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December 11, 1989 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-12-11

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I

4. 4

ARTS

TheMichigan Daily

Monday, December 11, 1989

IN

'evie

Marriage

bowls over

Page 10
Roses

De La Soul
1-pils to rise to
Abe occasion
- ยข'here are times when the ebul-
lience, daring, and sheer groovability
of hip hop convince you that it's the
only pop music that retains any of
the excitement of punk. But then
again, there are moments when
you're sure that hip hop is juvenile
Wand has its brain in its trousers. This
ambivalence was sharply felt at De
La Soul's somewhat perfunctory per-
formance on Thursday night at the
Power Center. Translating the hu-
'mor, verve, and ingenuity of the
;year's best rap record Three Feet
High" And Rising to the live arena
proved to be a bit of a problem for
the Strong Island trio. Mase wasn't
:exactly the nimble-fingered king of
'the turntables that we'd come to ex-
jpect from the album; Posdnous was
pissed off with a sound system that
;threatened to explode when the bass
-was pumped up; and Trugoy the
"Dove just seemed plain bored. To
,cap it all, the band spent what
fwseemed like an eternity introducing
-their paean to their pricks, "Jenifa."
What began as a mildly comic rou-
tine with gyrating hips and passable
tomfoolery descended into discom-
"forting misogyny with some of
'Dove's more unpleasant asides. The
song itself isn't that offensive.
The only amusing aspect of the
show was the edgy Siskel and Ebert
style repartee between Pos and Dove;
otherwise the performance confirmed
,that rap is best heard on vinyl in
:.your home or in a club.
Nabeel Zuberi
a.
r

Artists reveal
selves through
masks
"If the body is the house of the
spirit and the psyche, then we are all
Haunted Houses." So proclaimed
the Theatre and Drama Department's
dance/performance art presentation at
the Trueblood Theater on Saturday
night. What made this short, 30-
minute performance very different
was that the stars were masks -
masks of all shape and sizes and col-
ors, and masks that revealed some-
thing of their makers.
The company consisted largely of
students in John Gutoskey's mask
making class at the art school. Stu-
dents had made carnival masks,
masks from found objects, and
masks centering on the themes of
fear, healing, and duality. These
thematic masks were the most
bizarre and ornate; it was clear that
the makers had let loose a veritable
can of psychological worms to create
such striking facial deformities. One
student's deep-seated phobia of wait.
ressing manifested itself in an image
of a blonde, plump-faced waitress
with smeared lipstick and a cigarette
permanently dangling from the side
of her mouth.
Directed by New York author and
performance artist Lenora Cham-
pagne, the most successful of the
vignettes were those that drew atten-
tion to the masks rather than the
choreography. "The Party Scene"
presented the dynamics of various
poseurs through guttural utterances
- no spoken words, just a succes-
See REVIEWS, page 12

The War of the
Roses
dir. Danny DeVito
BY TONY SILBER
Michael Douglas and Kathleen
Turner appeared on the cover of last
Sunday's USA Today Magazine
with the question: "The next Hep-
burn and Tracy?" No one doubts that
there has been some chemistry in
their on-screen interplay since Ro-
mancing the Stone, but Douglas and
Turner have just made motion pic-
ture history with The War of the
Roses.
Rarely does a film come along
where the two leads look so com-
fortable acting next to each other, so
natural, and so effective. This fact
alone coupled with the innovative
approach of this film and its story
help to create one of the brightest
spots on this year's film scene. Be-
sides Douglas and Turner, there's
also director/co-star Danny DeVito,
who's like family acting next to
these two box office titans.
Divorce in the 1980s has been
one of the most significant family
issues of the decade. As the rate of
couples ending their marriages soars
above the 50% level, it's about time
a motion picture took an innovative
angle in exploring this problem.
War of the Roses is a cynical and
mean-spirited black comedy about
marriage and divorce, and it makes
some bold and audacious statements
in its fascinating family album,
story-telling apporach with the slick,
$450 an hour divorce lawyer DeVito
relaying the events of the story.
Turner and Douglas portray

4

44

Barbara Rose (Kathleen Turner) pelts Oliver Rose (Michael Douglas) with anything short of rocks and garbage.
Danny DeVito's second directorial effort depicts marriage and divorce as smelling not quite as nice as, um,

roses.
Oliver and Barbara Rose - two in-
credibly different characters who find
their common interests in bed and in
money. They meet while in college
- he's at Harvard Law, she's on the
gymnastics squad at Madison. They
fall in love, marry, and have two
kids. They seem destined for happi-
ness until signs of trouble appear,
emerging subtly due to these excel-
lent performances and some sharp
writing.
As Oliver gets richer and richer in
his lucrative law firm, Barbara be-

comes more and more isolated and
insecure with her passionless mar-
riage and her insensitive husband.
The transition from young love in
college to empty matrimony after 15
years of marriage is handled with
precision by DeVito and his actors.
Although a different cast and director
might have created abrupt and unbe-
lievable transitions through time,
these three have their act polished
and one would hope they never work
apart again.

The War of the Roses is a cine-
matic diagram of a failing marriage
and the roles of the husband and the
wife in the home. But the film is a
comedy, which makes this all theE
more fascinating because the story is
so depressing and angry. Barbara
loves her cat and Oliver loves his
dog and as tensions mount between
the couple, they take their anger out
on each other's pets in some particu-
larily unpleasant scenes.
See ROSES, page 12

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14

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