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March 24, 1985 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-24

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The Michigan Daily Sunday, March 24, 1985 Page 5


'Night' never ends

By Richard Campbell
A LONG TIME ago, John Landis
directed a very funny movie,
Animal House. More recently however,
he has directed an over-produced video,
"Thriller"; a thinly plotted comedy,
Trading Places; and now a dull, poin-
tless comedy-thriller Into the Night.
At his best, Landis can let a talented
cast work wonders around an ordinary
script and package the whole thing
competently enough to enable you to
overlook the film's flaws.
But with his increasing confidence as
a director and with the huge box-office
grosses of his films, Landis has been
turning out increasingly bland movies
that only his mother could like.
It's not even that his films are dull;
they're offensive and gratuitously
violent as well. His updating of the
monster genre in An American
Werewolf in London just barely suc-
ceeded at combining humor and death.
Into the Night is an attempt to bring the
Hitchcock style into the '80s, and fails.
Jeff Goldblum stars as a beleaguered
Silicon Valley engineer who's having
trouble sleeping. His wife is unfaithful
to him and his job is dull. One night,
while aimlessly driving around town
searching for some meaning for his life,
a beautiful blonde falls onto his car and
begs him to drive off, saving her from
villainous Arabs who are chasing her.
It sure sounds like typical Hitchcock.
All of a sudden our mild-mannered hero

is thrust into a world of international
espionage, falls in love with the cool
blonde (who just happens to be well
aquainted with the bad guys), manages
to stay one step ahead of the law, and
with wit and aplomb even beats the
baddies at their own game.
Of course, Hitchcock never gave us
particulary believable characters or
plot; his movies always took place on a

shots of night-time Los Angeles and the
film boasts lots of locale shooting. But
even with this verisimilitude, the film
lacks any sense of place or time.
There's no reason that Goldblum is
being chased around L.A. except that
Landis happens to live there.
The whole movie feels like some con-
ceited in-joke. At one point, our heroine,
Michelle Pfeiffer, has to wait for Gold-
blum to call her back. The script has
her wait in the beverly Wilshire Hotel
Ladies Powder Room. If this and other
inconsequential items were linked
together to form some cohesive back-
drop for the movie, it would be funny
and interesting. Yet you just can't help
but get the feeling that the only reason
for picking that location is so Landis
and his friends can laugh at it when it
comes on the screen.
The in-jokes continue with Landis'
cast. Almost half of the characters are
played by Landis' friends and
associates, including directors David
Cronenberg, Paul Mazursky, Paul Bar-
tel, Don Siegel, Jim Henson, Amy
Heckerling, Roger Vadim, Lawrence
Kasdan, and Jonathan Demme; actors
David Bowie, Irene Papas, and Vera
Miles; special effects artist Rick
Baker; and even John Landis himself.
Again, in a truly funny and exciting
film, seeing these people acting in
minor roles could be entertaining. Into
the Night though, comes off as caring
more about this fluff than it does about
any real substance.
What is also amazing is how many of

these well-known extras allowed them-
selves to die such horrible and
meaningless deaths. It's one thing wat-
ching Landis get shot with a double
barrel shotgun, but why kill off Roger
Vadim and David Bowie?
Into the Night isn't much of a movie,
although Goldblum does present us
with a fairly good, bumbling outsider
trying to outwit the big boys.

Majestic music
Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, reigning King of Zydeco in Texas, shown here ti
obviously pleased with his stature in the music world. Zydeco is the music
born of Louisiana's French-speaking Black Creole population. "Buckwheat"
as his fans affectionately know him, will be performing with his Ils Sont Par-
tis Band tonight at Rick's. Tickets are five dollars at the door.

... dies an early death
vaguely familiar planet, a world that
looks much like our own but where the
laws of logic and happenstance are
wildly re-written.
Landis, on the other hand, has little
sense of the cinematic world he is
creating. Into the Night opens with

... battles the bad guys
Once upon a time, Landis did direct
some good pictures. With luck, he will
make funny pictures in the future. But
for now, we'd be better off going into
the night to find our own fun rather than
going to see Into the Night.

Pippin' score sounds soft note

By Emily Montgomery
W HEN DOUG La Breque came on
stage to take his bow after Thur-
sday night's U.A.C./Musket production
of Pippin, scattered parts of the
audiernce rose to their feet. A feeble
standing ovation, yes, but an ovation
just the same.
La Breque plays the Leading Player,
vho is a master of ceremonies, jack-of-
alltrades sort of character. Although
Lt'Breque, a junior, has never been in a

University produciton before, he ob-
viously has gotten a lot of experience
from somewhere. It wouldn't be fair to
say that La Breque is the only bright
spot in Pippin, but he stands out as one
of the more positive factors.
Pippin is qne of those popular
musicals that everyone stages. It
narrates the story of Prince Pippin, son
of Charlemagne, and his search for
fulfillment. The Musket production of
this favorite, directed and
choreographed by University dance
major, Larry Nye, is just what

promoters promised: "a big dance
show." I especially liked the blood and
steel, "Glory" number and the frolic-
some "With You."
Having said that, though, I have to
admit that I was a bit disappointed with
much of the singing in Pippin, an
element generally considered impor-
tant for a musical'soverall success. All
musicals are different; some have very
few songs in them, while others are
comprised almost entirely .of music
with little spoken dialogue. Pippin is
one of the latter. This is why it was such
.a surprise to me that better voices

