The Journal News from White Plains, New York on April 18, 1973 · Page 10
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The Journal News from White Plains, New York · Page 10

White Plains, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 18, 1973
Page 10
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L ANN LANDERS jjplc.iseu, '; ; No VheV pace' fo hep a man Dear Ann Landers: Why is it that most men try to be courteous to women simply ''because it is the decent thing to do. yet many TeYnales who shoot their mouths off demanding " equal rights" stand empty-handed, while ,'a'man precariously balances two cups of cof-'feie and tries to pry a door open with his knee? these women, for some mysterious reason, feel it is not "their place" to give a man some 'assistance. By this cockeyed process of reasoning, a woman wouldn't dream of offering her seat to t a man on a bus even though he is loaded with packages and having one devil of a time hanging on to the strap. How many times have ;you seen a man staggering under the weight of five packages while the woman walking at his side is carrying only her purse? And the "chances are nine out of ten that the packages tare.HERS Shouldn't good manners be based on t hough tfulness rather than sex roles? What is t J your opinion. Ann'.' - Thoroughly Modern Mil- " iie. Dear Millie: I see nothing unwomanly or ill-mannen d about helping a man with his ( coat, through a door, or even carrying some at his packages if she is empty-handed. And, incidi nt .ill v. I practice what I preach to th utter amazi ment ot some men! ' Dear Ann Landers: I was divorced after ."several years of marriage. My former hus-"band's sister and her spouse are still very "good friends of mine. Their children are previous to me. My ex-husband remarried last week. How do I now refer to. or introduce my ex-Jsister and brother-in-law? Do I sign my notes J to my former nieces and nephews "Auntie 'Mayme'.'" I don't want to confuse the children, nor do ! want to embarrass my ex-hus-; band's new wile, Concerned Dear ( unci rm (( : ( all our ex-in-laws b ih ir names anil make no nlerence to the past ri I itionship. As tor the clnldnn, m.inv J.otingsters e ill older Irii nils "Aunt" and "l n-!" i ven though Ihiv are not H iatal. So j con 1 1 mi to be "Auntie Mavme ' It would he neither in ippropn ate nor contusing to them. Dear Ann Landers: Ten years ago my aunt and uncle gave us a beautiful high chair when , ioui first baby was born. We used that chair J for the next two kids and then put it in the Jstorage room. Last week we decided to get rid i of a lot of things because we plan to move. I Jr. iri an ad and sold 12 items, including the 'high chair. My aunt heard about jit' and said I . had no right to sell their gift. She claims I ' (should have given the high chair back to her.-. JNow both my aunt and uncle are mad at me. Did I do wrong? Small War In Neb. j Small War: The high chair was yours and ou h..d the right to dt with it as you A ERMA ' h BOMBECK vJsJL Drawing numbers fo see who eats The big meat mutiny has begun. Housewives are standing outside grocery stores (ating dog food in protest. Signs have gone up suggesting. "FIGHT MKAT PRICES: SICK YOl'K THI MIJ" and a clever cookbook has just hit the bookstalls called, "(iood Cheap Food." ( I'nfortunately. the book costs ten bucks!') ... At our house we're drawing numbers to see who talks and who eats. Ii IIIIV.S had worked out the way I planned them. I wouldn't be faced with the meat problem I have today, When our children were small and funds were limited. I had them believing meat made you sick. I made them peanut butter sandwiches out of cookie cutters with raisins for eyes . . . ..tuna salad in bread boats . . . and soups with little fattening alphabets floating around. Then one day. I think our son was in the t list grade, he came home from school and asked. "Mama." what's a steak?" I whirled around and grabbed him by the shoulders "Where did vou hear a word like that?" "A group of the boys at school were talking and Jeff ate one at a restaurant once." "I don't know what kind ot a home Jeff comes from " I said, "but I don't want you mixing with his kind." ID I 1 1 (.or harder and harder to hold the line. I heard stories of our children sneaking hot dogs under the football stands, trying hamburgers at school parties and frequenting stores where minors could buy a pepperoni pizza right off the counter with no questions asked. We went into a restaurant one night and our son said right out loud to the waitress. "Do you have any filet mignon?" It like to broke my heart. "Is that what they're teaching in schools now?" I asked. " As a matter of fact, our French teacher explained it yesterday." I HAL) LOST the battle and I knew it. They now knew that bacon would not make them nauseated, ham would not make their stomachs break out and steak would not make their gums bleed. I had lied. The other afternoon. Brucie came in and said. "Hey. Mom. does our religion let us eat a standing rib roast?" My husband looked up sharply. "What did you tell this one?" "That we belonged to a religious group called the Latter Day Poverty Sect." "He's not too swift. He might buy it." he sighed. 