few and
far between of the exceptions.
The audience greeted the conclusion
of the concert with a warm applause
and Robert Shaw and The Atlanta
Symphony responded in kind by playing
a badly needed encore of Hector
Berlioz's "Roman Carnival Overture"
to wash away the bad taste the Haydn
had left in this critic's mouth.

By Andy Weine
If mid-terms have given you the
blues, you might want to share your
blues with someone who's been in
them for a couple of decades: Taj
Mahal. This veteran blues and folk
performer, who will play at the Ark
tonight, is one of the best kept
secrets of folk music today.
That's not to say he's been in
hiding, though. Taj Mahal has
played professionally since the late
sixties, when the folk movement had
strong momentum from popular
singers like Dylan, Baez, and Peter,
Paul and Mary.
Taj Mahal has made ten albums in
all, including "The Natch'l Blues,"
"Recyclin' the Blues," and "Giant
Step/ De Old Folks at Home."
Mahal's credits also include the
musical scores for the films Sounder
and Brothers.
Critics from Los Angeles to El
Paso to New York have acclaimed
Mahal's virtuosity on a wide variety
of instruments, including guitar,
bass, piano, vibes, mandolin, and
dulcimer. And according to one Ann
Arbor folk fan, he plays a very mean
harmonica.

When Mahal launched his musical
career, his blues were primarily un-
der American (particularly Afro-
American) influence, as he lived in
New England and Los Angeles for
some time. The Stones rollicked to
his music in the late sixties and
helped him to tour Europe.
After that, Mahal's ethnic
Musical scope widened to include
Jamaican and African influences, so
today, his blues could be called pan-
.African. He traveled West Africa in
the late seventies, rounding out his
musical abilities and knowledge.
Mahal has put that knowledge to
use not only in his concerts but also as
a musicologist, sharing panels and
conducting workshops world-wide.
Knowing the history and influence of
blues ranks him with only a few
folksters, such as Oscar Brand and
Michael Cooneywhbo understand
and appreciate what folk really is
and how it came to be what it is.
Strict 'blues are Mahal's
homeground, but he won't just have
you wallowing in the doldrums. As in
his last Ann Arbor appearance a
year ago, the blues he plays usually
spark many smiles that relieve
academic anxieties and move knees
and hands to thumping.

Long drive, low pay
won't deter jobless

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MEE
STAR
in the Kuenz
DR.C
Director of t

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proudly presents
CAMPUS
F THE PRESS
TS TOMORROW
el Room of the Michigan Union
Special Guest:
aEORGE GAMOTA
he U-M Institute of Science and Technology

ATHOL, Mass. (AP) - Hundreds of
unemployed residents of this depressed
milltown began lining up at daybreak
yesterday, hoping for the chance to
travel 70 miles each way toa $4-an-hour
job in a city whose economy is so strong
it can't find enough workers.
The round trip from Athol, tucked in
the hills of central Massachusetts, to
Framingham, a bustling metropolitan
area west of Boston, could take three
hours a day. But the job seekers were
not discouraged.
"I'VE BEEN out of work for three
years. I would take anything," said
former machine operator Eugene
Labor. "My benefits are completely
exhausted now. If it wasn't for my
parents, I'd be out in the streets."
Labor was among 400 people who
filled out applications for five com-
panies, including McDonald's and
Burger King, which had come to town
in search of employees for the Christ-
mas rush.
The program was created and spon-
sored by the state Division of Em-
ployment Security.
"THE PEOPLE of Athol are good,
hard-working people," said Dee
DiTerlizzi, a division representative.
"They want a happy holiday. They
want a turkey on the table at
Thanksgiving. They want presents un-
der the tree at Christmas."

Once a thriving factory town that
churned out shoes, tables and tools,
Athol, a town of 8,700 residents, how has
an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent.
Framingham, once a quiet Boston
suburb, has become one of the state's
fastest-growing urban areas with 70,000
residents. Its jobless rate is just 2.3
percent.
FRAMINGHAM'S retail merchants
turned to DiTerlizzi when they realized
they could not find the nearly 1,O,
workers they will need for November
and December.
HUSBANDS and wives, mothers and
teen-age sons, graying men and
housewives gathered around long
tables to fill out applications, and then
patijntly waited for interviews.
"I just need something to keep my
head above water," said Herman
Foster, a janitor who has been out of
work since July. "You can survive on
welfare, but you've got nothing. I hav4
five kids. How can I buy them a pair of
shoes?
"THEY SAY the economy is
booming, but where is it? It's not at my
house," he said. "I hear Reagan talk
about how great the economy is going.
But not around here. He ain't done
nothing for us."
For the Framingham employers, the
recruitment campaign was a success.

6.

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