The Michigan Daily- Friday, November 1,1991 - Page 9
Paleface does indeed have a pale face. Quick, let's do a word associati
Paleface - Cro Magnon! Paleface - forehead! Paleface - pail face.
cu e In
dir. John Hughes
by Annette Petruso
While Curly Sue is an innocuous,
entertaining movie intended for a
younger audience, one aspect of it is
particularly disturbing. The plot
focuses on Curly Sue (Alison
Porter) and her surrogate father,
Bill Dancer (James Belushi), who
have been evading the law and living
on the streets.
Sue and "Dad" have unmussed,
almost perfect hair styles, and
fairly clean and neat clothes. For
credibility, dirt seems to have been
slightly rubbed on their faces, and
Bill sports a worn flannel. The only
physical hint at their extreme
poverty is Sue's sneakers: a pair of
high tops - one is canvas and the
other is leather.
The problem is not only that the
duo doesn't look particularly des-
titute. The word "homeless," or
rather its conspicuous absence, is
most bothersome. But director/wri-
ter/producer John Hughes does go to
great lengths to describe the pair's
desperate life on the road. They are
never able to settle down because
Sue might be taken from Bill
because he is not her real father.
Though the pair refuse to beg, they
do practice a bit of adorably exe-
cuted (in a sick way) deception to
get money for food.
In a homeless shelter, an older,
scraggly man with a five o'clock
shadow and hard lines on his face
steals Sue's ring and pawns it at a
shop. This, the only authentic-
_. , .::
Curly Sue (Alison Porter) is taken from the streets, and is now living the good life in a huge bathtub. Hm, we
seem to remember another curly-haired, street-person who is plucked from poverty and lands in plush-
bathroom heaven. Is Garry Marhsall getting royalties for all these knock-offs, or what?
Well, this is different. These days, it's pretty hard to find one guy with
one guitar playing whatever the hell he wants to play and not caring if he
sings off key or if he plays out of tune. But that's exactly what Paleface
does. He sings out of key and out of time as a general rule. And it isn't un-
common for his guitar to get a little out of tune. But, you see, none of this
matters. Because Paleface is cool. Paleface has soul.
It says so right on the back of his guitar: "SOULIFIED IN LOISAIDA
N.Y.C." And I'll admit, at first Paleface may be a little hard to get into,
but it grows on you, just like Chia-Pet.
Most of the 16 songs presented on Paleface are simple. About half of
the songs are played by Paleface alone, who does vocals, guitar and harmon-
ica, and on the other half of the album, he has guests playing everything
from banjo to desert flute. Some of the songs are political, such as
"Trouble in the Country" and "Stupid War Movies." Some songs are more
*personal, like "She Was Talking To Me (Down on Ave. B)" and "Still I
Want to See You." Some songs are just funny, like "Not Much of a
Movie" and "World Full of Cops." But some of the best songs are the
ones in which Paleface is bitingly sarcastic, like the aforementioned
"Stupid War Movies."
But the best song on the album has got to be "Burn and Rob," which sat-
irizes all of the evil things that rock 'n' roll is supposed to make one do. I
mean, with lyrics like "Burn and rob/ burn and rob/ rock and roll made me
not believe in God" and "I bought a lot of drugs and I got my sister drunk
and I stole the family car and I put her in the trunk and I drove it off the
edge of a cliff and stood there laughing," you just can't go wrong!
,Paleface's songs can be a lot of things. They can be fast or slow, mellow
or mean, funny or serious, but they're always imaginative and they're al-
ways soulful and they're always good.
looking street person in a prominent
role in the film, is shown in a
negative light, unlike the actions of
our heroes. He breaks the "good
laws," Bill and Sue call them, the
ones that prevent the infliction of
pain on people. This pair bends the
"bad laws" - ones they deem
unfair to their survival. They would
never steal or beg; someone has to
want to give support to them.
This conflict aside, Curly Sue
marks an improvement in Hughes'
films about younger people. Sue is
slightly better than his last directo-
rial work, Uncle Buck. Because of
its young audience, Hughes must
have felt obligated to make every-
thing clear cut, either good people
or bad people. Take, for instance,
Grey Ellison (Kelly Lynch, Drug-
store Cowboy), an appropriately-
named, heartless power lawyer.
Ellison is the target of one of
Sue and Bill's schemes - Bill fakes
getting hit by her car to get dinner
and maybe some cash out of her. In-
stead, as fate would have it, they
touch her cold heart, and when she
plows into Bill with her automo-
bile a second time - for real - it's
the beginning of a "beautiful" rela-
Lynch's performance is very
subtle, adding depth to a superficial
character. She eloquently expresses
confusion with her eyes. Ellison's
decisions and inner tensions are
always reflected in Lynch's nervous
movements, especially as she dis-
covers the pair's intense charm and
sad tale (Bill says something to the
effect of "most people go to the bar
and get VD; I got a baby.")
Ellison's slimy boyfriend,
Walker McCormick, is played by
John Getz, who amusingly did the
same kind of condescending sleeze in
Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's
Dead. Getz's lips, always kind of
half-open and dopey, make Mc-
Cormick look as stupid as he is.
