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November 17, 1992 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-17

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, November 17, 1992

C

Only 'Traces' of a decent plot

The Chorale not taken
Sick of all those damn
European composers? Check out
Arts Chorale's 45th Fall Concert
tonight at Hill. Directed by Paul
Rardin, a teaching assistant with
the School of Music, the Arts
Chorale is composed exclusively
of students who are non-music
majors -but don't let that scare
you off. The program includes
Charles Ives' "Circus Band," as
well as pieces by Aaron Copland
and Irving Fine, among others.-
The idea is to show some of the
diversity of American music,"
RarIin said. And diversity they'll'
give, not to mention accessibility.'
One of the pieces, "Frostiana," by
Randall Thompson, is based on
texs by Robert Frost; you can't'
get much more American than
that. Love it or leave it. Admis-
sion is free and showtine is 8
p.m. Call 763-5460 for informa-
tion.
the next Allen wretch
We're glad to hear that at least
one University grad has a job.
Comedian Eric Champnella, a
1988 graduate of the Communi-
cations department, makes his
iumphant return to campus
Wednesday with a show at the U-,
flub. He's been seen recently on
MTV, A&E and the late-night
filler "Roggin's Heroes"; bigger,
Tim-Allenesque things are sure to
follow. Showtime is 10 p.m.,
tickets are $3. Call 763-1107 for
?ifonnation.

by Alison Levy
It seems as though whodunit thrillers are on the rise
lately. "Traces of Red" is the latest entry in the batch.
The movie starts out slow and has some major flaws,
but in its second half, "Traces of Red" turns out to be a
sneaky suspense film with lots of surprises. For those
who can ignore the gaps and hold on until the second
half, the movie is two hours of sun-drenched mind
candy.
OK, here is the briefest synopsis I could provide on
this very confusing film. It begins with dead Palm
Beach homicide cop, Jack Dobson (Jim Belushi) narrat-
ing the story of his death, as he lies, a corpse, on a surf-
board. "Sunset Boulevard" anyone?
Anyway, Jack is receiving death threats from some-
one he's hurt, always sealed with a kiss. So he and his
partner Steve (Tony Goldwyn) lock up the stalker right
away. Problems arise when a beautiful waitress with
whom Dobson had a one-night stand wakes up dead,
butt-nekked, with red lipstick all over her mouth.
Traces of Red
Directed and written by Andy Wolk; with Jim Belushi,
Tony Goldwyn and Lorraine Bracco.
Ooooo! Still with me? The catch is that Jack is also
sleeping with jealous black widow, Helen Schofield
(Lorraine Bracco).
Let's get to script problems. Three words: overkill,
overkill, overkill. First of all, this film is a giant sex-
fest. It's like a home-made porn, but at least skin flicks
aren't pretentious enough to attempt a plot. Jim Belushi
has affairs with at least two women at the same time
and there become hints of several more. (Yes, this must
be a movie.) Senator Dobson is sleeping with all of
Jack's squeezes and several campaign volunteers. Even
Tony Goldwyn ("Ghost") cheats on his see-through-
dress, thong-wearing angel of a wife, Beth. No wonder
lelen walks around in just a bra all the time; she's too
busy hopping in and out of everyone's bed to put on a
shirt.
Next, absolutely everyone becomes a suspect. By the
time the twentieth suspect is named, the audience starts
laughing because it's just too much. Also one of the
main points in the film is that the lipstick on all the vic-

tims is Yves Saint Laurent Ruby Red. And, it just so
happens that every woman in Palm Beach - make that
Southern Florida - owns a tube or two. Please. I have
spent many an afternoon in Hudson's make-up depart-
ment, searching endlessly for the perfect shade of red to
complement my complexion, hair color, life-style, etc.
There is absolutely no way in hell that YSL Ruby Red
Jim Belushi is boring and wishy-
washy as Jack. Personal note to
Jim: try to make it look real. His
flirting sounds like bad jokes from
the Improv.
is the exact match for every female in Palm Beach or
that they just casually breeze up to the counter and say:
Just give me red. Any red. This is where Donald and
Ivana used to live for God's sake.
Jim Belushi is boring and wishy-washy as Jack.
Personal note to Jim: try to make it look real. His flirt-
ing sounds like bad jokes from the Improv. Jim: "I've
gotta go baby, I've got to be in court." Morgan: "Did
you break the law?" Hee Hee. Morgan: "I'm stealing
your shirt." Jim: "Hey, you're under arrest! Stop it!
Stop it!" IHis brother John would be so disappointed.
Tony Goldwyn actually does a good job portraying
mid-life crisis Steve. His performance is even and he
carries over a lot of sweet-sleaziness from his "Ghost"
character. (Do you think the fact that the film was made
by his grandfather's studio had anything to do with him
getting the part? Just wondering.) The most depressing
performance is Bracco's. 11er voice just doesn't seem to
fit in the sunshine culture, and her flat character is only
concerned with sleeping with everyone in town. She is
more comical than seductive.
Despite these problems, "Traces of Red" actually got
to be entertaining half way through. The last act is excit-
ing and you'll never really know who did it, even
though you always think you do. There are two endings
and the picture would have been pretty nice if they
stopped with the first one which is a major surprise. The
second one is a little too neat and contrived.
TRACES OF RED is playing at Showcase.

