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September 18, 1985 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-09-18

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4

ARTS
ho Michigan Daily Wednesday, September 18, 1985 Page 6

Fasten your

seatbelts for visual evening

4

By David Schwenk
UT ON YOUR cinematic safety
belts this weekend and travel
through the infinite galaxy of ex-
rirmental cinema.
The Performance Network will be
presenting 90 minutes of new ex-
perimental films from the No Nothing
Cinema of San Francisco this Friday
and Saturday at 8 p.m. The films
range in form from the absurd and
comical to the completely bizarre.
They differ in style from pixilated live
action to lyrical picture shows.
Whatever their statements may be,
the films promise one thing - diver-
sity.
Fast-paced, dream-like, and
visually poetical, the films appeal to a
wide variety of emotions.
Take, for instance, the scratch film
"True Lies." It opens with blobs of
blue, red, and green color shifting
erratically about on the screen. Run-
ning lines curl and zigzag across the
oval-shaped figures like the scratch-

marks of a child's handwriting, or like
gazing through a broken
kaleidescope. For some reason this
film insults me.
I look around for the freshman art
student who slipped this experimental
film into the collection, when a voice
suddenly booms from the speakers -
menacing and loud.
"I am angry !" the voice whines. "I
am sad. I am angry because..." The
colors continue their metamorphosis
on the screen. The voice continues: "I
am cool." The screen mixes into dif-
ferent shades of blue.
Gee, I get it! Cool - blue; red
(angry) - hot.
Wow!
Haven't these guys producing the
scratch films seen each other's work
in the last 20 years? There's only so
many ways you can express yourself
by scratching the surface of color
film.
"Brown Eyed Girls" makes up for
what "True Lies" lacks in visual en-
tertainment. Visions of brown-eyed
girls overlap in a dreamscape of pink

lingerie, satin sheets, and plush green
fields flowing with wild flowers.
Filmmaker Dean Snider effectively
uses color, motion, and editing
techniques to complement the pace
and mood of Van Morrison's famous
song, "Brown-Eyed Girls."
Nothing has a stronger emotional
impact than a moving song coupled
with fantastic images. One easily falls
into the visual fantasy portrayed on
screen. This short certainly isn't
from MTV.
Now for the comical and truly
bizarre, topped off with a touch of the
absurd.
Rock Ross's film "Just Another
Girl" is not about just another girl.
It's a live action film of drag queens
preparing for a night on the town. As
the men transform themselves into
ladies, placing makeup and wigs on
one another, they move absurdly
about within the frame through rapid
pixilation. The editing has a lively
tempo, and my eyes had trouble
following who moved where. Strange
music with a hypnotic beat accom-
panies the film. The overall effect
produces feelings of confusion and
chaos. Watching the men zoom
around the room leaves you a bit
dazed in the head - Ross creates a
surreal world in the dressing room of
the drag queens.
The last work of this 11-film series,
George Kuchar's "The Xtras," could
be called a parable on aliens and sex,

or a comic satire on sci-fi films. A
comical narrative pieces together the
unusual occurrences in the life of
Rourk, who is a young man in search
of the "Men In Black." Kuchar makes
good use of camera angles and left me
with many lasting impressions. You'll
see Kuchar as the French waiter in
the film.
That's just a glimpse at the new and

mostly original experimental films
from the No Nothing Cinema. Some of
the other films include portrayals of
paranoid schizophrenics who have ob-
sessive fears and preoccupations with
death. Many of these filmmakers
have had their works shown at the
Ann Arbor 16mm Film Festival, in-
cluding Dean Snider, Michael Rud-
nick, Marian Wallace, Sam Giam-

mona (1985 Tom Berman Award win-
ner), and George Kuchar.
Don't wait for the Film Festival to
get your dose of new experimental
films. Take advantage of this rare op-
portunity to see the latest works of the
avant-garde filmmakers and escape-
on a visual journey.
Remember, fasten your seatbelt.
It's a bizarre galaxy.

4

4

A

PSYCHOLOGY & RELIGION PROGRAM
Thursday, Sept. 19, 1985
First Meeting, 8:00p.m.
(at Hillel)
In its second year, Hillel's Psychology & Religion program is
.establishing an on-going group to meet every other Thursday to
explore the dimensions of spirituality, the connection between indi-
vidual personality and religious experience. Issues of alienation and
wholeness, action and faith, control and self-surrender will be ex-
amined. Alice Brunner, a Clinical psychologist from the Office of
Student Counseling Services, will help guide the group whose
members may come from a variety of religious and nonreligious
orientations.
H For more information,
call 663-3336.
:1429 HILL STREET

I
I

True story
In soon-to-be released film called 'Eleni,' Kate Nelligan stars as a courageous woman who struggles to save
the lives of her children during the Greek Civil War of 1948. The picture also stars John Malkovitch and Linda
Hunt, and is directed by Peter Yates from a script by Steve Tesich (the same team that brought you 'Breaking
Away') based on the books by Nicholas Gage.

I-

" l

uI Wrh TeW A

Records1

Orchestral
the Dark -

Manoeuvres
Crush (A&M)

in

IN

he '

S

$233A MO.

$1345*
AMO.

$1795'
AMO.

Originally conceived as the elec-
tronic tape experiments of Liver-
poolians Paul Humphreys and An-
drew McCulskey, Orchestral
Manoeuvres in the Dark have, in
recent years, creatively expanded in-
to electo-pop dimensions while main-
taining a crafty and inventive ap-
proach. Their newest release, Crush,
further confirms that this band is one
of the most creative forces in that syn-
thesizer-band genre of music that also
includes the likes of Depeche Mode
and Blancmange.
OMD's style is that of a constant
tease. Layering arrangement upon
arrangement with sampled horn
sounds, pianos, saxophones, guitars,
real drums, and of course, a palette of
synthesizer effects, OMD creates
songs that constantly beckon the
listener. Electronic voices flutter in
and out of the pieces just as the in-
struments do, almost mocking the
songs themselves.
Crush features two strong dance
numbers - the somewhat Ultravox
sounding "So in Love," and the
playfully silly "Secret." "So in Love"
has a well-blended aural texture and
is quite a bit smoother than most of
the other sounds of the new album or
those of their last release, Monk
Culture. The whole piece seems to
whoosh, carrying away the saxophone
parts.
"Secret" is a witty, contrived little
piece that highlights those teasing
voices OMD often use; beckoning the"
listener with the secret of the song.
OMD seem rather observant of the
ways of women on Crunch - the lyrical
style of "Women III" echoes that of
Squeeze: At last she has a home to
share, a man who comes to do her
hair, a garden with a patio, a place
to have a barbeque. However, the,
lyrics are not as tightly bound to theme
music as those of Difford and:
Tilbrook; instead, they ride over the"'
aural texture of the song. t
"Native Daughter of the Golden-
West" finds OMD once again wat-
ching women - and similarly focused&'
on the priveledged life of Western
culture. Radio is not ready for this
song. "Native Daughter" is probably
one of the most charging pieces OMD
has produced; it has searing guitar
leads and a pounding drum track. The~
whole song has an eerie, beautiful,
sound. Terrific headphone material.
"88 Seconds in Greensboro" i
another departure from the fluffier,.,
lighter elements of the band's heavyr

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