The Michigan Daily-Friday, April 15,1993- Page 9
Get on the Train
ArtTrain, the Ann Arbor based mu-
seum on a train that brings art to small
country towns that aren't located near
art museums and galleries, is kicking
off anew season and a 25-city national
tour with the exhibit, "The Romance of
Transportation." The exhibi features
work by painters like Thomas Hart
Benton and Andy Warhol and photog-
raphers like Dorothea Lange. There are
also hands-on activities, audio-fisual
shows, and demonstrations by artists.
The fun lasts from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
tomorrow and Sunday. Pick up the
train at 1100 N. Main. Call 747-8300
for more info.
Ruth Behar, author of the book
'Translated Woman," the story of a
Mexican woman who learns to be a
witch, is going to read from her poetry
and fiction. The reading will takeplace
in the Common Language bookstore
at 7 p.m. Sunday evening. It's free so
everybody should come. Call 663-
Gain valuable marketing,
negotiation, and finance experi-
ence. The Michiganensian Yearbook
is looking for a business manager
for the 1993-94 school year. Re-
sponsibilities include budgeting,
promotions, distribution, and other
duties. If you have any questions
or would like an application, stop
by the Student Publications
Building -420 Maynard St., or call
764-9425 and ask for Randy.
The Vermeer String Quartet, playing Sunday at Rackham, hail from such far-off lands as Israel, French-Canade, New York, and the exotic Nebraska.
*Vermeers find Ann Arbor a choice town
by Jeremy Williams
The VermeerString Quartetis looking forward to
visiting Ann Arbor this Sunday, according to Rich-
ard Young, the group's violist. "Ann Arbor is one of
thechoiceplacestoplay," he said. "Everybodylooks
forward to playing in Ann Arbor and I think one of
the reasons is because there are so many good
musicians in town."
That's high praise from a musician who has
performed and taught in Ann Arbor before. "I was
hired by the U for two years to teach chamber music
there,"said Young."I have had to look at my musical
convictions in a little bit of a different light after
having that interaction with the students."
Although Young has only been with the Quartet
for eight years, he has already recorded one of the
program's pieces with the group, Schubert's
Quartettsatz in CMinor. Anotherpiece on the group's
Ann Arbor program - Gyorgy Ligeti's Quartet No.
1 - will be released around Christmas.
The lastpiece on the program, Smetana'sQuartet
in E Minor ("From My Life") is one of the great
romantic quartets. "It's a devastatingly dramatic
work, and every time I play it, it gets me," Young
said. "It really gets you right in the heart -it is so
emotional, and of course meaningful. The guy went
deaf, two of his children died, he had a terrible life,
and this piece is really all about that."
This collection of musicians, hailing from Israel,
French-Canada, New York and Nebraska is consid-
ered one of the world's finest chamber music groups.
The quartet takes its named from the Dutch artist
Johannes Vermeer. At first, they had trouble finding
a name for the group, but as Young puts it "Vermeer
is a great Dutch painter ... so why not?"
Before their first concert in the Netherlands, the
Dutch were wary. "The Dutch were very suspicious
of a (foreign) group naming themselves after one of
their national treasures, and yet they are all Ameri-
can citizens," Young said. That was more than 20
years ago, and now that the group has hit it big, they
are welcome in any country. The group has per-
formedin the majorcities ofNorth America, Europe,
Israel and Australia; it has also played in several
international festivals, including Tanglewood, As-
pen, South Bank, Spoleto and Mostly Mozart.
Young said that his experience teaching in Ann
Arbor helped him to refine his own playing. "If you
are in a position where you are obliged to share with
your students not only what you think is appropriate,
but why, it obliges you to come to grips with the basis
for your convictions -more than you would if you
are simply out there playing all the time."
He also hopes the group must be at its best in Ann
Arbor. "There is not one person among the music
students who will not be listening with avery special
discernment," Young said. "I was therein Ann Arbor
for two years telling them how to doit, and youknow
they're going to be checking me out to see if we can
do what I was talking about." The quartet rehearses
six days per week, three hours a day; if practice
makes perfect, there shouldn't be many critics in the
THE VERMEER STRING QUARTET will
perform at 4 p.m. Sunday at Rackham Auditorium.
