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November 06, 1987 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-06
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v "




Theaters threaten movie paradise




Chuck Berr;

Ann Arbor is often hailed as
movie-goer's paradise, but these
days that reputation is in jeopardy.
The University's "renovation" of
the Angell Hall auditoriums has
seriously damaged campus cinema
groups, and some of them may not
make it until current problems are
rectified. Things are also bad around
town, thanks in large part to the
Kerasotes organization.
A couple of years ago, Kerasotes
bought the Campus and State
Theaters. At present, the Campus is
a goner, scheduled to be replaced by
a "Galleria" shopping center which
looks like it's going to be every bit
as popular as Tally Liberty Square
Hall. And, based on a recent trip to
the State, this theater is only a few
reels away from being replaced by
an eight story food-court/wave-o
Every time I visit the State I am
overcome with a desire to know
what the theater was like back when
movies were big. The lobby,
restrooms, and stairwells still
resonate with the faded gaudy
grandeur of a former movie palace.
But the romance evaporates if I'm
forced to take a seat in one of the
second-floor theaters. Each theater

Amiri Baraka
Writer turned revolutionary speaks
about imperialism, reform, and Black
Amiri Baraka has published 28 works of fiction-plays, poetry, and
prose- and 11 works of non-fiction. Baraka, then LeRoi Jones, first
established his reputation as a New York City jazz critic. His 1963
'Blues People,' a sociological essay on the importance of music on the
development of Afro-American culture is still highly regarded and widely
read. As his interests moved towards theatre and social concerns, his
dramas were also highly praised. In 1964 he received an Obie award, and
in 1965 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1968, Jones
changed his name to Imamu Amiri Baraka and began his withdrawl from
a white society he viewed as "corrupt and morally bankrupt." Baraka, 53,
continues to write and publish but devotes most of his time to
revolutionary Marxism and Black nationalism. He lives in Newark and is
heavily involved in local politics. Baraka recently spoke on campus and
talked afterwards with WEEKEND Editor Alan Paul.
Daily: A big problem in the Black community now is essentially
Blacks killing Blacks. What can be done to immediately deal with that
Baraka: In any period of declining struggle, all the violence becomes
inner-directed. The only thing that can help that is organizing, and
making sure that the violence is focused on what it needs to be focused
on. If it doesn't get organized, then it becomes self-destructive. If people
have to submit to colonialism all day, when another oppressed person
steps on them, they swing and kill him. It's from repressed rage.
D: Being involved in city politics, what is the first step that you could
take to reorganize this energy?
B: In any community, the most important thing is to find out what is
the key issue, what it is that motivates, what most people are focused
on, the issue they think needs some action. That's what you have to
organize around. You find out what people want to do about it, what the
state of it is, and how you can go about moving people around it.
When we first began to organize people around the issue of political
power, the question was that we were in a majority Black city, and we
should constitute the political infrastructure. Now we are moving people
specifically on education - the question of how we should elect the
school board. When you organize around such a broad issue as education,
you have to find out what people want to do, what is the cutting edge of
the issue, what are the leading forces, and move on it in that way. But it
always has to be based upon what people want to do, what they think is
the most pressing need.
D: Do you feel that if you can accomplish these immediate needs that
perhaps, then maybe the next step will be psychologically easier?

was once half of a balcony. The
open space from the end of the
balcony to the screen has been filled
in with a cheap, oddly shaped black
mass, which destroys my sense of
horizon and leaves me dizzy and
Fortunately (or so I thought), on
a recent trip I was in one of the
lower theaters, where t h e
asymmetry isn't so startling. I had
forgotten, in the many months
since I had sworn (after an out-of-
focus showing of Fantasia) never
to go to the State again, just how
nasty this theater can be. Many
seats were broken. The floor was
apparently covered with rubber
cement, which is a forgivable
theater sin when everything else is
Worst of all, there was no heat.
Later that week the theater posted a
sign warning prospective patrons of
this deficiency, but I received no

such warning, and consequently I
was unwillingly extraordinarily
sympathetic to the young
protagonist of My Life as a Dog
who spends a goodly chunk of the
movie in a snow-covered summer-
The Kerasotes corporation spent
a lot of money on a sparkly
"welcome" reel which encouraged
me to notify the management if
anything about the theater did not
meet my expectations. Well, here's
the notification, gang. After paying
$4.50 to see a movie, I think I'm
entitled to see the movie, rather
than acttassthe theater's quality
control supervisor. Moreover, I
question the value of telling the
three underpaid teenagers who were
working at the theater about the
myriad problems interfering with
my enjoyment of the movie. They
appear to be too busy taking
tickets, 'selling overpriced
Raisinets, and showing movies to
worry about the nasty floor, the
absence of heat, and the poor sound
and focus for the first five minutes
of the movie.
The sparkly "welcome" reel is
also irritatingly present at The
See LOGIE, Page 13

