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October 09, 1990 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-09

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 9, 1990 - Page 7

- LL

These guys are
pretty good
looking, right?
Did you ever wonder what a
Lubricated Goat looks like?
Probably not. Well, at least
these guys can do interesting
things with their lips (i.e. make
those annoying fish faces). They
have come from 3,000 miles away
(Australia, to be exact) to
impress you with their lips and
perform tonight at Club
Heidelberg. Local weirdos Wig
open and out-of--staters
Monster Trucks get second
billing on the first of two "Aussie
Road Kill Nights." The show
starts at 10 p.m. and tickets are
$6 at the door for the first night
If you wanna go both nights, the
second is only 3 additional
bucks. Hey, at least their new
album Psychadelicatessen has
an interesting name.

Michigan Alumni
work here:
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The Detroit Free Press
The Detroit News
NBC Sports
Associated Press
United Press International
Scientific American
Sports Illustrated
USA Today
Because they worked here:




Continued from page 5
an African film industry, because,
says Ukadike, "Then the people
would start asking questions about
their conditions."
Ukadike further explains that
"even after independence, you dis-
*cover that film distribution and ex-
hibition are still controlled by for-
eigners who don't want to contribute
to African film."
In part due to these adverse condi-
tions, African cinema has developed
differently from film in the West.
Ukadike makes analogies between
Latin American and African cinema,
and "third world" cinema in general,
similarities that point to their
counter-hegemonic purposes and
their efforts to redefine themselves
against the Hollywood tradition.
The African tradition has at-
tempted to invent a film language
that is uniquely African, using cin-
ema to redefine African identity and
culture. In this way, African cinema
operates like that of oppressed peo-
ple all over the world, using the
camera to seek and document ethnic
identity with the voices of the peo-
Ukadike emphasizes this simi-
larity as the one uniting factor of
African cinema: "The main thing
uniting them is that they all use the
cinema as a political weapon to look
at themselves critically - what is
going on in the society, from an in-
sider's view."
Ukadike distinguishes African
film from these other traditions,
however, in its adherence to the tra-
dition of oral storytelling. He indi-
cates that the narrative serves to ex-
press not the linear progression of
Western films, but the syncopated
structure of the oral tradition. As
peasants "will stop the narrative to
tell this story or sing that song, so
is cinematic structure cut away to
sing or dance, then go back to the
The difference between the oral
tradition and African film, says
Ukadike, is that "one is technologi-
cally informed while the other is
not." Yet it is this very difference
that makes African film difficult to
understahd for some Westerners, a
sort of "narcissism that leads to
misunderstanding because it is differ-
Of course, African film is also

influenced by the dominant tradition
of Western films that have been ex-
ported to Africa for years. So it is,
the fusion of the dominant tradition,
the oral tradition, African culture and
history, and political goals that
makes the African cinema so distinc-
Films made before the mid- to
late-'80s, however, differ from their
predecessors in a significant way.
"When the new breed of African
filmmakers came," explains
Ukadike, "They started questioning
how to get money to make more
films. While they are trying to rede-
fine the film structure, making use
of African themes and dealing with
African subjects, they also want to
incorporate certain aspects of film-
making such as comedy and satire
that will appeal not only to Africans
but to the outside world."
This has led to both filmmakers
who pander their films to interna-
tional tastes, and those who refuse to
alter their films, even for large sums
of money. Ukadike raises the exam-
ple of sex in African films: "We're
now seeing kinky sex, whereas in
the African tradition, indecent expo-
sure of the human body is seen as
"But a few films have been made
where the filmmakers know that the
film will not be seen in their
countries because they're going to be
banned," he continues. "But they're
targeting not Africans but people
here because they know we like that
kind of thing and they want to make
enough money to make another
The films of the '60s and '70s,
however, tended to be far more didac-
tic, attempting to foster grassroots
support for revolution and reform by
educating the people about them-
selves. Ousmane Sembene, for ex-
ample, was a novelist before he be-
gan making films. But he realized
that his books were not reaching a
large portion of the society that was
illiterate, so he turned to films as a
way to educate.
Because of difficulties in distribu-
tion and exhibition, many African
films don't leave Africa because they
simply aren't seen. The films that do
reach New York or San Francisco
usually travel via international film
festivals, so there remains a wealth
of films that stay unknown simply

offers a unique opportunity to see
some of Africa's finest films in a va-
riety and depth that reflects the cul-
ture of an entire continent.
show on Tuesday nights in Angell
Hall's Auditorium B at 7 p.m. Ad-
mission is free. Fliers explaining the
films can be picked up either in the
Frieze Building offices of the Pro-
gram in Film and Video Studies or at
the Michigan Theater. MANDABI
(dir. Ousmane Sembene, Senegal,
1968) will be shown tonight.

F-A-10 0.

VtO f

You can. Call 763-0379.
Share the

. I



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Comparative Legal Systems "European
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- Fashion - The Arts " Government

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K f,
This month we pay tribute to the rich cultural traditions of all Hispanic Americans and recognie
the sacrifices of our own Hispanic marines. See us on 25 October1990 at the U of M Career Expd
or call (313) 973-7070/7501 for more information.

_J s

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