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State Report Criticizes Halting Of 'Flaming Creatures'

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State Report Criticizes Halting Of 'Flaming Creatures'

By William E. Cote

(News Lansing Bureau )

KALAMAZOO — Two years
ago the film society of the
University of Michigan ran
an underground film entitled
."Flaming Creatures."
An especially attentive mem-
ber of the audience was an offi-
cer of the Ann Arbor police de-

After 12 minutes of running
time, the policeman stopped the
show and arrested the presi-
dent of the film society and

the moderator for exhibiting
an obscene film.

That police action was a
big mistake, say the writers
of the final staff report,
released Thursday, of the
State Senate's ST-••": ••' "om-
mittee to Study I , " Dis-
order and Student Unrest.

(Ann Arbor police, withheld
comment on the report until
Chief Walter E. Krasny re-
turns from an out-of-town

"Flaming Creatures" is,
"in fact, a very poor film,"

the staff report says in a sec-
tion on "Freedom and the
Creative Arts."

"It is badly executed—the
photogr;'- dim, the
sound gdi I.!.. I. the plot (if
there is one) is confused,"
the report states. "The reac-
tion of most of the viewers at
the Detroit screening (ear-
lier) was faint amusement
and puzzled boredom. The
University of Michigan and
the defendants in the case
suffered a good deal of
adverse criticism for the sake

of a poorly conceived and
executed film."

The committee report cites
the case as an example
of the pro'olem youth and
adults have in communicating
with each other. The older
generation, the staff report
states, have trouble telling
the difference between "un-
derground" or "art" films on
one hand, and "stag" movies
on the other.

"Though art films deal with
cultural attitudes," the report
reads, "they are not docu-
mentaries. They involve a
point of view ... To protest,
as many adults do, that the
film is unfair to the Estab-
lishment misses the mark.
The question is not whether
^;he film defines the problem
objectively, but rather wheth-
er it portrays the attitudes
of the younger generation

However, the report says,
too many adults think the
"stag" films they may have
seen with pornographic, sex-
saturated themes, are just
like the campus "under-
ground movies."

There may be such porno-
graphic films around cam-
puses, but no more than ever,
and the "underground" mov-
ies may concentrate instead
o n issues which concern
young people, or on film tech-
niques that they like, the
rr'poi-t says.

;'• .lie of the "underground"
films may, indeed, have fea-
tures about sex and four-letter

words, but they also may
show things without the hypo-
crisy which many young peo-
ple feel is portrayed in the
general theater movies, the
report says.

"This picture," the report
says of on? mnv'ip c"The

Graduate" of
truth about n aim .vuunger
generation—and many adults
as well—recognize it at the
box office."

The report says a "Flaming
Creature" type of movie, on

the other hand, i.ri.'^bly
would have been n by
the students anyway, as "dull
and-or funny."

Postwar youth, the report
says, grew up with television
and "know the grammar and
syntax of the camera much
better than they know the
grammar and syntax f +''•-
written word. Th.

freshman colle,;" -nl iias
seen 15,000 hon •>'. com-
pared with 10,»uo hours of