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September 05, 1991 - Image 67

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-05
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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Page 10-The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition-

--Thursday, September 5, 1991

The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition - Thursday,

CINEMA
Continued from page 9
Alas, such days are no more. Two of the commercial
theaters have closed (although there is still hope for
the old State, if someone decides that investing the
money to get it up to code is worth their while; there is
no hope, unfortunately, for the old Campus Theater:
the spot where it used to stand now contains a mini-
mall) and half of the local film groups have gone
under. Even the Michigan Theater, having lost all of its
state funding because of the Engler Cuts, is being
forced to cut back.
Fortunately, the sun has not completely set on the
Ann Arbor film community. There are still several
beacons of that pre-video and pre-cable era which
promise to continue the legacy of alternative film for
at least a couple of years. These are the film groups.
Best of all, as nonprofit interest groups, they provide
an instant community of people who are interested in
film, a community that provides benefits which we all
reap in the form of being able to see things that we
would otherwise never have the chance to see anywhere.
The three main self-supporting student film groups
on campus are Cinema Guild, the Ann Arbor Film
Cooperative and InFocus Filmworks. Each has its own
character and its own unique history and each provides a
different service to the community.
Cinema Guild: At more than 40 years old, this is
by far the oldest independent film society on campus.
According to John Carlos Cantu, its treasurer, Cinema
Guild is "the oldest independent film society east of
the Mississippi river." Its survival has been due to its
relatively conservative choice of films. It has always
concentrated on more traditional film classics, at-
tempting to show all of the films which the world

considers important. As Cantu says, they're "archival:
(they) show films going back all the way to the silent
film era." As such, they provide one of the only places
where you can see all of the great Hollywood classics
on a big screen, as well as all of the classic European
films. They also show stuff in CinemaScope (that's the
really, really wide screen format popular in the '60s,
and which looses all of its appeal when shown on-a
TV) and films which are unavailable on video.
The membership of the group is generally around
16, but this is "a very informal limit" and so new peo-
ple are always welcome. Furthermore, being, as Cantu
says, "the Coca Cola" of film societies on campus, CG
has produced many people who are now distinguished
members of the film community. One of these is the
most famous, film-wise, graduate of the University:
Lawrence Kasdan (the guy who wrote and directed,
among many other things, both Body Heat and The Big
Chill). "Any undergraduate, graduate, faculty member
or staff member who has a general interest in film has
an opportunity to apply for membership." The best
thing, though, is that every member of the group has a
say in what films are shown. Cantu describes the pro-
cess as one where everyone writes down the films they
want the group to show and makes copies for everyone
else, then everyone marks everyone else's sheet with a
score stating how much they want the film shown. The
scores are tallied up and the films with the highest
scores are shown. True democracy at work.
Ann Arbor Film Cooperative: Celebrating its
20th birthday last year, the Film Co-op has a much dif-
ferent bent to it than Cinema Guild. Founded as a
source of funding for young filmmakers, with film
showings on the side as a method for revenue produc-
tion, the Co-op has had to abandon its original purpose
and now only shows films. Fortunately, the original
spirit that caused it to come into
being still exists and it's showings
are much more toward the gonzo
end of the film tastes, with horror
flicks, documentaries, avant garde
and mainstream films all mixed to-
gether in a typical schedule. "We
push toward the new end of film" is
how Erika Lindensmith, current

eccentri c comm odity
and down, digging for a cheap or rare book

Theater for
and hosts a multitude of

20% of the books that come in aren't
worth buying," he says. OK, OK so
the copy of Tess of the
D'urbervilles that I bought there
for 50 cents fell apart in a week, but
David's can usually be counted on
for quality. Of course, David's has a
plethora of offerings, from ency-
clopedia sets to used magazines,
from show biz biographies to an old
album of Roosevelt photographs.
The used book business is full of
challenges. Koster says he might
travel all over Michigan to book
fairs or specialty shops to find
books that are in demand. Decisions
must also be constantly made as to
what goes on the shelves, what the
books' values are, and what should
be bought. The owner's judgement'
on a book's worth is really what de-
termines the flavor of store: Brian
Case, the manager of Dawn Treader
Used Books says that each store has
its own specialties and personali-
ties. Another challenge arises when

