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October 02, 1987 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-02
This is a tabloid page

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w w w wV w

w w


Style triumphs over substance again in 'Ne

One of the by-products of my
decision to attend the University's
Law School was a return to
dormitory life. One of the by-prod-
ucts of my return to dorm life is a
chance to once again experience "the
mixer." The mixer places hundreds
of nervous, insecure people in close
proximity to alcohol and strangers,
even though most of the attendees
are barely able to handle one of the
The hour prior to the mixer is
alwayc a fur one. First, I shower,
taking special care to cleanse parts of
my body which I didn't that morn-
ing. Then, naked and dripping, I
douse my body in various balms,
ointments, perfumes, and deterrents,
many of which would not have made
it into my medicine cabinet were it
not for Campus Voice's "Good Stuff
for Men" free sample boxes.
The inevitable sensory conse-
quences of this cosmetic assault are
sneezing and itching. So, still naked,
but not dripping quite as much as I
had been, I hurl myself onto my
bedspread and do my best to remove
the melange, leaving the bedspread
damp, and smelling like I always
imagined Ricardo Montalban would.
Then it's time to choose my un-

Jacob Holdt

derwear. Though in my heart of
hearts I do know better. I find it's
good for my self-image to convince
myself that someone might actually
see the underwear I select. I usually
arrive at the most ludicrous boxer
shorts available. M feeling is that
if someone has actually gotten that
far, she ought to have plenty of
warning before she makes a mistake
that she might well regret for the
rest of her natural life.
The rest of my ensemble is rela-
tively easy to assemble. The pants
and shirt don't really matter because
I am the proud owner of one of the
most bold, dramatic, most daring
garments ever to leave Value Vil-
lage, my smoking jacket. It's red.
It's shiny. It's covered with little
airplanes and islands. And when I
wear it, I am smokin'.
At this point I usually remember
that I look much better without my
glasses, so I juice up my contacts.

Now I have never really gotten used
to poking myself in the eye, and I
generally have trouble with my
lenses, but my clumsiness is expo-
nentially increased when I'm wearing
a smoking jacket with huge floppy
sleeves. So I usually manage to drop
a lens onto the carpet, step on it, lift
it with the sole of my shoe, lose it,
and eventually find it enmeshed in a
dust gorilla (the mutant larger sib-
ling of the dust-bunny.) Re-cleaning
the lens makes me twenty minutes
fashionably later than I had intended
to be.
Fven so, 1 inevitably arrive at a
nearly empty room, where sad-look-
ing people are wandering around, too
shy to dance to the party tape which
features music designed to please
everyone. But no one is pleased be-
cause Bruce Springsteen, Bronski
Beat, Rick James, and Ritchie
Valens don't belong on the same
tape, and given the opportunity, they
probably wouldn't want to jam with
each other. So I drink.
I bounce between the bars on ei-
ther side of the room, alternating in
the naive hope that each bar will as-
sume I've had only half as many
gin&tonics as I actuall shave.
See LOGIE, p. 9

Danish vagabond created the stunning 'American
Pictures,' showing America's ugly underside
Jacob Holdt, a beard-braided Danish Vagabond, is the person behind
American Pictures'. After feeling from Denmark's society in 1970,
Holdt drifted through Canada for a year before venturing into America.
While traveling through 48 states and 113,750 miles, he was shocked
by the poverty, racism, sexism, and anti-semitism he found here. Holdt
began to take pictures of this ugly side of America, and ended up with
an enduring slideshow and diary of the oppression he found throughout
the county. Since hisfirst presentation of 'American Pictures' last year,
Holdt has won national acclaim with his moving, and often unsettling,
depiction of our society. Film Editor John Shea spoke with Holdt while
he was in Ann Arbor this week.
Daily: You came to Canada from Denmark in 1970. Why did you
Holdt: I was kicked out of high school and I had to work on a farm
in Canada. I wanted to work on that farm just to run away from my
own society.
D: So you were fed up with Denmark?
H: At the time I was, but basically I was a just a young person and
just had to see the world. I was basically on my way to land in
D: What for?
H: In those days there were a lot of young people traveling all over
the world.
D: What compelled you to jump from Canada to the U.S.?
H: I didn't. I was just going through it. It was a total mistake to end
up here. I was just on my way to Canada when I got stuck here
D: What were your first impressions of America?
H: I was shocked when I got here. The violence scared me, and I
sensed it so much that when I came hitchhiking, I started to take the
bus. But then later I was invited to 'a Black home in the south side of
Chicago, and that is what started off this whole reaction.
D: That's when you started to take pictures of everything?
H: No, that didn't start until after I traveled for a year and a half.
After then I took my first picture. It was not until I wrote these letters
home about what I experienced, staying with Rockefeller and Ted
Kennedy. Since my parents didn't really believe me, they wanted to see
some proof.
D: How did you get in the homes of Ted Kennedy and others?
H: Just through hitchiking and being a vagabond. It's a long story. I
have a whole chapter about it in my book, but it's just too detailed for

