Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

November 08, 1990 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-11-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 8-The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 8, 1990

I pray the demon
my soul not to keep

playwright visits

Jacob's Ladder
dir. Adrian Lyne
by Jon Rosenthal
Jacob's Ladder reaches out from
the screen, takes the viewer's head in
hand and shakes it like a maraca. A
dark, existentialist tapestry, the
film's complexity might aggravate
the casual viewer but awards the
more attentive by combining an
intriguing intellectual puzzle with a
visceral kaleidoscope. The camera
follows Vietnam vet Jacob Singer,
played by Tim Robbins, as he fights
for his life against an unseen enemy
and, in the process, tries to
distinguish reality from illusion.
Jacob becomes increasing
alienated from his society as his
inability to discover who or what is
after him drives him deeper into
madness. Intense and disturbing
hallucinations force him to question
his reality as the film constantly
redefines it in the way dreams do,
new realities appear abruptly but are
accepted unquestioningly. A single
thread binds all of these different
realities - when he reaches for
pleasure Jacob finds only pain,
horror or emptiness.
Adrian Lyne of Fatal Attraction
fame directs the film with metro-
nomic timing. He provides the audi-
ence with a provoking and disturbing
image and leaves it on the screen
just long enough for the viewer to
focus on its highlights but not long
enough to view it completely. As

Jacob's madness peaks at a disco
party, he perceives Jezzie (Elizabeth
Pefia), his lover, being fondled by a
demonic figure. The viewer never
sees the lizard-like beast in its en-
tirety, only pieces of it emphasized
by the flashes of a strobe light.
Robbins convincingly handles
Jacob's search for the truth behind
his madness, communicating Jacob's
uncertainty at the meaning of his
visions through the desperate and
manic tone of his voice as he
explains these visions to Jezzie.
Pefia elegantly provides her character
with a stable element of continuity
that lends credence to Jezzie's
attempt to help Jacob even after her
declaration that if he goes crazy,
he'll go alone.
The film's incredible depth
allows for numerous interpretations
of its action. It is full of visual
symbols - fans, knives and baby
carriages which, because they lack a
single or simple definition, provide
routes for different interpretations of
the story. Another piece of the
puzzle is the Biblical meaning of the
characters' names - Jezebel, Jacob,
Gabriel, Michael and Paul - but
they do not conform to strict
Biblical interpretation. Bruce Joel
Rubin, the film's writer, inverts
some of his symbolism suddenly, in
a manner that plays off Jacob's
search for comfort and his resultant
pain as angels become demons and
demons, angels.
The film deserves careful
observation; Lyne did not waste his

by Debbie Siegel ~
S uzan-Lori Parks is at the be-
ginning of a promising career. At
age 27, Parks is the author of
The Death of the Last Black Man
in the Whole Wide World and
has been called the most promis-
ing playwright of the year by Mel
Gussow in The New York Times.
In 1989 Parks won an Obie
Award for her play Imperceptible
Mutabilities in the Third
Kingdom. Parks will be visiting
the campus today and tomorrow.
Using powerful language and
visual imagery, Parks writes
about African-American experi-
ences and the need for self-identi-
fication. With startling stage
language, she presents provoca-
tive themes with allegorical im-
plications. Her characters include
slaves in middle passage, con-
temporary Black women being
spied on by a white naturalist,
and a family awaiting their fa-
ther's return from military duty.
As Alisa Solomon told
Theater magazine, "Parks reveals

how deeply America sees in black
and white." Yet Parks is reluc
tant to be pegged as a "political"
writer. Her works are political in
a larger sense; they portray the
universal need to be free from the
traps of language and from the
traps of history. In the interview
with Solomon, Parks commented
that "it's insulting when people
say my plays are about what it's
about to be black - as if that's
all we think about, as if our life
is about that. My life is not
about race. It's about being
There will be a reception for
English Lounge (7th floor Haven
Hall) today at 4 p.m. Members of
KUUMBA, an African-
American fine arts troupe, will
be reading from Parks'
Impercerptible Mutabilities in
the Robert Hayden Lounge, 111
West Engineering today at 6 p.m.
Parks will also be at a discussion
of Imperceptible Mutabilites on
Friday at 1 p.m. in 166 Frieze.


Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) has finally lost it. Are the demons he's
seeing real or imagined? You decide.

shots, each one provides a clue to
the movie's solution. The shot 6f
the advertising on the subway -
one labeled "Ecstasy," for example,
connects to a preceding sign about
drug abuse and hints at the
importance of drugs in the film. The

movie's twists and turns make it
more interactive than usual,
demanding - and rewarding - the
viewer's full attention.
JACOB'S LADDER is playing at
Briarwood and Showcase.

