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January 26, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-26

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Mozart receives special birthday bash

Richard Gere plays the same pathetic GQ in "Intersection."
Enless 'Intersection'
There has been since time immemorial an unbending axiom in Hollywood:
the lives of the rich and successful always make appealing subject matter for
film. Regardless of any other supporting elements. Period. Lately, however, it
seems as if audiences are becoming more attuned to the quality of the products
they view on the silver screen. To see material of the caliber of "Intersection,"
staying at home and flipping through
____________ the countless available channels will
do just fine.
ntersection Mark Rydell's latest film is ex-
Directed by Mark Rydell; written by tremely baffling. Promoted as a
David Rayfiel and Marshall thriller, it turns out to be a sentimental
Brickman; with Richard Gere, Sharon drama. Unfortunately, there isn't any
Stone, Lolita Davidovich. sentiment in it. There is plenty of
misplaced comedy, however. Given
the irrepressible need to enjoy somewhat the hour and forty-five minutes that
one is encaged with this movie, the audience rather maliciously cultivated the
art of reverse reaction. That is, to laugh when one is supposed tocry, and to cry,
well, cry laughing.
"Intersection" examines the relationship between Vincent Eastman (Rich-
*ad Gere), his wife Sally (Sharon Stone) and his lover Olivia (LolitaDavidovich).
The film opens with an impending accident in which even Gere is bound to lose
his flippant cool. But before we witness the crash, we flashback to the events
that lead up to the dccident. Throughout "Intersection" Vincent struggles with
the choice between the impetuous Olivia and the high-strung Sally. Since they
both love him despite his less-than-gentlemanly behavior toward them, the
decision rests solely on his shoulders.
Despite being the central character, Vincent Eastman does not possess any
redeeming attractive features. He relies solely on his charm, but even this is
extremely artificial, nothing more than the product of an unimaginative
*creenwriter. Gere, of course, feels perfectly comfortable in this world, a
world that he has firmly established in his career, that of candy-coated smiles
and expensive outfits. Eastman, therefore, is authentically non-descript, and
since the women characters are defined by his actions, they too become too
grayish to command attention.
To give Stone and Davidovich some credit, they do try their hardest to work
with what little they have. Stone is strangely repressed as Sally, but she does
have some moments of liberation in the flashbacks to her youth; during her
engagement party, she gives the lustful Vincent an orgasm in thirty seconds
flat and then runs back downstairs to socialize with the family's guests.
lavidovich is exuberantly energetic, but to no avail, since she has no
hteresting dialogue to channel this energy through.
The image of a clock ticking recurs again and again in the film, with no
relation whatsoever to the thematic makeup of the plot. It is one of many
examples of the arbitrariness that floods "Intersection." Everything relies on
the whims of Vincent, a whim of a character himself. The screenwriters save
a little twist for the end, in which Stone gets to replay her final "Basic Instinct"'
ice-pick scene, but this time with a letter. She pulls it out, puts it away again,
and so on. This time, however, there is no real threat. Everything is so
contrived by now that any ending will do as long as it's an ending.

Conductor Gustav Meier is a mu-
sical purist. As professor of conduct-
ing and Director of University or-
chestras, Meier prefers a musical ex-
perience that is devoid of pretensions
and affectations. He does not artifi-
cially appeal to his listeners; rather,
he allows the music to speak for itself.
He said, "My function as a conductor
is not to demonstrate what I think, but
to allow the piece to emerge from the
orchestra - I only try to honor the
It is this humble and insightful
approach to music that has earned
Gustav Meier a reputation as one of
the most popular and well-respected
professors in the University School
of Music.
Professor Meier's hectic schedule
leaves him little time to personally
acquaint himself with all of the musi-
cians in the University Symphony
Orchestra. For this reason, his re-
hearsals can often be intimidating and
frightening. Nevertheless, when I re-
cently spoke with him, he was warm,
friendly and happy to chat with me.
Meier prefers to talk about music
rather than his numerous professional
achievements. He was eager to dis-
cuss the upcoming Mozart Birthday
Celebration concert.
This concert consists of an entire
program devoted to Mozart and can
best be described by Meier as "a col-
lage of Mozart's chamber works."

