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January 29, 1993 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-01-29

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily Friday, January 29,1993 Page 8
'The Crying Game is the best movie of the year

by Michael Thompson
"The Crying Game" is simple -simply complex, simply
the best film of the year.
Neil Jordan is back where he belongs, looking at relation-
ships in ways that no one else will consider. Anyone who has
seen "Mona Lisa" knows that Jordan has an amazing sense
of people and how they react and try to maintain an identity
in difficult situations. They also know how the simple plot
doesn't weigh you down and never bores you.
The Crying Game
Written and directed by Neil Jordan; with Stephen Rea, Jaye
Davidson and Forest Whitaker.
"The Crying Game" is the story of Fergus (Stephen Rea),
an IRA "Volunteer." He and a few other members kidnap
British Soldier Jody (Forest Whitaker). This begins the
simply complex story of relationships that occurs by chance
and maybe even fate. The film spirals through all types of
situations with an air of believability provided by amore than
capable cast and Jordan's brilliant script.
With a cast of relatively unknown actors, "The Crying
Game" is performed beautifully. Stephen Rea is perfect as
Fergus. We wonder, as does he, what is he doing in these
situations. How did all of this happen? Rea allows the
audience to care about his character. He never forces the
emotional weight of his situations, he simply looks as
confused as we feel.
Forest Whitaker is also effective as Fergus' British coun-
terpart. The dialogue and delivery between these two is so

casual that one has to wonder if any acting were going on.
When their situation becomes critical they both display their
apprehensiveness about what they must do. Their scene in
the woods is heartbreaking as they both pause for what they
are sure will be one last look. These men are friends, right or
wrong.
Jordan allows his actors to play out a parable that is easy
to catch, but his film goes much deeper than that. Jordan
crawls inside his characters and forces them to question their
values. Then he lets us question as well. What would we do
if we were Fergus? The answer is on the screen and it isn't
crammed down your throat, but it's not hidden either. Jordan
respects his characters and his audience.
Neil Jordan is on the comeback trail. After falling down
with "We're No Angels" and "High Spirits," his return to the
themes of "Mona Lisa" are a breath of fresh air. Unlike many
directors, Jordan lets his characters speak what is on their
minds. We don't always want to hear it, but that's the way life
is. Jordan handles the difficulties of conversation in two
hilarious scenes involving a man, a woman and a bartender.
For all of the deep and meaningful sides we see in this
picture, it never seems like Jordan has taken on too much. His
film feels simple when it dances across the big screen. These
are just people in strange situations. And that's the beauty of
the film. Jordan takes the simple and makes it complex and
the complex and makes.it simple. Politics, love, hate and
honor are all part of this film and none of it outshines the
characters. Jordan's film triumphs quietly, in a way you'll
never forget.
THE CRYING GAME is playing at the Michigan Theater.

0

Miranda Richardson sees double in Neil Jordan's "The Crying Game." See it, see it, see it!!!

Skatenig says: 'Stupid People
Shouldn't Breed' and we agree

Mindless 'Evil': Part I
Another fest offake blood and bad plot

!

By Kim Yaged
Somewhere on the East Coast be-
tween Ithaca, New York and Provi-
dence, Rhode Island, Skatenigs vocalist
Phildo Owen endured an outdoor pay
phone at "some dirty, smelly dump" in

order to provide the latest update of
events on the band's first tour in support
of their debut, "Stupid People Shouldn't
Breed."
"We did a national tour two years
ago, but it was before the album came

out. We did a support spot for the
Revolting Cocks... This really marks
the beginning of us," Owen explained.
"Now we've got something to support."
Having been good friends with the
guys in Ministry, who double as mem-
bers of the Revolting Cocks, the
Skatenigs were almost naturally led to
Megaforce Entertainment. The people
therewere interested in the 'Nigs straight
off. Once the album was released, the
guys needed someoneto tour with. Ironi-
'It's not a sound that
was fabricated...it's a
sound that's ours. It
doesn't preach. There
are certainly some
messages on the album
that we feel strongly
about.'
- Phildo Owen, vocalist
for the Skatenigs
cally enough, Fear, the Skatenigs' first
choice, has the same booking agent as
the 'Nigs.
"To me it's really an honor to tour
with those guys," Owen said, "because
if I had any mentors they would be one
of them. They're one of the few bands
that...in the punk days played fast and
played well."
Sothingsjustnaturally fell intoplace.
But the Skatenigs aren'tcoasting off the