people come in with stolen books
and try to sell them and also, Koster
jokes, in just trying to keep the place
clean!
So what about David? His por-
trait adorns the front door, and the
David's tote-bags. Well, he moved
out to California and hasn't been a
part of his namesake for years. One
illusion shattered perhaps, along
with the recent death of one of the
store's cats, but the store's intrinsic
value remains unmarred.
The most important aspect of a
good used book store is "finding the
right people to work with." Kastor
says. People who know and value
books can help newcomers make
their way through the David's con-
voluted categories or chit-chat with
the people who've made David's
their second home. Bonus: David's is
discreet and ecologically aware at
the same time. If you buy a stack of
the old Playboys in the store's back
corner, they'll give you a used gro-

cery bag to carry them home in.
Dawn Treader's two stores (at
525 E. Liberty and 1202 South
University) each have distinct spe-
cialties and personalities. Case, who
works at the East Liberty store, in-
troduced himself with an assess-
ment of Ann Arbor. The used book
stores reflect what Ann Arbor is
all about, Case explains, while out-
side investors who build things like
"that accursed Galleria" (a mutant
mini-mall that has been attempted
twice in town, and has failed miser-
ably each time) want to turn Ann
Arbor into "a wild strain of
Birmingham."
"From a bookseller's point of
view," Case says, "an Arbor is
still pretty liberal and progres-
sive." While some conservative
strains lurked around during the
'80s, says Case, liberalism is alive
and well at Dawn Treader. Some

by Sue Uselmann
Feel you've exhausted all of the
exciting possibilities for enter-
tainment in Ann Arbor? Probably'
not. That is, on a seemingly boring
night, there will undoubtedly be
creatively different offerings at the
Michigan Theater, at 603"East
Liberty. Whether your interests lie
in a simple get-away to childish an-
tics or"la haute couture" theater
productions, Michigan Theater
seems to cover it all.
Renown for its palatial elegance,
the Theater has been dominating
Ann Arbor's artistic atmosphere for
over 60 years. Established in 1928 as
a community theater, it now repre-
sents the historical development of
the arts in Ann Arbor, beginning
with the days of vaudeville and
silent films. With its crystal chan-
delier and spiral staircase, the
Theateraexuded an atmosphere of
palatial opulence which attracted
many movie-goers. In contrast to
the rather obscure fare that the
Michigan Theater now offers, in the
1920s the Theater featured what the
mainstream viewer would call
risqu6 films.
Continuing its popularity
through 1979, it was sold to the
newly-formed Michigan Theater
Foundation, the non-profit organi-
zation designed to help preserve the
Theater. For five years, the
Foundation struggled financially in
attempts to determine what to do
with the historically aesthetic the-
ater. In the past six years, however,
it has worked successfully to
achieve the status it holds today.
Russell Collins, executive direc-
tor of the Theater, calls it "a multi-
media performance menu, where you

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See BOOKS, Page 9

Director David Cronenberg, who made such cheeky sex-mutilation-
mutation-postmodern farces as The Brood, Scanners, and Videodrome,
is typical of someone whose work you're likely to see on campus.

Wei wVvb

president, describes their style.
Matt Madden, another member of
the group, adds "We're more recent
independent stuff. We also try to
cover different genres than the other
film groups don't cover. More ex-'

perimental stuff, shorts." They're
also one of the last groups that's
not afraid of films about sex, and a
See CINEMA, page 11
RECORDS
Continued from page 7

IUUIC UUII
HUDSON'S TRAVEL SERVICE
We Make All The Difference In The World
Get to know us at Hudson's Travel:
" Conveniently located in Hudson'ssBriarwood Mall.
" Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday
10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday. Closed Sunday.
" Your Hudson's Shopping Card is welcome as well as
American Express, Visa, Discover and MasterCard.
Special cruise rates
Special Honeymoon rates
In Briarwood Mall, come in and meet
Marci, Carol, Peggy, Gretchen, and Wayne.. or call us.
Ann Arbor Briarwood Mall 998-5300
Other locations: Northland, Eastland, Southland, Westland, Oakland, and Summit Place.

the best selection in town and a
" Repairs staff ranging from painfully mel-
Accessories low to ditzily neurotic, but always
" Books helpful.
GUI ST T U Lessons Wherehouse Records (1140
A Instruments South University): All of their al-
1 10 665;8001 new-used- bums are on CD or cassette, but if
custom made you're looking for 12" versions of
CLASSICAL "Gypsy Woman" or "Everybody
Everybody," then head here or to
BZJA Discount Records (300 South
ROCKFOLKState). House music is woefully unm
0 ROCKA derrepresented in Tree Town, but
SBLUEGRASSyour best bets are these two or the
import 12" section at Schoolkid's.

The mural outside of David's Books on Liberty is one Ann Arbor landmark everyone can't help but notice. Also
note the used books on the tables outside and the picture of the long-gone David.

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