The tradition of the Mozart concert is
not necessarily an American tradi-
tion. "These concerts occur in almost
every large city. Switzerland, my
homeland, also has a traditional
Mozart concert."
Meier stressed that Mozart is one
of the only composers whose work is
varied enough to require its own con-
cert. He said, "The unbelievable abil-
ity of Mozart, the sheer naturalness of
his works makes this kind of perfor-
mance possible. His music is abso-
lutely divine. Bach is the only other
composer where this could be pos-
The concert consists of three con-
certos performed by distinguished
members of the Music faculty.
Penelope Crawford will perform the
Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat on
pianoforte. Meier described this in-
strument as "across between the harp-
sichord and a piano."
The Flute Concerto No.1 inG will
be performed by Leone Buyse, the
newly appointed flute professor at the
University. She said, "It is hard to
believe that Mozart did not enjoy the
flute because of the beautiful idiom-
atic writing. It is a thrill to play this
concerto with an orchestra, it brings
life to it." Lastly, violinist Andrew
Jennings and violist Yitzhak Schotten
will play the Sinfonia Concertante.
The performing faculty members
are not the only musicians delighted
to perform in this concert. Meier men-

tioned that the musicians in the or-
chestra also enjoy this concert. "The
students get a real kick out of it. These
very talented musicians are always
excited when they hear Mozart's in-
credible art form emerging from the
notes in front of them."
When I asked if Mozart was his

personal favorite, Meier grinned and
said, "I have many favorites, but
Mozart has a special place in my
THursday at Hill Auditorium at 8
p.m. A dmision is free.

Essence of life depicted strikingly in 'Baraka'

Get this - two filmmakers and
their crew traveled around the world
Directed by Ron Fricke
for 14 months, visited six continents
and 24 countries, flew helicopters over
volcanoes, filmed the pyramids, ex-
amined mosques, watched the clouds
fly by and stared at some sort of
monkey. And then they made a movie
out of it. Without starts. Without a
plot. Hell, there isn't even a script for
this sucker.
What there is, instead, is a star-
tlingly beautiful, surprisingly mov-
ing pictorial narrative about the cycle
of life and the protective/destructive
relationship between nature and hu-
man beings.
"Baraka," which can be translated
as a blessing, a breath or "essence of
life from which the evolutionary pro-
cess unfolds," is most powerful in the
clarity and simplicity of its vision.
From the first view of a snowy

mountain range to the last shot of
stars in space, the images are bathed
in a light that brings everything into
perfect focus, from the texture of an
iguana's skin to the designs of a
woman's sari.
This larger-than-life, smacked-in-
the-face, eye-widening effect has as
much todo with the 70mm format and
director Ron Fricke's all-inclusive cin-
ematography as the images them-
Beginning with a series of shots
of cliffs, waterfalls and other sights
National Geographic would kill for,
Fricke emphasizes the untouched en-
ergy of surroundings where human
existence has no influence. But be-
fore you can get bored by yet another
exquisite rock formation, Fricke
makes a shift to include animate ob-
jects from bugs to animals to humans
as the beginning of a study of their
The men chanting and swaying in
a religious ritual are no more bizarre
than the birds flying in sweeping arcs
across the sky. The red paint of a
child's face is just as deeply beautiful
as the pink tint of a baboon's. Hu-

mans and the natural world move
together in a well-defined ritual.
One of Fricke's most impressive
techniques is also one of his simplest.
He frames individual shots of animals
and people by focusing on their faces
as they stare into the camera. Remi-
niscent of many of the most powerful
photographs, these shots provide not
only the opportunity to study the am-
bassadors of unfamiliar cultures but
also create an intimacy that draws all
living creatures on our planet to-
The horror and disgust one feels at
the first instance of human destruc-
tion, which comes in the form of a
roaring buzzsaw, is proof of the po-
tency of the ideal the film's first se-
quence describes.
After this initial intrusion, Fricke
bombards the audience with increas-
ingly disturbing practices and envi-
ronments of modern, "civilized" so-
ciety, from the crowded squalor of
Calcutta to the laughable, sped-up
repetition of city life to burning oil
fields of Kuwait to the truly frighten-
ing ghostly buildings of Auschwitz
and, ultimately, to death on a funeral

