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March 30, 1992 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-30

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d

Page 8 -The Michigan Daily- Monday, March 30, 1992

Kelly and
Sweeney'
combine
on a cold
comed
The Cutting Edge
dir. Paul M. Glaser
by Sarah Weidman
Just when you thought you'd seen
enough of the Olympic Ice Arena in
Albertville, France, it returns on an
even bigger screen. The Cutting
Edge throws a chauvinistic United
States Olympic Hockey player and a
hard-to-please Olympic figure skater
on the rink together.
Doug Dorsey (D.B. Sweeney)
was one of the best hockey skaters
ever. He was being recruited by nu-
merous NHL teams until his shot at
Olympic gold and a successful ca-
reer disappeared with his peripheral
vision, which he lost in a bad spill.
His hockey playing days ended as he
groveled for spots on small-town lo-
cal leagues.
Kate Moseley (Moira Kelly) was
one of the bitchiest ice queens
around. She too lost her shot at a
gold medal, but she blamed it on her
skating partner.
She now lives with her father
(Terry O'Quinn)in a mansion, com-
plete with a personal ice rink.
Spoiled and stubborn, Kate refuses
to cooperate in a quest for a new
partner. An anxious gold medal case
stands empty, waiting for the prize
that Kate's father has always
dreamed of.
Doug and Kate first meet in the
Olympic Ice Hall at the Calgary
Olympics. Doug turns a corner and
knocks Kate to the floor. The
National anthem begins, Kate shoots
off one of her many shocked looks,
and Doug says in his charming man-
ner, "Honey, where I'm from, we
stand for the national anthem."
Although the encounter is forgot-

You gotta wonaer about tne nappily-ever-after of a relationsnip that won '
survive the spring thaw, but for now, Doug Dorsey (D.B. Sweeney) and Kate
Moseley (Moira Kelly) are skating to happiness.

ten, the tension between Doug and
Kate is not. They communicate
through a series of redundant insults.
Both characters are too preoccupied
with comebacks to pull off a con-
vincing partnership, and the script is
overloaded with irritating one-liners.
It's obvious someone's going to fall
in love, because the pair's relation-
It's obvious someone's
going to fall in love.
The pair's relationship
can't get any worse.
ship can't get any worse. Nor can
Doug's witty comments: "There's
only two things I do great, and
skating's the other one."
After an hour of watching the
two skaters throw each other across
the ice, insult each other, break
noses, insult each other some more,
and then lose the audience's atten-
tion, a story actually evolves. Ne-
vertheless, Kate remains a spoiled
ice princess, and Doug remains of-
fensive.
Once the romance picks up, the
ice performances dwindle. Director
Paul Glaser (Starsky of Starsky and
Hutch fame) shoots the majority of
the action on the rink in slow mo-

tion. Most people attending this
movie will probably be interested in
some quality hockey or figure skat-
ing sequences, but the strobe/slo-mo
effect interrupts any hopes for daz-
zling entertainment.
The script is predictable and the
characters should connect sooner in
the film. But that's not the fault of
the actors. Sweeney and Kelly do
their best with the materials they had
to work with. Their relationship is
not developed in the screenplay, so
the romance is restricted to begin
with. Neither actor had previous
skating experience, so it would be
presumptuous to expect great ice
performances out of them. And al-
though viewers may tend to get an-
noyed with the overbearing attitudes
of both skaters, it's hard not to wish
them luck.
It's amusing to watch a crass
hockey hunk attempt a graceful form
on his terrain. And it's a bit heart-
warming to watch Kate loosen up
one loaded evening. The Cutting
Edge is a cute film, nothing more. If
you happen to know a little-league
hockey player or a blossoming
young figure skater, I'm sure they'd
appreciate this film.
THE CUTTING EDGE is playing at
Briarwood and Showcase.

