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February 09, 1984 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-02-09

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Thursday, February 9, 1984

Page 5

Nembert the Troll
visits Radioland

Catch a falling star

By Bradford Pc

THERE ONCE lived a creature
T called Nembert the Troll. He was
a good little troll - worked hard, ate
carefully, kept his snout out of other
people's business. Hoping to better
appreciate the intricacies of life and
reality, Nembert decided to get an
education.
Nembert was a fine student; he at-
tended almost all his classes, read the
supplementary texts, shunned his
friends in favor of the library, and
always kept up.
After awhile (in February), the
Spartan life began to take its toll on
poor Nembert; his whiskers began
drooping, his gait became shuffled.
He was much disillusioned with being
an "up and coming" troll, with a

arks

with the desire to move his limbs
rhythmically. It was very strange, but
nice, he decided. Walkman firmly in
place, Nembert wandered the streets
of Ann Arbor late into the night,
listening to a 1983 concert recording of
Minor Threat, and then a special live
romp with Civilian Fun Group (CFG),
everyone's favorite East
Quad/Halfass band.
By Saturday morning's live broad-
cast of the Evaders, the change was
virtually complete. Nembert had dug
out an old CBN T-shirt, pulled his
Converse Hightops out of the closet,
and was out, on the prowl. For-
tunately, he was appeased by a mid-
afternoon blues party featuring Ur-
bations/Silvertones drummer Martin
Gross and a Rocker's Jamboree
special with Jamaican rap virtuoso
the Lone Ranger.
Sunday finally arrived, and with it a
wonderous selection of listening from
the disquieted editing of the "Raiser
Ed" show to the brilliant beats of
"African Rhythms," featuring
drummers Sundiata Keita of the
Positive Force and Biza Sompa of
Biachini Bia Congo. Nembert was
bristling as he phoned in his $10
pledge for a T-shirt and Bash ticket.
He bristled in anticipation, and
rightly so: The Bash line-up is am-
bitious indeed. Six main acts will take
to the center stage, beginning at 8
p.m.: M'ap of the World, the Cult
Heroes, the Buzztones, Willie D.
Warren and the Brush St. Blues Band,
and the S.W.A.M.M.P. Band (stands
for something like Sounds, Words, and
Many Musical Powers), with the Lone
Ranger on rap.
In between sets, the smaller stage
will host smaller acts, including the
acoustic country duet of Kevin Lynch
and Mike Smitty, an African drum
trio, and the prize-winning jazz duet of
Stephanie Ozer and Kathy Moore.
Past Bashes have always been
popular to the point of capacity ;
Nembert planned to arrive discreetly
but early. Nembert thought, I'm going
to have a good time.
And so he did.

promising but dull future and an ear-
nest, but dull present.
One day, boned Nembert hap-
pened to turn on a radio. He was not
particularly enthused about the
prospect of hearing top-40 noise such
as is propagated on commercial
stations, but he was too bored to much
resist.
Came the voice from the box: "This
is- Cecile Cloutier and Patty Rice
broadcasting live from 342 E.
Madison and this is the annual WCBN
fundraiser coming to you at 88.3 FM."
Nembert looked at the box. Sure
enough: The dial read 88.3. How did it
get there? Nembert wondered.
Somebody must have been fiddling
with the thing while he wasn't looking.
Hmm, what's this they're playing?
Jazz-food music? Fats Wallers'
"You're My Dish"? Sounds like they're
having a good time. Wow, it's time for
class. Guess I can skip one for a
special occasion like this.. .
Nembert never knew much about
WCBN, the University's student-run
radio network. He never knew much
about their unique brand of alter-
native airwave broadcasting. But by
the time the jazz-foodshow ended and
the live Aluminum Beach concert
began, he knew all about the annual
benefit, whereby said radio station
derives about half of its yearly
budget.
For 88.3 consecutive hours, starting
at 9 a.m. today, WCBN asks its
listeners old and new to help keep
such favorite programs as "Syn-
'thescapes,'' "Hemispheres,''
"Rockers Jamboree," and the like on
the air. To encourage support, the
station puts together a bunch of
special programming liberally spiced
with live shots, rare clips, and strange.
spots, all capped by the big Bash on
Sunday at the Union Ballroom.
Monetary pledges are also rewar-
ded by premiums which range from
the infamous CBN T-shirt (this year's
model is reported to glow in the dark)
to massages, home-cooked dinners,
haircuts, hang gliding lessons, and
hotel weekends for two. Many
premiums include admission to the
Sunday Bash.
All of which .fascinated Nembert,
who skipped all his classes and ended
up sprawled on his couch, listening
dumbfounded to Arwulf and his
Wind/Thought/Action Ensemble
make strange tweedles and thumps,
followed by the jazz of Stuart Cun-
ningham and Bruce Dundero.
A change was being affected in old
Nembert; some ancient troll charac-
ter rooted back several generations
began to emerge. He experienced a
number of bizarre sensations, coupled

