C.C. reader. ([Middletown, Pa.]) 1973-1982, November 08, 1982, Image 12

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the muse
By Mary Diehl
No one on our staff has seen
any ethereal women in Grecian
gowns floating around Capitol
Campus (outside of toga par
ties) since Dr. Mahar's last
presentation of Greek comedy.
Why, then, do we persist in the
use of the concept of a Muse?
In an interview with Jan Gar
rett in Sydney, Australia, the
DODE10000000001:1001:100OLIC1FIDOE11:1000000 00 ,
The Reel World '
By Marsha Larsen
My Favorite Year stars Peter
O'Toole as the Errol Flynn-like
character Alan Swann who may
or may not make his scheduled
appearance on the 50's TV show
"Cavalcade of Comedy." King
Kaiser, a Sid Caesar clone,
heads the show and assigns
Benjie Stone as baby-sitter for
Swann to assure his presence
and sobriety at air time.
Benjie Stone, played by Mark
Linn-Baker, is a hopeful, brash
young comedy writer who, long
a hero worshipper of the
Midadow lanes
WEDNESDAY- Campus League Nite
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modern American poet Philip
Levine talked about his inter
pretation of the poetic muse:
I think the muse is a por
tion of the self that largely
lives asleep and that being
inspired is really being
totally alive. When I'm in
spired I'm physically,
mentally, and spiritually
more me than I ordinarily
I think the muse is a por
tion of the self which when
it suddenly enters the con
scious self makes you feel
as though you were
somebody else. But I think
it's just you at your most.
And since we are rarely
ourselves at our most it
does feel a little odd—and
it's also delicious—and I
think you learn to protract
these moments to make
them last as long as possi
One of the arts of writing
is, I think, learning how to
protract that time of in-
swashbuckling Swann, accepts
the task willingly. During his
stint as the star's overseer, he
gets to know the man behind
the celluloid image. Swann
reveals himself as a troubled,
unsure, self-doubting alcoholic,
hating himself for failing the
people who love him. ("You can
always count on Alan Swann to
let you down.")
In the meantime, a sub-plot
develops. King Kaiser refuses
to cut from his next show a skit
based on the Mafia figure, Carl
Rojak. Rojak confronts Kaiser
and threatens to "remove"
him, if he doesn't curtail the in
sulting parodies. The film's two
spiration so that it can in
clude the largest possible
poem that you're capable
of at that moment.
(Philip Levine. Don't
Ask. Ann Arbor: The
University of Michigan
Press, 1981, p. 128.)
It is indeed a "delicious" feel
ing when the creative inspira
tion of our Muse is with us, and
so one develops one's methods
of "invocation". Each artist has
his own means of invocation,
but it usually involves some
sort of contemplative state in
which one opens oneself to the
inspiration from within.
But it doesn't always work.
Sometimes the Muse turns a
deaf ear to our invocations, and
we remain uninspired. Then the
act of creation becomes
The following poem is about
such a time, when one has
something which he or she
wishes to express : and has
prepared for inspiration—which
obdurately refuses to appear.
stories merge in the closing
scenes. Predictably, the good
guys emerge victorious from
their respective struggles.
And so do the actors, thanks
only to the casting. The actors
fit their parts and play them
true to type.
The Swann character,
brilliantly portrayed by O'Toole,
is a difficult one to bring off. A
lesser actor could have reduced
the role to a ridiculous slapstick
routine. O'Toole shows just
enough wet-eyed sadness to add
a touch of pathos to his basical
ly comedic performance. Swann
is the only character in the
movie with depth, and that
results from O'Toole's sizeable
Even O'Toole's skill,
however, couldn't make up for
the simplistic story. The
screenplay did what it could,
and there were some clever
bits; like Swann's "drunk suit,"
equipped with snaps so that
anyone could easily undress the
comatose star and put him to
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This poet then compared the
Sistine Chapel ceiling and
Michelangelo's painting of
God's creation of Adam to the
feeling of impotence one has
when the Muse withholds itself
The finger points,
writes lifeless words,
moves on. No blinding
binding arc occurs.
The ceiling wasn't first.
How many misbegotten
are in God's wastebasket,
crumpled by angels'
—Eowyn Stark
The next time you are in
spired by your Muse, please
share your creation with us. We
would also like to know what
methods you use to invoke your
creative self. Send submissions
to: Muse, Capitol Times, Room
104 (Student Affairs). We are
interested in the work of
students, faculty, and staff.
Names will be withheld if so re
Even though the film is
carefully accoutered with cer
tain 1950's artifacts, like cars, it
looks contemporary. The
lighting, hairstyles, make-up,
and costumes are modern. Ben
jie Stone, for example, with his
mop of fluffy hair and funky
clothes, appears like a male An
nie Hall, not a comedy-writing
whiz kid in 1954.
The camera work supports
the story well enough. It's lively
and shows mostly mid-range to
close-up shots, making the film
personal and intimate, like the
Swann-Stone relationship. Yet
the movie seems constrained by
the camera and shot with TV in
mind. The film, 90 minutes
long, is indeed the appropriate
length for a television movie:
cable or, with the addition of ad
time, a 2-hour network presen
My Favorite Year, then, is a
lightweight made-for-TV com
edy blown up to big screen size.
As its only attraction, however,
Peter O'Toole deserves the
price of admission.
to students completing two year programs
Hurry. It lakes a lot of time to make all arrangements.
For full information—write to
2442 E. Collier S.E.,
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506
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