Page 8-The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - October 8, 1992
Continued from page 4
sightful. Book reviews remain equally
But those silly little quips that fill
space at the end of articles - they're
all but gone. The sole surviving quip
wasn't as funny as the old ones; let's
hope they'll spring up in the future.
One would think that in a 178-page
magazine there would be room for
more of them.
It's in "The Talk of the Town" that
we started to lose it. We actually broke
down and cried. Simply put, it's gone.
Lost. Destroyed. Instead of the quirky,
amusing bits we read before anything
else, "Talk" has become a collection
of lightweight, Vanity Fair-style per-
The first entry, "Cocoon," is an
interview with Spanish director Pedro
Almodovar. Who cares? If we want
blurby profiles of hot stars, we'll read
People. Where are the hilarious bits
about people we've never heard of?
Where are the trips to boring events
like the Convention of Cosmologists,
so brilliantly written that they be-
come interesting? Where is our friend,
who writes ...?
This, we sadly come to acknowl-
edge, is the tragedy that Ms. Brown
probably doesn't even realize. Our
friend, the one who wrote from the
Caribbean, from a mid-town brown-
stone, from that strange gathering on
Broadway, has passed on. That fel-
low on the title page (with the monocle
and the butterfly) has been muted. By
moving the bylines on articles to the
beginning, instead of the end - feed-
ing a cult of personality, rather than
the magazine - Ms. Brown has si-
lenced the overall voice of the New
Yorker. That wonderful, first person
plural ("We almost spilled our drink,
talking to so-and-so") has been junked.
[he one thing that emphasized the
singularity of the New Yorker, the
magazine of a bunch of witty and
intelligent people who loved to tell
interesting stories, is gone. Perhaps
it's for the best - how can a maga-
zine sold nationwide be any of that'?
But it was. We were always thrilled
to flop open a new issue and see that
"a friend wrote" or that the New
Yorker's wonderful "we" had gone to
the entomologist's dinner - and ate
honey ants. Ms. Brown will certainly
raise ad sales, and stilt produce inter-
esting articles and print only the best
fiction, but things can never be the
same. A friend has left, perhaps for-
ever, and all we can do is hope, in
vain, for a letter.
- AiAx J. IHOGG. JR.
AND MICHAEL JOHN WILSON
A decade later
'Sneakers' is complete
Continued from page 2
ety, adorn the walls. The Touchdown
crowd can get really vocal. Pseudo-
sportos should refrain from yelling
misinformed obiter dictums tike "All
right Chris Webster pass that ball
The blue-shirted, white-shorted
waiters at the Touchdown are well-
meaning and friendly. The service,
however, pretty much sucks. Orders
generally take about three days. The
waiters, though, are sincerely apolo-
getic and will usually give you any
item that is late or mismade for free.
Furthermore, not all the waiters ask
for ID all the time. So if you're under-
age and look old enough not be called
'Doogie," Touchdown is the second
best place in town (Dominick's is still
If partying to you involves down-
ing beers, watching the game, and
occasionally ye lline "Go blue/vellow/
back/home," the Touchdown is the
swellest watering hole on South .. -
1220 S. University
What to wear: Big hair.
Faux Pas Phrase: "Do you have
Jukebox Jams: Steve Miller and/or
What to bring: A beer bong.
How to eat: Someplace else.
Continued from page S
his opponent by outdueling him, but
also by improvising a mocking poem
at the same time.
Depardieu is supported by a strone
cast, including Anne Brochet
(Roxanne) and Vincent Perez (Chris-
tian). Jacques Weber is wonderful as
the Comte de Guiche. an egotistical
man who makes life hard on all the
Jean-Paul Rappeneau's direction
makes the film into a visual work of
art. His use of ligh ting, color, and
textures make "Cyrano" a lovely film
to watch. Of course, his film does look
better on the silver screen, but its beauty
survives on video.
The filmmakers focus on the trag-
edy, rather than the comedy of the
story. Cyranois plagued by self doubt,
Roxanne is the unwitting victim of a
scam, and Christian is a pathetically
horny dunce. All the characters 'faults
lead to theirproblems, problems which
don't get the happy. solved-in-30-
minutes Hollywood ending. That's
what makes the film so easy to relate
to. Both everyone too shy to make a
first move and everyone too awkward
to take advantage of that first move,
can identify with this film.
