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March 09, 1992 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-09

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ARTS
Monday, March 9,1992

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

Apted s up to
par vith his

fourth S
35 Up
dir. Michael Apted
by Aaron Hamburger
B ack in 1964, 35 Up director
Michael Apted was a researcher on a
documentary project called 7 Up.
The idea behind the film was to take
a group of 14 seven year-olds and
interview them about their ideas on.
their futures, religion, money, class,
etc., and then follow up these inter-
Views every seven years, tracing the
changes in their lives.
Since the original project, Apted
has faithfully returned to direct the
series every seven years, even
though he has already achieved suc-
cess in Hollywood as a producer and
director, known for films like Coal
Miner's Daughter, Gorillas in the
Mist, and Class Action.
After seeing 35 Up, it's not diffi-
cult to understand Apted's dedica-
tion to the series. The iocumentary
not only serves as a record of four-
teen lives, but also reveals larger
themes such as class distinctions,
faith in God, family, and even the
meaning of life itself.
The documentary consists of se-
veral segments which profile each of
the subjects, sometimes alone,
sometimes in groups. Several of the
subjects have refused to continue the
project; one of the most fascinating
aspects of the movie is the varying
reactions of the different people
involved.

equel
One of the subjects, John, refused
to participate in 28 Up, and has only
agreed to be interviewed this time
around in order to draw attention to
the plight of his native country,
Bulgaria. One of the subjects' wives
refused to participate after she dis-
liked how she came across in 28 Up.
Another one of the wives, however,
credits the series with saving her
marriage.
Marriage and family is one of the
big themes that come across in the
film. Most of the subjects have been
married and have had children. 35
Up shows how people's attitudes
toward family change with age.
At seven, Suzy claimed she
wanted two children and a nanny to
look after them. In 21 Up, Suzy
seemed very cynical about marriage
and love and doubted whether she
could ever have children. Suzy is
now happily married to a wealthy
investor and lives in a country estate
with her husband and three children,
whom she raises herself.
Not all of the subjects, however,
have been as lucky as Suzy, who had
the good fortune to be born to an
upper class family which could af-
ford to send her to private school
and give her "advantages."
Symon, who has never known his
father, got a job in the freezer room
at a meat factory, where he has
worked ever since. Jackie, who
comes from the East End of London,
has to scrimp and save to support
herself and her illegitimate son.
Surprisingly, none of the subjects

Whee! Chinese boxes (ok, mise en abyme for you theory fans). The subjects of Apted's documentary pose with their earlier selves.

seem bitter about England's class
system. The subjects at the top of the
social scale, who all seem to have
"read law at Oxford" after attending
prep school their entire lives, admit
that though the class structure is un-
fair, they're not too anxious to
change it. Similarly, those in the
working class feel that though the
system is unfair, they don't think
about it ever, except, as Jackie says,

when, "this film comes up once ev-
ery seven years."
Tony, a cockney cab driver, feels
the class structure is irrelevant, be-
cause life is really about family and
trying to give your children the
things you've never had, a sentiment
shared by almost all of the subjects.
The one character in the series
who seems to have drawn the most
attention is Neil, homeless and un-

employed, who in 28 Up discussed
his descent into madness. At 35, Neil
still lives on Social Security and is
unemployed, but has found a home
in a small country town. He says he
still feels unstable, but finds a small
measure of comfort in religion.
It is almost painful to see the
contrast between this unhappy trou-
bled man and the bright, funny little
boy who was Neil at seven years old.

What makes 35 Up so powerful
is the way it reveals how lives grow,
change, and sometimes stay the
same with the passage of time. The
movie talks about dreams and hopes
and opportunities and then, some-
times with brutal honesty, shows
how those dreams are or are not ful-
filled.
35 UP is playing at the Michigan
Theater.

Ohime! Consort was melodic refreshment

Consort of Musicke
Rackham Auditorium
March 6, 1992
With the plenitude of anniversary
celebrations worshipping the musical
titans Mozart, Prokofiev and Rossini
("we're not worthy, we're not wor-
thy!"), there isn't exactly a lack of
attention paid to the other music of
the past 200 years. For this reason
Concert review
the Consort of Musicke's per-
formance The Genius of Monteverdi
on Friday night represented a wel-
come clean-sing of the palate - a
display of early music.
Although the madrigals of Clau-
dio Monteverdi are hardly a new
discovery, many of the listeners
found these rarely played works are.
a revelation coming from the com-
poser some know as 'that early Ba-
roque guy who wrote the first
opera.'
The concert was quite con-
sciously set up as an educational ex-
perience, as Anthony Rooley, the di-
rector and lutist for the Consort,
provided lengthy dialogues about
Monteverdi and his musical innova-
tions. For example, Monteverdi's

