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November 16, 1992 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-16

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6

Page 10-The Michigan Daily- Monday, November 16, 1992
Ingmar's intentions are poetic

by Camilo Fontecilla

Obviously, anyone who writes a six-hour long
screenplay based on their own parents' lives is
going on somewhat of an ego trip. Ingmar
Bergman's script for "The Best Intentions," a
reconstruction of his own parents' stormy
relationship, runs six (oops, three and a half)
hours long. The original version of the film,
The Best Intentions
directed by Billie August; written by Ingmrar
Bergmian; with Sunuel Fruiler, Penilla August,
Max von Sydow and Chita Norby

produced for Swedish TV, was divided into two
tihree hour episodes, and probably had
commercial breaks. Since nowadays nobody has
that much time to spare watching a movie, the
film 'version has been considerably cut.
Nevertheless, Bergman doesn't serve up a
flattering portrait of his progenitors; on the con-
trary, what makes the film interesting is the psy-
chological instability and moodiness of both
young Bergmans. Even though forbidden love
between social classes has been treated exten-
sively before, Billie August floods this film with
so much romance and visual stimulation that it
will melt the hardest of hearts.
Set in Sweden at the- start of this century,
"The Best Intentions'' trails the blossoming and
maturing of the love of l lenrik Bergman (Samuel

lFriler) and Anna Akerblom ( Pernilla August).
't'he film is divided into two distinct parts, before
and after their wedding. With Anna's mother
(Ghita Norby) vehemently opposed to the union,
the new couple encounters nothing but difficul-
ties, but their faithfulness to each other manages
to pull them through together.
While the first part deals primarily with fan-
ily obstacles, once married, the couple's tempes-
tuous egos clash resoundingly. Henrik's donning
of the clerical robes assigns him to a small towl
in northern Sweden, where the socialist move-
ment is beginning to stir the unhappy local fac-
tory workers. Slowly he increases the size of his
congregation, becoming involved in the revolu-
tionary meetings of the townsfolk. But Anna is
not content, even after her first child is born, and
is tempted by an offer forI lenrik to become
[lead Chaplainl in the Queen's new hospital.
From here on their differences draw them apart,
and they find they must make a final decision if
they are both to live in peace.
Pernilla August's Anna, who received the
coveted (Cannes award for best actress, is an in-
credibly multifaceted actor. With the cunning of
a fox she carefully transforms Ilenrik into exactly
what she wants him to be. She never flaunts her
patiently nurtured power, and yet she completely
dominates her husband, managing to make him
carry the guilt of all her attentively woven
act ions. This is a grand performance, because

Anna's monstrosity is screened by a deliciously
lovely fagade, and the audience can't help but
side with her most of the time.
Of course, Henrik is no angel, but he is rarely
strong. His lower-class status involuntarily sub-
mits him to his wife's station frmom the very be-
ginniug, as much as he may deny it in words.
Sunuel Frtiler's performance was unlortunately
rather static throughout most of the film, but he
offers a few good moments, particularly those in
which he gets to yell at his wife. 'The rest of the
cast. was impressive, notably the terrific
Akerblom parents, Max von Sydow and Ghita
Norby, who were fortunately drawn with com-
plexity in Bergman's script.
Since much of the original film was cut, there
are some confusing loose ends in the plot that
seem to lead nowhere. It doesn't become ex-
tremely distracting, but the lirge amount of tiun-
developed subplots do occasionally detract from
the main storyline. In any case, all this skipping
around is softened by the palette of director Billie
August ("Pelle the Conqueror"), crunmned with
every existing pastel in the color wheel. The cit-
ematography alone makes the movie worth see-
ing, and if you can lorgive its slight faults and its
length, yOIu're in for one of the most poetic
movie rides this year.
THIE BzEST IN'I:NTIONS is /)ila g iat thc
Michigan lTeter.

6
I

Soul train
Lead singer Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum during their set last Saturday
night at St. Andrew's Hall.

Hail! Glee Club keeps up the tradition

6

Night Ranger, in their '80s heyday. So are they wearing wigs or what?
Nostalga for the 198s.

by Kim Yaged
And you thought Wednesday
night at the Nectarine was the only
place for you to get your dose of
'80s nostalgia incarnate. Well,
Night Ranger
Hairpo's
Noveimber 12, 1992
Thursday night, IHarpo's had its
own rendition in the form of Night
Ranger live on stage. But don't go
running for your stretch pants yet.
This version of Night Ranger
has been condensed to a trio which
includes only two of the band's
original members. Kelly Keagy
mostly hid behind his drum set,
placed off to the side of the stage,
which was large enough to be
buried in. The remainder of the
stage was sparsely filled with the
other two band members, guitarist
Brad Gillis and new guy onboard,
bassist/lead vocalist (ary Moon.
Tuned up to a heavy metal vol-

ume, in attempt to jam to their
new tracks, Night Ranger looked
as self-conscious as they made the
audience feel. Keagy even bor-
dered on apologetic. In savior like
fashion, Gillis performed and
presented himself with the con-
fidence of a musician of his
caliber. His finger plucking was
what made the new tracks
bearable.
But Night Ranger knew what
everyone was tfiere to see, and
they were not bashful in supplying
it. "(You Can Still) Rock In
America" was one of the better
tracks. Highlights included ")on't
Tell Me You Love Me" and
"Sister Christian." "Let Iim Run"
was an unexpected favorite per-
formed in the encore.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of
the evening was tle opening band.
1)C Drive. Complete with bongo
set and saxophone, not only
weren't they booed off' the stage,
but they were worth listening to
also. How's that for'8{ls-ish'?

