100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

January 11, 1985 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-01-11

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

The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 11, 1985 - Page 7

'Cotton Club:'

the jazz age

in

Harlem

By Emily Montgomery
To recreate the flair, flavor, and
feeling of an era is no easy talk.
Yet, Francis (Ford) Coppola's mixture
of history with fiction makes the best
swinging, toe tapping, bootlegging 20s
seem like yesterday in his latest film
The Cotton Club. Cotton Club reveals
the story of the famous Harlem club of
the same name, a club which gave way
to such talented black performers as
Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Cab
Calloway and the Mills Brothers.
The movie stars Richard Gere, Diane
Lane, Gregory Hines, and Lonette
McKee. Gere plays Dixie Dwyer, the
clinched struggling musician, whose
playing is right for the club, but skin
coloring is not. (The Cotton Club)
featured only black performers,
although racism of the time kept them
out of the audience.) Dwyer, much to
his dismay, finds himself in the middle
of a crime ring when he, out of pure in-
stinct, saves the life of the mob's leader
Dutch Schultz (James Remar). Shultz;
hires Dwyer as an escort to his mistress
Vera Cicero (Diane Lane). Given the
alternative, as Schultz puts it, "If I

didn't like you, you'd be dead," Dwyer
accepts the position. When Cicero and
Dwyer fall in love, though, they come
dangerously close to experiencing the
full force of Schultz's anger.
A more touching story is the romance
between hoofer Sandman Williams
(Gregory Hines) and singer Lila Rose
Oliver (Lonette McKee). Their dilemma
revolves around the fact that Oliver can
"pass" as white, which, at the time
meant a greater chance for success and
perhaps going on to Broadway. San-
dman follows Oliver around and woos
her backstage at the club, despite the
club's rule against performers
socializing with each other, until she
consents to marriage. Another example
of the racism blacks faces comes in a
scene when the couple tries to check in-
to a hotel together. "We don't accept
mixed couples," the clerk tells them.
"Well, my father is colored and my
mother is white, so what does that
make me, sir?" Oliver replies. They
manage to get the room.
An interesting and effective choice
for Hines' screen brother and dance
partner is his real life, older brother
Maurice, who is also an excellent dan-
cer. When Sandman asks for a solo spot
to impress Oliver, the brothers quarrel

and split-up. Their reunion dance is un-
doubtedly the film's finest scene.
One criticism of The Cotton Club is
a lack of character development. This
may be true. Gere's character never
seems to make it past the all around
good guy bugler with a heart of gold
(although he plays the cornet) exterior.
And Diane Lane's few lines make her
character out to be just another cold-
hearted floozy, trying to scratch her
way to the top. In a film of The Cotton
Club's nature, though, this seems
almost secondary to the idea of cap-
turing the essence of an age, in this case
The Jazz Age, on film. The danger of
organized crime, the struggle of the
black performer for attention on a
white man's stage, the fast times, free
living and gaiety of the rich, white Cot-
ton Club patrons, Coppola spans the
spectrum and includes them all.
Although The Cotton Club had some
shakey beginnings, with early produc-
tion problems that pushed its release
date back more than a year, the
finished product is a film rich in the en-
tertainment that gave the club its stan-
ding. So, if the lines at Beverly Hills
Cop get too long, you might wander
over to see this one. It was a long time
coming, but it's well worth the wait.

Diane Lane and Richard Gere in Francis Ford Coppola's latest releaser, 'The Cotton Club.' The film is a portrait of the
legendary Harlem night club where the finest talent of the Jazz Age entertained the era's most notorious gangsters.

B

These cla
By Neil Galanter
I said to myself: "How about some
new classical releases to sweep the new
year in on a good note?", and I replied,
"Good Idea!" So here we go with the
classics for the New Year.
Angel Record Company, which is
consistently producing some of the
best classical music on record, has
some new discs which are just as
gleaming as the icicles hanging from
the trees during this frigid January
Vivaldi's The Four Seasons for Violin
and Orchestra, with the brilliant young
German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter
and Herbert von Karajan conducting, is
an example of the perfect depiction of
each of the four seasons.
Mutter plays her fiddle in such a way
that you feel every one of those seasons

