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March 16, 1992 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-16

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Monday, March 16,1992

New music was a turn-on

New Works from the Electronic
Music Studios
Rackham Auditorium
March 14,1992
Tonight takes its place in the tra-
dition of inter-arts creativity in Ann
Arbor. Through the works on this
program, each of us can experience
anew the difference between partici-
pating in a piece that addresses
one's responses primarily through
the ears and one that asks participa-
tion with the eyes and kinesthetic
body senses as well.
-Diane Kirkpatrick
History of Art Department Chair
It was a performance that touched
the senses and was unlike anything
I'd ever seen before. In fact seeing
had very little to do with it, for this
performance involved listening, with
an occasional visual aid thrown in
for good measure. New Works from
the Electronic Music Studios, orga-
nized by George Balch Wilson, was
a collaboration of such pictures,
dancers and electronically-processed
The performance began in dark-
ness, with various mixtures of
Concert review -
sounds, ranging from bells to space
noises to echoes, coming from four
different speakers strategically
placed around the audience. The
sounds seemed to jump from speaker
to speaker with various intensities.
There were no visual aids at first; at
times it was difficult to tell whether
the sounds were synthesized or not.
Following the initial introduction
to this new music was a piece titled
"--57" which began with a visual of
a computer chip and a flower pro-
jected in the middle of it. A mechan-
ical voice, speaking for the computer

chip, compared itself to a landscape.
Unlike the real world, with changing
colors per season, this chip repre-
sents a technology where seasons
have no relevance. Items can be
added and processed with a blink of
an eye, and as a result, nature does-
n't mean what it used to.
, "Upper Midwestern Apologia,"
written by Ann Arbor poet Keith
Taylor, combined electronic music
and visuals by Evan Chambers and
Doug Hagley, respectively. At first
this was a tranquil piece depicting
photos of the Midwest with echoing
voices whispering "landscape."
Sounds of crickets and birds
chirping, wind whistling and water
dripping coordinated with images of
peaceful-looking lakes, painting a
very haunting picture when associ-
ated with Taylor's words. He gave
us the impression that our environ-
ment is slowly becoming something
harmful to wildlife and people be-
cause of ongoing industrialization.
Doctoral student P.Q. Phan gave
a stunning interpretation of his expe-
riences growing up in Vietnam. He
used electronic music, the work of
choreographer Jeremy Steward and
members of the University Dance
Company. The dancers, wearing
black leggings and colored tank tops,
acted out the emotions and reactions
of a child caught in Vietnam from
1968 to 1972. Sounds of helicopters
and machine guns fired through the
The grand finale, titled "Gog and
Magog" showcased the collaborative
talents of Glenn Palmer and Tom
Frank. The two artists tried to ex-
press the message of mankind's de-
liberate destruction of self and the
universe through the various wars in
history. With the intensity and flare
of a video game, the piece incorpo-

rated war pictures flashing on a
screen. These showed soldiers, uni-
forms, maps, machinery, medals and
people from different countries.
Echoing music and sounds of na-
ture were followed by sirens and ar-
tillery, which seemed to be coming
closer and closer. Pictures of people
screaming in anguish flashed on the
screen, while moving shadows filled
the entire front wall of the audito-
New Works from the
Electronic Music
Studios shows that
technology is changing
our world, and not
necessarily for the
rium. Armageddon's radar symbol
held its place in the center of each
picture, giving us the impression of
destruction through every war photo.
As these ghostly shadows
continuously moved past, haunting
music of various intensities filled the
room; all eyes were glued upon the
pictures of cemeteries and rows of
tombstones in front of us declaring
their death by war.
New Works from the Electronic
Music Studios shows that technology
is changing our world, and not nec-
essarily for the better. Meanwhile, it
has used that new technology itself
in its music to positively present
problems, such as environmental de-
struction, that are currently facing
us and need to be addressed.
-Carina A. Bacon

Live (sort of) from New York (OK, Toronto), it's Lorne Michaels
If you ask Lorne Michaels (far right) why so many brilliant comedians come out of Toronto, he'll tell you that
it's because Toronto used to be "such a boring place to grow up." Michaels, the television producer extraordi-
naire who recently brought the "Wayne's World" skit to the big screen, says that living in Ontario forced him to
invent comic ideas because there was simply nothing else to do.
Fortunately, Michaels ended his Canadian angst in 1968, when he went to Los Angeles to work as a writer for
the then-revolutionary Laugh-In. In creating such ground-breaking material, Michaels soon learned (or perhaps
helped shape) the kind of comedy Americans would eat up.
In 1975, Michaels became the first executive producer of a daring new show called Saturday Night Live.
Enough said. He stayed with the show until 1980, wisely getting out before the first new cast- and some
accompanying jeers - came in. While he was absent, Michaels founded Broadway Video, Inc., the company
that produces Kids in the Hall.
In 1985, when TV audiences once again began laughing at the show for the reasons the writers intended,
Michaels returned to Saturday Night Live . Producing the show ever since, he has put such sayings as "Yeah,
that's the ticket!" and "Well isn't that conveeeeeniant!" into our idiom.
For scholars of American culture, Wayne's World is essentially a monument to Lorne Michaels' rich
understanding of the contemporary television medium; Wayne's partner Garth would probably tell you just that
he hoped you "didn't think it sucked." Garth's general sentiments seem fairly basic, but Michaels had a rather
refined design for how to keep Wayne's World from "sucking." He wanted the film to "play the culture back to
itself." Appreciating our culture, in this case, requires only that you have watched Laverne and Shirley.
Michaels envisioned Wayne's World as if Garth and Wayne had made it themselves. Realizing that
"American kids know television the way French kids know wine," the producer put television at the core of the
film. Doing so seems a reflection of Michaels' life work; few people, after all, have done more to put television at
the core of America.
-Gabriel Feldberg
A healthy treatment of injustice