10 ' ill ( . ' ' ' ' t '' ' ( ' 'V"" , t f ' it i Ju I'M- i po, w, .,.. J..- Y t 3 J A ' , i -f ' '. h Viatkins worked Much has been written about violence in America. We hear about violence in the streets, ghetto violence, urban violence. Yet those Americans who stand out as capable of the worst crimes against persons seem to be part of an ethos that transcends the frustrations of having to live in an urban nightmare. One such American whose special brand of violence still seems unbelievable is Charles Manson. What of American life can be said to have produced him? And what federal program costing billions of dollars to the taxpayers can we devise to cure America of this ill if we find it? As if to taunt the very heart of safe, middle America, today injPearl River and unknown to his neighbors another American, Roger Watkins, quietly recreates" the Manson horror in a film that will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival May 1. He knows audiences want violence By JOHN DALMAS Staff Writer "Violence is as American as cherry pie." said II. Hap Hrown in lllfiH. and since that time many Americans have held Brown's truth to be self evident One who may stand out among them is filmmaker Hoger Watkins. 24, of Pearl River Watkins has just finished making his first feature film entitled "The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell" (from a reference in a Kurt Vonnegut story i. which according to Watkins is the ultimate horror film, the ultimate depiction of violence. In color. "Clocks" is based loosely on the entire Charles Manson af fair, including at the film's end a meticulous "recreation" of the'19 Sharon Tate murders. Watkins has left nothing to the imagination not one knife cut. not one dismemberment. not one wrenching disembowelment. Audiences will witness and hear everything exactly as if they had been present the night Manson and his followers broke into the Bel Air, California, house and began their slow torture, mutilation and murder of the people they found there. The carnage takes up most of the second half of the film and in comparison makes the last 30 minutes of "Straw Dogs" appear quite tame. WATKINS uses fictitious names in the film but. with one notable exception, hews fairly close to what actually happened in the Manson case. The exception is that Watkins (who also plays "Manson" in the film I has "Polanski" (Roman Polanski was Sharon Tate's movie director husband) at home the night the gang breaks in to commit the murders. "Polanski" is forced to witness the murder of his wife and the others, then is allowed to break loose (Manson liked to play games with his ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y., on a Dracula film with famous actor Christopher Lee. victims I. and is chased to another house where a trap has been carefully laid for him. Here in the second house the final murder in the film occurs when '"Manson" shoves the point of a moving electric hand drill right up to the hilt into one held-wide-open eye of "Polanski." "YOU KNOW something?" mused Watkins one day last week while taking a break from cutting and editing his film (in preparation for a May 1 showing at the Cannes Film Festival in France). "This film will get an R' rating. It should be an "X." But it's sex that frightens most Americans, so sex gets the 'X' ratings. "Americans love violence the way they perhaps should love sex. but I'm not moralizing with this picture; it's not making a sociological statement. I'm interested only in the dark side of the personality. This picture is pure horror; it's not any more complicated than that." Watkins has included some nudity (female, of coursei, but there is no more in his film than has been shown in some recent R-rated pictures. Though handled imaginatively, the nudity is absolutely paled by the violence. Sometimes the violence is carried out as if part of a recognizable American' ritual. In the scene where the six-months-pregnant Hollywood starlet is systematically butchered, Watkins has the murder conducted as if occurring in a hospital operating room. "Manson" wears a leather jacket, but some of his assistants are robed and gloved as if, doctors and nurses. They all wear hospital face masks. "There is a streak in the French that loves this kind of gore," Watkins chuckled, "but they have a separate tradition the Grand Guignol tradition. That's why, I think, when the French movie people heard about this film, they wanted it at Cannes." WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 