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April 09, 1986 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-04-09

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, April 9, 1986

Page 5

'Diary': More than meets the eye

By Lisa Borgnes
T URTLE Diary is one of those
distinctly British films which
ges to deal subtly and
gracefully with serious themes while
still being able to exude a certain
refined gentility. Directed by John
Irvin and with a screenplay by Harold
Pinter, the film is a tender journey
of freedom for two lonely, middle-
aged people who eventually gain a
renewed vitality in both themselves
and the world around them, and who
come to value the importance of
spiritual and physical liberation.
Naeara Duncan (Glenda Jackson)

is a popular children's author who,
despite her success, feels trapped in
the mundane rituals of everyday life.
She yearns for some kind of ex-
citement and, to combat the
listlessness she feels, she takes
frequent trips to the London Zoo to
watch the giant sea turtles. William
Snow, as portrayed by Ben Kingsley,
is another lonely soul who is
desperately seeking some kind of
meaning in his life. When the two ac-
cidentally meet at the zoo, they sense
in each other unawakened currents of
strength and adventure, and hatch a
wild plan to kidnap the turtles and set
them free in their real home, the

ocean.
The film explores the relationship
between Duncan and Snow as they
tentatively reach out to each other for
friendship and understanding. For
them, the turtles are their way of
living a dream and vicariously ex-
periencing the exhilaration and
satisfaction that their lives lack.
Director Irvin focuses on the
similarities between the turtles and
Duncan and Snow in an eerie, almost
disturbing fashion. The greenness of
the turtles' underwater cage is
echoed in almost every scene in the
film. There are green interiors
everywhere (notice the walls in

Snow's room), green shop signs,
trees, landscapes-indeed, the movie
almost seems to have been filmed
with a green filter. In this way, the
physical imprisonment of the turtles
is visually transferred to the more
subtle stagnation of Duncan and
Snow. One especially striking scene
juxtaposes rapid, stylized shots of
Duncan, Snow and the turtles, each
along and starkly silhouetted by a
greenish light to further reinforce the
similarity of their situations.
Both Jackson and Kingsley grace
the film with their unmistakable
presences. There is an electrical rap-
port between them that positively

crackles with intensity. Kingsley,
especially, gives his role a certain
gentle strength that transcends the
otherwise meek nature of his charac-
ter. Besides the major roles,
however, the supporting cast in Tur-
tle Diary is also excellent. All give
strong, distinctive performances and
the role of Miss Neep, Snow's flat-
mate, is stirringly poignant.
At first glance, Turtle Diary is
about giant sea turtles in captivity
and how a pair of lonely acquaintan-
ces wish to set them free. In truth,
however, the film explores much
deeper themes of banal middle class

existence and the universal need for
friendship, attention, and, most of all,
personal freedom.
When Snow wonders whether the
turtles are happy in their aquarium;
the gatekeeper replies, "The turtles
have been in there for thirty years. I
suppose one gets used to things." It is
these stifling conditions of captivity
and stagnation that Turtle Diary most
implicitly addresses. Finally, as
Duncan and Snow eventually learn
from the trutles, it is never too late to
break out of the ruts of everyday life,
to grow, and, finally, to live.

The Muskrats

By Alan Paul
OU DON'T have to be a great
Y folk fan to like The Muskrats.
Hopefully, the Berkeley California
based duo will be gaining more con-
verts when they perform a free con-
cert tonight at the Halfway Inn in.
East Quad.
The Muskrats are a lot of fun. They
have released one album so far, Rock
is Dead, on San Francisco's Sub-

terranean Records. It is very en-
joyable, and their music is easily ac-
cessible to anyone. The songs are
diverse but the duo's enthusiasm is
ever present. They play covers
ranging from folk standards, to Bob
Dylan, to hobo songs, as well as their
own original material. Band mem-
bers Jay Rosen and Tom Freeman
play guitar, banjo, washboard and, at
times, assorted other instruments,
and harmonize beautifully. On almost
every song they share lead vocals.

