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November 06, 1982 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-11-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Saturday, November 6, 1982

The Michigan Daily
up at
oe s
By Joe Hoppe
. AN FRANCISCO synthopop band
Barry Beam stops at Joe's Star
Lounge Sunday for a performance
before starting off on its East Coast
Beam, variously described as "the
Clark Kent of technopop" and an "elec-
tronic genius," has a strong San Fran-
cisco following with a local radio hit,
.tf "Castro Boy's," a "Valley Girls"-type
jibe at the city's Castro Street gay
a community. Beam has done most of his
,studio work in the Bay area, and has in-
cluded fellow citizen Bonnie Hayes, of
Wild Combo fame (and another recent
guest at Joe's) on his first album, Barry
. Beam, as backup vocalist.
The six-song LP isn't bad for dance-
oriented technopop. It's got more
layers and seems to be a little less for-
mulated than other bands' noise and
the lyrics sound better than average as
With a combination of funk-like, surf-
like, and pure pop songs, Barry Beam
would best be utilized at dance parties,
though listening to it can be tolerable at
All of the good songs happen to be on
side two. "Radio Head" sounds like a
certain old Buggles tune in both the
chorus and silly high range vocals.
"Wacs in Slacks" keeps up the high-
frequency mouth noise, but it's kinda
cute and a little humorous. "IC" is the
album's best song, being an elec-
tronically toned down and smoothed out
Big-Bopper type selection.
Joe's Star Lounge boasts the biggest
dance floor in the area. Barry Beam,
including Bobby Imsolucky on drums
and Mike McDonald (not of the
Doobies) on bass and synthesizers,
should be able to fill it.
Also coming to the Ann Arbor music
scene are Cleveland reggaers I-tal, who
return to Second Chance Monday night.
With a strong local following and past
appearances with the likes of Steel
Pulse, and the Mighty Diamonds, as
well as at this summer's Art Fair, 1-tal
is sure to draw an enthusiastic dancing
crowd. The group sports a number of
originals, including "Who Seh," "Fight
Down Babylon," and an innovative
cover of the Sesame Street theme song.
Tickets available at the door and
through Prism Productions.

Page 5
A bold opera
from one of
cinema's best

Michael Palin stars as C. W. Fortescue, a man with a mission, in the sometime comedy, 'The Missionary.'
Missionary 'fails to

fulfi l

0 1 --



By Robert Cassard
ALTHOUGH NOT strictly a 'Monty
Python' movie, The Missionary
boasts not only a plot containing sight
gags and improvisational humor, but
stars Pythonite Michael Palin in the
title role, a man of God charged with
saving the souls of fallen women.
The comic potential of this concept
seems unlimited; it's the kind of sub-
ject that allows Palin to play his classic
bemused-and-a-bit uncomfortable-yet
gracious character to the hilt. In The
Missionary, he does it with his usual
finesse, but this simply isn't enough to
keep the film alive. Aside from Palin's
acting, the film has very little going for
it and is weighed-down by many
technical problems.
Aspects of it Constantly vary from
one extreme to another in terms of
quality. The cinematography ranges
from gorgeous, as it occasionally cap-
tures a beautiful scene of the English or
Scottish countryside, to frustrating, as
in many of the indoor scenes, where bad
color correction and poor lighting ren-
ders the picture annoyingly unclear.
The garbled soundtrack poses another
problem (at least it did with this par-
ticular print of the film). It is recorded
so poorly that many of what may very
well be funny or important lines are
lost. The often-exaggerated British ac-
cents of the characters certainly don't
The script again covers a tremendous
quality range, sometimes touching
upon the absolutely hilarious (rivaling
Monty Python's .best) but more often
succumbing to the foolish and obvious.
There is a sense of imbalance, a
problem that was often eliminated in
Palin's team efforts with the other

ts po te
members of Monty Python.
Then, tlyre's the plot. The movie
opens effectively with two dramatically
opposing scenes: one which shows the
name "C. W. Fortescue" being painted-
over on the Church of England Register
of Clergymen, and another showing C.
W. Fortescue himself (played by Palin)
performing missionary work in Africa.
Palin is at his best when dealing with
subtle material and African "fertility
symbols" are perfect fare for him.
In stark contrast to Fortescue's ten
years of hard work in "the most remote
and uncivilized regions of the British
Empire," we get our first glimpse of
the Bishop of London, who seems more
interested in boxing than religion, but
who finally assigns Fortescue his new
-mission: to go among the "fallen
women". of London and bring them
back to "the path of righteousness."
Two women become involved in
helping Fortescue reach his goal: an
incredibly well-organized fiancee and a
sex-hungy "bride-of-wealth" aristocrat
named Lady Ames (Maggie Smith).
Palin utilizes the obvious opportunity
for ironic tension. Fortescue's fiancee
demands that he see Lady Ames to
solicit a monetary donation with which
to start his Church of England Mission
to Fallen Women. Palin is typically
brilliant as he attempts to avoid the
imminent sexual encounter with Lady
Ames, but he gives in a bit too easily for
my tastes. There are some other ex-
cellent scenes at the Ames mansion
revolving around the antics of a forget-
ful butler.
In its mission scenes, the movie
seems self-conscious in its attempts to
avoid an "R" rating. Palin sadly,
therefre, passes-up a lot of comedic