Continued from page 5
over and informed him that the line
was for credit card holders only. Un-
fortunately, Kane's story was spoiled
a bit when, before he finished talk-
ing, Weissbrod cut to Bobby McFer-
rin playing his chest.
"He's like a spray gun of love. It
goes flying out like shrapnel in all
directions, and if you're lucky,
you'll get caught by some."
-director of E.T. Steven Spiel-
berg on, you guessed it, Quincy
Jones (who scored another Spielberg
film, The Color Purple)
It is a sad comment when what is

and should have been a truly com-
pelling story has to be reduced to
in an attempt to hold the interest
of a brain-fried video generation with
a collective attention span of an in-
sect. Trying to make nothing into
something that looks and sounds
might work if you are selling
blue jeans, but does Quincy Jones a
gross injustice.

Continued from page 7
paper. Charles-Francois Daubigny's
Sunrise is a glorious example of the
landscape's picturesque beauty that
was often overlooked due to the pre-
occupation with industrialization. A
cow herder stands with his cows as
the shades of light emanate their
fresh glow on the hills surrounding
As timeless as the scenes of the
country may be, the works also con-
tain an element of fascination with
the liveliness of the developing city
of Paris. The process of reconstruc-
tion opened up the city to commerce
and trade. Various prints such as
Pierre Bonnard's The Boulevard and
Henri-Edmond Cross' On the

Champs Elysees spotlight the allure
that Paris' new admirers had for the
city and its new appearance. Enter-
tainment also became a new subject
for artists to use in their medium.
Gustave Dore's Rats (of the Opera)
displays a spectator gawking at the
sight .of ballerinas as they scuttle
across a stage. In the age of conser-
vatism and long skirts, a display of
legs was fashionable and the artist's
portrayal of this allowed him to
mock his conservative surroundings.
The striking contrast between the
country and the city was not the
only effect produced by the artists. A
merging of the two came about with
the construction of parks, squares
and gardens in Paris. Meticulous
planning went into creating an illu-
sion of the zountry within the city

and these areas were known as man-
made countrysides. Felix Bracque-
monds' The Bois de Boulogne
demonstrawcs how Parisians took
these artificial pieces of nature as re-
ality. These woods were a strolling

ground for thousands of city dwellers
and they offered an escape into the
less often visited rural areas.
FRENCH PRINTS is on display at
the Museum of Art through Dec. 23.


playing at

November 7~11
99 Color Copies
the copy center
Open 24 Hours
540 E. Liberty r
761-4539 Open 24 Hours
1220 S. University
Open 7 Days 747-9070
Michigan Union
2W' price is for black & white, 8hi x 11, autofed copies on 20# bond
99s copies are 8h x 11, Canon laser copies.

Exercise Your Rights...




Black Box
Everybody Everybody (12")
James Brown's legendary "eee-
owww!" has been sampled to death,
but thank god almighty someone has
finally gotten around to giving
flattop funkmeister Larry Blackmon
his due. Here, the Cameo man's
fuller, rounder "Oww" is sampled to
wonderful effect.
Mr. Blackmon is just another el-
ement of the revolutionary fervor and
ideological soundness that makes
"Everybody Everybody" the second
best dance record of 1990 (number
one being Adamski's "Killer"). The
sexual/racial/gender politics - "Set
me Free!" - and deconstructive
power of the mix make this the
finest Utopian dance record since

Rockers Revenge's "Walkin' On
Black Box hail from Italia.
"Everybody Everybody" was recorded
in Milan or some other such urban
hotbed of house beats. In a country
where an ex-pomo queen can become
a national politician, disco can work
for social change. I'm sure that the
faceless producers behind Black Box
are Italian communists who have re-
alized the need for entryism into the'
showbiz sphere. Taking a leaf out of
one of compatriot Antonio
Gramsci's prison notebooks, Black
Box subverts from within the indus-
try. The androgynous voices of the
chorus ("Everybody! Everybody!")
invite workers, students and of
course, dancers to join in the strug-
gle. Righteous!
-Nabeel Mustafa Zuberi

November 14 and 15
In conjunction with LSA Student Government
elections and Engineering Student Government
Paid for by MSA Elections, 3909 Michigan Union


~ls it



Here is your opportunity to work at Mayo Medical Center
for the summer.
Summer IlI is a paid, supervised hospital work experience
at Saint Marys Hospital and Rochester Methodist Hospital,
both part of Mayo Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota.
You are eligible for Summer Ill after your junior year of a
four year baccalaureate nursing program. It includes
experience on medical and surgical nursing units or in
operating rooms.




Application Deadline:


Benefits include: December 1,1990
" Hourly salary of $8.45
" Differentials of $.50/hour for evenings, $.60/hour for
" Subsidized apartment living
" Orientation, tours, discussion groups



Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan