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September 10, 1990 - Image 16

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

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The Michigan Daily Monday,
Director Lynch takes Sailor
and Lula to twisted Oz

, September 10, 1990

Page 16

Wild at Heart
dir. David Lynch
by David Lubliner

"This whole world is wild at heart
and weird on top," moans Lula
(Laura Dern) in David Lynch's latest
film,Wild at Heart.. This, from the
director of such cult classics as
Eraserhead and Blue Velvet , as
well as one of the men responsible
for hooking America into Twin
Peaks. Lynch uses Barry Gifford's
eponymous book for the backbone
of the film, and then tosses in his
own share of shocking violence,
grotesque bloodshed and sultry eroti-
cism. Lynch grabs hold of his audi-
ence and refuses to let go.
Just released from the Pee Dee
Correctional facility, Sailor Ripley
(Nicholas Cage) and his longtime
lover Lula Pace Fortune take off to-
gether in search of their own life, in
an attempt to rid themselves from
the evils of a Lynchian world. The
intensity of their journey swells as
they flee from Lula's insane mother
Marietta (Diane Ladd) and her
boyfriend/private detective Johnnie
Farragut (Harry Dean Stanton).
Adding his own touch to an
overworked genre, Lynch spices up

the typical road-movie storyline with
the various eccentrics that Sailor and
Lula encounter along the way.
Lula's bizarre cousin, Dell (Crispin
Glover), wishes that every day were
Christmas and stays up all night in
the kitchen fixing himself hundreds
of itsy-bitsy tea sandwiches. Al-
though these minor diversions tend
to detract from the story at hand,
they are fascinating in their own pe-
Part of Lynch's appeal rests in
his ability to take a situation that
seems very lifelike and boost the ter-
ror so that it seems almost fantasti-
cal. Late one night, Sailor and Lula
come across a bloody accident on the
side of the road, with only one sur-
vivor - played by Sherilyn Fenn,
Audrey on Twin Peaks. The scene is
so disturbing because it feels so real,
especially in the way that Lynch
calls attention to something that can
seem so normal within a surrealistic
context. He takes the real and makes
it seem surreal, and then switches
the two yet again.
Lynch seems to revel in the mis-
fortunes that he creates for his main
characters. When the two arrive in
the rat-infested town of Big Tuna,
Texas, they meet a psychotic ex-ma-
rine named Bobby Peru (Willem
Dafoe). In what is perhaps the

movie's most suspenseful scene,
Peru scares Lula into thinking that
he is going to rape her. Later, he
tricks Sailor into helping him rob a
local bank. The scene ends with the
most disgusting massacre of them
all. By this point in the film, how-
ever, the audience should be used to
it. Willem Dafoe is perfect in the
role of Peru. His odd features and
strangely shaped mouth give the
character a dreadfully frightening
The movie works best, however,
when it centers on the plight of its
two innocents, Sailor and Lula, and
their quest to find a world free of sin
and evil. Cage and Dern steam up
the screen together in two extremely
energized performances. Dern brings
a heated lustfulness and enormous
passion to the role of Lula. Her
every utterance and groan overflows
with intensity.
While the film strays off in too
many different directions, Lynch is
successful in bringing it back to-
gether to reinforce his themes. In
one of the film's most telling
scenes, the couple is driving along
trying to find some music on the car
radio. When all Lula can find is
news of murder and rape, she jumps
out of the car and screams for Sailor
to find her some music immediately.

Sailor (Nicholas Cage) and Lula (Laura Dern) relax after one of their many
they've just been out dancing to speed metal again.

rigorous sexual interludes. Or maybe

The two dance to the radio, wildly
by the side of the road, without a
care in the world. Sailor and Lula
just want to live in a world where
they can dance and be free.
At times, Lynch becomes guilty
of going too far over the top in his
attempts to shock his audience. The
more implicit horror of Blue Velvet
is replaced here by blatantly
grotesque violence. Where Blue

Velvet suggests its terror, Wild at
Heart leaves less to the viewer's
imagination. And although some of
it can be difficult to stomach, it is
still- one of the most innovative
films today from an American
director. And in the words of Sailor
Ripley, "That's rockin' good news,
So rockin' that perhaps Sailor
and Lula still really can see the Good

Witch and the mythical Yellow
Brick Road for which they keep'
searching, with a few twists, turns,
potholes and bumps, of course.

WILD AT HEART is showing at the
Ann Arbor 1&2. Money conscious
students can fight inflated movie
prices by taking advantage of their
student rates. Just don't forget your
student i.d. or you lose.

