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March 12, 1992 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-12

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily-Weekend etc. -March 12,1992

_ _ _

Sound bites and fake smiles
by Stephen Henderson
n the past few months, my TV screen has been bombarded with news
about the 1992 presidential campaign. And coverage of the several
candidates' campaign appearances stepped up another notch this week
because of Super Tuesday and the upcoming primary here in Michigan.
But as often as I see the candidates on the news, and as "in-depth" as the
three major news networks may think their coverage has been, I feel like
I've been short-changed as a viewer.
Network news has portrayed the candidates as little more than smiling
faces who cough up a 20-second sound bite every now and then. I see them
shaking hands with voters or getting on and off planes, and we hear them
offer an abrupt response to some reporter's question, but I rarely, if ever,
catch them offering an insightful look into their platforms or character.
President Bush rarely appears on a nightly newscast doing anything
more than responding to the polls that reflect his flagging popularity. And
fellow Republican, Pat Buchanan, is seen as little more than a xenophobic
malcontent who'd be more at home at a KKK rally than in the capital.
Worst of all has been the coverage
of the Democratic candidates, which
has simply lumped them together. Ac-
cording to whatgets on ABC, CBS and
NBC every evening, Paul Tsongas,
Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown aren't.
individual candidates with individual
ideas; they're part of a nondescript
blob that's blindly chasing after Bush.
And it shouldn't be that way.
I ought to be able to watch network
and local news every night and get a
better feel for who these people are and
what they're about. I should get to look th/title ic'vre
past their toothy smiles and through
their catch-phrases to get a glimpse of what' sin their heads and where they
want to take.this country. Moreover, I should be able to rely on the network
news to offer some perspective on the candidates and the issues.
Perhaps the networks ought to take their cues more from some other
channels that have been covering the campaign.
C-SPAN - which is a public affairs cable channel - has done a
remarkable job of providing in-depth coverage of all of the candidates.
Everyday, the station airs unedited tapes of the various speeches given
along the campaign trail - no flash, no flair, no television anchor's
engaging prose or disarming smile. All you get is the candidates speaking
frankly about what they think.
Cable's Discovery Channel has also devoted air time to an up-close-
and-personal look at the candidates. This past Sunday, the station gave each
candidate 20 minutes to discuss their platforms. This, too, was unedited.
Even some of the more traditional news stations have done a better job
than the nightly newscasts; CNN - as always -has met the challenge of
comprehensive campaign coverage, and Sunday morning news shows like
Meet the Press and Inside Washington have done fairly well.
As our primary source of news about the campaign, though, the
networks ought to do better. No, they don't have the air-time or, in some
cases, the resources to give us the kind of coverage that other stations are
providing, but they can provide amore intelligent a'nd thoughtful look at the
people who want to lead our country.
Maybe ABC could preempt Entertainment Tonight one evening to air
a Tsongas speech; or NBC might bump Wheel of Fortune to broadcast one
of Buchanan's thorny criticisms of the president. Even better, CBS could
ax A Current Affair for the next eight months in favor of candidate debates.
Any of those possibilities would be better than what we're getting now.

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Members of the Electronic Music Studio display their instruments. A little daunting compared to the piccolo.
Programmed to thrill: electronic music

by Carina A. Bacon
Dancing, light-charged phosphorus paintings,
photographs, electronically- generated vocals, all
combined with the newest in technology: elec-
tronic music. If you are one to keep up with the
Joneses, don't miss this multi-media extrava-
ganza Saturday night. No more sitting through a
boring concert waiting for the clarinet to squeak,
this music isn't going to mess up! Why? It's elec-
tronic! All programmed to sound exactly how it
should.
According to*director George B. Wilson, "It
(electronic music) is the 20th-century instru-
ment." So what is electronic music? Well, you

get a few people together in the studio (housed-
somewhere in the depths of Hill Auditorium),
you add some way-cool sound-producing equip-
ment, such as audio generators, tape recorders
and amplifiers, and you mix it all up to create the
"perfect" sound.
It's a far cry from the first recording done on
metallic disks with scratches of a needle. With
the invention of recording a whole new world
was opened up, and composers were saying
"Why can't I make my own sound?" said Wil-
son. "The composer now has the means to con-
trol all of the parameters of sound."
This years performance combines computer
synthesis, visuals and dance, featuring guest ar-

tists and members of the University Dance Comp
pany, School of Music students and faculty.
Wilson has been directing the U-M Electronic
Music Studios since its creation in 1964. The
show boasts all original works by his students.
"The programs are very difficult." said Wilson.
Performances take so much planning and time
that there is only one every two to three years.
After 28 years of directing, Wilson is planning
on retiring. "It's my last hurrah!"
NEW WORKS FROM THE ELECTRONIC MU-
SIC STUDIOS appears Saturday, March 14 at 8
p.m. in Rackham Auditorium. Admission is free.

