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October 07, 1993 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-07

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, October 7,1993-5

Not just for breakfast anymore
Sundays find Floridians praying in the parking lots

In 1967, the Florida state legisla-
ture declared that the juice obtained
from mature oranges of the species
citrus sinensus would from that day
forward serve as the official beverage

Martin Scorsese gives direction to Griffin Dunne on the set of "After Hours," Scorsese's underrated 1985 release.
Martin Scorsese owns the 190s

y MICHAEL THOMPSON
Back in the '70s a director by the
name of Francis Ford Coppola ruled.
He created two Godfathers, "Apoca-
lypse Now," and the slightly unknown
but brilliant film "The Conversation."
Unfortunately, it would seem that
Coppola got lost in the jungle some-
where. Many of us are waiting and
hoping he will return.
VThe'90s, so far, seem to belong to
different director. A director who
was also great in the '70s, but has
really had to wait until now to be
appreciated by the masses. Martin
Scorsese has made three big winners
this decade: "GoodFellas," 'Cape
Fear" and now "The Age of Inno-
cence." And it's only 1993, mind you.
But Scorsese has been around for
better than 20 years. His first film,
'*Kho's that Knocking at My Door"
introduced more than just a new tal-
ent from NYU. The film demonstrated
Scorsese's love of the underworld
and how it affects people.
The film doesn't stop there. It
showed audiences adirector who was
very concerned with the effects of
religion on people. Scorsese wanted
to show the good and the bad sides of
,e church. He succeeds in ways that
an fill the audience with rage against
the main character.
One other thing came out of
"Knocking." A fresh newactornamed
Harvey Keitel. Scorsese could pick
them right from the start.
Scorsese' s next film "Boxcar Ber-
tha" was a graduation to the exploita-
tion film. Produced by the zero movie
udget master Roger Corman, "Ber-
a" is really just a rip off of "Bonnie
and Clyde." The premiere indepen-
dent director John Cassavettes de-
scribed "Bertha" as "a piece of shit."
But Cassavettes also added that
Scorsese was "better than that" kind
of film making.
And then "Mean Streets" came
out along with "Taxi Driver." These
two films demonstrated Scorsese's
$sessions better than any so far.
"GoodFellas" was great, but "Streets"
had the real power of trying to move
up in the mob while trying to keep
friendships and the faith.
"Driver" got right into the grime
of the city that Scorsese and Woody
Allen love so much. New York is the
setting for most of Scorsese's work
- the obvious reason is because he
r rew up there. But New York also

represents something else. Scorsese
seems to see a different way of life
going on in New York. He sees the
rules of society, the mob and the un-
derworld all around him. Andhe loves
to make films about people trying to
follow all of these rules.
Between "Streets" and "Driver,"
Scorsese dida little film called "Alice
Doesn't Live Here Anymore." The
film is about a woman who loses her
husband andmust go on the road with
her young son. It may sound differ-
ent, but the themes are still there.
Scorsese explores the unwritten regu-
lationsof working in arestaurantalong
with the difficulties of being a single
parent.
Even with "Who's that Knocking
at My Door," Scorsese seemed ahead
of his time in dealing with social
themes. Perhaps that's why only now
is he appreciated by amass audience;
it's taken all of us this long to catch up
with him.
But every great director must fall.
"New York, New York" was a mis-
take in many ways. An abusive musi-
cal charting out thelives of two people
who we can't care about because we
don't want to. Three hours of an un-
believable relationship with sprinkles,
of Liza Minelli's singing on top. The
film is paved with good intentions,
but so is the road to hell.
Most people know about
Scorsese's next film, "Raging Bull,"
but not so many know about "The
King of Comedy." This film explores
the underworld of the entertainment
business. That's right, before there
was "The Player" there was "The
King of Comedy." This may be
Scorsese's most unappreciated mas-
terpiece. Incredible performances by
DeNiro and Jerry Lewis and a great
cameo from Scorsese himself.

The film gets right into the diffi-
culties of making it big in the comedy
business. To add to those difficulties
the film's central character, Rupert
Pupkin, happens to be a little psy-
chotic. Now I know what you're think-
ing and you're wrong. DeNiro may
always play somebody crazy, but
Rupert is an entirely different kind of
creation. His insanity is based in an-
other place making him come across
as ridiculous and harmless.
Scorsese also gave us "The Color
of Money"and "The LastTemptation
of Christ" in the '80s. "Money" ex-
plored the private rules of hustling.
It's a great movie, but will forever
live in the shadow of "The Hustler."
"Temptation" is another great movie,
but it trips on its own intentions. The
film is obviously very important to
Scorsese, and that's where the prob-
lem lies. He got so wrapped up mak-
ing it that he went a little overboard.
In the middle of the '80s Scorsese
produced a little known film called
"After Hours." He won the bestdirec-
tor award at the Cannes Film Festival
for this little number. "Hours" is a
very weird film. It tells the story of
one nightin the lifeof abusiness man.
Here Scorsese seems to be exploring
the rules of another kind of social
underworld. The lives of swingers
and artists and all around weird people.
It doesn't always work, but it's fun to
watch.
And now we have the '90s and
Scorsese is cleaning up. The Oscars
are going to offer one hell of a race
this year. Altman, Spielberg, Ivory,
Scorsese and who knows who else.
Even if he doesn't win, Scorsese has
already established himself as one of
America's greatest directors. Fortu-
nately, the rest of America finally
seems to have caught up with him.

