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March 23, 1995 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-23

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 2

Socially-conscious Paris doesn't compromise

By Eugene Bowen
Daily Arts Writer
Paris' life has been one which
easily tends to strike a chord of envy.
His middle-class childhood, which
included a stable, two-parent house-
hold, was nothing more than a child-
hood fantasy for many of us.
At only 27 years of age, Paris
already has a University of California
at Davis degree in economics, three
fairly-successful rap music releases
under his belt, as well as his own label
- Scarface Records - and a host of
new artists he's producing.
Almost all of Paris' musical fol-
lowing has been generated by the
very powerful, political philosophies
touted in his threereleases, "The Devil
Made Me Do It," "Sleeping with the
Enemy," and his most recent "Guer-
rilla Funk." Because of his music,
Paris is perceived by his audience to
be similar in nature to, say, Ice Cube
or Ice-T (when he had an audience).
Many see him as being highly politi-
cal and driven by an uncanny calling
to lead his people to "freedom" from
the oppression experienced daily in
the country.
But, Paris admits that "I'm really
not political. I'm more socially con-
scious. People perceive me as being

political because of the issues I speak
about, but I really don't give a fuck
about politics. That basically sums
that up."
It's the idea of social conscious-
ness that drives Paris' work, and even
that viewpoint can pass through the
realm of political thought, even if
only briefly.
"The power I have is nothing com-
pared to the power they (white politi-
cians) have, but I'm still saying what
I know needs to be said," Paris said. "I
try to talk about what I know when I
get the opportunity to."
However, Paris isn't God, and he's
more than ready to admit this fact.
"I can't save the world, and Idon't
know it all" he said. "I can't be your
parents, and I can't make up for the
shortcomings of your parents. I'm not
equipped to step into those shoes, and
I don't want to step into them. I'm not
ready for that type of responsibility."
But, this way of thinking obvi-
ously hasn't stopped Paris from be-
coming a large part in the life of the
preschool-aged child of his signifi-
cant other of three years, a child which
isn't his biologically.
Paris may not consider himself
political, but much of his "socially
conscious" observations are no less

powerful or important as his per-
ceived political prowess. Not astick-
ler for word choices with more eti-
quette, Paris is not afraid to speak
his heartfelt feelings using heartfelt
"A lot of people commend me
for what I'm doing," Paris said, "but
there are some people who wanna
talk shit becuase they wanna know
why I'm not doing more. Alright
motherfucker, why don't you do
more, and who are you to question
"Motherfuckers better start doing
for themselves. It gets tiring trying to
lead people in the right direction when
they just want to dance, smoke weed
and drink and shit all day. Well, fuck
it then; leave 'em alone. I'm gonna be
alright; ain't too much I can do for
And Paris does have his political
predictions and opinions.
"Affirmative action will be shut
down (by the Republican-controlled
104th Congress) 'cause niggas don't
vote. Vote. Don't sit idly by and let
someone else dictate your destiny."
He is disheartened by those
"brothas and sistas in college who
don't give a fuck where they're
from," and he considers "everyone
Six new films
By Joshua Rich
Daily Arts Writer
Following closely in the footsteps
of the ever-popular Ann Arbor Film
Festival comes the Second Latin Ameri-
can Film Festival of Ann Arbor which
starts Sunday at the Michigan Theater,
The presentation lasts until Sunday,
RwNI 1
The Second
Latin American
Film Festival of
Ann Arbor
Various Directors
At the Michigan Theater, March 26
through April 2
April 2 and it showcases a variety of
films by six contemporary Latino di-
rectors, three of whom will be present at
the screenings of their movies.
Shown over two weekends, this
event provides Ann Arbor residents
with a unique opportunity to witness
the exclusive premieres of six new
foreign films. The presented motion

equally important."
Even discussing his musical
tastes and opinions of rap music can
turn into one of the deepest conver-
sations one could imagine.
"I don't listen to country, rock or
classical music, but just about ev-
erything else is fair game," he said.
"I'm not into old-school rap, either.
I think once this rap comes, it has its
day and then it's cut out of here.
Ain't nothing nostalgic about old
rap for me."
"Fuck old school," he said, snick-
ering. "Ya know?"
There's an old saying that goes
"sometimes the little things are hard-
est to take; it's a lot easier to sit on
a mountain than it is to sit on a
tack." Paris' pet peeves brings out
the truth of this saying shows with
full force. Oddly, when viewed
through the light of his highly opin-
ionated LP's which speak against
almost every conceivable injustice,
Paris' pet peeves could seem a little,
er ... trivial.
"I hate wearing suits, and I hate
people who smoke," he said. "I can
deal with just about anything else."
Paris clarifies his antismoking
stance saying, "I really hate smoking.
It might seem like something little,



Paris won't back down.
but I can't stand that shit. It's incon-
siderate, and it's a disgusting habit."
Paris sees his purpose in life in a

very straightforward manner. "My
hope is to instill self-respect and
self confidence in us (Blacks)."