,a olk
The Muskrats were involved in
accident three weeks ago in the
hometown of Omaha, Nebraska
Their van was totaled, all the
equipment ruined, and Freeman ei
ded up in the hospital for seveir
days.
Because of the accident, their Mir
western tour had to be scrapped. BE
as the band will be playing on the Ea
Coast next week, and Ann Arbor isc
the way to New York, they decidedI
give a tune up performance befoi

6

uo, to give
their Eastern swing. Thus, tonight's people like us
free show. Is the albu
"The accident really put us out," 24 some type of
year old Jay Rosen said, "We're "It just ma
trying to get back into the swing of fit. You know.
things and we figured it would be good not. It was rea
to get back into playing. Besides, Ann how everythin
Arbor's supposed to be a pretty cool Of course, 1
place." der to answer
"We'll try to sell some records to go to the Half
pay for gas," he continued dryly, "Of ty safe bet.'
course, we both live below the poverty There's noth
level. We're playing for free but if down and ex

I1

"

free
, that's cool."
im title Rock is Dead
statement?
ade sense and seemed to
v, rock is dead but we're
ally on a whim. Isn't that
ng's decided?"
that question's a bit har-
t but acting on a whim to
way Inn tonight is a pret-
The show will be free.
ing to lose, so come on
xperience the Muskrat's

show
traveling show. As Rosen says:
"Our gigs are spectacles. We get
pretty raucus. I guess we're pretty
much traveling snake oil salesmen,
You know; 'Red hot lovers.' Come and
get 'em.' "
No time has been announced for
tonight's gig, but for more infor-
mation, you can try the Halfway Inn
at 764-8558.
"We didn't set any time," Rosen
explains. "I guess we'll just get up
and play."

HEALTH & FITNESS

Marijuana-derived drug will be used in

"

tre

WASHINGTON (AP) - An anti-
nausea drug derived from marijuana
is about to be approved by the Drug
Enforcement Administration for use
by cancer patients undergoing
chemotherapy and will appear in
pharmacies in about a month.
The DEA said Thursday it will
reclassify the drug Marinol, a capsule
form of THC, marijuana's active
ingredient, from its list of most
dangerous narcotics to its list of con-
trolled drugs available by prescrip-
tion for specific medical purposes.
THE ACTION came after the
National Organization for Reform of
Marijuana Laws withdrew a petition
objecting to DEA's handling of the
drug. The petition, which already has
blocked DEA action for months,
would have required lengthy hearings
on the reclassification.
NORML, which wants marijuana
legalized, said it dropped the petition
after the DEA promised in writing to
let an administrative law judge
decide the broader question of
whether marijuana itself should be
reclassified to allow medical uses.
As a Schedule I drug,
tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can-
not be sold for any purpose, even
though the Food and Drug Ad-
ministration ruled last June that
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Marinol was safe and effective in con-
trolling the nausea and vomiting that
accompanies chemotherapy.
NORML SAID the DEA's decision
marks the first time the drug agency
has reclassified a Schedule I drug to
allow medical uses. The group said
the action "has important im-
plications for the future medical use
of other prohibited but potentially
beneficial substances like marijuana,
heroin, MDMA and LSD."

Unimed Inc., the Somerville, N.J.,
pharmaceutical company that
produces Marinol, said production
and distribution will be tightly con-
trolled. Roxane Laboratories Inc. of
Columbus, Ohio, an established firm
in the field of narcotic pain relievers,
will handle distribution, Unimed said.
Paul Bollenbacher, Unimed
president and chief executive, said
Marinol will first be marketed in
about 30 days in "selected market
areas."

DESPITE BOTH FDA and DEA
approval, the future of Marinol is
considered questionable by some in-
dustry observers.
The trade journal American Phar-
macy, in an anlysis of Marinol's
problems, said the decade-long battle
over legalizing the substance may
have taken its toll on the drug's
usefulness in chemotherapy. New
drugs have appeared that are just as
effective in treating nausea, but do no

ating cane
carry THC's mind-altering effects,
the magazine said. .
While young people who have used
marijuana have no problem with
those mood-altering effects, the

er patients
magazine said, researchers have
found that elderly patients often are
frightened and disconcerted by them,
and may be better treated with the
newer drugs.

sr^k

what's
Happening

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