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February 12, 1992 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-12

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, February 12, 1992

Page 8

01

Film and

polka make

r r

wonderful marriage

by iarah Weidman

Nimbers flash in time to a catchy
polka melody. A group of teenage
boys saunter about town as the rest
of le world glides by backward.
Models appear frightfully inhuman,
bedecked in Styrofoam, cardboard
and other refuse.
Welcome to a world created by
Hadnelore Kober and Jonnie Dobele,
two experimental filmmakers and
prof6ssors at the University. This
mardled team will be presenting
sev~ej of their more popular shorts
thisieriday.
Kober is a professor in the Film
and Video Program and teaches
Video Art II, as well as Computer
Aniiaation. Dobele is also a Film-
V1d40 professor, teaching a course
ot 4) mm filmmaking. Kober and
Do We have an eye for the unusual
a dtiave succeeded in producing a
fasWiating array of short films over
tOepast 15 years. "We try to exper-
imnt with the medium, with col-
or,"with music, with movement,
witheverything," says Kober.
'Phe pair prefers to make inde-
pendent works, but they have made
commercial productions in order to
support themselves. These include
the witty fire prevention films in-
cluded in Friday's program, as well
as corporate films. "Commercial
work is challenging because a lot of
it involves experimenting with a

lot of resources." Dobele says.
Kober adds, "It's difficult, but once
it's done, it's a great moment." All
of the team's independent works are
short, ranging from 30 seconds to 39
minutes.
The couple came to the Univer-
sity in 1989, having previously lived
in Germany, England and New
York. After receiving their Masters
of Fine Arts in painting in Germany,
they studied with avant garde
filmmaker Malcolm LeGoice at the
St. Martin's School of Art in Lon-
don. They then continued their stud-
ies in New York City in a joint film
program with the prestigious Par-
son's School of Design and the New
School for Social Research.
Although originally painters,
Kober and Dobele have experi-
mented with various art forms to
see how things work together. Their
first collaboration occurred when
Dobele was interested in life-sized
photography and wanted to enter his
photographs in a particular German
exhibition. "The theme that year
was painting, so we couldn't enter
with photography," Dobele recalls.
"So I said to her, 'Could you just
paint over them?"' He framed his
large black and whites on canvas and
Kober painted them realistically.
Included in Friday's program is
one of Kober's and Dobele's more
famous pieces, Polkafox. This unique
work has won many international

awards, including the Keith Clark
Memorial Award from the 1984
Ann Arbor 8 mm Film Festival. A
procession of numbers pulse to a
Hans Arno Simon polka hit as he
sings about his girlfriend's over-
done makeup.
A collection of Public Service
Announcements on fire prevention
entitled Feuer!! -Eleven Ways to
Set Your Home on Fire will also be
shown. This commercial undertak-
ing was a promotion for a German
Insurance Company which ran these
shorts before feature movies in the-
aters.
Although spoken entirely in
German, the films' humor surpasses
the language barrier, and the visual
appeal stands on its own. The same
two actors are used for each PSA,
and their Laurel and Hardy-esque
slapstick comically teaches fire pre-
vention information everyone
should learn.
Dreiviertel Funf (4:45) is a dis-
torting view into what the world
would look like in reverse. It begins
with a group of boys walking down
the street, and becomes disturbing
when a single person strides by
them backward. The cluster then en-
ters a German plaza, bustling with
bicyclers going backward, roller-
skaters gracefully in reverse and or-
dinary people facing the wrong way
on escalators.
The audience accompanies the

The dog starring in "Game," a film by University profs Hannelore Kober an
star but also a connoisseur of avant-garde cinema. Note the 3-D glasses.

boys while listening to eerie syn-
thesized music. The combination of
the strange outlook and the innova-
tive music creates a unique experi-
ence that shouldn't be missed.
This ear-tickling music is also
present in Tip Top Modenschau, a
film presenting a fashion show of
rubbish. Models are clothed in recy-
cled materials including Styrofoam,
cardboard and plastic bags. The cos-
tumes have no specific plan; they are
composed as they are tied on.
The soundtrack of the odd tunes
is by the Gennan band Pipapo, who
produced the song out of their

basement. The striking angled shots
of the outfits and the models beat
with the rhythm of the songs to
bewilder and entertain the audience.
The longest film to be shown is
NYC, a 35-minute triple-screen win-
dow into the people of Manhattan's
Lower East Side in 1980. The three
simultaneous screens capture the es-
sence of life in the neighborhood and
force the viewers to decide where to
focus their attention.
Kober and Dobele are an artistic
team the University is fortunate to
have. Their complementary
thoughts are evident - they even

finish each other's sentences. The va-
riety of techniques employed by the
couple make for short films that are
humorously entertaining as well as
artistically challenging.
Friday's program is a must for
anyone studying film, or just inter-
ested in watching a couple's beauti-
ful compilation on Valentine's Day.
THE FILMS OF HANNELORE KO-
BER AND JONNIE DOBELE will be
shown this Friday at 8 p.m. in
Angell Hall Auditorium A. Tickets
are $3.

