Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 17, 1989
BY MARK SHAIMAN
There is a currently a series on
avante-garde/experimental films be-
ing shown on campus. This week-
end's showing of Sleepwalk, while
not a part of it, fits right in with the
theme. Although it's a full length
feature film, it defies many of the
narrative conventions found in to-
day's motion pictures.
This film by Sara Walker has a
thin thread of a story line from
which images are woven. Suzanne
Fletcher plays a translator for a
small publishing firm; she's hired to
adapt a rare Chinese manuscript.
Once she begins to do so, her life
undergoes some unexplainable hap-
Subtitled "Year of the Dog,"
Walker's film has many images
concerned with canines. The name of
the man who brings the manuscript
Continued from Page 7
of his newest toy. An amazing shot
of the baby as seen by the toy
through a cellophane wrapper is im-
pressive evidence of the power com-
puter animation can have if put to
imaginative use. It deserves the Oscar
nomination it just received for Best
Animated Short, and another nomi-
'nee, "The Cat Came Back," is also
being shown in the Festival.
Three brief films made by stu-
dents at the Cal Arts animation
school, "The Thing That Lurked in
the Tub," "Winter," and "Lea Press
On Limbs" are basically one-joke af-
fairs, but are nonetheless funny, well
animated, and imaginative. (Yes, that
last one is a parody of the TV ads
for pre-fabricated fingernails.) "The
Wizard of Speed and Time," a semi-
live action film made almost ten
years ago, has a refreshing spontane-
ity to it; its makers do not seem to
care that the film is imperfect and
silly, and that is part of its charm. In
our decade, as ultra-sleek MTV-
influenced filmmaking has become
the norm, it's nice to see a film,
however short, that has few qualms
about letting its seams show.
Other worthwhile shorts in the
Festival include the monster mash
"Les Assassins," the Calvin and
Hobbes-esque "Nitemare," and
"Primiti Too Taa," which consists
purely of typed and spoken nonsense
words. It is unfortunate, though, that
the Soviet-made "The Door" is not as
good as it could have been; like at
least one of the Soviet films in the
previous animation compilations, it
lasts much too long, and in addition
does not have the light stylistic
touch needed to make its adventurous
brand of comic surrealism work.
Still, even this, the least entertaining
of the Festival 's films, is interesting
to watch. So take a break from ie-
Man. Skip Kissyfur this week. Go
to the Festival and see what anima-
tion is really all about.
Java and Jazz
If you've forgotten what it's like
to enjoy music in a setting smaller
than a hockey arena, the Eclipse free
concert series Java and Jazz provides
a refreshing reminder every third
Sunday in the comfortable surround-
ings of the Michigan Union Taif
This week's artist is Michigan
native multi-instrumentalist and
composer Yussef Shalom Farah.
From a young age, Farah felt so.,
ciety overemphasized specialization
in one instrument. Starting at the
age of eight with the ukelele, he
learned guitar, percussion, bass, and
piano (which he took up because "I
hated to tune the guitar").
Farah composes and plays music
of several styles, though influences
like Chick Corea were instrumental
in pointing him primarily toward
YUSSEF SHALOM FARAII will
play Sunday from 4-7 p.m. in the
Michigan Union Tip Room.
Admission is free.
Suzanne Fletcher portrays a translator whose life takes on bizarre
dimensions after she begins adapting a Chinese manuscript. You won't
need a translator to follow the narrative, but it'll take some work.
to Fletcher translates to "dog," and
one of the many odd people that she
encounters on the street simply
barks at her. This may seem remi-
niscent of My Life As A Dog, but
the images here are much more ab-
The other people that Fletcher
encounters cover a range of peoples
- a nice change from the usual
WASP-predominated cinema. The
companion of the Chinese man who
wants the manuscript translated is a
tall, thin Black man. Fletcher's son
is an Asian-American, and her
roommate is a French woman.
This last character is played by
Ann Magnuson (Making Mr.
Right), and she's the most interest-
ing part of the film. She is the type
of character that buys a new, un-
needed pair of shoes, then borrows
money for cab fare so that she
doesn't have to take the subway. Her
temper runs hot and cold, keeping
her character from being tepid. And
her fiery red hair begins to shed like
that of a dog.
The position of being tepid is left
to Fletcher, an unskilled actress.
However, her lack of talent almost
lends itself to the role because the
character is trapped in a life that she
In an unusual supporting role is
normally-a-director Jim Jarmusch
(Down By Law, Stranger Than Par-
adise), who here takes the part of
cameraman. He lends his unique,
dark-comedy style to this film, and
mixing that with Driver's script,
provides an adventure into the world
THE PROGRAM IN FILM & VIDEO STUDIES PRESENTS
One of the most prolific, honored, and influential independent filmmakers in
the history of the medium, Professor of Film Studies at the University of
Colorado in Boulder, and author will be present for a two-evening screening
of some of his most important films as part of the Yon Barna Memorial
Symposium on Avant-Garde Cinema
Continued from Page 7
characters through a re-enactment of
the days before, and the hours after,
the bomb was dropped on Hi-
. Through the chilling scenes
acted out by Dowling and Strim-
ling, the audience enters into the
horror and suffering of people who
died long ago. An unscathed sur-
vivor is mortified by the fact that
she has escaped harm while her fel-
low humans lay maimed and muti-
lated around her... a teenager makes
a tape of her favorite songs so that
when the bomb drops, she can just
put on her headphones and tune
These situations are all woven
together in theatrical storytelling
8:30, and 10 p.m.
in Angell Hall.
Saturday at 7,
at Auditorium A
that uses poetic images rather than
preaching to convey its points. The
play focuses on two extremes,
avoidance of and obsession with
nuclear war, and in the end, we are
meant to realize the medium be-
tween the two. In other words, as
Director Arthur Strimling observes,
"I don't think this play will convert
anybody, but it has other uses.
Anti-nuclear activism takes im-
mense amounts of faith and energy.
It's easy to burn out. People need
some spiritual replenishment, and
we can provide some."
IN THE TRAFFIC OF TIHE
TARGETED CITY will be per-
formed at the Performance Network
Feb. 16-26. Tickets are $10 in ad-
vance, $12.50 at the door. Curtain
times are 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2
p.m. this Sunday, and 6:30 p.m.
Large 2 Bedrooms
(Three different layouts)
Heat and Water Included
*Security System with Intercom
543 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Thursday, February 16th
A tremendous wave of the archi-
tectural future is crashing into Ann
Arbor this weekend. The Master of
Architecture Candidates, College of
Architecture & Urban Planning, are
flooding the DKE Shant with their
best work in a juried exhibition this
Friday through Sunday.
The show has been judged by a
jury of six, including two students.
There were 48 pieces submitted, of
which the 14 pieces that showed the
most conviction and creativity were
Included in the exhibition is a
memorial/celebration of the life and
work of the late Professor William
Scott and a temporary courtyard in-
stallation of work by students of
visiting professor Dan Hoffman
The opening reception is Friday
at 6 p.m. The exhibition will be
open for additional viewing Friday
from 5-8 p.m., and Saturday and
Sunday from 1-5 p.m.
-D. Mara Lowenstein
Friday, February 17th
Faustfilm: An Opera
Dog Star Man
The Dante Quartet
(1961-1964) Faust's Other: An Idyll (1988)
(1987) Faust 3: Candida Albacore (1988)
The First Complete Showing of the Faust Trilogy
Thursay, February 16th &
Friday, February 17th
Both Events are at 7:30 p.m.
Lorch Hall Auditorium
Admission is Free
12 oz. drink
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