The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on December 10, 1982 · 63
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 63

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Friday, December 10, 1982
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Television Sophie's Choice' becomes a powerful movie Friday December Hy John Stark Kxaminer movie critic OPIIIKS CHOICE," which opens today at the Keponcy III, is not without flaws and disappointments, but it Ls, on the whole, a powerful work, with a bravura perform ance by Meryl Streep in a demanding role, by far the best thing she's ever done. In fact, flaws and all, it's one of the most engrossing. emotional movies you'll see. Pans of William Styron's lengthy best seller about a beautiful Polish Catholic who survived Auschwitz will be pleased that director Alan J. Pakula has kept so much of the mult i layered story intact. He respects the book, and has included small scenes that other directors might have cut as iK'ing superfluous. The film runs 2''2 hours, and is set in Brooklyn after World War II and, via flashbacks, in Auschwitz, at the height of the horror. Pakula has resisted the temptation to streamline, or make a mushy love story, out of Styron's work. As hi the novel, the movie ls narrated, in part, by Stingo, a character that Styron based on himself. Stingo Ls a young Southerner w ho comes to New York to be a great novelist Hy keeping the narration, Pakula infuses the tragically toned movie w ith a warm, engaging resonance. It's through Stingo's eyre that we meet Sophie, who lives See Page E12, col. 2 "Sophie s Choice," from Universal Pictures, produced by Alan J. Ftua Hiid Keith Barish. dnecled by Pakula. screenplay by Pakula, I'h-it,igiapnv by Nestor Almendros, music by Marvin Hamlisch Starring M, i,i Su.'pp Kcjm Kline and Peler MacNicol William Styron's lenqthy v.-.i thi rombtnes his own coming of age with the story of a beautiful Po'i h wi-n,m who survived Auschwitz has been translated to the 'u't.'n Aiih respect Streep in excellent, especially in harrowinq Cishr ,1 k sequences set in Poland and Germany during World War II As N.itn.m Sophie s schizophrenic boyfriend. Kline lacks depth and crMlit'il!tv As young Styron. MacNicol is warm and sincere A powerful A.iik Running nme. 2'; hours Hated R Top admission, Sb At the lieji-y III. Mdson near Geary Si Ut- i Ik "fpi - 'mmWt""l i r fi ' ij ! ' " I ' j' Meryl Streep as Sophie and Kevin Kline as her boyfriend Nathan in the Brooklyn segment of 'Sophie's Choice' Morning Sunrise,' a 1958 Chrysler New Yorker owned by John D'Agostino, is one of the glittering attractions at the National Rod and Custom Car Show, tonight through Sunday at Moscone Center 9 1 By Michael Dougan JKaminer television columnist You ran t always believe your TV ( iuide. l or proof, turn on the tube this Saturday night. At !i p.m.. you'll see a listing for the old chestnut "An Affair to Remember" on KTi) it'll Jin But t'ary (Jrant and IMniiali Kerr fans, be warned: That movie b no lunger on the schedule. Instead. Channel 20 will air "Cry for the Strangers," a suspense-horror movie made for TV. Now here's the catchy part "Cry for the Strangers" comes under the generic title of "CBS Saturday N'i'jht Movies." The astute among you will quickly shout that Channel 20 isn't a CBS affiliate, or any other kind of affiliate for that matter. KPIX K'h. 5i Ls our local CBS outlet, hut "Cry for the Strangers'' won't be carried by that station. It could have Imh'II and would have been, were it not for "Witness for the Prosecution." Confused0 Head on. KPIX follows a policy of playing its own movie selections during prime turn- even now and then. In that spirit, -See Page Kl.l, col. 1 A hit-and-miss film on Piaf By John Stark Examiner movie critic THE MYTH OF famous entertainers is that they're interesting people offstage. Some are. Most aren't. Even if they are interesting on stage and off, as was Edith Piaf, they aren't alwa-s the stuff intelligent dramas are made of. When you compact their lives into a short time span, they Ixx'ome hollow, cliche-ridden figures struggling to the top. "Edith Piaf, the Early Years," which opens today at the Vogue, avoids some of these traps by concentrating on the first 20 or so years of the legendary chanteuse's stormy life, from her birth in 1915 on the streets of a Paris slum to her debut at the famed ABC variety theater off the Champs See Page E5, col. 1 "Piaf. the Early