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March 10, 1989 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-03-10
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9 9

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Cox
Continued from Page 6
is wrong, everybody knows
that conspiracy to obstruct justice by
covering up crimes already
committed is wrong. The wrong [in
Iran-Contra] isn't quite so simple...
Someone says, 'Well, maybe I
violated the law, but I did it for the
national interest.' There's nothing
selfish about what they did, or about
very little of what they did.
Whereas in Watergate, in the first

instance, looking out for their own
personal or political fortunes, in that
sense, was selfish, and I think that
makes it harder to understand, what I
see, the central wrong in both cases,
the violation of laws by people very
high in the government.
Lustig: Getting back to Iran-
Contra for a bit, in a broad sense,
can such operations, particularly
covert actions, be authorized and
conducted in a manner compatible
with the American system of
democratic government and the rule
of law, given that, in the

Congressional hearings on the Iran-
Contra affair, the committees
concluded that covert action is a
necessary component of U.S. foreign
policy? Is there a place where covert
action can go on, even if it might
run the risk of turning into what
Iran-Contra ended up as becoming?
Cox: Well, I think that covert
action, if it reaches a certain scale,
increases the risk that there will be
violation of the laws, but I see a
critical difference between covert
action which is not in violation of
the law made by Congress and which

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is properly reported to congressional
committees, and covert action that
involves disregard for the laws made
by Congress or deception - because
that's what it was - of the
American people and the Congress
on the scale of the deception in the
case of our policy of arms for
hostages. The larger the scale of the
covert action I think the greater the
danger your question refers to.
People have forgotten, you know,
the debate of the 1950s when it was
argued by department men in public
life that the United States should
never establish an agency authorized
to engage in covert action because,
to put it metaphorically, in doing it,
we'd sell our own souls. The
tendency you speak of is a terribly
strong one, that you go by little
degrees and you may pass over the
line that I said [in his keynote
address] certainly exists in theory and
ought to be observed in fact between
what is not forbidden by law and
what is forbidden by law. Someday
we may have to come back and
rethink the whole business of covert
action, but there's very little
dispositionto do it today. I've been
around so long that I vividly
remember that debate... men whose
patriotism nobody would ever
question.
Lustig: Looking more at
government as a whole, can an
agency, such as the Defense Dept.,
or even Congress, adequately act as
its own police force?
Cox: Well, ultimately, we do
have to trust... certain individuals to
police themselves. On the other
hand, there are many mechanisms
that can be set up, like, in the case
of the Defense Dept., setting up an
internal inspector general making
sure that the inspector general and
his people don't come under the
bureaucratic influence of the other
departments.
I've often thought that if some
president, or person chosen to be
president, said.to me, 'What's the
one sentence bit of advice you can
give to me?' it would be: always
have somebody around you who can
tell you. 'No, it's wrong.' And make
the thing count - in the end the
president has got to decide what the
president is going to do, you can't
have some other mechanism. With
imagination, Congress ought to be

quicker to turn over some of its
responsibility for policing its own
members to independent persons.
In the case of the ethics charges
against the Speaker-of the House
[Rep. Jim Wright of Texas], we at
Common Cause pressed very hard
for the committees naming an
independent counsel and giving the
counsel very wide power. Congress
did appoint one, but it didn't give as
quite as wide power as we thought
would be desirable, but they took a
step. That's the kind of thing that I
have in mind.
Hunter: Yet, Mr. Cox, even
with the internal policing, there have
been, and in alarming frequency,
many abuses of office. For example,
the insider trading scandal, the Iran-
Contra scandal, the Chicago trade
scandal, the whole litany. Do we
have to reform public policy in order
to start a trend towards ethical
practices, ethical government?
Cox: I think ultimately it comes
down to the standards that men and
women set for themselves and the
standards by which people judge
them at the polls... I think we've
come too far away from judging the
people who run for office in terms of
our appraisal of their - good, old-
fashioned word - character. That's
what you've got to come back to in
the end. You can have all the
mechanisms in the world...
Ultimately, the people we choose to
govern have got to get, first of all,
together themselves, according to
proper standards.
Lustig: Looking at the outcry
over the pay raise Congress ended up
voting down, do you think they'll
maybe get the message to start
cleaning up their own house? Is that
maybe something they needed, or
does that not come in as a problem?
Cox: I hope they'll see it that
way. That was not apparently the
first reaction of a fair number of
them. The first reaction was one of
resentment, but we know ourselves
well enough to know that the first
reaction is often one of resentment,
and then we say to ourselves, 'Grow
up, have some sense. Think again.
Come to the right conclusion.' I
sure hope that'll be what they do. I
think they've got to do something.
The real fight will be over whether
they do the real thing, or whether
it's a little bit of dressing over.

