The Michigan Daily -Weekend etc.-- February 13,1992- Page 7
If the shoe fits, just do it
by Stephen Henderson
T here's no question that TV has undergone some radical changes since
the '70s. Captain Kangaroo has been replaced by the Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles as America'spremierechildren'sentertainment. Shows likeM.A.S.H.,
the Dukes of Hazzard and Starsky and Hutch have disappeared from prime
time programming. And Buck Rogers' antiquated special effects have been
supplanted by Star Trek: The Next Generation.
But commercials have changed since the time when I was growing up,
too. Advertisers now aggressively saturate the market with commercials,
and go for the incredible where the ordinary used to suffice. That type of
thinking is particularly evident in today's gym shoe commercials.
But as different as the ads are today, I think their importance to little kids
has remained the same.
You can rarely turn on the TV anymore without seeing at least one
commercial for Nike, Reebok, L.A. Gear or some other shoe company -
commercials far from the simple or straightforward ones of the '70s.
They sometimes have intricate
storylines, often command lofty bud-
gets and almost always involve high-
profile stars. I think the ads are extrava-
gant just to sell shoes; but more than
anything else, they're memorable.
The Nike "Air Jordan" commer-
cials - from the first ones with film-
maker Spike Lee to the latest with Bugs
Bunny - are by far the standouts.
Michael Jordan's smile and slam dunks
intertwined with theantics of such char- fhe liffle plCie
acters as Spike Lee's Mars Blackmon
and Bugs Bunny's "Hare" Jordan certainly won't be quickly forgotten.
And Nike's ads for the rest of its shoes have become equally advanced.
San Antonio Spurs star David Robinson entertains while teaching the
word for the day" during the "Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood" spots -
replete with guest appearances by Philadelphia 76er Charles Barkley.
Barkley now even has his own Nike commercial which parodies a
Japanese monster flick. A larger than life cartoon caricature of Barkley
storms down a basketball court, ravaging everything and everyone in his
way before dunking hard enough to tear the rim down.
Those kind of ads seem centuries away from the shoe commercials of the
'70s, which were hardly as big a deal. In fact, the only one I would even begin
to compare to today's ads is the one for Stride Rite's Zipps.
I remember the Zipps commercial clearly. Some nobody had the shoes
on and was jumping bushes and running inhumanly fast, all with the Zipps'
logo trailing behind him. He was no Michael Jordan or Charles Barkley, but
to me he might as well have been.
I used to watch-that commercial every time it came on, longing for the
time when my parents would finally take me to get a pair of Zipps.
And that strikes me as the most important thing about any of these ads
- whether back in the '70s or today. Kids really get into shoe commercials,
and try to emulate the people in them.
I'll never forget the feeling of putting on a new pair of Zipps and trotting
off to school knowing I'd be the fastest kid on the playground - or at least
as fast as that guy in the commercial.
For me, that was a big part of childhood. I'm sure it's equally as important
for kids today.
It didn't matter that the shoes were probably no better than any others.
What mattered was that I felt as cool as that guy leaping over the sand box.
Lena Olin steams up a mirror with her bowler in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. But you should really check her out
with Ron Silver in Enemies A Love Story.
Do me baby: cinemas steamiest sex
by Chris Lepley
and Michelle Philip
Good sex can liven up a dull film,
or, in the case of a plotless, grainy,
16 mm film, get it labeled as "art ."
And the most athletically demand-
ing sex can provide one healthy,
primal, satisfying workout.
In the spirit of Valentine's Day
we present the following films.
Depending on how vivid your mem-
ories of some of these flicks are,
don't read this in a crowded lecture
hall without a trenchcoat.
No discussion of film sex scenes
would be complete without men-
tioning 91/2 Weeks. This movie
proves that if you shoot graphic,
stylized sex in the dark, it looks
much better than it could possibly
feel. Yuppies started the fitness
craze, and movies don't get much
more Yuppie-ish than 91/2 Weeks.
Before that overpowering sexual
A tongue-in-cheek treatment of love scenes .
Do you remember the first time you told someone (besides your parents) that you loved them? Chances are, it was
a very nerve-wracking experience. Now try to imagine that same scene carried out in front of a room full of strangers,
all intently watching you and the object of your desire. But, you're a man in love, so you press on, undaunted by
the spectators. Finally it's the right time. Staring passionately at your loved one, you begin to speak. Time seems
to stand still. There is nothing but you and her, the infinite possibilities of where your love may lead and the sound
of some woman about 15 feet away getting violently ill.
This story is not, unfortunately,just a terrible nightmare. Brad Burke, a theater major, described this very scene,
saying it took place several years ago during a production of All My Sons at Meadowbrook Theater. Burke added,
"They tried to start the scene three or four times, but each time they got to the part where he was about to tell her
he loved her, the lady in the third row would start to heave again. Talk about a critic."
Everyone involved in the theater seems to have a story about love scenes on stage. Many of them seem to focus
on body odor, halitosis and the extent to which one's tongue should be employed to make a stage kiss seem "truthful."