pyre. As the humans return to the
elements, the images return to reli-
gion and the untouched vistas with
which the film began.
In place of dialogue, Michael
Sterns' soundtrack pounds out rage
with booming drums, drifts into mys-
ticism with monks' chants and sweeps
along the clouds with soft melodies
The sound is interwoven with the
cycle of the film's theme but is cer-
tainly developed enough to stand on
its own.
Admittedly, the film does drag out
a bit at the end mostly because of its
repetition of images from the begin-
ning. This repetition is needed, how-
ever, to create the sense of a continu-
ing cycle of nature, life, religion, de
struction and rebirth.
Fricke should not be faulted for
including an excess ofeclipses, oceans
and meditating bald men. After all, it
must have been hard not to includd
more shots of the zillions of places
they filmed where the essence of life
makes itself known in the most stun-
ning, evocative ways.

The Jesus Lizard
"(Fly) On (The Wall)" single
Touch and Go
Vinyl is great. There are few things
more gratifying than a disk of man-
made materials holding a code which
n be translated into sound waves
hichentertain the listener. The Jesus
Lizard has added to this warm and
fuzzy connotation by releasing "On"
on seven inch. The single is represen-
tative of their drill press-into-your-
head music. The nearly out of breath
vocals and dandy guitar noises pro-
duce the fine sounding "On." The B-
side, "White Hole," is a keen instru-
mental that sounds as if it is being
*un backwards. And if the music
Tsn't enough for you, the cover fea-
tures ajol ly good rendering of a bound,
naked man with blood spurting from
his chest and mouth. Neat!
-Ted Watts
Juvenile Committee
Free us colored kids
rand Jury Records
"Free us colored kids" is the per-
fect embodiment of bad rap art. Juve-

nile Committee is a hoax created by
Grand Jury to take advantage of two
popular trends in rap -- gangsta rap
and teenage rappers. This is one of
those money-making albums which
gives rap a bad name.
Nothing on this record is to be
envied. All the songs are whack. The
beats are phony, the lyrics are stupid
and none of the four teenage mem-
bers of the group can rap. Sitting
down listening to this CDI kept think-
ing, "Real rappers like Ice Cube and
Ice T fight a constant battle to legiti-
mize rap and rap artists, and this is
what all that fighting comes to?"
The cuts on this CD are pure bull.
"School Dayz" is about how these
guys only go to school to find "ho's."
"I Want That Girl" describes these
guys' wet dreams. "Juvenile Gang-
ster" shows that these guys ain't noth-
ing but a bunch of wannabes.
The group's manager, Michael
Concepcion, an ex-Crip, claims that
this group is his way of giving back to
a community where he once caused
harm. He wants to promote some
"positive" teenagers.
Yeah, right.

Juvenile Committee is made up of
four pre-pubescent looking, whack-
ass rapping, wannabe gangstas who
whine about being victims of the
ghetto (without addressing any solu-
tions to the problems) and then turn
around and gloat over being the macks
they think they are. Real positive,
Don't waste your money.
- Eugene Bowen
The Spelvins
Whichever Train Comes
The Spelvins have been doing the
New York club circuit for years. Fi-
nally, they are in a position to get the
attention that they deserve, assuming
MTV finds them buzz-worthy.
"Whichever Train Comes" is their
first release and it's a real sizzler. The
band sounds similar to R.E.M., but
they are no rip-off. The music is gritty

and emotional. Every song is a win-
ner-- perfectly executed and beauti-
ful compositions. Standouts include
"Looking for a Cabin the Rain," "The
Girl that Radiates that Charm" and
the title track. Bird, the vocalist, is
absolutely stellar. He commands the
listener's attention as well on record
as he does live.
The music creates vivid moods,
which is a sign of excellence. Even
$ 1oper
sBased on 4 people
'Mention this ad and get
breakfast free
*Va lid until March 3

though the music for the most part is
pretty light (an attribute that is not at
the top of the average music fan's list
these days) there is a certain intan-
gible power that exudes forth.

Anyone could like this record be-
cause, much like other great music
its appeal transcends style. Just re-
member where you heard it first.
- Gianluca Montalti



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