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September 10, 1993 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-10

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01

ARTS
The Michigan i September 10, 1993 Page 16

Boxing Helena' becomes lifeless

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ByDAVID SHEPARDSON
In a muted effort to create a meta-
phr for the objectification of women,
Jennifer Lynch directs a feature that
sells out for the benefit of movie-goers
ii)cenoga Park and in the process cre-
ates an ill-constructed and arguably
misogynist film.
Boxing Helena
Directed by Jennifer Lynch; with
$herilyn Fenn, Julian Sands and Art
Parfunkel.
"Boxing Helena" depicts the story
of Dr. Nick Cavanaugh (Julian Sands),
the son of a doctor and a man obsessed
by Helena, played by Sherilyn Fenn of

"Twin Peaks" fame. After a brief and
all-too unsatisfactory relationship, the
two part ways. Nick, unable to get over
Helena, pursues her with the cunning of
a voyeuristic sixth grader in heat.
He moves into his recently deceased
mother's home and proceeds to throw a
party for Helena who shows up only to
take abath in the fountain in front of all
the guests and taunt Nick by picking up
the first man that speaks to her.
Fatefully, she leaves her pocketbook
at Nick's home. She calls him to come
to the airport with her purse (Helena is
conveniently leaving for Mexico for an
indeterminate amount of time). But
here's the rub, Nick takes her address
book out of the purse so they head home
to retrieve it.

After yet another unrealistic lunch
scene, Helena storms out of the house
only to get hit by a rusting pick-up truck.
The director cuts to the hospital days
later where the staff is debating the
whereabouts ofNick, the chief surgeon.
And then, we see the leg-less Helena
recovering, minus blood, distress or dis-
pleasure. Later in the film, after "misbe-
having" Nick cuts her arms off, with
surprisingly little anger.
But the final hour and a half of the
film is a dream. Concerned that the
movie would be misinterpreted or taken
too literally, Lynch tacks on a hastily
made ending that satisfies no one and is
completely inconsistent with the rest of
the film.
Concerned that the movie
would be misinterpreted

messages. Instead of learning to love
and be loved by women through his
mutilation of Helena, Nick is in essence
telling himself everything through his
dream of Helena (which includes a
dream within a dream).
The dream is noteworthy in that
Helena tells Nick in no uncertain terms
how to have sex with a woman "cor-
rectly." After watching Nick with an-
other woman practicing her advice, she
eventually begs Nick to have sex -and
goes so far as to urge her would-be
rescuer to cease and let Nick continue.
If the intentof the film was to deliver
the message of man's caging of woman
and treating them as possessions, it
misses the mark. "Boxing Helena" has
already been protested in England and
attacked by the British press as "anti-
woman." The audience responds most
favorably to the scenes of Helena with-
out limbs, rather than empathize with
her plight.
Compared to her famous father
David, which is noted for imaginative
cinematography, the younger Lynch's
"Boxing Helena" is poorly staged and
leaves much to be desired, save a neo-
Wellesian caged bird flapping its wings.
In the final analysis, "Boxing Hel-
ena" strives to join the "Eraserhead/
Elephant Man/Twin Peaks" cadre of
avant garde Lynch features and falls
miserably short.
"Boxing Helena is playing at the
Star John R theatre in Troy before
coming to campus cinemas later this
month.

-a

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JAI ( ann arbor civic theatre mainstage productions
Dresents. ..

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1

frArt: aCouncil
Michigan Cucl
h e --/ \fo rt n
.. L' Cultural Affairs
a play by Larry Shue
Directed by Charles Jackson
ptember 15-18, 1993 at 8 p.m.
Saturday Matinee at 2 p.m.
idelssohn Theatre3
tation, please call 971-AACT-
September 13, Call 763-1065.

or taken too literally,
Lynch tacks on a hastily
made ending that satisfies
no one and Is completely
inconsistent with the rest
of the film.
Dreams are from one perspective:
thedreamer's. Butin this "dream," long
and involved scenes between other char-
acters that Nick does not have knowl-
edge of in the movie are "dreamed" by
him. It would seem impossible for it all
to have been a less than six hour dream.
So in making this change, Lynch
radically changes the film'smany mixed

