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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 10 May 28 1968

Films: Pleasing

Films: Pleasing

A mixed bag for review this week. The new releases were relatively pleasing although light-weight in substance. Roger Vadim's latest high glossy to reach Wellington featured a good deal of Jane Fonda (at present Mrs. Vadim and loving it) trendily photographed by Claude Renoir (who else?). The plot outline of The Game is Over came via Emile Zola, although the treatment rather under-estimated the original. At least we were able to share some of the screen's more intimate possibilities which film companies (and the censor) do not usually allow us to see. Peter McEnery as the spritely youth and Michel Piccoli as the estranged and vindictive husband ensured that the film rose above its projected fate as yet another demonstration of Vadim's prolific sexual voracity.

Broadway musicals are inevitably filmed, some more successfully than others. One couldn't really expect New Zealand audiences to be enraptured by a slightly acid dig at American business morals, but David Swift's How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying was diverting enough entertainment. The onus fell squarely on the shoulders of boyish and dimunitive Robert Morse— and he did well. To sustain the highly fanciful plot needs large resources of acting ability. The music by Frank Loesser was familiar and spicy; the choreography a welcome change. Burnett Guffey's photography (he did this before Bonnie and Clyde) was good within the restrictions of the studio, and had more colour than most sets except perhaps those used by Jerry Lewis in, for example, The Ladies' Man.

That prolific master of high-sophisticate humour, Blake Edwards, was credited with overall production of Water-hole No. 3. It seems that his name was used by his relative Owen Crump to find the money for this off-beat western giggle, featuring James Coburn. The director was Wiilam Graham, a new recruit from TV. Coburn's leather features vied for equal place with Roger Miller's ballad for honours in this cute movie. The censor had snipped footage which contained more of Carroll O'Connor than we saw, and the whole romp was really quite immoral All power to big-names like Blake Edwards who are sponsoring this new immorality which certainly would not have been made a few years ago.

Hayley Mills has had a long movie career already. Her more recent films have had a hard time to extend her image'as a matinee drawcard. Erstwhile suitor Roy Boulting hit the jackpot with the R18 certificate The Family Way although Wellington saw Gypsy Girl later although made before. The Family Way was one of the few objectionable films I have seen. Not for its subject matter, but its totally smutty treatment: no doubt the reason for its popularity. A Matter Of Innocence is by far a better film with restrained direction by Guy Green. Young Hayley loses her virginity yet again, but in what better style than in the company of Shashi Kapoor, the Indian star of Shakespeare Wallah? Noel Coward's story was adapted by Waterhouse and Hall, although the film's main success is Singapore, a city with its exotic delights and equally exotic people. Trevor Howard is his craggy usual and little-seen Brenda de Banzie is excellent from her first cream cake to her last swim.

While in Christchurch recently it was a great experience to see Peter Brook's film of Peter Weiss' Marat/Sade. Although this film has been screened in both Christchurch and Auckland, it seems that the print is being sent to the Sydney film festival. It has been rejected by the Kerridge organisation for Wellington screening, and although it is promised for the Lido here, chances appear doubtful. This will be a great pity, for Brook has achieved much in filming this difficult and powerful play. A constantly moving camera with gruelling use of zoom and close-ups allows us to get right into the action behind the prison bars. While this changes the concept of the play as it was originally intended, in film the audience is forced to overcome the detachment of the cinema, to be assaulted by the screen. To see the Marat/Sade film is to undergo creative brain-washing.

—Nevil Gibson