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March 31, 1992 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-31

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01

Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, March 31,1992

Snipes &
Harrelson
have balls
White Men Can't
Jump
dir. Ron Shelton
by Jen Bilik
T he Raison d'Etre: Reverse
discrimination hasn't gotten enough
attention in the press. Really. White
basketball players are getting a
crummy rap because Black boys
from the ghetto think they can't
play. Larry Bird aside, this is an is-
sue that must be addressed.
The Parable: Billy Hoyle (Woody
Harrelson) comes to Venice Beach,
California to play with the greats. He,
dresses like a sloppy Big Dog white
boy just to fool those fashion-con-
scious rapping hoopsters on the
street into thinking he can't stuff his
ball in their hoop.
Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes)
takes Billy's challenge. He learns
that Billy can indeed dribble suc-
cessfully, and the two become a
hustling team that preys on Black
prejudice: those ghetto boys mistak-
enly assume that because Billy is
white, he can't play ball. After heart-
wrenching deceptions and silly plot
devices, Billy and Sidney become
friends, proving that racial unity is
possible.
The Ingredients: Woody from
Cheers will draw the white audience
because they think he's a babe. Al-
though his character on Cheers is a
little thick in the skull, if one adds
some unjustifiable hostility that
crops up with no support from the
plot, then he's ready to play ball.
Snipes has a bod that just won't
quit. Although he can act, he's still a
great choice because he will draw
the Black audience.
Rosie Perez (Spike Lee's girl-
friend in Do the Right Thing) plays
Woody's girlfriend. Because she is
Puerto Rican, she will prove that
Woody is no typical white racist. Al-
so, she can talk a blue streak, doing
that dozens thing where Black peo-
ple insult each other affectionately.
For spice and flavor, it is neces-
sary to add Black men on the bas-
ketball courts who insult every-

Redefining classic art
BFA Exhibition, Part U
Rackham Third Floor Galleries
March 30, 1992
Pity that the sand-and-spackle crew has to work the Rackham Galleries
so frequently. Though the public beflefits by seeing a variety of ideas stream
unchecked, transient exhibits such as this one sail by. The exhibition dis-
played this weekend past - of artists Colleen O'Rourke, Judd Winick, Ben-
jamin Holcomb, Nick Plotkin, Todd Lefelt, Beverly Weitzner and Dana
Epstein - overflowed with several brilliant works, a glimpse of what the art
world will become.
O'Rourke was fascinated with arterial shapes; whorls and stems were
seen in her cool, liquid watercolors, such as "A Painting for my Brother." A
magnification of that concept became knotty, neuron-like branches, seen in
"Stressed," her oil painting resembling gorgeous bacteria or a close-up of fi-
brous reeds.
Sharing gallery space with O'Rourke was Winick, whose collection of
illustrations included his observations on society. In "Jesus Meets The
Press," a broadcast journalist asks the crucified man, "So, what about you
and that prostitute you've been seen with?" Winick displayed witty pencil
drawings from his geared-for-children "Alphabet Book." "F is for Fez fac
tory," writes Winick, accompanying a picture of animated fezzes, tassels.,
dancing into assembly line submission while a placid Bill Plympton-type
controller looks on. Q
Another illustrator, Holcomb, displayed some of his cartoons, but his so-
cially conscious photography was more impressive. Both ear- and eye-
catching was "By Invitation Only," which had music playing under a series
of photographs. A sample of text on the images read "the gore whores (so-
cietal sores) looking for more." On the opposite walls, Ewald took a less
serious approach to her art, grouping a series of figure studies of realistic
women with a portrait of one woman sticking out her tongue.
Not the Harry & David perfect globe, Plotkin's "Apple" carried more of
a Snow White tinge. Part of the mystery came from materials used -
smoke and pastels. Smoke? The smudgy charcoal effect was unique, casting
shadow around the fruit to achieve a sinister, tempting, after-the-fall look.
Across the room was Lefelt's frightening "Machine," a structure with a
grid-like layer of metallic wire, chains and steel. The painted surface
beneath the sculpture resembled a sadistic urban street map - Lefelt's-
artistic comment on what society has become, a mechanistic world.
Weitzner and Epstein shared a similar style; upon inspection, however,
their subtext was very different. Epstein, in her print "Fountain," or in her
nude drawings, offered an open body language, inviting the viewer with
warm colors. Weitzner offered in contrast geometric language, harsher lines
and more sallow yellows. Cassatt colors and textbook precision made these
works professional. What is classic? All the students seemed to wonder.-
Each representative defined the question, bringing new ideas forward.
-Diane Frieden

