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January 18, 1995 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

- ~ -

Sleeper hit: 'Sleep With Me' one of 1994's best

Recently, it seems like Eric Stoltz
is popping up everywhere. Last sum-
mer i was in the fantastical "Naked in
New York," this fall it was in "Killing
Zoe," Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fic-
tion" and "Little Women." But what
Stoltz should be most remembered
for is his contribution, as actor and
producer, to first-time director Rory
Kelly's "Sleep With Me," a film best
categorized as a dramatic romantic

Sleep With Me
Directed by Rory Kelly
with Eric Stoltz, Meg Tilly.
Actually, everybody involved in
"Sleep With Me" deserves praise. The
idea for the film, to structure a tempes-
tuous love triangle around six social
gatherings, was conceived by Kelly
and his friend Roger Hedden and be-

came a reality when they invited four
other friends to collaborate. Each writer
took on one of the six gatherings, form-
ing a surprisingly cohesive and always
refreshing look at love, marriage and
The basic plot of "Sleep With Me"
is typical of the love triangle genre:
Joseph (Stoltz) loves Sarah (Meg Tilly),
Sarah loves Joseph, and Frank (Craig
Sheffer) loves Sarah. But fortunately,
the complexity of the relationships are
rarely typical. Joseph and Sarah, who
reminds Frankthat"Joseph's anasshole,
but he's my asshole," never act the part
of starry-eyed honeymooners. At the
start, it seems that Kelly has taken on
more than an inexperienced director
could handle, but by the end, he erases
any doubts.
As the film moves from one gather-
ing to the next, Sarah and Joseph be-
come progressively estranged. On one
level, the various settings contribute to
the film's progressive feel, and on an-
other, they mean that Sarah, Joseph and

Frank'sconflicts arepublicproperty, to
be witnessed and then contemplated by
the members of their circle.
At times, the characters' attempts to
resist temptation and to come to terms
with condemnable mistakes makes the
acting in "Sleep With Me" seem over-
wrought with emotion, until you imag-
ine the reaction such issues are likely to
provoke in real-life.
Stoltz's performance is especially
convincing. He manages to play both
the bad Joseph and the good with equal
proficiency, and both Sheffer and Tilly
are superb in reacting to him and each
Even more outstanding than "Sleep
With Me's" excellent acting and creative
structure is its humor. The transitions from
setting to setting, achieved simply by flash-
ing a few written sentences on the screen
achieve some of the heartiest laughs. After
Frank tells Sarah the poignant story of
when he first saw her from a distant, the
audience is propelled into a comic mode
with just two sentences: "What the fuck

was he thinking. He decided to pretend it
never happened."
Tarantino's cameo appearance pro-
vides "Sleep With Me" with a comedic
scene reminiscent of the hilarious dia-
logue between John Travolta and
Samuel L. Johnson in "Pulp Fiction."
He corners Duane at his cocktail party,
and proceeds to give a detailed analysis
of "Top Gun" in terms of its homoerotic

symbolism and Maverick's struggle
with going "the gay way." The punch-
line of the discussion is so blatant that
you'll kick yourself for not having seen
it coming.
If you don't see "Sleep With Me,"
you should kick yourself for missing
one of the best comedies of 1994.
SLEEP WITH ME is playing at the
Michigan Theater.

Spiritual Ensemble teaches important music lessons

The history of Blacks in this coun-
try is as rich and varied as this country
itself. The bleakest part of that history
occurred during this country's 244
arlem Spiritual
January 15, 1995
Hill Auditorium
years of legalized slavery.
But, from this time period also
rose many Black triumphs. Perhaps
the most well-known of these tri-
umphs was the birth of a new musi-
cal type coined spirituals - reli-
giously-inspired, multi-faceted
songs which were sung by the happy
and the sad, the relaxed and the
overworked. Influenced by both Af-

rican (rhythmic, loud, easy to dance
to) and European (smooth and me-
lodic) musical genres, spirituals re-
mind us of the strong sense of love,
support and faith that thrived in the
Black community.
Founded in 1986 by Francois
Clemmons, the Harlem Spiritual En-
semble is committed to keeping spiri-
tuals alive and unchanged from the,
way they were sung as late as 150
years ago. These songs were brought
to a near-capacity crowd at Hill Audi-
torium on Sunday, and the over-
whelming approval of the group's
performance was unmistakable.
The group's performances of such
powerful songs as "Motherles' Chile,"
"Ah WannaBe Ready"and "Sit Down
Servant" reaffirmed the Harlem Spiri-
tual Ensemble's mission. The six vo-
calists have vocal control which trans-
gresses all boundaries. Particularly
notable were the solo performances
by mezzo-soprano La' Shelle Allen

("Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me
Around"), soprano Janet Jordan ("Sit
Down Servant") and bass singer Ri-
chard Bellazzin ("Oh What a Beauti-
ful City").
Also notable were Clemmons'
(tenor) solo in "Ah Wanna Be Ready,"
a dedication to his lifelong mentor
and University Music School faculty
member Dr. George Shirley, and
Jordan's solo in "Remember Me,"
sung in remembrance of battered
women in the United States. The tears
which flowed fromJordan's eyes dur-
ing her performance brought tears to
But, it was the group's latter per-
formances which stole the show.
These performances - dedicated to
Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth
- brought the harsh reality of the
brutality of slavery, and the slaves'
resolve to keep their faith in God, to
the audience. What the Harlem Spiri-
tual Ensemble brought to the listeners

A $25.00 deposit is required. STONE
61 YEARS 5' 549 E. University Continued from page 5
couple of acoustic guitars. What they
(Comer of East U and South U) haven't done is make a conscious
662-3201 effort to fit into the current pop scene
-- "Second Coming" sounds as if it
MORE THAN A BOOKSTOREs Ecould have appeared one or two years
after "The Stone Roses."

However, this isn't a bad thing
- the Stone Roses' sound hasn't
dated all that much since 1989. Fur-
thermore, they sound like they
couldn't care less if they are consid-
ered hip or cutting edge; they are
stubbornly refusing to break away
from their sound, only adding a
couple of Led Zeppelin flourishes
and deepening their grooves. In-
stead of making the band contem-
porary, the additions merely rede-
fine their sound within their estab-
lished boundaries. With "Second
Coming," the Stone Roses are a
harder-rocking, bluesier band, more
interested in working a groove than
in writing concise pop songs.
The band's hardest moments -
the slide-guitar driven single "Love
Spreads," "Driving South" and the
11-minute epic "Breaking Into
Heaven" - manage to retain the
Roses' melodic core while sound-
ing edgier and denser. Several of
the songs retain the classic '60s pop
sound of the debut, including the
strikingly simple "Ten Storey Love

Song" and the subtly malicious
"How Do You Sleep," which is
nearly as vicious as the John Lennon
song of the same name. "Tears" is
one of the band's finest moments,
building from a gentle folky begin-
ning to a crushing guitar-saturated
"Begging You" is a post-psy-
chedelic masterpiece, with swirling
vocals and guitars and thundering,
pulsating rhythms. The acoustic
"Your Star Will Shine" is one the
band's best ballads; similarly, the
loose, shuffling sing-along of
"Tightrope" is a refreshing break
from the album's dense, thick mix.
The jazzy "Straight to the Man" and
the lite-funk workout of "Daybreak"
are filler, much like "Good Times,"
a rewrite of the standard "Let the
Good Times Roll."
No matter how good "Second
Coming" is - and its best moments
are as good as anything on the debut
- there is an inevitable feeling of
disappointment that hangs over the
record. It doesn't have the freshness

was an almost ethereal experience.
This dedication included "The
Auction," a musical re-enaction of0
slave auctions which described in
detail the agony of children torn from
their mothers never to be seen again.
Further, the three female singers,
Stephanie Beadle (lyric soprano), Jor-
dan and Allen re-enacted the
Tubman's famous "Ain't I a Woman"
The Harlem Spiritual Ensemble
filled Hill Auditorium with an energy
of indescribable dimensions. This en-
ergy was spread to all in attendance,
Black, white, Latino, Asian and all
others. This was the ultimate goal of
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. -that all
God's people would come to love and
respect each other in the spirit of
universal brotherhood. That's a big
goal, and it hasn't been achieved yet.
But, the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble
brought a great number of peoples
great deal closer to that reality.
of the first record, nor does it have
its bracing self-confidence; even
with the harder riffs and beats, noth-
ing on the album feels new or reve-
If "Second Coming" isn't as
thrilling orconsistent as "The Stone
Roses," it is more accomplished;@
the signs of John Squire's impec-
cable craftsmanship are evident.
Even with Squire's painstaking ar-
rangements and the dense array of
sounds that envolop the record,
"Second Coming" is marred by a
lack of focus; too often, hooks and
melodies are sacrificed for pound-
ing rhythms.
Fortunately, the best momentso
on the album overshadow the pon-
derous grooves; only three of the
tracks are outright filler and the other
nine songk are damn strong, even
brilliant. Still ... it isn't the master-
piece that everyone expected after
"The Stone Roses." Then again, that
record was the rare debut that was a
masterpiece.; it's very difficult for a
band to deliver two exceptional
records in a row, no matter how*
much time passes between the two
After all is said and done, "Sec-
ond Coming" is a solid second al-
bum. Most of the songs are very
good, a few show some wear and
tear. Once the initial disappointment
passes, it should be veryeasy for
fans to appreciate what a fine record
"Second Coming" is. It's just not'
And it should have been.




- I
oF c


Everday is a Weekend
at Peabody's ,
Mon-Thurs 5-7 p.m.
: 715 N. University 761-CHIP
h..===============m ===mmm


i ursuday, January 19
Noon - 3pm
Michigan Union Ballroom
2nd Floor
There will be management
companies and landlords with:
. hundreds of listings
* photographs of properties
. rantn1 ratnc



The School of Education will interview students by phone who will be
hired to call alumni nationwide for an alumni fundraising phonathon.
$6.25 per hour, incentives, bonus pay, plus great work experience!


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