By Alyssa Katz
Martin Scorsese. Francis Cop-
pola. Woody Allen. These three
filmmaking giants have each con-
tributed their own short works to the
movie New York Stories. The result
is something like a sandwich which
has delicious meat on the outside and
a fluffy piece of Wonder bread
within.
In "Life Lessons," Scorsese turns
his black comedy After flours on its
ear - this time around he presents
the downtown New York art scene
from the perspective of insiders, in-
stead of from that of an alienated
visitor. Lionel (Nick Nolte) is a
highly respected, yet gruff and disil-
lusioned painter who works on gi-
gantic canvases in his spacious loft.
He has a penchant for female
groupie/disciple/assistants; his latest
is Paulette (Rosanna Arquette), an
aspiring artist who feels stifled by
Lionel's obsessiveness toward both
her and his art.
In his exploration of the break-
down of their relationship, Scorsese
has created something that has the
feel and pacing of an excellently-
made student film; he isn't afraid to
experiment or demonstrate youthful
bravura in his filmmaking. As with
his other recent movies, Scorsese
has a field day with his hyperactive
camera - dollying across the width
of Lionel's work-in-progress, merg-
ing into the crowd at a performance

art club, pausing to focus in on
messy palettes, dirty brandy glasses,
and Lionel's bearded face (everything
in his studio is covered with smears
of paint - you can practically smell
it.)
Nolte, his face hidden behind big
glasses and a beard, is great as Li-
onel. He exudes the aura of someone
completely driven by his fetishes and
obsessions. Grunting his lines, he's
like a primal beast. Paulette is a less
well-developed character, but Ar-
quette makes the most of what she
has to work with here and is highly
convincing as an insecure 22-year-
old college dropout.
Francis Coppola's "Life Without
Zoe" is everything Scorsese's seg-
ment is not: tedious, aimless, and.
thoroughly inconsequential. Zoe
(Heather McComb) is a 12-year-old
poor little rich girl. Living alone in
the posh Sherry-Netherland hotel
(her parents are working abroad), she
makes huge withdrawals from the
cashier's desk and shops to her
heart's content. Coppola's segment
drags on and on, with some point-
less plot developments involving
wealthy sheiks, flute playing, and
missing jewels. Coppola (whose
teenage daughter Sofia co-wrote the
screenplay and designed the film's
costumes) surely intended this to be
a fantasy, involving New York City
as a far-out fairy land. Instead, the
film's a mess. It's hard to have
much sympathy for Zoe, who wears

In the city of New
York, two out of
three ain't bad

.Directors Francis Coppola, Woody Allen, and Martin Scorsese (fror
New York Stories - three separate pieces which each take place in The

O

I c.

"0

coordinated Chanel outfits yet sees
giving chocolate kisses to a home-
less man as an act of great generos-
ty.
Still, there are a few worthwhile
moments in this segment. Cine-
matographer Vittorio Storaro comes
up with some stunningly beautiful
shots of Central Park. Don Novello
- better known as Saturday Night
Live's Father Guido Sarducci - has,
sans sunglasses and mustache, a
brief but cute role as Zoe's guardian.
And the toy instrument band Pi-
anosaurus has a tiny cameo, playing
at an opulent kiddie costume ball.
See NY Stories, Page 7

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Frankly, Ted Turner, we do,
give a damn: GWTW returns

By Mark Shaiman
"Is it the greatest motion picture
ever made? Probably not, although it
is the greatest motion mural we have
seen and the most ambitious film-
making venture in Hollywood's
spectacular history," wrote Frank
Nugent of the New York Times fifty
years ago.
1939 is widely considered the best
year in Hollywood's reign. Films
such as The Wizard of Oz, Gunga
Din, Stagecoach, Goodbye, Mr.
Chips, and Ninotchka were all re-
leased that year. But the granddaddy
of them all snuck its way in late that
December and took the audiences by
storm, or, to be more exact, by fire.
Gone With The Wind swept away
Atlanta and took the rest of the na-
tion with it.
Fifty years later, Ann Arbor will
get to see the film as it was origi-
nally meant to be. That nasty Ted

Turner fellow, who insists on adding
color to black and white films,
couldn't play that little trick on
Gone With The Wind , since it was
done in Technicolor to begin with.
But over the last fifty years, the
quality of the prints available has
substantially decreased. So in con-
nection with the film's golden an-
niversary, Turner has returned the
original life to this classic. Could
this be a repentance from the man
who continually gets coal in his
Christmas stocking from movie
buffs everywhere? I doubt it, but
why look a gift film in the lens.
Technicolor, one of the first color
systems to be used, was a compli-
cated process. Three individual layers
of film ran through the camera, each
recording blue, red or green. Each of
these was then developed and mixed
together to produce a complete im-
age. From this print, later prints

were made, and then new prints from
the old prints, until the process
eventually led to the distortion of
colors and sounds.
It would have been easy to make a
new copy from one of the original
prints, except that the film stock
used had also deteriorated to the
point where it would not accurately
reproduce the images originally
recorded. In order to restore Gone
With The Wind, the technicians had
to go all the way back and work
with the original three strips of film
from the Technicolor process. This
also caused a problem, because each
of the individual strips had shrunk to
different sizes and had to be dealt
with one at a time. But with the new
print, audiences are transported 50
years back to the initial release, and
then 80 years further to the Civil
War setting of the story.
See GWTW, Page 7

Woody Allen is nagged to a state of n
Jewish mother, Mae Questel, in "Oedi
IN PERFORMANCE
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PAGE 12 WEEKEND/MARCH10,1989

WEEKEND/MARCH 10, 1989

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