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April 20, 1993 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-20

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesd ay, April 20,1993--Page 11

Studying the film 'Indochine'

The two-dimensional simplicity of the Arapaho drawings adds to its sense of authenticity.
. raph o a e d e ic
sa satsfes as

by Charlotte Garry
"The Edwards Ledger Drawings: Folk Art by Arapaho
Warriors," an exhibition on display at the University Mu-
seum of Art, depicts an oral history of Arapaho warriors
through Native American pictography. Created with colored
The Edwards Ledger Drawings:
Folk Art by Arapaho Warriors
Museum of Art
pencil and lined ledger paper, these sketches highlight not
only the warriors' heroic deeds and battles, but they provide
insights into American Indian culture.
The ledger drawings comprise a traveling exhibition of
33 samples of 19th-century Native American pictography
acquiredby British travelerPeterEdwards. The art is not only
aesthetically valuable, but it is valuable for the narrative it
communicates. In fact, there is a danger of dismissing the
two-dimensional, stiffcompositionofthedrawingsassimple.
While the aesthetics of the images may seem bare, the
narrative, detail and symbols of the pictography are all very
intricate. The entire exhibition strings together a sort of epic
of the Native American experience.
A concept which the viewer encounters repeatedly
throughout the exhibition is that of "counting coup." Jan
Tomo, coordinator of the exhibition, claims the understand-
ing of this term to be implicit to the viewing of this pictogra-
phy. Sheexplains "counting coup" as, "the actof touching an
enemy as a sign of bravery." Among all the tribes of the Great

Plains, acts of heroism added stature to a warrior. These acts
included counting coup, encounters with the enemy and
raiding horses.
Ledger 20, "A Pawnee Caught Stealing a Horse," is
representative of the heroism depicted in these pictorial
narratives. In this drawing an Arapaho warrior catches a
Pawnee in the actof leading off a stolen horse. Every facetof
the drawing has anarrative counterpart. The fadedpencilline
extending the length of the image is the lead line of the horse,
which the Pawnee has dropped in order to shoot an arrow,
shown suspended in the air, over the head of his pursuer. The
bullets of the warrior's rifle are depicted by three sprouting
lines, and the wounding of the Pawnee brave and his mount
is illustrated by red dots streaming a pinkish blood.
Yet beyond this graphicbravery, NativeAmerican culture
is also depicted by the sketches. The intricacy of feather-
work, the complex costumes and the beautiful shields all
portray facts about the American Indian community. These
facts are further explained in the literature Jan Torno has
compiled to accompany the exhibition.
'The Edwards Ledger Drawings: Folk Art by Arapaho
Warriors" provides invaluable information about the lives of
Native American people. While the simple art work is
refreshing, thenarrativebehindtheaesthetics isboth thought-
provoking and enlightening.

by Flint Wainess
I know what you're thinking, folks
- "Don't those crazy Daily people go
to school? How do they expect me to
spend three hours watching yet another
movie while I have final exams to worry
about?"
Indochine
Directed and written by Regis
Warigner; with Catherine Deneuve.
Of course, the answer to the first
question is simply "yes." But the an-
swer to the second question can only be
derived from the Wainessian method of
studying for exams. Inmy humble opin-
ion, the panacea to all those studying
blues (re: my grades are in big trouble)
lies in the movie "Indochine."
Let me explain. Firstoff, for those of
you finishing up termpapers and suffer-
ing from writer's block, nothing can
beat this foreign film. Winner of the
Best Foreign Film award at the Oscars
(yes, the Oscars did throw in a few
intelligentchoices), "Indochine" isnoth-
ing less than inspirational. Throughout
the movie, magnificent hills of green
stand transfixed in the looming shad-
ows of a deep blue sea in a setting that
could move even the most apathetic
student. The director brilliantly pieces
together a movie of contrasts - hills
and mountains, black and white, France
and Indochina.
"Indochine" is the story of the for-
mation of present-day Vietnam. While
Vietnam conjures up images of death,
despair and a lost generation to most
Americans, "Indochine" presents the
untold story. The film shows how the
Communist Party was formed not by
individual aristocrats yearning for
power,but by the commoner -from
the land formerly called Indochina -
who was only attempting to break the
chains of French imperialism.
"Indochine" may be politically argu-
able, but the historical accuracy of the
struggle for Asian liberation is fascinat-
ing. So if you are a history or political
sciencebuff, nothing will help you study
more for that upcoming final than this
extraordinary movie.
Still not convinced? If for no other
reason, go see "Indochine" to watch
French actor Catherine Deneuve ("Re-

pulsion"). Deneuve plays a wealthy
French aristocrat trying to raise a
Indochinese daughter whose parents
died within a year of the child's birth.
In the perfect style of
the great Ernest
Hemingway, the rain is
always evident ... but
the rain only seems to
fall when the two lovers
are temporarily safe
and free.
Regardless of Deneuve's age, she re-
mains exquisitely beautiful as she at-
tempts to find her daughter and her
French lieutenant lover who are wanted
for murder by the French authorities.
This is where the symbolism that
shouldattractyou English majors comes
into play. Deneuve's adopted daughter,
played by Linh Dan Pham, and her
lover are on an endless quest for a place
free from the expectations and concerns
of a society that can't understand or
GATE
'..;''.
R& /
t e s a ;

accept the love between a white man
and a non-white woman. In the perfect
style of the great Ernest Hemingway,
the rain is always evident. It ismonsoon
season in Indochina, but the rain only
seems to fall when the two lovers are
temporarily safe and free. Symbolic.
Beautiful. Liberating.
"Indochine" has it all. It combines a
powerful statement about the misrepre-
sentation of history and racial relations
with one of the most compelling love
storiesI'veeverseen. Solbeg you: next
time I see this movie (and there defi-
nitely will be a next time), make sure
I'm not the only person under 60 in the
theater. Trustme, the effort will show on
that first blue book.

INDOCHINE isplaying at the Ann
Arbor 1 & 2.

- "I seemed to be the only one
in the license renewal line :
who wasn't getting hostile.
The guy behinci me
was cussing his cowboy
boots when I realized
my BirkensLocks were
: beautiful.
It must be the way they
: cradle your feet because
I really didn't mind waiting for
my new driver's license.
- I even smiled for the photo."
: Milano'
- C
The original comfort shoe.
209 N. Fourth Ave.
663-1644
: Open Monday thru Saturday 10-6 *
--repair service-:
%1993 Hi rken-stoL k is .aregistert ( rademark.

THE EDWARDS LEDGER DRAWINGS: FOLKART BY
ARAPAHO WARRIORS will be on display at the
University Museum of Art through May 2. A "Family
Program" with Native American storyteller Frank
Ettawageshik will be held on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

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1993

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