fact, the output of Webern's (approximately) 30-year
career fits on four LPs; compare that to the sympho-
nies written just a generation before him - those of
Mahler and Richard Strauss - which can take up at
least an entire album by themselves.
In fact, musicologists and music theorists often
give the impression that Webern's sound is secondary
to the process by which he composed. Das Son-
nenlicht Spricht, a performance art piece conceived
and directed by Ann Arbor's own Arwulf Arwulf,
sheds some light on both aspects of Webern's music,
and gave this average musician a new way to define
"beauty" in music.
The title of the two-act portrait refers to a line of
poetry which was the inspiration for a composition.
Webern was composing the work before his acciden-
tal death at the hands of an American soldier at the
end of World War II. Arwulf himself announced this
fact to a small but appreciative audience before the
show began.
With that irony firmly in place, the inundation of
images and quotes, especially those dealing with
Webern's love of nature, took on a fatalistic quality.
That feeling often comes across in Webern's music,
even without the presence of a specific subtext; but
Arwulf's artful combination of visuals humanized a

Webern's beauty
kind of music that is too often appreciated only for its
abstractness.
In addition, the mingling of live figures with pho-
tographs was very compelling. Noonie Anderson's
cho-eography was fascinating, while Malcolm Tulip
brought blood and bone to balance that Viennese in-
tellectualism for which Webern was so well-known.
Without a doubt, the piece was most effective in
those moments when it successfully integrated all of
these elements.
The section which Arwulf called the "Cantata
Strata" is a good example. On one of three screens
was projected a long quote in which Webern likened
music to religion; the other two screens showed
images of religious art, while white-gowned dancers
moved like divine figures, and Webem looked on.
At first, the music featured in this segment was
Gregorian chant and Renaissance choral settings; it
was soon replaced by one of Webern's chorales,
which is similar in character, but also radically differ-
ent.
Other themes were also explored, such as the con-
flict between political power and artistic freedom; na-
ture as a model for artistic expression; and the human
desire to be comfortable above all else, even at the
expense of intellectual or emotional depth (which is
illustrated perfectly by the line, "What is generally
popular must not confuse us.")
Although this work used electronic media, high-
tech it wasn't. In fact, at the intermission, a couple of
audience members were temporarily inconvenienced
while Arwulf hauled out a ladder to change the car-
tridges on the slide projectors above their heads.
The sound engineering and lighting was very ef-
fective, however. The small audience, the foreword
by the director, and the intimacy of the space at
Performance Network made the piece extremely per-
sonal. It let the audience members peek into a very
private world and allowed them to come away from it
with understanding and appreciation for music usu-
ally deemed dry and untouchable.
- Michelle Weger

s

SWIFT
Continued from page 5
yes, the thing about a poem is that
it's beautiful, beautiful ... I admit
this is stating the obvious, but why
shirk the obvious? Literature does-
n't, after all. A great deal of litera-
ture - why not be frank? - only
states the obvious. A great deal of
literature is only (only!) the obvious
transformed into the sublime."
Ever After begins with death. The
narrator, Bill, has recently faced the
death of his wife, his mother and his
step-father. He has also tried to
commit suicide. The first line of the
novel reads, "These are, I should
warn you, the words of a dead man."

The narrator really relates to
Hamlet. Bill has felt this spiritual
connection since childhood. He ad-
mits, "... I was for many years, for
the best years of my life, a happy
man ... But perhaps the pensive
prince was always there, lurking in
some morbid toy-box, a foil to the
brightness of my days."
If the subject matter seems grim,
Swift stresses that this isn't all there
is to Ever After. He is adamant about
the ultimately uplifting nature of his
novel. "It is a novel about something
that faces us all, that is to say, mor-
tality. Although it deals with the end
of things it does deal with real love
and happiness. It ends on a positive
note, without at all being blind to the
darker side of things."
Swift's style finds a way to
combine the deeply emotional with
dry ironic humor. The narrator in
Ever After pulls these aspects to-

gether: "These things are meant to
be. Jack shall have Jill; nought shall
go ill. I might have lived thencefor-
ward, happily ever after. (But what
does 'ever' mean?) Her best line, her
most unforgettable line, delivered
with such casualness but with such
depths of promise: 'Share my
Taxi?"'
Swift feels he doesn't write to be
read aloud, but rather for "what I re-
gard as a quite sacred thing. This
wonderful process that occurs when
one sits down with a book, alone and
they are private and silent. Wonder-
ful things go on in the mind."
Regardless, his talented writing al-
most guarantees an enjoyable read-
ing. There's just something wonder-
ful about having a story read to you.
GRAHAM SWIFT will read this af-
ternoon at 4 p.m. in Rackham Am-
phitheatre. Admission is free.

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