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February 03, 1994 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-03

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6 - The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, Febuary 3, 1994

'Mediterraneo' takes
you to sunny Greece
for simplistic drama

Making a run for the border. Windsor that is.
Road trippin' from Detroit: "South of the Border" means Canada

By SARAH STEWART
Here's an idea for a daydream:
You're stranded indefinitely on a
Greek island where beauty is the main

resource. It never rains, the locals are
extremely hospitable and the only
form of exertion you can manage to
find is a game of soccer on the beach.
Your mind has found its way into
"Mediterraneo," and when it's over,
you'll hate to leave.
Winner of the 1991 Oscar for Best
Foreign Language Film,
"Mediterraneo," directed by Italian
Gabriele Salvatores, creates a para-
dise that will delight anyone who's
dreamt of the good life. And as simple
as it may seem, this is the crux of the
film.
As far as plot goes, a motley Ital-
ian army unit is sent to a Greek island
during World War II just in case the
British show up to fight. Their boat
and radio are destroyed, but that is
where the similarities to "Gilligan's
Island" end. They quickly learn that
the women, children and elderly are
the only current inhabitants, that the
British have no plans to join them and
that they're stuck in paradise until
they're rescued.
The brilliance of "Mediterraneo"
is that it achieves its descriptive at-
mosphere with a minimal basis of
conflict. There's no protagonist and
no higher ideal being fought for here,
and maybe there's not even a plot in
the traditional sense. Instead, a senes
of humorous incidents, usually ex-
posing the characters' quirks, pro-
vide the easy flow of the film. For
example, Corrado's (Claudio Bisio)
repeated attempts to escape and re-
turn home to his wife are touching
demonstrations of love, but are more
likely to elicit laughter than tears,
while Eliseo (Gigio Alberti) is de-
fined by the donkey who seems to
have taken a page from "Mary Had a
Little Lamb."
Admittedly, "Mediterraneo" is not

a masterpiece of character develop-
ment, but this says nothing against the
film. The Italian "soldiers" have the
charm of curious children, each ex-
emplifying a unique aspect of naivet6,
and even the Sergeant's (Diego
Abatantuono) dreamy philosophizing
is nothing more than ironic humor.
By offering such succinct character-
izations, Salvatores has the luxury of
a big cast and avoids the risk of creat-
ing a cheap, unsatisfying melodrama.
Nonetheless, the character of the
Sergeant is a standout. He seems to
undergo the most changes throughout
the film and is naturally the most
dynamic character, but Abatantuono's
acting creates a spark of its own.
After initial skepticism, the Sergeant
ultimately accepts island life with
Winner of the 1991
Oscar for Best Foreign
Language Film,
"Mediterraneo,"
directed by Italian
Gabriele Salvatores,
creates a paradise that
will delight anyone
who's dreamt of the
good life.
vigor, as Abatantuono convincingly
evolves into the jolly, dancing man
his big belly would suggest.
The best part of "Mediterraneo" is
location, location, location. After all,
what would it have to offer if the
Italians were stuck in, well, let's say
Michigan in winter? But not to fear,
with a background of unbelievably
blue water and skies, the otherwise
average looking soldiers are made to
glow amidst the inescapable vibrancy
of their surroundings. And similarly,
the island women possess an exotic
sensuality that would convince even
the staunchest feminist that there's
nothing offensive about two brothers
stroking one's woman's breast at the
same time. "Mediterraneo" seems to
say that when beauty and harmony
reign, a certain purity prevails.
Or to put it more bluntly, escape
this Godforsaken cold and seek sanity
through warmth.

By ANDY PORTNOY
It's that time of the year again. Friday
around and it seems like everyone you knowf
Ann Arbor for some sultry, warm, exotic para
For those out there not fortunate enough to bei
neying to some southern locale, I offer you a ne
and highly underrated Spring Break destinatic
has been described as the "Jewel of the Norti
captures the excitement, intrigue and wonderoi
tropical paradise while offering convenience
price in exchange for warmth. I'm referring to
Northern palatial treasure where anything goes-
you're 19 or over - Windsor, Canada.
A trip to Windsor offers Ann Arborites theirc
opportunity to drive 45 minutes and arrive in ano
country. It's actually very easy to find. Just hol
94 East to the Lodge Freeway South. Once on
freeway for a few minutes you'll see signs for
the bridge and tunnel to Windsor. Either route
lead you to your destination. But beware. Be
entering Canada, you will be met at a toll by
Canadian Border Patrol - a virtual cross bets
the KGB and Inspector Gadget. These guards ten
be suspicious for apparently no reason at all. A,
Cooper, an LSA sophomore who visits Win(
about 15 times a year, advises travelers to "keept
mouths shut. Tell them quickly and calmly3
country of origin and reasons forcoming to Wind
Deny; deny even if you have nothing to deny.'
most people a strip search is one experience they
live without.
Assuming you make it past the
border guards, you'll want to search
for Ouillette Street. This strip, over-
loaded with bars, clubs and restau-
rants is Windsor's answer to Sunset
Boulevard. Once you've parked, .
you'll find a variety of activities wait-
ing to fulfill all your desires.
Arrive early enough and sample "
some of the fine dining Windsor has
to offer. As in any city, you can find
almost any type of cuisine. But ethnic
food tops their list: Windsor has a
reputation for having the best Chinese
restaurants in North America. And if
you value atmosphere as much as
food quality, dining havens on the
Canadian side of the Detroit River
offer fantastic views, especially when
it's dark out._
Gambling also attracts travelers to
Windsor. Casinos sit along the river
in converted restaurants and the base- }

