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October 12, 1993 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-12

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RTS

'Jones' too farfetched
to be taken senously
By ALEXANDRA TWIN
To rediscover that the often somnolent Richard Gere, who of late has
played a series of rather lethargic characters, is capable of playing a character
as complex, interesting and altogether wacky as the title character in "Mr.
Jones," is a testament to Gere's often buried talent. However, it is by no means
a good enough reason to go and see this utterly farfetched film.
Nevertheless, the picture does
boast an interesting premise. Mr.
Mr. Jones Jones, a larger than life, grandiose,
Directed by Mike Figgis; written by fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants type of
Eric Roth and Michael Cristofer; with guy, is actually a manic-depressive.
Richard Gere and Lena Olin. But the fact that this film quickly
chucks its originality in favor of the
standard, cheesy, Hollywood love story - this time in the area of psychiatrist-
patient love affairs - is pretty annoying. It was kind of interesting the first
time, but after "The Prince of Tides," "Whispers in the Dark" and "Final
Analysis," (which also starred Gere), this genre's waning charm is damn near
exhausted.
The out-of-control Mr. Jones keeps pulling these crazy, spur-of-the-
moment type stunts and getting hauled into the hospital to be treated by the
beautiful andapparently frequently dateless Dr. Elizabeth Bowen (Lena Olin).
It is soon obvious to everyone that he would do better as an inpatient. Once
admitted, we're introduced to a bevy of eccentric mental patients. There's the
giddy young girl with the penchant for razor blades, the catatonic old woman
who mumbles incoherently and the fast-talking man who claims to be a
government agent. As kooky as they all are, none are quiet so intriguing to Dr.
Bowen as the irrepressible Mr. Jones, or so we are told.
The rest of the film largely consists of Bowen trying to delve into Jones'
psyche, while he, in turn, struggles between wanting to cooperate and feeling
0 that it's all pretty hopeless. "It's just the way I am," he says frustratedly.
This part of the film is arguably the best; it is both absorbing and sincere.
Deep and wrenching at times, though not without the occasional cliche, it
manages to be genuinely effective without crossing the line between heartfelt
and sappy.
Gere really does himself a service; his Mr. Jones is both funny and over-
the-top, while still being realistic and gratingly human. This is his best work
in years. It should also serve to remedy any notions that Gere is anything other
than an unrestrained, highly expressive actor. Yet, Olin, so good in "Enemies,
a Love Story," does not fare quite as well. She can only do her best in an
ornamental role that requires her to look alternately concerned and lustful at
the supposedly sexy Gere.
Unfortunately, it is their romantic involvement that nearly spoils the film.
As if the idea that Lena Olin needs to be flipping through her filofax of mental
patients to find a date for Saturday night isn't questionable enough, the
implication that this relationship may be the answer to Jones' medical
problems is just ridiculous. He hasn't been celibate; why are we to believe that
this is the one to help cure him? Ah, yes. True Love.
Sorry. That just doesn't work. If he has a chemical imbalance, he has a
chemical imbalance. No chemistry is gonna take care of that, even if she is a
psychiatrist.
'MR. JONES is playing at Showcase.

Tanya Donelly and the rest of elly are on the verge of becoming hugely successful, with one "mega-hit," "Feed the Tree," already under their belts.
Beisep ad to make the 'bgtie

Hummings Recital
Critically acclaimed pianist, Armenta Adams Hummings, will be giving
a free recital at the School of Music Recital Hall. According to the New York
Times, "Seldom does one find so much physical vitality in a pianist with so
much poetic sensibility; nor such clarity of texture in an artist who is not only
interested in color but able to achieve it so variedly." The recital will be
tonight at 8:00 p.m. For more information, call 764-0586.
Let's Talk about Sex
Dr. Sylvia Hacker, an associate professor at the University of Michigan,
is a specialist in sex education. She used this expertise in writing "What
Every Teenager REALLY Wants to Know about Sex," which she will be
discussing and signing at Borders Book Shop today at 7:30 p.m. The book
discusses the most often asked questions by teenagers concerning that most
taboo of subjects, with frank and honest answers provided by Hacker.
Anyone interested in the topic (now, be honest, who isnt?!) is invited to
attend and bring their questions with them.
Halloween Flicks
The 174th meeting of the Ann Arbor Silent Film Society will be
presenting a very special Halloween performance of 1921's "The Haunted
House," 1926's "Midnight Faces" and 1968's "Night of the Living Dead."
These chilling, thrillers haven't lost much of their original flair and remain
near the top of many horror movie fan's lists of all-time great flicks. The
movies are being presented at the Sheraton Inn at 3200 Boardwalk on
Sunday, October 31 at 3:00 p.m. Admission is a paltry $3 so there really is
no excuse not to attend. Call 761-8286 for more information about this
event.

