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November 09, 1993 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-09

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RTS

Hampson surprises
in Schumann concert

Isabella Rossellini and Jeff Bridges in "Fearless."
of gatutus death
By MICHAEL THOMPSON
It's always nice when talent rears its ugly head again. "Witness" and "The
Mosquito Coast" were beginning to feel like ancient relics in a sea of super-
violent crap. But Peter Weir has returned with a fresh script and a more than
capable cast tomake yet anothergreat
movie.
"Fearless" begins after a plane
Fearless crash that has left many dead, some
Directed by Peter Weir; written by alive and a couple mentally trapped.
Rafael Yglesias; with Jeff Bridges, Jeff Bridges plays Max, a good Sa-
Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez and mi who becomes so drunk with
John Turturro. the idea of living that he begins to
lose his mind. Rosie Perez, mean-
while, has lost everything and feels that her life is cursed. Together they try to
salvage eapch other's irreparably damaged lives.
Now the story might sound a little sappy and that's probably because it is
at face value. Rafael Yglesias, however, saves his story by injecting it with
reality atevery possible junction. Themain characters' joy, pain and confusion
are as real to us as they are to them. We feel genuine terror and hope throughout
the film. But it never wears us out.
Director Weir knows how to use a fantastic main character. Just as he did
with the hyper-racist father in "The Mosquito Coast," Weir takes everything
he can get from Max Klein. Klein's self destructive attitude is offsetting as well
as enticing. Weir lets Bridges' character play out in every way, thereby making
the most of him. We have no idea what Max will do next, so we can only wait
with fear and anticipation.
Bridges makes the wait worthwhile in one of the year's best performances.
;4 He presents Max as a totally open man who is closed to the world. Perez is
surprisingly tolerable and even borderline great as Bridges' partner in fear and
wonder.
Isabella Rossellini's strong performance as Max's troubled wife is another
element that makes the film work. Weir wants us to see that the survivors are
not the only people who must wade through the aftermath of the horrific crash.
Rossellini's pain is just as powerful and important as Bridges'.
"Fearless" succeeds in that it treats its subject matter and audience with
intelligence. The reactions of every survivor, not just Bridges and Perez, are
all believable. The scenes of anger and shame feel painfully normal as the
audience sits somewhat uncomfortably through the episodes.
Yet the picture never exploits its characters or their situations. There are no
vicious killings or scenes of gratuitous death. The film provides an air of
decency we don't see enough of at the movies.
Don't panic, the film is not as heavy-handed as it sounds. There are many
humorous and exhilarating scenes that work simply because they are things all
of us would like to do. Driving a car at 80 miles an hour with your head out the
window and your eyes closed looks like kind of fun.
"Fearless" is a happy version of "Jacob's Ladder." The camera tries to stare
death and life straight in the face. And Weir and Bridges, for their part, give
us plenty to look at..
FERESis playing at Shwcase.

By KIRK WETTERS
Seeing Thomas Hampson's recital
without reading the program notes
would have been very hazardous.
Anyone who knew Schumann's song
cycle, "Dichterliebe," but didn't read
Thomas Hampson
Hill Auditorium
November 7, 1993
the notes, would have incorrectly as-
sumed that Hampson missed somany
notes as to completely change the
work. In fact, Hampson was singing
the right notes, as Schumann wrote
them, but which vary greatly from the
familiar published edition.
The most obvious change is the
inclusion of four songs which were,,
for reasons unknown, not included in
the 16-song published edition. The
omission of these four songs is dou-
bly mysterious because they are of
high enough quality to be more than
worthy of inclusion in the cycle. The
latter two of these additional songs,
"Es leuchtet meine Liebe" and "Mein
Wagen rollet langsam," were excep-
tionally fine.
The added songsgave greaterscale
and significance to the cycle, and
perhaps also suggest a connection to
Schubert's 20-song epic, "Die Schone
Miillerin."
While it seems clear that the dis-
covery of the additional songs is in-
herently valuable, the overall effects
of the original edition are difficult to
weigh at this point.
Once Hampson has issued a re-
cording of the manuscript, it will be
much easier to assess its relation to
the published version. During the per-
formance, the differences were often
surprising and fascinating, but only

on repeated listening and study can
they be fairly judged. The sensation
of, "Hold on, I didn't quite catch
that," must have been a common one
in the audience.
Even if the full ramifications of
the original manuscript will probably
only be recognized in the future, some
things are safe to say. The most sig-
nificant discrepancies often occur at
critical points in the cycle.
For example, the profound differ-
ences in "Das ist ein Floten und
Geigen," especially in the concluding
lines, occur at a point in the cycle
where interpreters have traditionally
had difficulty reconciling the beauti-
ful melodic line with the bitterness
inherent in the poetry. In this case, the
original might be described as more
"expressionist" than the published
version.
The changes are not, however,
entirely uniform in their effect. Some-
times there was a certain awkward-
ness that is not present in the pub-
lished version. Hopefully, Hampson
will record both versions on the same
CD, in order to facilitate direct and
specific comparison. The piano also
has a much greater role in the newly-
discovered version, with more fre-
quent solo postludes.
Perhaps the most shocking thing
about this original manuscript is that
it has lain undiscovered for so long.
Although appreciation of the impor-
tance of versions and origins of musi-
cal works has grown recently, it is not
a new phenomenon, as can be exem-
plified by disputes over editions of
Bruckner symphonies which have
gone on through most of the 20th
century. One can only wonder what
other musical treasures may lie bur-
ied inlibraries and repositories across
the world.
Even if the rest of the program was

