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March 10, 1993 - Image 5

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-03-10

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-r

ARTS

Bitter 'Cup' tells truths of war

a

Get Slaughtered
The RC Players are at it again.
Their production of "The Slaughter-
house," an absurdist drama about a
young violinist who has some rather
strange adventures. The fun begins
tomorrow night at 9 p.m. If you're
busy, you can catch it March 12-14.
Admission is $5,$3 forstudents. Call
763-0176.
Free Music
The free stuff with the School of
Music truly never stops. Tonight at 8
p.m. the University Choir and Cham-
ber Choir combine for an interesting
evening of vocal works. Jerry
Blackstone and the great Paul Rardin
conduct Brahms' "Lieder und
Romanzen," Dvorak's "Moravian
Duets,"Kodaly's "MissaBrevis"and
more. Or if you're busy tonight try
another combo, the Symphony and
Concert Bands, Friday night at 8 at
Hill. The program, mysteriously, has
yet to be announced. Again, it's all
free; for more information call 763-
4726.
Read, Read, Read
If you just can't get enough of
those readings, here's another one for
you. Sara Suleri is reading Friday
afternoon at 4 p.m. from "Meatless
Days," a series of essays about her
youth in Pakistan and her later years
abroad. Call 764-0352 to find out the
locale.

by Camilo Fontecilla
In our comfortable culture, we find it much too easy to
glamorize war. Events horrible beyond our worst nightmares
are syruped into vehicles of entertainment. "Cup Final"
adopts a tough, down-to-earth perspective that sheds all the
extra layers which Hollywood considers essential to the war
film (i.e. sentimentality and / or high-tech warfare technol-
ogy), and portrays it with a sense of actual presence that
hasn't been seen in the cinema for a long time.
Cup Final
Directed and written by Eran Riklis; with Moshe Igvi,
Muhamad Bacri and Suheil Haddad.
Unlike many other wars around the globe, the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict has a blazing history that goes beyond the
madness of political leaders. Such leaders have come and
gone, but the hatred between the Israelis and the Palestinians
has remained violently active throughout many decades.
Riklis' script places us right in the heart of the conflict: June
1982, the invasion of Beirut by Israeli forces.
Cohen (Moshe Igvi) is an unlikely Israeli soldier sent to
serve his nation in Lebanon. There, his platoon is blown to
bits by a small PLO guerrilla, and he and a friend remain as
the only survivors. They are taken as hostages, hopefully to
be exchanged in Beirut for PLO prisoners. Since his friend is
gunned down when trying to escape, Cohen finds he has to
turn to the Palestinians for the comfort of human company.
He finds a path of connection through the common link
of a love of sports. As Cohen laments his absence from the
Spanish World Soccer Cup, for which he has tickets, he
draws closer to his captors. For all of them it becomes almost
as important to see the championship games as getting to
Beirut. Televisions become one of their major requirements
for plunder.
Riklis traces their journey with an equanimity that be-
comes the strongest asset of the film. There are no bad guys
here, only a bunch of people fighting for what they truly
believe in. The fierceness of their struggle is symbolized by
the seriousness with which they play sports during their
fleeting leisure times. Riklis focuses his moral message on
these episodes, but he doesn't succeed entirely. The eager-
ness to convey his anti-war ideas makes him stumble on the
too blatant allegories he is creating.