The showstopper, and intended
centerpiece, is Curly Sue. Porter car-
ries off the sass and the smartass
better than Soleil Moon Fry ever
did in Punky Brewster. She's cute,
Continued from page 8
Bathgate. But like a flashy merry-
go-round, the film is an exciting
ride to nowhere.
Wow. A Po Wow.
by Peter Meyerhoff
Five-hundred years after Columbus' "discovery" of America, Native
American culture still lives. At least a thousand people are expected to
gather at the Bowen Field House on the Eastern Michigan campus this
weekend, not for football, but for a Native American Pow Wow.
Pow Wows originally functioned as a cultural center, a gathering
place for tribes to exchange news, present dances and songs, and barter
goods. The EMU Pow Wow, which takes place tomorrow and Sunday,
will offer dances, songs and social customs from various Midwestern
tribes. In addition, visitors will be able to buy art, jewelry and other
Native American goods.
Native American dandes and songs, contrary to Western stereotypes,
went far beyond stereotypical rain dances and war chants, according to
EMU sophomore David Trusty, a Cherokee who is helping to organize
the Pow Wow. "The songs tell stories and myths. They're about pride,
about oneness with God," he says.
Trusty said the Pow Wow represents an attempt by Native Americans
to regain some of their lost past. "It gives us a chance to watch our
culture in action. It's a very spiritual thing if you're a Native American,"
The Grand Entries, or parades, of the EMU POW WOW will begin at 1
p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday, at the Brown Field house.
Admission is $5, $3 for students. Call 487-2379 for more info.
funny and knows how to be charm-
ing without overacting.
Sue is streetsmart and possesses.
many survival skills, but, as Ellison,
finds out, has never been to school
and cannot read. Illiteracy, the other
Important Social Issue/sympatheic
device in Curly Sue, is glossed oet
just as simply as the whole issue of
homelessness, but at least tho -
word is spoken.
The Heart-Warming Ending -
in which Bill and Ellison get
together after some trauma in-
volving Social Services - shows
Curly going to school. This proves
all is well in the world. Most real
life stories don't end as nicely, but
kids don't need to know that yet,
See CURLY SUE at Briarwood and
WRITE FOR TH E DAILY!
10:0012:00 2:00 4:15 700 90011:15
FRANKIE AND JOHNNY (R)
10:0012:152:30 4:457:15:50 12:00
LITTLE MAN TATE (PG)
10:00 12:00 2:00 4:15 7:00 9:0011:1
10:0012:10 2:20 4:357:00 9:15
OTHER PEOPLES MONEY (R)
10:1512:30 2:40 4:45 7:30 9:4011:35
THE FISHER KING (R)
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (R)
HOUSE PARTY 2(R)
YEAR OF THE GUN (R)
5:00 7.00 9:45
NECESSARY ROUGHNESS (PG-13)
PEOPLE UNDER THE STARS (R)
5:00 7:159 30
a * a. aa
BILLY BATIIGATE is playing at
'If you can't get to
brings Chinatown to youl'
Mon - Sat
11 am - Midnight
Noon - 10 pm
241 East Liberty
Carry Out 998-0008
Continued from page 8
good fortune. The Emerson String
Quartet has done benefit concerts
for good causes, from nuclear dis-
armament to the Juvenile Diabetes
Foundation. One of the benefits
coming up is for an experimental
theater in New York, which brings
classical theater like Shakespeare
and Ibsen to kids in the inner city.
The EMERSON STRING QUAR-
TET performs tomorrow night at 8
p.m. in Rackham Auditorium.
Tickets are $14-$26. Student Rush
tickets will be available for $7
tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at
Burton Tower. Call 764-2538 for
The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
The members of the Emerson String Quartet are four cool dudes. They
took their name back in the Bicentennial season, when they were looking
for a promising American name associated with culture. "None of us is
an expert on Emerson," confesses Drucker.
THE MICHIGAN DAILY 764-0552
Thu. Nov. 7
Sun. Nov. 10
University of Michigan
Cindy Egolf-Sham Rao, conductor
Xiang Gao, violin soloist
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite
Tchaikovsky: Concerto for Violin and
Orchestra in D
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Lorraine Hansbury: Les Blancs
Tickets: $12, $9, $6 (students)
Thu-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.
French Classic Series
John Vandertuin, Larry Visser, Marcia Van
Oyen, Leslie Wills, organists
Nicholas deGrigny: Mass
Blanche Anderson Moore Hall,
School of Music, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, November 13,1991
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
and MBA Day
Meet with recruiters to investigate advanced degree options
Compare costs and content of programs across the country
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
SMASHING PUMP NS
8c PE~AEL JAMV
Graduate School: The Forms, The Funds, The Focus
Michigan Chamber Players
George Shirley, William Bolcom, Yizhak
Schotten, Donald Sinta, Katherine Collier,
Paul Kantor, Stephen Shipps, Hong-Mci-
Xiao, Sarah Cleveland, Miriam Bolkosky
Swenson: A Melville Cycle
Schinher Verklirte Nacht On 4