Thomas Hampson's interpretation of Schumann stunned quite a few.

somewhat less provocative than the
Schumann, it was of very high quality
as well. EdvardGrieg's Opus48 songs
were delightfully atmospheric, the
work of a composer at his prime. The
songs on Walt Whitman poetry were
varied and excellent.
The Ralph Vaughn Williams set-
ting of "A Clear Midnight" and
Leonard Bernstein's "To What You
Said" stood out from the rest. "A
Clear Midnight" was reminiscent in
mood of the Largo of Vaughn Will-
iams'"Sea Symphony," which is also
a Whitman setting. The Bernstein was
perfectly introspective, a remarkable

realization of a poem which would
seem too profound for music.
It is the ultimate compliment to
say that the performances of Hampson
andhisaccompanist, Craig Rutenberg
(who looks slightly like Gerald
Moore), were so good as to barely
need mentioning.
Hampson's interpretations in-
cluded an exceptional range of dy-
namics and color, which was always
thoughtfully used in the expression of
the poetic sources. Rutenberg had an
uncanny ability to paint moods and
bring out important lines in the ac-
companunent.

Destroying Angel
Richard Paul Russo
Ace
Idon't generally like "cyberpunk"
novels or stories and, as a rule, try to
avoid any book labeled as such. With
Richard Paul Russo's novel "Destroy-
ing Angel," however, I decided to
ignore the obnoxious claims on the
cover that it was an "electrifying new
cybershock thriller." I had read a num-
ber of Russo's short stories in
Asimov's Science Fiction and was
very impressed by his talent. Russo
does not disappoint in this novel.
The story is set in San Francisco
around 2030. A large section of the
city called the Tenderloin is isolated
from the outside world by criminals
and deviants. Someone is killing
people, fusing chains to their bodies
and dumping them into waterways
around the city.
Louis Tanner, an ex-cop who now
smuggles expensive pharmaceuticals
from space stations to poor medical
centers, becomes involved in the
mystery of the "Chain Killer."
Russo avoids falling into the trap
of imitating Hammett's and
Chandler's hard-boiled detectives by
creating acharacter who does what he
feels he must.
The way Russo handles his repre-
sentations of the horrific is fascinat-
ing. He obviously has taken a few
cues from H.P. Lovecraft in how to
create suspense. Lovecraft does not
describe horrific things, leaving his

readers to fill in the objects of fear.
Russo uses Lovecraft's technique to
cause suspense and unease.
Russo's descriptions of locale con-
vey this Lovecraftian sense of horror.
The Tenderloin is described as a place
without rules. But when Tanner en-
ters the Tenderloin, he finds that there
are indeed rules, but they are the rules
of the street. The Tenderloin, he dis-
covers, is a sort of Darwinian society.
And yet within the Tenderloin lies
an even more isolated section called
the Core, a place for those who cannot

conform to the rules of even the Ten-
derloin. The Core is entered twice in
the entire novel, and then only briefly.
By not describing the Core in detail,
Russo leaves the reader to imagine
what horrors lurk within the Core.
The Chain Killer enhances this
suspense. Russo treats the Chain Killer
like a force of nature, not a normal
character.
At first the only evidence of his
existence are the bodies that are
dragged out of the bay. When the
Chain Killer first appears in the story,

he is described only as "a huge, vague
form ... a hairless scalp half metal
and light. Other flashes of metal ...
the edge of a wing." His killings are
not described at all save for the final
one, and that is a very powerful scene.
Russo's few details make the Chain
Killer mysteriously evil.
Russo's novel is craftily written
horror. It is intelligently written and
well thought out, and Russo shows a
concern for his characters that many
science fiction authors often neglect.
- Ian Hamet

REGISTRAR'S BULLETIN BOARD
REGISTRATION SCHEDULE

November 11-12 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Registration for Nursing students
and Graduate/Professional students

Various Artists
Rebirth of Cool
Fourth and Broadway
Last month, it hit the scene with a
subdued but forceful thump. Rippling
the hip-hop community's commer-
cial surface of gangster, R&B and
"Daisy Dukes"-style raps, "Rebirth
of Cool"takes music to another level.
This album and two volumes of the
same title released in England are
truly revolutionary (the other two are
unavailable in the US).
From a hip-hop perspective, it is
striking that although most of the
songs do not have raps, it has the
potential to be one of the most influ-
ential albums in the rap world in re-
cent years. The live instrumentation,
provided by such notables as Ronny
Jordan and the Jazz Warriors are per-
fectly hip-hop influenced, not over-
shadowed bynoiseandnot toosmooth
to have real musical force.
MC Solaar, imported fresh from
France, drops a new version of
"Caroline," a hit song off his French
release "Qui Same Le Vent Rdcolte
Le Tempo" (ake a drive to Quebec

Stetsasonic member Daddy-O and
drop their meaningful and funky "In-
ner City Boundaries." Other lesser
known but just as incredible groups
include The Subterraneans, Opaz,
Martine Giralt and the United Future
Organization. The basic lesson to be
learned from this album is that if it is
English and it isjazzy hip-hop, buy it.
The British are rebirthing the cool
thatmany Americans lostin 900{num-
bers and machismo.
-Dustin Howes

Registration by appointment begins Nov.15 and ends Dec. 3 (except for weekends and Nov. 24-
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printed on the Student Verification Form. Students will be asked to register according to the
following priority group sequence.

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Group IV
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Registration times are assigned
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