hope for Harrelson, but poor Snipes needs a Spike Lee rejuvenation bad!

body's mama.
The Title: Everybody knows that
white men can't jump. Otherwise
Avis would've hired John Travolta
to do their commercials rather than
O.J. Simpson. It is offensive enough
to draw white men into the theater
while being humorous enough to
draw black men into the theater.
Also, it plays an important role
(read: symbolic cipher) in the cliff-

games. Snipes is married with a kid
and must make ends meet while
maintaining his sweat-glistening sex
appeal. Perez wants to be on Jeo-
pardy because that seems like a
viable way to earn a living and she
will get to meet Alex Trebek.
The Big-Wigs: Ron Shelton wrote
and directed White Men Can't Jump.
He also wrote and directed Bull Dur-
ham and Blaze. He likes sports. Al-

Snipes is married with a kid and must make
ends meet while maintaining his sweat-
glistening sex appeal. Perez wants to be on
Jeopardy because that seems like a viable way
to earn a living.

hanger ending of this pathetic movie.
The Sub-Plots: Not numerous
enough to hold interest or confuse.
Woody owes parodic Italian loan
sharks (who, in an homage to Ann
Arbor, are named Stucci) money so
they show up to break his legs
whenever the plot's a little slow.
They drive a dark van and try to look
menacing.
Perez constantly threatens to
leave Woody because he is "bad
with money," meaning that he bets
$1,700 at a time on basketball

though Bull Durham was a good mo-
vie, he cannot write in the Black ver-
nacular.
In wit's stead, he has everybody
do the aforementioned dozens, but
his insults hold less interest than
those one hears in the third grade. A
typical dozens remark: "Your mama
is an astronaut." With insults like
these, who needs compliments?
The Technique: Bathe all the cha-
racters in golden lighting and make
the soundtrack a battle between
Black and white. For example,

Woody listens to Jimi Hendrix, but
Snipes asserts that Woody cannot
truly "hear" Jimi's message. Woody
retorts that Jimi's band consisted of
white men who, presumably, could
not jump.
Snipes listens to rap, which gives
Woody a headache. For the editing,
it is imperative to cut right after the
characters shoot the ball to a shot of
the ball going into the hoop. This
will convince the audience that
Woody and Snipes really can play.
The Sex: Perez's breasts are quite
perky.
The Hormonal Influence: This
movie is heavily laden with testos-
terone. If insulted, a man must fight.
If a mama is insulted, a man must
kill. If a basketball challenge is
made, much money must be bet. All
human values aside, the basketball
court is a man's world and any nar-
rative scenario must reflect this mas-
culine tendency, regardless of how
stupid the resulting product turns
out.
Testosterone, remarkably, is the
one factor that cuts across racial
lines, because all male characters,
whether Black or white, can agree
that "love and balls" are the same
thing.
Repetition: A way to make a tired
plot stretch on for almost two hours
while making points that the movie
actually takes seriously.
The Ultimate Cliche: Snipes refers
to himself and Woody as "Ebony
and Ivory."
White Men Can't Jump: A re-
markably empty, poorly written, un-
funny, offensive movie.
WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP is pla-
ying at the Ann Arbor 1 & 2 and
Showcase.

