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September 10, 1987 - Image 67

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-10
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Page 14 -The.Michigan Daily, Thursday, September 10, 1987

-The Michigan Daily, Thursday,

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By Seth Flicker
Ann Arbor is approximately the
third largest film-viewing commun -
ity in the country. This means that
hardly a day goes by when you
can't choose between at least fifteen
different movies a day. Does this
also mean that there is nothing
better to do in Ann Arbor? Of
course not. The University is just
one wild, film-crazy place, and as
you will easily find out, seeing a
movie is one of the most
inexpensive, enjoyable and acces -
sible pastimes around.
One of the side effects of a big
movie town, unfortunately, is that
celluloid takes on a certain snob-
appeal. It tends to become a
competition of who has been to the
mos tGoddard films or who has
analyzed The Seventh Seal most
accurately. For this, you can decide
to take either of two routes. Either
you keep quiet or bullshit like the
rest. It's more fun to bullshit. Be
careful, though, because some of
those esoteric braggarts may really
know a thing or two. To combat
this celluloid self-righteousness,
you must do your homework.
Your bible is the Cinema Guide.
This masterpiece is put out about
six times a year and lists all the
second-run films playing. Make a
calendar ahead of time because it's
real easy to miss some gems. Of
course in a place that shows
thousands upon thousands of films
a year the selection is wide but
there are certain types of movies

that are more copious than others.
You may see Liquid Sky, Stranger
Than Paradise, The Seven Samurai,
Strangers on a Train and Koya -
anisquatsi playing a few times each
year. These are movies that have
immense student and faculty turn-
outs. These are your first assign -
ments and while you may" think
that you're the film king, this is
only the beginning.
To be really on top of things,
look through Cinema Guide, not at
the titles but at the directors. You'll
quickly discover that certain names
turn up much more often than
others. Such names are Goddard,
Bergman, Allen, Fellini, Hitch -
cock, Wilder, Kurasawa, Houston,
Kubrick and Scorcese. The key is to
see these director's less known (or
popular) films. For one, you will
surely be in the spotlight in the
many film-related conversations
you will get into and, two, you
may even be in for a nice surprise.
One more hint. Get used to the
locations that these films most
likely will play in. Such places are
the Modern Languages Building,
the Natural Sciences Building,
Angell Hall and the Michigan
Theater. Take a walk around to
these places before the big date or
so that you do not arrive late to a
film. Also, get there early. Second-
runs are big crowd-pleasers and sell
out a lot of the time.
What makes Ann Arbor the film
capital of the Midwest is not only
the second-runs, though. We host
some of the most prestigious film

festivals around. The most well-
known being the 16mm Film
Festival. This event is graced with
some of the best national and
international shorts around. Rarely
will you find such a diverse offering
of celluloid than at the 16mm. It's
a must see. For a few measly bucks
you may catch the first film of a
young Woody or Ingmar. The 8mm
Festival is not as popular but
should be. It is one of the only (if
not the only) 8mm festival in the
country. The films are short and
easily digestible and while they
may look a little bit unprofes -
sional, may inspire you to make a
couple of these rather inexpensive
films yourself.
Other festivals or series in the
area consist of the recent Black film
Series and the PIRGIM Non-
inclusive Film Festival. These
series are not as few and far between
as they sound and provide an arena
for some of the most rarely seen
films. Another arena to check out is
Eyemediae, located at 214 N. Forth.
They often have obscure film series
and an abundance of speakers (see
side bar).
The final part of film in Ann
Arbor is the first-run movie
theaters. There are four on campus.
The first three are pretty standard
fare: the Movies at Briarwood, in
Briarwood Mall, Fox Village, in
the Maple Village Shopping Center
and the State Theater, 231 S. State.
The Ann Arbor Theaters, 210 S.
Fifth, is a little bit more unusual,
though. Besides half-price coupon

accessibility, the Ann Arbor show
first-run foreign and low-budget
films. This makes it the only one
of it's kind in Ann Arbor.
Keeping up with the Jones' in
film is not very hard or expensive

to do. Ann Arbor has an abundant
wealth of film, but you must do
your homework, and maybe even
someday you can become film
editor of the Michigan Daily.

Eyenwdiae: art that'
excites the mind

By Mike Rubin
College towns have a way of
breeding musical excitement. Like
mold on bread and strychnine on
blotter, rock and roll somehow
manages to rear its noisy, un-
shaven, and acne-pocked head up in
book-minded burgs all across this
great wasteland of ours, and Ann
Arbor is no exception.
Bar bands, garage groups, and
aggro aggregations have been
sprouting like dandelions in this
musical municipality for decades:
Iggy Pop and his sonic compatriots
in three-chord crime the Stooges,
pounders and founders of a fuzzy
brand of post-amphetamine grunge

By Ryan Tutak
With art exhibits, films, live
music and poetry readings, Eye -
mnediae presents virtually every
artistic medium. But it is much
more than just a venue.
"Eyemediae is both a com -
munity space where people come to
see things and an interactive space
where there is a chance to learn
about something," Mark Schreier,
an Eyemediae program director,
said.
Located on 214 North Fourth
St., Eyemediae, according to
Schreier, offers live Monday perfor -
mances of "anything to have people
interact with each other," and films
relating to the performances on
Tuesdays; both run from 7-10 p.m.
Last June Chicano poets from
the Detroit area gave selected
readings from their works on one
evening and a film on Chicano
culture was shown on the next.
"We had about 40 people watch
the film. And about a quarter of
them stayed around," Schreier said.
"It was very informal, but real
productive in a sense that thtey hung
out for about an hour and a half
afterward. Jose Garza (one of the
poets) was talking .to the people
about his heritage4"
Eyemediae offers all kinds of
films ranging from noir thrillers
like "Naked Doom" to rock and roll
documentaries like "The T.A.M.I.
Show" to political films like

Sexual Politics in the Capitalist
Society."
One of the coordinators of the.
8mm Film Festival, Eyemediae has
also given shows at the Perfor -
mance Network, the Kerrrytown
Concert House, the Ann Arbor
Theatre, and on campus.
"When we do weekly shows, I
like to use our space and gallery,"
Schreier said. "But for big events I
like going out and spreading it
around so we can expose ourselves
to more people."
Formed in 1982, Eyemediae
serves to communicate ideas that
get lost in the mainstream.
"There is an important com -
municative function going on that.
is absent (elsewhere)," Schreier
said. "There is documentary stuff
and independently produced stuff
that nobody ever sees. It's event -
ually being sucked up by studios
that produce on a larger scale."
Schreier said that getting people
to see this stuff is a different story.
"A lot of independent stuff is
great. But when people see some -
thing like that is playing, they
think, 'Avant-garde! Experimental!
I don't know if I want to take a
chance with it,' And I think that
they are depriving themselves of a
piece of the world, a big piece of
the puzzle that might help to clarify
something they never thought
about or give them new ideas to
think about."
That's what Eyemediae is all
about. As Schreier said: "It's all
language. It's all ideas."

... Map of the World

and-coming national band (like
10,000 Maniacs), prefer to cater to
the frat-rock crowd by serving up a
steady diet of bar chords and beer
specials.
Acts like Tracy Lee pnd the
Leonards, Jeanne and the Dreams,
the Urbations, the Detroit Panic,
the Watusies, Iodine Raincoats, the
Blue Front Persuaders, 66 Spy, and
Mission Impossible (winners of the
Daily's Weekend Magazine reader
poll for favorite Ann Arbor band)
bring crowds to their feet and
customers to the counter through a
combination of familiar chestnuts
and peppy originals, all served up
amidst the Dante-esque debauchery
of a midweek pitcher night. No new
ground is broken or pioneering
trails blazed, but plenty of feet are
stomped and bumps are ground as
audience and band alike work for the
weekend.
Across town the Blind Pig offers
up more of the same, tossing in
some more ambitious local groups
and some more challenging national
fare (Soul Asylum and Sonic
Youth, for example) for flavor's
sake. Synth-minded students Before
or After, with a self-released single
"When In Rome"/"Such As I Am,"
and the Difference, have built up
strong followings while balancing
keyboards and classes, luring dance-
oriented moppettes away from the
gleaming mirrors and whirling
lights of the Nectarine Ballroom
and back into the poorly-lit recesses
of bars and bistros.
The Ark, while not really a bar
as you must be a member to
purchase alcohol, is a welcome
change of pace. If, that is, you're
interested in the fine but usually
real, real mellow folk and jazz they
serve up.
On a more guitar-oriented note,
several groups have employed a
combination of sincerity and
charisma while working under the
umbrella of conventional rock
music to establish enthusiastic
foothold followings among the
college-music crowd. Frank
Allison and the Odd Sox have
parlayed their golly-gosh harmonies
into one seven inch 45, "This is
Your Father Speaking"/"Oliver
Wendell Holmes," while creative
craftsmen Map of the World have
released three records, including the
Natural Disasters EP on
Metroamerica Records, with both
bands frequently opening up for
touring national acts and headlining
their own shows. Sam Lapides and
the Folkminers are also- a favorite
among pop music afficianados,
with Lapides' whisky-smooth
vocals and acoustic arrangements
augmented by his electric backing
band. The Folkminers are currently
recording a six song EP, and
Lapides already has the excellent
dassette-only Yesterday's Dreams
under his belt.

Gaining less exposure through
regular local performances are those
bands who approach rock music
from a more unconventional
viewpoint. Despite their virtually
complete and unfortunate absence

Washington D.C.'s Adult
Contemporary Records (following a
cassette-release that earned them
praise from Creem and the Village
Voice), the Hyenas are poised to
unleash their (Funhouse-era)
Stooges'-influenced dissonant roar
on the rest of the lower 48. More
melodic but no less intense, Spahn
Ranch will release their. debut LP
on California's Insight Records,
also following a self-released
cassette whose music was some-
where between Savage Republic,
Tibetan funk, and an Ennio
Morricone soundtrack. Beat-box
bullies Circle Confusion will also
release their debut LP, Meat
Department ,possibly on Insight as
well, following two cassettes and
an appearance on a Louisiana
compilation of blood-curdling con-
temporary music.
Other bands will try to hold their
own by forming their own labels
and pressing their own product.
Anthemic avant-popsters It's
Raining will release their first full
LP, Awaken at Twilight , on
vocalist Matt Smith's Certain
Records, which also released the

ban
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Voted by the Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor's
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all their own; Marxist muthas the
MC5, who waved as many guitars
as they did leaflets back in the
white-hot days of post-riot
turbulence in the Detroit of the late
'60s; the multi-talented Miller
brothers, whose most famous
family member Roger jumped from
a stint as drummer for mid-'70s
punk pioneers Destroy All
Monsters to the leadership of his
own legendary band, Boston's
much-missed Mission of Burma;
and even the Midwestern demi-god
of dunce rock, Bob Seger, all were
weaned on Froot Loops, Fenders,
and feedback in this pleasant, tree-
filled Washtenaw County hamlet of
ours.
Today, despite some conserva-
tism and over-cautiousness on the
part of bar owners and promoters
that limits the number of venues
where an uncompromising band can
shop their musical wares, the local
scene is healthy and wealthy with a
variety of bands that run the
popular music gamut from under-
ground dirge to Top 40 scourge.
Ann Arbor watering holes tend
to be vanguards of the latter, not
the former, supplying the city with
crowd-pleasing but safe sounds to
sip suds to.
Rick's American Cafe, while
featuring their share of touring
blues belters (like Lonnie Mack and
Koko Taylor) and an occasional up-

... Non-Fiction
from the showcase stages of Ann
Arbor bars, these underground bands
are alive and thriving through gigs
at parties and in Detroit and the
exposure gained from their
independently recorded and released
recordings.
Heading this list are the
infamous Necros, who have
completed their transformation from
early '80s co-founders of the
Midwestern hardcore scene to a
power-metal outfit that would make
Grand Funk blush. Despite playing
only three Ann Arbor shows in
three years, the band has built up
enough of a national following
(through four U.S. tours) to secure
a deal with big independent/minor
major label Restles/Enigma
Records for the band's .57 Magnum
opus LP, Tangled Up . Currently
on another U.S. tour with
Megadeth and planning for a tour of
Europe in late summer, the band is
closer to major success than any
local band in the last 15 years.
Also flirting with greater
continental acclaim are Ann Arbor's
sonic yodelers from the Alps of
Hell, the Laughing Hyenas. With
their debut album to be released on

'.
"Elegant
ultimate
.The I
AAA
Rated #
:...best
" Cocktails
SCECHU
MANDA
MASTERCARD - VISA - A MERICA

* FORBIDDEN CITY WEST
3535 Plymouth Road 665-3591

0
4

510 E. LIBERTY, ANN ARBOR * 994-5436 I l

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