Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

March 27, 1955 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1955-03-27

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


1 2UIr4lilaU lJattg


Sunday, March 27, 1955



_. I r -
+ wr+

PICTURESQUE FRAME: The village of Thun in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, enjoying an outlook
snow-capped Alps.
Fim Festivalsn Se Turned
Into 'Insti1tutionalized Glamor'

Annual Music
Events Still
Big Attraction
Instructor, Music Literature
NEXT SUMMER, when thousands of
Americans flock to Europe, the man-
agers of music festivals will nightly
thank the gods for the naive idea that
great music is even greater in impressive
America's complete musical depend-
ence on European tradition is self-evi-
dent, but equally self-evident is the super-
iority of the artists, native-born and
European, we hear in America today.
Many Americans not yet aware of this
will leave the festivals disappointed. The
average American, accustomed to our
bigness of sound and technical super-
iority, has no conception of the varieties
of the characteristic European intensity
of subtlety and nuance. He will be almost
as confused by European musical insight
as he is with the strange language he
He will also be chagrined to find these
festivals featuring his own American per-
formers, a number sponsored this year
by ANTA, the American National Theatre
and Academy. The New York Philhar-
monic, for instance, will again highlight
the Edinburgh Festival, and the New
York City Ballet and the Philadelphia
Orchestra will each manage to hit a
number of festivals. (Even Europeans
suffer from the demands of virtuosos; I
see that this latter group will climax
the Strasbourg Festival with Yardumian's
Armenian Suite, so begrudgingly received
at our own May Festival last year),
THE ATTITUDE of most festival-goers
(which they will never admit), is that
the music is less important than the at-
mosphere surrounding the performance.
This is the naivete for which the man-
agers thank the gods. For instance, the
Strasbourg Cathedral and the Palais des
Fetes are more important than the music
performed in them. Many Americans will
even wonder what Yardumian has to do
with Strasbourg, and why his musi is
not performed in a special festival in
Armenia (which, after all, may not be a
bad idea). Mr. Yardumian notwithstand-
ing, the festival programs seem excep-
tionally ambitious and appetizing to a
can-fed American musical public; even
these, though, are quite often warmed-
over versions of the pieces de resistance
of the previous winter season in Vienna,
Munich, London, or Milan. In any case,
the real thrill to Americans will come
with the expenses, usually in proportion
to the remoteness of the scenery and the
provincialism of the atmosphere,
The oldest and most distinguished of
the festivals is devoted to the music of
Richard Wagner in the small, inacces-
sible Bavarian village of Bayreuth. Seven
of the music dramas will be performed
in the acoustically magnificent theatre
designed by Wagner, with traditions and
under conditions planned by Wagner, and
now under the direction of two grandsons
of Wagner. All of which makes the de-
mands of a pilgrimage rather than a va-
cation, but produces artistic results per-
haps unequalled elsewhere.
Modelled on Bayreuth is the Munich
Festival, where no less than 23 operas
of all composers will be given. Other
high-calibre operatic festivals vary from
the charming, intimate Glyndebourne
performances near London, to the pom-
pous, spectacular offerings in the Roman
Baths of Caracalla. Almost all festivals
will have some opera, and in Italy and
especially in Germany, opera is predomi-
nant. Among the unusual items are 0

Munich performance of Handel's Giulio
Cesare, several performances of Busoni's
See ANNUAL, Page 13

G'LAMOR, as any good advertising man
knows, comes in at least two sizes.
There is national glamor, like Grace
Kelly and Saks Fifth Avenue and Cheer,
Cheer for Old Notre Dame. There is also
international glamor like Princess Mar-
garet and Montmartre and the River Nile.
Glamor is the art of beautifying the tra-
ditional; that is, even though Notre Dame
has a lousy football team this year and
the Nile is running muddy, nobody will
believe it if the puss agent keeps up ap-
Film festivals are something like this.
They are institutionalized glamor, some-
thing an unknown press agent thought
of in 1932, and which subsequent press
agents have been blessing ever since. Get
Gina Mangano and Montgomery Schultz
together on the Riviera with rugged an-
nual regularity and half the year's work
is done. Suggest that it has something to
do with art besides. Give prizes. A mil-
lion dollar idea, C. B.
The idea was born like that, at least,
Since 1932, there has been growing an
honest effort to spare the festivals the
worst commercial taints. Recognized film
"artists" like Jean Cocteau and Mexican
director, Luis Bunuel, have volunteered
to appear on Festival juries. In some
cases, the governments have offered to
sponsor the gaudy fortnights, and lately
there has been increasing evidence of
responsible decisions about what films
should get the awards. In general, how-
ever. the Festivals still have something
of the status of this country's football
owl games. In spite of the attempts to

"purify" them, they are still mostly ex-
tensive promotional endeavors in which
the gala receptions and cocktail parties
are at least as important as the business
of looking at movies.
THE TWO most important Festivals are
at Cannes on the Riviera in spring,
and at Venice in the late summer. These
are the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl
of Festivaldom, and in a recent move
to cut down the growing number of abor-
tive fiestas, the executive committee of
the International Federation of Film,
Producers ruled that only these two fes-
tivals could award "official" prizes. The
committee also "recognized" the festi-
vals at Berlin and Locarno, but denied
them the privilege of presenting prizes.
At Cannes, the guests and visitors per-
ambulate on the Croisette between the
Carlton and Miramar hotels- which over-
look the sea. New films are shown in the
afternoon and evening, usually along with
a retrospective showing of early films
that fill in gaps for the more serious
movie addicts who happen to be around.
last year, Cannes awarded its top prize
to the Japanese film, "Gate of Hell."
"From Here to Eternity," the most im-
portant American film shown, was en-
tered "out of competition" for some rea-
son. It is said, however, that many
American producers feel that winning a
prize at one of the European festivals
gives the film a snob taint which will
hurt its box office possibilities.
T HE atmosphere at Venice is tradi-
tionally a little more frantic than

that of Cannes. The Festival here takes
place in the heat of August and has the
full complement of blue-jeaned auto-
graph seekers who gather before the
theaters in the manner of a Hollywood
premiere. If it is a demonstrative crowd,
it is also ordinarily a sensitive one. Last
summer, for example, Gina Lollobrigida
was swarmed as she arrived at the theater
for the opening of her film, "La Romana."
The movie, however, evidently, left some-
thing to be desired: Miss Lollobrigida was
hooted as she left the theater, and the
critics the next day were no kinder about
the film. She stayed in Venice only the
next morning.
Sentiment on Venice's international
jury was divided between awarding the
grand prize to "On the Waterfront" and
"Romeo and Juliet." The latter film fin-
ally took the honors to the apparent plea-
sure of the Italian audiences. "Water-
front," "La Strada," another Italian film,
and two Japanese films won Silver Lions
emblematic of the runners-up. It was the
first year at Venice that Hollywood had
sent its "best" films instead of their usual
practice of sending those that happened
to be lying around the vaults. It was also
the first year that the Russians had
boycotted the Festival, objecting to the
small quota of entries they had been al-
BERLIN'S Festival traditionally takes
place in June. It is the single event
in which the audience votes determine
the Grand Prize winner (an "unoffocial"
prize it is, of course. Film critics have
Bee FR., Page 13

Back to Top

© 2022 Regents of the University of Michigan