The Michigan Daily- Friday, February 14,1992 - Page 11
dir. Derek Jarman
Punk is probably most familiar as a music
genre, but the term actually refers to an entire
counterculture born of suburban adolescent angst
and teenagers' attempts to come to terms with
life's adversities. And punk spawned not only a
musical style, but also a sub-genre among cult
Derek Jarman's Jubilee is a reflection and
meditation on this counterculture. Queen Eliza-
beth I (Jenny Runacre) travels 400 years into the
future, only to find the youth troubled by unem-
ployment, rising racial tensions and other mal-
adies that imperil an empire in decline.
Jarman's semi-documentary look at the punk
sub-culture distinguishes itself from campy cult
films. It contains the usual iconography such as
multi-colored hair, but Jubilee also offers a sur-
realistic view of events in the lives of its strug-
gling youth, with such images as ballerinas danc-
ing around a burning baby carriage. As Amyl Ni-
rate (Jordan) states, "...fantasy is a substitute for
reality..." The film's unusual amount of talk de-
mands strict attention from the viewer.
Jubilee is certainly not for everyone. This
film definitely has its audience - aficionados of
or even insiders to the punk scene - and mem-
bers of that audience will appreciate it.
Jubilee makes its Ann Arbor debut tomorrow
at 7:30 and 9:30 in Angell Hall Aud A.
Children in Japan:
Seven Films by
The Center for Japanese Studies, together
with the Japan Society of New York, Cinema
Guild, and the Kawakita Memorial Film Insti-
tute, is sponsoring a series of films by acclaimed
director Hiroshi Shimizu. Shimizu made over
150 films between 1924 and 1959, all without
the help of a major studio.
The film series features seven of Shimizu's
works. His films are characterized by their use
of nonprofessional actors, location shooting, a
moving, voyeuristic camera and an episodic nar-
rative. Like the neo-realists of post-World War
II Italian cinema, Shimizu preferred to deal with
realism, albeit in a lyrical, non-violent way.
Shimizu, who died in 1966, was indepen-
dently wealthy, and financed most of his films
by himself. He owned an orphanage which sup-
plied many of the children used in his films.
Although many of Shimizu's films feature
children, they are not intended for children's
viewing. Shimizu shows a deep respect for the
problems of his young characters, and is never
condescending or overly romantic, dealing with
adult subjects in a realistic way.
The first film of the series, Mr. Thank You,
which played February 7, is the story of a young
bus driver, nicknamed Mr. Thank You for his
habit of thanking, not only his passengers, but
their animals as well. The film details Mr.
Thank You's adventures on his route. Shimizu
recognized the beauty of his natural settings, and
in Mr. Thank You, the camera lovingly depicts
the countryside of rural Japan.
Tonight's film, A Star Athlete, chronicles the
adventures of a squadron of cadets, focusing on
the would-be hero, Seki. The Four Seasons of
Childhood, which is being shown next Friday, is
the delicate story of two brothers forced to deal
with their father's death.
The other films in the series, Children of the
Beehive (March 6), Mr. Shosuke Ohara (March
13), A Mother's Love (March 20) and Tale of
Jiro (March 27) are touching stories of people
dealing with difficult times. A Mother's Love,
for example, tenderly tells the story of a desti-
tute woman who bears three children as the re-
sult of three separate rapes. Shimizu manages to
deal with such a subject with humor and love,
while expressing the desperation with which the
mother attempts to better her situation.
The film series, entitled Children in Japan,
takes place each Friday evening at 7 p.m. in the
Lorch Hall auditorium. Admission is free.
Go bowling for laughs at the Purple Rose
More Fun Than Bowling
dir. John Seibert
The Purple Rose Theatre
January 31, 1992
When I think of bowling, un-
comfortable shoes come to mind. To
playwright Steven Dietz, however,
the concept of bowling becomes a
vehicle for death metaphors. The
power of More Fun Than Bowling
results from the individual charac-
ters and from Dietz, who never
cheats on the humor.
Jake Tomlinson (Philip Locker)
is a goofy older guy who owns a
bowling alley in a small town and
lacks luck in marriages. Locker suc-
ceeds in portraying Jake as a likable
character and loving father, but
loses some of Dietz's humor by
playing the text for laughs.
Bowling can't afford to miss
humorous moments since there is
neither a conflict nor a plot to move
the story. The shadowy presence of
Mister Dyson, who drifts along the
edge of the set, offers the only ele-
ment of unanswered intrigue.
Director John Seibert says, "The
best plays pose a question at the be-
ginning that an audience wants to
figure out. Dyson is mysterious and
threatening, but we start to like him
and want to know why he's there."
Aaron Williams as Dyson piques
viewers' interest with each sneaky
step he takes. When he addresses the
audience, he unintentionally elicits
laughter through his unfaltering
dedication to the character and his
persistence at achieving his mission.
Elizabeth Keiser portrays Jake's
sixteen-year-old daughter, Molly.
Keiser captures the uncertainty of
youth, while at the same time ex-
ploiting the character's strength.
