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January 21, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-21

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'Gus' the dog and Astin can't rescue sorry 'Will'

Iron Will
Directed by Charles Haid; written by
John Michael Hayes, Djordje
Milicevic and Jeff Arch; with
Mackenzie Astin
1. "Iron Will" is
a) about a boy named Will, who
has an iron deficiency problem and is
cruelly mocked for it.
b) actually not a film, but a highly
informative infommercial about the
positive effects of iron, as in "Iron
will ... make you feel zesty."
c) the story of a tenacious boy
named Will, whose dreams of com-
peting in the Iditarod, a dog sled race
in Alaska, not only come true, but
serve to make him a national hero.
answer: C - Young Will
Stoneman's dad dies tragically. In his
desk drawer is found an ad for the
Iditarod competition. It is circled. This
prompts young Will to abandon his
dreams of college in the hopes of
entering and winning the race to save
the farm.
2. The winner of the race receives
a$10,000prize. This appeals to young

Will because
a) there are a couple of babes he
knows of down in Reno. The sooner
he gets the cash, the sooner he gets
there. Party!
b) his mom's been threatening to
sell the family farm in order to pay off
dead dad's debt. Not only would this
be distressing to everyone, but there's
a particular chicken whom young Will
has grown attached to.
c) his sister is dying of some rare,
unidentifiable disease and her last
request is to meet that red-headed guy
from the Encyclopedia Brittanica
commercials. Young Will is hoping
to bribe him with the money.
answer: B - There is always a
farm to be lost and a hero to be made.
At least at Disney.
3. We know that Will is a hick
a) before the race starts, he offers
to milk anyone's cow if they'll lend
him the $8 he needs for the entrance
b) He wears "Hick"jeans instead
of Levi's.
c) His best friend's name is Ward.
answer: C - Anyone named
Ward is a hick. Anyone who is friends
with anyone named Ward is a hick.
4. Mackenzie Astin got the part of
Will because
a) the producers remembered him
from his cheeky role of Andy, the
orphan boy,on "The Facts of Life."
b) he's the son of Patty Duke and
the little brotherof Sean "Rudy" Astin.
c) they couldn't get anyone else.
Did we mention that he's Rudy's
answer: All three. Although the
big appeal was definitely the "Rudy"

5. The most intelligent character
in this film is
a) young Will
b) that strange Indian guy who
sporadically appears to offer advice
and miscellaneous flashbacks when
Will's trying to sled.
c) Gus.
answer: C - Unquestionably, it
is Gus, Will's lead dog, who is the
most intelligent. Not only did he spend
the first half of the film trying to bite
young Will, but he spent the second
half of the film trying to act sorry
about it . A sell-out? Not at all. Gus
simply realized, "Hey. This is Disney.
Why not save time? We're gonna be
hugging each other, wailing "I love
you, man!" by the end, anyway."
6. The # 1 bad guy who threatens
Will's dream and gives the film its
main source of conflict is
a) Borg, a fierce, competing dog-
sledder from Sweden, who talks like
he's from Germany (or Sesame Street)
and whose unrelenting evil eventu-
ally does him in.
b) actually, his mother. She al-
ways resented that damn chicken.
c) another "Iron Will," the afore-
mentioned iron deficiency boy, who,
upon seeing his name splashed across
the front page of every newspaper in
the country, became paranoid, think-
ing that he was being mocked on a
national level. He became enraged,
vowing to take revenge on the other
Will, the source of his pain.
answer: A - Bad guys are al-
ways from Sweden. Sweden is evil.
Just think of the Swedish Chef on
"The Muppet Show."
7. You should see this film be-

No matter how cute the pooch looks, try to resist the diabolical urge to see "Iron Will."

a) For all it's flaws, it's kinda
sweet and rather uplifting, especially
when the whole town starts whistling
Will's special whistle as he crosses
the finish line.
b) you are an eight-year-old boy.

c) you know, that guy knows Rudy.
answer: We'll leave that one up
to you. However, it may be worth it to
note that when the lights came up in
the theater, the reviewer and her friend
were the only two people still there
who could neither claim to be an

eight-year-old boy, nor the unfortu-
nate relative of any eight-year-old
boy in the audience. They were also
the only two people laughing. Go
IRON WILL is playing at Showcase
and Briarwood.

