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September 18, 1990 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-18

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, September 18, 1990

Van Damme's grand slam

Death Warrant
dir. Deran Sarafian
by Mark Binelli
The other day I'm at Albert's and
there's this guy with a ponytail
working there who has some kind of
attitude problem and he's acting like
he's doing me a favor by going in
back to look for my coursepack and
then he ends up telling me that only
the'last 30 pages of it is done and I"1
have to come back tomorrow to pick
up the rest but I can pay for it right
now, and I'm just standing there
thinking to myself, "Jean-Claude
Van Damme wouldn't have to put up
with this shit."
I've been having that thought an
awful lot lately, ever since I saw
Death Warrant, the multi-talented
Belgian martial arts-slash-acting vir-
tuoso's most recent showcase, which
is not only set in a prison, but also
co-stars Robert Guillaume (that's
right, the Emmy award-winning
Benson himself) as a hardened con-
vict doing time for murder.
The master stars as Burke, a
maverick cop who goes undercover
in a prison where lots of people are
getting killed to find out why and
add to the body count. Once on the
inside, Van Damme uncovers a
twisted plot which involves murder-
ing prisoners and selling their organs
on the black market in South Amer-

Death Warrant features Robert Guillaume with one eye. Read: Benson
the Sailor.

ica to desperate transplant patients, a
theme which is especially relevant
now, in these days of blurred medical
But don't worry - this is an ac-
tion-drama, and before long Burke
has to start jump-kicking heads
when other prisoners hassle him and
try to force him to commit acts of
sodomy. And he soon finds an ally
in Hawkins (that's Guillaume), a
friendly Black guy, and he also has
Cynthia Gibb from Fame (the TV
show) as Amanda, a sexy liason pos-
ing as his wife. Scenes like the one
where the sadistic warden and his
head goon force her to undergo a

strip search before she can be al-
lowed to visit her "husband" could
have been gratuitous, but instead are
handled poignantly.
Without getting into the aca-
demics of the film's countless under..
lying thematic devices, Death War-
rant is first and foremost a timeless,
romantic lesson in perseverance. Van
Damme is stabbed, beaten, slashed,
thrown into solitary confinement,
even hit with a lug wrench in slow
motion, but, much like the Little
Engine That Could, he has the
courage to carry on, and in the end
he makes it over his hill. In his
See DEATH, page 9




Continued from page 1
His work would have us believe that
if given the chance to change your
life, "you may start out differently
but you'd end up exactly the same"
- a concept definitely worth think-
ing about.
-Jenie Dahlmann
Dance Works
Arbor Dance Works' perfor-
mance Saturday night was probably
one of their most powerful collec-
tions of work yet. When one consid-
ers the night as a whole, the image
of a colorful quilt, full of different
shapes and patterns comes to mind.
Some sections are dark and angry,
others are full of light and mischief.
At the center of the quilt is a sun-
burst of talent and creative innova-
tion; this is "Icarus", the tragically
wrenching piece by quest choreogra-
pher, Lucas Hoving.
The variety of the works some-
times left one gasping for breath,
but after an initial transition the in-
novation provided effective motion
to the show. While a few pieces fal-
tered in the clarity of their messages,
almost all the works stood out with
unique emotions and individualized
style. ,
sIcarus, a passionate and chill-
ing piece was performed with con-
trolled movement and an individual-
ity of characters that was representa-
tive of the talent and feeling that the
three dancers brought to the piece.
Matthew Rose's portrayal of Icarus'
innocent exuberance and fall to ago-
nizing death was inspiring.
Peter Sparling's wacky "ZigZag"
faltered in its intricate rhythm. How-
ever, he made excellent use of what
Sparling terms as "muscle logic" in
a fun and creative use of Peter
"Madcat" Ruth's interpretation of
polka and tango on the harmonica.
Gay Dalanghe's charming adaptation
of Jane Austen's Pride and Preju-
dice titled "Spirited Courtship:
Lizzy's Revenge" made fun of the
mating rituals of the aristocracy.
Amy Drum gave a sensitive and
graceful performance of Sparling's
balletic choreography displaying his
stylistic diversity in "Intermezzo."
The season's opener ended in a
dramatic climax with Linda Spriggs'
premiere of "Rebellion," combing in
a booming cry to society by narratQr
Charles Jackson with dramatic use of
lighting and clothing (in an Amazo-
nian gesture of abandon, the female
dancers fling off one high-heeled
shoe and continue their sensual and
wild dance.) The piece ended with
booming percussion, yells of the or-
chestra members, and a synchronized
expression of outrage and dedication
to freedom that was stunning.
--Elizabeth Lenhard
Lured into the
In the stage version of Agatha
Christie's The Mousetrap five
guests snowed into Monkswell
Manner Guest House all possess
outer apparel similar to that of the
murderer who has recently struck in
the area. Detective Sergeant Trotter
then arrives with the knowledge that
the murderer is likely to strike
Monkswell next. Which one of the

