14 U. THE NATIONAL COLLEGE NEWSPAPER
Life And Art NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1988
, NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1988 Dollars And Sense
U. THE NATIONAL COLLEGE NEWSPAPEF
'Imagine': Film presents no-holds-barred look at John Lennon
Engineering students design
car. from junk for competition
By Tony Tran
U. of California, Los Angeles
One of the greatest musical geniuses
who ever lived, John Lennon is a person
everyone has an opinion about - some
hate him, some idolize him. But unlike
the millions of bubble-gum bands that
come out every week, his music - alone
and with the Beatles - never leaves
The highly anticipated Imagine:
John Lennon tells the story of the man's
life and his music. And is definitely
worth the wait.
Producer David Wolper begins with
Lennon's childhood, and from there the
film moves quickly to the formation of
the Beatles and their establishment as
a media entity.
To make this particular film, Wolper
and his partner Andrew Solt picked the
best material from hundreds of hours of
interviews, live performances, videos
and home movies, incorporating Len-
non's voice to narrate the story.
ups with Cynthia, Yoko and Paul;
mourning the deaths of his mother
Julia, manager Brian Epstein and best
friend Stuart Sutcliffe.
Imagine shows Lennon as a complete
three-dimensional human being, neith-
er attacking nor defending. He is re-
vealed in his myriad different moods:
confrontational, friendly, humorous,
sympathetic, angry, sardonic.
Needless to say, the soundtrack to the
film is superb. There is a funny, moving
unreleased version of "Imagine," the
famous "LetrItBe" concert atop the
Abbey Road studios where John sang
his wrenching "Don't Let Me Down,"n
and psychedelic cartoons of "Strawber-
ry Fields Forever."
Imagine is a definitive look at one of
the most inspiring figures of our time.
The world is in constant and dire need of
more "dreamers" like John Lennon, and
this film biography is highly recom-
Jim Pickrell and Mary Alice Murken
contributed to this story.
John Lennon and son Sean sort through snapshots in their New York apartment.
Parts of the narrative are sup-
plemented by interviews with some of
the people who knew Lennon best: Yoko
Ono, his first wife Cynthia, his sons
Sean and Julian. Commentary is also
provided by George Martin, who pro-
duced all of the major Beatles albums.
Though there is a high degree of cre-
dibility to the film, it doesn't take the
easy way out and paint Lennon in idyllic
terms. It shows him at his best and
worst - his highs as well as his lows.
We see Lennon arrested with Yoko Ono
for possession of marijuana; performing
onstage with the Beatles at Shea Sta-
dium in New York; in fights and break-
Idealism gone sour sets the story for 'Gorillas'
By J. Roger Demary
The Daily Reveille
Louisiana State U.
The transition from real life to the
screen is a precarious business. It can
be difficult for filmmakers to decide
whether they should blend
documentary material with entertain-
ment or stick with only one of these. The
trouble arises when the audience itself
isn't certain which it is watching.
Gorillas in the Mist producer Terr-
ence Clegg originally intended to cre-
ate a film autobiography of Dian Fos-
sey. Fossey had spent nearly 20 years
studying the physiology and social be-
havior of the mountain gorillas of
Central Africa. Her empathy for this
nearly extinct species led her to con-
frontations with the Batwa tribe of
that region, which poached the goril-
las for profit.
Soon after Clegg purchased the film's
Going progressive.... At Stephen F. Austin
State U., Texas, campus station KSAU recently
switched their Nightrock format to "new-age prog-
ressive college rock" music. Broadcasting Monday
through Friday, the station features such bands as
R.E.M., New Order, The Smiths, Depeche Mode and
The Cure. "We had this feeling we needed to do
something like this," said Station Manager Peri
Bryan. "We wanted a format that would serve the
majority of students." Beth Sammons, The
Pine Log, Stephen F. Austin State U.,
Staying out of the mainstream
.. .Virginia Polytechnic and State U. (VTU) also
strives to present progressive and unusual rock
music that students wouldn't be able to hear on the
average community station. The station recently
switched their programming on the AM station to
match the alternative format of the FM station, and
will soon be carried on the campus cable system.
