The Michigan Daily
Sunday, November 20, 1983
By Chris Lauer
ARTISTICALLY SPEAKING, Robby
Benson should be demoted to TV
movies. His latest film, Running Brave,
is just another blatant Hollywood at-
tempt at making a profit for the least
possible effort. This story about an In-
dian long distance runner who dreams
of going to the Olympics barely gets
past the sappy pun in its title.
Seeing Running Brave is like taking a
mono-emotional tour through the
dramatic devices hall of fame. Meet the
protagonist: Billy Mills (Bensen), an
Indian, arrives at the University of
Kansas with a head full of memories
and advice from his dead father. "A
man isn't anything unless he wins.
You've got to win." His father's advice
is apparently a variation of the "you
only go 'round once" philosophy, and
not to be confused with either of Kant's
Then meet Coach. "Just call me
Coach," he tells Billy. Coach is the most
stereotyped of all the characters in the
move as exemplified by lines such as
''Everything's a race."~
The year is 1960 and the other boys in
the UK sports program don't like In-
dians. Bensen faces them down with a
ludicrous attempt at James Dean-like
Fifteen minutes into the movie (the
plot really moves), meet the love in-
terest. In a particularly untouching
moment she says, "If you really love
me then let's face these problems
together." The script is largely made
up of lines found in the Harlequin
Three years and five actual minutes
later, Billy has second thoughts about
being a track star. He quits and goes
back to the reservation, but everything
is not as it once was and his brother
commits suicide. This stab at heavy
drama turns out to be just a harsh spot
in an otherwise senseless, but harmless
The plot is similar to the first two
Rocky movies. After becoming a track
star and then losing it, Billy gets -his
second wind. It is not hard to guess that
he ends up at the Olympics. While a
boxing match may be a great dramatic
climax, a 10,000 meter foot race just
doesn't compare. To build excitement,
the lead changed about four times
every lap. Of course just as it looked as
though our hero Bensen was going to
lose, he put it into warp speed and won
by a nanometer.
As much as it would like to, Running
Brave makes no social statement. It
addresses prejudice only as a means of
making the audience feel sorry for
Billy, and consequently share in his
triumph at the end. But for a movie
consisting of about 30 minutes of just
Bensen running, and another 120
minutes of poorly executed dramatic
devices - the result is that the audien-
ce never cares.
Don't expect to go to this movie
without seeing an incredible amount of
running. It is especially bad when Ben-
sen runs while the corny banjo music ig
cranked up in the background. There
will never be a "Soundtrack from Run-
ning Brave" album. Even worse is the
slow motion running. s
For a movie that talks so much about
winning, it sure is a loser.
Daily Photo by DEBORAH LEWIS
Cris Williamson's concert Friday night at the Michigan Theatre was a heartfelt, enthusiastic event.
By Elliot Jackson
T O FRIDAY NIGHT'S crowd at the Michigan, Chris
Williamson was more than music and an object of
fantasy; she symbolized the right of women to make music,
to dream dreams, to express fear or confidence or defiance
over the state of the world and personal affairs. She sym-
bolized a changing consciousness, and the hope of a changing
world - a world in which it is no longer necessary or
desirable to look at other women in terms of their relations
The first set of Friday's concert consisted of songs by Tret
Fure, who played acoustic and electric guitar, piano, and
provided lead vocals. On the whole, I found her stuff to be
catchy enough, but without a great deal of depth, either
emotionally or politically. In particular was "Terminal
Hold," a piece about that bane of modern communication -
the hold button. This song was amusing, but not enough to ex-
cuse its lack of substance. To be put on hold has some in-
teresting metaphorical ramifications which deserve ex-
ploration, but they were not in this instance.
The set was not all bad. Some of Fure's more rockng num-
bers got a very energetic treatment, and the band, (guitar,
bass, drums, keyboards/viola, and Chris Williamson on
piano and back-up vocals) played together with every
evidence of enjoyment.
The second set belonged entirely to Chris Williamson.
With Williamson's wry and revealing comments she won
the hearts of the audience before she played any of her
material, and the level of enthusiasm was high. In in-
troducing one of her songs, she said she hoped that all people
would "look into each other, as they do into an artist, and see
not just themselves but all things." In a way, this statement
could serve as a theme for all her songs -common threads
run through them which calls upon us to respect the earth,
nature, and each other, and to consider well the similarities
of our experiences to the ones which she describes.
