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March 09, 1983 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-09

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The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, March 9, 1983

Page 5

'Big Brother watches
over '1984' lecture

By Jim Boyd
I N 1948 George Orwell wrote a novel
about the relatively distant future of
mankind. His book, entitled 1984, will be
examined this Thursday, Friday, and
Saturday, March 10-12, as the Univer-
sity hosts a conference termed "The
Future of 1984." This conference will tr-
y to come to grips with Orwell's
prophetic vision at a time that finds this
work most relevant.
In addition to many University
professors, the conference will host
such notables as former U.S. Senator
Eugene McCarthy, Orwell's biographer
Bernard Crick from the University of
London, and visiting Walgreen
professor Czeslaw Milosz.
With 1984 quickly approaching, this
gathering marks what will be one of the
first of many examinations of Orwell's
work. Many of these examinations will
be made because many of the issues
that Orwell raised in 1984 are very
much alive and relevant today.
Host and moderator Professor Ejner
Jensen spoke of the conference saying
that part of what it will be trying to ask
is "what does i9i mean to us, and what
will it continue to mean to us. How are
we prepared to deal with the things that
Orwell was saying?"
A present examination of a book such
as 1984 is akin to looking at what will
happen to a prophetic book once its
time has come. "The Future of 1984" is
already a part of our current
mythology. With it come many con-
notations that are not all applicable to
the book itself. Works such as Brave

New World have become amalgamated
into the idea of "the world of 1984".
Undoubtedly the book will have a
lasting effect since it is rich in societal
implications. Issues that are relevant
today - those of freedom, technology,
of the individual vs. the state, all of
these are dealt with with forceful
clarity in Orwell's book. A great
amount of the colloquium will be asking
his questions again in the context of
contemporary society. One of his theses
was that 'the aim of power is its exer-
tion.' The idea that a state is driven
only by a desire for power is an idea
ripe for examination at any time.
Professor Jensen stressed that this is
"not just a bookish conference, or sim-
ply an exchange among experts." What
is hoped is that with the help of a large
student and community audience, the
conference will be quite open and
lively. An impressive aspect will be the
wide variety of disciplines by which the
book and its effects will be analyzed.
Political science, literature, law, and
linguistics are among the facets that
will be represented by members of our
faculty and visiting participants.
Of those speaking there is anything
but a general consensus as to what the
future of 1984 will be. Orwell's work
1984 has an amazing ability to promote
discussion and disagreement. The
derivative of such a power is thought.
This conference can aim at no higher
goal than the evoking of thought per-
taining to our society and the way in
which we lead our lives. Orwell's book
provides an extraordinary opportunity,
through the benefit of foresight, to do
just that.

Senior cadet David Keith is pledged to protect the military institute's first black member, Mark Breland, in "The Lords
of Discipline."

'Lords' misses

Forecast: Snow

By Tom McDonald
THE WEATHERMAN is predicting
snow for Saturday night at the
Power Center - Phoebe Snow, that is.
You remember her, the frizzy-haired
singer who gave us such songs as,
"Poetry Man," "Two-Fisted Love,''
and the Channel Four theme song, "Go
For It." Well after a series of setbacks,
Phoebe Snow is back on the road,
hoping to rekindle the huge success of
her early career, which included a
couple of gold records and a Rock
Music Award for Best New Female
Her current tour, which began in
January, has been doing remarkably
well; her press agent said, "I can't
think of one show that hasn't been sold
out." Yet Snow has been relatively
quiet in the recording studio. Her last
album, Rock Away, was released
Salmost two years ago. However, the
lack of a fresh product on the market
hasn't hurt her at the box office. Her
sophisticated vocal talents alone com-.
mand respect in the cities she tours.
The , resiliency of her tone provides
for a vocal range that can't be equalled
in the pop music community. Her silken
voice can reach the high notes in a
fashion that only the late Minnie Rip-
perton could match. The music Snow
sings is just as diverse as the quality of
her voice. She sings jazz with inter-
pretation; blues with vehement
passion; folk with vociferous sen-
sitivity; and rock with brazen abandon.
Her albums range in style from the jazz
oriented Phoebe Snow to the middle of
the road sounding It Looks Like Snow,
to the driving rock sound of Rock Away.,
Snow grew up on the East Coast, near
New York City, when the hippie/drug
scene became popular. Somewhat.
reserved, she sought to cling on to
something to reaffirm her identity. A
rebellious teenager who didn't take a
liking to authority figures, Phoebe
says, "I had a stream of consciousness
running through my head." Subsequen-
tly, she dropped out of a variety of