By John Shea
from Near Dark is how slickly
made it is. And if first impressions
mean anything, that's good.
Near Dark is so slickly made
because first-time director Kathryn
Bigelow was a long-time art
student. Her years spent at the San
Francisco Art Institute and New
York's Art and Language Club have
enabled her to develop a very
sensitive feel for sounds and
images. Whatever she has learned,
she throws at you, holding nothing
The script is pretty free-
wheeling, too. This exotic, off-beat
thriller is centered around a group of
modern-day vampires who roam the
night highways in search of blood.
Near Dark is a cross between an
old-fashioned, shoot-em-up Western
and a high-class horror film.
Don't expect to see fangs, garlic
salt or holy water because they
won't be there. The vampire
mythology is gone. These people
bear a closer resemblance to
motorcycle punks than anything
Time still doesn't mean anything
to them; they just keep living on
and on forever, as long as they're
home by sunrise. Mae (Jenny
Wright, Pink Floyd-The Wall),
belongs to this blood-thirsty crew,
and senses she has an easy prey
when she's picked up by a naive
farmboy, Caleb (Adrian Pasdar, Top
Caleb is smitten for Mae, and
Mae likes him, too; so much so,
she just can't bring herself to kill
him. She just gives him a hickey
and runs away. He disappointment
over Mae running away turns to
horror as hair starts to grow on his
arms and face.
This is a real concern for Jesse
(Lance Henrikson, Aliens, Prince of
the City) as well. He's the leader of
the drifters, and to insure their
preservation, he can't let the boy go
free. They catch up to him and
abduct him. But they give him a
choice: become one of the clan and
kill for your food--every night--for
the rest of eternity, or get a sunburn
even Solorcaine wouldn't help in
the morning.
Vampire initiations are tough.
You've got to slit throats and blow
heads off with sawed-off shotguns
and noteven think twice about it.
And then you've got to lick up
what sprouts out on the floor for

dinner. Caleb's heart just isn't in it,
and the rest of group is quickly
losing patience with him. Except
for Mae...
The camera work and the images
in this film are remarkable.
Bigelow and cinematographer Adam
Greenberg (The Terminator) capture
the essence of night on film. They
have created a very seductive mood
where the camera becomes our eye
and the images that flash before it
are very intense.
Never has a sunrise looked more
frightening; never have a group of
thugs looking over their prey at the
top of the hill looked more angelic.
We sense the cool distance of the
sky, and yet one can almost hear
the stars coo like a mistress.
"Come closer," they seem to say.
Just try not leaning towards the
screen during the first twenty
It is what Bigelow and co-
screenwriter Eric Red (The Hitcher)
do during the last seventy minutes
that is disappointing. Bigelow
effectively lures us in with her
visual magic but then leaves us
with little. A shallowness hangs
over the project.-The characters
aren't as well-defined as they could
be, and the story itself--while in a
new setting--is as old as vampires
Near Dark is part perverse
erotica and part gore-fest, neither
one of which is very appealing. It's
hard to get turned on by watching a
male lustfully suck a woman's
slashed wrist. And it's harder yet to
watch several throats get slit open,
only to hear the drifters joke about
how good blood "on tap" is.
What you hear now is not the
voice of disdain, but
disappointment. Yes, there are
some good scares and a fair
sprinkling of black humor. And for
what it's worth, Near Dark is a
great visual piece. But that's all it
is. The heart beating beneath this
picture is an aesthetic one. People
take a back seat to shadows and
lights; substance to high-gloss and
When you leave the theatre, you
can't help but think of how special
this might have been. It's not that
Bigelow doesn't try or settles for
less. She just has enormous
aspirations that never really
So the last impression of this
film is the same as the first one.
Near Dark is a slickly made film.
And that's too bad.

These grisly vampires roam the highways and byways of the Great Plains in


We are here (living) God exists.
Is there scientific evidence?
What about evolution?
Evolutionists are those who let their
environment rule them.
As opposed to the theologists who
let imaginary gods rule them.
-Angell Hall
It's the end of the world as we know
it (but I feel fine).
-the UGLI
I love Daryl (5x)
I need Daryl
I miss Daryl
Unreciprocated love is j us t
Don' tflatter yourself.
Daryl is out getting Mlaid while
you're here scribbling on desk tops.
-Angell Hall
I'm a grad and I'm not too bright
But I'm in the Business School and I
do all right
I never study but I get Bs
And I'm always ready to drop to my
-Angell Hall
Avoid the virus- Get married right
- the UGLI

4LWORY RIlvTh1tA,5:

,. .j,i

Hill Street Forum
Dennis Wolf berg
November 15
MainStreet Comedy Showcase

David Broza Willy
Folk Singer Jewi
Wednesday Satur
January 20 Febru
8pm 8pm
Lydia Mendelsohn Theatre Michi

012 W'LL&WOU
ArYu .

Dennis W olfberg is one of the finest comic i nnerI ofsrael'si Kigs D ov
talents performing today. He has appeared mae voolist and perform
on The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Hebrew. English and Spa
letterman and at some of the top comedy Hbrehtihim adfora'
clubs on both coasts. it will be a screamingly ghthim back for all
funny evening of Jewish humor. halents again.
Order Form '

her, and guitarist.
vid Award for best
once, Broza sings in
inish. We have
who want to enjoy

offer c
from th

.... - M .
' Please send me:

Return to Hill Street Forum-Hillel, 339 E. Liberty,
Ann Arbor, Mi 48104
Make checks payable to Hill Street Forum.



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