ment of some hotels. Until Bally's finishes building
and opening up a new casino at the end of this year,
however, both dedicated and casual gamblers will
have to survive playing blackjack only.
Nevertheless, with most of the casinos staying
open from four in the afternoon until four in the
morning, many may find it unnecessary to leave the
smoky, crowded confines of Windsor's casinos. One
caveat: All house winnings go to charity. Which one,
you ask? Well, when asked recently, the dealers had
no idea exactly what charity the money benefited.
One dealer remarked, "I have no idea but it's some-
thing good." Something good - money losers, feel
noble.
Moving steadily along Windsor's sin list: the
strip club. While many love to admit that they are
regular customers at these "liberal" dance revues,
just as many remain tight-lipped about their atten-
dance. Nevertheless it is a prominent feature that
should not be overlooked (and I mean that both
literally and figuratively). The Canadian strip club
suits both the successful power broker and those who
lack money and formal attire. Windsor disappoints
no one. There are plenty of alternative, affordable
clubs.
Aside from gambling and watching naked people
dance, the two most popular activities in Windsor are
dancing and drinking. And visitors will be hard
pressed to run out of places to do both. From the
small, quiet atmosphere of Casino City to the wild,
raunchy, crowded environment of a Bentley's, pa-

trons arrive and check their inhibitions at the door.
"Clubs in Windsor are basically people having a
good time and getting to know each other, if you get
what I mean," comments Cooper.
The Windsor club scene, perhaps because it lies
in such close proximity to the U.S., is highly S
Americanized. Most clubs blast Salt-N-Pepa, Snoop
Doggy Dog and other popular House music. The
crowds, an eclectic group in regard to age and marital
status, respond favorably to American homegrown
music. No matter what draws you to clubs in general,
the opportunity to dance, drink and hang out will
please even the most mild mannered partier.
The truly unique feature of Windsor, though, is
its liberal drinking laws. If you're over 19 and.can
afford it, the liquor is yours. But for the die-hard
drinker out there who just can't seem to get into the
bars at the University with their expired license, I
offer a word of caution.
Expect to pay much more for a drink in Windsor
than you ever would in Detroit or Atlanta or even
New York. Bars and clubs price their bottled beers
from $5 upward. Mixed drinks usually start around
$7.50. And as if that's not outrageous enough, the
exchange rate for United States Currency in Canada
is currently 26%. That means that every $100
American currency exchanges into about $125 Ca- 0
nadian currency. Maybe that sounds great at first
but the exchange goes both ways. Between the prices
and the exchange you will inevitably get screwed in
some way.

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For some ludicrous Canadian rea-
son, once the clock strikes one in the
morning, the bars and clubs close up
leaving all their patrons alone in
Canada (sounds like your worst night-
mare). Alas, Windsor offers an assort-
ment of cheap hotels right along the
strip. If you enjoy waking up in a
foreign country with six hung over
guys slumped across a single bed, this
is something you won't want to miss.
So the next logical question: why
is Windsor so popular if it's so damn
expensive? It's a Disneyland of sorts
and satisfies most of our collegiate
desires. LSA Sophomore Stefan
Teodosic, who visits Windsor about
10 times a year, sums it up by saying,
"Windsor really does the trick. It's
close and it has it all. Dinner, dancing,
fun. It's just a great place. Just make
sure to leave two dollars for the toll
going home. I always forget that."

Spring Break in Ann Arbor and the living's easy."

SPRING BREAK
PANAMA CITY BEACII, FLORIDA

By KEN SUGIURA
If you want to know where I'm
coming from when it comes to Spring
Break, let me just describe to you the
sum total of my vacations while at
Michigan.
It came last February, when I went
to visit my sister, who then was going
to school at Brown in Providence,
Rhode Island. For those of you who
have not had the privilege of visiting
Providence, let me just tell you that
Brown is a very fitting name for the
educational centerpiece of this dis-
mal town. Providence, by the way, is
the capital of a state that will undoubt-
edly be the charter member of the
Dismal State Hall of Fame (opening
soon in downtown Providence).
Don't get me wrong. My sister is,
a fine person with only a small crimi-

