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March 18, 1988 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-18
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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FILM

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A WINNING
COMBI NATION!

Kcb
Greek Week '88
We've been challenged
to compete!i
Not to worry,
wecan't be beat!

XU
&
Watch out for us!
Greek A WINNING
Week COMBINATION!
S1U988

By Beth Fertig
Growing up in Baltimore can be
tough. Especially if it's 1962 and
you don't have the right hairdo. It
may take several cans of hairspray
and rounds of teasings before it's
high enough to prevent students
behind you from reading geometry
problems on the blackboard. But it's
worth it all if it'll make you stand
out real swell when the cameras
point your way, on the local dance
show.
Growing up in 1962 Baltimore
can also be tough if you're Black
and legal segregation is still alive.
In Hairspray, it is this second
aspect Director John Waters
surprisingly manages to weave into
this otherwise purely bubblegum
spoof.
Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) is a
"pleasantly plump" Baltimore teen
who rushes home from school with
her gob stopper-sucking best friend
Penny (Leslie Ann Powers) to watch
the hottest thing on black and white
TV, The Corny Collins Show.
Every week Corny (Shawn
Thompson) and his freshly-scrubbed,
freshly-sprayed dancers show off the
coolest steps from the Mashed
Potat, to the Bug. Tracy's diet pill-
popping mother (played by the
infamous, recently deceased

transvestite Divine) and her father
(Jerry Stiller) are less than pleased
with this current fad, and Penny's
mom is especially distressed that her
daughter is listening to "colored
music." The irony is that while
Corny's kids dance to Motown hits
- along with a healthy dose of
Lesley Gore - the network's owner
(also played by Divine, as a man)
won't allow Blacks on the same
show as whites.
While Tracy daydreams about
strutting her stuff on Baltimore
television, Amber Von Tussle
(Colleen Fitzpatrick) lives the dream
daily. A well-groomed regular on the
show, the spoiled Amber frets over
pimples and storms home to have
her mom (Debbie Harry) don
surgical gloves to pop them for her.
Harry is the quintessential backstage
mother with her fashionable, frilly
'60s sleeveless/backless tops and
notorious hairdos. When Amber
doesn't get enough close-up shots,
mom and dad (Sonny Bono) threaten
her with Catholic school, with
Harry sneering, "I was Miss Soft
Crab of 1945."
Waters' camera zooms right in on
its characters to the beat of the
bouncy soundtrack, and the film
sparkles from beginning to end. The
minimal sets are all pink and
pastelley to match the fizzy feel of
the early '60s. But the best attempt

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~AVA

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A1T

Greek Week
1988

EVANS SCHOLARS
DELTA GAMMA
PHI DELTA THETA

We know we can Accept the Challenge
WO know we can...
We Accept The Challenge ...
Let The Games Begin!
ICTORY
NOTHING LESS!,

WE ACCEPT THE
CHALLENGE
GREEK WEEK '8

h0

Sonny Bono plants a bomb in Debbie Harry's do in'Hairspray.'

8

GREEK WEEK
19 88
...we've accepted the challenge

We hVi&
Wi+
cur 5 s4.
Fiji

PUTTING IT ALL TO

GETHER

Hustons
By Mark Shaiman
James Joyce is difficult enough to
read, let alone adapt for the screen.'
But Tony Huston's script for The{
Dead did more than an admirable
job, and his nomination for an Oscar'
is surely deserved.
Part of the film's success must
stem from it being a family project.
Angelica Huston(Prizzi's Honor),{
sister to Tony, plays one of the lead
roles as Gretta. And the film was
headed by their father, the late John
Huston, bringing about the ironic
occurrence that his last film as a
director is called The Dead. Of the
three, only Tony has not won an
Oscar in the past,. but that may
change in the near future.
Family plays an important part in
the Joyce story, the last in his
collection of tales entitled Dubliners.
It is clear that the Hustons working
together as a unit must have been a
strong influence on the film, because
the sense of personal relationships
between the characters is well
developed.
The scene is Dublin of 1904, just
past New Year's. Aunts Kate and
Julia are having their annual party

bring 'T
and family and friends are in
attendance. They talk, drink, dance,
sing, and eat. This may seem like
everyday life and not much of a plot,;
it is the way this story works.
Occurrnces are used only as a means
to a better understanding of the
individual characters.
One of the topics of conversation
at the dinner table is musical
vocalists. But the names and the
dates matter little; the effect that they
have on the people is the important
factor. This use of multiple levels of
consciousness is present throughout
the film, though this can sometimes
elude the viewer. Still the overall
impact is something that you will
remember long after you have left the
theatre.
While the plot is sparse, there
remains much to keep one's
attention. The guests, following Irish
tradition, take great pride in playing
the. piano, singing, and reciting
poetry for one another. And though
we are only art audience at a recorded
performance, we are made to feel like
one of the guests who should applaud
at the end of a recital.
The world created here is a simpler
one than we know. Mentions of
See Dead, page 16

he

Dead'

to

life or

kU

ALO

Lr(L AZ...

GREEK
WEEK
"A TRIO TO CONTEND WITH"

C6
<L
LU
Z.
W
Y-

Ofl

PSI U

X N

Anjelica Huston stars in 'The Dead.' The screen adaptation of James Joyce'
father John Huston and written by brother Tony.

i

WEEKEND/MARCH 18, I' 988

WEtKEND/MARCH 18,'1988

e

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