chances. Still, it has its moments
the narrator sums it up quite wi
saying that the mission's high
dance level is due to a combinat
Fortescue's "moral leadership
personal availability."
From this point on, both the plc
the dialogue which accompanies
apart. Fortescue, at the Bis
request, abandons the mission (ai
scheduled wedding) to run after
Ames in the highlands of Sco
There are some action scenes, sor
gets shot, blah, blah, blah, an
whole thing begins to wallow in it
mediocrity, etc.
At the end, the film is tied-up w
neatly just as it clocks in at an
and-a-half (about as much as you
take). The mission is re-opener
this time it is not under the auspi
the church. We get a last glimj
Lady Ames working hard ft
"cause." One last intriguing touc
series of old photographs includir
of Fortescue with Lady Ames and
must be their two children. It's
teresting postscript which is ji
gratuitous as the rest of the
The Missionary is not a horribl
but neither is it worth the few
you would pay to see it on its fir,,
While it boasts the Monty P
hallmark of a brilliant underlyin
Palin alone simply doesn't succ,
carrying out that idea and mal
ynh~rent enmedv nut of it

By Richard Campbell
W ORD THAT RobertAltman was
- Win town to stage direct
Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress left
many wondering what he could do with
an opera.
A film director noted for off-beat and
commercially unviable films such as
Nashville, McCabe and Mrs. Miller as
well as M*A*S*H and A Wedding, Alt-
man assured all that the results would
be interesting, whether you were an
opera buff or not.
Judging from Thursday night's per-
formance, Altman has succeeded.
The Rake's Progress, presented by
the School of Music to celebrate they
Stravinsky centenary, is based on a
series of paintings by the 18th-century
British engraver William Hogarth
depicting the rise and eventual down-
fall of a young lad. As detailed by
Stravinsky and librettist W.H. Auden,
young Tom Rakewell is seen at the
beginning to be in love with Anne, when
he suddenly inherits a large amount of
Accompanied by his servant, the sly
Nick Shadow, Rakewell journeys to
s, and London to take charge of his affairs and
ell by proceeds to squander his money on
atten- lechery and fraudulent business
ion of schemes. After a series of adventures,
and Rakewell winds up in an insane asylum,
hopelessly in love with Anne yet out of
t and touch with reality.
it fall In this production, Altman has made
hop's some very important changes from the
nd his original. Instead of having the action
Lady take place in the various locations
tland. specified by the original script, the en-
neone tire opera exists inside bedlam, the
d the asylum to which Rakewell is commit-
s own ted. As constructed by scenic designer
Wolf Koreger, bedlam is a monstrous
ay too pit, a cross between hell and prison-
hour- a huge steaming pot in bloated human
could form sits on the left, scaffolding which
d, but holds the inmates bunks occupies the
ces of background, and a huge, monstrous
pse of bird head overlooks the doorway.
or its The entire production is composed of
h is a this giddy professionalism; costumes,
ig one props, and staging are designed both
I what with an artistic point in mind, but also
an in- to demonstrate the boldness of that ar-
ist as tistic vision.
plot's Altman's main change in the opera,
however, has been to split the character

... directing 'The Rake's Progress'
of Anne in two, Anne the dream and
Anne the reality, a device that perfectly
meshes with the decision to have the ac-
tion take place in bedlam, and one
which strongly reinforces Rakewell's
frame of mind, presaging his insanity.
The leading characters are double-
cast; tonight's show will repeat Thur-
sday's performance. In particularly'
fine form are Anne Nispel and Carla
Connors, who alternate the double role
of Anne. While Richard Fracker's
Rakewell had a timid beginning, in the
second act he seemed to finally enjoy
his performance and projected a much
stronger voice.
Theodore Rulfs, as Nick Shadow,
deserved the extra applause the full
house at Power Center gave. His
character, a blend of Machiavelli,
Mephistopheles, and Iago, formed a
solid core to the entire undertaking.
If you've seen opera before, The
Rake's Progress is a must. If not, this
production is an excellent introduction
to a world of sight, sound and magic,
brought to you by one of cinema's most
gifted directors.

'Dial 'M' for Murder'
" to be presented in 3-D,


5th Ave of Lberty 701-9700


only $2.00
shows beore.
- :00 P.M.

Y ESTERDAY'S issue of Weekend
magazine erronously reported
that tonight and tomorrow evenings'
screening of Dail 'M' for Murder would
be the regular 2-D edition. Not so.
Alfred Hitchcock originally shot Dial
'M' in 3-D using a relatively new
polaroid process that allowed any
viewer with the right glasses
(generously provided by Cinema II) to
see another dimension on the silver
screen. Unfortunately, that version was
.not released to the general public.
. Fortunately, though, the 3-D version
still exists and has been re-released. In
2-D, the movie was rightly praised as a
classically intricate murder mystery
that kept up the suspense while taking
place entirely in one small London
The 3-D edition, however, is the only
film to use the new technology with sub-
tlety and drama. Instead of threatening
the audience constantly with objects,
tHitchcock simply allowed his setting to
expand the frame of the camera. Com-
positions take on the added complexity
Hof the real world. When Hitchcock does
-thrust something into the audience's

lap, the effect becomes twice as ex-
So, apologies to Cinema II. Dial 'M'
for Murder stars the late Grace Kelly
and Ray Milland. It shovfs in Lorch Hall
at 7 and 9 p.m. tonight and tomorrow


SUN.-1:10, 3:00, 4:50, 6:40,
8:30, 10:20
MON.-6:40, 8:30, 10:20


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