The best moments are the ones that are blunt. Riklis
knows how to carry his cast through heart-slicing situations
without unnecessarily evoking melodrama. As some PLO
soldiers die one by one, the rest continue inexorably, like
lemmings, to what will be their obvious doom. The scenes of
combat are nerve-splittingly real, almost like documentaries
pulled out of CNN archives. Men are killed in a split second,
discarded instantly. There are no pathetic monologues spo-
ken from dying lips. And once one of the Palestinians dies,
he is never again mentioned by the small militia.
These deaths only bring the group closer together. Once
Cohen and Ziad (Muhamad Bacri), the guerrillas' leader,
discover that their favorite team in the soccer championship
is Italy, they slowly form a richly-layered relationship that
under more peaceful circumstances would have made them
steadfast friends. Instead, they develop a mutual understand-
ing that allows them to read into the workings of the other's
mind, although their difference in status is always present as
an unspoken but unmistakable barrier.
As they travel through a land ravaged by war, authentic
in its entirety, the ridiculousness of their task becomes more
and more apparent. What these men really want is to be left
in peace. There is a sense of wasted time permeating the
whole film. Cohen finds that he has to use some of his game
tickets to wipe his bottom, in one of the more subtle meta-
phors supplied by Riklis. Everyone knows how it's all going
to end, but that's not important. Abunch of people who could
be happy together can't because the war cries out louder.
The cast is purposely varied in characterization, and the
actors take their different personas to extremes. Cohen's
naivetd is initially hard to believe. But even through the
simplicity of their characters, the actors manage to pull off an
amazing feat, becoming even more important than the vio-
lent crossfire happening around them. And that's the issue at
hand: the importance of the human being above the conflict.
This can only be attributed to Riklis' direction, infinitely
better than his semi-serious, but deadpan-serious-when-
serious script. Juggling the two with the strong intention that
drives him has produced a splendid work that surpasses any
flaw it may have. It manages to stir up something authentic
inside, in a gut too accustomed to reacting to the artificialities
of banal cinema. In a time when the foreign film is emerging
as the standard bearer of quality and substance, Riklis' film
deserves to march among the best.
CUP FINAL will be playing at Lorch Thursday at 7:30.

"Cup Final," an Israeli film, doesn't gloss over harsh realities.

Mick Jagger
Wandering Spirit
Atlantic
Mick Jagger's first two solo albums
were ripped apart in the press and on the
charts. At the same time, Keith Richards'
three solo albums were greeted with
open arms, causing some critics to dis-
miss Jagger. Jagger has never been one
to suffer such humiliation and he has
retaliated with "Wandering Spirit," eas-
ily the best of his three solo efforts.
Jagger clearly wants "Wandering Spirit"
to sell as well as a Stones record. He's
been mercilessly promoting himself;
last month alone he was the subject of
245 magazine stories. Rick Rubin, the
producer behind Red Hot Chili Pep-
pers' "Blood SugarSexMagik"andco-
founder of Def Jam Records, was
brought into make Jagger appeal to 90s
teenagers. Top studio musicians and
big-name guest stars formed Jagger's
backing band. All the effort has resulted
in an ambitious, stylistically diverse
album that appeals to a wide audience,
even though it's not likely to top the
charts. The record buying public seems
to only accept Jagger as aRolling Stone,
no matter how hard he tries to win them
over. And he tries hard. "Wired All
Night," a standard Stones rocker, and
the first single, "Sweet Thing," a virtual
rewrite of "Miss You," are designed to
capture an audience that never was en-
amored with his previous conscious
departures from the Stones. For the
alternative crowd, Lenny Kravitz is
brought in for a useless cover of Bill
Withers' "Use Me." Metalheads can
savor the hyper-adrenalized remake of
James Brown's "Think." None of these
potential singles carrymuch weight and
sound calculated for mass success.
Throughout the restof the album Jagger
sounds more committed than he has in
a decade, and it works. The musical

