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March 17, 1985 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-17

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7

ARTS
The Michigan Daily Sunday, March 17, 1985 Page 5
Radford's 1984 scores on all counts

By Richard Campbell
* 1984 SHOULD be an easy movie to review.
The film's got everything cinemaniacs love
r to talk about: It's based on a novel, it concerns
pertinent political issues, and it stars a recen-
tly deceased actor.
So, rather than present a poorly integrated
single review, here are those three reviews of
the same movie in no particular order:
Orwell's novel comes to the screen
It's been almost thirty years since the las
adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 graced the
silver screen. That version, though good in a
tacky mid-50s sort-of-way, didn't present as
truly believeable a picture as. Orwell's book
did. And bringing Big Brother to the big screen
depends on how successfully the filmmakers
can show us the future, a world that is not too
different from the one in which we now live.
This is the particulary good aspect of
Michael Radford's 1984. Through a blend of
medium-tech, 1940's style decor, and a harsh,
though beautiful production, the world of Win-

ston Smith comes across as believable, faintly
familiar, and frighteningly close.
The atmosphere is post-WWII England but
the mood is complete desolation. Smith drinks
his Victory Gin, yet the alcohol can't cut
through the gaze of the ever-present tele-
screens.
As depicted by Radford, the London of 1984 is
populated by servile state workers whocan only
think as they are told, and a mindless
proletariat class who have lost the will to think
for themselves. This bleak and utterly
depressing society is presented in muted colors
that look like hand-painted post-cards of the
turn of the century. When Winston's lover and
partner-in-sedition Julia puts on a print dress
and some lipstick, it's as if a fireball lights up
the screen.
These issues of translation, of finding a way
to put the novel into film form are almost com-
pletely successful. What is more amazing is
that the actual adaptation of the plot has been
carried out with incredible veracity and
feeling.
The differences between the novel and the
film exist only because of the unique nature of

the two media. While the film can be con-
sidered to end on a slightly more optimistic
note than the book, the ending is the natural
and logical conclusion to the plot and fits the
style of the movie. And ultimately, with our
knowledge of what has and hasn't occured in
that fateful year, the film's ending is actually
more dark, cynical, and depressing than or-
well's literary version.
Thought-crime and Double-speak
in the real world
After emerging from 1984, the natural in-
clination is to deny that such a vision could ever
come true. But the facts are that Big Brother
has existed, does exist, and is coming uncom-
fortably true even in our own supposedly
democratic country. A list of the tyrants and
dictators of the past, who could not fulfill the
Orwellian portrait only because of a lack of
technology, would go on for pages. In more
recent time, the invasion of a populations
privacy has been documented numerous times
from the Soviet Union's low-level wire-taps to
the U.S. National Security Agency's tap on all

long-distance microwave-based com-
munications.
1984 tells us nothing we don't know already.
oppression of the individual by the state is a bad
thing. The utter desolution of the film can only
emphasize that once the state is accustomed to
eroding personal freedoms, it tends to increase
its own power exponentially. Hence, the moral
of the film is that we must struggle against
even the most insignificant infringements of
our liberties. As the hero Smith demonstrates,
the fight against an oppressive state is noble
and necessary no matter that the outcome be
failure.
The best and the worst from Burton
It is ironic that the best actor in film is also one
of the worst. Richard Burton never won an
Academy Award for his intense portrayals but
no one deserved it more. From the
religiousness of Beckett to the hen-pecked
George of Virginia Woolf to the brooding
psychiatrist of Equus, Burton always por-
trayed characters caught in deep introspec-
tion, characters whose actions were mitigated
by self-doubt and intellectual despair.

Always - except when he played a
screaming Trotsky in The Assasination of
Trotsky or a ridiculous telekinetic in The
Medua Touch. It is amazing that Burton never
lost his respectability with such turkeys as
these under his belt.
In 1984, Burton plays O'brian, a loyal
beaurocrat who befriends Smith and for a
moment even seems to be working with Smith
against the state. It is Burton's superb perfor-
mance which fleshes out that contradiciton:
complete conviction coupled with an out-of-
this-world weariness.
Working against this character, John Hurt as
Winston Smith is the perfect man of no season,
whose final failure does not diminish the essen-
tial righteousness of his actions. In his scenes
with Burton, Hurt wonderfully plays out his
hate for Big Brother as well as his longing for
some forgiveness from the powers that be.
Just a good movie
As a whole, 1984 is just what lovers of film
are looking for; a well-thought out production,
a fine cast, and a message to boot. It's just a
darn good flick. Can anyone say it easier than
that?