who what where when

Cheery Time, with lots of angst

The Shamen ("Move Any
Mountain") bring their Anglo-
Scottish rave to Detroit on Thurs-
day, despite band member Wil Sin's
death earlier this year. They have
been dubbed a "holographic house

band" by critics because of their
light-show effects and in-residence
reflective clothing designer from
London's Space Time company. A
picture in Interview's November is-
sue shows a lovely out-fit that re-

sembles a giant holographic disco
sticker. Will the new fashion order
be revealed Thursday? The Shamen
play at Industry in Pontiac on
Thursday, with guest Mobay. Doors
open at 8 p.m. for those 21 and over.
Call 645-6666 for ticket info.

- " I

p

KaraoaeSin-a-lon
every WEDNESDAY
Cash prizes NO COVER

by Jenie Dahlmann
"Like everyone, each character in
The Time of Your Life has a dream
but they look in the wrong places to
fulfill those dreams," says Troy
Hollar, assistant director of the
University Players production.
William Saroyan's "play of our
time," as he called it, was written in
1939 out of a challenge by an ac-
tor/producer named Eddie Dowling.
Dowling told Saroyan he would buy
any play Saroyan would write.
After holing himself up in a
New York City hotel room for six
days, Saroyan emerged with The
Time of Your Life. Mr. Dowling
kept his word, both producing and
directing its first production. The
play went on to become the first
drama to win both the Pulitzer
Prize and the New York Drama
Critics Circle Award.
Director Richard Klautsch and
Hollar have been working to pro-
duce Saroyan's 1939 study of the
American dream in such a way that
it will effectively speak to
audiences today. There will be no
transformation of time setting, no
avant-garde surrealism injected into

Saroyan's realistic script in order to
hold the attention of audiences who
are used to fast-paced video imagery.
Instead, the directors are allow-
ing Life's colorful characters to
speak for themselves. Klautsch says,
"Saroyan peoples his play with a
rich and varied cast of characters in
order to represent the many facets
of (the American) dream. The play
is so well crafted that we seem to
instinctively know who these peo-
ple are, and we sympathize with
them as they search to find balance
in their lives."
A myriad of characters gather to
share their hopes for the future and
to forget about their unfulfilled
ambitions at Nick's Pacific Street
Saloon, Restaurant and Entertain-
ment Palace. People from all walks
of life stream in and out of this
Cheers-like environment.
There's Kitty, the prostitute
with a heart of gold; Mary, a frus-
trated housewife; Harry, the
dancer/comedian wanna-be; and the
mysterious barfly, Joe - just to
name a few. Joe's constant presence
at the bar links all of these life sto-
ries together. It's his subtle philos-

The Shamen

ANN A RbOR &2a
5TH AVE. AT UBERTY 7619700
$3 00 DAILY SHOWS BEFORE 6 PM
DALLDAY TUESDAY
STUDENT MI. D. $3.50
The Prince of Tides (R)
Naked Lunch (R)

ophy lessons that force the charac-
ters to question how they are get-
ting what they claim they want.
Just as Joe asks his bar-mates
how they are actively seeking their
dreams, Saroyan seems to ask audi-
ences "What does society want?"
According to Hollar, The Time of
Your Life was written at a "time of
transition from a society that pur-
sued and enjoyed art, poetry and the
exchange of ideas into a society fo-
cused on making money." The de-
scription lends relevance to a simi-
lar society, 50 years later.
This play's timelessness also lies
in it's theme of trying to fit fan-
tasies into reality - sometimes
they just don't fit. Regardless of
that harsh truth, Hollar believes
that "the play communicates that
the one place you can become com-
pletely self-actualized is in your
heart."
THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE will be
presented this Thursday through
Saturday at the Lydia Mendelssohn
Theatre at 8 p.m. with a Sunday ma-
tine at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 and
$9, $6 with student I.D. at the
League Ticket office. Call 764-0450
for more information.
Hairstyling to Please!
6 Barber Stylists-
No waiting
DASCOLA STYLISTS

*I

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