inventiveness of the best Stones albums
appears on "Wandering Spirit"; the gos-
pel-tinged "Out of Focus" and "Wan-
dering Spirit," the straight country of
"Evening Gown" and "Hang On To Me
Tonight," and the traditional British folk
song "Handsome Molly" are terrific,
easily the best material on the album.
Anyone who has loved the Stones
throughout the years will find "Wander-
ing Spirit" a welcome return to form for
Jagger.
-Torn Erlewine
Green Jello
Cereal Killer
Zoo Entertainment
Yes. The world's first "video only
band." It's bizarre, it's homemade. And
their whole theme song admits that they
suck.
On first viewing, you wonder, "Ifthey
think they suck, how in hell did this
thing ever get made?"
Green Jello's "history" (free with
the ghastly videocassette) says it all:
"At our first practice we discovered that
none of us had any talent, so we decided
to become the world's worst band."
If you want a real reason to get
drunk, this is it. No, really, this tape is far
too stupid to be seen sober. Even on the
side of the tape, "Nutritional Informa-
tion" is listed, and the "stupidity" per-
centage is 100, both sober and with 72
A A
5TH AVE AT LIBERTY_______ ____ 761-9700
H DAILY SHOWS BEFORE 6 PM
$3.25 ALL DAY TUESDAY' -excepvon
STUDENT WITH I.D.$3.50
HOWARD'S END (PG)
GROUNDHOG DAY (PG)
Present This Coupon
When Purchasing A
Large Popcorn &
Receive One
EXP70E 3/1IM9
EXPIRES 3118/93

oz beer. Why bother? In one "Cereal
Killer" hour, you can:
" SEE videos involving the prolific
"Shitman"and the vengeful "Cowgod."
" WITNESS an awfully exact clone
ofAnthony Kiedis in "Trippin' onXTC".
" BASH MTV with "Club Jell-o".
" VIEW the effervescent Sadistica
playing adrmwithFlintstone-erabones
or eyeballs attached to her chest.
Don't say you weren't warned.
-Jeff Rosenberg
Michael Nyman
The Essential Michael
Nyman Band
Argo
British minimalist composer
Michael Nyman has gained deserved
attention for his work on the films of
Peter Greenaway such as "The Cook,
The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover."
But don't worry, Nyman doesn't churn

out movie mood music; Greenaway
actually cuts his films with Nyman's
already composed pieces in mind.
Like Philip Glass, Nyman his own
house band to perform all of his difficult
works. With orchestrations dominated
by saxophones and an irresistible rhyth-
mic drive, Nyman's music also pos-
sesses an appealing expressivity rarely
associated with minimalism.
For those whohavenoticedhismusic
in Greenaway films, this is the compila-
tion to buy. It's Nyman's greatest hits,
sampling works from all the major
Greenaway films except "Belly of an
Architect." Though 70 uninterrupted
minutes of minimalism can be a bit
much, in small doses pieces like the
"Memorial" funeral march from "The
Cook, the Thief' are exciting and mov-
ing.
- Michael John Wilson

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Long before Mad Cobra flexed, Shabba Ranks got Xtra naked, or that bozo
Snow was even born, there was Yellowman, the true king of dancehall
reggae.
Toasting (aka rapping) since the early Seventies, Yellowman rose to
prominence as a deejay for the Aces sound system in Jamaica . Known for
his explicit, boastful style of toasting (dubbed "slackness"), Yellowman has
been the influence for current popular dancehall artists. Yellowman was
also the pioneer of alternating toasting with singing, which has been copied
by virtually everyone since. But of course, the first isn't always the one to
reap the rewards. While imitators of his style sell records by the boatload,
Yellowman has yet to score a "hit" outside of his homeland. But dispite his
unfortunate absence on the charts, he still packs a house like nobody's
business. His show last summer at the State Theater on their immensely
popular Reggae Night was a smash; Over 2,000 lucky folks were treated to
one killer night of beat crazy dub.
Tonight , Yellowman and the Sagitarius Band bring their Jamaican stylings
to the Blind Pig (208 S. First) at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 (in advance),
probably a little more at the door. Score a bag, bring a friend and get lost in
the musical sunsplash.

WIE WILL
ON MARCH 15TH!
School of Business Payton Acct. Center,
Room 1016, 5:00 p.m.
SUMMER JOBS

DCC WAREHOUSE OUTLET
CO M PU T ER SP EC IA L

' iI" 1,T '"

L nder l

Qualifications: employment period - June 1 to August 13
*at least sophomore standing at time of application must be available two week-day mornings each
.experience with workshop presentations, teaching week during spring and summer terms.

-part-time postitions
available as

-co-facilitate discussion
groups for incoming

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