Seeing 'Wax' worse than a bee sting
Blair's tour-de-ego is barely intelligible, hardly entertaining

Many myths surround bees. Con-
sidered one of the most intelligent
species of insects, the complexity of
their lifestyle has fascinated entomolo-

Wax (or the
Discovery of
Television among
the Bees)
Written and directed by, and with
David Blair
gists from ancient times to the present.
They have developed elaborate ritu-
als for all aspects of their life; from
mating to tracking down food, noth-
ing is left to random behavior. And of
course, the creation of one of nature's
most astounding living quarters, the

hive, is one of their creative trade-
David Blair, the mastermind be-
hind this bizarrejourney into the mind
of a man, exploits the almost mystical
nature of bees to create an allegory on
war, hatred, religion, death ... and
television.To dispel any possible con-
fusion, the 'television' alluded to here
is not the kind we are accustomed to.
It is a communicative form of the
spirit of the bees, the world seen
through the eyes of these insects, a
world different from ours, one in
which the dead are plainly visible.
David Blair is Jacob Maker, a
NASA employee who in his spare
time takes care of a hive left him by
his grandfather. Early in the movie
we are given the history of these bees,
which were imported from
Mesopotamia early in the century.
The bees have esoteric powers brought

University of Michigan
School of Music

over from the land of the Old Testa-
ment, and instill in Maker the power
to see the dead; in other words, they
give him the gift of the Bee Televi-
The images and voices inside his
head, provided by the Bee T.V., im-
pel him to seek out a victim in the
World below ours. You see, he is
Cain, and the Bee T.V. is the mark of
Cain. He therefore needs a victim to
fulfill his new life. He treks through
miles of atomic weapon testing
grounds near Alamogordo, New
Mexico, until he finds the entrance to
this underground world, in which he
will find the Tower of Babel and in it
his victim. Along the way, he is given
glimpses of the dead in the form of
computer-generated letters, who lead
him on the way to his goal.
Sound ludicrous? It is. In the worst
of early MTV styles, Blair's barely
understandable musings in voice-over
(the only voice in the film) mesh with
wildly agitated images that bounce
around the screen in hopeless attempts
at sophisticated editing. It is under-
standable that with a low budget the
effects would be simple, but Blair is
not even able to control what little he
has. The images get the best of him,
and become the only bearable aspect
of this fantasy. But after having seen
the Bee Television a few times (rep-
resented by a rotating dodecahedron

with images on each of its sides),
even that becomes stale.
The story is immensely far-
fetched, and somewhat interesting
from a philosophic-metaphysical
point of view. But it is not, as Blair
has very effectively shown, particu-
larly stimulating movie material.
When Maker becomes aware of -a
darkness around him, the screen ac-
quires a black frame created simply
by reducing the size of the current *
image. This is an example of a recur-
ring problem in the film: whatever
message is supposed to come across
gets drowned in the 'kitsch' quality of
the visuals.
If one can get beyond the simplic-
ity and insistent repetition of the im-
ages of the film, it still seems unlikely
that one could be enthralled by Blair's
somewhat hallucinogenic ideas. The
monotone of his voice does not help,
and he just manages to look funny but
not funny enough in his bee-sting
protecting outfit walking through the
desert whilst thinking "The dead want
me but the suit will protect me." There
is abriefcameo by William Burroughs
as Maker's grandfather, but not quite
worth the trip to the Michigan in this
sub-freeze temperature. For fanatics
of wax figures, computer generated
geometry and stalactites only.
WAX is playing at the Michigan

Friday, January 21
Collage Concert
60 minutes of uninterrupted short pieces showcasing the School of
Music's large ensembles, chamber groups, and soloists
Contrasting works by Dukas, Rush, Saint-Satns, Vivaldi, Morrison,
Shostakovich, Peck, Brahms, Adams, Wagner, Santos, Sarath,
Bhatia, Butler, Doppman, Loesser, Takemitsu, and Walton
Hill Auditorium, 8:15 p.m., free-doors open to the public at 7:55
Friday-Saturday, January 21-22
49th Annual Midwestern Conference on School Vocal and
Instrumental Music
Concerts by participating school groups throughout the day
Hill Auditorium; also Rackham Auditorium, Lydia Mendelssohn
Theatre, First Congregational Church, Power Center; free
For session information, call 763-3333
Wednesday, January 26
Faculty Recital
Martha Sheil, soprano (winner, 1989 American Wagner Association
Prize); Martin Katz, piano
Songs by R. Strauss, Beethoven, Copland, Britten, and Debussy
Rackham Auditorium, 8 p.m., free
University Dance Company
Demonstration of dance pieces from the upcoming performance In the
Spirit of Diaghilev, with a joint lecture by U-M Dance faculty
Studio A Theater, Dance Building, 8 p.m., free
Thursday, January 27
Second Annual Mozart Birthday Celebration Concert
University Symphony Orchestra
Gustav Meier, conductor; School of Music faculty soloists
" Flute Concerto No. 1 in G, K. 313 (Leone Buyse)
" Piano Concerto No. 15 in B-flat, K. 450 (Penelope Crawford)
" Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat, K. 364 (Andrew Jennings, violin;
Yizhak Schotten, viola)
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m., free


II! 'ul

The Office o f ,lcaaeric}'vulticul tura I
Initiatives is now taking applications for
Student Leader
positions for the Kingle3haveziParks
college Day Spring Visitation program
Application deadline is panuary 28 1994
Student leaders accompany visiting middle school
students throughout the day serving as guides
and role models while providing information about
the college experience. Student leaders usually
work in teams of three. They should be fairly out-
going individuals and have a keen interest in and
to-... ..a- 4..-. L . ..h...n -4..J,..n...' r i.,A rlrvv me nalno II



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