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November 30, 1992 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-30

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ARTS
middhy, Nu t int)eE 30)1992

i 1 V it tic ar k Fil

Page 5

Costner
lets his
gu ard
down
by Michael A Thompson
Yawn. Hey, what's going on
here? I must have fallen asleep in the
theater. What do those credits say?
Costner, Kasdan, Whitney Houston?
No, I mustbe still dreaming. There is
no way all of that talent could create
such a bad movie.
Let's see what I can remember
here. Kevin Costner, the ultimate:
embodiment of patriotism, plays an
JILM R EVIEW

Xian Warnors invade Ann Arbor

The Bodyguard
Directed by Mick Jackson; written
by Lawrence Kasdan; with Kevin
Costner and Whitney Houston
ex-secret service agent turned body-
guard Frank Farmer. And he has to
protect Whitney Houston, a spoiled
brat singer named Rachel Marron,
from some very badpeople. Oh yeah,
and they fall madly in love of course.
Rumor has it that this is the first
script that Lawrence Kasdan ever
sold. If that's true then George Lucas
must have been psychic to know that
Kasdan was actually good with dia-
logue and action. Almost every mo-
ment of this film is contrived and
predictable, with the exception of
the scene where Rachel asks Frank
out on a date, which is just plain bad.
Kasdan obviously didn't know how

by Amy Meng
+ hinfnalacicnt cultural history was rediscovered in
~auw m 1Ot a complex which housed nearly 7,500
M ige thueiiQfe sized terra-cotta loot soldiers, horses,
elite guardsmen, and bowmen in the vast fields of Shaanxi
province, home of the xian burial pits. These treasures,
intended as evidence to the glory of China's dynastic eras,
became models for much artistry created in subsequent
years.
A'T REVIEW
The Invincible and Immortal Army:
Warriors from Xian
Museum of Art
Ch'in Shin-huang-ti, King of the Qin State from 221-
207 BCE, helped unite seven warring feudal kingdoms
into the Chinese Empire, ending hundreds of years of
chaos and division. The King modeled his huge tomb
complex to include palaces, pavilions, and government
offices for his people. This complex symbolized China's
unification aid the glory of her powerful and loyal fleet of
militiamen.
Up until 1974, 2,000 years after its creation, there was
no real trace of its existence and function. The entire tomb
complex, covered by a main burial mound, stretched 1.5
x 1.3 miles within the framework of a rectangular-shaped
underground burial sepulture that rose to a height of over
300 feet in the air. Pit I contained the bulk of the army
including partially excavated warriors, archers, spearmen,
chariots, and horses which faced east in battle formation
order in eleven parallel corridors. They faced outward in
perfectly lined symmetry to protect the side and rear of the
military arrangement.
'Three actual sculptures stand unwavering in a con-
certed trio at the University Museum of Art. The sculpture
of the Officer, 75 5/8 inches in height, stands erect with his
left hand clasped in position as if he is holding a metal pole
or other bronze weapon, on guard wearing a formal
overcoat constructed out of sheets of bolted metal and
curled-toe knee boots. His expression is secretive, as if he
has knowledge of battle -lans but is supposed to keep

silent about future endeavors. The figure is removed from
the past and does not feel alive, but one can guess at his
history just by standing near the sculpture and breathing
in the dust particles covering its surface.
The Chariot Horse, measuring 70 1/2 X 80 inches,
stands with two front and two hind legs firmly implanted
to guard against encroaching enemies. His chiseled fea-
tures show flared nostrils, an open mouth with sharp teeth,
and alert ears, displaying his integrity and diligence,
necessary qualities in time of warfare. The Warrior, 72
inches high, holds a fixed, persistent gaze like that of the
Officer. He is dressed in a steel-armored coat reaching
down to his knees. He stands on a square base as if he
possessed the domain within the four corners which
represent his country. His eyes give away an inward
expression of immobility, perhaps implying his pledge of
allegiance to his country. The sculptures are all realisti-
cally rendered and appear as if their souls were sacrificed
for their nation.
A black earthenware sculpture, the General, stands as
a ruler enclosed within the boundary of his territory. His
features are intricately carved and he wears a ceremonial,
ritual head piece as if a mass of people were waiting upon
him to give direction to a religious service. His hands are.
clasped together neatly to maintain good posture and
display the good Confucian classic qualities of civility
and good virtue. The folds in his sleeves can be seen as
representing his experience in fighting long, lost battles.
Along with the life size sculptures, metal three-legged
ritual vessels, horse bridal ornaments, spearheads, long
swords, and arrowheads from the Chou Dynasty lay
peacefully in their display cases. It is indeed a rare
occasion that these precious pieces from China should be
publicly displayed to Western audiences. One can only
guess at the victories and defeats that China underwent as
represented in the ancient sculptures which have led to
further development of modern Chinese art and intellec-
tual achievement.
THEINVINCIBLEANDIMMORTALARMY:WARRIORS
FROM XIAN will be at the Museum of Art through
Sunday, January 17th in the West Gallery. Call 764-0395
for more information