premiere at Latin American film festival
pictures represent six different North Lourdes Portillo's "documystery" Kon Tempo" (Venezeula) is the story
and South American nations and cover entitled "The Devil Never Sleeps" of an artist's struggle in the city that is
an assortment of cinematic classifica- (USA/Mexico). Lourdes, a popular both the subject of his work and the
tions from epic and drama to comedy Chicanadocumentary filmmaker, will place where his art is exhibited. And
and surrealism. present this, her first feature film, in "All the Way" (Mexico) marks the di-
The festival begins Sunday with which she stars as a woman who re- rectorial debut of Fernando Sarinana
director Humberto Solas' "The Cen- turns to her native Mexico to investi- who will present his film about street
tury of Enlightenment" (Cuba), an gate the mysterious murder of her boys in Tijuana, Mexico City and Los
epic adaptation of Alejandro uncle. Angeles.
Carpentier's novel that documents the Continuing next weekend, the fes- The Latin American Film Festival
tumultuous history of the Caribbean tival will include Friday's presenta- will serve to treat its audiences to both
in the late 18th century. The second tion of "Amnesia" (Chile), a suspense the talented creations and the com-
film of the evening is "The Strategy movie about war and revenge. Direc- mentary of an assortment of popular
of the Snail" (Colombia), directed by torGonzaloJustiniano will be present Latin American film makers. It is
Sergio Cabrera. This off-beat com- at the screening of his film which has presented in coordination with the
edy tells the story of a determined deep political implications. Chicago Latino Cinema Festival and
group of tenants who fight to save Sunday, April 2 will see the conclu- the Program of Film and Video Stud-
their run-down boarding house in his- sionof the week-long presentation with ies. Attendees may purchase single
toric downtown Bogota. showings of two films depicting very tickets for $5 each or a series ticket at
The weekend closes with different parts of Latin American urban a reduced price at the Michigan The-
Monday's showing of director life. Director DiegoRisquez's "Karibe ater box office.


Oscar-winning songs make a

This past Friday night at the Power Center, saxophonist Maceo Parker
played with his band, Roots Revisited.

By Tom Erlewine
Daily Arts Editor
With the Oscars days away, the
release of Rhino Records' five-disc
box set, "The Envelope Please ...
Academy Award Winning Songs
(1934-1993)" couldn't be more per-
fectly timed. Gathering all of the Best
Song winners since 1934, "The Enve-
lope Please" is a fascinating, enter-
taining journey through 20th century
American culture; many of these songs
- "White Christmas," "Over the
Rainbow," "When You Wish Upon A
Star," "Moon River" - have become
standards, indelibly stamped on the
collective conscious of the country.
In fact, the Academy Award-win-
ning Best Songs are an accurate gauge
of the tastes and styles of mainstream
America. Traditional pop dominates
throughout the entire box. Occasion-
ally, a bit of jazz or rock is incorporated
into the traditional, verse-chorus-verse,
Tin Pan Alley-style songwriting, yet it
is the extremely rare occasion that a true
rock, jazz or soul song slips through
(Isaac Hayes' "Theme From Shaft" won

The Envelope
} Please...
Academy Award
Winning Songs
Rhino Records

in 1971, yet the Beatles' "A Hard Day's
Night" wasn'teven nominated in 1964).
Even Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to
Say I Love You" and Bruce
Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia"
follow traditional top formats, not those
rock and soul.

wing box
are presented in their original, award
winning versions ("Fame,"
"Flashdance" and "Streets of Philadel-
phia" are all remakes). The liner notes
are beyond extensive, describing each
year's Oscar race and listing all of the
nominees of aparticular year; the read-
ing itself is as fascinating as the music.
With all this music and detailed
liner notes, it's not surprising that the
list price is over $60. However, when
the collected running-time of the set is
around three and a half hours, it appears
that Rhino has padded the set to justify
such an expensive retail price. Surpris-"
ingly, the short running-time doesn't"
hurtthe set. By breaking the setinto five
discs containing 12 songs each, "Enve-
lope" is actually more listenable than it
would seem initially; it's more enjoy-
able to sit through 12 songs than 20. The
sequencing also breaks the set up into a'
logical order, encapsulating nearly a-
decade of music into one disc. Set
quenced this way, it's easier to hear the
pop music's gradual evolution through-,
out the latter half of this century.
Besides, it makes the set more fun.
It's just thing to tide you over until the
Oscars actually arrive.

However, that adherence to tradi-
tional pop is what makes "The Enve-
lope Please" so much fun - you can
follow trends in music by what is added
to thatrigid style, like how "Flashdance"
are moderate concessions to disco.
More importantly, there is many of
great songs here and almost all of them



Continued from page 11
try to escape by running into the aban'
doned house in the middle of nowhere.
At the same time Annie's life is
being ripped apart (ha ha), one of her
students begins to create elaborate.
drawings of the Candyman. Is there a;:
connection? You bet, and a lot of it is
fairly predictable stuff in the "Luke-
I'm-Your-Father" vein.
Although director Bill Condon
spends way too much time trying to
evoke the same eerieness of the vastly
superior first film, he does occasionally
borrow effectively. Philip Glass's score ;
drives even the ordinary scenes with a
sense of foreboding, and the slightly r
antagonistic racial tension is used ef-
fectively until the muddled climax.
The real disappointment of the
film is that Clive Barker's involve-s
ment does little. His absence from the.
"Hellraiser" sequels made a differ-
ence, but even here with a screenplay
based directly on a story of his and an]
executive producer credit, the usualZ

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