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October 13, 1993 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-13

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RTS

German expressions delight

By KARIN SKAGGS
Startlng self-portraits and images of human suffering
are some of the exceptional works on view at the Museum
of Art's current exhibition German Expressionist Graph-
ics. The show, drawn from the museum's permanent
collection, ranges from fluid watercolors to bold wood-
cut self portraits, and presents a rare opportunity to view
such important works outside of collection catalogues.
Although the works remain in the museum's permanent
holdings, the danger of fading keeps them from being
shown frequently or for extended periods. This exhibition
is therefore an even greater opportunity to view such fine
examples of Expressionism.
On the museum's first floor, 15 works by various
artists show dynamic power. Diverse media are repre-
sented, from the scrawled pencil drawing of Ludvig
Kirchner to the meditative lithographs ofKathe Kolowitz.
These German artists were defined as a group who, in the
early 20th century, sought to create a more direct, honest
form of expression based on self-examination. Driven in
partby the spiritual deficit resulting from theaftermath of
* World War I, the Expressionists admired the vivid color
of the Fauve painters in the early 20th century. In turn,
they created theirown aesthetic, emphasizing self-inquiry
and human feeling as the foundation to their images.
In the exhibition, Max Beckmann's woodcut self por-
trait exemplifies this brutal self-examination. He squints
out at the viewer with tight lips and black, penetrating
eyes. Emphasized by the thick black woodcut marks
which definehis face, it seems Beckmann challenges us to

examine his very soul.
The woodcut became the perfect medium to create
bold, aggressive lines and jagged forms edged with splin-
tered marks to directly portray their forceful visions. The
history of Germans and woodcuts dates from Albrecht
Durer in the 16th century, yet this exhibit makes evident
the artists' concern with African art in the abstract forms
and essential compositions seen throughout the works.
Carole McNamara, Registrar of the Museum of Art
and largely responsible for the organization of the exhibi-
tion, states that the diversity of works displayed is in-
tended to demonstrate the strength and variety of medium
used by different artists. In composing the exhibit,
McNamara stated she was interested in the way the works
"play off a sense of negative and positive space." She
added that "the vitality of the works and the physicality of
producing a woodcut is part of their dynamic energy."
Accordingly, the right wall of the exhibition consists
solely of portraits, yet each is distinct in medium and
application. In "Portrait of DavidMiller,"Ludvig Kirchner
creates delicate angular cuts which stand out upon an
ochre ground. The warm-toned surface provides sub-
stance for a web of explosive black line. In markedly
different contrast to Kirchner's portrait is Karl Schmidt-
Rottluff's "Head of a Woman," which depicts simplified
planes energized by diagonal white marks.
The depth and diversity of these few works suggests
the quality of the exhibition as a whole.
"GERMAN EXPRESSIONIST GRAPHICS" remains on
view at the Museum ofArt until December S.

This four hour epic details on of the most important battles in American history.

Epic
By SCOTT PLAGE[
In 1990, "Dance
became a critical and
cess despite its thr
time. The success of
with another lengi
"Goodfellas," indicat

film documen

4HOEF
s With Wolves"
commercial suc-
ee-hour running
"Wolves," along
thy 1990 film,
edthat audiences