Whitney Houston ... the fond memories of "The Greatest Love of All." But
gone are those gentle days of yore - 01' Whit has donned the
Madonnaesque breast-plate of power, and hitched up with Kevin Costner
to make "The Bodyguard." Actually, we're impressed, if not by the movie
(or Kevin's judgment), then by Whitney's performance.

to get his two main characters to-
gether, so he just has Rachel say how
embarrassing it is to ask Frank out on
adate. It's morehumiliating than any
thing else, because you know it's go-
ing to work.
Costner obviously thought the

script was "neat," seeing as how he
wanted to make it for over a year..
And audiences will love him as the
semi lethargic hero from the the
great unknown. Silly and pointless
haircut aside, Costner gives another
See BODYGUARD, Page 8

How Disney's animators will draw audiences with 'Aladdin'

by Aaron Hamburger
The animators of Disney's latest
cartoon wonder, "Aladdin,"had adif-
ficult task ahead of them: not only to
draw exciting characters whose look
fit in with the Arabian look of the
picture, but also to keep up with the
spontaneous, wild energy of Robin
Williams, who supplied the voice of
the genie in the film.
AnimatorEricGoldberg, however,
who drew the amorphous genie in

Disney's latest cartoon wonder
"Aladdin," had no trouble keeping up
with Williams. "I was thrilled," he
said, " because I tctsded to have a good
line on fast-paced comedy in a lot of
commercial work that 1 had done, so
I wasn't daunted by it."
As far as difficulties in animating
Williams' wacky, disjointed impro-
visations, Goldberg said, "There re-
ally weren't any limits that way Ani-
mators have an advantage over live

action in that they can really tweak
tithing. When Charlie Chaplin saw
Felix the (at and Mickey Mouse, he
said, oh no, it's over for us.
"It was really more a question of
screen time Robin likes to embroi-
der. 'here was tons of imaterial. lc 'd
give us twenty iiffs on one line. We
had to pare it down to its bac cessei
tials. We had to give people sound
bites and animate that fashion, "lie
said.

Many critics have quibbled over
whether the film's jokes will lose
some of their humor in a few years.
For example, in a reference to the
recent SNL spin-off "Wayne's
World," Gilbert Gottfried's loud-
iuuthed parrot shrieks. "Not!"
Goldberg differed, however. "We tried
to pick the ones we used to try and
stand the test of time for awhile. So
we tried to pick really big icons to go
for so the film has a shelf life beyond

this year, even though it's very con-
temporary."
The animators, who drew carica-
tures of current personalities like Jack
Nicholson and William F. Buckley to
complement Williams' vocal imita-
tions, didn't stop to worry about of-
fending anyone. "We had sort of an
inside track with that," Goldberg said,
"because Robin said when Jack sees
this stuffhe's going to love it." Though
he added with a grin, "I'm not sure if
Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to
love it."
"The biggest challenge of the film
was to not give the audience any less
than they expect. There's already so
much that animation can do. So we
had to be using the entire medium to
the hilt."
Goldberg, who was a newcomer
to the Disney team, enjoyed his expe-
rience. "I was amazed at how quickly
I was accepted."
Fellow animator Mark Henn, who
drew the character of Princess Jasmin
for "Aladdin" and drew the character
of Belle for "Beauty and the Beast,"
added, "Animation is a family world-
wide, you pretty much know every-
body and Eric is at the top."
Goldberg knew Disney's reputa-
tion for controlling its projects with
an iron fist. "I heard lots of stories
front working with my friends," ac-
knowledged Goldberg. "But I was
very pleasantly surprised at how col-
laborative it was. Nobody ever said,

'Don't do that.'
"The biggest push was the design
look to fit the curvy Hollywood-Ara-
bian backgrounds. When we started
designing characters, we wanted to
make sure they had a distinctive
graphic look to them to suit their
enviroments."
Henn agreed. "A lotofpeoplehave
commented onJasmin' s skinny waist.
We really wanted to make all the
characters fit in the same environ-
ment, with the curved, graphic look.
When things were wide they were
wide and when they were thin they
were thin.
"Same with the nose. I knew I had
to do something with it and it was a
question of how far could I go without
offending, orhow little andhave some-
one saying she's too white bread."
As far as costumes went, the ani-
mators received general designs for
what each character should look like,
but the animators generally were free
to choose their own designs. "I like
the 'I Dream of Jeanie' pants," said
Henn. "But then there's the problem
of should they be sheer so you could
see a leg which would mean a lot of
problems in terms of effects, or if you
put sequins on something, it's going
to drive everybody nuts, so you try to
simplify things."
In general, Goldberg felt, "Wehave
our own sense of taste. We included
things that amused us, for our genera-
tion."

FOR YOUR
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I C
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You really wouldn't know it, but this genie is Hobin Williams, even though it doesn't look a thing like him. Aladdin looks a tad like Tom Cruise, though.

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