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March 14, 1988 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-14

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Monday, March 14, 1988

Page 7

Bruce

Cockburn:

Can

you

dig

it?

By Timothy Huet
Sinister cynical instrument
who makes the gun into a sacrament
the only response to the deification
of tyranny by so-called developing nations
idolatry of ideology
north, south, east, west
kill the best and buy the rest
it's just spend a buck to make a buck
you don't really give a flying fuck
about the people in misery!
Wave patterns among wave patterns
particles disperse and rejoin
dissolve and reform
like the lining of the womb
still the cold of your absence
blows through the silent TV
parking lot
balcony with clothes waving goodbye
hello
These lyrics come from two songs on the same
album by the same man. These words tell you more
about Bruce Cockburn than my humble words ever
could. Bruce Cockburn is a harmonious tapestry of
contrasts woven with a single thread. He can draw one
into a fugue state with his mystical imagery and then

pierce through the ether with a line of brutal direct-
ness.
As you can probably tell, I kind of like Cock-
burn's work. Alright, I almost worship him. Thus
you should understand that I approach this article with
some trepidation - "I am a ragged set of claws scut-
tling along the ocean floor" (I probably didn't even
get that right). I feel like Arthur Miller reviewing
Henrik Ibsen ... or Mick Jagger reviewing Chuck
Berry ...or... How does one use popular symbols to
convey something personal? How can one express the
ineffable?
Bruce Cockburn can, but I can't. I wanted to just
quote lyrical selections from several Cockburn songs
and append "Can you dig it? Go see this guy!" But
this isn't the '60s anymore, this isn't Rolling Stone,
and my editors couldn't dig it. So here goes a
conventional concert preview.
Although most people in the United States have
never heard of him, Bruce Cockburn has produced 17
records in as many years. He is one of the most
popular musical artists (and one of the few people
playing who deserves the title "artist") in his nominal
home country of Canada, but he has loyal followings
throughout the world. This internationalism is re-
flected in his music.
Many of his recent songs center on the agonies of
Central America. "Nicaragua" has become a standard
among activist circles, and "If I Had a Rocket
Launcher" accomplished the miracle of breaching that

bastion of political monochronism, mainstream radio.
Other songs incorporate the themes and musical fla-
vor of Japan, Chile, Amerindian nations, Jamaica,
etc. Oh, to hell with it!
"Maybe the Poet" by Bruce Cockburn
maybe the poet is gay
but he'll be heard anyway
maybe the poet is drugged
but he won't stay under the rug
maybe the voice of the spirit
in which case you better hear it
maybe he's a woman
who can touch you where you're human
male,female, slave, or free,
peaceful or disorderly
maybe you and he will not agree
but you need him to show you the ways to see
don't let the system fool ya
all they want to do is rule ya
pay attention to the poet
you need him and you know it
Can you dig it? Go see this guy!
BRUCE COCKBURN will be performing a special
solo concert tonight at the Michigan Theatre. Tickets
are $14.50 and $12.50. Showtime is 8 p.m.

Bruce Cockburn is probably best known for his song,
"If I Had a Rocket Launcher," that accomplished the
miracle of breaching that bastion of monochronism,
mainstream radio.

THE DAILY
CLASSIFIEDS
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
FAST RESULTS
CALL 764-0557

Movie
burden

I

By Scott Collins

tows unb
f adapt at
the Sorbonne, Kundera reportedly
offered only minimal assistance to
the filmmakers; perhaps he suspected
that the adaptation of his self-con-
sciously philosophical novel would,
like so many movies before it, bar-
barously reduce the original text,
rendering the final product inaccessi-
ble for those who hadn't read the
book and ludicrous for those who
had. Because the screenwriters,
Kaufman and Jean-Claude Carriere

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Tomas (Daniel Day-Lewis) checks the mirror to adjust the bowler hat on
Sabina (Lena Olin) in Philip Kaufman's 'The Unbearable Lightness of
Being.' I ..., . -

Correction
Friday's Daily incorrectly stated
that the Residential College
Players' production of A
Midsummer Night's Dream
continues this Friday and Saturday
at 8 p.m. It continues this
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at
8 p.m. Look for a review of the
production in this week's
Weekend Magazine.
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In general, a film adaptation
should be judged according to its
own merits, not compared with
those of its source. However, a
movie that tackles a bestseller usu-
ally ends up fighting the collective
imagination of the reading public.1
The film's images must either match
or surpass those in the reader's un-
conscious, andthat can create an al-
most insurmountable narrative task.
Philip Kaufman's film adaptation of
Milan Kundera's The Unbearable
Lightness of Being avoids the diffi-
culties posed by a text that relies on
wordplay (for example, Burgess'A
Clockwork Orange , among other
novels) but shoulders a heavy burden
nonetheless - making a compre-
hensible movie out of a very popular
"novel of ideas."
An exiled Czechoslovakian author
and film professor now teaching at
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1104 S. UNIVERSITY
996-1811
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.ton
(most famous for his work with the
late Luis Bunuel), are willing to
adapt, in every sense of the word, an
elusive and aphoristic text, the film
Unbearable Lightness successfully
explores a level or two of a surpris-
ingly complex, multi-layered fic-
tional structure. Unfortunately,
that's still a-reduction.
The film's plot generally dupli-
See FILM, Page 8

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sign up for interview date and time
for more info, call 763-1 107
--- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
es1

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