by Melissa Rose Bernardo_
For 133 consecutive years, the
University of Michigan Men's Glee
Club has been making some of the
best music in the world. Their fall
concert proved why.
Their repertoire required many
dramatic shifts in tempo and volume,
which the choir manipulated well in
virtually all of' their pieces. Pou-
lenc's devotional "Four Short
Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi" and
their three spirituals were their best
exhibition of this quality. The choir
provided spine-chilling shifts for a
result that was exhaustingly, spiritu-
ally moving. Just when you thought
it could not get any louder, the vol-
ume lowered: when you thought the
tempo could not accelerate any
more, it pulled back.
The choir was also a visually in-
triguing sight. There was not one
moment in the program when their
eyes were not ftcused on Black-
stone. their faces almost always re-
flected what they were singing, as a
response to Blackstone's direction. It
was as if Blackstone himself was
making the music come out of his
gestures as conductor.
The group rarely faltered in their
cohesiveness. At times, individual
voices stood out from the tenor I and
the bass sections. They were, for two
hours, one harmonious voice, with
only a few brief moments of dissent
- most notably in "She is my
Slender Small Love" and "The Long
Day Closes."
The Friars provided the comic
relief for the evening. Their selec-
tions ranged from doo-wop to
showtunes. A favorite was their
"Medley of Crap," a conglomeration

of bad 'V theme songs. The Friars
also did their own rendition of' U2's
"Mysterious Ways," which involved
' '
Men's Glee Club
Hr'llAtuditorium r
No )vember 14, 1992
the eight men gyrating "myste-
riously," notably the featured tenor
Ayal Miodovnik, who just might put
an early end to Bono's career. Kudos
to .Jeremy Findley f'or successful
impersonations of all three pres-
idential candidates. The Friars

proved themselves not only well-
rehearsed singers, but well-timed
comedians.
David Conte's "Canticle," which
began the progran, was a perfect
showcase for the four gifted hands of'
pianists 1Itoward Watkins and Brian
Altevogi. T his minimalist piece em-
ployed repeated lyrics building to a
glorious crescendo, which the ac-
companimen t underscored perfectly:
There were a few featured solo-
ists within the choir, but generally
they were one-dimensional and were
overshadowed by the rest of the
choir. Only tenor Robert Bracey

soared confidently above the choir
and the audience in his aria from
"Ri goletto.'
People all over the world have
enjoyed the Men's Glee Club, and
Ann Arbor is fortunate enough to
have them here. The audience
showed their devotion to the choir
by standing during their traditional
final song, "The Yellow and the
Blue." Former MGC alumni and
many others joined in song to praise
the university and the Men's Glee
Club. For what they presented in
their 133rd Fall Concert, they de-
serve much more than a f'ew "Ilails."

6

4
a

I - -
The Men's Glee Club at age 133. We like the tenor in the tux best.

I a_

The RC Players murder 'The Criminals'

I

by Lia Kushnir
OK, maybe a play about murder-
ing your parents wasn't the right way
to entertain your loved ones for Par-
ent's Weekend. Yet this RC Players'
production of "The Criminals" had
bigger problems than being per-
formed in the wrong place at the
wrong time.
5TH AVE. AT IBERTY 761-9700
DAILY SHOWS BEFORE 6PM
3.2 T ALL DAY TUESDAY' exceptn
STUDENT WITH .D.$53.50

The three main characters talked
about killing their mother and father
and impersonated their relatives,
friends and other members of soci-
ety. All three actors, however, had
trouble making their characters be-
lievable. For instance, when Beba
(Nancy Skinner-Oclander) acted like
her uncle or mother, exaggerations
were necessary to show that she rep-
resented a different character. But all
of her characters were difficult to
identify, because they all sounded
alike, screaming and throwing their
grms about.
Cuca (Mary Hannah) exaggerated
her statements and gestures to the
point that they didn't seem natural.
The characters seldom looked at
each other while speaking, and their
relationships to each other failed to
develop properly.
Instead of leading into climactic
outbursts, the actors displayed emo-

lion by continued screaming. It
surprised me that the cast was able
to maintain such a level of vocal in-
tensity throughout the entire play
without going hoarse or the audience
The Criminals
RC A uditomriu
November 14, 1992
going deaf. After adjusting to the
screaming in the performance, the
second act was easier to enjoy. The
sisters' "good cop/bad cop" interro-
gation of Lalo (Peter Campbell) and
the trial scene proved the cast's tal-
ents in portraying one-dimensional
characters.
Other highlights included a sun-
pIe, yet effective set and lighting
design. Each time the actors tried to
show that they were reaching some

kind of answer in their quest for
identity, a red tone of' light cast a
shadow over the theater and under-
lined the scene's intensity.
i'he ambition and daring involved
in bringing "The Criminals" to the
stage was admirable. Serious plays
as psychologically demanding and
complex as this rarely make it to
university campuses. Unfortunately,
it was difficult for the actors to suc-
cessfully create coherent characters
when they were required to go
through n um erous and abrupt per-
sonality changes.
Despite their noble efforts, the
1C Players' production lacked the
experience neeUed to perform such a
demanding play. But remember, the
only way to get to Broadway - it's
actually Car'negie Hall, but for the
sake1 argument - the way to get
to Broadway, is practice, practice.

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