The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on October 28, 1981 · 88
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · 88

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 28, 1981
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'BAR Wednesday, October 28, 1981 flosAnjjetes Slimes Part VI WEDNESD. KEN LUBAS Lo Angeles Times i 11 II 1113 V.J P-p tg J L 'Mas r' ' 3LiV "Sl jSv ilicfc Rosenthal on location of "Halloween II." Earlier cinematic visions have been postponed for a later day. HARVARD MAN TAKES A PLUNGE IN CRIMSON WITH 'HALLOWEEN' SEQUEL When Rick Rosenthal, a young painter and sculptor, turned his eye to cinema, he envisioned coming to Hollywood to "make film soar." He would create filmic tableaux that would dazzle through use of light and angle. His work would have a hard edge, recalling the pre-Von Sternberg German expressionists. He would paint with his camera. The fruits of Rosenthal's vision are at hand. They can be seen at your local theater, beginning Friday, under the title "Halloween II." You may have a bit of a time identifying the influence of the German expressionists, but it's there, Rosenthal insists, somewhere between the hypodermic-to-the-eyeball and death-by-hot-tub-scalding scenes. Somewhere along the way, Rick A MUSICAL AMBASSADOR TO CHINA By DANIEL CARIAGA, Times Staff Writer 'i; n the reoples Kepublic of China basic music education is .lacking, so the problems one hears in performances of Western classical music there are not necessarily of mechanics. They are problems of style," says Herbert Zipper who recently returned from a three -month visit to Peking, Tianjin and Canton, among other cities in China. The Austrian-born conductor, formerly special projects director at the School of Music at USC was invited by the Chinese government for a two-month visit during which he conducted 10 orchestral performances and gave numerous master classes. Zipper says the Chinese people "have a special hunger for learning about music" and attended the 10 concerts he gave in China, all impromptu, in large numbers. "Never did we have an empty seat." According to the 77-year-old musician, "Planting the seeds of music education may produce, 25 years from now, that something new which will push Western classical music back into the mainstream of our culture. The ground, I think, is fertile." A veteran of many musical campaigns, Zipper first went to the Orientdirectly from Paris, and after internment at prison camps in Dachau and Buchenwald in 1939. He was invited at that time to become music director of the Manila Symphony and director of the Academy of Music in the Philippine capital. He led the symphony, often commuting to other musical and academic posts in New York, Brooklyn and Chicago, until 1970. During the postwar period he also was a guest conductor with orchestras in Taiwan and Korea, as well as leader of educational projects in the same countries and in Thailand and the Philippines. Recalling his latest trip, Zipper chalked up "the first performances in Peking of Brahms' Fourth Symphony, Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and Richard Strauss' 'Symphonic Please see ZIPPER, Page 2 By PETER J. BOYER, Times Staff Writer Rosenthal's vision became a psycho-killer horror film. And a sequel, at that. "There is a time to sell out," Rosenthal said last week, as he prepared for preview screenings of his first feature film, "and that is when you need to sell out." For Rosenthal, that time came well before "Halloween II." His vision was very much intact when he arrived at the American Film Institute's Center for Advanced Film Studies in 1973, after graduating from Harvard (his was Harvard's first videotape thesis). Rosenthal had dabbled in painting and sculpture, and he'd spent a year-and-a-half making documentaries. Biit the prospect of making feature films commercial, successful films attracted him. AFI, Hollywood's version of a trade -tech, seemed the place to learn. v - ,SL Conductor Herbert Zipper, just back At AFI, he studied acting and sharpened his skills behind the camera, and the time came to make his "coming out" project, a short film he hope he could use as a cinematic resume. It was a black comedy, which he called "Moon Face." Screenings were set, and, because of AFI's favored standing in the film community, Rosenthal knew that persons of influence would be seeing his work. "They came out of the screening," Rosenthal recalled, "and they were saying, 'I don't understand. This is called a "black comedy," but there are no Negroes in the film.' " Sellout time. "I had to make a film that people in positions of power readily understood," Rosenthal said. So, in 1979, he made "The Toyer," a half-hour film version of a Gard-Please see HARVARD, Page 3 .7- V , , from China, admires a souvenir a MOVIE REVIEW THEATER, FILM MIX IN 'STAGES' By SHEILA BENSON, Times Film Critic s tages: Houseman Directs Lear," an enrapturing film, opens with John House man's delighted try at playing God a cherubic, orange-sweatered God who by raising and lowering his arms can bring on and fade away thunder, which an obedient sound man is conjuring up for King Lear's stormy walk. Film and theater do not always complement each other; in the film records of theater performances, the actors sometimes loom grotesquely large. But in Amanda C. Pope's absorbing and intimate hour-long film, her camera becomes an accomplice to Houseman's directing of the Acting Company. Watching the performances build measurably before our eyes we begin to champion favorite actors, anxious to see how they are doing. The film will open a three-day Shakespeare on the Screen symposium at USC this Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and also will be shown at 8:30 tonight on CBS cable. During the course of this 1978 production, Pope was on hand from first reading to after-performance rumination, present for every rehearsal. She had been caught by the idea of Houseman, then 75, directing a young American actor, 30-year-old David Schramm. Shooting completed, Pope arranged the finished product to have the maximum sweep, not necessarily plodding