Maestro Ormandy remembered

y Neil Galanter
W E LOST a special and supremely
~WV talented musician in the classical
music world last week, who leaves us
with a legacy of sumptuous sound and
nmusicianship. The Maestro Eugene
Ormandy, who led the Philadelphia Or-
chestra for over 44 years died last week
of pneumonia, which was a com-
plication of a long-standing cardiac
condition. Ormandy died in
Philadelphia which for so many years
was considered his home base. He was
Ormandy's name was no question
mark to us here in Ann Arbor, as he
brought the Philadelphia Orchestra
here each spring from 1937 until 1983 for
the May Festival. In.each of the forty-
seven appearances that he made here
with the orchestra, he brought joy and
love along with his music making.
It is intriguing to note that such a
crafted conductor as Ormandy actually
began musical studies not with a baton,
Jack DeJohnesse's Special
Edition-Album Album
p (ECM)
Oh boy! Oh Boy! A new LP from
drummer DeJohnette's protean all-star
ensemble that's as wonderful as its for-
bearers would have you hope for and
then some!
*O.K. look. This guy has some creden-
tials. Charles Lloyd's outstanding west:
Boast quartet with Keith Jarrett and
Cecil McBee. Miles Davis' heaviest
touring band of the "Bitches Brew
era. Several albums as a leader and
seemingly infinite sessions recordings.
But with Special Edition and the power
and grace of its once and present
soloists, Jack DeJohnette's skills as a
composer and a leader have come to
their full fruitation.
This year's model of the ever
changing Special Edition features John
Purcell and David Murray (aw, Ref!)
on saxophones, Howard Johnson on

but with a violin. He made his debut as
a concert violinist when he was only
seven years old, and three years later
he was performing for the , Austro-
Hungarian royal family. Coming to the
U.S. from Hungary at the age of 22, he
ended up playing last-chair violin in
New York's Capital Theater Orchestra,
but that position was shortlived. In 1931,
he was asked to fill in for the ailing Ar-
turo Toscanini as guest conductor of the
Philadelphia Orchestra, and made such
an impression that as a result he was
appointed to the position of assistant
conductor to Leopold Stokowski, the
conductor of the orchestra. Ormandy
succeeded Stokowski in 1938 and held
his position as the conductor of the
Philadelphia for over forty-four years,
longer than any other music director. It
was this dedication that allowed him to
imprint his personality on they or-
chestra in a way that no other music
director had ever done before-thus the
term "The Philadelphia Sound" was
coined by many critics around the
world. Impeccable tone quality, lavish
richness, extreme control, piquancy in

every manner and everything else
that's good and tasty was to be thus
referred to as the "Ormandy sound."
Ormandy was a vibrant man right up
until his death, and his retirement in
1980 was prolonged by him as long as
possible, because according to the
Maestro, "One retires only when one is
dead or ill." He relinquished his
Philadelphia baton to his own hand-
picked successor, Ricardo Muti;
however he still adhered to the first
clause of his statement, conducting
right up until his death. A triumphant
performance with the Philadelphia Or-
chestra at Carnegie Hall in New York
City on Jan. 10, 1984 was to be his last.
He needed a bit of help from the concer-
tmaster to climb on to the podium, but
after that it was home free as he gover-
ned a distinguished and beautifully
crafted performance of Bartok's Con-
certo for Orchestra. No music stand
was needed for him at his podium. He
did it entirely from memory. As for
memory, Ormandy will be with us
forever and his craft will radiate for a
long time to come

weren't cast.
Not to seem overcritical, Don Grant,
who plays the lead of Pippin, is a talen-
ted actor. In fact, as Pippin, Grant is
soundly convincing. He seems perfect
for the acting part of the role - yet he's
not a singer. Since seven songs are
required of him, this generates
Actually though, his singing isn't that
bad; mostly I just couldn't hear him.
Better vocal projection on Grant's part
would greatly improve the production
When the two best songs, "Morning
Glow," and "Corner of the Sky", are-
lost to echo, audience members begin to
feel cheated. I know I did.
Not all the cast had weak singing
voices. La Breque, Sue Kenny as
Catherine, Pippin's love interest, and
Renae Morway as Fastrada, the plot-
ting queen, are all talented singers.
Others were just passable.
The one thing one can say about Pip-
pin is that the amount of effort expen-
ded is readily apparent. As a musical
bursting -from the seams with dance
numbers, it can't be beat for enter-
tainment. You're sure to come out of it
with a good feeling. I just wish I could
have heard Grant sing, gosh darn it.
MUSKET's version of Pippin,
although not without fault, is a
production well worth the price of the
ticket. It is exciting to seV companies
like MUSKET put on musicals of this
caliber effectively. And although the
student group could use, some work
overall, the -individual talents on stage
made the entire show worthwhile.