LOOK - I like sex and violence just
as much as anybody else. But what
I cannot stand is whining. Coinciden-
tally, that is all Paul Snider (Eric
Roberts) does in Bob Fosse's new Star
'80. He whines, he wheedles, he waxes
dull, dull, dull. I ask you - How can you
enjoy a good healthy dose of s & v with
this guy whining all the time?
Star '80 is a semi-fictional account of
the rise and obliteration of Playboy
Playmate Dorothy Stratten. She went
from nowhere to having a staple in her
navel, and when her trip to stardom left
playboy Snider waiting at the airport he
seethes, and boils (and whines) until
finally he just can't take it anymore and
blows her pretty little face all over the
carpet.
Now this tragic story is an interesting
premise for a movie that could have
said a lot about America - about our
obsessions with beauty, tasteful sex,
'our hunger for fame and recognition,
blah blah blah. Not to mention we could
see Mariel Hemingway and her brand
new breasts right out there in the open
and feel O.K., because we're watching
art, not sleaze, and as we all know, art
cleanses.
That is, all art except Star '80. If
there's a bad movie heaven, you can be
sure they show Bob Fosse films day and
night, and this one is no different.
Whatever story there might be,
whatever cool sex and misogyny, is
literally blown away by Fosse's struc-
turing the movie as a series of inter-
view/flashbacks, every predictable
moment telegraphing itself minutes in
advance because, even without the
awful music, we know the top of
Dorothy's head is already all over the
wall.
But Bob Fosse doesn't care about
movie structure anyway. All Bob cares
about is telling us how cool it is to be
Bob Fosse. It's no coincidence that
Snider talks to himself in the mirror the

same way Joe Gideon did in All That
Jazz and probably the same way Fosse
himself does when he's trying to con-
vince himself that yes, he is a great ar-
tist, no matter what all those jealous
critic-types think.
And if Fosse's great, you know what
that makes us. That's right. The whole
movie is one big finger pointing out of
the screen down your throat saying:
"Silly you, don't you see how
demeaning sexual tittilation is, don't
you see how many people believe what
they read in Playboy, don't you see how
Dorothy Stratten was exploited?" Well,
Gee, Bob - thanks for your concern.
Fact is, while Paul Snider might have
believed the Playboy philosophy
enough to be frustrated and ultimately
homicidal about it, Paul was a
psychotic, and we're not. We can tell
the difference between reality and fan-
tasy. We don't find posing nude
demeaning (after all, what Dorothy
wants to do is her business). Hell, some
of us even subscribe.
If you think I'm pressing the point,
then look at the only sympathetic
character in the film - the man who
gives Dorothy a chance to show her real
talents, the one who understands her
when no one else tries - the movie
director. (Subtle, eh?)
In case you're interested, the movie
director is actually Peter Bogdonavit-
ch, but all the names have been
changed A) To protect the "innocent"
(though, of course, nobody's innocent -
right Bob?), and B) So Fosse could
change a story about living, thinking,
breathing, feeling human beings into a
cardboard cut-out philosophy lesson
about how terrible we are to realize that
Bob is a kind of god. Get it?
Special mention must be made of
Mariel Hemingway and Eric Roberts.
With what Fosse gives them ("Just act
pathetic. Ok, Rolling!"), they do
remarkably well. Paul Snider is

Paul (Eric Roberts) desperately tries to hang on to Dorothy Stratton's
(Mariel Hemingway) rising star in Bob Fosse's 'Star '80.'
WNW

basically a one-note performance - he
was one emotion, but he feels it very in-
tensely. Hemingway seems like a
woman who would pose for her
boyfriend and believe the things people
told her.
There is a great American tragedy to
be made from the Dorothy Stratten
story. Star '80 doesn't even come close.

7 HAIRCUTTERS
" NO WAITING
DASCOLA STYLISTS
Liberty off State..... 668-9329
Maple Village. ......761 -2733

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ISSUES ON CAMPUS
THURSDAYS 7:30 - 9:30 P.M.
FEBRUARY
9 Alcohol: Use and Abuse
LEONARD SCOTT-Psychological and Religious
Counselor, U of M Counselling Services; Member: Housing
Task Force on Alcohol
Speakers: ALEXANDER WAGENAAR-U of M Transportation Research
Institute; Author: Alcohol, Young Drivers, and
Traffic Accidents- Effects of MinimurmAge Laws
16 Student Code for Non-Academic Conduct
VIRGINIA NORDBY-Executive Assistant to the
President of U of M Policy Advisor
ALAN LEVY-Director of West Quad
Speakers: JONATHAN ELLIS-Co-Director of Canterbury Loft
MARY ROWLAND-President of Michigan Student Assembly

CAMPUS
CHAPEL

1236 Washfenaw Court
(one block north of South University
and Forest; one block south of CCRB)

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