Mark Willet, a theater major, recounts his initiation by fire into the world of stage lovers. "The first show I did
outside of high school was a production of a one-act called Vanities. In one scene, I had to kiss a woman and she
would come at me with her mouth wide open and kind of ... engulf my face. I was always left quite wet from the
nose down, and I couldn't wipe my face off because that would kind of ruin the mood. So I had to go through the
rest of the scene with her spit drying on my face."
Not everyone has a horror story to tell. While studying theater at Oxford, Troy Holler developed a crush on his
co-star. "She didn't initially see things the way I did, so as a last ditch effort to turn her head I told her that we needed
to work more on our scenes outside of rehearsal. We scheduled a time and instead of rehearsing, I took her out punting
on the Thames. I brought along a bottle of red wine and a loaf of french bread, the whole shot. The director said our
'chemistry' had improved noticeably after that. If nothing else, it was a very pleasant form of method acting."
Despite these colorful anecdotes, love scenes are often not that different than any other intense portion of a text.
Actors are asked to expose themselves every time they go on stage, and acting like you love someone is not any more
or less taxing than acting like your dad just died. Student director Clint Bond cites "a certain truthfulness and
simplicity," which he aims for when working with actors on a love scene.
"But when it comes right down to it, most actors can't quite handle life, let alone try to recreate it onstage. So
I give love scenes extra attention. When they are done well, they can be some of the most moving moments to watch
in the theater. When they are done poorly, they make you want to slit your wrists."
- Theresa McDermit
workout, make sure you put fuel in
your tank the Kim & Mickey way.
For a quick sugar rush, try honey on
a stick, and wash down those hot
peppers with some ... protein. For
those of you who diet while you ex-
ercise, ice cubes don't have any calo-
ries, they're inexpensive, and if Kim
Basinger likes them ...
Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing
fits into the "fun with frozen wa-
ter" category. Beginners should
stick to the simpler Mickey Rourke
version before attempting the am-
bidextrous use of ice cubes for
which Spike is famous. And remem-
ber, you'll need one for the right
nipple, another for the left nipple.
Do ten reps on the right ...
Watching fumbling amateurs can
be just as entertaining as the more
adult version. That dancin' fool
Tom Cruise gets his fondest wish in
Risky Business. Tom knows the vi-
bration of a moving train can work
off those pounds like magic!
Kelly LeBrock does the initia-
tion-thang in Weird Science. As
Kelly tells her Phys Ed class:
"Drop and give me twenty," the ob-
vious implications being that a
group of sweaty adolescent boys do-
ing push ups projects enough sexual
tension to scramble the 700 Club
On the realistic side, there's the
world's first sex scene featuring a
female point-of-view shot, 15-year-
old Stacey's (Jennifer Jason Leigh)
first date in Fast Times At Ridge-
mont High. In this scene, we see the
effective use of inspirational graf-
fiti slogans, which help Stacey learn
the meaning of "no pain, no gain."
In fact, all of Leigh's movies -
from Heart of Midnight to Last Exit
to Brooklyn - include at least one
But the virgin-of-the century has
to be Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) in
The Terminator. Only in the movies
does a 25 year-old virgin travel 45
years back in time just to bag "the
legend, Sarah Connor." Reese's
years fighting in the resistance have
kept him trim and fit. Acting as
Sarah's "personal trainer" he im-
parts the secret of "free weights,"
which give her the perfectly
sculpted physique she sports in T2.
Lena Olin has only made a few
movies, but two of them -- Ene-
mies, A Love Story and The Un-
bearable Lightness of Being - con-
tain some unforgettable scenes. En-
emies sports Olin's deliciously
messy sex with Ron Silver, while
Lightness wins the award for Best
Use of a Bowler Hat. And lines like
"Take off your clothes," can not be
any more Daniel Day Lewis-smooth.
Some sexual connoisseurs say
that sex is better when mixed with
laughter, and you've obviously
heard the rumors about asphyxia-
tion. You'll agree once you watch
Kevin Kline's Oscar-winning per-
formance in A Fish Called Wanda.
Slapping yourself with a boot be-
fore sex can give your skin a healthy
glow. Treating your lover like a
trampoline can also be fun and
stimulating, although a slight
crossing of the eyes is a side effect.
And for those with a liberal def-
inition of "sex," which doesn't re-
quire the presence of another person,
there are the classic "mano a mano"
scenes which show our hero/heroine
truly home alone. But remember,
it's always safer with a spotter.91/2
Weeks comes to mind immediately.
Wasn't it amazing how none of
those slides were in upside down?
Judge Reinhold's Pheobe Cates-
filled fantasy in Fast Times At
Ridgemont High highlighted another
exciting way to burn calories: div-
ing. Tom Cruise secured Risky Busi-
ness's video rental success with one
suggestive hand gesture (this is also
recommended to build up those tr
ceps fast ... Repeat daily).
But the prima donna of the solo
workout can only be Madonna. She
gives exhibitionism a new meaning
by doing her ... ahem ... calisthenics
in front of thousands of fans in
Truth or Dare. And remember, to
replenish those bodily fluids after a
strenuous sexual encounter, Evian is
always a hit.
Jennifer Jason Leigh's smokin' in Heart of Midnight, long after her
devirginization in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
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