Stereolab
Transient Random-Noise
Bursts with Announcements
Elektra
Stereolab are among the pioneers
of "ambient rock," a new trend in
music that looks ready to bliss its way
into the forefront of alternative rock
*and kill grunge softly with its songs.
Ambient bands use washes and walls
of sound to trance out their audiences
and take them to higher levels of
consciousness; sortofacrossbetween
dream-pop and rave, ambient at its
best is a refreshing change - at least
for now.
Stereolab are an exemplary ambi-
ent band. Their album "Space Age
*Bachelor Pad Music" perfectly de-
scribes the band's sound: dreamy
vocals and distorted guitars, organs
and synthesizers that create great
swirling cords and melodies. This
band floats the listener away in a
manner similar to My Bloody Valen-
tine, but Stereolab has a grittier,
sludgier edge; "heavy psychedelia"
sums it up.
Their latest album, "Transient
Random-Noises with Announce-
ments," showcases this sound to the
fullest. Singer Laetitia Sadier's voice
is the focal point of the group and is
complemented best by the mix of
techno, pop, punk, industrial and
dream pop that is Stereolab on tracks
like "Tone Burst," the pleasant, mel-
lowopener, the heavy, chugging "Our
Trinitone Blast," the intense, catchy
"Jenny Onidoline," which is the first
single off the album, and "Lock-
Groove Lullaby," which is positively
sleep-inducing, but that's a compli-
ment. While one has tobe in the mood
for such mindbending music, and 18-
IBAICH EFIBMAUM11
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Order Catalog Today with Visa / MC or COD
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minute tracks smack of self-indul-
gence, Stereolab's sounds take the
listener away better than a carton of
Calgon.
The band will also be a great warm
up for the poetically jangly sounds
of Unrest this Thursday at St.
Andrew's Hall at 7:30 p.m. Call
961-MELTfor more info The show,
like the band's album, should be
one of the best of the year.
- Heather Phares
Carlos Guastavino
Las Puertas De La Maiana
New Albion Records
Most musicians share a strange
compulsion to exhibit their personal
beliefs and publicize their private
emotions. While commodifying the
individual composer/performer works
wonders for sales, the artist's integ-
rity is often sacrificed and their emo-
tional veracity becomes suspect
Carlos Guastavino's songs may
seem to be the products of just an-
other sappy balladeer; but his life and
personal sensitivity validate his
pieces' honest emotion.
Born in Santa F, Argentina, in
1912, Guastavino's life-long passion
for music resulted in hundreds of
scores for numerous arrangements.
He spent most of his life in obscurity
and solitude, writing for himself.
Unlike his Argentine contemporar-
ies, Guastavino relied on traditional

harmony as his parlance, not needing
to explore new musical languages to
convey the emotions his homeland
evoked.
Twenty short vignettes for piano
and voice are the subject of "Las
Puertas." Written exclusively in Span-
ish, his songs evoke a plaintive mood
thatmay seemtrite coming fromsome-
one less sensitive or sincere than
Guastavino.
Mostofthe pieces locate him "deep
in the furrows of love" orcontemplat-
ing love lost. Sure, Guastavino is not
blazing newmusical orpoetic ground,
but each song evokes a contemplative
mood resulting from one man's hon-
est introspection.
Guastavino weaves natural images
into the skein of his life, creating a
web of interaction which spans be-
yond human relationships. As a con-
duit of his feelings, each song can
barely contain the gentle torrent of his
emotions.
Although Guastavino's music is
his chief means of communication
and connection in his solitude, the
strain of society and human interac-
tion almost seem too much for him to
bear: "Now I shall retire to the lonely
fields... to see if I can find that which
my soul craves"
- Chris Wyrod
338 S. Stale
996-9191

Directed and written by Ronald
Maxwell; with Jeff Daniels, Martin
Sheen and Tom Berenger.
were willing to weather an extensive
film provided they were rewarded
with quality. The current trend of
producing longer films led to the re-
lease of "JFK" and "Malcolm X," and
has peaked with the release of the
four-hour epic, "Gettysburg."
The film is in two parts with a 20
minute intermission and depicts three
days in which 150,000 soldiers fought
the largest battle ever in the United
States. If one considers this the battle
which solidified the preservation of
the Union, then it can be considered
the most significant event in our na-
tional history, save our war for inde-
pendence. Certainly worthy of four
hours, right? Well, yes and no.
Visually the film is stunning. The
landscape and the cinematography,
particularly the use of musket smoke
and the creation of "natural" lighting
wonderfully convey the feel of differ-
ent times of day and lend an ironic
beauty and integrity to the battle
scenes.
The battle scenes were filmed on

