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November 17, 1992 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-17

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*The Michigan Daily

Monday, November 17, 1992

Page 5

from the
Art Force
by Kathleen Kang
Studying at the Michigan Union
Art Lounge now provides not only
the opportunity to cram for exams or
work on those end-of-the-semester
papers, but a rare opportunity to
view contemporary Croatian art.
"Reflections of Croatia: Croatian
War Posters Exhibit and Workshops
on Croatian Heritage" is an ongoing
symposium of multi-media educa-
tional events that will be featured at
the Union Art Lounge. These events
include the exhibit of war posters
and a series of lectures designed to
educate the community about Croat-
ian culture, history, and politics.
According to Jacqueline Panich,
a Croatian graduate with a degree in
international relations and organizer
of this symposium, there is very lit-
tie opportunity for the international
community to view contemporary art
from her country. During the war,
many artists joined together to form
the Croatian Art Forces, and numer-
ous works of art were sold all over
Europe to raise money for war
refugees and others in need of help.
tThe exhibit, which includes 24 Croa-
tian war posters, illustrates themes
related to the war and its repercus-
Panich, who works in the United
States through AIESEC's internship
program at Chrysler Corporation,
said that she is extremely grateful to
AIBSEC for helping sponsor this
event and for letting her speak. She
stressed the fact that AIESEC is an
apolitical organization and that the
event is not intended to provoke any
anti-Serbian sentiments. "I think it is
not necessary to say what the Ser-
bian side is doing because it is all in
the news," Panich said.
The posters featured in this ex-
hibit express a variety of messages
related to the war and artists' reac-
tions to it. One theme conveyed in
more than one poster was the de-
struction of Dubrovnik, a city which
Panich described as embodying "the
world heritage." During the war,
Dubrovnik was bombed and many of
its buildings were destroyed beyond
The impact of the city's destruc-
tion is evidenced in posters such as
one produced by the agency KOP.
This particular poster features a
* boar's head, and it looks as if the
boar is in the process of eating a pa-
per that reads "Libertas." Embla-
zoned in large letters across the
poster are the words "Dubrovnik
1991." According to Panich, the flag
depicted in the poster is one from the
Dubrovnik republic, perhaps sym-
bolizing old times.
See CROATIA, Page 8

Kauffman's earthy themes

by Darcy Lockman
Ask author Janet Kauffman
about her formative years and she
jumps into an excited narrative
about her parents tobacco farm
where she grew up planting, hoe-
ing and harvesting. A tobacco
plantation in rural Pennsylvania is
far from the stereotypical avant-
garde breeding ground of writers,
and it is to this unlikely back-
ground that Kauffman credits
much of her work.
"My writing has a lot to do
with where and how I grew up.
My involvement with the natural
world has been where I feel most
at home. The feel of my writing
comes from that," said Kauffman.
This "feel" she speaks of re-
sults from an 'ain't nature great'
perspective. Many of her poems
center around land and farming, in
all its stark yet beautiful reality. In
"Cultivating" she writes, "On a
two seated cultivator, we sniffed
exhaust, / inhaled blue clouds
those long rose evenings;J leaning
on a handle in each hand / we
weaved around the stalks, furrow-
ing / damp field into dark."
Kauffman's earthy themes at-
tract audiences accordingly. She

says, "As people are becoming in-
creasingly concerned about the
environment, they look for a con-
nection to the natural world. They
can find it in poetry and fiction.
But readers don't always inten-
tionally pick up my work search-
ing for nature. They just sort of
stumble upon it, and that's what
they find there. I like that,"
While Kauffman's poetry is
largely nature oriented, her fiction
reads more like a character study.
As a woman writer, she takes a
different perspective on the "male-
defined" world of storytelling by
making the people in the piece pri-
mary and the plot less important.
"The traditional story holds the
plot to be central. The energy of
the speaker is often secondary. As
a woman writing, I've had to re-
think ideas of order, structure and
power. Redefining things from a
feminist perspective has been im-
portant to me," explained Kauff-
Her courage to redefine the
mainstream stems in part from the
influence of author Grace Paley.
Kauffman said, "Paley's work
thrives on the energy of women
speaking, and it gave me the nerve

to write a different kind of story."
Kauffman's fiction, while not
depressing, does tend to be
slightly bitter and angry in tone,
and along the same lines, her po-
etry is often cold and removed.
"Characters have to have joy in
the things they do, but along with
that goes a realization of the in-
justice and damage in the world.
My poetry is often somber be-
cause of what I look at. In con-
trast, there is a joy and comic play
in some of my stories," she said.
Kauffman, as an author who
delves in the genres of both poetry
and prose, cannot decide which
she prefers to write. She ex-
plained, "I need to write both. Po-
etry is more internal, fiction a hell
of a lot more fun. I feel more
mentally healthy when I write
Janet Kauffman has made the
successful, albeit unusual, tran-
sition from the tobacco farm to the
shelves of Borders, and if only for
that reason, is worth checking out.
from her work this afternoon at
4:00 at the Rackham Amphithe-
atre. Admission is free.

