8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 25, 1995
RAMPAL'S RICH, FLUTE-FILLED CAREER
How to stop worrying and love 'Dr. Strangelove'
By JOSHUA RICH
Captured in a short film are a se-
ries of vignettes so vivid, so absurd
and so shocking, that "Dr. Strangelove
or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying
and Love the Bomb" becomes a mo-
tion picture that greatly outlives its
93-minute frame. Released in 1964,
with Peter Sellers
and George C. Scott
into the state of international affairs
in the beginning of one of our nation's
most tumultuous eras. Its everlasting
humor and commentary on nuclear
warfare are true testaments to the ex-
cellence of this film.
When Gen. Jack D. Ripper (Ster-
ling Hayden), an eccentric Air Force
general has a nervous breakdown and
orders a full nuclear strike on the
Soviet Union, the nation's security
forces scramble to prevent an im-
pending catastrophe. As bomber plane
crews prepare to drop nuclear war-
heads on Russia, the National Secu-
rity council meets in the Pentagon's
War Room to evaluate the situation.
Involved in the melee are the be-
nevolent president (Peter Sellers); a
former Nazi scientist named Dr.
Strangelove (Sellers); a Royal Air Force
captain (Sellers) forced to psychoana-
lyze the psychotic Ripper; and a gung-
ho war hawk, Gen. Buck Turgidson
(George C. Scott). Turgidson gives the
film's most profound commentary on
thepotential nuclearholocaust: "I don't
say we wouldn't get our hair mussed,
but I do say no more than 10 to 20
million people killed."
Constant cold-hearted remarks
like this alert us to the absurdity of
such a situation, where even the most
powerful of world leaders discover
that they are really helpless and out of
control. The president and the Rus-
sian premier bicker like a married
couple over the red phone. The RAF
captain doesn't have enough change
to make a phone call to the president.
Gen. Turgidson and the Russian am-
bassador get into a cat fight in the War
Room. And when the main bomber
reaches its target after all final prepa-
rations for the Armageddon are made,
the warheads get stuck.
However unbelievable, the absur-
dities which dominate this film seem
completely possible. And that is what
is so frightening about "Dr.
Srangelove." For while we may be
rolling in laughterat the insane, Three
Stooges-like antics of men who are
supposed to be protecting the liveli-
hoods of millions of people, we also
stop and consider how shockingly
real the situation is.
Sellers excels by breeding humor
into all three of his characters while,
at the same time, allowing the audi-
ence to sense the prospective doom of
the world. Scott is also hilarious in his
portrayal of the obnoxious Turgidson.
He never ceases to comically offend
the viewer with actions that so grossly
overexaggerate the model of a stereo-
typical career military man. Hayden
is outstanding in his depiction of a
completely deranged leader who splits
his time between drinking booze and
schizophrenic ramblings on Soviet
Early in his remarkable career,
Kubrickmust have surprised many with
this outlandish fantasy which comments
on society in such a pointed manner.
Usually founded more in photography
and special effects, Kubrick's fine body
of films have rarely compared to the
humorand poignancy of this small epic.
"Dr. Strangelove" is, after all, not much
of a triumph in cinematography or
sound. But its farcical style combining
stunning performances and obscene dia-
logue repeatedly draws people back
into its black-and-white comedy of er-
DR. STRANGELOVE is playing
through Thursday at the Michigan
this movie touches upon the most
pivotal and dire issues of a world that
had recently seen the assassination of
a beloved president, the continuing
recovery from World War Two and a
threatening Cold War looming over
the state of world affairs.
The true magnificence of "Dr.
Strangelove" lies in its subtle, but
nevertheless powerful, satirical look
At 8 p.m. tonignt, Hill Auditorium will De flute-tilled as the great virtuoso
Jean-Pierre Rampal presents a recital with pianist John Steele Ritter. Now in
his 70s, Rampal has been amazing audiences worldwide with his
extraordinary technique and elegant tone for years. Forbidden to play flute
as a child, he elevated the flute's status to a first rank solo instrument,
leaving an indeliable mark on the world of music. With approximately 400
albums to his credit, Rampal is perhaps the most recorded classical
instrumentalist in history. He has received numerous honors for his playing,
including the Leonie Sonning Prize, the Prix du President de la Republique
and the Academie Charles Cros. He has recently gained recognition as a
conductor as well.
Rampal will perform a program of Telemann, Rameau, Bach, Franck and
Poulenc, and will be accompanied by the remarkable pianist and harpsichordist
John Steele Ritter. Tickets are available at the UMS Box Office for $46, $36,
$28 and $16. Call 764-2538 or 1-800-221-1229 for more information.
- Emily Lambert
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Higher Learning - Original
Motion Picture Soundtrack
550 Music / Epic Soundtrax
For the soundtrack to his new film
"Higher Learning," director John
Singleton decided to practice what
the movie preached - bring together
on one record artists of different races,
styles, methods and messages -
throw them all together, and listen
carefully for the results.
And it turned out much more posi-
tively than the ending of his film.
Opening with a verbal challenge from
Ice Cube (did you expect any less?)
and winding its way through tracks
by such diverse musicians as Liz Phair,
Rage Against the Machine, Zhade
and Tori Amos, "Higher Learning"
makes for some genre-jumping, sat-
High points include the impossi-
bly smooth vocals of jazz bassist /
diva extraordinaire Me'Shell
NdegeOcello on her contribution
"Soul Searchin"'and the sweet, soul-
ful "By Your Side" offered by Zhane.
