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February 28, 1990 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-28

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Page 8--The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 28, 1990

Continued from page 7
hibits. Working in a non-objective
manner, Claus presents abstract vi-
sual images of emotions and con-
cepts. Claus' works, such as 8 May
1945: Experimental Actualization
of the Content of Memory and Its
Field; Reciprocal Actions, (1984),
sound and look more like scientific
projects than artistic expressions.
Claus' lithographs emerge as visual
records of mental journeys. The
viewer seems to peer into a photo-
graph from a nightmare in Za-um:
Alexai Kruchenykh 1968 (1986) and
into a drug-induced psychological
state in Emotional Movements in
the Process of Formulation (1987).
Claus does not limit himself to de-
picting external subject matter. He
gives form, rather, to. the mysterious
psychic processes that lack definitive
visual equivalents.
GDR is on display at the University
Museum of Art through March 26.
continued from page 8
jump between the acts, emphasize
the changes in the attitudes of the
Unlike other socially conscious
pieces, Cloud 9 doesn't contain any
overly-obvious messages. "Heavy-
handed statements, especially in Ann
Arbor where there are a lot of them,

would create redundant morality,"
says director Jon Casson. The
themes aresubtly implied, but obvi-
ous enough so the audience can dis-
tinguish them. Casson also uses of-
fensiveness as a means to get morals
across. For example, semi-hard core
porn is used throughout the play. In
defense of the use of this medium,
Casson says, "Art should either
teach or challenge. Any theater piece
that doesn't challenge the audience is
CLOUD 9 will be performed at the
Arena Theater in the Frieze Builing
tomorow and Friday at 5 p.m. Ad-
mission is free.
Continued from page 7
Sell Me a God
Homestead Records
One approaches the cover of Sell
Me a God with extreme caution.
For one thing, a plastic skull on top
of a Lloydtron TV is a pretty scary
sight. And with a name like "Eat,"
one could easily believe that these
guys are part of some cannibalistic
cult of something evil like that.
God, there's even a postcard of the
cast of Bonanza in the corner! What
kind of demented minds would put
that on their cover? What have I got-
ten myself into here?
So with the hair on the back of
my neck standing up, I put needle to
groove and braced myself for the
opening strains of the ominously-ti-
tled "Tombstone." Well, okay,
maybe these guys aren't Satan wor-
shipers. They seem to have more of
an affinity for blues rock thrashing
than pentagrams. But with song ti-
ties like "Body Bag," "Insect Head,"
and "Mr. and Mrs. Smack," it ap-
pears that someone here had an inter-
esting childhood.
Not that the lyrics are the only
interesting thing about Sell Me a
God. Each of the eleven tracks has a
distinct personality and is nearly im-
possible to describe. Weird, funny,
funky, punky, thrash-y, bluesey,
creepy and many nonexistent adjec-
tives would only begin to describe
this. Like the proverbial often-talked
about but seldom heard band, Eat re-
ally does have to be heard to be
"understood." Suffice it here to say
that they start with the usual guitar,
bass and drums, add a little harmon-
ica, a Pandora's box of effects, prob-
ably a bunch of acid, some blues,
Pink Floyd and punk influences and

Cast seconds

those emotions

Men don't leave
dir. Paul Brickman
by Wendy Shanker
I often think of Woody Allen's
The Purple Rose of Cairo while I sit
in a darkened theater, waiting for the
film to start. Cairo is the story of a
Depression-era woman who, like
many others in the 1930s, used the
movies to escape from an un-
promising reality.
In 60 years, not all that much has
changed (except the price of the

movie ticket). Now we pay $5 to
live the fantasies of other people for
two hours, before we go home to the
dilemmas that face us each day. But
when a movie reaches out to us,
makes us laugh and cry, is it because
we can separate ourselves from the
characters onscreen? Can we detach
ourselves from the pain of others be-
cause we know that when the credits
roll, these lives no longer exist? Or
is the real reason I laughed and cried
throughout Men Don't Leave be-
cause it was so real that it played on
my own life and emotions?
Writer Barbara Benedek (The Big
Chill , Immediate Family) and direc-

tor Paul Brickman (Risky Business)
stir up another family drama with
Men Don't Leave. Jessica Lange
plays Beth McCauley, the mother
who must hold her family together
when her husband dies in a construc-
tion accident. The dialogue is often
so natural that it sounds like a tape
recording of any family discussion in
America, and other times so far-
fetched that it could only be real.
The quirky characters (especially that
of the outstanding Joan Cusack) ap-
pear implausible, yet that implausi-
bility lends them credit.
The McCauleys move to Balti-
more, where each family member

finds a friend - Beth meets Charles
(Arliss Howard), a New Age- musi-
cian with a penchant for polka. Jody
(Cusack) comforts 17-year-old Chris
(Chris O'Donell), whose father's
death has turned him cold and cyni-
cal. And fourth-grader Matty (Charlie
Korsmo) meets a schoolmate who
promises to find a solution to the
McCauley's money problems.
A vibrating, shimmering musical
score by Thomas Newman reverber-
ates through th8 film, emphasizing
the emptiness and lonliness of each.
character. O'Donell and Korsmo per-
form excellently as the unhappy
sons. Each has his standout scenei
when the hardened Chris apologizes
for the shell he has built around his
emotions to Charles, his pain and
resentment is believable. And when
Matty cries to his mother, "Does he
still love me? Does he know I'm in
the fourth grade?" you want to reach
out and comfort this boy, relieve his *
suffering. Lange (Music Box, Toot-
sie) is the least satisfying cast
member, looking gaunt and some-
what fake with a straight, reddish
coiffure. She contributes nothing
special to the role of Beth, but
maybe her inconspicuousness adds to
the reality of the film.
"Heartbreak is life educating us,"*
Beth tells her sons, who feel for-
saken by their father and torn in loy-
alty to the life that once was and the
life that could be. Men Don't Leave
is a film that sweetly and sadly ed-
ucates us about the deep emotions in
our own lives.
MEN DON'T LEAVE is playing at
Briarwood and Showcase.
SSell ,it in?< <Px
c? D a.
cY O,

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Be a sales repre-
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Beth (Jessica Lange) chats with Charles (Arliss Howard) in Men Don't Leave, the story of a family that must
deal with the aftermath of the father's death.

create an unusual concoction that de-
fies most explanation. Whether of
not you'll like this depends on your
taste for musical experimentation.
The lyrics are also quirky.
Songs concern nearly everything and
nearly nothing at the same time and
always manage to be funny (or at
least appear that way.) To my list of

all-time great lyrics I'm adding
"Fatman," the majority of which
goes: "I saw the fatman do the
shimmy/ and he shimmied like he
didn't give a shit/ Oh how I wish
that I could shimmy like the fatman/
go fatman."
Unfortunately for Eat's chances
of mondo success, the worst song on
the record, the tedious and plodding

"Mr. and Mrs. Smack," was released
a the first single. The band would
have done much better with the
tremendous "Things I Need," but
then again, there's always tommor-
row. But who knows what the future
holds for Eat? Sell Me a God
unequivocably proves that they're
-Mike Molitor

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