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nal record, and we had about as good
a time as can be had in Providence
(we saw Brown's inept basketball
team lose and we also watched "The
Crying Game," the quintessential
Spring Break flick).
It's just that the grand sum of my
three college Spring Breaks is a couple
of days in Rhode Island, a place whose
state animal, if I am not mistaken, is
roadkil 1.
So hopefully you see where I'm
coming from. If there is a Cond6 Nast
poster child, I am he.
This vacationing ineptitude has
given rise to what I call my Spring
Break tradition. Usually, it begins a
week or two before break begins. I
ask people where they're going, they
tell me Bermuda or Florida or wher-
ever, and then they ask me the same.
At this point, I give them my non-
chalant "Oh, nothing big. I think I
might stick around here for awhile."
Usually, this response elicits some
sympathy, but other times my friends
try to feign respect for my itinerary
that boasts destinations like "Laun-
dry " and "Shower" and "Gas Sta-
tion."
"Oh, that's cool," they respond

smugly, their respect for me sagging.
like the diaper of an incontinent child.
"I wish I were doing that. I have
sooooo much work to do."
Meanwhile, of course, they are
thinking, "Geez, what a loser. He's
(Staying in Ann Arbor
for break) is a sad
plight, but amazingly, it
does have an
advantage or two.
trying to be all nonchalant about hav-
ing an itinerary that boasts destina-
tions like 'Laundry' and 'Shower'
and 'Gas Station.' This kid needs a
life."
Actually, this is how my friends
think of me most of the year, except
for the middle sentence part. But the
point is, every time the last week of
February rolls around, my friends go
traipsing off to someplace warm and
I don't.
It is a sad plight, but amazingly, it
does have an advantage or two. For
instance, when you walk around cam-
pus during Spring Break bemoaning
the fact that you are a big loser, you
know that everyone else you see is as
big a loser as you are.
Believe me, there is a certain es-
prit de corps there that is unmistak-
able in its depth.
Furthermore, there are no lines for
anything, but then again, everything

Health Issues and Answers These questions were taken from the Computer Health Information Program on MTS.
UM-CHIP is an anonymous server available from UMnet. At the "Which Host prompt, type: UM-CHIP.
(Q.) What eye care services are available for students on campus?
(A.) UHS offers both an Eye Care Clinic and an Optical Shop. Both services are on the second floor of UHS. To set up
an appointment for an eye exam or to be seen by an optometrist at the Eye Care Clinic, call 764-8325. The Optical
Shop offers a variety of frames or lenses for general purpose as well as for sports and recreational use. There are
fees for these services, but they are comparable to (and in many cases, lower than) the fees charged by community
eye care providers.
(Q.) How can I relieve stress that is related to academics?
(A.) There are many different techniques you can employ to reduce stress in your life. Some of them are broad actions or
ways of thinking; others are more tailored to academic stress. Some suggestions for stress management are as follows:
Establish realistic goals. Set priorities and plan tasks. Take on these tasks one at a time (anything more than this can
be overwhelming). Make sure that you manage your time so that you can control the pace of your efforts. Don't forget
to schedule time for fun. Play is essential to your well being. Reach out to others and share your stress when you need
to. Use campus resources ifyou feel you do not wish to discuss your stress with your friends or family. Take care ofyour
body; exercise, sleep, eat good food. Cry if you need to. Practice relaxation exercises and try to keep a positive outlook
on life. Remember that there are limits to what you can do. Recognize these limits and plan accordingly. For more
information about stress management, call UHS (Health Promotion and Community Relations Department), 763-1320
or Counseling Services, m sa Hea Isues & Answers
764-8312. is jointly produced by MSA and UHS.

is open from about noon to 12:30,
which kind of explains why there are
no lines.
You have a chance to catch up in
schoolwork or even get ahead. You
also have the chance to feel sorry for
yourself for not going anywhere and
reward yourself by not studying. I@
usually take the second option.
Then of course, there is the great
bonus of not having to worry about
acclimatizing yourself to Ann Arbor
weather when you come back from I
the Florida Keys. Take it from some-
one who knows. When some return-
ing vacationer remarks how difficult
it was to come back to the cold
weather, I just thank my lucky stare
that I was able to remain in frigid Ann
Arbor and not have to live through
that torturous transition.
In the space of one article, I cannot
do justice to the liberating feeling that
I experience when I realize, year after
year, that I do not have to fret over
trying to hide unsightly tan lines. Oh,
the bliss.
While these factors are certainly
persuasive, and may even keep a fe
students pondering a trip to Florida in
Ann Arbor over break, I can tell you,
that staying on campus is not all that
it is made out to be. It can be a very
dangerous psychological journey, this
week of nothingness.
The week provides the same
unfulfilling, hollow "Is this all there
is?" feeling that I am sure salmon
experience when they swim upstrean.
to spawn, in particular those salmon
who get devoured by those bears you
always see on the Discovery Channel
who romp around in streams eating
fish.
I believe Jean-Paul Sartre was one
of the first to give this feeling a name.
"Existentialism" is what he called it.
Somehow, I am sure Sartre never
made it down to the French Rivierb
when he was in college.

il C
TISSOT
Swiss Quality Time
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