The Jackson One
LaToya Jackson, unfortunately often referred to as "Michael Jackson's
sister" performs two shows today at the Nectarine Ballroom, as part of her
first solo tour. The first show begins at 4 p.m. (all ages admitted), the second
at 9 p.m. (for those 21 and over). Tickets are $9.50 and are available at the
club, Ticket World Outlets, and the Michigan Union. Jackson's performance
will include cuts from her recent album 'Heart Don't Lie.' She was supported
on this album by such well-known performers at Musical Youth, and the
Police's Andy Summers.

Oscar picks leave out Brits

joy. Rufus strums thunder along the
tub-rich underside. Purcell spins out
into a plastic swirling solo and
DeJohnette demonstrates the authority
he has acquired at the piano. After
Murray warms things up the piece-
returns to the plaintive soprano
Howard Johnson's arrangement of
"Monk's Mood" features a rich horn
collage embellished with electric
keyboards. There is beautiful coloring
with the three saxes here, bringing
Ellington's swash to Monk. Johnson's
baritone solo is a beauty; sienna swing
music for the sad set. This is a bitter-
sweet rendering of a Monk gem.
Thanks guys.
"Festival "is as fun as you might ex-
pect from the title. It's a spirited Latin
thing with salsa in the air. Three wild-
eyed reeds whip over the pampas
before DeJohnette's galloping wind
drums. Just a cowboy south of the bor-
der in spring time with three or four of
his buddies looking for a good time.
Purcell kicks open the swinging doors
and all three horns bluster into the

He has more to say than "Barkeep!
Another round of margueritas !"
Purcell springs forth to speak of rising
and falling fast. Perilous lungings
toward silence. Then a vigorous reentry
with tuba play and the perpetual drums
reminding us of our convictions. A
South American Sermonette. David
lucidly speaks of building new roads
and caring for the trees and rocks and
wildlife. He rolls in the aisles while
Purcell and Johnson cheer. Johnson
then speaks of his parents generosity
and his desire to pledge that he will
speak no more beer commercial jive. I
think he means it folks. And they all fall
right in solidarity line to close.
This LP would be a treasure even
without the inclusion of a sunny new
arrangement of a Special Edition
favorite "Zoot Suite". The record's
wildest fire music and bop met head on
for some fun and fussin.' With a
meditation in the middle. Remember
children where you came from and who
you are. David says, "Amen!" Jack
stamps his feet. John scrapes flint in
concurrence. Howard duckwalks

By John Logie
IN FRIDAY'S Weekend Magazine,
Daily movie reviewer Joshua Bilmes
provided us with his predictions for the
winners of the 1985 Academy Awards
His piece is insightful, thought-out, and
shows a keen understanding of
Academy politics. It is also, in several
instances, off-target.
The element of Academy politics that
will permeate these Oscars is an anti-
British sentiment, born in the recent
victories of Gandhi, and Chariots of
Fire. This sentiment will torpedo the
latest Brits-in-India entry, A Passage to
India as well as Albert Finney, and Sir
Ralph Richardson. While this work of
international politics shouldn't enter in-
to the Oscars, it invariably does.
Mr. Bilmes correctly selected
Amadeus as the Best Picture winner,
but The Killing Fields is my second
choice. Unfortunately, even Fields
hasn't managed to escape the up-
coming Brit-trashing, because it won
the British Academy Award for Best
Picture. The rest, Passage, Places in
the Heart, and A Soldier's Story, don't
have a chance.
Mr. Bilmes is likely incorrect in his
selection of Albert Finney as Best Actor
because Finney is British. F. Murray
Abraham is clearly the best of the rest.
Tha Arn ,rimv ie ninr ...whi fnr.

and neither will PLO supporters, thus,
Sally Field, the best of the farm wives,
garners her second Best Actress
Dame Peggy Ashcroft will manage to
break the Brit jinx in the Supporting
Actress category. She's old and cute,
and the best thing about Passage. Dr.
Haing S. Ngor will win Best Supporting
Actor for his performance in Killing
Fields. The late Sir Ralph Richardson
might have won, but his Britishness will
supercede sentimentality.
Best Director will be Milos Forman.
Screenplay will go to Woody Allen, not
Robert Benton. Place's screenplay has
been roundly criticized as having been

designed to win Oscars. Woody's
screenplay is not.
John Williams will cancel himself out
in the score category, allowing Randy
Newman, a proud Los Angeles native,
to sneak an Oscar for his work on The
Natural. Adapted Screenplay will go to
Bruce Robinson for Killing Fields,
because those guilty Academy voters
want to give it something. Stevie Won-
der will win Best Song.
If the "unthinkable happens, and
Joshua Bilmes gets more of his picks
right than I do, I will gladly treat him to
the film of his choice with popcorn and
Jujubes - if he wants them, so long as
it's discount night or a matinee.

0 ." 0 9 4 , , 0 " "

a meoters i u z ' iveo c "t t t ert r tit_ 761-9700J






With This Entire Ad $1 .00 Of Any $4.00
Admission. 1 or 2 Tickets. Good All
Features thru 4/5/85

SMON' 4:15, 7:00, 9:35 FRI. & SAT. AT MIDNIGHT





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