4V 1 ia4{ aaVl UV1lfV f1!l.aV1V l la V4 ft.{Wl T

o -



Duran Duran
Gee, when I was 14 Duran Duran
were amazing for a teen kind of pop
group. Before I listened to their new
record, I listened to my favorite DD
records, Duran Duran, Rio, and
Seven and the Ragged Tiger so I
would remember what they sounded
like. Now, those albums still rever-
berate with better pop/rock tunes
than lots of current releases, includ-
ing their own.
After Andy and Roger Taylor left,
things looked bleak. Would Duran
Duran become a pop/dance outfit
with no real guitars and drums?
More or less, but they weren't as
cheesy as they could be. Actually,
"Notorious" was a damn prime sin-
gle. But now they have two new
"permanent" members, Sterling
Campbell and Warren Cuccurullo, to
replace the Taylors on those instru-
ments. They don't fill those shoes.
Liberty tries desperately to be
what Duran Duran once was,

pop/rock. They found someone who
could play guitar solos but unfortu-
nately not good guitar solos. The
drumming is acceptable but then so
is a drum machine in its own cold
way. All of the songs, save two,
paw with the sexy, synthy sound of
Duran Duran in yesteryear. But the
magic chemistry of the original band
is not recreated in this new incarna-
tion. At least one of the new dudes
resembles Roger Taylor a little.
Simon le Bon had thoughtful po-
etic yearnings but he overdoes it on
this album. He cries on the title
track "Help me out/I live in doubt/
suck me out/yea!" He used to be
slightly more subtle and did play
with metaphors and images in songs
like "Union of the Snake" and
"Hungry like the Wolf." The music
also used to be much more effort-
less. Everything seems forced on
Liberty, so perhaps Duran Duran
can reclaim its former glory.
The two songs that are somewhat
standable a second or even a third
time, "All Along the Water" and

"My Antarctica," hint that maybe,
just maybe, this band could ride
again. "All Along" features a serious
dance opening, a good simple riff,
and is about control. It has all the
elements of a good Duran song but
it just doesn't click. No other song
on the album comes together as well
so its goodness is very relative. "My
Antarctica" sounds more dreamy and
Arcadia-like. Its pseudo-thoughtful-
ness is very reminiscent of "Lonely
in Your Nightmare" and "The Chauf-
feur" but the song ultimately re-
minds one of the solo project more.
And it has the best line on the al-
bum: "We make love to make our
The scariest thing on the whole
album, "Read My Lips" reminds me
of Soundgarden's "Big Dumb Sex"
with its metal-like chords and
stoopid lyrics. But's not nearly as
funny or as obvious. The fact that I
am sitting here and comparing them
scares me. Did I just act as a "Divine
blasphemer?" ("Venice Drowning")?
-Annette Petrusso
Hugh Harris
Words for Our Years
For a guy with a touchy way
about words, Hugh Harris is a bit of
a homebreaker. He's the 24-year-old
Londoner - if you haven't yet hehrd
- for whom chart star Sinead
O'Connor recently left her husband.
(Harris was her opening act at the
He's an up-and-coming
singer/songwriter who, like others in
the Prince school of total control
such as Karl Wallinger of World
Party, also plays most of the musi-
cal instruments himself. The prob-
lem with his debut album Words for
Our Years, though, is that someone
at Capitol gave him the green light
to handle most of the production du-
See RECORDS, page 18

Film directed by award-winning
Palestinian Director Michel Khleifi
A love story with the Intifada as background

All these good looking people are going to a not-so-nice place as they take the old adage of "Leave well enough
alone" and run it through a food processor.
Going one step beyond

dir. Joel Schumacher
by Trinna Frever
Intellectually speaking, Flatliners
is about as complex as the straight
line that gives the movie its title.
For a movie that attempts to explore
the boundaries between life and
death, its plot is surprisingly - and
disappointingly - simple. But it
shouldn't be written off all together.
In terms of entertainment value, this
movie is definitely worth seeing.
Flatliners' strength lies less in its
script than in its visual appeal.

Lorch Hall Auditorium, 611 Tappan
7:30 p.m. (two showings)
Sunday and Monday, Sept. 9 & 10

$4 Admission
Public Welcome
Arabic with English subtitles

Supplementing the optical sensa-
tions is the interaction between the
principal characters which is simul-
taneously tense and energetic. ,
The basic plot centers around five
curious med students who decide to
take turns being "killed' and bring-
ing each other back to life, in order
to know what death is like. The
twist comes when each one returns
from land of the dead with some ex-
tra moral baggage that they must un-
load before they can resume their
normal lives. The answer to their
dilemma is, not surprisingly,
atonement and forgiveness.
Flatliners solves the sticky
problem of seriously addressing
death by never dealing with the ob-
vious questions that accompany the
issue. For example, what accounts
for variation in the death experi-
ences? Some of the students have
negative feelings during the death
experience, while others experience

negativity only after returning. More
importantly, what was it that these
students actually experienced? Each
of the students who undergoes death
sees something, but the movie
makes no effort to explain what this
something is, or even to explore the
options of what it could be. Cer-
tainly these are complex issues that
can never be satisfactorily explained,
but they ought to be acknowledged.
By glossing over unanswered ques-
tions, Flatliners neither challenges
nor pacifies the viewer in terms of
plot and script.
The weaknesses of the script are
somewhat compensated for by the
chemistry between the actors. Kevin
Bacon gives a strong performance as
the atheist who discovers the key to
escaping the negative death experi-
ence. Though it isn't always easy to
tell where his character stands, Bacon
gives the part a hard edge and con-
See FLATLINERS, page 18

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