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September 09, 1986 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-09-09

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ARTS
The Michigan Daily Tuesday, September 9, 1986 Page 5

'Stand By Me'

stands above the

rest

By Kurt Serbus
Stand By Me is a quiet, wistful
look backwards that easily and
unpretentiously out-classes just
about every other movie in town
right now. Based on the best thing
Stephen King's ever written--a
novella entitled The Body--this
rites-of-passage story about four
pre-adolescents on an odessey to

find a corpse deep in the woods of
Oregon comes off the screen like
a breath of very fresh air.
Wil Wheaton is convincing as
the boy who later grows up to be
Richard Dreyfuss and narrate the
tale, a kid with just a little bit
more on the ball than his buddies.
A burgeoning writer who sees his
intelligence and sensitivity as a
handicap in the rough, low-rent
world he inhabits, Wheaton joins

his friends on a 30 mile quest
after one of them finds out about
the body of a young boy who has
been killed by a train on a
secluded stretch of track. Their
journey is filled with small
adventures and male bonding,
and an undercurrent of suspense
is added by the presence of a
menacing group of older hoods
who want a look at the body
themselves. The writing along
the way is beautiful, as is the
acting, paticularly the per-
formance of River Phoenix as
Wheaton's best friend, a
basically good kid who feels

trapped in the role of a futureless
hardass by his family's
reputation. Dreyfuss' sad,
Faulkner-like narration rounds
out the mix perfectly.
Director Rob Reiner--who still
hasn't put a foot wrong in his short
but immensely successful career
behind the camera--imbues this
simple tale with a sense of
nostalgia that is at times
overwhelming. He's recreated a
world of clubhouses and secret
handshakes and campfire talks
about "'things that seem really
important until you discover
girls" with a beauty and

conviction that puts Stand By Me
just a few notches below
American Graffitti in the
coming-of-age category. Because
the film is set in 1959, and because
it's about the natural death of
innocence, there's an initial
temptation to interpret the film as
a metaphor for America, and I
suppose that theme is there if you

want to look hard enough for it.
Thankfully, however, Reiner
respects his characters too much to
turn them into allegorical pawns,
and as a result, Stand By Me
succeeds on a level where a lot of
"art" fails--it stands on it's own
as a slice of life rather than a Big
Message, and that makes it all the
more touching and compelling.

Records

The Celibate Rifles--
Mina Mina Mina (What
Goes On)
The Celibate Rifles--The
Turgid Miasma of
Existence (Rough Trade)
Contrary to popular belief,
there's a lot more happening
down under than INXS or Men at
Work. For a musical sample
yourself, all are heartily urged to
check out these two recently
available discs by Australia's
proud disciples of the post-punk,
grunge guitar vein, The Celibate
Rifles.
For a look back in the band's
history, What Goes On Records
has given the American con -
sumer Mina Mina Mina, a
collection of old material which
includes remixed versions of
some songs. This record draws
mainly from the contents of their
Celibate Rifles LP, which came
*out in 1984 on their homeland's
Hot Records label. "Wild De-
sire" is a wonderfully thrashy
number, lots of guitar-laden fun.
"Thank You America" and
"Darlinghurst Confidential" are
aural masterpieces which seem to
leap beyond the limits of the stereo
system, as the vocalists rap eerily
above instrumentals which tell
equally important stories.' And
"Back in the Corner," which
hails from their Sideroxylon LP,
features an awesome flurry of
sweet sounding keyboards
beneath the angrier tone of
Damien Lovelock's vocals. The
band also kicks up a furious
storm on the nasty mockery of
"Where Do I Go," which is
highlighted by some saxophone
grunts by "Miss Australia 1986,"
Tracey Pearson.
For the more contemporary
minded buyer, Rough Trade
Records brings us the Rifles'
newest LP, The Turgid Miasma
of Existence. This album has also
been dubbed "Happening Sounds
for the Modern Degeneration" or
"Modern Sounds for the Young
bDegeneration." The lyrics are
unsurprisingly heavy-handed; a
bit too much so this time, for
example describing the television
as electric magic diarrhea.
Nonetheless, they never get too
bogged down, as the songs all sail
ferociously, largely due to some of
the strongest, meanest, leanest
guitar lines ever heard on this
side of the equator. "Conflict of
Ornstinct" is, a bitter commentary
on politics, war, and the general.
state of the world on which
guitarists Kent Steedman and
Dave Morris absolutely scream.
This piece is followed by the
equally kinetic "Temper Temper
Mr. Kemper," a blaring mess of a
fireball. Relief comes with the
slower "Sentinel" and the
reflective "Glasshouse" (she
ntertained admirerers with her
intricate death dance). And

"Sometimes" is a great, rocking
song which owes a lot to the
Ramones.
The Celibate Rifles are an
engagingly cynical, talented act
to look out for. Be it a dose from
their glorious past or a taste of the
modern degeneration, these two
LPs are a proud addition to just
about anyone's record collection.
--Beth Fertig
VIOLIN
LESSONS
Beginning through
Advanced.
Doctorate from U of M.
20 Years Experience.
Near Central Campus.
For More Info.
663-8392

" spe
" fre

Learn Korean
KARATE
Improved Health/Self-Defense
$100
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'K American '
NUCLEAR ARMS:
A Moral Defense
a speech by
Peter Schwartz
Editor and Publisher of
The Intellectual Activist
THURSDAY,
September 11, 1986 'K
"K Hale Auditorium 9 Business School 'K
8:00 p.m.
'K FREE Admission
" " Why arms treaties with totalitarian states are
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'* Why Ronald Reagan is not an advocate of a genuine
'K US military defense
Sponsored by U of M Students of Objectivism

THE ACADEMY
220 S. Main, Ann Arbor
994-0333
Ac pt 1)Master Keith Hafner

Tomorrow, Meet
JONATHAN
RICHMAN
COME MEET JONATHAN RICHMAN - TOMORROW,
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 AROUND 5:30 P.M.
(Please bring empty LP sleeves for autographs)
/
AUTORPS~
A N N A R B 0 R
Recordse&Tdpee
523 E. Liberty
Dance Theatre Studio.

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Classes in ballet,
modern, jazz, tap,
and ballroom.
New Classes
beginning September 8
For current class
schedule and
more information
call 995-4242.

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Pay $33.65 for COBRA 40# pulseA
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bate from Cobra A T
AFTER REBATE
Pay $22.63 for GTE fully modular
tone phone, get $4 re- $1863
bate from GTE AFTER REBATE EU

Sanyo
Toaster, _i i
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w/Timer
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