Monday, April 9, 1990
The Michigan Daily
What could have been a fiasco of the melodramatic
was instead a powerful story of the courage to admit the
truth. In a Northern Landscape is about the effects of
the unconventional love between brother and sister
Samuel and Emma - the confusion of the mother,
their abandonment by the father and the killing of
Samuel by his closest friends - and not about the act
itself. The production, directed by Barry Goldman and
performed by the University Players, was one of the
best presentations at the University this year.
Timothy Mason, author of Landscape, spoke at an
open forum last Friday in the Frieze building. He
explained that the play is built on the memories of
Samuel and Emma's parents. As they go through their
old home, which has been burned down by the young
men of their small Minnesota town, they remember
their children and the events that led up to the
confession of incest. Emma enters the old home and
confronts her father, accusing him of seeing his son's
murder and doing nothing to stop it. The play concludes
with Emma's husband (and Samuel's murderer) entering
and forcing her to return to their home.
While the entire cast was outstanding, Nanette
Mutin's performance as Emma was especially strong.
Her portrayals of the young Emma of the past and the
battered wife of the present were so clear-cut that she
almost didn't need the hankerchief around her head to
indicate a shift in time.
The continual transitions between past and present
were powerful in their subtlety, making use of simple
lighting and clothing changes, although these were
almost too subtle at times; the mother needed more than
... ; i
Play guess-the-actor and get some satisfaction from the fact that even the most gorgeous of us can easily look
really stupid. That's William Hurt with the gun and Keanu Reeves with the bat.
K asdan's ethnic festival
I Love You to.
dir. Lawrence Kasdan
by Jen Bilik
What everybody was thinking
when they agreed to work on I Love
You to Death:
Screenwriter John Kostmayer:
is my career really over? Is it true
what my agent tells me, that I really
am going through male menopause?
Can I believe what I read in the
tabloids? Would a story about a
woman who tries to kill her husband
five times make a good movie? Can
men actually control their sex
Director Lawrence Kasdan:
I've written all the movies I've di-
rected. I'm sick and tired of writing
screenplays, godammit. I'm rich,
I'm famous, I went to the University
of Michigan. I can make a stupid,
implausible, unfunny comedy if I
want to. Can men actually control
their sex drives?
Actor Kevin Kline: I need a
good film to follow up a prestigious
career, including starring roles in
The Big Chill, Cry Freedom and A
Fish Called Wanda. I've always had
a secret, burning desire to fake an
Italian accent with no skill whatso-
ever. Is there a bit part for my
model/actor wife, Phoebe Cates?
Can men actually control their sex
Actor Tracey Ullman: The
American public needs to know that
I have a wide range of acting skills.
Really, I can do drama: This is a
chance for me to hold one accent for
more than 15 minutes. Can men ac-
tually control their sex drives?
What the audience was thinking
when they decided to go see I Love
You to Death, what they were think-
ing while watching I Love You to
See DEATH, page 9
Nanette Muntin and Jason Dilly as siblings Emma and;
Samuel dealt effectively with a touchy subject in last
weekend's production of In A Northern Landscape.
just an apron to indicate a change, especially at the
beginning when the time distinctions were not clear. A
unique and chancy addition to the play was use of cello
playing in between scenes. The music added to the,
power of the play, instead of sounding like the sappy
soundtrack of an old gothic film.
-Mary Beth Barber
Ask the Dust
by John Fante
Black Sparrow Press/$9
Think Los Angeles. Think waist-
lines, think vice, .think masks and
empty posturing, think 10 percent to
the spokesperson of your image. En-
ter the Depression: the well has run
dry in Chinatown; actors return to
the restaurants; poverty is no longer
in vogue. Add one starving artist
who is sharp with a pen, Arturo
Bandini, the courageous and pitiful
son of an Italian coal miner, fresh
off the bus from Boulder. Give him
a lover and a rival, a lonely admirer
and an editor he can worship. Then
savor his trials, told sadly and beau-
tifully by John Fante in his 1939
tale Ask the Dust.
The work of Fante has recently
resurfaced into prominence, spurred
by the adaptation of two of his nov;
els, Wait Until Spring, Bandini and
The Brotherhood of the Grape, into
films slated for release later this
year. His early works have been
reprinted over the last decade by the
eclectic Black Sparrow Press, whichi
like most of the literary publict
learned of Fante when one of it;
most prominent authors, t*p rene-
gade barfly Charles Bukowski, men-
tioned in his 1977 novel Women
See BOOKS, page 9
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