0

0

a

"

ssics give y
in your bones. From the rustic sounds
of Autumn in the "Autumn Concerto" to
the crystal glaze in the "Winter Con-
certo". Mutter sweeps, moves, and ex-
pands with every musical phrase. Are
you tired of the bitter ice and cold we
have been having? No problem then,
just listen to Mutter in the "Spring" or
"Summer" Concerto, and you'll be
happily romping in the warmth and
hearing the chirps of springtime once
again.
For those who prefer the classics on
the lighter side a good choice would be
Angel's recent release of: A Little Son-
dheim Music. The album music from
Sweeney Todd, A little Night Music,
Pacific Overtures, Merrily We Roll
Along, and Anyone Can Whistle all
features The Los Angeles Vocal Arts
Ensemble.
This is an especially satisfying collec-

ou winter or spring

tion of Steven Sondheim's ingenious
musical pieces for Broadway Theater.
The varied selections on this album are
evidence of Sondheim's skillful han-
dling of unusual stories, with songs and
lyrics that artistically convey the mood
and character of the plays. The Los
Angeles Vocal Arts Ensemble and these
pieces of music combine both the
aspects of Broadway music and Opera
into a compilation of lilting and
energetic listening which most
assuredly will brighten some of these
drab, and drawnout winter days.
Deutsche Grammaphon also has an
excellent new release to enliven the
winter. It's a bright and also meaty
version of Brahms' Piano Concerto No.
1 in d minor with the young Krystian
Zimmerman as soloist, and Leonard
Bernstein conducting the Vienna
Philharmonic. Providing a fresh, crisp,

and detailed interpretaion of this
warhorse concerto, Zimmerman and
Bernstein pay due respect to every
single nuance outlining every bit of
salience throughout. They take the
piece at a somewhat slower pace than
usual, but that is an added asset to the
recording, because it enables them to
get the most out of the music, which is
definitely some of Brahms at his best.
And if you are keeping track of
UMalumni, there is a new Deutsche
Grammaphon recording out by one of
the School of Music's most successfull
past students. The internationally
reknowned soprano Jessye Norman
who attended U of M some years ago,
teams up with pianist Daniel Baren
boim in an album of Brahms Songs
(German Lieder) for Voice and Piano
Including such favorites as "Das mad-
chen", and the "Gypsy Songs".
Records
(Continued from Page 5)
bewildered-with-technology honesty of
"Answering Machine" in anything but
very early Springsteen or Stewart.
The Replacements have dared. Man-
dolin, 12-string guitar, and piano ar-
tistically find their way into Let It Be.
The Replacements are comin' out.
"Seen Your Video" shows this new
commitment to integrity alongside in-
novative talent. But as for the music,
they're just having' a few beers and
playing rock the way they learned how
for a world they know they can't
change. As for rock and roll, they're
just letting it be.
-Hobey Echlin

Winter Robes 40% off
Lanz Flannel Gowns 30% off
All Bras 20% off
Sale beginning January 2nd
thru January 19th
Ulle Van iureu 'ivp
La Marque de Oualite Lingerie
11 NICKELS ARCADE " ANN ARBOR, MI 48104
PHONE (313)662-2914

The
Van Buren
Shop
La Marque de Qualite Lingerie
Since 1927
Thanks to our customers
we have outgrown our space
WE'RE MOVING!
To 304 S. State
elf&

e
e

--m

SAT & SUN. FIRST MATINEE ONLY $2.00
HE'S NOT JUST ANOTHER
OUT-OF-TOWNER!
JOHN SAYLES BEST FILM YET!
N OI L
FRI., MON. 8:30
SAT., SUN. 1:00, 3:00, 8:30

This motley gang of youths comprise The Replacements. Their new album, Let It Be, reveals an interesting collection
of music and even features R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck on one tune from the album.

U U

Dance Theatre Studio

ASSISTANT
EDITOR
Downtown Detroit reference
book publisher is seeking
editorial candidates to do
research and writing for our
books. Required is a
Bachelor's Degree in
English with training and
interest in contemporary
literature. Also required are
proofreading skills and
typing skills of 35 wpm.
Salary starts at $800/mo.
with periodic increases and
a comprehensive benefit
program. Please send
resume, transcripts (if
available) along with literary
nonreturnable college paper
(not poetry or short story) to:
Publisher
P.O. Box 2629
Dept. 1
Detroit. Ml 48231

I

I

I

DIRECTED BY JONATHAN DEMME
THE TALKING HEADS

I

Classes in ballet,
modern, jazz, tap,
and ballroom.
New classes begin
January 14.

IEMU KI
I--S

IIV v =I

I

FRI., MON. 6:50, 10:30
SAT., SUN. 3:10, 5:00, 6:50,10:30

1

For current class
schedule and
more information
call 995-4242.

':

TOGETHER THEY MAY FIND
THE STRENGTH TO KEEP THEIR
WAY OF LIFE ALIVE!
MEL GIBSON
SISSY SPACEK
(PG-13)
From the Director of "On Golden Pond "

I

I

.-.

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan