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February 08, 1988 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-08

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River's Edge
tar handles
Hollywood in
his own way
By Gregory Robert Krzos
State Press
Arizona State U.
It took a lot for
ctor Daniel
Roebuck to leave
his home back
East, head to Hol-
lywood and try bat-
tling it out against
the California
Roebuck, who cur-
rently can be seen
*n Vista film's
Dudes," insists
there's a reason for A
this rambunctious
decision. Daniel Roebuck
"I must have been dropped on my
head when I was a kid," Roebuck said
jokingly in a telephone interview from
Los Angeles. About show business, he
said: "It's the dumbest career choice
anyone could make. I just want to go
own to all those people at the bus depot
and say, 'What's the matter with you?
Get on that bus, there are 2,000 people
coming here a day.'"
Apparently dropping in on Hollywood
has paid off for the young actor. In
"Dudes," Roebuck plays Biscuit, a wild
and bizarre punk rocker who's fed up
with life in the big city. In the film,
Roebuck, Cryer and Lee Ving are
friends who head West for a simpler life.
"The kids grew up with a particular
set of ideals," Roebuck said of the punk-
ed-out trio. "I guess all of the emotions
they've bottled up inside have been
ignored and eventually come out."
Roebuck's character, Biscuit, is espe-
cially dripping with emotion. And for
the actor playing the role of a wild and
frenzied wildman was indeed far from
his own upbringing.
"I hadthis quaint, little, parochial up-
ringing in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,"
he said. "I'll never write a book about
how my parents beat me, I had a
wonderful family. I have wonderful
friends and that character in the film is
so alienated."
When asked if he was attracted to the
out-of-the-ordinary roles, Roebuck said,
"I guess I'm fortunate enough because it
finds me, too. I'm such a weird type. Ya
.know I'm big-I'm not fat, I'm not
huge-and thank God I got away from
those fat-guy parts where the kid goes
on Bob Newhart and say, 'Yeah, give me
12 pizzas.' "
Roebuck was last seen as Samson in
the critically acclaimed "River's Edge."
Last October, he began filming "Farm of
the Year," with Richard Gere. Although
Roebuck enjoys acting, he said his way
of "doing Hollywood" is somewhat diffe-
rent from most actors. "I work in a kind
of funny way-I stay away from the
Hollywood thing, I stay away from par-
ties and screenings and have this small
group of agents and managers who tell
me where to be. I usually do my job and
then come back home."

About breaking into the business,
like most professionals, Roebuck has a
lot to say. "I came out here because I
wanted to be an actor. I didn't need to be
a star. I think you just need to want to
do this and nothing else."

'Zero' scores points on big screen

By S.M. Wenrick
- Daily Nexus
U. of California, Santa Barbara
The American Dream is shot to hell.
Decadence is the password, and the god
of gluttony will have his due: death. F.
Scott Fitzgerald's vision of the revelries
of his Lost Generation is tame com-
pared to the explosion that is Less Than
Zero. "When I read the book," said
screenplay writer Harley Peyton, "I
thought, 'it's The Great Gatsby in 1984
with drugs'-that was my glib summa-
tion of what I wanted to do." He and
director Marek Kanievska, backed by a
brilliant team of technicians, have cre-
ated a media extravaganza beyond
mere decadence.
The spectacle depicts the ruin of a
part of Western civilization. Beverly
Hills is a canker which should be ampu-
tated from the rest of the nation. The
film, based on Bret Easton Ellis' 1985
novel of the same title, is a huge, shiny,
larger-than-life nightmare. If Brazil
was a wild journey into a strange world,
Less than Zero is perhaps more fright-
ening; the protagonists are readily
identifiable as people of our generation.
The three, Andrew McCarthy as Clay
Easton, Jami Gertz as Blair, and Robert
Downey Jr. as Julian Wells, are excel-
lent in their roles. Clay was the narra-
tor in the novel, and here is the straight
kid with a straight tie whose face flin-
ches according to the tension in the
scene. Gertz is beautiful as a young
model on the edge. Her hair changes
with every scene. Downey (The Pickup
Artist) delivers the most impressive
performance as the cocky aspirant to his
parents' dreams going down. He hits
rock bottom in a grotesque and realistic

This is a stylish film. Natural light is
rare, and most of the action is noctur-
nal. The music is obtrusive at all the
right moments. The tense photography,
flashy lighting, and rapid pace bring
home the novel's desperate edge. One
cannot pause to think, and the film it-
self is in a way a drug trip. This is no
social satire, but a bold attack, a sca-
thing burn on upper-class L.A. moral-
Less Than Zero is a heavy film and
one definitely for a mature audience,
but it is not bereft of a lighter touch.
When Blair and Clay are carried away
by passion, for example, they are literal-
ly parked in the fast lane. Christmas
Eve with the Easton family approaches
the absurd as the scene cuts from Clay's
dad playing the piano and his mother
slowly ingesting martinis to Clay and
Blair's frantic sex in the hall. The
humor is nevertheless fleeting, their
masochistic playground shortly becom-
ing tragedy in Palm Springs .

"You don't look so happy,"
Clay tells Blair. She flashes
her teeth and asks, "But do I
look good?"
"You don't look so happy," Clay tells
Blair at the start. She flashes her teeth
and asks, "But do I look good?" Almost
everyone "looks good" inthis film, but in
the end, the "feel-good" society is round-
ly blasted. The chic American Dream
has gone awry when parents wish their
children "Merry Christmas" through
closed doors, or don't wish at all.
Less Than Zero, or drugs in high soci-
ety, is another in a series of "issue-
oriented" television and film pro-
jects. It is accompanied by a disclaimer
of sorts, a short, stark anti-drug ad mes-
sage just before the film starts. Large
white words flashed on the screen at the
Cinema on Hollister: "Crack: the thrill
can kill." That the drug maintains its
seduction after the film seems improb-

You'llI never
watch a gory
movie again
By Julietta Cheung
Daily Orange
Syracuse U., NY
How disgusting can you guys get?
Trister Keane, the fictional composite
character for the publications Trister
Keane's Magazine and Slimetime, is the
perfect guy to ask.
Trister Keane is the assumed name of

a group of four writers: Steve Puchalski,
Brian Edwards, Travis Riker and Mike
Schafer. These four Syracuse U.
alumni and former University Union
Cinema Board members produce sever-
al small press publications containing
film criticism, comics and creative
The editorial plan is to write about
"anything that's not accepted, all the
obscurities." Slimetime is published
monthly; each issue contains about a
dozen "sick movie" reviews. Films like
Surf Nazis Must Die and Blood Orgy of
the She-Devils are critiqued in the pub-
"We write about films that don't get
written about," Keane said, "to get

others interested too. These aren't real-
ly straight reviews. We write them with
a twisted sense of humor. Even people
who don't enjoy watching these films i
will like to read about them." As the
editors claim on the front page of every
issue of Slimetime, "We sleaze to

Moonlighting: Model bares all for art
classes... Northwestern graduate Dennis
Anderson's part time work puts him in a diffe-
rent position than most. He poses nude for a
Northwestern undergraduate "Life Drawing'
class twice a week at $10 an hour. At the begin-
ning of each class, Anderson walks in wearing
only a bathrobe. After the spotlights and props
are set up, Anderson disrobes and strikes 10-
to-15 second poses to get the artists loosened
up and in-synch with the atmosphere. Ander-
son, who discovered the job through an ad in
the campus daily says, "I have alot of self-con-
trol. Many say women would haveahardertime
doing this, but I think a man has a greater
opportunity to be embarassed," he said. "All we
have to do is look at something fairly suggestive
and then we're off.". Cindy Eberting-Daily
Northwestern, Northwestern U.,IL
U-R what U drive... Tom Couch, co-author
of "U R What U Drive," argues that the car you

drive is a key to your personality. A few exam-
ples: The VW bug driver... Name: Tawnie.
She'll never grow up. Philosophy: Boys are to
die for. Occupation: Next fall she'll be enrolling
at a local junior college if she can arrange her
classes around PTH (prime tanning hours).
Favorite author: Jackie Collins. Hobby: Com-
posing tunes on her touch-tone phone. World
view: If people would just stay at the beach
there wouldn't be so many wars... The
BMW-3 series drivers... Names: Mark and
Lindsay. Profile: the typical BMW couple. Have
aperfect relationship. They never fight because
they're always at their offices. Prospects: In a
few years they will break up when one of them
admits to a concern for the homeless. Until
then, onward and upward. Favorite book:
Megatrends. Favorite food: sushi. Best kept
secret: Mark hates sushi and Lindsay hates
Mark, but stays with him to benefit from his
credit rating... The Custom Van driver...
Kenny; friends call him "The Count." Pastimes:
Known to blow a little smoke, down afew brews
and try just about anything with a warning label.
He usually winds up at the local laundromat

(watching the spin cycle). Favorite meal: mun-
chie time. Favorite drink: Jolt Cola. Favorite
saying: The captain has turned on the smoking
sign... The High Rise truck driver...
Name: This is immaterial. Demeanor: Mighty
proud to know ya. Philosophy: He was born
free. Physical characteristics: He spits. Attri-
butes: Women look up to him. Giraffes look up
to him. .Twyla Pumroy-State Press, Ari-
zona State U.
Round-up... A comic group of Ohio alums-
Scott MacEwen, Noah Budin, Darren
Stephens, and Rick Vamos, better known as
Four Guys Standing Around Singing-has
made the jump from doing doo-wop on the
streets of Chicago to recording theme songs for
McDonalds commercials ... Twenty years af-
ter the sexual revolution, Random House has
updated its dictionary to reflect gender equality
... College antics provided Mike Shea, a Kent
State U. alum, with enough plot twiststo create
an original soap opera .

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