along from day to day but making leaps. She intercuts, for instance, the progress of the dueling scenes so that they grow before your eyes. First there are vulnerable actors in jeans, gingerly trying their edges under B. H. Barry, the patient, amused British fight master. The men become more and more expert. Suddenly they are chain -mailed swordsmen going at each other heroically. You can feel the actors becoming accustomed to the ever-present camera, finally obliterating it from CASSY COHEN Los Angeles Times koto-like instrument called a ch'in. their minds. There is the heartbreak of watching an exquisite moment in rehearsal get lost in full makeup. It's an exchange between Schramm as Lear with the flame-haired, clear-browed Frances Conroy who plays Cordelia. (If Schramm, a Juil-liard graduate who became something of a star during his six years with the Acting Company, can be seen as a major talent, then it also seems likely that Conroy will be the stage's next Meryl Streep.) There is the terrible moment, universal to all performances when actors working with the real sets and costumes for the first time, find that chairs jump and bite them. Major pieces of the set that had been imagined at one height or thickness in rehearsal loom as large as the Queen Mary and are as easily gotten around. Ming Cho Lee's costumes turn the court people into huge gray slugs, in the actors' eyes, so "slugs" they are nicknamed for the run of the show. There's even a private joke as we Ss Amanda Pope films John Houseman take a first look at Schramm's makeup and notice that minus the beard, his Lear most closely resembles. . . John Houseman. Houseman gathers his actors to caution them that things are "sloo-oooow". It becomes a race against PAPER CHASE: SPRINGING ARCHITECTURE LOOSE The painter sketches to paint, the sculptor draws to carve, and the architect draws to build. Louis I. Kahn By JOHN DREYFUSS, Times Architecture and Design Critic Drawings by two important architects, Louis I. Kahn (1901-1974) and Rudolph M. Schindler (1887-1953), are on exhibition in Los Angeles. Most of Kahn's pictures, hung at the OtisParsons Institute, span a short period around .1950. They illustrate a broad spectrum of style, from literal and utilitarian to impressionistic and romantic. Schindler's drawings, at the Schindler House in Hollywood, span most of his career (1914-1950). They also illustrate a broad spectrum of artistic styles. In addition, they provide a picture book on the walls that can be read as a chronology of Schindler's artistic evolution. Over the years, the emphasis in Schindler's drawing evolved from artistic to technical. Most of his early work was imaginative, intriguing and suggestive rather than specific. It left room for interpretation. But his later drawings became unimaginative, precisely descriptive and unexceptional. His 1915 ink, pencil and watered -or on parchment pictures of a New Mexico residence virtually transport viewers to the desert. The work employs artistic license to create a sense of vast space through economy of color and line. It is technically unrealistic, yet it creates an uncannily realistic sense of the desert environment. But Schindler's perspective of a Chicago hotel, executed the same INSIDE CALENDAR FILM: "Her Man" by Kevin Thomas. Page 2. "The Unseen" and "Slaughter in San Francisco" by Linda Gross. Page 5. RADIO:AMFM Highlights. Page 10. TELEVISION: Today's programming. Pages 7, 8 and 10. "Fall Guy" and "Tough Girl" by Cecil Smith. Page 7. Veterans groups protest PBS documentary by Lee Margulies. Page 7. the clock. Will the actors, collecting director's notes that rain down on them like falling leaves, recapture the urgency they so obviously had in rehearsal? If you care one whit for theater, this would seem to be a mandatory program. If you only tolerate theater, this makes its frailties and self-absorptions understandable and even touching. And if you have ever been bored or baffled by productions of Shakespeare this is especially a must, as you watch Houseman flay the text until the bones of its meaning glow nakedly for everyone to understand. And for those who have somehow confused Houseman with his screen performances it's time that was set straight. He is neither vitriolic nor curmudgeonly but patient, supportive, humane and even initially shy at revealing himself to a documen-tarian. That hand up to his face at the first general reading is the clue. He is also something of a canvas him- 'if 75 & if ' and his assistant Jonathan Furst. self. As he goes about breathing life and interest into the play, even his clothes are brilliantly witty. And since Houseman will be one of the symposium's keynote speakers Thursday, it provides a rare and relaxed view of this multifaceted man. year and in the same media, is an exercise in geometry. Environment is missing. The building could be anywhere. A stylized ink-and-watercolor-on-velum portrayal of Schindler's own house (in which the exhibit hangs) implies an architectural isolation that seems out of place today, since the house is sandwiched among condominiums. But in the early 1920s it was isolated, surrounded by bean fields. Schindler was trained in both art and architecture in his native Vienna. He immigrated to Chicago in 1914, went to work for Frank Lloyd Wright in 1918 and came to Los Angeles in 1920 to supervise construction of Hollyhock House, which Wright designed for the hilltop of what today is Barnsdall Park. Wright left his mark. Schindler's lettering is almost pure Wright. His square monogram is lifted straight from Wright. His use of large, empty fields at the bottom of pictures is a characteristic that Wright borrowed from Japanese prints. By the late 1920s, Schindler was losing interest in the artistic elements of his pictures. His work was becoming increasingly literal. The change is particularly noticeable in landscapes, which had become much more specific and realistic than in earlier work. Schindler's drawings of the mid-'30s were highly architectural and geometric. They were far less artis-Please see PAPER CHASE, Page 4

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