By Alan Paul
"If they didn't call it rock and
roll, they would have called it
Chuck Berry."
-John Lennon
As the true father of rock, Berry
has had a cultural impact which
extends far beyond his obvious
musical legacy and has never been
fully realized by the mainstream
media. Chuck Berry Hail! Hail!
Rock 'N' Roll sets out to rectify
this situation. The film is a
celebration of Berry's 60th birthday
party concert, filmed live last year
at St. Louis's Fox Theater.
But Hail! Hail! is much more
than a concert film. Through
interviews with such rock
luminaries as Bo Diddley, the
Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis,
Little Richard, Keith Richards, and
Bruce Springsteen, director Taylor
Hackford (An Officer and a
Gentleman, Against All Odds)
succeeds at painting a picture of
Berry's tremendous influence on the
Conversations with Diddley, and
Little Richard in which they discuss
the racism and rip-offs of early rock
are particularly insightful, and
Richard's imitation of Pat Boone's
version of "Tutti-Fruiti" is both

hilarious and somehow sad,
reminding everyone of how many
white musicians got rich and
famous recording inferior versions
of black artists' songs.
Berry was determined to avoid
this and other other financial
pitfalls of the music business. We
get a picture of Berry as a highly
calculating, articulate, and shrewd
musician and businessman. He
claims to have chosen his song
topics- cars, school, and love-
based around demographics,
choosing the three subjects almost
everyone could relate to.
"Kids usually hate school,
everyone has been, or wants to be,
in love, and cars are just part of
America," Berry says. "I majored in
money, and I learned; never let the
same dog bite you twice."
He took this cliche to heart. After
being ripped off on some of his
early publishing royalties, Berry
became a sort of one man act,
touring alone and hiring backup
bands in each town. He was willing
to sacrifice the quality of the music
for financial rewards.
This attitude led to confrontations
with Keith Richards, who organized
the backing band for the birthday
concert and produced the film's
music. The footage of the rehearsals
at Berry Park is very revealing;


__________________________________________________________ r

Engineering students build bombs,
but LSA students have the guts to
use them.
s-Graduate Library
Great books are not great.
-Graduate Library
Virgins make better lovers.
(in reply)
-Graduate Library
Get back to work.
- -Graduate Library
Prosecutors will be shoplifted.
-East Quad
The worst things in the world...
(in reply)
(in reply)
Irrational, uninformed zealotry.
(in reply)
-Law Quad

-IV, A

-Ab. gfS A L T
?rH 5 W*K.

Chuck Berry stars in 'Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'N' Roll'

Cryer comes out of 'Hiding'77



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By John Shea
In the final analysis, Hiding Out
is yet another run-of-the-mill teen-
age flick, with the usual
complement of high school gags
and high-jinx. It should not have
been this way. It should have been
so much more. But the producers
shoot themselves in the foot by
masquerading to be something they
are not.
The story revolves around
Andrew Morenski (Jon Cryer), a 29
year-old stockbroker from Boston
who, along with two of his
business associates, unknowingly
trade counterfeit bonds-a criminal
transaction which makes Morenski
and his friends key witnesses
against the mafia. They agree to
testify, and when one associate is
hit, Morenski is taken into custody
by the FBI.
The FBI agents are unable to
provide adequate protection, and
when Morenski is almost h.it
himself, he runs off and takes
refuge in a faraway small town
where his Aunt Lucy (Gretchen
Cryer, Jon's real life mother) and
17 year-old cousin Patrick (Keith
Coogan) live. He "hides out" from

the mafia, as it were, by shedding
his beard and business clothes and
going undercover as a student. He
attends Patrick's high school and,
in short, becomes a teen-ager once
On the surface, things are easy
for Morenski. He makes friends
fast, and has his affections sought
after by the pretty Ryan Campbell
(Annabeth Gish). But problems
develop: his new peers want him to
run -for class president, a position
he does not want, and he struggles
with the thought of falling in love
with a 16 year-old girl. Oh, yeah;
he's also being pursued by an
assassin from the mafia, who's
closing in on his target fast.
It is clear that screenwriters Jeff
Rothberg and Joe Menosky don't
want a film full of car chases and
tired cliches. One senses at times a
definite feeling of freshness: when
asked for his name at the high
school, Cryer sees a coffee can
nearby and blurts out "Maxwell
Hauser"; a group of thugs run Cryer
into the school bathroom and
instead of beating him up, they ask
him to run for class president.
Some nice touches, indeed. But
these few fragment, these few bits
,and pieces of good moments that

sug ge st H iding Out could be
special, are all for nought. The
biggest problem with the film is
it's dishonest. As the story is set
up, we are led to believe we are in
for some good suspense and action,
as Cryer runs for his life from the
mafia. But it becomes apparent a
third of the way into the film, that
the mafia story will become
secondary; used as if it is just an
excuse to get Cryer back into high
Director Bob Giraldi, known for
his work in videos and television,
manipulates the material. He teases
us, dangling the possibilities of
some real suspense in front of us,
and instead giving the usual high
school garbage. The ending is
merely stapled on, without much
care or thought.
Cryer clearly is a talented actor,
although strangely enough his best
work is not when he is loud or
obnoxious, but in his quieter
scenes. He had a wonderful scene
with Molly Ringwald in Pretty in
Pink , where he explained to her
that they couldn't be friends
anymore if she went out with rich-
kid Andrew McCarthy Here, he
gently tells Gish of his crisis, and
See HIDIpG, Page 7

Jon Cryer stars in 'Hiding Out'



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