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January 08, 1992 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-08

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Page 8 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 8, 1992
B ovary

Madame Bovary
dir. Claude Chabrol
by Aaron Hamburger

Continued from page 5
messages, but they are there for any-
one who cares enough to find them.
Regardless of the old followers
who have since turned their backs on
this group, Soundgarden breaks one
final stereotype of musical per-
formers today - the band just gets
-Nima Hodaei
Pearl Jam
"Once, upon a time/ I could lose
myself," screams Eddie Vedder on
the song "Once," the opening track
on the debut album from Pearl Jam.
Ten is a collection of gorgeous, vis-
ceral songs that is not to be missed.
This incredibly soulful and heavy
new band from Seattle (where

else?) has released an album that
exudes energy, emotion, and life.
Like contemporaries Nirvana,
Screaming Trees, Soundgarden-.and
the rest of the Seattle posse, Pearl
Jam combine big, powerful rock 'n'
roll with infectious melodies to
create a huge sound that is definitive
of bands from the great Northwest.
But Pearl Jam has an earthy spiritu-
ality that truly sets them apart.
Eddie Vedder, the band's lyricist
and "earth guru" takes the listener
on a cathartic trip throughout Ten.
From the psyche of the playground
outcast from everyone's childhood
in "Jeremy," to a woman trapped in
an abusive relationship in "Deep,"
Vedder's words evoke vivid images
and emotions.
The first single, "Alive," is the
life-affirming anthem for the '90s.
The band builds up a rolling, oceanic
wave of sound, while Vedder re-

Filming a classic novel can be a
dangerous experience. Several film-
makers have tried their hand at Gus-
tave Flaubert's Madame Bovary
and have gotten burned. The most
notorious of these flops may be
Vincente Minnelli's 1947 version,
which turned the book into a hokey
melodrama mourning the romantic
woes of the title character.
The latest version, by French
New Wave director Claude Cha-
brol, tries a much more straight-
forward approach.
The script, by Chabrol, consists
entirely of dialogue and scenes taken
directly from the book. Rather than
make moral judgments, the film
presents a series of scenes that com-
prise the life of the title character.
Emma Bovary, dissatisfied with
her dreary existence in the French
countryside, marries a doctor in
hopes of elevating her social status.
She soon tires of her sedate, boorish
husband, and indulges her tastes for
expensive material possessions and
romantic liaisons.
Chabrol deviates from the book

joices about the beauty of life. From
the sad, sonic beauty of "Black," to
the angry, guitar-driven blast of
"Evenflow," this album is a gem.
Not since Nine Inch Nails re-
leased Pretty Hate Machine has a
debut album been such a definitive
statement. The songs are so personal
and real, it's like having an intimate
conversation with someone you
don't know very well - tense, fas-
cinating, and ultimately rewarding.
This only scratches the surface of
the awesomeness of Pearl Jam. Now
that the whole world is looking at
Seattle for the next great American
rock band, they'll certainly find it
in Pearl Jam. So all of you kids just*
discovering Nirvana via Nevermind,
pick up a copy of Ten and be equally
-Scott Sterling
strange than funny in the sense
you're using. I mean, I think the
book, in a way, is about the role of
the uncanny in history. And it's
about a joke played on history more
than my attempt to make a jok out
of it.
"On the other hand, with Dead
Elvis, Dead Elvis, on one level is one
enormous joke, but I really believe
that underneath the joke are a lot of
other emotions, but if you can open
up that book and look at that first
picture of Elvis as Jesus and not
think that's funny, than you're miss-
ing the point I'm trying to make."

As Charles Bovary (Jean-Francois Balmer) gazes at his wife Emma
(Isabelle Huppert) in all her finery, the dignified social climber thinks,

"Oh, bugger off, you bore!"
in the presentation of Emma Bovary
(Isabelle Huppert). Chabrol delib-
erately omits Flaubert's rational-
izations of Emma's dissatisfaction
and philandering.
As portrayed by Huppert and
Chabrol, Emma is a cold, rational
woman who tries to manipulate all
those around her to get what she
wants, much like Scarlett O'Hara in
Gone With the Wind.
Huppert's coldness in the title
role is jarring at first, especially for
those who have read the book. As
the movie progresses, though, Hup-
pert's coldness becomes completely
Chabrol brings a dramatic fire to
the story which is often lacking in
the book. When reading Madame

Bovary, it's easy to forget that be-
neath Flaubert's many clinical ob-
servations and flowery descriptions
lies an exciting, suspense-filled
plot. Chabrol pares down the narra-
tive to its essentials, occasionally
using voice-over narration of Flau-
bert's descriptions for emphasis or
The handsome production values
and cinematography accomplish in
one quick direct shot what Flaubert
does in a whole page. Chabrol man-
ages to make a compelling movie of
Flaubert's classic novel, while still
creating a personal film.

Continued from page 5
sounds hilariously absurd. Simi-
larly, the idea of a dead Elvis having
a life of his (its?) own and minimal
relations with the contextualized
facts of his life and career sounds,
while more obvious to those of us
familiar with sightings of Elvis in
fast food restaurants in Kalamazoo,
also evokes a chuckle.
"I hope that a lot of Lipstick
Traces is funny," said Marcus. "I
think a lot of the stories are hilari-
ous and, if I told them well, they're

going to be funny on the page. But
the idea of the various connections
was not supposed to be amusing or
'I think the book, in a
way, is about the role
of the uncanny in
-Greil Marcus,
ironic, or, you know, quaint.
"I found the idea of these un-
likely people kind of trodding in
each other's footsteps much more

MADAME BOVARY is playing at
the Michigan Theater.



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