madrigals, written in the first half of
the 17th century, preserve the poly-
phonic traditions of the Renaissance,
while breaking new ground with
compositions that are inextricably
tied to their texts. Some pieces even
have a dramatic quality that reflects
the composer's concurrent engage-
ment with operas like Orfeo.
But the composers of the early
seventeenth century were not the
only geniuses ("we're not worthy!").
Though many today view madrigals
as, in Rooley's words, "the apotheo-
sis of amateur music-making," the
performers of the day also possessed
a "subtle, sophisticated virtuosity."
Despite Rooley's deference to the
original performers of these works,
the Consort sang with a grace that
could stand alone from any compari-
son to the past. The group consisted
of six voices, three male and three
female, with an occasional lute con-
tinuo provided by Rooley. A multi-
layered wave of lament and joy, the
voices flowed into one another,
seamlessly becoming one and then
diverging once more.
Yet beneath the velveteen texture
lay a precise, tightly geared internal

metronome. Entrances and exits
were executed flawlessly, revealing
a rapport shared by musicians who
know each other's stirrings. For the
most part, their vocal blend achieved
a pleasing product, highlighted by
Though many today
view madrigals as, in
Rooley's words, 'the
apotheosis of amateur
music-making,' the
performers of the day
also possessed a
'subtle, sophisticated
virtuosity.'
the individual work of sopranlu,
Evelyn Tubb.
Despite her slight cough, Tubb
delivered trills and scales with a
dexterous ease that elevated her
above the competent singing of the
others. Her virtuosity enhanced her
emotive capability, especially in
Ch'io t'ami (If thou knowest not I
love thee) where she soars above the
delicate texture without puncturing
it.

The cohesiveness of the group
wavered slightly at times, however
The excessive vibrato employed by a
couple of the members compromised
the smooth mix of voices. At times,
for the sake of the dramatic in Mon-
teverdi, they overdid the vocal fire-
works, resulting in a near shouting
match.
Despite this minor shortcoming,
the evening provided an obliging, at
times fun introduction to Monte-
verdi. Pieces like Ohim , se tanto
amate (Alas, if you take such
pleasure) revealed the lighthearted,
tuneful side to the music of a period
predominantly concerned with sa-
cred music.
Rooley even compared such ma-
drigals to Everly Brothers songs
- they're thataccessible. And as he
said in his mid-concert narration,
such "early music is deserving yet of
basic pioneering exploration
... There's so much music there yet
unheard. You might be wonderfully
surprised."
- Roger Hsia and
Michael John Wilson

Luke Perry as John Hunter shows that he's a real actor. He can be
vulnerable! He can cry on cue! He got fake coke-sniffing tips from Al
Pacino for his tour de force role as a teenage addict in Terminal Bliss.
Ignorance is Bliss
Perry shows'us 90,210 ways to be
' realy evil and st l have lots o sex
Terminal Bliss
dir. Jordan Alan
by Sarah Weidman
Combine Beverly Hills 90210 with Less Than Zero and you've found
Terminal Bliss, a new film starring 90210's Luke Perry. The rich kids are
still there, driving BMWs and Porches; only these spoiled high schoolers
call South Carolina home.
Perry is John Hunter, a popular high school senior caught up in an elite
circle of friends, sex, and drugs. He plays a character similar to his Dylan
persona, but in Bliss, he comes off as Dylan's would-be evil side.
The film is a tale of John and his lifelong best friend, Alex (Timothy
Owen). Both vie for the affection of the new girl, Stevie (Estee Chandler),
whom Alex has introduced to the gang. Lady charmer John begins winning
the competition, while the more introverted Alex becomes jealous and slips
deeper into his cloud of drugs. Stevie has come between the boys' friend-
ship and tensions mount.
Perry succeeds in portraying a confused addict, but could put more emo-
tion into the role. John's love for Stevie seems repressed, even when he ex-
noes his heart.

Lush
Spooky
Reprise/Warner Bros.
Listening to Lush's first proper-
full-length LP is much like admiring
a flawed diamond - precious, beau-
tiful, but just not the perfect jewel
that one dreams of. I suppose
expecting perfection sounds like one
hell of a request, but given Lush's
near-flawless EP track record, it was
entirely feasible.
Still, Spooky is one delicious al-
bum. The winsome quartet weaves
that shimmery, Jesus and Mary
Chain meets the Cocteau Twins
web: a frenzy of sugary guitars,
stormy, churning rhythms, and whis-
pery, fey vocal harmonies barely
discernible through the maelstrom.
This is exercised to sumptuous per-
fection on tracks like "Nothing Nat-
ural," a raging ocean of heavenly
12-etrino chimes and anoelic har-

The most glaring problem with
Spooky is producer (and head Coc-
teau Twin) Robin Guthrie's rather
valiant attempt at ruining the whole
thing. His thick, soupy production
practically -rases any edge many of
the songs way have once had. This
results in songs like "Covert," which
sounds so twee and light it threatens
to just float away.

Fortunately, Lush manages to
break through the fog and kick out
sonic explosions like "Superblast!"
and "Laura." Guitarists Berenyi and
Emma Anderson show they can still
thrash with the best of them, conjur-
ing up a clattering guitar cacophony
that's sheer heaven.
Ultimately, Spooky lives up to its
name, all haunting melodies that rat-

tle around in your head like a
friendly ghost. So even if it's not the
masterpiece many expected, it still
dazzles. Berenyi herself says it best
at the end of "Tiny Smiles" when
she coos, "I'll make you smile.
"Spooky does, and these days;that's
saying a lot.

-Scott Sterling

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