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January 12, 1989 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-01-12

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Thursday, January 12, 1989

Page 10i

--- --- -

Wayans satirizes '70s in
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka

BY TONY SILBER
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. This is a motion pic-
ture with a whopper of a title. It's the new film from
one of the creators of 1987's acclaimed sleeper, Hol-
lywood Shuffle. Keenen Ivory Wayans directs, writes,
and stars in this one-man show, a "ghetto comedy"
abundant in laughs, clever writing and fun.
Sucka is a gritty satire, a classic spoof in the style
of Airplane and Naked Gun. The butt of the jokes here
are the urban action and adventure films of the 1970s
like Shaft and Superfly. The film is a comical
reminiscence of the bygone '70s, and Wayan's
approach works. Sucka combines a simple good guys
vs. bad guys plot, ridiculous characters, and delight-
fully silly situations while poking some good, clean
fun at that '70s genre that gave us so many memorable
films.
The film takes place in "Any Ghetto, U.S.A."
where gold, not drugs, is the big problem on the
street. Gangs compete for the most gold chains, not
drugs, and the entire "ring" is controlled, of course, by
a character named Mr. Big. Wayans stars as Jack Spade
and has just returned from the army (where he was
decorated as a secretary) to find his brother, Junebug,
has OG'd (over-golded). The rest of the film details
Jack's adventurous revenge on the forces of Mr. Big
for golding his brother to death.
To overcome adversity, Jack must enlist the help of
characters named John Slade (Bernie Casey) and
Kalinga (Clarence Williams III, of Mod Squad fame!),
whose wife is played by Eve Plumb (of Brady Bunch
fame!) He also joins up with One Eyed Sam, the bar-

tender who deals in heavy weaponry, and the terrific
duo of Hammer (Isaac Hayes) and Slammer (Jim
Brown), not to mention Flyguy, a onetime "Pimp of
the Year," and the invincible Kung Fu Joe. Wayans
does a great job of implementing all of these hilarious
characters and keeping us interested in them.
I'm Gonna Gil You Sucka goes beyond its own
silliness and presents a satirical look at the inner city.
It plays on the problems found in the ghettos and turns
them into genuine social satire. There is a Youth Gang
Competition where gang members try to strip a car in
under ten seconds and dodge police bullets while
carrying stolen televisions. John Slade says the com-
petition allows the kids "to let steam off in a positive
way." Wayans emerges here as an urban Mel Brooks as
he takes control of the acting and production elements
in the film and makes them flow smoothly as Brooks
does.
Wayans creates Jack Spade as the modern urban
hero. He is a character that can make fun of the film
and of himself. He enlists the help of heroes from the
'70s and returns them to glory in the '80s. Sucka, in
all of its inaneness, is a glorification of that dismal
decade. It takes a light-hearted look at urban problems
and most importantly, succeeds in spoofing a decade
and all of its forgotten traditions in dress, language,
and film. Sucka is a film with a lot of thought and
talent behind it. Keenen Ivory Wayans, after his Hol-
lywood Shuffle success and now his Sucka project, is
well on his way to establishing himself as a versatile
and clever filmmaker.
I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA is now showing at
Showcase Cinemas in Ann Arbor.

BY MARK SWARTZ
THE "light" in Al Young's Se-
duction by Light is the "fat,
flickerin stream of light pourin
steady through that hole from up
there in the projection booth" -
the movies. In the novel, sing-
er/actress/domestic/psychic/mother
Mamie Franklin learns to escape
the seduction and instead embrace
spirituality.
Like his unsinkable heroine,
Al Young aims to transcend the
shimmering surface of things.
Seduction by Light is an intelli-
gent, philosophical novel that ex-
plores areas of the human experi-
ence that a movie cannot. "Film
really is a remarkable develop-
ment," acknowledges Young, "But
it can't replace the way fiction can
and should chronicle inner
thoughts."
With an unsparingly candid
voice that recalls ol' Huck Finn in
its use of grassroots vernacular as
well as its charisma, Mississippi-
born Mamie Franklin gives a
running commentary on the
bizarre Hollywood culture sur-
rounding her. "I took a person like
Mamie and tried to see how much
she could talk about and remain
grounded." The result is an alter-
nately touching and hilarious doc-
ument of the entertainment indus-
try and its accompanying absurdi-
ties.
"So many people gear them-
selves by what they see in the
movies. There's a tremendous
amount going on that they're
missing. As a result, very few
contemporary novels have been
about religious experience,"
Young analyzes. Seduction by
Light, for its part, "has a very ex-
citing cosmology." The line be-
tween death and life is virtually
erased, and Mamie is free to wan-
der the Astral Plane with her
buddy, Benjamin Franklin. So
there's no contradiction between a
novel that on one hand is billed as
a comedy, and on the other hand
ends in the death of the heroine.
Educated at the University, Al
Young is the author of five nov-
els, five collections of poetry, and
several volumes of jazz criticism.
His work has been lauded by ev-
eryone from Bill Cosby and