"I've looked at old playlists (from the AM station)
and I think people were driven away," said Station
Manager George Bready. "To have to sit there and
listen to bad Top 40 dance music, I can think of few
things less appealing." Bready said that late at night,
student programmers can "pretty much play what
they want." Louis King, Collegiate
Times, Virginia Polytechnic and State
Getting rid of "burnt" tunes.... Listen-
ers at Brown U. who used to tune into campus station
rights and decided to travel to Rwanda
to meet Fossey, she was mysteriously
murdered. The brutal incident, which
many attribute to the hostile Batwas,
has never been sufficiently explained.
At this point, entertainment was de-
finitely a second factor to Clegg. Shaken
but not thwarted by Fossey's death, he
went on with his documentary-style -
but poignant - film. In many instances,
Gorillas succeeds in this direction; but
in many more, it becomes confused.
Though always interesting, it is only
The opening scenes progress too
rapidly, as too often happens when
trying to compress such a detailed story
into two hours. And if documentation is
the primary goal, these beginning
scenes call for a narrator. The actors,
But don't walk out yet. John Omirah
Miluwi soon appears as Dian's hired
tracker, Sembagare, and gives the film
its most wholly believable character
and its authenticity. The film also im-
proves when Bryan Brown arrives
onscreen. Brown portrays Bob Camp-
bell, a photographer and filmmaker
from Kenya employed by National
Geographic, for whom both Campbell
and Fossey worked.
The script of Gorillas in the Mist is
most impressive. Taking justifiable
liberties with Fossey's mental status,
writer Anne Hamilton Phelan weaves a
tale of idealism-gone-sour. As Fossey
fought ever diligently for the preserva-
tion of "her" gorillas, she is portrayed to
have approached madness.
In the final count, Gorillas in the Mist
is a movie for thinkers. The film is
straightforward and unpretentious. It
demands the same of its viewers.
By Katie Thomason
Virginia Polytechnic State U.
"Gerty," an automobile constructed
by Virginia Tech students, will compete
in its second event this spring at the
Formula Society of Automotive En-
gineers (SAE) competition in San Anto-
The Tech SAE chapter built the
$1,500 car from junked parts using
knowledge of engineering, computer
science and accounting to make it suc-
cessful against cars that cost $10,000 to
Formula SAE is a national design
Trio finds galaxy
to be 15 billion
light years away
By Dan Casey
The Daily Californian
U. of California, Berkeley
A U. of California, Berkeley, astro-
nomer, Will van Breugal, and two col-
leagues have discovered what they be-
lieve to be the world's farthest galaxy
ever detected - 15 billion light years
"We are finally getting a clear picture
of the beginnings of our universe," said
van Breugal. "We have found some-
thing as improbable as a needle in a
Van Breugal's colleagues are Ken
Chambers, a graduate student in
astrophysics at Johns Hopkins U., Md.,
and George Miley, an astronomy profes-
sor at Leiden U. in the Netherlands.
The astronomers first detected the
new constellation, labeled "galaxy
4C41.17," in 1986. The trio used 27
different telescopes, totaling more than
20 miles in diameter, "... to sketch a
map of powerful jets of radio emissions
that we believe are coming from a black
hole at the center of the galaxy," Cham-
But it wasn't until earlier this year
that the team of astronomers visually
observed a fuzzy object that matched
the radio emissions from 4C41.17.
Then, using an optical color spectrum
of the galaxy's light emission lines, they
calculated its distance from Earth.
Van Breugal said they estimate the
galaxy's birth to be only a few billion
years after the alleged Big Bang, which
may question the authenticity of the Big
competition in which students produce
a "formula-style prototype" intended for
the non-professional weekend racer.
The cars must be built for high perform-
ance, yet remain inexpensive, -easy to
maintain and reliable.
"A good car is not the sum of its parts
but the geometry used in its assembly,"
said Curtis Jacobson, Tech's Formula
SAE project chairman.
