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October 29, 1993 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-29

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The Michigan Daiy - Friday, October 29,1993-9

Heston still holy in'Cid'

w Charlton Heston has had it rough. Always playing a
messiah must be really draining. Sure, you can make him
Spanish, call him Rodrigo and have him fightMoors in the
11th century, but everyone knows who this guy really is.
With Heston, it is unavoidable: he must be a god. So
what's the best way to tell the story of a legend? Extrava-
gantly and dramatically which is exactly what the 1961
film "El Cid" does.

Heston's pompa
impossible to ign
make you want t
impressive enou
praise. The bate
costumed soldier
months of shooti
is integral in ei
particularly effe
nanoram of thi

dour and constipated expressions are
nore and Loren's pouty lips and teary eyes
o smash her in the face, the production is
ugh in other aspects to merit Scorsese's
Ile scenes with huge masses of nattily
rsjustify the year of pre-production and 8
ng that this film required. The soundtrack
voking emotion in every scene and is
ective when paired with the sweeping
ie Spanish coast and countryside.
ne scenes in the film that are so far gone
ept them even under the guise of melo-
ion between Rodrigo and Chimene at the
film is reminiscent of Kermit and Miss
in"TheGreatMuppetCaper." Rodrigo's
loaves of bread to starved villagers who

There are son
El Cid it is hard to acc
Directed by Anthony Mann; written by Frederic M. Frank drama. The reun
and Philip Yordan; with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren. beginning of the
army catapulting
Described by Martin Scorsese as "one of the greatest
epic films ever made," "El Cid" offers no surprises or Melodram
breakthroughs in the way of plot. The first scene estab- genre, Is h
es Heston's character as the man who will lead a Spain
'Ynbroiled in religious warfare "to the light." This idea is both Hesto
reinforced when Rodrigo saves the lives of some Moors plays his w
he has captured, prompting his father to thank God for
sending such a great person to Spain. The Moors, in awe then proceed to
of his fairness, name Rodrigo the Cid, meaning great and been an inspirat
compassionate warrior. If the dialogue is not enough to narios make "El
convince the audience of the hero's destiny, the cliched comic relief in
symbolism beats the idea into the ground. The prolonged because after th
struggle between duty, desire and honor follows a predict- Moors all the be4
le course spiced up by expected elements of betrayal, sible to rememb
votion, passion, pride and triumph. Heston actually
In spite of the story's predictability this film is en- scene, which ar
grossing. One is drawn in by its grandeur and heroism. about honor or I
Melodrama, a vital element in the genre, is happily the the theater, is to
specialty of both Heston and Sophia Loren (who plays his epic would this 1
wife, Chimene). Their overacting gives the characters a the Christ figure
surreal actions twist that elevates them to the fantastic biblical name. It
proportion and scope of the rest of the tale. Even if EL CID i play
and rave
reviews it:! i
The international press cannot be
dk iving us. Especially with reviews
taining the following quotes: "The
Gowandhaus Orchestra lavished on
its listeners a feast of superlative ?'
music-making ... A luxury evening!":<..
(Evening Standard) and "astonishing
energy and commitment!" (Weekend
On Friday, October29 at8 p.m. in
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor audi-
s will be able to witness world-
conductor Kurt Masur as
be leads the Leipzig Gewandhaus
Orchestra in performances of
Mendelssohn's "Overture to Ruy
Blas," Robert Schumann's Symphony
N0. 2 in C Major and Mussorgsky's
"Pictures at an Exhibition."
In 1743, this orchestra gave its
first performances under the title
"Grand Concert" and the orchestra
sted of members in Leipzig's
usician's Guild. These first perfor
mances were given in taverns until
city authorities allowed the Draper's
Guild Hall - the Gewandhaus - to
be reconstructed into a concert hall, Kurt Masur is the Music Director for
which hosted the orchestra's concerts the orchestra's 250th Anniversary,
beginning in 1781. which allowsittobecalledGermany's
Many reputable conductors and oldest civic orchestra.
composers have been responsible for The Musical Society is offering
, aig the orchestra's reputation. "An Interview with Professor Kurt
lix Mendelssohn's efforts were Masur" one hour beforeFriday's con-
among the first, to be followed by cert. Ken Fischer, UMS's Executive
conductors Wilhelm Furtwangler, Director, will lead the discussion on
BamoWalter, andsince 1970,Masur. the 4th Floor Amphitheater in
Maestro Masur also directs the New Rackham Auditorium at 7:00 p.m
York Philharmonic. This tour marks This interview between Fischer and

rhIs H WsUOI
"Delic1ous accurate in its portrapl of the
generation Ad fell between LSD and R.E.M.'
Julis O"ars, US MAGAZINE

a, a vital element In the
applly the specialty of
an and Sophia Loren (who
ife, Chimene).

scream and attack each other must have
ion to Monty Python. Such idiotic sce-
Cid" even more appealing by providing
potentially dull scenes. Understandably,
tree hours of the Spaniards versus the
arded men start to look alike, it is impos-
ber who is fighting who, and Charlton
starts to seem kind of cool. The final
rives right before you begin not to care
oyalty and just want to get the hell out of
uchingly heroic. After all, what kind of
be without an inspiring ending to justify
. There was even the token leper with a
just doesn't get much better than this.

ng at the Michigan Theater.