At its heart, however, "Cyrano" is
aromance. And as aromance, it would
make a oreat movie to have on a
Michigan winter night, curled up on
your couch with your Cyrano or
by Sarah Weidman
Imagine finally casting a decade-
long project to star Robert Redford,
Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, River
Phoenix, and Mary McDonald, only
to have the United States Navy at-
tempt to shut it down, It almost hap-
pened to director Phil Alden Robinson
on his new movie "Sneakers."
Lasker tells the story. "One day Phil
got a call saying the Naval Depart-
ment of Intelligence was sending out
some intelligence officers the next
day to talk to him," he said. "These
guys showed up in suits and were very
unfriendly. I don't think they ever sat
down. They kind of got right to the
"They said, 'Your script has come
to our attention. And everything is
fine, except because of things that
have happened recently in the inter-
national scene, we'd like you to re-
move all reference to a hand-held
device that can decode codes."'
If you haven't seen the movie, this
device happens to be the plot's driv-
ing element. Everything revolves
around the hand-held device. So what
"Well, Phil ran over and we had
the lawyer from the studio, and it took
us a couple of hours before we real-
ized that someone had to be pulling
our leg. We still don't know who was
behind it - either Redford or
Aykroyd," he said.
The idea for "Sneakers," about a
team of computer hackers hired by
companies to break in to test their
security, arose in 1981 whenLasker
and co-writer/producer Walter Parkes
were researching for their Academy
Award nominated screenplay,
"Wargames." They inadvertently
found out about these teams the gov-
ernment put s together, and thought
there was potential for a movie.
Finally, I11 years worth of writing,
rewriting, and studio changes later,
"Sneakers" is on the big screen.
Now that it's here, one has to won-
der how such talented actors cune
together. According to Lasker, it only
took a single factor. "Once we had
Redford, it wasn't hard. You know, a
lot. of people want to work with the
guy," he said.
Among those people who wanted
to work with Redford was director
Phil Alden Robinson. Once Robinson
completed "Field of Dreams," Uni-
versal asked him what he'd like next.
He wanted to produce "Sneakers,"
but had little interest in directing.
Laskerand partner Parkes suckered
Robinson into giving them a list of
actors with whom he'd want to work.
With a bit of shmoozing and some
arm-twisting, Lasker and Parkes man-
aged to sign Redford. As a result, they
got their director. Robinson couldn't
pass up the opportunity to work with
Redford's character, Martin
Bishop, leads the team of computer
whizzes. The men stick together and
the result is some serious male bond-
ing denture wearers would kill for.
What about the only woman featured
in the movie'? Mary McDonald plays
Liz, Bishop'sex-girl friend. Liz seems
to be little more than an afterthought,
thrown in to stand by her man. Lasker
failed to defend her weak role.
"Liz was always in the script," he
said. "She started out. not being an ex-
girlfriend of Redford's, buta girl who
worked at the bank where they broke
into at the beginning, and then gets
caught up in it. But it took too long to
develop that story. And it was clearly,
really never going to be more than a
corollary to the action. So we made
her an ex-girlfriend so the relation-
ship was much more apparent right at
the beginning, so we didn't have to
develop it. It wasn't much of a role,
we know - heh."
Like the characters Cosmo and
Bishop in the film, Lasker and Parkes
were old college buddies. Their friend-
ship began when the two were room-
mates at Yale. '[his coincidental pair-
ing led toa successful producing team,
with films such as "Project X" star-
ring Matthew Broderick, "True Be-
liever," and "Awakenings."
Although they often work together,
both Lasker and Parkes do have inde-
pendent projects. "We have a couple
of things we're doing together," he
said. "We're also doing things sepa-
rately, so we're sort of branching out.
We enjoy working together, and
there's no reason to split up just be-
cause we want to do things on our
own," said Iasker.
Lasker's next solo venture is the
life story of legendary Blues inusi-
cian Muddy Waters. "It's an explora-
tion of Delta Blues and where they
come from and how the people on the
plantations created one of the great art
forms of the 20th century," he said.
The Muddy Waters project is a far
cry from the overt political stance
shown in "Sneakers." Looking at their
record though, any topic is fair gaine
for Lasker and Parkes. 'They have no
subject preference, and Lasker admit-
ted, "I think we're just keeping our-
selves entertained over the years."
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In 1992 a battleship's been
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Please Note: Open to all inter-
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Date: October 15, 1992
Time: 5:15pm - 7:15pm
Place: EECS Bldg. 1010
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TLT imir mn