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March 23, 1988 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-23

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ARTS
The Michigan Daily Wednesday, March 23, 1988 Page 5

'Highway'

: A simple

By Andrea Gacki
The countryside is a potent
melange of sensuality and brutality, a
simple world where both life and
death are thrust into the forefront of
everyday life. A child's coming of
age is engendered in such an envi-
ronment, and the film The Grand
Highway depicts nine year-old
Louis' immersion into the mysteries
of adulthood during his vacation in
the French countryside.
Received favorably in Paris,
Highway is a film written and di-
rected by Jean-Loup Hubert. His tale
of a boy's enlightenment resembles
that of the young protagonist in John
Boorman's Hope and Glory. Boor-
man's film, however, centered upon
the boy's experiences in his suddenly
chaotic world, while in Highway,
Louis is merely a cute specimen in a
simple world. Life in the country is
perhaps simple and basic, but
Highway is often simplistic and
base to the point of predictability.
Because his mother is expecting

a second child, Louis (Antoine Hu-
bert) must temporarily stay with his
mother's childhood friend and her
husband, the Lucases. This couple,
Marcelle (An6mone) and Pelo
(Richard Bohringer), could not
possibly have more animosity for
each other. To escape the marriage,
Pelo drinks and buries himself in his
carpentry, while Marcelle goes to
church and skins animals with a
brilliant flair. Louis becomes a tool
for the vengeance of each, but as
these stories usually go, Louis suc-
ceeds in endearing himself to them,
thereby strengthening their relation-
ship.
In the process of mending this
love, Louis is exposed to many
facets of life and death with the help
of the tomboy Martine. She goads
him into climbing the roof of the
church, throws chivelles (tiny eels)
down his trunks, and vicariously in-
troduces him to what "it" is, as in
Pelo can't get "it" from Marcelle
anymore. All this, and Louis realizes
the distressing truth of the nature of

his much worshiped, rarely seen fa-
ther, too. Yet despite these shattering
events, Louis remains undisturbed
except for scenes of lip quivering and
foot stamping; he is the very model
of sweetness and innocence through-
out the film. The only change comes
about in the relationship between
Marcelle and Pelo, and this succeeds
in making them the real focus of the
film.
With The Grand Highway, Jean-
Loup Hubert has crafted a calculated
"delight," a film that blatantly in-
tends to evoke emotion from the

ride in the
viewer. From Marcelle's ghastly dictabil
skinning of a rabbit, when she Per
bluntly sticks the knife in its eye, to ity, The
the slow motion take of Louis ant, a
falling from the roof of the church, You've
director Hubert only succeeds in your ei
making his film rather emotionally ever, a
shallow and formulaic. The perfor-
mances of An6mone and Bohringer,
however, redeem the movie. The,
chemistry of these actors, and in par-
ticular Andmone's skillful display of
veneered sensitivity, allow for several
delicate episodes Nevertheless, they

countryside
ity. whelming cuteness in a young lead
haps because of this simplic- actor as an asset to a film. After all,
Grand Highway is a pleas- the countryside should be a welcome
lmost endearing, movie. retreat from heavy thought and
got to be willing to have startling events, and, in this respect,
motions manipulated, how- The Grand Highway is indeed a
nd you should regard over- vacation.
CLASSIFIED ADS1 Call 764-0557

do not fully eclipse the film's pre-

Books

..:CBN News
News from around campus
and around the world
5:30 report weekdays
88,3 FM WCBN
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National Features
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For those interested in
contact JasmIine a~
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Krazy Kat
By Jay Cantor
Random House
$16.95/hardcover
In his second novel, Krazy Kat,
Jay Cantor has chosen a clever means
of developing "flat" characters into
full "rounded" humans. Cantor be-
gins with George Herman's comic
strip characters Krazy Kat and Ignatz
Mouse. They live in an Arizona
town, Coconino County, where the
comic strip backdrop is continuously
changing, but the scenario is always
the same: Krazy Kat loves Ignatz
Mouse. Ignatz spurns Krazy and ar-
ranges new and clever methods for
hurling bricks onto her head, but
Krazy accepts the pain as tokens of
Ignatz's love.
And so the story continues until
Krazy and Ignatz witness the event
that changes Krazy's way of looking
at things: the first atomic bomb. The
Kat is awakened to the world of three
dimensions where people such as
"Oppie" and the other "new clear
fizzyits" have sides, not just the
backs and- fronts that limit comic
strip characters. Krazy falls in love
with the human world, but she is
also troubled by the pain that stems
from what -she sees. Ignatz's bricks
suddenly begin to hurt.
Krazy can no longer work on the
comic strip. Her newly found aware-
ness is making life complicated, and
Ignatz and the remaining Coconino
characters spend the rest of the novel
trying to con the Kat back on the
job.
Calling to mind the format of a
comic strip, Cantor writes his story
in five panels. In each, the characters
'experiment with situations that are
found in the human world. They
Sgrapple with unfamiliar language and
feelings, gradually come to an under-
standing of them, and incorporate
their knowledge into their flat, comic
world.
In the second panel, "The Talking
Cure," the characters try psychoanal-
ysis. Ignatz vows to figure out the
process from what he has read in
books. He does, but the complicated
parent-child sexual relationships that
he applies to the Kat's case are too
'much for Krazy to comprehend,
especially when Ignatz tries to con-
vince Krazy that she is sex-hungry.
Krazy replies, "I don't want it [sex]! I
can't want it 'cause I don't understand
what it means."
When his zany doctor-ing tactics
fail, Ignatz tries to lure Krazy with
thoughts of Hollywood fame. He
flies in a movie producer who turns
the county into an uproar. The pro-
ducer continuously changes his mind
concerning what "the people want" to
see. With every new motif the pro-
ducer creates, the comic characters
fight amongst each other for his at-