Orange juice - it's not just for
breakfast anymore.
As 1967 was a fairly tumultuous
year in the span of Americana, it only
makes sense that Florida, in agrasp at
some semblance of stability, would
have decided thatadopting an official
state beverage was in order. After all,
in the midst of other trying times in
their history, they had come together
to select a state fresh water fish (the
largemouth bass), a state animal (the
panther) and a state shell (the horse
conch).
Soon, however, this method of
faking it in terms of normalcy would
be a no-go. In 1972, as the still-in-
shock-from-the-' 60s nation faced the
biggest political scandal of its pre-
Reagan history, Florida's state senate
made the move toward another Offi-
cial State Symbol, form of an insect.
The senate passed a bill to designate
the praying mantis as the state insect
of Florida. Unfortunately for those
whose longing for balance did not
quite base itself in reality, the house
of representatives failed the measure.
While the reasons behind the fail-
ure of the praying mantis bill in Florida
remain unknown (perhaps it was just
the specific bug to which the reps
were opposed), it is the right of all
those who have faith in the sanity of
government to believe that the nay-
saying representatives carried to the
higher-ups a message of the times.
"No longer will we fake it," they cried
triumphantly.
So while orange juice made it
through as the official savior of Flo-
ridians in the late '60s, the praying
mantis would not become the faux-
hero of the '70s.
Today, on the brink of a new cen-
tury and faced again with tumultuous
times (from the political to the crimi-
nal), the Florida legislature hovers on
the brink of voting in a new state
pastime. Parking-lot-prayer.
Okay, well, not really (although it
is feasible, someday, maybe). But as
parking-lot-prayer sweeps the state,
Florida residents from Penascola to
Sunrise are beginning to take notice.
Seven o' clock Sunday morning

and Bob Lundey gets busy setting up
shop in the parking lot of a south
Florida Winn Dixie. Lundey does not
sell the wares from his farm (indeed,
he is not a farmer), nor does he vend
bagels or donuts. The shop Lundey
constructs consists only of a make-
shift wooden pulpit and a red and
white plastic bull horn. Simple fix-
ings, but the folks who come out to
listen, pray and pick up some grocer-
ies don't seem to mind. Bob Lundey
is apreacher, and like a growing num-
ber of Floridian parsons, his congre-
gation consists of cars full of erst-
while shoppers.
Religion made easy. The natural
progression of asociety where conve-
nience stores and one-stop shopping
have become as expected as sliced
bread, the next stop on America's
downward spiral into one-stop living.
"I can't get my kids to church. So
I bring them to the grocery store, and
then we sit outside and listen to a
sermon," says one brown-haired 40-
ish Florida mother.
"My husband can't walk up the
steps of the church anymore. Here we
can just sit in the car and listen,"
attests one white-haired 70-ish Florida
wife.
Arguably,'these parking-lot-
preachers perform aservice with their
black top deliveries. But all services
barred, something is rotten in the
county of Broward when the citizens
start going to the grocery to hear ser-
mon delivery. Not even accounting
for the view of the supermarketpeople

(surely were the situation reversed
churches would not be thrilled with
parishioners arriving for prayer gro-
cery cart in tow), this new phenom-
enon does not hold (nor walk on -
sorry) water.
With their open-air prayers, these
preachers are undoubtedly trying to
declare the praying mantis the state
insect, or rather, attempting to spread
religion as a stabilizing force in a
society where normalcy gets rede-
fined on a daily basis. A noble effort
I'm sure, but again, the state will only
be faking it. This "faking" has be-
come so popular though, that one can
onlyobservethatFloridianshavelived
for so long within their own paradox
(few are aware that the Sunshine State
actually doubles as the thunderstorm
capital of the northern hemisphere)
that they can no longer see through
the realm of anomaly.
But an issue more important than
the anomaly itself arises: why should %
everything in Today's Society be so
entirely convenient? A decision is
made to go to church. Fine. But
shouldn'tthatactionrequireabitmore
effort than just stumbling by after
picking up some turkey pot pie?
Spending a Sunday praying in-aChevy
seems a rather half-hearted attempt at}
holiness, making parking-lot-prayer
weigh-in as nothing more than an
easy way out.
Congregational Christian worshipk
- in Florida, it's not just for church
anymore.
Pass the orange juice.

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Write for Weekend etc.
Call 763.0379

Ice
shoc
fts...

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