Grave
You'll Never See...
Century Media
I don't know much about death-
metal, but I can tell you that Grave's
version did nothing to inspire my
further exploration into this genre.
Grave becomes annoyingly repeti-
tive as it attempts on eight songs to
scare the crap out of us. Is this
singer using a voice-distorter, or
does the poor guy just sound like
Freddy Krueger naturally? And what
does this guitarist think he's doing?
The main objective seems to be play
as hard and fast as possible. Oh,
never mind how it sounds.
Death is a common theme of the
album, with songs like "Morbid
Way to Die," "Severing Flesh," and
"Brutally Deceased." Basically, if
you've heard one Grave song,
you've heard them all. If you've
heard Grave, my condolences.
-Kristen Knudsen
The Supersuckers
The Smoke of Hell
Sub Pop
Now that post-punk (not to men-

tion punk itself) has become a
lethargic medium of testy old men
(read late 20s, early 30s), another
savior comes from Arizona. Sub'
Pop's latest next big thing has to be
the Supersuckers, a band that re-en- ."
ergizes the "underground"'s long '
drained batteries.
Remember what it was like to ,
hear the Ramones, or 'the Dead
Kennedys, even Soul Asylum for the
first time ? The Supersuckers have
captured the essence of the brief,
breathless punk tune, while remem-
bering humor is essential for the ;
bite. Song titles like "Ron's Got the..
Cocaine," "Sweet 'N' Sour Jesus,"
and "Alone and Stinking," even the
Stray Cats parody song "Hell City,
Hell," give "The Smoke of Hell" a
Cramps-ish campyness.
All in all, "The Smoke of Hell"
seems too short - mostly because it
covers 14 songs in under 28 minute
- leaving you. wanting more
crunchin' chords and crusty words,
Now name how many other current$
releases actually seem too brief.
Exactly.
-Annette Petruso

Ugh, another Next Big Sub Pop Thing? With The Supersuckers, believe it.

Y ,

Gillian Gaar's 'Rebel' without a point

.
*,.

by Annette Petruso
"She's a Rebel" reminds me of
this summer's smash movie "A
League of Their Own." I was a seri-
ous baseball fanatic as a kid, and this
obsession was surpassed only by my
enthusiasm for rock music. But like
"A League of Their Own," Gillian
Gaar's history of women in popular
music disappoints. The book does
little more than chronicle the fact
that women exist in every facet of

the music industry from making the
music, to working in the studio, on
the road and in the record company,
and so on.
This isn't to say the fact that
women have been so thoroughly in-
volved in the business - yet in so
few numbers or with little recogni-
tion - isn't important. It's just that
"She's A Rebel" doesn't go beyond
the cataloguing of dates of personali-
ties: the lists of everyone's real

name, date of birth, a bit of back-
ground, and how they got involved
in music drag the book into a mire of
information rather than analysis.
To be fair, the last quarter of the
book which deals with contemporary
artists, engineers, light designers,
managers, etc. picks up because
Gaar doesn't feel obligated to dwell
on who these women were - she
seems to assume we are more famil-
iar with them. She does expand her
basis to include choppy discussions
of sexism and being a woman in
such a male-dominated industry.
Still, for all her thoroughness
Gaar says little, for example, about
rock journalists; Celia Farber of
Spin is the only named source, and
hardly typical. She also belittles
publicists, referring to the position
as the only one women dominate,
instead of looking at their contribu-
tions as a positive stronghold. She
mostly quotes publicists who broke
out of record companies and started

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their own firms. In this sense, Gaar1
seems to have an agenda to match
her format: prove that women are'

She's a Rebel:
The History of Women a
in Rock & Roll
Gillian G. Gaar
Seal Press
-,
present, always have been in some
way or another, but mostly held
down in powerless positions.
"She's a Rebel" could have been
more than an encyclopedia of
women in rock and what they do. It
could have been an insightful jour=
ney through time, using the-
contributions and positions of
women as a springboard for greate
understanding of where women in
music are today. "She's a Rebel" got
only halfway there.

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CROATIA
Continued from page 5
Several of the posters express a
message of Croatia seeking help; for
instance, in one created by the artist
Ranko Novak, the letters "S.O.S."
catch the viewer's eye. Strengthen-
ing the impact of the artist's plea for
help is the familiar red and white
checked pattern (symbol for the
shield of Croatia) that seems to be
bleeding. Another poster sending a
similar message was designed by
Nenad Dogan, and it features the
words "Help Croatia while there's
still time" imprinted over the image
of a morgue.
Another poster, which was de-
signed for a TV spot, chronicles the
evolution of Croatia from 1990 to
1992. As an image for Croatia 1990,
the artist placed two red squares in
the "o," symbolizing the ruling
democratic party that was elected in
that year. Croatia 1991 looks as if

blood is spilling out of it, signifyin
the bloodshed and loss of the war.
For 1992, the "o" is replaced by
circle of yellow stars which refers to
the European Community, indicating
hopes for the future.
Panich explained why she orga=
nized this event. "(It was) because of
my own conscience," she said. 10
think that every person should pay
his or her dues to the nation ... .I
cannot say that I was not affected by
the war, but on the other hand when
I think of these people who are sit-
ting in refugee camps with no
money, no food, and no place to go,
I realize how lucky I am."
THE CROATIAN WAR POSTERS
EXHIBIT is one of many events in-9
cluded in "Reflections on Croatia;
Croatian War Posters Exhibit and
Workshops on Croatian Heritage"
which will run from November 12 tq
December 11.
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