By ANDY DOLAN
After spending most of her musi-
cal career with the Throwing Muses
and the Breeders, Belly's Tanya
Donelly has finally been given the
chance to showcase her unique
songwriting abilities with her own
band. And as talented songwriters that
the Muses' Kristen Hersh and the
Breeders' Kim Deal are, you really
have to wonder how much of a power
trip they must have been on to not
allow more of Donelly's influence to
shine through on their respective
projects. After hearing Belly's mag-
nificent debut album, "Star," it'seven
more baffling to conceive of how
Donelly was able to hold those won-
derful songs back for so long.
Fortunately, all of that is in the
past. Those songs have finally been
brought into the world, and one year
and a mega-hit single later, Belly,
now consisting of Donelly, guitarist
Tom Gorman, drummer Chris
Gorman and new bassist Gail Green-
wood, have just begun their second
American tour, co-headlining with
those "creeps," Radiohead.
It's been nearly a year since Belly's
first single, the internationally suc-
cessful "Feed The Tree," began its
strange and wonderful ascent to pop
success. According to Chris Gorman,
the band could tell that the single was
a big hit not because of its sales or
heavy play on MTV, but, as he ex-
plained, "When your friends start to
tell you how sick they are of your
song, that's when you really know
that quite a few people have heard it!"
Chris' attitude towards the success of
the single is not exactly typical, ei-
ther. Ashe jokingly explained, "Luck-
ily, we were in [Europe] around the
time when 'Feed The Tree' really
started to take off. It probably would
have been really embarrassing to be
around then. I mean, who wants to
look at their own face all the time?"
It was during this tour that Belly
first met up with Radiohead and pro-
posed the idea of touring with them.
"We played a show with [Radiohead]
in London," Chris recalled, "and we
kind of made friends with them and
talked about the possibility of them
doing a US tour with us ... Doing a
co-headline has been really cool; the
bands are different, yet similar enough
that the place doesn't empty out while
one of the bands is playing." While
the tour has gone well so far, the band

has had their share of strange mis-
haps. "At this time we were supposed
to play in Athens, Georgia ... [the
promoter] ended up setting us up in
the middle of a tobacco field with this
makeshift stage," he recalled, "after
that just fell apart, we ended up play-
ing at this tiny club for whoever could
squeeze in there ... it was a disaster!"
It's been nearly a year
since Belly's first
single, ... "Feed The
Tree," began its
strange and wonderful
ascent to pop success.
Despite the presence on "Star" of
such scathingly brutal songs as
"Dusted," with lyrics like "Baby's
playing dead in cellar / Gave her wa-
ter she got paler / Grass stains back
burns she's a screamer / She's just
dusted, leave her," there are still those
cynics who feel that some of the al-
bum could use a little more energy.
Surprisingly, Chris somewhat admits
to being one of them. "To me, I think
the record is sometimes kind of tenta-
tive and shy ... our approach [when
we play live] is a lot more powerful
and punchy. In general, that makes
for a better show, anyway. I can only
take so many sensitive songs in a row
before I get in line for the bar, you

know? But everyone in Belly likes to
play with all the volume knobs on ten
and trying to break stuff on stage.
There's definitely a different feel to
the songs. It demonstrates our poten-
tial to be rock and roll, or whatever!"
While "Star" does have more than
it's share of beautiful, dreamlike bal-
lads that might not translate too well
into a live situation, Donelly's lyrics
never fail to add that welcome spark
ofeerie irony that she's become known
for. Even the lyrics on "Feed The
Tree" have slightly surreal twists
("Silver baby come to me / I'll only
hurt you in my dreams") that make
them a far cry from standard pop
music fodder. In addition, the haunt-
ing, edgy guitar work on songs such
as "Low Red Moon" and "Sad Dress"
proves that Donelly's talent for evok-
ing vividly disturbing feelings
stretches well beyond her lyric-writ-
ing skills.
After this tour, the band plans to
begin work on the follow-up to "Star."
But while the debut album was writ-
ten almost entirely before the Gorman
brothers had even joined the band, the
next album, Chris assures, will be
recorded as a group. "The songs that
Tanya put together for 'Star,' she'd
had years to work on ... For the next
album, she's going to rely on Tom
and Gail a lot more. She's counting
on the whole band to be involved in a
lot of different aspects. It's going to

be much more of a team effort," he
predicted. As far as new directions
go, Chris explained that the band
won't be making any conscious ef-
forts to make the next album sound
radically different. "It's going to be
harder for us to keep the next record
similar to the first one than it will to
make it different. We don't want
people to feel like they have to redis-
cover a whole new band!"
If you didn't catch Belly when
they were in town this past April,
you've got another chance to see them.
It promises to be a gritty, intense
performance and,bestofall, you won't
have to see them in a tobacco field.
BELLY co-headlines with
RADIOHEAD this Wednesday at
the State Theater in Detroit. Doors
open at 6:30, and tickets are $12.50
plus service charge. Call 313-961-
5450 for more information.
preorder pearl jam
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COMING OCT.9th

I

BUSINESS AND TECHNICAL CAREERS
CLOSE -YOUR BOOKS
FOR 1 OR 2 HOURS.
IT COULD REALLY PAY OFF,
GTE invites you to take some time out when we visit campus. We'll be
recruiting aggressive, energetic students with varied backgrounds and
degrees. Naturally, we look for a good academic record, too - but most of
all, we're looking for people with a serious interest in learning about GTE.
While we're here, come and join us. Ask questions to find out about the
challenging opportunities GTE has to offer in telecommunications.
ALL STUDENTS WELCOME!
On-Campus Information Session/Reception

.

Technical Careers
DATE: October 19th
TIME: 4:30PM - 6:30PM
PLACE: Room 1226
EECS Building

Business Careers
Accounting, Finance, Marketing
and Human Resources
DATE: October 19th
TIME: 6PM - 7PM

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