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January 28, 1986 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-01-28

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as v,

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, January 28, 1986

Page 5







By Henry Park
and Leslie Eringaard
Th ENOUNCED by the Pope, targets
for boycott by Cardinal Law of
Boston, and picketted by heretical
Catholics, Hail Mary! (of the Ann
Arobor Film Co-op's Banned Film
Series) had to be a success. All four
showings in Angell Hall sold out in
"Hail Mary!"'s Ann Arbor premiere.
As' usual for producer Jean-Luc
Godard though, "Hail Mary!" is an
obscure and cerebral film for the
devoted fan, not the general public.
-Since 1958, Godard made waves as a
film artist. In the 60's, his films were
*filtered with the influence of Mao
Zedong and the Cultural Revolution.
In addition to films with Maoists as
main characters, Godard's films
examine such illusions of the
bourgeoise as commodity fetishism.
Belonging to the high-brow elite of
film-makers that are Marxist or
Marxist-influenced, Godard draws

criticism for dogmatism, but in fact,
as most viewers of "Hail Mary!" will
realize, Godard is too impenetrable
for most people to recognize the in-
fluence of Marx.
As a film-maker Godard is known
for his severity. Godard's style is en-
compassed by another producer in the
"Book of Mary," which is a twenty
minute film clip shown before "Hail
Mary!" The themes are amazingly
complemetary. As either a parody or
a strident call for a back to basics
realism, one might speculate that the
"Book of Mary" out-Godards Godard.
"You can't make an omelette
without breaking eggs," Mary con-
cludes in the "Book of Mary." The
precocious grade-school daughter of a
frustrating male chauvinist and a
restless clinging housewife, Mary
turns from a creative escapism
engendered by her parents' quarrels
to a reconciliation of their separation
and the reality of a harsh and ever-
changing world.

Despite sentimental subject-mat-
ters, neither film is maudlin. Quite
the contrary, the "Book of Mary" en-
ds with Mary's lopping off the top of a
hard-boiled egg. "Hail Mary!" starts
with a disturbed puddle. Within the
first minute of a dialogue that might
better be described as grammatical
grunting, a woman suggests marriage
to a non-attentive young man in a
slovenly diner.
Mary turns out to be an attendant at
her father's gas station. Joseph,
Mary's suitor, is a taxi driver. Those
Catholics wishing for an idealized
view of the birth of Jesus may find the
selection of the characters' oc-
cupations offensive. Ironically, the
repugnance of the "real Roman
Catholics" is precisely in proportion
to the extent that Godard renders the
immaculate conception as real.
By depicting the birth of Jesus in a
mundane fashion, Godard offers the
case for the existance of divine beauty
and symmetry as inseparably in-

twined with the harsh and ugly reality
of the real world. For example,
Mary's pregnancy is not an easy one
- nor can she accept her situation
without qualms - as she struggles
and writhes on her bed during her
pregnancy. Cursing God for choosing
her, Mary narrates in earthly fashion
her own religious doubts and her
sexual repression that is depicted so
poignantly. While the Son is growing
within Mary, Godard cuts from stark
scenes of the moon to wind-whipped
oceans, to airplanes lifting off over
pylons, and the shouts of a basketball
game, all preceded by the loud
squawk of a crow (duck?). The divine
birth is not an ideal event isolated
from the rest of the world.
The struggle between the virginous
Mary and her initially disbelieving
boyfriend, Joseph, often drives home
the debate between idealism and
materialism. Who was Mary sleeping
with, Joseph needs to know. "Why
don't you believed the Spirit affects

the body?...You see I am sleeping
with no one." are Mary's lines.
Joseph says, "I believe the .op-
posite...Tell me who the baby is; I
don't care, if I can stay with you;
sleep with you; wake up with you..."
When Joseph finally accepts Mary's
truth, he realizes that he will be living
his life in a shadow Mary assures him
by wondering aloud if all men aren't
living their lives in the shadow of God.
Eventually , the lucky boyfriend
wrenches a promise from his fiancee,
who will not allow anyone to touch her
for two years, to appear naked before
him. Mary's nudity throughout the
movie is apparently the most offen-
sive aspect to hard-core Roman
In "Hail Mary! ," however, nudity is
beautifully and sensitively portrayed.
Suspicions about Godard's trend to
soft-core porn with his last movie -

