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December 02, 1988 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-12-02

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Page 16 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 2, 1988
Frida cany
artist's life,

ra.w7.71i.7

BY MARK SHAIMAN

W hen a director has the ingenuity
and ability to create a film that works
within the style of the artist that he
is portraying, the film itself can be a
work of art. Such is the case with
Paul Leduc's film, Frida, about the
most important female artist to have
come out of Latin America, Frida
Kahlo.
Frida's art was strongly influenced,
y. the events in her life, especially
one incident in particular. While in
her teens, she was in an accident and
impaled in the mid-section by a large
piece of metal. This left her both
physically and emotionally scarred
for the rest of her short life. She
"suffered back problems, wound up

confined to a wheel chair, and then
eventually had to have a leg
amputated.
She was able to find some amount
of release by visually expressing her
pain. This incident is graphically
depicted in her art, which is
dominated by self-portraits. And .the
film is successful because, like Frida,
it relies on the visual aspects of art.
There is very little dialogue involved,
but little is needed because the scenes
and imagery are descriptive enough to
convey the important events in
Frida's life.
The color red is used throughout
the film as a symbol for both blood
and her involvement with the
communist party - at one point,
she literally immerses herself in her
art by spreading red paint along her
arms. Along with her interest in the

work
party came her relationship with, and
marriage to, Diego Rivera, the great
Mexican muralist. Rivera had been
influential in helping to provide
refuge for Leon Trotsky in Mexico
after he was ousted from the Soviet
Union and thus Frida came into close
contact with the Soviet exile. Leduc
also includes many Latin American
folk songs to take the place of
dialogue and tie the characters closer
together in their struggle for a
communistic society.
Ironically, the slogan for the party
was "Long Live Life," for Frida lived

The film is successful
because, like Frida, it
relies on the visual aspects
of art. There is very little
dialogue involved, but little
is needed because the
scenes and imagery are
descriptive enough.
only until her mid-40s. When she
finally had a gallery presentation of
her work, she had to arrive on a
hospital bed and be propped up to see
her paintings. Though her life was
short, this film is a lasting tribute to
a woman who has achieved
immortality through her art.
Following the 7 p.m. showing,
Diane Kirkpatrick -of the History of
Art Department and Margarita
Hurtardo, a Ph.D. candidate in the
American Culture Department will
speak on the works and life of Frida
Kahlo and on the biographical film.
Paul Leduc's film FRIDA will be
presented by the Ann Arbor Film
Coop at 7:00 and 9:30 at MLB 3 on
Saturday.

4

Hill Auditorium will play host to the seasonal favorite, Handel's The Messiah. Be sure to
stand up for the Halleluiah chorus.

Handel
Continued from Page 13
Almost every chorus in Handel's Messiah has
found its way to the modern public's ear. "The
magnificance of the Messiah is partly in its
internationality. No other oratorio could fill concert
halls all over the world each year. Its familiarity is
what is so unique," says Donald Bryant, who is
celebrating his 20th year of conducting the masterpiece.
This musical biography of Christ will be a special
performance this year not only for the audience but also
the performers.
The four soloists, Ashley Putnam, Kathleen Segar,
Richard Frackner and Stephen Bryant, all have degrees
from the University's School of Music.
"It's special to be back as an alumni performing
with other grads as professionals," says Kathleen
Segar, who will be singing mezzo-soprano. "Choruses
from the Messiah are classically some of the first
pieces any music student will learn as a singer. It is
meaningful- an achievement - to perform it in its
entirety. And it's great to be back representing the
School at Hill Auditorium," adds the frequent performer
with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the New
York City Opera.

The University Choral Union, composed of a
community-wide membership including townspeople,
faculty and students (which is open to all by audition)
will be continuing their tradition in song, which began
in 1879.
If you're worried about the length, don't kid
yourself, any Michigan football game lasts at least
three hours. And if you think those hours go faster
because of the beer, try wassail (a spiced cider with
brandy, traditional at Christmas) - it packs a more
formidable punch than Mad Dog. The stuff they were
drinking out of those wooden kegs was not Budweiser.
Sunday's performance will be the only full-length
production, for the stout only; Fridays and Saturdays
have been abridged. But the more Christmas traditions,
the merrier, right?
Note: Messiah Etiquette: It is also a tradition to
stand during the Alleluiah chorus- You'll know it
when you hear it. Oh, and please, no stage diving.
THE MESSIAH will be performed at Hill Auditorium
Friday and Saturday 8 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. Tickets
are $3, $4, $5 and $8 at Burton Memorial Tower. Stay
tuned, holiday shoppers. If you are more into singing
yourself the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra's
"Caroling by Candlelight" concerts are coming up.

4

Frida Kahlo was a brilliant artist who led a dark life but
wouldn't allow herself to be overshadowed by a traumatic
childhood injury.

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