POWER
Continued from page 5
teaching Zulus English. But his true
test comes when he falls in love with
Maria Marais (Fay Masterton), the
daughter of the leader of the Afri-
kaaner's Nationalist Party, who, of
course, believes in rigid racial se-
paration.
Without a doubt, the best thing
about The Power of One is its spec-
tacular soundtrack. Hans Zimmer's
(Driving Miss Daisy, Rain Man)
score and South African pop star
Johnny Clegg's original songs are
superb. The soundtrack livens up the
dull narrative and enhances Dean
Semler's (Dances with Wolves)
beautiful cinematography.
The main problem with The Po-
wer of One is that it tries to be a
tearjerking, heartwarming, feel-good
movie. One would think that with
such an abundance of Oscar-winning

talent, this film could pull it off. But
the acting talents of Gielgud and
Freeman are completely wasted in
minor roles. Freeman acts like an
Uncle Tom who can't seem to figure'
which accent he should use.
The Power of One hopes that the
we will be stupid enough to fall fof
its contrived, trite moments. Will
Maria defy her father once she learns
the unfairness her father supports?
Of course she will.
The Power of One also falters in'
trying to show how bad Apartheid
really is. As if we didn't know! The
film acts as if we haven't heard of
the situation before. Because we
witness this through the eyes of a,
white protagonist, we now can be-
lieve the horror and the injustice,
putting The Power of One in the
same category as A World Apart or
Cry Freedom.

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The Office of Minority Affairs is looking for
energetic, reliable, and highly motivated
students for its summer residential programs!!

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THE POWER OF ONE is playing at
Showcase.

I

Wade McCree Incentive Scholars Program
mid-June through July 31

King/Chavez/Parks' Program
mid-June through mid-August

DON'T MISS SORORITY FALL RUSH!
Sororit Fall Formal i&ush will be Early this year:
SepteMber 7th - 23rd, 1992
So register early on:
Tuesda, April 7th and 3ednesday. April 8th
10 aM - 5 pM Pondeoom. (ichigan (nion
$20.00
For more inforMafiov call The Office of Greek Life at 663-4505
Let the Rush Begin!

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7

Job Description:

Supervise, mentor, and work with
high school students of color who
will reside at the University of
Michigan for an extended period of
time during the summer of 1992.
Facilitate discussions and
presentations that focus on access
to a college education and current
issues of interest for high school
students.
Hourly rate ($5.80-$6.80) and
University room and board for the
duration of the program.
Completed application form and
personal statement of interest.
Group and/or individual interview
process. Full participation in
training sessions.

'1

Compensation:

Selection Process:

Amazin' Blue- A co-ed a capella
singing ensemble.
Comedy Company - A student-
directed and written comedy troupe
that performs once a term and has
travelled to other Big 10 schools.
Impact Dance - For non-dance
majors who have extensive training
in all areas of dance.
M-Flicks - The largest film group
on campus.
Soph Show - A musical whose
cast consists of first and second
year students.
MUSKET - The largest musical
theatre group on campus.
Entertainment
Laughtrack - Featuring student
comedians and professional

perform weekly.
Special Events - Brings exciting
activities to the U of M such as
Mademoiselle,Girbaud Fashion
show. ..anything you dream up.
Starbound - A campus-wide talent
competition that gives students the
opportunity to perform win prizes,
and gain experience and recognition.
Traditions
Homecoming - As official University
coordinators of Homecoming, UAC
plans the parade, float contest, pep
rally, and many other campus-wide
activities.
Michigras - Brings the festive
atmosphere of Mardi-Gras to U of M.
North Campus
CeigBoe t i
College Bowl.- A competitive quiz.-

champions travel to contest during
the winter term.
Mini-Courses - Each term, over
30 noncredit course are offered,
ranging from aerobic dance to sign
language.
Northern Lights - Brings current
UAC events to North Campus and
creates its own programs specially
suited for the North Campus
community.
Viewpoint - Sponsors a variety of
lectures and forums for discussion,
including Student Soapbox.
Tech Crew - Supplies and
monitors the necessary sound and
lighting equipment for all the
events UAC sponsors.
Ticket Central - Serving all of
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Applications are available at the
Office of Minority Affairs
1042 Fleming
Deadline is Fridav. April 3. 1992

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