"First Name Carmen" - should rest,:
at least for awhile. It was enough for'
Godard to use selective nudity in this
case to raise an international storm:
for the benefit of political impact at
the box office.
Those who expected an answer to the'
debate between idealism and,
materialism may have experienced
frustration with the movie's ending.
Not surprisingly, the movie itself
received poor reviews. However
Godard never resorts to sex, drugs,
rock'n'roll, violence, slapstick, or
sentimentality to create interest.
"Hail Mary!" may someday be con-
sidered a middling movie that wad
ahead of its time. Godard's high-broq
artistry does not start with tlhe
assumption of a passive audience that
needs answers and thrills pounded ir:
to its head. For this reason alorge;
"Hail Mary!" stands (if weakly),
above 80 percent of the films at the
box office today.

Not quite everything you'd want, but



By Peter Ephross
F ACE IT. The Ann Arbor Folk
Festival has high, almost im-
possible expectations to fill. Unless
it's the best concert in the world, it
can be a disappointment. It also
features folk music played under
strange conditions. Unlike an average
concert, with one, maybe two perfor-
mners, the folk festival has nine. It
lasts for over two times the normal
two hour length. And the ticketed price
while not prohibitive, is steep, up to
$15 a seat.
In spite of these unreasonable ex-
pectations, strange conditions, and
some minor setbacks, most notably
occasional sound difficulties and the
absence of Folk Festival veteran
pave Bromberg, over 4,200 fans were
treated to some of the best folk music
at Hill Auditorium Saturday night.
tAs with any large-scale concert,
sbme performers left permanent
jmages on the minds of the audience.
Doc Watson and John-McCutcheon
fulfilled this fole Saturday night. Wat-
son, stating "It might ruin my

image," went into a wonderful medly
of sixties rock and roll. It wasn't a bad
effort, particularly from a blind flat-
picker in his seventies.
McCutcheon displayed a com-
bination of versatility and crowd ap-
peal. His fiddling through the crowd
earned him the hearts of the audience,
and the line from one of his guitar
songs, "One thin swimsuit lies bet-
ween the porno star and the beauty
queen," was the best of the night.
Watson and McCutcheon, along with
Claudia Schmidt's stunning har-
monies on "Amazing Grace,"
provided the most lasting musical
impressions of the night.
After Mr. B worked both the crowd
and himself up with some up-beat
tunes, including a 15-minute
boogie woogie number, the Chenille
Sisters took the stage.
The three sisters, dressed in bright-
colored, bridesmaid dresses,
displayed both well-arranged har-
monies and an engaging innocence.
The three women were thrilled to be
on the bill with the greats in the folk
world and their expressions let
everybody know it.

their final song, Uncle Bonsai's
"Suzy," which featured "Cheryl on an
industrial-strength oats box and
Grace on popcorn," brought some of
the loudest applause of the night.
Greg Brown performed after the
three sisters, and gave the crowd a
competent and understated perfor-
mance. Life doesn't seem to be kind to
Brown, at least if you listen to his "I
don't want to have a happy day."
Sung in a voice that at its highest hits
bass notes, Brown's song effectively
criticized the superficialisty of con-
temporary society.
After Brown's performance, as with
after every performance during the
night, MC Art Thieme took the stage.
Thieme, a Chicago club singer, lent a
certain comfortability to the night.
Alternating puns with ballads,
Thieme's presence reminded the
audience that folk music comes from,
and is played for, the people.
Rory Block's set was perhaps the
most disappointing of the night. While
Block displayed a beautiful voice, her
performance was marred by sound
difficulties. These difficulties were
most evident during Block's perfor-

mance and Doc Watson's performan-
ce, but for the most part the sound
crew did an excellent job
But it was Block's attitude more
than anything else that got in the way
of her performance. Confidence is a
fine thing to have, but too much of it is
definitely a bad thing. And Block,
judging by her performance on Satur-
day night, has too much of it. Perhaps
she was listening when Thieme, in an
overzealous moment, introduced her
as "the most popular female singer in
After a fifteen minute intermission,
the concert moved into the big names.
Claudia Schmidt's mixture of song
and poetry floated the audience into a
dreamy, almost trance-like state.
Schmidt did seem a bit small
Hill Auditorium stage, however. Her
concert at the Ark on April 18 will be a
better opportunity for Schmidt to
showcase her talents.
David Bromberg's absence
definitely took away from the festival.
When asked about the absence, Ark
owner and Festival co-ordinator Dave
Signlin explained, "His manager
booked him here, and his agency