Liz Phair's odd "Don't Have Time"
spotlights her much lauded talent for
deadpan, incisive wordplay while she
messes around with the song's rhythm.
"Don't Have Time" ends up sounding
like a child skipping down a side-
It's a much-needed burst of cre-
ative spirit following Tori Amos'
unbearably breathy cover of R.E.M.'s
"Losing My Religion." The startlingly
gifted mezzo-soprano's octave-leap-
ing vocals really don't fit in with the
song's spare lyrics and lush, tense
melody. Berry, Buck, Mills and Stipe
are probably having a collective pre-
tour heart attack over it.
Amos nearly redeems herself with
the fine "Butterfly." She sings in one
biting line, "They like you better
framed and dried."
Mista Grimm provides the album
with wary but positive pro-education
message in "Situation: Grimm," a
solid rap track based on a great jazz
groove. Ice Cube sneering opener
"Higher" offers a totally opposing
view, as Cube belts out, "College is
full of shit, teaching me to memeorize
nothing but the lies."
The Brand New Heavies, led by
the rich, tull-throated vocals of N'Dea
Davenport, help to tilt the overall
message of the record toward toler-
ance with "Time for Change." Lyrics
like "higher learning really makes a
difference in your life" and "hate is
not the answer" come off as stilted,
though. Perhaps unfortunately,
Cube's way with a rhyme makes his
the track most will play again.
Overall, "Higher Learning" satis-
fies. And while occasionally is sounds
like someone has switched on 96.3 FM
"The Planet" with the pairing of rap,
R&B and "alternative" rock, it works.
And that kind of "Higher Learn-
ing" is something any college student
Do You Want More?
Instant classic? Best hip-hop al-
bum ever? These terms can arguably
apply to this album, but they certainly
SPECIAL ADVANCE SCREENING
are not adequate when describing this
momentous release. Jazz and hip-hop
have been formally introduced on
US3's album, Guru's "Jazzmatazz"
and many other albums prior to these
better known efforts. Never before
have they jammed like this. All live
instruments - no samples, two great
lyricists and guest appearances by
one of the nicest beat-boxers in years
(horns, basslines and, of course, in-
credible beats) make this album
unique, but the context in which it
comes together is what really counts.
The Roots, as their name reflects, are
grounded in a tradition which gives
the album incredible strength.
A group called the Jungle Brothers
gave birth to what might be called roots
hip-hop. A Tribe Called Quest raised it
and now the Roots have brought into
adulthood with "Do You Want More?"
Every beat and bassline is hip-hop and
all of their references, especially as
embodied in "You Ain't Fly" (a chant
from an old Boogie Boys' song), show
their depth of knowledge in rap culture.
The Roots burrow deeper then hip-hop
though. They clearly know what they're
doing with jazz, they are completely
comfortable with their instruments. And
the Roots dig deeper still. In one song
("Essay Whatman?!") they incorporate
three different African traditions - call
and response, instrumentation imitat-
ing lyrics directly, and music which is
literally functional (the song begins as a
Coming with a sample-free and
jazz-heavy album, the Roots must be
considered innovative. But they are
also deeply founded in hip-hop; the
rap fan who is unacquainted with jazz
will not find their flavors strange.
Their genius is in combining their
two influences into a unique whole.
When genres combine there is always
the possibility of alienating listeners
on both sides. The Roots will alienate
no one who knows rap orjazz. This is
African-American music as much as
jazz or rap; it is the Roots of both
revealed in one context. This is one
culture in action,making perhapssthe
best music of our time.
John Hiatt and the
Hiatt Comes Alive at Budokan
Live albums are traditionally a
vehicle for record labels to issue extra
greatest hits collections and cash in
on fans' desires for more product by
popular artists. They are also tradi-
tionally composed of rather uninspired
and mediocre performances. John
Hiatt's first live record, sarcastically
entitled "Hiatt Comes Alive at
Budokan," is a mold-breaker of sorts.
Though it is essentially a retrospec-
tive of his years with A&M, begin-
ning with 1987's masterful "Bring
the Family," the performances are
anything but uninspired. Recorded
while on tour with the. young and
restless Guilty Dogs, "Hiatt Comes
Alive" finds the singer-songwriter
revelling in the driving, grungy noise
his support gives him. He is rocking
out hard and enjoying every minute
Somewhat tame tracks like "Real
Fine Love" are covered in fuzz and
whipped into a frenzy by Michael
Wnrd'c nidiladguitsr work whil
Tha Roots, tha Roots are on fire. Maybe someone should put them out.
BACKPACKING TRIP TO
B. 18- 25, OCALA NAT. FOREST.
Also sponsored by the Outdoor Rec. Center this Winter:
- Jan. 28 Cross Country Skiing and Toboganning
- Jan. 29 Horseback Trail Ride
MANY MORE IN MARCH AND APRIL! ODR also
/, Recer- Rents Equipment for any Outdoor Eventl
7CE R- Call 764-3967 for more
Discover A Career With
Wednesday, January 25
Michigan Student Union
The U.S. Department of State offers
unique opportunities in the Foreign
Service in Wcshington, D.C. or
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