A NIOHT OF JOY AND LAUGHTERI
U W Coren ""
s tSIMPLY MAR VALOUS.
appa...d in 0.T a .er a cnd -s

RETRO
Continued from page 1
this in the hopes that there were a lot
of filmmakers out there that would
appreciate the same kind of thing, and
as it turned out, there were."
A wide appeal
Throughout the years, thousands
of people have attended the Festival,
witnessing the cutting edge in many
cinematic genres.
Honeyman remembered crowds
that would line up outside the 400-
seat Architecture and Design Au-
ditorium (now Lorch Hall). "If you
got inside," she said, "it was always
standing-room only.
Other arts, such as performance
art, accentuated theFilmFestival. This
should be no surprise, for the films

themselves were, and still are, a far
cry from commercial cinema.
Anger, the legendary underground
filmmaker, explained that his film-
making "is a personal art form, like
poetry or painting." Manupelli, who
made films as well, said of the early
days of the independent American
cinema, "A lot of us were artists, as in
visual arts. We saw this as a transfer
from one medium to another."
Although festivals like Ann
Arbor's always attract packed, enthu-
siastic crowds, the general public at
large still isn't as receptive to this art
as one might think. Problems with
funding and distribution, as well as
difficulties in finding consistent ven-
ues for public presentations, are a few
of the problems that the independent

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Friday. March 20. 1992
Michigan Business School , Hate Auditori
38 d8:00pm00a r
1in advance i1 tdo
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filmmaker often faces.
Kuchar, who with his brother Mike
were influential figures on the New
York underground of the early '60s,
explained the importance of festivals
like Ann Arbor's. "Any kind of show-
case is good, since they're closing left
and right," Kuchar said.
Besides problems with exposure,
Honeyman sees funding as a diffi-
culty. Anger, for instance, wanted to
do a film about a fugitive last year.
But, he said, "This film will never be
because I couldn't get the money to-
gether in time."
Anger estimates that the next film
he makes will have to have a budget
of $40,000, which is about $39,700
more than the cost of Fireworks, the
landmark film of the homosexual cin-
ema that Anger made in 1947.
Although he has received both
Ford Foundation and NEA grants at
various points in his career, Anger
feels that he would probably be de-
nied a grant today. "With Bush's at-
titude toward the arts, and the NEA
being under attack, it's not a sympa-
thetic time for getting public grants,"
he said.
The issue of censorship is closely
linked to the issue of funding. Anger,
whose seminal Scorpio Rising won at
the Festival in 1964 and will be shown

in the first retrospective program,
knows about problems with censor-
ship. In 1964, a theater owner was
convicted for showing Scorpio Ris-
ing, because of a brief flash of nudity
that gets projected while a bunch of
motorcycle toughs cavort. The Cali-
fornia Supreme Court eventually
overturned the conviction, but cen-
sorshipcontinues to appearevery now
and then. Anger will be participating
in a panel discussion on censorship,
and the conference will include ses-
sions on funding and distribution as
well.
Manupelli remembered that in the
early days of the Festival, the or-
ganizers had trouble with the police.
"We were accused of showing porno-
graphic films," he told. "One time
they tried to take the entire Film Fes-
tival ... but we had a way of taking
each film into the auditorium indi-
vidually, and getting it off the projec-
tor and out of the auditorium before
they could do anything. We brought
films from all sorts of secret loca-
tions, from around the parking lots
and from classrooms."
Asset to the commuity
Now, far from being viewed as a
corrupting influence on the commu-
See RETR, Page 8

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The Wesley Foundation at the University of Michigan
Present
Covering the War on Drugs, th° War on Poverty,
the War on AIDS:
Dispatches from
Forgotten Fronts
Friday
March 13, 1992
7:30pm
z^ ;at the
First United Methodist Church
at the Corner of State & Huron
Beth Nissen
ABC News Correspondent. former Newsweek Correspondent.

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