Voat." from Moritz Weismann Co: distributed through 20th Century Fox Classics, produced by Cy Feuer and Ernest H. Martin, directed by Guy Casaril; screenplay by Casaril and Francoise Ferley: scoring by Ralph Burns, cinematography by Edmond Sechan, starring Prigetle Ariel, with Pascals Christopher, Guy Trejan, Pierre Vernier and Jacques Duby A fairly bland, unimaginative account of Edith Piaf's early years. The drama is enlivened by Ariel's bright performance. She lip-syncs Piaf recordings, and the dubbed singing voice of Betty Mars. In French. Suggested rating. "R " Top admission, $5. At the Vogue, Sacramento and Presidio. Brigitte Ariel, as young Edith Piaf, hears about the death of her friend and mentor I5 John Stark Examiner moie critic N'YONE WHO could get Richard Pryor for a tov would be damn liii kv Wish I could siv the same about his new eomedv. which oix-ns today at the Ghirardelli, Plaa and Geneva Drive-in. It's called "The To ." and is based ;i French comedy oy ratios Pryor plays an out-of- full-time playmate to the demanding, spoiled son of a Southern ty- See Page Kb, col. i ,?-,.371 1 on Yebcr hi it work journalist who gets a job as "Th8 Toy," from Columbia Pictures: produced by PM Feldmarv directed by Richard Conner; screenplay by Carol So-bieski. from a film by Francis Veber; music by Patrick Williams, starring Richard Pryor and Jackie Gleason, with Teresa Ganzel. Wilfrid Hyde-While. Ned Beatty and Scott Schwartz, Pryor gets hired as a playmate for the son of a wealthy southern industrialist, played by Gleason. Some cute bits, but the movie's so animated it lacks credibility. Rated "PG." Top admission, $5. At the Ghirardelli, Plaza and Geneva Drive-In 3 i v ; Richard Pryor starts out as Jackie Gleason's maid in 'The Toy' Skiing at Moscone ' New 'Airplane' orbits Skifest '82 displays $4 million in merchandise, expert instruction and entertainment today through Sunday at the Moscone Center. Highlights include a "Winter Ski Spectacular" deck show and a "Snow Fashion Show" by Ski Hut. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Sip and bid Wine enthusiasts have the chance to sample more than 200 wines and bid on cases and bottles of rare reds and whites as the 16th annual Wine Tasting Festival and Wine Auction is held Sunday in the Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park. The benefit for the Association for Retarded Citizens opens at 1 p.m., and the auction starts at 4 p.m. Tickets ($8) are good for unlimited tasting privileges. ripTTirirSIriSTLi'iii'i'"''1 Union Sq. Hanukkah The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah will be celebrated in Union Square tonight through Dec. 17 as a 22-foot-high menorah is lit each day. Ceremonies are set for 3 p.m. today, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 4:30 p.m. Sunday and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. By John Stark Examiner movie critic IBPpSI HE MOST DELIGHTFUL k'S movie of IftRO vi .is an outrageous, wacky-tacky comedy called "Airplane!" created by Jim Abrahams and the Zucker brothers, Jerry and David. Since the "Hellzapoppin"-hke spoof of every airplane movie ever made reaped a phenomenal profit, they were asked, but refused to do, a sequel. And so, the writing and directorial task went to Ken Finkleman. a Canadian comedy writer who wrote the screenplay for "Grease II." Capturing the magic of the original "Airplane" would be impassible, but See Page E7, col. 2 "Airplane II: The Sequel," from Paramount Pictures: produced by Howard W Koch; written and duocted by Ken Finkleman. photography by Joe Biroc: music by Elmer Bernstein; starring Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty, with Sonny Bono. Lloyd Bridges, Raymond Burr, Chuck Connors. John Denber. Rip Torn. Chad Everett and Peter Graves The question is. can the sequel be as funny as the original? Not quite, but it does fly. witb enouqh inspired lunacy to keep you laughing all the way H takes place on the first lunar space shuttle. Raged PG. Top admission. Sb At the Royal and Plaza. The One Act Theater Company breaks tradition when it presents Bernard Slade's "Romantic Comedy," n three-act Broadway hit about love, friendship and trnuma, at 8 tonight nnd Saturday and 3 and 7 30 p m. Sunday il 430 Mason St td Decker directs. The i?th annual KPFA Holiday Crafts Fair is open Irom 3 to 8 p m. tonight and 10 a m to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Pauley Ballroom at UC Berkeley The