'Film in small packages?
By Rich Quackenbush
Talk to Woody Sempliner about the
Ann Arbor Film Festival, and he'll tell
3'uu thai what yotr-see—Avhat vou get at
the festival is • •:. ,,^ act in
"In the mail.;, . . . ;n:^,!i
: tiers. Or you get advertising and
he explains. "It's all communica-
.ut it's all very different.
» guess what I'm trying to stress is
that what's seen at the festival is film in
FILM IN small pack? ih,-
re's a catchy phrase, a I,
ble as Peter Bogdanov .....igo
definition of movies as pieces of
But what exactly are the Ann Arbor
"" "..i—,,,. ..-.-..,, packages,"
historic Michigan Theatre Tuesday
through next Sunday^
"JUST AfiOI-T anything; every-
thing,' .pliner, manager of
the fesi ; several years.
"netimes just the expression of a
And how do these "small packages"
differ from commercial Hollywood mov-
FIRST, THERE are the obvious differ-
ences such as length and the festival
films' status as ••"•)—--,--•--•" products.
Most festival short; as
many as a qua.' ;•,.• than 290
films submitted -., :„.--„; ,.l:inners rn
date could be shown during tin.'!
six-day tenure at the Michigan
The word "independent" nx
'tention more to the tilm-
. the illusion he or she has
^.™»™. .... independent film is an ex-
ercise in individual artistry."
AS SUCH. Sempliner says the prospec-
""" viewer might have to acquire a taste
• independent film.
in really have to be attuned to the
i storv behind tilmmaking," he ex-
' have to view these films in
ay, be aware of what the
' '; I think you have ti :'
.' and maybe attc.
i0 really get into ;
SUCH AN exercise might be particu-
larly rewarding to those who saw early
works by, for instance, George Lucas,
who went on to direct the commercial
smash hits "Star Wars" and "Amci ,
of "Carrie," at previous festivals
Those interested in animation migni
• rcall that works by Academy Award-
'.inning animators Will Vinton and
u'is work first shown at
win an Oscar lor animal]
"Frank's Film," describr
er as "a film that dazzled;
STILL, DESPITE the transition some
festival independents have made to com-
the festival remains committed to the in-
one festival press ri.'] i ihose
words and further sir ;D|-
lywood movie palaci :n "
will "house undergroui.u.
While Sempliner himself sees a cer-
tain amount of irony in a "movie pal-
ace" built tor Hollywood efforts being
this year's site for the festival, he's not
sure about the labels which are used to
first years of the festival,
"Back then (the early 1960s), the films
tact that an artist had picked up a cam-
era and decided to work with film: mak-
But times have changed, Sempliner
stresses, and a lot of the "crudeness"
has disappeared from festival entries
"THE FILMS used to be easy to de-
fine. But now, people seem to have a lot
more access to information about mak-
ing films; the quality has been creeping
un and the films we receive are very ma-
Ann Arbor Film Festival was born
:ii2, the brainchild of director George
Manupelli, a major figure In American
16mm film who was teaching at the
University of Michigan at the time, and
the laf Prni Marvin i.'dheim, founder
"' ' which eontin-
i!. :ival with the
1" Ann Arbor.
Now at York University in Toronto
and soon to become Dean of the School of
the San Francisco Art Institute,
new fesli- .
v and a
ommittee of eight local
rent'.y is selecting the 25
n.. ..,.-s this
tilm experts ci
140 hours subn
to the public
ie festival opening will
selected by the Cinema
and Manupelli watch-
•le public at 7, 9 and 11
SCREENINGS will be at the same
See 1- ilm, Page E-5Film ... SU^Yf^ ^
Continued (rom Page E-l ' .ind that Is the iier, surprisingly enough, six univerisites, with a minin aumo f»350 Whitney Museum, the Museum of Mod-
times through Friday and at 1. 7 and ; ; the "most prizes. aw arded at ea ich locatii an by li ocal11 iries. ern Art in New York City and the Chi-
p.m. on Saturday. : the festival. ..-Ci™riCALLY, there is no win- cago Art Institute - who are seeking
By Sunday morning, the judges must be ready to award prize money, from an expected pot of some $6,000 provided by local merchants, U-M film groups and private Individual awards. T. : prize.d<; ividual share of ths ,.l distributes the cash an ;ees fit. ". ... is then will be shown says. ways Sen festi-i Begin ihe Ann Arbor Film Festival," he 'Frankly, the judges aren't al-r^ht."l, .'.i;;: ,, , -30 An cla pla n An ilmed . ,^;it; ty ae-itives outstanding films for their theaters and archives. Series tickets for the festival will go on sale 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Michigan Theatre. Individual screening tickets also are expected to be available at the
There is only one pre-determlned at 7. a Him n p.m. next Sunday •works shown during the festival will tour frommajul n ISUlUllUll! > ~ plo lues like the door.