Article 99
dir. Howa rd Deutch
by Chris Lepley
Article 99 is a surprisingly good and original film.
Directed by Howard Deutch (Pretty in Pink, Some Kind
of Wonderful), Article 99 tells the story of our country's
lack of commitment to the veterans of its wars. The film
is preachy, funny and melodramatic by turns, but there
is passion behind every line, and in every look.
Article 99 resembles Born on the Fourth of July and
Platoon in that it assumes that its audience is liberal.
The film proceeds from that standpoint, never bothering
to explain why providing health care for the poor and
suffering, no matter what the monetary cost, is more
important than following the rules and statutes of the
In the magical world of Hollywood, those kinds of
questions are moot anyway. So it isn't a glaring error to
automatically assume that the audience will give a shit.
An "Article 99" is a fictitious government statute
which informs a veteran that he has been awarded "full
medical benefits, however, as the diagnosed condition
cannot be specifically related to military service, treat-
ment is not available at this time." In other words, you
didn't have your four heart attacks in Vietnam, so we
can't treat you for heart disease.
In effect a "Catch-22" for the '90s, an "Article 99" is
the death knell for any vet who requires extensive med-
ical treatment.
Although the statute itself is imaginary, screenwriter
Ron Cutler created it by combining several pieces of ac-
tual bureaucratic red tape, forming a more powerful
symbol of neglect. Cutler's screenplay is based on sub-
stantial research at VA hospitals across the country,
making it ring true dramatically, despite the comedy
which the characters use as an escape from brutal real-
Cutler interviewed doctors at VA hospitals across
the country, even though those doctors were threatened
with dismissal for speaking with the film crew. The ac-
tors in the film sat in on several open-heart surgeries,
researching their roles as heart specialists.
Not since the Oscar-winning Coming Home has a
VA hospital been portrayed so realistically, and the
characters were still allowed to be the focal point of the
film, rising above the all-important "issue."

The film follows Dr. Peter Morgan (Kiefer
Sutherland) from his first day at the hospital. Morgan is
a cocky, superficial, future country club member who
wants to spend a few months at the VA, then start a lu-
crative private practice in Beverly Hills.
Dr. Richard Sturgess (Ray Liotta) is the maverick
who gives up a private practice to stay at the VA year
after year, just doing his best to save people's lives.
With his partners in crime, Dr. Sid Handleman (Forest
Whitaker), Dr. Robin Van Dorn (Lea Thompson) and
Dr. Rudy Bobrick (John C. McGinley), Sturgess con-
ducts midnight raids on the animal research laborato-
ries, stealing the medical supplies he needs to treat his
Van Dorn is an idealistic go-getter who spots the sil-
ver spoon jutting out of Morgan's mouth right away.
True to type, he hits on her every chance he gets, but
refreshingly enough, even after he experiences his in-
evitable change of heart, she doesn't go to bed with
him. She isn't treated as his reward for good behavior,
and he doesn't win her like a prize after he realizes the
value of human life.
That isn't to say that Article 99 doesn't have its
share of romantic comedy. Dr. Diana Walton (Kathy
Baker) is a psychiatrist who strikes instant sparks with
Sturgess. Their scenes together are witty and tender,
and their relationship isn't romanticized to the point of
exchanging poignant looks for minutes at a time.
Like the rest of the cast, Walton and Sturgess seem
like real people, and that's the plus that Article 99 has
over other "message" movies. The characters are fully
drawn, fully functional human beings. Even the villain,
Dr. Henry Dreyfoos (John Mahoney), the hospital's
cost-cutting director,'does more than just sneer and
mouth threats.
The film's message isn't new, but its style and wit is.
A good script and great acting save Article 99 from be-
ing just another argument for straight-to-video releases.
The ensemble cast works well together, and the faces
are familiar.
Many of the film's actors worked together on Oliver
Stone's Platoon, and that camaraderie provides a
smooth rhythm to the film's dialogue and movement.
Deutch's direction is economical, but not sterile. The
film's facts are straight, but it doesn't play like a docu-
mentary. Above all, Article 99 is funny, entertaining
and relevant.
ARTICLE 99 is playing at Showcase.

John C. McGinley, Ray Liotta and Forest Whitaker are just a few of the way cool unheralded talents in Article 99.
Note Kiefer Sutherland's absence.
- 1

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would get Best Picture, and Marisa
WRITE FOR TIlE DAILY VINNY Tomei would walk off with a-Best
WRITE FOR SPORTS WRITE FOR Continued from page 5 Supporting Actress statuette. OK,
NE WS WR ITE FOR ARTS WRITEmaybe not. But see My Cousin
FOR OPIONON WRITE FOR THIE In a perfect world, Hollywood Vinny. It's good honest fun that
MICHIGAN DAILY wouldn't be so pretentious, and anyone will like.
76/-0552 movies real people liked would get MY COUSIN VINNY is playing at
Oscar nominations. Wayne's World Showcase and Briarwood.
And they're both repre-
sented by the insignia you wear
as a member of the Army Nurse
( re .TPrni-P> nti -t

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