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February 08, 1985 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-02-08
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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2010
(Continued from Page 5,
and draped in the sort of hokey
metaphysics and stock genre trappings
that the old "Star Trek" series ex-
cellent in so dreadfully. The narrative
begins unraveling almost from the start
into innumerable loose ends and throws
away scenes before finally derailing
with an incongruous, shabbily con-
trived subplot about a nuclear confron-
tation between superpowers back on
Earth.
Hyams cut his teeth on potboiler ad-
ventures like Capricorn One, and
Outland, and he sadly molds this
film to essentially the same form. The
thinly sketched narrative is padded out
with cheap roller coaster thrills like the
obligatory spacewalk and a very
flashy, but unspectacular, descent into
the Jovian atmosphere. Unfortunately,
the scenes provoke no real excitement.
There's no sense of wonder, no mystery
to the film's tone, you can hear it
ticking like a well oiled but monotonous
piece of machinery. Even Hyams
seems to regard films as little more
than elaborate erector sets.
For someone who claims to be a
humanist filmmaker, and Hyams has
been waving that banner more con-
spicuously with this picture than any of
his previous works, there's precious lit-
tle human element in 2010. Even
usually relaxed actors like Scheider
and John Lithgow seem visibly uncom-'

never been connected to the Jewish
majority in Israel today. The majority
'Mess age of Jews who are in Israel today are not
alien from the West, but in fact they are
either the refugees themselves, or
decendants of the refugees who were
expelled from the Arab world in 1948
f r _tD: W hyandhshortlytafterw ards.
f D: Why hasn't the world recognized

Keir Dullea: not on screen enough
fortable, and only vaguely aware of just
what it is they're supposed to be doing.
Hyams himself seemed to be fran-

Mideast
Joan Peters, author of the con-
troversial book From Time Im-
memorial, recently talked with
Daily staffer Amy Goldstein. Ms.
Peters' observations concerning the-
Arab-Jewish conflict were both in-
sightful and outspoken. This inter-
view complements a review of From
Time Immemorial which may be
found on page 13.
Daily: How did you obtain the infor-
mation for your book?]
Peters: Well, it was a process of
digging, and one thing led me to
another. There was a great wealth of
information about the subject, but it
was very dispersed in its location. One]
thing was not connected to another, and
it was a matter of being able to find the
connections as they exposed them-
selves. It was like a Chinese puzzle, you
open one box, and found it led to
another cover... one led you to another.
D: When you were researching it, I
understand your focus was first to be on
the Arab refugees. Why did your focus
change?
P: It was because of the situation
that really existed in the Middle East,
and the Arab-Jewish conflict. You
must recognize not just the Arab
refugees as we know them, but also so
many other refugees, and particularly
the Arab-born Jewish refugees who left
the Arab countries. No longer could I
talk about Arab refugees without
talking about the whole group of Middle
East refugees. . . which included at
least as large a number of Jews who
fled the other way and who were ex-
pelled from their homeland in the Arab
world where they had ancestors living
for a thousand or two thousand years.
D: Why do you think that something
like this hasn't been written about 1
before?
P: There have been many mentions
in many books about the Jews' ex- 1
pulsion from the Arab countries, but it's

this? -
P: I think it has to do with the fact
that Israel has not exploited its
refugees the way the Arab leaders have
exploited the Arab refugees who left
Israel in 1948.
D: Why do you think that is?
P: I don't know. I think they have
used the argument of Jewish refugees
from the Arab world in United Nations
discussions. They have said to me that
they were reserving this for a
discussion and for the negotiations
when they finally sit down to resolve the
refugee question. They hope that then
they will be able to show that for in-
stance, all the Jewish property that was
expropriated by the various Arab
governments more than equals the
property that was left behind by those
Arabs who left Israel before and during
the 1948 war of independence.
D: When the Arabs left Israel, why
didn't the public know that they could
have stayed in Israel?
P: Well, that isn't really the point.
The point is not only that they were not

Peters: quite familiar with the Middle1
population of people from time im-
memorial. It simply was not possible.
It was a revolving population and that's
part of the history that's been un-
covered in this book. The tradition of
migration, the traditions that were
spawned by natural disaster in
Palestine, or Southern Syria, or

tically pushing his cast through their
paces just to get each shot in the can
and out of the way, regardless of how
raw they are.
There's so little character develop-
ment going on, other than Scheider's
voice-over diary entries. The film's
characters, particularly the half-dozen
Russian extras, all blur into the op-
presively cluttered background of
cheap vacuum formed set pieces. Only
Keir Dullea's refreshing but breif por-
trayal of the impish spectral Bowman
shines with any lightness. One suspects

that's because Dullea himself is taking
it all as just a joke to begin with.
This is a drearily sloppy film; one that
was rushed into production (little
more than a year and a half ago). It
really looks and feels only half finished.
The film's visual effects are disappoin-
tingly shoddy, and would barely make
it on a television production. The whole
production design is bladly derivative
of every single space opera in recent
memory, andthe sets themselves so
hurriedly slapped together that you can
see them coming apart in a number of
shots.
Hyams oversaw every aspect of 2010
as its producer-director-writer-
cameraman, but despite his austerist
aspirations he remains a well versed
mechanic. He can put a film together
and make it run, but he has no sense of
aesthetics, and no guiding vision.
Watching 2010 roll by is as exciting as
watching parts roll by on a factory
assembly line. Even if Hyams sincerely
thinks he's paying homage to a classic,
he's in effect raping it in full public
view. The sight is an ugly one. F

'They call it the Arab-Israeli conflict, but,
of course, it was a conflict long before
Israel became a state in 1948...'
-Joan Peters
author of 'From Time Immemorial'

Eastern situatic
D: You mi
that's popular
talk about the
how it has cha:
the Jews. Ho
the policies ma
P: I think ti
ingrained ii
distributed at
Arab-Israeli c
was a confl
became a stat
tradition that
questioned.
D: How can
teracted?
P: I wrote
because of tho:
be seen.
D: What ha
book been in th
P : A very
pened. Ther4
Departmenter
been Pentago
really import
groups have 1
sting forth. F
themselves to
der one auspi
taking it ch
literally going
where the doct
the text are b
an integral par
See M

forced to leave, the fact that they were
from a people who had a tradition of
migrating and moving in and out is not
known. The propaganda today is that
this was a teaming population of native,
indigenous, Palestinian Arabs who had
been on their plot of land from time
immemorial. The facts are different.
There was no way that this land, which
the Arabs were said to have fled from,
could have supported a teeming

whatever it was called. It was, never
really considered a geographical or
political entity called Palestine. There
were dozens of conquests in the area,
but all of the buried treasure of the
history that is not at the moment being
considered within the dialogue, or even
within the judgement of what is justice.
This must alter the understanding of
anyone who is interested in the Middle
East, vis a vis the Arab-Jewish conflict.

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