Hogwood handles Handel gracefully at Hill

By Mike Gallatin
".' LEASANT" IS perhaps the best
word to describe Thursday
evening at Hill Auditorium as The
Academy of Ancient Music, under the.
direction of Christopher Hogwood, per-
formed an all Handel program. This
year has been one of celebration, with
triple tricentennial birthdays of Bach,
Scarlatti and Handel. The Kuijken
Quartet from Belgium and The Master-
players with Richard Schumacher con-
ducting have also geared their concerts
earlier this year to highlight the various
contributions of these three Baroque
titans.
Christopher Hogwood, from Britain is
an articulate spokesman on the history
of performance practises. He recently
finished a book on Handel to t be

published this spring. Under his direc-
tion, The Academy of Ancient Music
champions the cause of authenticity
and the use of original instruments in
the performance of early music. The
program notes for the concert written by
him were erudite and illuminating.
In the first half of the concert were
three suites from Handel's Water
Music, the opening Horn Suite in F
major being the best known. After an
overture which consists of an alter-
nately slow and fast section, the com-
position progresses to a sequence of
dance movements. These achieve their
special quality through the variation of
tempo and meter. Although this suite is
as standard as Bach's Brandenburg
Concertos, it was still refreshing to
hear it performed with authentic in-
struments of the day.

Rachel Brown was the recorder
soloist for the next, Flute Suite in G
major, and was a definite high point of
the evening. Surprisingly enough, the
delicate flauto piccolo (recorder) filled
the auditorium with a velveteen
sonority. While not a solo part of daz-
zling virtuosity, Brown's silky tone
possessed an extraordinary beauty at
moment, which seemed to suspend time
in its tracks.
Antiphonal trumpets and horns
created the rousing effect of the Trum-
pet Suite itn D major. The second
movement, exuded admirably the
never-ending drive and sunniness
which is. characteristic of the best of
Baroque music. The immediate appeal
and sheer joy communicated is what
makes music of this period enjoyable
and attractive even to those who know

little, if anything else about classical
music.
After intermission, Christopher
Hogwood chose to resume with a short
explanatory preface to Handel's can-
tata, Apollo and Dafne. He made com-
parisons between the personalities and
form of patronage yis a vis Bach and
Handel, and he spoke about the myth
of Apollo.
David Thomas played Apollo, Emma
Kirby played Dafne, and Rachel Brown
accompanied one of their duets with a
flute obligato part. In their attempt to
capture the authenticity of performan-
ce practices, the singers enriched their
melismatic anas with the stylized
gestures historically appropiate. The
effect was charming and helped con-
tribute to the overall success and har-
mony of the entire concert.

Records

Lonnie Brooks jams blues guitar Sunday night at Rick's American Cafe.
Brooks "cooks'at Rick 's
By Don Jean

W HO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT
that the Louisiana bayou
could produce what the Washington
Post calls "the most exciting new
talent in blues." Probably nobody,
with the exception of that hot new
guitarist himself, Lonnie Brooks.
Brooks, who appears, at Rick's
American Cafe Sunday is actually
no newcomer to the blues circuit.
The talent has been there the whole
time, but it's taken the world a while
to find that out. Lonnie didn't start to
take his guitar playing seriously un-
til his early 20's, but used his ability
to make up for lost time. His career
began where his roots are,the deep
South, as he hooked up with legen-
dary cajun start Clifton Chenier.
Taking the name of "Guitar
Junior," Lonnie played the dance
hall scene in the years that followed.
Brooks established himself as a hot
young rock 'n' roller with a hit
record in the South, "Family
Rules," and was ready to move on.
Lonnie jumped at the chance to
play with blues artisthSamCooke
and eagerly made the move to
Chicago with the hopes of
establishing himself. Chicago was
the blues capital, however, and Lon-
nie found few people interested in a
young rock-oriented musician. But
instead of giving up, Lonnie became
ever more determined to make his
mark. He dropped the "Guitar
Junior" bit, and changed his music
as well. As Lonnie himself put it, "I
was playing rock 'n' roll then, but I
started listening to a lot of guys
around Chicago and got hung up in
the blues."

Playing the blues circuit is great if
money isn't a factor, but for Lonnie,
it was a livelihood that just wasn't
paying the bills. While Brooks made
his reputation in the North, he began
recording as a session musician and
then ended up recording under his
own name. Thanks to his various
musical talents, he also made
money playing in some of the finer
clubs around town, playing a variety
of musical styles. From Country
Western to Top 40,kLonnie did them
all to make a buck, but still didn't
have a chance to play his own music.
Finally, Lonnie's big break came
when he got the opportunity to tour
and record in France. Making the
most of it, Brooks gave masterful
performances that established him
as a success. With a new zest in him-
self, Lonnie returned to Chicago and
formed his own group, and the fun
hasn't stopped for him since.
With exciting live performances
and the release of well-polished
albums, Lonnie finally achieved the
national acclaim he deserved. His
Bayou Lightning album won the
prestigious "Grand Prix du Disque"
Award from the 1980 Montreux Jazz
Festival, and Lonnie topped that
with his masterful performances
there. Among those who Lonnie has
impressed with his fiery guitar solos
is Roy Clark, who was so over-
whelmed with Lonnie that he flew
him to Nashville to be on the "Hee
Haw" T.V. show.
So now that this "New talent" has
finally arrived, it's about time that
Lonnie Brooks is welcomed as the
fine musician that he is.

