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October 03, 1990 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-03

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The Michigan Daily;

Wednesday, October 3, 1990

Page 9





not coke,

The Last Show

was better

but the real thing
by Carolyn Pajor

dir. Peter. Bogdanovich


- N - - JF .. . -B-.

The truth is that Ethan Canin
does not really consider himself a
writer. Others would definitely
disagree. When Canin visited the
University last year, English
Professor Nick Delbanco
introduced him with a quote from
writer Cyril Connolly, "Whom
the gods wish to destroy, they
first call promising," and gave
him the podium saying, "Ethan is
a promise delivered... this is the
real thing." Still, Canin says,
"When I stop feeling that at the
end of each story - no, at the
end of each page - that this is
going to be the last thing I'll ever
write, then I'll think I'm a
These are modest words from
an accomplished man. Not yet
28, Canin's first short story col-
lection, Emperor of the Air, was
published to much critical ac-
claim and popular success. Now
30, he has almost finished medi-
cal school, is wrapping up a
novel and currently teaches cre-
ative writing here. Canin's admir-
ers are a diverse lot: not only did
his short stories appear in Best
American Short Stories of 1985
and again in 1986, but he was
also featured in Mademoiselle in
an article about hunks who write.
Has publicity changed him?
"People began listening to me at
parties," he says. "But once the
publicity fades away, it really
makes. you more doubtful - it is
the difference between height and
the reality of having to write. At-
tention like that is like cocaine
- the more you have, the more
you need."
But Canin likes the rush: he
plans on going into emergency
room medicine. "It has all the
things I like," he says. "You
meet people, you get to be the

hero, you know when your shift
is over. I like the adrenaline, I'm
an adrenaline junkie." Even
though he may like pressure in
the emergency room, Canin defi-
nitely feels the pressure to pro-

by Brent Edwards
The Last Picture Show was released
in 1971 and starred the then-
unknown Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shep-
herd, Timothy Bottoms and Randy
Quaid. It established the careers of
not only these actors but also the di-
rector Peter Bogdanovich, whose
stark vision created a ghost town
which these actors haunted. Bog-
danovich followed with more hits in
the '70s, including Paper Moon and
What's Up, Doc?, but his career
came to a halt after the murder of his
fiancee Dorothy Stratton in 1981.
Texasville is a sequel to The Last
Picture Show and Bogdanovich has
reassembled the old cast in an at-
tempt to re-launch his flagging ca-
The story takes place 30 years af-
ter the events in Picture Show. All
of the characters have grown up. In-
stead of teenagers experiencing the
death of their innocence, they're
middle-aged adults experiencing fi-
nancial collapse. Picture Show 's
black and white accentuated the
hopelessness of the town and its
people; Texasville is in color, its
more humorous tone showing that
the people have grown out of hope-
lessness. They now grapple with

duce a novel as good as Emperor.
"Everything that doesn't kill me
will make me stronger," he con-
cedes. Writing, teaching, being a
doctor: Ethan, what else do you
do? "I play basketball... I love
softball," he says. "In fact, I'm
looking to play on a softball
team. Will you put that in the ar-
ticle? Anyone who knows any-
thing can contact the English de-
Ask Canin how he writes a
story and he'll tell you the pro-
cess is ineffable. "I'll start with
anything - a character, a plot, a
line. But the closer I am to figur-
ing it out, the farther away I actu-
ally am." His advice: "Write what
is true, not what is likeable."
Canin's last words on his writing
is that he hopes he "can keep this
up." His many followers - this
one and those at Mademoiselle
included - believe that he can.
ETHAN CANIN will be reading
today at Rackham Amphitheatre
at 4 p.m.

Karla (Annie Potts) checks that Jacy (Cybill Shepard) isn't wearing the same earrings as her in Texasville.

family troubles and find solace in
sexual promiscuity. Only Sonny
Crawford (Timothy Bottoms) seems
lost in the past, looking at the sky,
and thinking he's watching a movie.
He makes the audience wish we were
watching the movie with him -
The Last Picture Show.

Nothing in the film really grabs
the audience's attention or heart.
Jacy Farrow (Cybill Shepherd) has
returned to town 30 years after she
left to become a movie star. Her
high school sweetheart Duane Jack-
son (Jeff Bridges) is now $12 mil-
lion in debt. has a troubled marriage

and brats for kids. Bridges is one of
the film's few saving graces. As the
swaggering cowboy Mvo's lived in
that small town for far too long, he
captures some of the audience's
compassion, as does Annie Potts as
his temperamental wife Karla. The
See TEXAS, page 11

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about our
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Because they worked here:



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" Two Serial Ports (Mouse, Modem, etc.)
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" High Res. Mono Monitor (Amber)
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102 Key Extended Keyboard


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