The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, March 10, 1994 - 5
Living in 'Reality Bites'isn't living in reality
Winona Ryder made the wrong round." Said the twentysomething ac- lives Hawke, Janeane Garofalo and cool. Better to sulk and hang out a lc
decision. Or Lelaina Pierce did. It's tress, "One day she was in love with Ryder areleading(oris it the lives their Better to be an armchair philos
hard to separate the two really. But him, and she's completely feeling in- characters are leading?) it becomes pher and resist commnodifcationl
you don't need to; it's not reality. It's consistent - she's trying to figure rather frightening that we buy into this "Irony is the only defense this ge
just "Reality Bites." Can you make out who she is, and I am too." so eagerly - that we actually want to erationhasagainst thecommodificatii
the distinction? The cast can't. Audiences don't seem able to bethem.Hawkewhosefatherisdving. Aftheirculturt."svs29-vear-d"R,
"Unzere Kinder," or "Our Children," keeps memory of the Holocaust alive.
"'Reality Bites' is venturing into
the kind of part that I'd like to play for
the next 20 years," said Ethan Hawke
in a recent interview with Details
Magazine. "It's venturing into a
characterI'm interested in exploring."
How would he describe that character?
"That's like asking me to describe
According to Entertainment
Weekly, Ryder identified with her
character's "emotional merry-go-
separate "Bites" from reality either.
"That movie is my life. They
should be paying me for that movie."
"I am Troy. That's it. Iam Troy."
"My relationship is just like
Lelaina's. My boyfriend's dad died
"I always drink Big Gulps. That's
me, I always drink Big Gulps."
Of course, "Reality Bites" isn't
anyone's life. It's a movie whose road
to remembrance should not be its
voice-of-a-generation claim ("Bites"
screenplay writer Helen Childress has
been quoted as saying, "I don't think
this generation wants a voice."
Whatever.), but rather its success in
convincing college audiences that they
are watching their futures on the
When you consider the sort of
vvuvaa. "1 l , T IJ 4%1V 10J 11 ,
hasjust been fired from his cashierjob
for stealing a Snickers bar. Garofalo,
who is afraid she may have HIV, has
just been promoted to manager of the
Gap. And Ryder, who has a really bad
haircut, has just been fired from herjob
as a production assistant. Is this what
Our Generation wants?
Well, no. Well, maybe. Well, just
for awhile. The details of their lives
blur anyway. What's clear are the big
pictures: they dress well, they hang
out a lot, their conversations are replete
with witticisms and non-sequitur
cultural references. They smoke out
of pop cans and dance in gas stations
to "My Sharona." What more could
we want for ourselves?
Nothing. 'Causehavingnothing is
., 11G t. U 1 , y. y. . 'WA.A
ality Bites" director and co-star Ben
Stiller (rather an ironic quote consider-
ing his film's commodity value -
grossing $10.6 million in its first two
weeks). What is there to defend against?
Commodification can be fun. "Reality
Bites" is fun.
But it's just a movie, and everyone
who confuses it with a life risks
winding up like Childress, who
recently said: "I don't even like the
(screenplay writing) business that
much. I know this sounds totally naive
and idealistic, but I would rather get a
job at Kinko's and write poetry ..."
Sounds like something a character in
"Reality Bites" might say.
"Melrose Place" is a really good
Before 'Schindler's List'
By MICHAEL THOMPSON
It's Oscar month and if you're
smart you've placed all your money
Son Spielberg and his masterpiece
"Schindler's List." His docudrama
Written and directed by Shaul
Goskind and Natan Gross; with
Nusia Gold and Shimon Dzigan.
style was both moving and brilliant. It
s the kind of film that we will all learn
from, both technically and spiritually.
Many years ago, however, before
Spielberg was even making films,
another group of people ventured into
the pain of the Holocaust. But this
particular group was working at a
time when discussion of the Holocaust
was almost unheard of. In 1948 no
one really wanted to start dealing with
what had happened. It was a time of
Wonfusion, pain and unrest.
Due to the time and perhaps even
the power of the film, it was never
shown. The Polish Communist Party,
under which the film was made,
decided that the film should not be
shown. Although made in 1948, a
print was not discovered until 1979,
and restoration began. Now,
fortunately, we have it. Just keep
hanking your lucky stars that you
live in Ann Arbor.
"Unzere Kinder" means "Our
Children." The film focuses on the
experiences of the children during the
Holocaust. The film packs most of its
power in the telling of these stories.
The children on the screen are not
actors; they are the real survivors.
The children sit in bed at night, sharing
their tales and we feel for them and
with them. Their stories are real, and
we know and feel it.
The film is a simple tale of two
actors who learn just how little they
know of what went on in ghettos and
to the children during the Holocaust.
Like Spielberg's film, "Unzere
Kinder" wants to try to work through
what happened. The point is never
exploitation, but rather catharsis. The
revealing moments are powerful and
necessary. We must never forget, no
matter how painful it is to remember.