Tickets are $14 to $22; call 764-2538.
SruuENr cyoY'r, "&"
'Benny and Joon' totally too totally cool
by Jon Altshul
Sometime after the cancellation of
"Totally Pauly," MTV fabricated the
illusions that post-modern art had sub-
stance, moshing had some social rel-
evance and that all carmechanics could
afford a shrink and a sprawling house
on the water.
enny an oon
Directed by Jeremiah Chechik;
written by Barry Berman; with
Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson,
and Aidan Quinn.
Sorry, Duff.Life isn'tamusic video,
Jackson Pollack can't paint and $9 an
hour with two dependents means no
"Benny and Joon," despite all its
Curry MTV on the big screen. Like a
Sara Lee Chocolate Cake, it tastes good
until you realize what's in it. Essen-
tially, after digestion, you'll be stapled
to the shitter for the next three days.
Starring the ultra-trendy Johnny
Depp and the super-different Mary
Stuart Masterson, the film crowds the
viewer with characters that are too lik-
able, a soundtrack that's too danceable,
and a problematic, unintelligent script
that confines the otherwise talented en-
The plot, which is refreshingly be-
reft of any profound subtleties, is easily
told: Benny (Aidan Quinn), an honest
car mechanic, needs a house taker for
his emotionally-troubled, pyromaniac
sister Joon (Masterson). Neat way to
spell a name, huh? This film is way
alternative; it's like even cooler than
"Singles" or "The Real World."Joon's
volatile temperament has been the un-
doing of so many former nannies that
Benny is forced to juggle his schedule
around work and his sister.
The film treats mental illness as if it
is cool, as if it is something that can be
turned on and off like a light switch.
This same sitcom attitude characterizes
much of a film which offers such mo-
ronic revelations as: "You know the
older you get, the less things make
Enter Sam (Depp). Having lost a
poker bet, Benny takes him in on the
condition that he take care of Joon.
Much to the awe of the audience, they
fall in love. Irreverent and thoroughly
unpredictable, Depp's Buster Keaton-
like persona actually seems less so-
cially-adjusted than Joon. And Deppfor
his part is no Robin Williams - his
character becomes so annoying and
overbearing that you wish five random
punks dressed only inBatmanUnderoos
andblackDoc Martens would suddenly
pop outofatrapdoor and beat the living
shit out of him.
Quinn, who has consistently gar-
nered strong reviews for his taciturn,
understated performances in "ThePlay-
boys" and Barry Levinson's "Avalon,"
offers forth a somewhat lackluster, con-
trived effort. A prolonged Spin Doctors
video isn't particularly conducive for
his obvious dramatic talent.
The colors are vivid and the charac-
ters are overstated. Everyone falls in
loveandnoone'spoor. Sure, likemarsh-
mallow fluff,it'll cheer you up, but it'll
also make you fat and ugly.
No sense in continuing. "Benny and
Joon" is for high school sophomores
from Delaware who like Paul
Westerberg and think that Seattle is
located somewhere between the White
House and the Lincoln Memorial. Be
glad that you can look back and laugh.
BENNYAND JOON is playing at
CARIVAL GAMES -PRIZES
3BA1 D** R oeniaEiv
SATURDAY, APIL IZ4
AT PALMER F iELD ce E)
"I seemed to be the only one
« inthe"license renewal line
who wasn't getting hostile.
The guy behind me
was cussng his cowboy
boots when I realized
my Birkenstocks were
It must be the way they
cradle your feet because
I really didn't mind waiting for
my new driver's license.
I I even smiled for the photo."
Book & Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
DEBRA ANN DRAPER
When you sell your textbooks to Utlrich's Bookstore
between April 20th and May 2nd you'll receive cash
AND a coupon god for 1 FREE Subway 6-inch
sandwich* compliments of Ulrich's Bookstore.
*Your choice of Cold Cut Combo, Tuna, Veggies & Cheese or Turkey Breast
One coupon per visit $10.00 minimum buy-back required
Coupon redeemable at Packard-Hill and Main St. Subway Sub Shops only - Expires 5-4-93
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