February 2, 1970 The N. C. Essay THE LEARNING TREE' When I read that Gordon Parks was writing and directing a movie, I was excited. Though I had never read his autobiographical novel. The Learning Treet from which the scenario for the movie of the same name was written, I had read a volume of his color photography and poems called A Poet and his Camera. The book would have been amazing had it contained either just the photographs or the poems, but by putting them together Parks created a harmony comparable to that of great choreography with great music. The poetry spoke of irony and the death of innocence while the photo graphy attested to Parks’ reverence and great love for the physical beauty of life. I expected the movie to be a cinematic enlargement of this theme. What I was not expecting was the frankness with which Parks drove his story home. He reminds us that the beauty a film finds in a red poppy against a glowing blue sky is the same beauty as a sudden red splash soaking through the back of a dead man's shirt. With absolute taste approaching, but never reaching cliche, we see a town in Oklahoma during the 20's and its most prom inent characters: the bigoted small town cop, the wise and open minded judge (and his dispicable son), conuocfiTion R6UISE D conV. Austin (Music), Ron Dortch (Drama), Janet Hamerly (Dance), Ric Graham (Design-Production), and Mrs. Wanda Crouse (Writing Program). The Committee will sponsor two types of programs. The first of these will consist of outside speak ers representing industry, the com munity, politics and the performing arts. These will be limited in num ber to two or three each semester. The second type of program to be offered will be programs drawn from faculty and students within the School and these programs will con stitute £he major proportion of the convocations. More and more it is hoped that these programs will afford the students an opportunity to be in volved artistically with students and faculty in their own areas of special ty and with students and faculty from other areas of specialty within the School. Beginning with the new semester this year (Spring 1970), attendance at the convocation programs will no longer be required. For programs of special interest to a particular arts area, students may be asked to attend these by their major dean or teacher. Everyone in the School community is urged to support the convocations as much as possible so that we can be assured of having an adequate audi ence especially for the programs in volving visitors from the outside. A REVIEW by TO/^ CAVANO Page 4 the pretty new girl, etc. The Lear- ■iyig Tree is filled with scenes we have all seen before, but somehow comes off as the original from which all of the stereotypes were made. The script is not the kind that depends on great actors to make it work. The plot is solid, well written, and well executed. This is fortunate because much of the acting smacked of inexperience. It was refreshing, though,to sit through the entire show and never see a movie stark Perhaps the lesson is that if a movie has a decent script and an apt director, it doesn't need mighty performing to make it a worthwhile picture. The actors were not hinderances, though. As a whole the roles were done with the simplicity and strength that comes from playing on your own home ground. The story is a new one to Amer- iCHn cinGrna., It is about a. Nfigiro boy growing up in a technicolored world. It contains the best and the worst of that world, though unbalanced towards tragedy. It out Hamlet’s Eamlet in its ten dency to leave a scene littered with bodies. The language of the black- confrontation is the language of the time, so it is necessarily passe and, in places, trite. The situation is new and interesting. Parks creates no stereotypes, but sees everything within a scene, and shows it and makes itr live. The Learning Tree is a life experience. I Wouldn't want anyone I cared for to miss it. It carries you far beyond the limits of the situation it depicts. My feelings were hurt by this movie. And I learned something. "The Leaxming Tree. Some of the forthcoming programs for the new semester have already been set. Here is a partial schedule; February 4 February 18 February 25 March 4 March 11 March 18 April 8 April 15 Music program— students of Mr. Matthews Music program— students in Music. Music program— students of Mr. Klein Mr. Robert Schnei der, Xerox Corp. Music/Dance/Drama: Stravinsky's L'His- toire du soldat. A program on Bar oque Music Prof. Oubre on the Negro in Music and Art Dance program— students of Mr. Sanders ser- music (Cont. from page 2) shuck by Jagger, played for uncool suckers. In any case, someone laid $500 worth of beer and a lot of sunshine acid on them for their vices". (David Crosby brought up a good point when he said that the Stones’ feeling that they needed this type of security proved that they were living back in 1965, completely out of touch with the scene in this country; he also said that Jagger had an "Easy Rider" image of the Hell's Angels). But what of the Stones, partic ularly Jagger? Many say that the affair turned into a massive, grotesque ego trip for Mick. It is felt that he overplayed his image to the ludicrous point. But what's puzzlin' me is the nature of your game. Fights were happening all day at Altamont. Early in the afternoon, a fat man named "Oscar" was bloodied because his appearance was thought "obscene" by someone (presumably an Angel). During Jefferson Airplane’s set, a fight broke out near the stage. Lead singer Marty Balin lept into the melee in an effort to stop it and was laid unconscious as the group finished "Somebody To Love." (Inter esting, that of all the people near the stage, only Balin had the guts to intervene). When the Stones came on, con fusion was at a peak (as I suspect the acid was). During "Sympathy For The Devil", a young Black man was killed by a group of Angels. Three versions are offered; the man had aimed a gun at Jagger; he had "messed up" an Angel s bike; and he tried to mount the stage, the area the Angels were assigned to "protect". Jagger, aware that something was wrong in the crowd, tried to cool them. But he lost his effect and couldn't control anything. be had was his music and that wasn't working. The image of it all is macabre. Jagger, dressed in his demonic. Prince of Darkness garb, singing his homage to Lucifer, while twenty feet away a man is beaten to death. A horrible, (Cont. on page ?') miTCHeLL Any further suggestions will be welcomed. Please contact the Committee through your departmental representative. (Cont. from page I) Under the sponsorship of the Cultural Presentations Program of the U.S. State Department, she toured in Yugoslavia, Rumania, Greece, Turkey, the Near East, Finland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, South America and Mex ico. She studied for four years at the Juilliard Graduate School under fellowships and taught piano there. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1956. Her program Friday will include: Tooaata oon Fuga in F Sharp Minor by Bach, Etudes d’Execution Transoendxxnte by Liszt, Eight Preludes for the Piano (1948) by Frank Martin, Sonata in B Flat3 K. 332 by Mozart, and Poissons d’or. Masquesj and L'isle joyeuse by Debussy.