Judged in categories such as static
and engineering design, solo perform-
ance and high performance endurance,
a total of 1,000 points can be achieved
with a top score in every event.
Until the engine "cooked" in last
year's competition, the car was reported
s chapter at Virginia Polytechnic State U
mprised of junked parts costing $1,500.
Currently, the club has obtained se
al corporate sponsors, includ
Goodyear and Valvoline.
"We hope to finish first or secon
every category except fuel consu
tion," Jacobson said.
Students in the Society of Automotive Engineers
designed and constructed their car, "Gerty," co
to be in contention for second place in
the Formula SAE competition. The en-
gine failure moved the car to 10th place
in the standings.
This year, the organization will enter
an additional car, "Tweak," in the event.
How to stan.out
, ma crow.
Sigourney Weaver who
plays Fossey, seem dis-
Tuning in to college
Sigourney Weaver, who plays the lead role of
Dian Fossey, poses in the African wilds with
one of "her" gorillas.
months with the switchover to Top 40, said Chief
Engineer Chris Bostak. Diane Deberry,
Cavalier Daily, U. of Virginia
Aimed at college listeners... At the U.
of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, campus station WVUA
drops a song as soon as it hits the Top 40 charts. The
policy may seem somewhat restrictive, but the sta-
tion is holding its own, according to Program Direc-
tor Wendy Wallace. The "alternative rock" played by
the station is aimed "at people our age," Wallace
said. "Top 40 is aimed at teenagers and older
people." WVUA also makes an effort to promote
bands from Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas, she
said. U Deirdre McGruder and Chanda
Temple, The Crimson White, U. of Ala-
A showcase for the best homegrown
musiC.... WDNS-FM at Western Kentucky U.
devotes a full program to spotlighting local talent.
Assistant Program Director Bryan Locke came up
with the idea for "Home Cookin' " to make people
aware of bands from the Bowling Green area. "Bowl-
ing Green has always been rich in musical history,
and most people don't even realize it," he said.
Besides showcasing local music, the show also
interviews the bands, providing background and
performance dates. Susan Maertz, College
Heights Herald, Western Kentucky U.
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Editor's Note: Despite a constant presence on most campuses, the much maligned
area of college radio always seems to be waging an uphill battle for survival. One item
of contention that even the most well-established stations have is what musical format
to adopt. Here is a brief compilation of recent format decisions from a sampling of
WBRU to hear Springsteen and Zeppelin now hear
Tracy Chapman and The Alarm. Gone are what
program director Neil Bernstein calls "burnt tunes"
- songs that listeners hear over and over on other
stations. "Ninety-eight percent (of those who called
the station) love" the 20,000 watt station's switch to
"cutting-edge rock," Bernstein said. He emphasized
that such a change doesn't necessarily involve
trashing classic rock. Music that was on the cutting
edge when it was created has a definite place in the
new WBRU format. Greg Brail, Brown Dai-
ly Herald, Brown U., RI
Living on Top 40.... Though the others
might cry foul, a year-old decision at U. of Virginia to
switch to a Top 40 playlist has been successful,
according to WUVA-FM President David O'Brien.
The change was made for three reasons, he said.
First, there was no Top-40 station in Charlottesville,
and Top 40 is a "proven format." Also, for years the
station had been playing album-oriented rock like
their competitors. Most importantly, the station,
which once ran off a "shoestring" budget, has in-
creased its sales as much as 100 percent in some
After much work and a major setback, U. of Mis-
souri, Columbia, student Lloyd Bruce's experi-
ment has made it into space; his project was
aboard the latest space shuttle flight. Conducted
simultaneously in space and on Earth, Bruce's
experiment - which is sponsored by McDonnell
Douglas Corp. - tests for increased strength in
alloys of certain elements. Theoretically, the alloys
produced in space have a more compact crystal
structure than those produced on Earth, which
suffer side effects of gravity. Bruce, who said he
would like to eventually work as a missions con-
trol specialist, had to rebuild his project after it
went up in 1986 with the ill-fated Challengerflight.
Grant Barrett, The Maneater, U. of