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December 10, 1982 - Image 29

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-12-10
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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

-! - " -
V U U

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4. it.//Y

9

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I f w 1 m oew 3ESewamomw

ThePirates o
Penane ...
(Continued from page 9)
sentations. Leach let Lansbury
work fairly independently, which
he says is the way that he deals
with all actors.
"Let an actor find the role in
himself," Leach asserts, "and then
he'll almost be the character."
Leach's main concern with his
cast was to unite them in bringing
Penzance to life in the kind of
madcap, fun-filled way that has
provoked some critics to compare
the tone of the play to the antics of
Monty Python and the Marx
Brothers.
"Pirates' humor comes from
showing a world of reality askew,"
states Leach. "It would have been
a mistake for me to think of Pen-
zance in any conventional way. For
example, at the time that this story
takes place, there were no pirates
any more. Consequently, anyone
claiming to be a pirate would be
some sort of free spirit."
To enhance Pirates' thematic de-
lights with celluloid magic, Leach
enlisted the services of special ef-
fects wizard Brian Johnson, who
won an Oscar for The Empire
Strikes Back and also worked on
Dragonslayer, Alien and Space: 1999.
(Johnson's tricks were added to
live action footage shot by
cinematographer extraordinaire
Douglas Raiders of the Lost Ark
Slocombe.)
The Pirates of Penzance's visual
thrills weren't only generated
technically. The picture contains
the wildest action scenes this side
of Steven Spielberg.
"Pirates gets so wild that a lot of
people think that we did a lot of
improvised tumbling and bumbl-
ing," says Tony Azito, "but we
didn't. There couldn't be improvis-
ing with everybody moving
around like that. There would
have been chaos. Graciela Daniele
(both the play's and film's
choreographer) is a perfectionist.
All of the fight sequences for the
stage play were planned. For the
movie, they had to be even more
precise."
No matter how proficient Azito
and company were, a potential
danger for Pirates is that
moviegoers might consider the
story an antique that couldn't pos-
sibly please a 1980s audience.
"We treated Penzance as a new
work - something living, rather
than as something to be done with
reverence toward the dead. We
approached the production from
the script and music, rather than
from the tradition of how The Pi-

rates of Penzance 'ought' to be done."
Leach's approach worked on
Broadway, where Pirates won 3
Tony Awards (for Best Revival,
Best Director and Kevin Kline), 2
OBIE Awards, 5 Drama Desk
Awards and the Outer Critics Cir-
cle Award for Best Musical. The
director and his associates are ob-
viously gambling that this Febru-
ary 18, filmgoers will also react posi-
tively to a movie whose stylized
whimsy could present a refreshing
relief from the world's ubiquitous'
everyday hassles.
"The Pirates of Penzance," Leach
admits, "presents a world without
cynicism. There's not one charac-
ter in the picture that you
wouldn't like to have over to din-
ner."
Sdingll..
(Continued from page 9)
sponsible for Colors' death.
Jake Hooker, now down to his
last dollar due to bad investments,
and Fargo Gondorff, fresh from a
two-year stay in the Florida State
Penitentiary "on a bum rap," de-
cide to get revenge on Macalinski.
They scheme to have Hooker pose
as a champion boxer, not realizing
that Lonnegan is aware of their
every move, determined to kill
them in retribution for conning
him a decade earlier.
Ward's script also introduces a
beautiful con woman named Ver-
onica (Teri Garr), who uses the
alias Countess Veronique. A ro-
mance develops between Veronica
and Hooker, with the latter ignor-
ant that the "Countess" has some,
sort of mysterious tie to Lonne-
gan. Helping the gangster is Big,
Apple police detective Francis X.
Bushman (Val Avery), whom
Hooker first meets when he steals
a railroad ticket from him.
"Sting II is inspired and is an ex-
pansion of the first Sting, rather
than a continuation," asserts di-
rector Kagan. "Our Fargo Con-'
dorff and Jake Hooker are based;
on two very famous real-life con
men who are totally different
from the original two characters.
Sting II also has more comedy and
the nature of the con is more in-
triguing than in Sting 1. In this pic-
ture, the con men themselves get
conned."
Kagan feels that a director
should try to put together a cast
that is friendly to one another. He
even went so far as to fly Oliver
Reed (who inherits the part of
Lonnegan from the late Robert
Shaw) in from London for a few
days so that he could get ac-
quainted with the picture's ensem-