location at Gettysburg National Mili-
tary Park. Virtually each detail, from
the uniforms to the choreography of
Pickett's charge, is recreated with
marvelous accuracy. The exception
is the glaringly ridiculous faux facial
hair on Tom Berenger and C. Thomas
Howell.
"Gettysburg" has moments of
sharp poignancy, yet is often weighed
down by its ambition. The film de-
picts the whole of the battle with such
omniscience that the moments of tan-
gible, human drama are too far be-
tween. Instead, the thrill of reenact-
ing what the filmmakers believe are
"the largest scale period motion-pic-
ture sequences filmed in North
America since... 'Birth of aNation'
seem to be the focus. The importance
of the event could have been trans-
lated more effectively and enjoyably
by focusing primarily on the princi-
pal characters and screenplay than on
the over-whelming number of extras.
Similarly, the strategic aspect of
the battle is overemphasized and can
dull an unknowledgeable or
disconcerned audience. The division
of the Union, the effect of the battle
on each man, woman and child in the
country, the passion and the despera-
tion of the individual soldiers and
officers to defend their homes, fami-

Ihistory
lies and ideals, and the pain of having
to defend them against friends; these
are the moments at which the film
captures what is truly substantial about
the Civil War and flirts with great-
ness.
Jeff Daniels clearly out-classes the
rest of the cast in his portrayal of
Federal Colonel Joshua Chamberlain.
Daniels fuses the power of the war
and the passion of humanity in his
performance (plus, unlike Berenger
and Howell, he can grow his own
facial hair). The other principal actors
provide a sharp contrast to Daniels
Martin Sheen's General Robert E.
Leeisstiffandplacid, Tom Berenger's
General James Longstreetneverquite
masters the southern drawl and C.
Thomas Howell's Thomas Chamber-
lain is only a step above Keanu
Reeves-level acting.
When "Gettysburg" is good it is
very good. It seems the potential for
greatness is here, unfortunately di-
rector / writer Ronald Maxwell is
more concerned with grandiosity.
Still, the moments ofexcellencemake
it worthwhile, provided you have half
a day free. It is only a shame Maxwell
was so conscious of creating an event
rather than a film.
GETITSBURG is playing at
Showcase.

I'

-.MUNI

Pint Night
Wednesdays
$1.00 off Pints of the
"Best draft beer selection"
in town 9:00pm-Close

ST. MARY'S STUDENT PARISH
announces a
lecture
Catholic and Academic
A Contradiction in Terms?
by Professor James Turner
History Department, University of Michigan
Wednesday, October13, 7:00 p.m.
at the Newman Center
331 Thompson Street
The first in a series of presentations on faith and thought and the
interplay between a Catholic religious commitment and the profession
of teacher and intellectual.
Open to all interested students, faculty and others.
U UM

NEW VIDEO * NEW VIDEO * NEW VIDEO

.l:

J

"LEGAL" MARIUANA
IN HOLLAN
"WE ARE NOT CRIMINALS"
THE DUTCH MORAL MAIORITY SPEAK
A 70 MINUTE VIDEO EXPLORATION OF DUTCH SOCIETY
AFTER IS YEARS Of'ALMOST- LEGAL'MARUUANA
DUTCH WORKM PEOPLE. BOTH POT USERS AND NON.
USERS A~LKE VOICE THEIR OPIMNN IN NGUSH.
PROTECT YOURIT afND WITHACCUUATE IWVANRT! f'

$2.99 Cheeseburger & Fries
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our homemade French Bread. 11:3Oam-3:00pm

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THE DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS
PRESENTS
A FILM AND PRESENTATIONBY
DR.MARGARETGELLER
SO MANY GALAXTES
...SOLHTLETIM E
So Many Galaxies...So Little Time, madewith Academy
Award winning cinematographer Boyd Estus, chronicles
the remarkable work of Harvard-Smithsonian Senior
ScientistMargaretJ. Gellerand her collaborators to map
the known Universe. It is a film about the devotion and
creativity ofscientificresearchers, and about the love of
science.

""--


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Northwestern College of Chiropractic
is now accepting applications for its next three entering classes.
(April 1994, September 1994, January 1995)
fGenornl renuirmeontc at tin nf entrv incfludP.

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