Janet Kauffman redefines the mainstream with her earthy poems.

___ -

'Shot' is standard Peter Sellers shtick

by Jon Altshul
"A Shot jn the Dark" is standard
Pink Panther fare. We've seen it all
before in some rehashed form in
Inspector Clouseau's later adven-
tures - same Parisian accent, same
sight gags, same requisite appear-
ance by Kato, and the same temper-
amental Dreyfus. Nothing new.
So "A Shot in the Dark" may not
be as good as "The Return of the
Pink Panther," but then again, what
is? Calling any Peter Sellers movie a
A Shot In The Dark
Directed by Blake Edwards; written
by Edwards and William Blatty;
with Peter Sellers
"mediocre effort" is like claiming
that "The Godfather, Part II" wasn't
as good as the original - in the long
run, any criticism doesn't carry a
whole lot of weight.
This is, first and foremost, a
Clouseau adventure, and though less
mature audiences might think they
are watching a Frank Drebin im-
postor, Clouseau is as original and
genuinely funny as any character in
film history. His foolish lack of co-
ordination and inadvertent knack for
humor always whittles "A Shot in
the Dark" out of its numerous plot
The story itself is simply told: a
man is killed at the Ballon residence,
and everyone has an alibi except for
the enchanting maid, Maria Gam-
brelli. Inspector Clouseau is as-

signed to the case - of course,
much to the chagrin of Chief Inspec-
tor Dreyfus - and he proceeds to
utterly disregard the fact that all
clues point to Ms. Gambrelli (Elke
Sommer) as the murderer.
What follows is the usual.
Clouseau falls in love with the sus-
pect, Clouseau goes to a nudist
colony, Clouseau escapes the jaws of
death by the skin of his teeth, and fi-
nally, Clouseau somehow cracks the
case. The blandness of the plot re-
minds the viewer how utterly boring
these movies would be if Peter Sell-
ers wasn't the star. His childlike an-
tics and generally uptight nature
complement each other marvelously.
Who else could single-handedly de-
stroy a billiards table, a cue rack,
and two dress suits by merely trip-
ping over his own two feet without
so much as a flinch?
Yet Sellers isn't the only charac-
ter who's worth the watch. Dreyfus
(Herbert Lom), the short-fused po-
lice chief turns in his token hilarious
performance, complete with his
cigar-cutting guillotine and his hy-
per-impassioned one-liners. Kato,
Clouseau's karate partner, also en-
ters the frame when it is least ex-
pected, imbuing the film with a
lighted-hearted randomness (as if it
didn't have it already).
So "A Shot in the Dark" isn't
Clouseau's best film. It hardly mat-
ters, because with non-stop laughter
and kooky characters, it's certainly

not far off the mark. Anyhow, it's
worth going to a Pink Panther
movie, if for nothing else, just to
hear Peter Sellers utterly ravage the
English language.
A SHOT IN THE DARK is playing at
the Michigan Theater tonight at 7
p.m. and Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Support Campus Cinema
Support Campus Cinema

TIME: 1-4 P.M.

The Co-Chairs of the 1992-93 Senior Pledge Program cordially invite
members of the Junior and Senior classes to a mass meeting Thursday,
November 19, 1992, at 5:30pm in the Kuenzel Room of the Michigan

Since 1986, volunteer members of the Senior Class have joined together to help raise
money for iher university. The money they raised has supported scholarships for
U-M students, the computing centers, visiting lecturers, and many other student
programs. In short, they have helped you achieve your educational goals!
So now, it's your turn. Join us if you have an interest in making a difference at
the University, By spending just a few hours a week you can give something back to
the institution that has giren you so much, and get some practical experience in
Marketing. Public Speaking. or Events Planning.
If you bleed true for the Maize 'n' Blue. helw us raise S93.000 for your University.


II nom. xkJ

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