She performed old favorites from her albums The Changer
and the Changed and Blue Rider, with a voice that resonated
like the echo of a gong - full, rich, and brazen. Williamson
was jubilant and sassy in her more overtly rock and roll
pieces, but was capable of conveying terror and wonder as
well. In a song like "Colorado Dustbowl Days," a tribute to
her mother and the days of her childhood out west, this was
especially noted. My personal favorite was a tough-minded
piece of whimsy called "Texas Ruby Red," dedicated to
Bonny Raitt, fiddler extraordinaire. In it, Williamson
imagines her as a bandit queen of the old west, as handy with
a six-shooter as a six-singer, and "takin' no shit from
Audience reaction ranged from quietly appreciative to
wildly enthusiastic throughout the concert. The show was a
success, and only slightly marred by lyrics which were
sometimes unintelligible, and a bass and drum ensemble
which at times overpowered the other instruments.
To those who came to hear them, the music of Tret Fure
and Chris Williamson was indicative of a new and healthy at-
titude, not just towards woman's place in music but her place
S"THE DAY AFTER" A Nuclear Wara
An ABC, two-and-one-half hour, made for television movie
TONIGHT, NOV. 20th, 8 p.m. TV CHANNEL SEVEN
YOU CAN GO AND WATCH THIS PROGRAM ON TV AT ANY OF THESE CAMPUS LOCATIONS
Followed by a discussion led by the Physicians for Social Responsibility
West Quad, ask at main desk
South Quad, ask at main desk
Lawyer's Club, TV room basement
Fletcher Hall, TV room basement
East Quad, room 126
Stockwell, blue carpet lounge
Mosher-Jordan, Jordan lounge
Alice Lloyd, 1 st Floor TV room
Couzens, red TV lounge
Markley, lobby TV lounge
Oxford Housing, Seeley House
Baits Houses, Eaton House
Bursley, snack bar TV room
Walden Il Coop, 1504 Gilbert Ct.
-Owen House, 1017 Oakland
Vail House, 602 Lawrence
Joint House, 917 S. Forest
Ecumenical Center, 921 Church
Lord of Light, 801 S. Forest
Wesley Foundation, 602 E. Huron
Quaker House, 1416 Hill
Symphonic soup and nuts
People who want to watch the program in their own places, and then go somewhere to talk about
it, can come to Canterbury Loft, 332 S. State, where a discussion will begin about twenty minutes
after the program ends. Note: There will be no TV at Canterbury, so do not come there until the
program is over.
ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21s THERE WILL BE A FORUM FROM 7 T08:30 P.M.
IN THE KUENZEL ROOM OF THE UNION
TO LEARN HOW TO PREVENT The Day After, with Don Rucknagle, M.D.; James Blaker, Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense; Dan Axelrod, Associate Progessor of Physics; Richard Ketai, M.D.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL CANTERBURY LOFT AT 665-0606
By Knute Rife
T HE UNIVERSITY Concert Band
and Symphonic Band will be
joining forces Monday evening at 8 in
Hill Auditorium for a joint concert.
Robert Reynolds and Larry Richleff, a
b recent addition to the Michigan faculty
from the University of Connecticut, will
be sharing the podium.
The concert promises something for
everyone, with everything from soup to
nuts. The program will open with Men-
delssohn-Bartholdy's Overture for
Band, an old standby for symphonic
bands. Next will be Leslie Bassett's
Sounds, Shapes, and Symbols. Bassett
is on the Michigan faculty, is currently
the Henry Russell Lecturer, the highest
honor the University can give faculty
member, and has won 'the Pulitzer
Prize for music.
Next on the program is Turina's The
Five Miniatures, a delicate band
arrangement of one of his solo piano
pieces. The first half of the concert ends
with a bang: Fillmore's His Honor,
edited by Frederick Fennell.
The second half will open with
William Schuman's George Washington
Bridge. Schuman, founder of the
Julliard School of Music, the Lincoln
Center, and the first winner of the
Pulitzer Prize in Music, composed this
piece for the Michigan School Band and
Following this will be Warren Ben-
son's The Passing Bell, a memorial
piece. Benson is a Michigan graduate
currently on the faculty at the Eastman
School of Music. Next will be Percy
Granger's Irish Tune from County
Derry, based on the tune "Danny Boy."
Granger himself conducted a Michigan
Band performance of this piece in 1950.
The band will then perform the
American premiere of David Bedford's
The Sun Paints Rainbows on Vast
Waves. This is a colorful piece that
makes use of some odd instrumen-
tation, such as tuned bottles. The con-
cert will close with Sousa's The Loyal
Legion, edited by Don Huntsberger.
The Music Department encourages
everyone to attend. The concert is free
and open to the public.
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in our newly refurnished lounge!
5 minutes from all pregame shopping!