guests did it? Or are they all caught

in some type of setup - a mouse-
Despite a couple of shaky En-
glish accents and a tendency to drag
at certain points, The Ann Arbor
Civic Theatre, who put on their final
show of The Mousetrap Saturday in
celebration of Agatha Christie's
100th birthday, produced a
suspenseful and energetic
Both Cathy Lee Collins and
Chris Korow, playing manner own-
ers Mollie and Giles Ralston, pro-
vided very real, enthusiastic perfor-
mances. Collins' fear when she first
begins to suspect her husband as the
killer is riveting. And the chemistry
between the couple, which is some-
what forced and stiff at the show's
onset, seems to mature to believabil-
ity by the performance's end, an ef-
fective technique whether intended or
Tom Underwood's interpretation
of guest Christopher Wren, an eccen-
tric young flake who never tucks in
his shirt, brushes his hair, or lacks a
refreshingly witty response is con-
vincing. The attraction he feels to-
ward Molly, as she seeks endlessly
to defend him from the accusations
that he is the murderer is sweet. And
the audience wipes him out early as
a suspect because of the realistic
rapport between him and Molly.
Charles Sutherland's portrayal of
Mr. Paravicini as the commanding,
somewhat sleazoid, and definitely
smug guest who arrives unexpect-
edly, is compelling at first. Later,
however, the characterization be-
comes bland as Sutherland fails to
explore different dimensions of his
character. His Italian accent, how-
ever, is very likely the most believ-
able in the show.
As Detective Sergeant Trotter,
Frederick Bock loses some authentic-
ity with his accent, which sounded
like a mix of Irish, English, Scot-
tish and an American imitation of
the three accents. However, his con-
sistency helps the audience forget his
fake accent.
The show was a worthwhile one
regardless with some especially con-
vincing performances by Cathy
Collins, Chris Korow and Tom Un-
-Joanna Broder

Continued from page 5
that have been a major part of the
great art form of the 20th-centu,
film, just can't be seen."
Other films in the series 'come
from the University's own collec-
tion, as well as from the archives l
.Cinema Guild, a campus film soci-
ety. The hope is to generate a filmA-
going public, to start a habit so that
people will be willing to pay to see
these films, at which point the film
societies could once again show
these classics. a
The selections in the Series run
the gamut from screwball comedy to
modernism, horror to naturais.0
Four films per semester are shown at
the Michigan Theater, one of which;
is silent, accompanied by the The
ater's organ. Attendance last ye
ranged from 50-60 people for the
more obscure films to upwards R
300 for films such as DeSica's Ti
Bicycle Thief. Already, the Serins
has had two showings this term.
D.W. Griffith's Orphans of tke q
Storm inaugurated the Series, fi~
tingly begun by the man who is.
vented the language of film as Vwe
know it. Coming up, among others,
is the film Xala, directed by the
Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane
Sembene. Also to be seen are Fri
Lang's classic, M, and films by
both Charlie Chaplin and Buster
Keaton. a
The films are chosen both fir
their significance in the history of
film and for their variety. Says
Konigsberg, "The attempt is to givie
a variety of films - certainly tite
greats from the American studio sy-
tem, but also the significant filtss
that have come out of Europe. And
now, the significant films that have
come out of the third world. So we
try to show a good balance of repr.
sentation, both national and intern,
tional. On the other hand, we try to
show a good balance of types of
films - comedy, more serious
films, horror films."
Showing this Sunday at 7 p..m.
will be Michelangelo Antonion's.g
L'Avventura. Breaking away frog
his Neo-Realist roots, AntoniontJ
deals with themes of social di -
placement, alienation, and betrayaI
in his first film of what was to b-'
come a trilogy with La Noe ad
L'Eclisse. Moving away from trad-
tional plot schemes, Antonioni nap
rates L'Avventura randomly artd
without chronological aim. The film
begins with a yachting party of rich
Italians who land on a deserted is-
land. One of the party, a you
woman, disappears mysteriously.
Her best friend and her lover searc
for her on the island, and then afte
they return to Sicily. The fact tha
they forget about the missing~
woman is testament to Antonioni's
lack of closure and traditional narra-k
five concern. .
The Film Classic Series will run
Sundays until the end of the
semester. Admission is free. Sched-
ules with further explanation of the
films can be picked up in the Pro-
gram in Film and Video Studies of-'.
fice or at the Michigan Theater.


-formerly Earth Day 1990-
an environmental organization dedicated to
advocacy, education, and direct action

1046 School of Natural Resources

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