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March 16, 1990 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-16

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 16, 1990
L.A. band has more.
than 'One Love'
by Forrest Green III
ENVISION if you will a velvet Elvis painting that weeps uncontrollably
when you put on your copy of "Kashmir." Or better yet, imagine a rare
photograph of the King himself shaking hands with the legendary Bob
Marley. A likely occurrence, right? Not so strange, given the first two
siigles by Dred Zeppelin, an L.A. reggae band that will be appearing at
the Pig tonight. As you may have guessed, Dred Zep performs satirical
Led Zep covers as their versions of "Whole Lotta Love," "Hey Hey What
Can I Do" and "The Immigrant Song" will attest. I was hoping to talk to
Tortelvis, the lead singer, but the band remains too obscure to give
T'ortelvis himself brings tears to one's eyes with his point blank
imepersonation of the King, wailing in abject misery - "I got a girl and
she drinks all day" - while the rest of Dred Zeppelin are straight reggae
musicians who render the brilliant music of Page and Bonham even more
charismatic by adding still another dimension, reggae swing, to the
compositions. On the back of the hilarious "Whole Lotta Love" single is a
psychedelic piece referring to one of Tortelvis' bad trips; the piece features
him warbling rurally over the bassline of "The Ocean." As you may have
guessed, the song gives no quarter.
The receptionist at the Pig referr-d to the act as a "cultural, musical
event," and who can doubt him? You can expect the wearer of the "Blue
Suede Shoes" to preach "Jah rulez" while the songs remain... similar to
their classic counterparts. How far can this band elevate camp? Does Elvis
live on, sporting a Rasta cap? And will Dred Zeppelin perform "Stairway
to Heaven?" There's only one way to find out for sure.
RED ZEPPELIN hit the Pig, 208 S. First St., tonight at 10 p.m. with
GANGSTER FUN opening. Cover is $6.



Animated Alchemy
Jan Svankmajer is one of the
most innovative animators around,
and it's no accident that he is a citi-
zen of Czechoslovakia, a country
that has a history of imaginative,
often downright bizarre filmmaking.
He typically uses techniques of pixi-
lation - filming objects and people
using stop-motion animation. Sort
of like Roger Rabbit, except there's
no line between the real world and
toon-land; in Svankmajer' s night-
marish world, chairs come alive and
attack people, potatoes seemingly
have volition, and humanoid figures
defy the limitations of physiology.
Jan Svankmajer: Alchemist of the
Surreal is a collection of short films
made between 1964 and 1983 that is
having its Ann Arbor premiere this
The films included range some-
what in style - some are mostly
live-action, while in others anima-
tion predominates - but all throw
plausibility to the wind, and all are
profoundly disturbing. Like Svank-

majer's Alice (shown in Ann Arbor
last year to sellout crowds) these
films are not for children. Their
short format makes them more ap-
propriate for short attention spans
than the taxingly deliberate Alice.
The Flat is a frightening but per-
versely funny existentialist panic,
about a man and a house. Ever have
a nightmare in which you become
rooted to the floor and there's no
escape and you can't get away from
some ominous terror and you just
feel utterly helpless? This film is a
faithful cinematic equivalent. The
Fall of the House of Usher is an
unusual rendering of the Poe tale, re-
lying on aural storytelling and
gloomy, sharply textured black-and-
white cinematography. Dimensions
of Dialogue features claymation,
mutation and lots of butter. Down to
the Cellar is something of a com-
panion piece to Alice: little blond
girl encounters creepy people and
other beings. This film is perhaps
the more unsettling of the two (it's a

close call),,thanks to the menace of a
possible pederast. Jan Svankmajer
contains several other short films as
well, and is being presented by the
Arbor Film Co-op, with screenings
this Saturday in Argell A at 7:30
and 9:30 p.m..
The Co-op is also showing Car.
nival of Souls (1962), a long-out-of-
release cult classic and the first and
only feature for director Here Harvey.
I haven't had a chance to see it yet,
but the film's legendary reputation
should speak for itself. Carnival is
being shown Friday in Angell A at
7:30, 8:45 and 10 p.m. Admission
for either film is $2.50.
--Alyssa Katz Carnival of Souls a cult classic




Student Oscars
It's never smart to live in a
locked room. Yet, for the most part,
that's what we do when we let those
in Hollywood feed us the films that
they think are good (read
"potentially commercially success-
ful"). It's always important to ex-
pose ourselves to as much alterna-
tive cinema as possible. Often, this
work will show us things that Hol-
lywood doesn't dare (which is usu-
ally the stuff that's interesting).
On another, less preachy note:
it's also important for us, as stu-
dents, to see what other students do,
both to compare their work to
what's out there and to glimpse the
films that will shape the way we
look at the world 10 years from
This Sunday offers an opportu-
nity to do both of these things -
for free, even - because this Sunday
the Program in Film and Video
Studies is presenting a screening of
the winners of the student Oscars,
four major prizes given out to stu-

comes back from the dead.
dents by the Academy of Motion"'
Picture Arts and Sciences.
These awards are given yearly by"
the Academy for what it thinks are'
the best documentary, narrative, ex-
perimental and animated films.
These short films often showcase the,
best work of students who later go1j
on to becom major fimmakers. Un-
fortunately, these films are rarely.
seen because of limited distribution"
- there are only two prints touring,
the country and there is usually little'
publicity for their screenings. This
is a great time to see the films o4
some future Spielberg or Siedelman
for the first, and possibly last, time.
The films shown will be Sand
Dance, by Richard Quade of UCLA;
Leila, by Shawn Maurer, Loyola-
Marymount University; The Yuppie,
by John H. Behnke and James M
Peterson of the University of South.
ern Illinois at Carbondale; and Them
Lost Treasure of Captain Cor-
nelius, by "Deadeye" Tuckett and
John Michael di Jiacomo of NYU.
The showing takes place at 9 p.m.
on Sunday at the Michigan Theater.
It's absolutely free. ;M
Mike Kuniavsky


An article in Wednesday's Arts
stated that Dana Reitz performed
Circumstantial Evidence Monday
night as part of the American Con-
temporary Dance Festival. The per-
formance had been scheduled, but
was cancelled due to Reitz' illness.
The Daily regrets the error.

Clay heads subsist on bread and butter in Dimensions of Dialogue (1982), a
short film by Czech surrealist animator Jan Svankmaier.

--- . .


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