schools, latched on to the Greenwich'
Village style of life, and began ex-
perimenting with drugs. Phoebe was
fatalistic, insecure, and very self-
conscious of her stocky, 5'3" frame. It
finally took the tragic death of a close
friend to change her outlook on life, for-
cing her to re-evaluate her priorities.
Snow began to use her singing as a
vehicle to express her pent-up
emotions. Influenced by Judy Garland,
Bessie Smith, and Joni Mitchell, she
cultivated her talents and developed a
distinctive vocal style. A recording con-
tract shortly followed when her vocal
merits were recognized by agents in
New York clubs. Her career was laun-
ched when her debut album, Phoebe
Snow, hit the airwaves and the record
store shelves. The album was critically
praised, produced a top ten single,
"Poetry Man," and sold enough copies
to be certified gold. In the wake of this
surprising success, Snow was deemed a
fresh new vocal stylist in the mold of
Billie Holiday, and a soon to be
dominating force on the pop music
Nine years and five albums later,
however, Snow still seems to be riding
the wave of her first album. She in-
troduced some creative material in
following albums, but they did not
receive the same attention or critical
acclaim as the first. Undaunted by this
observation, Snow has carved a com-
fortable place for herself in the pop
music world. She continues to sell
albums, fill concert halls, and amaze
listeners with her superlative, four-
octave voice.
Phoebe always puts on a fine live per-
formance. Backed up by a tight cast of
musicians, she will perform selections
from a broad musical background,
which spans a decade. She will mix her
introspective jazz ballads, her churning
blues arrangements, and her driving
rock tunes to produce a show that will
undoubtedly appeal to a large cross-
section of listeners. Show time is at 8
p.m. and tickets can be purchased at
the Union Box Office.
' "- . I (

By Joshua Bilmes
like a nuclear power plant that is
operating below capacity. It provides
some energy or entertainment, but
some of the control rods are still in so it
fails to deliver as much as it could.
The fuel of the film, its plot, is
relatively simple. Set in 1964, the
Carolina Military Institue's first black
cadet joins.Will McClean, one of the
:adets, is asked by the Bear, the gruff
but lovable colonel, to protect the black
cadet, Pearce, from excessive hazing.
Will does this, and whileadoing so, he
uncovers a secret group of cadets
called the Ten who use all kinds of not-
so-nice tactics, such as torture, to make
sure that unfit cadets never graduate
from the Institute. The Ten does not ap-
preciate Will's investigative work, the
black cadet, or the help given by Will's
After Will interrupts their torturing
of Pearce, the Ten try to get Will and
his roommates out of the Institute by
giving them excess demerits during in-
There is a lot of potential in this
movie overworked as it is, the whole
idea of an innocent bystander caught up
in events outside his control and then
getting in trouble with the evil peoples
behind the events because of his con-
cern is made for film. It can constitute
a good few hours spent in the theater
watching things unfold. But, because
the idea is so overworked, any film that
uses it really needs an interesting twist
to keep it going. The Lords of Discipline
never develops that twist because of the
basic components that are an integral
part of the film.

The biggest component is the setting
of the military school. While at first
glance it appears to be just what is
needed for the "innocent uncovers con-
spiracy" film, it fails to hold up. Rather
than adding some new crispness to this
film, the endless ritual that must be
shown in any military academy film to
lend to the atmosphere only serves to
slow things down. Instead of having
detective work and suspense, the film
provides endless parades, hazings,
uniforms, and speeches. It is difficult to
make a parade suspenseful.
There are many other ways in which
the school fails to live up to any poten-
tial. Nothing is made of any possible
parallels between the outside grandeur
and stateliness and the inside corrup-
tion and ugliness of both the cadets and
the school buildings. The school
buildings, with an appearance
something like a dormitory basement,
would seem to provide a good
background for a chase or suspense. It
is used only briefly for those purposes.
A further problem with the film is the
fact that the plot lacks frills or sur-
prises. The uncovering of the secret
society is handled in a low-key manner.
It just comes out with little actual work.
Once the secret society is unvieled, the
film continues to drag. Nothing seems
to happen save the giving of excess
demerits. Many of the film's plot twists
are not very twisty after you have seen
enough of these films; they are almost
expected. Because it all resembles an
unfleshed outline, it is very difficult to
get caught at the edge of your seat. And
with all the hazing that goes on in a
military academy, the idea of this
secret society that chips in with a little
torture seems much less horrifying
than intended. It all resembles a plot

that took a relaxant when a stimulant
was needed.
In spite of the numerous problems,
the film does provide entertainment.
The acting is quite good. David Keith as
Will is good as the cadet who gets
caught up in things and keeps fighting
for his convictions. The rest of the
cadets are played by a selection of
newcomers: Rick Rossovich, John
Lavachielli, and Mitchell Lichtenstein
as Will's roommates; Mark Breland as
Pearce; Michael Biehn as the Ten's
leader. Robert Prosky dials up a stock
performance for his role as the Bear.
The film captures the. Southern at-
mosphere of the Institute with its
ceiling fans quietly blowing overhead.
Some credit must go to the director,
Franc Roddam, director of
Quadrophenia, for all the above. It is a
shame, though, that the script by
Thomas Pope and Lloyd Fonvielle from
Pat Conroy's novel fails to be suitable
suspenseful and interesting. The talk in
the press kit about lives being risked
and all kinds of sinister happenings is
just the - talk. While The Lords of
Discipline provides some entertain-
ment, it fails to deliver on the promise
shown by its quite compeloing opening.
It just drifts slowly into the sunset.

THURS - 6:45, 9:30
WED - 1:00, 3:50, 6:45, 9:30

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