When Molly learns of her mother's
death, Keiser's performance reaches
its peak as she conveys the emo-
tional impact of the news, without
resorting to a vaudevillian response.
Terry Heck's interpretation of
Jake's second wife, Lois, is as effec-
tive as Keiser's. She reveals the cru-
cial aspects of Lois: a down-to-earth
character with a keen understanding
of Jake's needs. When the play's ab-
sent plot begins to slow the pace of
the show, Heck's ability to articu-
late and animate the rich story-
telling keeps the audience engaged.
Seibert succeeds at discreetly
moving the characters about the set.
However, in an attempt to liven the
action, he has the characters resort
to tedious stage business like raking
graves and potting plants. This un-
necessary activity takes the focus
away from character interaction.
Due to the nature of the three-
sided theater, the backsides of
characters occasionally block visi-
bility for part of the audience, mak-
ing it difficult to discern dialogue.
On the staging, Seibert defends him-
self: "It's a chore to keep aware of
audience vantage point. But in a
space like this someone will be
cheated from time to time, and in a
play we drop in on someone else's
reality. In reality we don't always
see a person's front."
Even without a strong plot, the
play touches on universal themes
and has what Seibert calls "a sense
of humanness and gentle humor."
He recalls, "I heard a woman lean
over to her husband and say, 'that
sounds exactly like you.' "
More Fun Than Bowling will
play at the Purple Rose Theater
Company in Chelsea through March
15. Performances are Thursday
through Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sun-
day at 2 and 7 p.m. For reserva-
tions/tickets call 475-7902.
The Invisible Elephant opens tonight at the Pertormance NetworK.
by Jenny McKee
Think about the things that you normally do in a day. You take a shot/V,
go to class, maybe go with some friends to the mall or to a basketball g th8
- nothing out of the ordinary.
Now think about doing these things from a wheelchair, or if you c6 ld
barely walk, or if you were blind. In such circumstances, the ordinarys-
pects of everyday life become challenging and frustrating. Things tha e
don't think twice about are a constant concern for people with disabilities
The Diversability Theater, formed in 1989, is a troupe dedicated toaen
couraging all people, especially those with handicaps, to use artistic e -
pression to develop their talents. This weekend's production, "The Invis
ble Elephant," got its name when a member of the group compared having a
disability with owning an elephant -"having to get it through doors bM
busy shopping centers ... and following you to the bedroom at night." 'The
script was structured by this concept, and is based on the poetry of Loren
Siegel as well.
"The play is a series of monologues, dialogues, and conversations deAl'
ing with the problems of having a disability," says director Deena DebiutW.
"We have seven people that actually have disabilities and five that don't.
The play covers a wide range of handicaps. "We have one person \&
was diagnosed with Polio at age nine, two people that contracted M9-4iA
their early thirties, three people with Cerebral Palsy -- which is a 916
defect, so they've had it since birth - one person with a visual defect, id
the rest are what's called 'able-bodies.' These are people who proba&
couldn't run as fast as you or throw a ball as far as you would be able te-
All the members of the cast write the sketches themselves, and as th4
people in the troupe change, so do the presentations. In this way, the Vi
never stops changing, improving, and growing.
"The strength is the reality of the play ... it's very factual. The writing
is very honest, straightforward, and factual. It's not like, you know, y
me.' It's about having a disability and living with it."
The concept of this play is especially intriguing, and it's been a
time coming. We all see people with handicaps everyday, but we dpt
often think about what life must be like from their perspective. 'sp
Invisible Elephant" offers us a chance to understand how the people tl t
have disabilities feel, and it also shows us the world through their eyes,
THE INVISIBLE ELEPHANT will be at the Performance Network tonig'At
through Saturday at 8 p.m., with a Sunday show at 6:30 p.m. Tickets ar$,
$7 for students. Call 663-0681 for more information.
Jake Tomlinson (Phillip Locker) and his wife, Lois (Terry Heck) consult an orb of love in More Fun Than Bowling.
call 1.800.69 35130
or 1- 305 -294 -3773
They're here. They're here! It's
the XVI Winter Olympic Games
(8 p.m., CBS, CBC, TNT). Sports are
strictly taboo on the Arts page, but
;we're making an exception because
the Olympics qualify as entertain-
ment - not so much for the Ice
Dancing and Team Ski Jumping that
you can check out tonight, but for
those dorks, Zahn and McCarver.
In 1939, America was poised between an
unforgettable past and an unbelievable future.
The Time of Your Life
Don't miss the excitement and the fun
at the new Bombay Bicycle Club in Ann
Arbor. We're having a celebration and
you're invited to the red-hot Grand Re-
Opening Week festivities February 16-22.
Sample Bombay Bicycle Wings, Buffalo
Shrimp, New Delhi Chicken Tenders and
other delicious hors d'oeuvres from our
free appetizer buffet. Enjoy fabulous drink
specials. And, bask in a few minutes of
fame as you sing with our Karaoke song
So come on Ann Arbor, join us and
share in the excitement! It's hot!
See the new Bombay Bicycle Club
and find out what
the excitement's all about!
xu h4 ate.
I 1. . rU S.