El Cid" is a giant among movies. If you've never seen it, check it out at the Michigan Theater now.


'Decadence' under rising sun

There is a certain grace, if not a
beauty, in things that are disturbing.
We have always wanted to know what
was down on the naughty side of the
street. Consider our cinematic fasci-
nation with the sleazy underworlds of
two-bit gangsters, cheap prostitutes
and psychotic murderers.
"Tokyo Decadence" directed by
Tokyo Decadence
Directed by Ryu Murakami;
screenplay by Ryu Murakami; with
Miho Nikaido.
Ryu Murakami is equally fascinating
in its treatment of deviant thrills. The
film chronicles the naughty tricks of a
high-class Tokyo callgirl. Ai enter-
tains men that rig her up' to mecha-
nized dildos, delight in simultaneous
asphyxiation and orgasm and bran-
dish heroin needles from polished,
brass cases. The.movie is visually
beautiful in its depiction of moral
filth and succeeds in creating a per-
verse erotica without relying on cheap
Ai's days are agonizing bouts of
kinky terror. She is nothing but a
caged rodent, treading endlessly
around a sex wheel, paid to indulge
the deviant fantasies of the Tokyo,
male elite. Her clients are perverse,
Read the

Nietzschean freaks who fasten her
into S & M chairs, muffle her with
black, leather mouth straps while tell-
ing her she is the hope of a rotten
Japan. The story is episodic, disre-
garding a tight, dramatic structure.
The plot, instead, is a series of
voyeuristic glimpses into the daily
humiliation of a girl that turns tricks
on high powered Japanese men be-
cause she thinks she "has no talent
The film is a flawless study of the
aesthetic allure of mood. The
soundtrack has a shabby big city
groove to it.The visuals are stunning.
Murakami saturates the screen with
warm, kinky reds and receding, hope-
less blues. From the low angle track-
ing shots of Tokyo skyscrapers dyed
with blue filters to the beads of sweat
that drip in red tones from gyrating
hips clad in black garters, the movie is
dark and hypnotic in its glaring por-
trait of deviance, money and power.
The camera floats sensually, yet the
editing jars you. The close-up of a
razorblade meticulously chopping up
lines of blow punctures the moneyed
veneer of polished marble, slick esca-
lators and bright, reflecting glass.
The film is too stylized and intel-
ligent to be written off as exploitative
pornography. It is a fascinating cri-
tique of the mechanized sexual per-
versions of a cynical, sterile society.
Ai is an expensive toy for powerful

executives like Mr. Ishiosaka, who
conducts his business while smolking
heroin snowcone cigarettes and dab-
bling in elaborate bondage games.
The dialogue is sparse. Verbal foliage
The film Is a flawless
study of the aesthetic
allure of mood. The
soundtrack has a
shabby big city groove
to Its
is a waste of time and money in this
world of commands, grunts and
threats. The acting is subdued but
brilliant. Miho Nikaido, who plays Ai
effortlessly, executes difficult facial
expressions, expressing simultaneous
ruptures of pain and ecstasy.
This is a film that turns tricks with
much more honesty and grit then Ken
Russell's "Whore," and its realistic,
if brutal depiction of sick pleasure
will delight those who would have
loved to see the "Pretty Woman" fall
over from an overdose. "TokyoDeca-
dence" will rape and pillage the ways
of the innocent. Good. It is a visual
feast for those jaded souls who would
love to drown their faint-hearted
friends in a morass of pain and plea-
sure that has never been more diaboli-
cally delicious.
TOKYO DECADENCE is playing at
the Michigan Theater.

the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.


the maestro is open to the public.
Day-of-performance rush tickets
are available for $9 at the Union
Ticket Office from 9 a.m. to 5p.m.
and at North Campus Commons,
next to Little Caesar's, from 11:30
a.m. to 2p.m. on Friday. The
Student Rush is co-sponsored by the
North Campus Commons and
University Musical Society. For
more information call 764-2538.

The Consortium of leading French
"Grandes Ecoles" of Management
is seeking to recruit June '94 graduates
for a 2-year International Management Program
in French and/or English.
For further information about the Schools
and the programs they offer,
please meet our representative:
Mrs. Joan FENET at the:
Graduate and Professional School Day


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