help of others. A video for "Chemical
Imbalance," a sort of musical version of
mixed media, and the first track on "On
Stupid People Shouldn't Breed," is due
for release. And of course, there is the
tour.
"The show right now is very raw
because we are the opening act," Owen
explained. "We do dress up and stuff
like that usually to amuse ourselves.
Because when you're doing twenty-
five shows in twenty-seven days, after
you're about half-way through you find
that you need to entertain yourselves."
"It's not a sound that was
fabricated...it's a sound that's ours. It
doesn'tpreach. There are certainly some
messages on the album that we feel
strongly about. But at the same time,
there's also the sense of humor that
shows that we get pissed off at our
surroundings, but we don't let it get us
down. We also laugh at it as well... We
say what we mean. But at the same time,
you gotta be able to laugh at yourself, or
you're gonna have a long, hard go of it."
The message, Owen admits, isn't a
new one. "It's become redundant to me,
and it's pretty muchjust common sense.
But just be yourself, and always main-
tain a sense of humor. And don't take
shit from anybody."
The Skatenigs open for Fear tonight
at St. Andrews Hall. Tickets are $7.50
(p.e.s.c.) in advance, and all ages are
welcome. Doors open at 7.00p.m.
For more information call 961-
MELT.

by Brian Snider
Perhaps you've had this conversa-
tion with yourself while browsing
through the local video store some
Friday night:
What have we here? "The Evil
Dead." No, sorry, this is the sequel,
titled, originally enough, "Evil Dead
II." Hmmn. Looks pretty mindless,
let's see what the box says about it ...
Evil Dead II:
Dead By Dawn
Directed by Sam Raimi; written by
Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel; with
Bruce Campbell.
College kids ... abandoned cottage ...
weekend of fun that goes horribly
wrong when the supernatural inter-
cedes. Oh, now that's original. Seen it
a thousand times. Next.
If so, then let me just tell you what
you missed. While "Evil Dead II: Dead
by Dawn" might indeed sound just
like a myriad of other low budget
horror films, it has two things none of
the others have: director Sam Raimi
and Bruce Campbell. Allow me to
explain.
Sam Raimi is a little bit of local
talent whose biggest commercial suc-
cess so far has been "Darkman." He
attended that school up in Lansing
where he and his friends made a hobby
out of putting together inexpensive
horrormovies starring the student body
of MSU. Bruce Campbell is a friend of
Raimi's and the leading man in many
of Raimi's movies. He has also at-
tained the status of cult hero from his
starring roles in wonderful little films
like "Maniac Cop" and "Moontrap."
Still not impressed? Fine, let me
just explain whatmakes this team such
a fantastic combination. Sam Raimi
loves to play with his audience. His
gift is that he will take an audience's
preconceived notion of a film or genre
and turnit upside down. Then he will
present his version of events in a visu-
ally stunning manner that makes the
audience a participant of the film. In
"Evil Dead II," Raimi creates not a
horror film, but a slapstick comedy.

Bruce Campbell is the perfectactor
to fill the leading role because his
cartoonish appearance and antics fits
beautifully with Raimi's sense of co-
medic timing. What the two of them
create is a horror film that is more
comedy than horror, and this is what
distinguishes "Evil Dead II" from most
other films in the genre.
One scene best describes this blend
of comedy and horror. Campbell's
character, Ash, has his hand possessed
by an evil spirit. The hand, of its own
volition, begins attacking Ash, by chok-
ing him, slamming his head into a
countertop, breaking plates over his
head, etc. The idea that just a hand
could become possessed is, in and of
itself, sort of silly, and a more tradi-
tional director probably wouldn'thave
been able tomake it work. Since Raimi
acknowledges the fact that apossessed
hand attacking its owner can't possi-
bly be taken seriously, the scene suc-
ceeds because it is played out as slap-
stick rather than as straight horror.
One brief caveat: while "Evil Dead
II" is a very funny movie, it at least
pretends to be a horror film and there
are several moments that might make
the squeamish among us sick. Laugh-
ing at acts of self-mutilation, or at the
sightof literally gallons of bloodbeing
sprayed on characters is not something
anyone normally does (hopefully), so
this movie is a bit of an acquired taste.
But if you're feeling adventurous and
a little bit of gratuitous gore doesn't
bother you, then don'tmiss the chance
to see this cult classic on the big screen.
EVIL DEAD II is playing Friday and
Saturday at 8.00 in MLB 4.

Skatenig plays at St. Andrews Hall tonight at7 p.m.

i I

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For information, call 763-0379

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+"' Recipients must be active members of Phi Kappa
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college or university. Students registering in a
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Campbell

r II Ill 'f'' A ill I1I I UIE im
"A RIVETING ROMANTIC THRILLER!"
- Kathleen Carroll, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

SUPERBOWL PARTY
at
Come watch the big game via satellite
on our gigantic screen T.V.

I

01

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