Hzk

{ov

LIE

V

ble one month before the En-
glishman had to show up for film-
ing. During that visit, Oliver
clowned around by doing hand-
springs and lewd gestures off-
camera while the other actors were
filming their scenes. At one point,
Reed peeled off his shirt and
jumped in front of the camera,j
dancing around the cast members.
"That's the way he is without hav-
ing a drink," comments Jackie
Gleason, grinning.
Not all of Sting If's unplanned
moments were as wild as Reed's'
stunts. When the film was lensing
at Los. Angeles' posh Rex restau-
rant - posing as "The Blue J"j
nightclub - famed bandleader/
trumpeteer Harry James (who
plays himself) and a few of Sting
II's other musicians treated the
crew to an impromptu concert.
The event was made even more
memorable when Jeremy Paul
Kagan joined the group on
clarinet.
To help achieve a sense of pleas-
ant illusion, the artists responsible
for Sting II's look often opted to
"suggest" the 1940s, instead of re-
creating the era in exact detail.
"We tried to make the clothing
in Sting II capture the essence of
the period, rather than actually
documenting it," confirms cos-
tume designer Burton Miller.
One design element that couldn't
be merely suggested: men's hair-
cuts. All of Sting II's male actors
had to get 1940s coiffures.
"When that was done," Mac
Davis recalls, "nobody recognized
me. When I came home after the
haircut, my dog - a big old
bloodhound - tried to tear me up.
Until he smelled me, he didn't
know who I was."
Davis' pursuit of reality for his
role included doing his own stunts
during Sting Is climactic boxing
match.
"I got banged up," reveals
Davis. "I was trying to make a slow
motion shot - there's a point in
the fight where Jake gets knocked
down - and I went flying through
the air, landed on my rib cage, and
broke a rib: it looked terrific! It-
was my own fault, though. I was.
overacting."
Some media pundits have sur-
mised that Davis went to such
lengths. to help offset a compari-I
son between himself and his prog-
enitor as Hooker, Robert Redford.
When told that some people will
view his performance in Redford's
shadow, Davis doesn't seem
bothered, apparently believing
that he's not in competition with
the famous star. Mac considers
Sting II as another chance to ex-
pand his thespian abilities, dis-
played twice before in North Dallasj
Forty and Cheaper to Keep Her

"I'm basically a songwriter who
sings and an entertainer who acts,
quote, unquote. Acting is a chal-
lenge because it's something I re-
ally don't have that much experi-
ence at. Film acting is hard work.
It's long hours and very repetiti-
ous, but I love it. Acting is a
chance to jump out of my skin and
be someone else for a change.
Who hasn't wanted to do that once
in a while?"
Inevitably, the entire Sting sequel
will be pitted against its predeces-
sor. Jeremy Paul Kagan insists that
his picture can sustain the test, as
long as people care about Sting ti's
characters.
"I think that they will," states the
director. "Even though all of the
characters in Sting II survive by ly-
ing, there's a 'backstage' area
where they don't lie. That's where I
feel audiences will learn to care
about these people. At least, what's
important to me is the truth in
people's lives."
Video-
drom .
(Continued from page 9)
Videodrome to display the morbidly
fascinating special photographic
and makeup effects that Cronen-
berg's movies have become famous
for Videodrome's scenes of delusion
- including a television that be-
comes organic -were developed
by Rick Baker's EFX Inc. (An
American Werewolf in London),
Frank Carere and video coor-
dinators Michael Lennick and Lee
Wilson.
"Their contribution," comments
Cronenberg, "is a tremendously
vital part of the movie. Videodrome
was written so that its hallucinat-
ory aspects actually lead to one of
the film's major revelations. At the
same time, I'd hate for people to
feel that Videodrome is solely an .ef-
fects picture. Its first half hour
doesn't have any effects. Videod-
romes other elements - acting and
story - are good enough to stand
on their own. If nothing else, I
think that the least people will say
is that Videodrome'is an interesting
movie. As a result, I think that its
market can be broader than that
of a film that only highlights spe-
cial effects.
"Obviously," the director adds,
"there'll be some people who might
not want to sit through Videod-
rome's 'straight' scenes. Overall,'
though, I don't think that will be
the case. Effects freaks still want
more than just special effects, even
if they don't always realize it.
"I mean, why settle for great ef-
fects if you can get effects plus?"

M A G A Z 1I N E

features
Meryl Streep
Chooses Sophie's
C oice. . .. ..,. ..
Exclusive Interview
The Dark
Crystal.....6
Amazing Special Effects
Previews.......8
The Pirates of Penzance,
Sting II & Videodrome.
Jessica Lange as 1
Frances ......11
Tragic Hollywood Tale
Produced by Marie Yates
and Jonathan Sanger
Tony Bil Directs
Six Weeks.....12
Starring Dudley Moore
& Mary Tyler Moore
MM G AZI NE
Publisher
DURAND W. ACHEE
Editor-in-Chief Art Director
JUDITH SIMS CATHERINE LAMPTON
Associate Editor Production Manager
BYRON LAURSEN CHIP JONES
Contributing Editors Production Assistant
JACOBA ATLAS, DAN EICHOLTZ
STEVEN X. REA, Office Manager
DAVIN SEAY BARBARA HARRIS
Corporate Offices
JEFF DICKEY, PRESIDENT
Alan Weston Conunicstiods, Inc.
1680 North Vise. Suite 900. Hollywood, CA 90028

We invite your input and encour-
age you to write us with your
comments.
Duramd Ach&e
Publisher

[ 1982 Alan Weston Publishing, a division of Alan Weston Communications,
Inc., 1680 North Vine, Suite 900, Hollywood, CA 90028. All rights re-
served. Letters become the property of the publisher and may be edited.
Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. Published
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