tention and for leading roles. Krazy is
amazed at the power of the producer
and at her peers' cutthroat behavior.
In this panel Cantor presents a
comical but also a frighteningly
truthful glance of the media world.
In the last section of the novel,
"Venus in Furs," Krazy and Ignatz
fantasize about life as humans, in-
corporating experiences that previ-
ously eluded them, such as sex.
Cantor presents erotic scenes in
which he challenges definitions of
gender, as when Ignatz questions,
"Am I a man or a woman?" Also, in
a sexual encounter with Kate
(Krazy's human name), Ignatz takes
on the role of the woman. Through
their fantasies, Ignatz and Krazy's
understanding of one another's needs
grows to the point where they lose
their flatness and become full,
"round" human beings.
Cantor's scenarios illustrate con-
fused characters whose relationships
involve love, affection, and pain. He
manages to penetrate the minds of
flat characters and to use their lan-
guage to communicate. Krazy's in-
ability to pronounce words such as
"Cy, Go! Annielies!" and "new clear
fizzyits" (say these out loud) causes
us to stop and take a closer look at
those words, their context, and all of
the connotations that follow.
Cantor has questioned issues
prevalent in a world threatened by
nuclear war, racism, and terrorism, a
world bombarded with media hype
and stereotypes. He allows the reader
to examine the issues from a new and
innovative dimension.
-Jill Pisoni
CLASSIFIED ADS!
Call 764-0557

Cuban Rhythms
Alberto Nacif will appear tonight along with Steve Morris and Francisco
Mora in an Eclipse Jazz lecture and hands-on demonstration of Cuban
music. It will be held in the Pond Room of the Michigan Union at 7:30
p.m. Admission is $3.

soundstage presents
--4
i I .
Th u rs d
AH
' THE wAith nfl T

M-
10pm
lay March 24

Special Student-and Youth Fares to
EUROP-E
from Chicago on Scheduled Airlines
DESTINATIONS OW RT
LONDON from $300 $399
PARIS 235 449
COPENHAGEN 320 590
ATHENS 350 669
MADRID 250 525
ROME 325 625
WORLDWIDE
DESTINATIONS OW RT
AUSTRALIA from $580 $1070
TEL AVIV 390 739
RIO 375 715
NEW ZEALAND 540 980
Similar low fares from most major U.S. cities are available. We have
special Student and Youth fares to all major worldwide destinations.
We also issue Eurail Passes and International Student I.D. cards.
CALL OR WRITE FOR A FREE COPY OF THE STUDENT TRAVEL
HANDBOOK AND RESERVATION INFORMATION TO:
THE STUDENT TRAVEL NETWORK

7nm I

Simonian

.(312)
525-9227
3249 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657

STA TRAVEL

UNIVERSITY
CLUMB between sets

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TA's

&

RA's:

The Administration has included something on your tuition bill today..
A tax on your tuition waiver.
NOW YOU MUST CHOOSE
1. GETASECONDJOB
2. TAKE OUT A LOAN
3. DON'T PAY YOUR RENT....
OR
1. REFUSE TO PAY YOUR MARCH TUITION BILL
2. GIVE US.YOUR BILL SO WE CAN GIVE IT TO THEM
UNION BASEMENT, MARCH 30, 10AM-2PM
GEO OFFICE 2-4PM WEEKDAYS
3. PROTEST MARCH 31st, 12:30 PM DIAG

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