1973 i l I - ' 1 i ll -l tm Watkins plays a convincing Charles Manson. IN ALL of the scenes in the film where "Manson" and his gang are playing games with their victims and eventually killing them, a man is seen with a movie camera. He moves among the actors as though anxious to film everything that is taking place. "This is what Manson did in real life," said Watkins. "He made movies of every one of his murders and then sold the film to underground distributors. People who saw the films were impressed with the realism, little realizing it wasn't faked." r- i 1 1 : 1 71 ! I. 11 U Pearl River filmmaker Hell." Supposedly, when Polanski came to this country from his native Poland, he too made underground films depicting the same kind of slaughter, although simulating the action in every case. Even though simulated, the Polanski films were regarded as superior to Manson's, and the resulting competition between the men led to Manson's decision to eliminate his rival (and make a movie about it at the same time.). Manson's films are now in the hands of the FBI. "The whole Polanski thing liiiiijiliiiiniDiuiiiilii.WB. ji wjui 1 1 'iwii ii jJJinjii il J ' J. lU'iJ Jl i-Jti" .IJ H-ii i ill i m U iiiimu Mnaiir m m niiiwiimnuiDijjin jmij n mi j .11 ii-jijii"1"TTtth Roger Watkins edits "The was as sick as Manson." Watkins commented. "You can see it in his recent films like Repulsion' and especially 'Macbeth.' " THOUGH "Clocks" is his first feature. Watkins is no novice fresh from college with a movie camera and a not desire to "do films." He has had a fair grounding in moviemaking, having apprenticed for almost three years with . two creditable directors. The camerawork in "Clocks." and particularly the cutting, reveal a student of the art who has done his homework. Watkins' own particular style may take several films to develop, but there is evidence he has learned much from the films of Eisenstein and Orson Welles to name two. In fact, he admits Welles is the director he most admires, and after Welles. Bergman. Living in Pearl River now for several years (his wife is the former Marcia Elliott of Pearl River). Watkins. who bears a slight resemblance to Manson. especially around the eyes and also (in his film to Malcolm McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange" - actually comes from Binghamton. N.Y. Three years ago while majoring in English literature at Oneonta State College. Watkins "hitchhiked" to England between his junior and senior years just to meet Freddie Francis, a well-known British cinematographer who had turned to directing horror films ("The Torture Garden." "Trog"). Francis was impressed with the young man's determination and took him on that summer as an apprentice. After graduation in 1971. Watkins' proficiency at cult-ting and editing attracted the attention of Otto Preminger. the Hollywood movie director, and he continutf his apprenticeship, working with Prem-i n g e r on "Such Good Friends." a film released later that year. Just before making Staff photos- Ted Neuhoff Cuckoo Clocks of "Clocks." W atkins did the cut ting on a new film by Holl wood director Nicholas Ra ( "They Live by Night." Rebel Without a Cause" i. He also worked briefly in Hollywood on a shlock horror film lha! was so bad. he says, that on day he just walked oil tlv -n and never went back "CLOCKS" was made b Watkins in New York stale or a low budget using unknown actors and actresses. It was shot entirely in IH millimetei but using a process that adapts to the larger frames used in movie theaters This week he goes to Albany to svn chronize the music for thi film's final sound track 'Thi music utilizes a moog svnthes izer and several Gregorian chants i , Following the Cannes show ing. "Clocks' is booked for thi Berlin Film Festival on Juh 14. After that. Watkins is con fident it will be picked up bv a distributor here for showing in the U.S.. possibly in the fall. The young director looked out the window at the neat white houses spaced evenly apart along the quiet Pearl Kiver street "If all goes well 1 have two projects alreadv lined up for my next films.' he revealed, a twinkle in his eve. "I want to do one on Richard Speck, the killer of those nurses in Chicago. Then I'd like to do the life ot William Calley. ending the film with the complete Mv Lai massacre." Watkins may be on to something. At least he knows his audiences are out there Quietly confident, he last appears in "Clocks" in a gesture of indifferent contempt for Ihem Having killed his rival with the electric hand drill. "Man-son" dons a head mask of a Greek god (which Manson frequently did i and turns to the audience, blood streaming down his arms. "What are you doing here?" he seems to ask. "If you don't like it. you should have walked out a long time ago." . -i i, f.

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