booked him somewhere else. So we let
him out."
Filling in for Bromberg was "Ran-
dy of the Redwoods." Randy, who in
real -life is Jim Turner from the
Duck's Breath Mystery Theater,
humoured the crowd with the antics of
a burnt-out sixties reject. He also
made the crowd cringe by slamming
his taped-up acousting guitar onto the
stage, something that is not the norm,
at folk concerts.
Finally, Arlo Guthrie took the stage,
With long, gray hair, Guthrie started
off by singing some farm songs: his
father's "Freight Train" and "Pretty
Boy Floyd" and his own "Down on the
American Farm."
Guthrie seemed to have a bit of Bob
Dylan in him Saturday night, as ex-
pressed by the Dylanesque wail in his
voice and his rendition of "Gates of
Eden," a Dylan song from the late

sixties. Guthrie showed his sense of
humor when he interrupted "The
Garden Song" to explain its impor-
tance. He then launched into a story
about being stopped by the Canadian
border guards on his way back into
the country, singing the song, and
being asked by the guard what
language the song was in. The inch is
a dying measurement, and "We can't
solve our problems in kilometers,',
Guthrie aptly pointed out. On the
whole, Guthrie's performance was
competent, but he seemed to hold
back a little on what he could have
given-the crowd.
So, the Ninth Annual Folk Festival
gave us two things: an evening of
some great known and unknown per-
formers, and an incentive to see these
performers later in the spring when
most of them, except for Guthrie, wilf
be at the Ark.

Area pelted with live jazz

By arwulf arwulf
"COME to New York, they
~. say, "the music never
God it's tempting. One could
y shack in the Village and attend live
shows round the clock, collapsing
in a soft heap, satisfied wreck of a
listener. What a way to go!
Things are busy enough,
however, right here in
Southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor
is never without a gig, and Detroit
isn't all that far away. Within the
next few weeks, Jazz addicts will
be pressed for time as the events
whip by.
Saturday, Feb. 1st at the
Ark-"Out of the Blue", a small
platoon of young lions recently
signed by Blue Note records. This
should be exciting. New names and
faces always are.
.Saturday, Feb. 8th-Sun Ra and
the Arkestra will make a bright
landing at Lydia Mendellsohn
Theater. Ra has said that he
:wouldn't want to be a human
* being; it takes too long. I expect
he'll tire of this highly predicatable
planet and make for other worlds
soon. This is your chance to catch
the most amazing organiztion in
the history of Jazz. So like don't
good and miss out.
Valentine's Day, Friday Feb.
14th-Maybe you'd like to split this
town for an evening and catch The
Roscoe Mitchell Sound Ensemble
at the Detroit Institute of Art. Two
cardinal members of the Griot
Galaxy, and former Arkestra
A membrs. Tani Tabbal and Jaribu

have heard as a member of the Out
Of the Blue organization. Roscoe,
seasoned vet, mingling with
youngerbloods such as these,
should be worth ten trips into

As you read this, the folks at
Eclipse Jazz are busily booking
some of the world' most exciting
musicians for live gigs in
historic Treetown.

Our three-year and
twvo-year scholarships wont
n" *
Just easier to pay for.
Even if you didn't start college on a scholarship, you
could finish on one. Army ROTC Scholarships
pay for full tuition and allowances for educational
fees and textbooks. Along with up to $1,000
a year. Get all the facts. BE ALL YOU CAN BE.
I arnp QA

For Those of You Not Yet Convinced
That Excel Has the Finest MCAT
Preparation Available:
Instructor: Norman Miller
The Seminar Was Just The Beginningl
Space Limited. Call to Reserve a Seat.





Sat., Feb. 1
7:00 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Michigan Theater
Tickets at: Box Office,
Tic ketwor"d,
Bavarian Village

For Information
and Class Schedules
ENjrEL CALL: 996-1500

S tr of
S =

Part Time Employment

The School of Education will be interviewing students by phone to
call alumni nationwide for an alumni fundraising phonathon.
" Phonathon held Sunday through Thursday evenings
February 16 through March 27 (excluding Spring Break)
" Callers will be expected to work two calling sessions
Sanh m zu ii h r,+ mm- a nnnnrt..i..n4.. fnr.. -r i:i:n.I , ern...

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