San Francisco Symphony's New and Unusual Music series features Symphony timpanist Barry Jekowsky conducting the New Music Ensemble of the S F. Conservatory of Music in Wolpe's Chamber Piece No. 1, Cflrter's "Elegy for Strings," Edgar Varese's "Deserts," Overton's "Pulsations" and Joseph Schwnntner's "And the Mountains Rising Nowhere" at 8:30 put, in the Japan Center Theater. The Lamplighters present their Champagne Galas at 8.30 tonight and Saturday and at 2.30 p m Sunday in the Presentation Theater, Turk near Masonic. Phone 752-7755 for tickets. Pop music: Jazz pianist Keith Jar-rett performs at UC Berkeley's Zellor-bach Auditorium; Chuck Mangione blows his horn at Circle Star Theater tonight and Saturday; the Dinosaurs and Dan Hicks play the Old Waldorf. VKTMS. ICU. Neon and Radio Ranch shake up the Mabuhay Gardens, post minimalist composer Paul Dresher plays his new music at the New Performance Gallery Saturday December Weekend shoppers at the Anchor age Mall, 2600 Leavenworth St.. can place a free 5-mmute phone call to any spot in the continental U.S. upon showing a receipt from an Anchorage merchant. The "S.F. Phone Home promotion is in effect from noon to 9 p m. Saturday and noon to 5 p m Sunday The Fort Mason Art Center holds its annual Holiday Show and Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p m, in Fort Mason's Building B, Marina Boulevard and Bucharun Street. The Exploratorium and the SF nlernational Theater Festival present local performance artist Michael Peppe in "Actmusikspectakle V," "Re qion I," "Forty-Thrnci Characters' and "Ad" at 8 30 p m. in the McBoan Theater at tno Exploratonum, 3601 Lyon St The vocal ensemble Chanticleer presents its "Renaissance Christmas 82 at 8 p m Saturday in St. Mary s Cathedral and at 8 pm Sunday in Zellerbach Auditorium at UC Berkeley. The San Francisco and Peninsula Antique and Collectors Show is fit the Cow Palace from 10 am, lo 6 p m. Saturday and Sunday. The Bar Association of S F. offers its free Legal Advice and Referral Clinic from 10:30 a m to noon in the Lune Room of the main library. Civic Center Other Productions presents live TV tapings at 7 and 1 1 p m. at the Boarding House. The "Comedy Showcase'' fea tures Jim Samuels. Rick Reynolds. Barry Marder and Bob Sarlatte perform at 7 p m Barry Sobel, A. Whitney Brown. Jeremy Kramer and Carol Leiter are on the bill at 11 p m. Bobby Slayton and Pauia Pounds'one perform in both shows. Pop The English Beat and Blasters rock in concert at the Civic Auditorum; Ancient Future, Allaudin William Ma-thieu. the New Maihar Band, Parabar Martin Weber and the Sn Chinmoy Center Choir and Ensemble take part in a Planetary Music Festival at the First Unitarian Church; Poco and the Michael De Jong Band play the Old Waldorf, Repeat Offenders, White Front, Prob lem Youth and Bell of Obscurity shake up the Sound ol Music, TAO Chemical and Shrewdness of Apes provide the music for a Livermore Action Group benefit at the American Indian Center, 229 Valencia St.. Asleep at the Wheel plays country swing al the Great American Music Hall. Sunday December 02 Chad Everett and Julie Hagerty find pilot Peter Graves passed out Bob Hope is the featured performer as the American Cancer Society holds its fourth annual Fantasy Ball at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Cocktails and dinner are served Irom 5:30 to 9pm. then Hope takes centerstaue. Phone 673-7979 for ticket information Vaughan Williams' "Hodie" and J S Bach's Cantata No. 140 highlight the San Francisco Bach Choir's 47th Christmas concert at 7 p m. at St Ignatius Chruch. The Mycological Society of San Francisco presents its 12th arnual Fungus Fair from 10 a m to 5 p ,"i ;:t the Lakeside Garden Center in Oani.imt The event includes more than A.:? different mushrooms and toadstools found in Northern California, cooking demonstrations and exhibits of poisonous mushrooms The S.F. Opera ends its season with Puccini's "Tosca" at 2 pm in the Opera House (864 3330) Pop music highlights; Billy Joel sings at the Oakland Coliseum Arena; the Chrysanthemum Ragtime Band is at the Valencia Rose Cafe; Ed Kelly, Bishop Norman Williams and friends play jazz at Bajone's; the Iron Mountain String Band is at Plowshares, Fort Mason; Bobby McFerrin and Ray Collins are featured in a jazz show at 2 p.m. at St. Paulus Lutheran Church; Jim Ringer and Mary McCaslin sing at the Great American Music Hall.

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