Al YOung
In Seduction By Light, this University
graduate peers beyond Hollywood to
show that the universe is a better
show than the movies

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MR. BIG'S

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Rolling Stone to the more legiti-
mate literary judges of the New
York Times and the Guggenheim
Fellowship. Shrugging off the
critical praise, Al Young insists
that "a novel should first of all
entertain." Seduction by Light

certainly excels in that respect.
AL YOUNG will appear in the
Rackham East Conference Room
at 5 p.m. to read a selection from
SEDUCTION BY LIGHT. The
public is invited.

/

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Keenan Ivory Wayans,
Sucka. But whether or
left entirely up to you.

shown third from left, wants you to see I'm Gonna Git You
not you patronize organized crime-controlled diaper services is

I

Avante Gardeners
party for new release

WEEKEND
MAGAZINE
Fridays in The Daily
763-0379

Psychick TV
Allegory and Self: Illustrations in Sound
Temple Records
I started really getting into music in the early '80s.
One heck of a time to do so, though, because just as I
was beginning to dig the predecessors of today's limp
excuse for hardcore and the forefathers of the "now too
commercial" industrial biggies, they crumbled. They
just split up. Misfits. Minor Threat. The Birthday
Party. Cabaret Voltaire (who might as well have bro-
ken up, they suck so much now). And, sob, Throbbing
Gristle - one of the rarest batch of truly godsent mu-
sicians the music industry has ever seen. Fortunately,
most of the players resurfaced elsewhere, in other
bands: Samhain and now Danzig, Egghunt and Em-
brace, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds and Crime and the
City Solution - CV I won't even touch - and Psy-
chic TV, the golden child of musical genii born out of
the demise of Throbbing Gristle.
Throbbing Gristle was "terminated" in June 1981,
splitting off into two factions which would later found
the bands Chris and Cosey and the aforementioned
PTV. PTV founder Genesis (not that one) P-Orridge is
literally the King Midas of underground, industrial

music. From the Coum project through TG to Psychic
TV, everything he has touched has turned to gold
(which might explain the exorbitant prices for every-
thing he and his cohorts have put out). Psychic TV;
was founded, in fact, as a concept, an idea Genesis had
for actual television - which explains the inherent
conceptual basis for much of what they have done in
the past (most recently, the "one a month" live album
series, which was a better concept than a good market-
ing ploy, largely due to the price).
And which is why Allegory and Self is such a
landmark for PTV. It's their first domestic release -
and probably their best record to boot. It combines all
the industrial concepts Throbbing Gristle was so fa-
mous for (repetition, almost subliminal noise, original
use of voice) with what Genesis P-Orridge claims to be
his newest project - the "search for the world's great-
est pop song"; the band that continues to delve in the
vein of structured noise that brought us "Hamburger
Lady" and "What a Day" is the same band that covered
the Beach Boys "Good Vibrations" to near perfection
on the Roman P. EP. A twisted long-player, Allegory'
and Self bleeds originality. Scalding, disturbing origi-
nality. By far the best album I've heard this year.
-Robert Flaggert

Ann Arbor's Avante Gardeners
will host a tape release party for The
Privacy Factor, their latest effort, at
the Beat tonight.
The local rock band, including
drummer Derve, bassist Chris
Vecke, guitarist David Galens, and

singer Susan Cantor, will show off
their avante garde (hence the name)
tendencies with opening act Arkham
Asylum.
The party will start at 10 p.m.,
with the Avante Gardeners taking the
stage at around 11:20. Cover is $3.

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PASS
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AROUND!

I

Look, you're not going
to read all those textbooks
anyway, are you?
You've just stood in line for two hours to buy $200 worth of paperback books.
"There's no way," you think. "They can't seriously expect me to read all these books.
I'm gonna die. I'm definitely gonna die."

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