Proof of Utah - A dog,
A Dodo, and A Fool
(Smiley Turtle Records)
Proof of Utah is a bunch of shameless
art school types (OK, I'm guessing, but
they can't be engineering students)
from Bowling Green, Ohio, just an hour
away from our own tranquil environ-
ment. They make sometimes terribly
wonderful and othertimes wonderfully
terrible Art music- for Artpeople (an
improvement, at least, from Artmusic),
and as if that wasn't scary enough
already, they're approaching.
Appearing this Monday, March 18 at
the Blind Pig in their Ann Arbor debut,
Proof of Utah on vinyl offers an oc-
casionally coy but mostly disarming
mix of eccentricity, noise and dan-
ceable slickness that bodes very well
for a live appearance. A Dog, A Dodo
and A Fool is a very well produced, far-
ranging package of tunes that lean -
sometimes just a bit self-consciously-
toward the avant-wierdness of the
Residents and Half Japanese, generally
snapping back to Earth with a solid
dance beat or bass line. The mix is at
times unsuccessful; fans of /-Jap and
their ilk maysfeel as though they're
listening to second-hand eccentricity
filtered through overdeliberate
collegiate jokiness.
But most of the LP is excellent, from
the unpromising-sounding but highly
agreeable buzzguitared doodle "She's a
Fish" to a seemingly incongruous but
sufficiently pretty Eno-esque ambient
piano noodling, "Beverly." The lyrics
throughout are, as one would expect,
heavily reliant on the comedy of the

banal and inscrutable; this
sort of stuff has to be earned by this
point in time to work,and the
Lorrie/Bosco songs and the ace effect-
laden production scheme is thankfully
amusing and clever enough in itself to
justify the intermittent attack of lyrical
cutes.
While items like the political art
pastiche "Bomb Me Baby" or the too
emphatically silly "Amber Mitchell"
can be done without - not because
they're bad, but because theyd're just
nothing new - there are a lot of delight-
ful things here, like the dancehappy
"Mrs. Delicious," with its dweezly
Resident vocals. There's also the odd
mixture of jauntiness and thick
dirgerock textures on "Whatever Hap-
pened to Protocol?" and the resour-
ceful art-popper "Betty's Pleasure."
And "Crack in the Mirror" makes it
clear that, when they choose to, Proof
of Utah can dump the cleverness con-
cerns and write a straightforward,
danceable wavin' good.song as well as
anybody.
The shaggy-dog charm that most of
this debut LP offers, and the promise of
lots of additional multi-media fun,
should make Proof of Utah's Monday
gig at the Blind Pig a bigtime ener-
tainment value for your expanding
dollar. (Available from 228 Clough St.,
Bowling Green, OH 43402)
-Dennis Harvey
The Truth-E.P. -1
Terrific five-song 7 inch of post-
hardcore rock by this Ann Arbor-based
band. Starting with the teen-

inarticulacy anthem "Doin' Nuthin',"
the record moves fast to the basement
sound of "Party Time," which has the
slaphappy satirical edge of Black
Flag's "TV Party." Maybe it's just my
regional bias (or prejudice), but the lat-
ter song seems to have a particularlyw
firm grasp on the complexities of the
collegiate social scene ("Let's get
fucked up, listen to music and dan-
ce/Let's talk politics and take a stan-
ce"), with a mighty riff to beef matters
up. More elaborate is the very funny
angst-ed-out 16 rpm hardcore of "Mon-
day Night;" which has lead singer Paul
Evans idly discussing blowing his
brains out amid social conversation and
heavy guitar reverb. After the

agreeably silly blues-a-billy parody of
"Let Go," The Truth finished us off
with the raggae-tinged pop of "Up with
the Joneses," which is affable but not
necessarily a better choice than the
alarmingly ironic red-blooded 'merican
holocaustal party track "Nuking and
Puking," which took its place on the
EP's first pressing. Very well recorded,
this record has the variety, humor and
underlying seriousness of a real band -
the kind that deserves to threaten you
moms -as well as the major labels.
(Available from P.O. Box 4481, Ann Ar-
bor, MI 48106)
-Dennis Harvey

r-

COME-DN
COMPANv

--r-

Ann Arbor's own
Comedy Theater Troupe
Sunday
March 17
University Club
Michigan Union
Dinner 5:30 pm
Show 7:30 pm

TheDinnoeer lba prvat
facility for studets, faculty,
staff, alumni, and their guests.
Only members may purchase
alcohol.

Dinner
Theater
All-you-can-eat
Italian Buffet
THE
.. CUB

RUN!
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ELECTIONS
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the experience of a lifetime.
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