The neorealist style of the film
only provides more credibility.
Although nowhere near as graceful as
Spielberg's $23 million epic, "Unzere
Kinder" feels almost like a ,home
movie. The docudrama is rough, stark
black and white, and there is no other
way it would work. The roughness of
the film adds to the strength and
obvious struggle there was to make it.
The screening of "Unzere Kinder"
is being sponsored by The Film and
Video Department, The Frankel
Center for Judiac Studies, The Hillel
Foundation and The Michigan
Psychoanalytic Foundation (keep
thanking your lucky stars). There will
be a panel discussion after the film.
This is the kind of movie that you
must talk about. Just as the children
must share their stories and feelings,
you will be compelled to share yours.
UNZERE KINDER is showing at
the Natural Science Auditorium,
Sunday March 13, at 7 p.m.
Ann Arbor offers film alternative
Continued from page 1
sophisticated portrait of these people
that would be a significant means of
affecting change. The potential in film
is so strong to affect change." And
now that their film is being courted by
a few major studios, what will they
do? "Right now we're just enjoying
the festival circuit." Does seeking and/
or possibly receiving broader
exposure mean compromising artistic
vision? "Well, I do think that it's
often a compromise-if you want the
exposure. Losing your independence;
that is the very compromise."
Yet, Beebe doesn't see it that way.
"I think of my film as being very
much the experimental film, yet I still
want it to be accessible to people not
familiar with animation. That's why
festivals like this are so special. If you
can get these films to receptive
audiences, who may not be used to
being talked to in this way, but they
can deal with it, and even get
something out of it, then that's
"I'd wager that few of these
filmmakers are making a living out of
this," says Hurbis-Cherrier, "but it's
not due to a lack of work being made;
it's just a lack of opportunities; that's
why this kind of festival is unique."
"That's my one and only print of
'Fogerty's Easel,"'states Winch, "and
for me,just having it play here means
a lot. I mean, the film, I guess sorta
like the festival, is just about
experimenting. It's just supposed to
kind of unfold, be a little journey or
THE ANNARBOR FILM
FESTIVAL will be at the Michigan
Theater March 15 through March
20. Call668-8397for more info.
$ 00 su!CE
4to PITCH. DRINKS
FRIDAY SATURDAY ALL
Vudu Hippies Lil'Ed and the
The Lollipop Guild Blues Imperials
-GUPDE IS ACCEPTING A PPLATONSI
FOR THIE 1004-95 ACADEMIC YEAR
76-Guide is an anonymous peer counseling
program sponsored by Counseling Services.
Applicants for the volunteer program need to
be enrolled students who are good at working
with people. No previous experience is neces-
sary. Applications are available at Counseling
Services, 3100 Michigan Union Deadline for
applications is Friday, March 18.
For more information call
Counseling Services 764-8312.
hen you need to talk, we're here to listen."
Friday, March 11, 1994 - 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Hutchins Hall, Room 116
State Representative Lynn Rivers
The Reverend Renee McCoy, Full Truth
Fellowship of Christ Church
Mark Jagner, Chair, Legislative Committee,
Michigan Campaign for Human Dignity
Professor David Chambers, University of
Michigan Law School
Audience members will learn about a number of political
activities surrounding the legislation of sexuality and
will be informed of a number of actions they can take,
including how to combat the current Michigan ballot
initiative to deprive lesbians, gay men, and bisexual
people of their civil rights.
Organized by: the Interdisciplinary Program in Feminist Practice &
the Lesbian-Gay Male Programs Office
Co-sponsored by: American Culture. Center for the Education of
Women, Center for Research on Social Organization, Guild House,
Law School, Sociology Department, Women in Society & Health, and
Women's Studies Program.
7 pm - 8 am Seven Days a Week (Fall and Winter Terms)
I ' I'IV
LIJU'.,PI EIN & AUI1VUI WJ 1ICCL*
June 10-August 22,1994
(shorter rides available)
JOIN 75 CYCLISTS FROM AROUND THE
WORLD IN A CROSS-COUNTRY BICYCLING
ADVENTURE, LINKING COMMUNITIES AND
CULTURES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST AIDS.
Cyclists depart from Seattle, Portland, San
Fransisco, Brownsville, Texas and Montreal,
Canada and converge at the steps of the
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Montreal Route focuses on Alternative
Transportation. Portland Route is All Women.
333 VALENCIA STREET, STE 330
SAN FRANSISCO, CA 94103
1-800-289-1326 or 415-431-4480
Climbing Shoe Demo-Day
Saturday March 12, 1994
at theAnn Arbor Climbing Gym
324 West Ann St.
10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Try the latest designs and styles for Spring!
I ~ ~ Rrncnret-l Kuthe Ann Arhnr flivn112cInc-1117,''I111 ~t~---
I I I I I 1 I I 1 I 1 lwlovl M,_ 01 1 11111