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May 07, 1983 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1983-05-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

-A selectimn ofempsw fn highlights
Mildred Pierce
(Michael Curtiz, 1945)
Curtiz (Casablanca) offers us Joan
Crawford as the eternally battered
mother, gamely trying to make ends
meet while facing disaster. Her
husband is straying, her daughter is
completely unrealistic, but Crawford
still expects everything to come out
all right in the end. (Saturday, May 7;
MLB 4, 7:30 p.m.).
Mommie Dearest
(Frank Perry, 1981)
The story behind the story. Faye
Dunaway looks -strikingly like Joan
Crawford in this tawdry, tedious bio
pic based on the book by Crawford's
bitter daughter. The script is so silly,
it's fun. (Saturday, May 7; MLB 4,

The . 11 # -rily- S.4urdy My7, 1,- m

Small Change
(Francois Truffaut, 1976)
Sentimental account of a class of
precocious 10-year-olds in aFrench
public school. In between their fun
and games are moments of pain and
growth. A bit too cute, especially if
you don't like kids, but still more
human warmth per dollar than most
movies. (Wednesday, May 11;
Michigan Theatre, 9:00).
The Wild Child
(Francois Truffaut, 1970)
Truffaut directs and stars as a coun-
try doctor who attempts to teach a
child, raised for years alone in a
forest, the ins and outs of civilization.
(Wednesday, May 11; Michigan
Theatre, 7:30).
Picnic at Hanging Rock
(Peter Weir, 1975)
Sexual repression at an all girls
school versus the eternal mysteries of
nature. A very strange and com-
pelling film that is all the more unset-
tling because of its understated tone.

Th11je French iaet t 'ts
(Karel Reisz, 1981)
A strange adaptation of the best-
selling John Fowles novel about a Vic-
torian lady whose secret past in-
trigues a well-to-do gentleman. Meryl
Streep and Jeremy Irons star in the
movie as the pair of lovers, and also
as the actress and actor having an af-
fair in the movie behind the movie.
It's not as confusing as it sounds, but
not as good as it should have been.
(Friday, May 13; MLB 4,7:30,9:40).
Adam's Rib
(George Cukor, 1949)
Katherine Hepburn and Spencer
Tracy are the defending and
prosecuting attornies in a case of 1949
women's lib. Some of the best movie
acting you're ever going to see, com-
bined with a great script. (Friday,
May 13; Auditorium A, 7:30).
Campus Films will be a regular
Saturday feature on the Arts page.

Faye Dunaway
A dear mother
The movie is based on a true story of
the disappearance of a few girls from
a class picnic. (Thursday, May 12;
Auditorium A, 7:30, 9:30).

Vulgar humor that works

By Joshua Bilmes
LIFE IS FULL of questions. Some can
be answered very easily. Others
can be answered with great difficulty.
An example of the latter is, "Can a per-
son laugh and vomit at the same time?"
An example of the former is, "Does one
of the film reviewers for The Michigan
Daily recommend Monty Python's The
Meaning of Life?" The answer to the
second question is a resounding yes in
spite of, or is it because of, the fact that
the film does a very good job of an-
swering the first question.
The film starts off quite innocently,
giving no hint of the gross hilarity that
lies ahead. Before getting into the main
film there is a short about the Crimson
Assurance insurance company, and its
ventures on the high seas of finance. It
is, for the most part, funny. The concept
behind it is so unusual as to be good for
many minutes of laughter, right up un-
til the end.
As soon as that is done, we are prom-
ptly told that the main film is about to

begin. And still it is innocent enough. A
few fish chat in an aquarium. An An-
nouncer solemnly announces "The
Meaning of Life, Part I: Birth." And
the first skit, showing what might be an
all too accurate representation of a
hospital birthing begins.
And then comes the second skit. The
film loses all pretenses of innocence as
it looks at birth from the third world
perspective of Yorkshire, England.
Michael Palin announces that the fac-
tory he works at will be closing,
therefore the children will all have to be
sold for scientific experiments. And
Michael Palin has a lot of children. He
is Catholic, and cannot use a birth con-
trol device because sperm are good.
And the film launches a five minute
production number with kids, priests,
nuns and nurses about the virtues of
sperm - "Every sperm is good. Every
sperm is needed in your neigh-
borhood." Hilariously funny. In-
credibly poor taste.
It is in this vein that the film con-
tinues to roll along. The skits go in
chronological order. Schoolkids in what

appears to be a most sedate parochial
school go to their sex education class
where the teacher instructs through ac-
tual demonstration. Liver donors have
their livers taken out with one small
problem - the donor isn't dead.
The film's climax is a scene in a fan-
cy French restaurant. A slightly obese
man who weighs approximately as
much as Jumbo the elephant enters,
and announces he is going to throw up.
The waiter calls for a bucket. The man
misses. And so it goes for a few
minutes. The man orders and eats a,
huge dinner, throwing up all over in the
process. It is probably the grossest
most disgusting sketch ever to appear
on the silver screen. It is also very, very
The Monty Python crew (Eric Idle,
John Cleese, Terry Jones, who direc-
ted, and Michael Palin) deserves com-
mendation for writing and starring in
this comic masterpiece. But many may
view it in a different light - seeing the
film as little more than an assortment
of offensive sketches for which Monty
Python should have their mouths

washed out with soap. But when bad
taste can be so well done, it seems a
shame that so few people lack the guts
to do it. The Meaning of Life should be
seen, even if an air sickness bag is a
more apt accompaniment than pop-
$2.00Wed ast, Sun showas for. 6
"****. A
-Richard Fr4dman.
Fri-7:30, 9:45
Sat, Sun-
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More tours, better tours than ever
fOvlI aunion
begin June 26
We ofer young people: general "get acquainted " tours * study-
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study-tours " the Moscow International Marathon - all featuring
meetings and personal contact with Soviet youths.
Prices begin at an incredibly low $1450, all-inclusive from/to
New York.
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