Bightness Falls
Jay Mclnerney
Vintage Press
Russell and Corrine Calloway
looked justSTUNNED after they heard
the crash of the stock market-- and of
their lives. Sigh. Jay McInerney ("Bright
Lights, Big City"), in his latest novel,
"Brightness Falls," treats the late '80s
as a drama with epic proportions.
Enter our hero, Russell Calloway.
Midwestbom. EastCoasteducated. Up-
and-coming publisher who feeds on the
'80s take-over frenzy and attempts to
buy out his employer so he will be able
to publish novels and poetry laden with
socialconsciousness. Hemisses the irony
of his sell-out of idealism to capitalism.
Enter his wife, Corrine Calloway.
Rich girl. Met Russell at college. Fell in
love with his best friend. (Pay attention
to this plot line. It has the most potential
of being rewarding.) Decided to get out
of the apartment and get a job as a
stockbroker.
McInerney's pair adds up to be a
stereotypical power-grabbing male and
his over-sensitive wife. Their high-so-
ciety (now-trite) New York lifestyle is
juxtaposed with slivers of the lives of a
homeless man, very rich friends, a
DonaldTrump-esque financial manipu-
lator and a gossip columnist.
Well, every book needs a writer and
McInerney makes sure our publishing
hero gets his. Enter the best-friend and
drugged doppleganger, Jeff, who haunts
our beautiful couple.
Jeff's character embodies the ro-
mantic idealization of writers as people
who must destroy themselves to create
serves to critique the free-wheeling atti-
tude of investment bankers and
businesspeople. Russell knows he's not
living up to his dreams of poetic exist-
ence. Corrine knows being a stockbro-
ker is a cop-out. And they both know
(almost) that Jeff's self-destructive
lifestyle isn't the ideal either.
The predictable maturity comes with
thepredictable end. Russell and Corrine
survive their period of estrangement
from each other and tentatively reach
foreach other once again. Jeff's lifestyle
leads him to die the death that holds no
poetic justice - AIDS.

McInerney grasps for the spirit that
was the junk-bond spree of the '80s and
almost reaches it. His characters long to
break into three dimensions, butremain
flat. But the gossipy tone and moralistic
banter make for good reading - if it's
borrowed from a friend.
- Hope Calati
Game Over
David Sheff
Random House
David Sheff's"GameOver"("GO")
details the rise of one of the world's
most successful companies-Nintendo.
If you play Nintendo and want to learn
more about the company behind the
games, or if you are fascinated by big
business in general, "GO"may interest
you.
Nintendo began as a maker of play-
ing cards in late 19th-century Japan.
After World War Two, Nintendo moved
into toys, particularly electronic toys.
Donkey Kong, released in 1981, was
Nintendo's first big success in the video
game industry in Japan and, later, in the
U.S. Since then, Nintendo has fought
tooth-and-nail to achieve its near-mo-
nopoly of the home video game market.
Sheff offers a look at the corporate
maneuvering that made Nintendo the
billion-dollar company it is today.
If Nintendo or the business world do
not interest you, "GO" may bore you.
Although the book's subtitle claims that
Sheff shows "How Nintendo Zapped an
American Industry, CapturedYourDol-
lars, and Enslaved Your Children," he
does not deliver.
The "child slavery" issue is an ex-
ample. At the end of chapter nine Sheff
concludes, "People who complain that
Nintendo-obsessesed children are miss-
ing out on social skills don't understand
the Nintendo cult. The exclusive club is
asocial network formillions ofkids. To
get in, you don't need to be a star athlete
or the coolest or most peculiar kid in
class. All you needed [sic]is aNintendo
system, or access to one (at a friend's, a
clubhouse, or at school)."
Sheff has a rosy view of Nintendo's
social benefits. Every kid knows that to
get in the exclusive Nintendo club, you
See BOOKS, Page 19

*I

Sef
Lydia Mer
For tickets and inform
Beginning

r
T
l

01

m

*1

PRISM PRESENTS
LIVING COLOUR
with Special Guests CANDLEBOX
s
Thurs. October 14. Michigan Theater Reserved seats on sale at the Michigan Theater Box Office.
The Michigan Union & all Ticketmaster outlets. To charge-by-phone dial 645-6666 or 668-8397. For
24-hour concert & club information dial 99-MUSIC.

We're turning the campus upside-
down to find peopleato perform in
Robinson Crtusoe, a new musical.
A large cast needed for our 20th
season. Show opens Nov. 19.
SIGN UP FOR AUDITIONS
MONDAY, SEPT. 13, 7:00 PM
ANN ARBOR PUBLIC LIBRARY
COMIC OPERA GUILD
Call 973-3264 for information, or if
you can't make it.

0

U

l-THE UACF 14) C4C)L
AUXT IDINI &L( AT[IQ ALL

"

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HEWLETT
14,93PACKAR D

GREAT SELECTION!
MANY NEW ITEMS!
HUNDREDS AVAILABLE!

Friday & Saturday
September 10 & 11
Michigan Union-
Ground Floor Mall

11
MAW

Ti me is
Running Out.....
Fri.: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sat.: 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

d

L*-* *

11

FOREIGN SERVICE ExAm
The annual Foreign Service written exam will be held
on November 13, 1993. Registration booklets are
available in your campus Career Placement Center.

a

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