Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

March 30, 1995 - Image 24

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-30

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

10 - The Michigan Daily -- Weekend etc. - Thursday, March 30, 1995

Muriel's puppetmaster

By Sarah Rogacki
For the Daily
Toni Collette is feeling "Muriel-
ish" this afternoon. Arriving at the Ritz-
Carleton in Dearborn for apress confer-
ence on her way to Los Angeles, the
k young actress has just learned that her
luggage is lost somewhere between
Detroit andNew York. Calming herself
long enough to have an intimate talk
with area reporters, Collette kicks back
in afunky black suit running her fingers
through her short-cropped hair, afarcry
from the bumbling young woman she
plays in P.J. Hogan's Australian hit,
"Muriel's Wedding." Tall, lean and ar-
ticulate, Collette gives off the air of a
jet-set newcomer who must constantly
leave luggage, room service and report-
ers in her wake.
At 22, Collette seems to be riding
a trans-cultural wave right into the
heart of American movie-goers. A
seasoned stage and television actress,
she found acclaim in her first screen
role, co-starring with Anthony
Hopkins in "Spotwood," released as
"The Efficiency Expert" in the States
in 1991. On the tails of an Australian
Academy Award for her quirky por-
trayal of small-town Muriel Heslop,
Collette is beginning to see the results
of her hard work, which began in the
Australian Young People's Theater
many years ago.
A serious actress, Collette believes,
"As an actor, it is my job to understand
people, to get inside their heads and
under their skin... Acting is creating a
story about a person, storytelling being
inherent to people's need to express
themselves. Telling stories about real
people is a source of entertainment to
me." Working closely with P.J. Hogan
to bring the story of an unlikely heroine
to the screen, Collette has impressed
many critics with her talents at home
and abroad.
Working on a tight eight-week
schedule with little money, the cast
and crew of "Muriel's Wedding" had
to work quickly and efficiently, "hop-
ing for miracles" to happen in front of
the camera. And miracles did happen,
judging from the cohesion of charac-
ters and the talent of the cast. This
held especially true for Collette: "The
casthad to be entirely focused... Bal-
ancing between the silliness and the
seriousness of Muriel's character was
quite difficult but I think I played it
truthfully. It's most important to be
honest to the story and the characters.
The tragedy and comedy is all com-

pletely believable, drawing on some
amazingly weird experiences."
In her white silk jumpsuit and
blonde wig, Muriel's quest to become
the mythic Dancing Queen was a real
emotional process for Collette. Gain-
ing an additional 40 pounds for the
part was essential to getting in touch
with Muriel's experience as a lonely
young woman searching for a rite of
passage beyond the small-town atti-
tudes of Porpoise Spit. Getting in
touch with her "puberty-stricken
years" and the self-hate which they
entail, Collette believes the film is
about the affirmation of self-discov-
ery. "Muriel goes through a complete
change over the course of the film by
aspiring to be something she's not ...
It was an opportunity for me to play
the imperfect screen heroine, seeing
the world through her eyes and creat-
ing an intricate slice of life... Muriel's
imperfection makes her perfect."
With an interest in anthropology
and origins in a country saturated by
American television, Collette feels
that the idea of Australia as an "up-
and-coming" United States greatly
affects the characters in the post-
nuclear context that Hogan creates.
The only thing that may be strange to
movie goer's is Muriel's obsession
with Euro-pop stars ABBA. For
Collette, "ABBA is quintessential to
the film for a variety of reasons. It
makes Muriel even more of a social
outcast because her friends think it's
so uncool. Also, Isthink Muriel's fam-
ily wasn't always the way they are.
The music is a way of holding onto
something from a time when every-
thing was okay, you know? ABBA's
music elates you immediately, with a
touch of melancholy. It's an emo-
tional crash that speaks for her in a
really bizarre way."
This emotional crash Collette finds
in Muriel corresponds with both the
tragic and comedic tones of the film.
For Collette, making Muriel likable
and believable was a challenge. Dur-
ing shooting, the actress equated her
own creative aspirations and frustra-
tions with Muriel's need for accep-
tance. "Muriel's fetish for weddings
gives her the ability to be someone
else and tell a story about herself.
Along the way, she realizes that if she
doesn't stop lying, she'll end up like
Mom or Dad... What I like about the
film is at the end, Muriel's just on the
way to somewhere positive. It's un-
predictable, like life."

This is a bunch of people In "Muriel's Wedding." Don't you just want to throw rice at them In a pagan fertility ritual?
Eazy-E: A life of music, controversy from the street

By Tom Erlewine
Daily Arts Editor
Considering his impact on popular
music, Eazy-E's death by AIDS on
Sunday has received surprisingly little
media coverage. A few news reports
made it to television, it received an
average-sized story in the Detroit Free
Press and nocoverage at all in Monday's
USA Today, but there were no front-
page treatments. Before his death, the
announcement that he was hospitalized
with full-blown AIDS was also short-
changed-the New York Times didn't
run any news on his illness until March
20 because the editors "didn't feel it
was important enough," according to
the March 31 issue of Entertainment
Weekly. For a more accurate measure-
ment of the gangsta rap innovator's
importance, consider that his hospital
received over 7,000 phone calls inquir-
ing about Eazy-E in the first four days
after his illness was announced - re-
portedly the highest number for any
celebrity ever. That number is a good
indication of how popular and influen-
tial the rapper was.
Eazy-E was the man that defined
gangsta rap for a generation. With the
ground-breaking N.W.A. and as a solo
artist, he invented the image and style of
the gangsta rapper, which was almost
more important than the music itself.
Teenagers of all races and classes imi-
tated that stance - the image of the
outlaw, on the run from the police and
his enemies. Not only did the kids buy
the image, but the authorities did too:
On the basis of their furious 1988 album
"Straight Outta Compton" - and the
raging "Fuck Tha Police," in particular

-N.W.A.received a warning from the
FBI. Musically, the album was a fierce
mix of funk, noise and lethal beats that
would set the pace for hip-hop for the
following decade. With little airplay or
MTV support, "Compton" sold three
million copies - it was a street revolu-
tion in more than one sense of the word.
Like any other artist, Eazy-E's pub-
lic image was partially grounded in
reality and was partially fabrication.
There's little question that he came
from the streets, where he was con-
stantly surrounded by violence, sex,
crime, drugs and poverty. Out of that,
he created the prototype of the modern-
day gangster - he romanticized the
urban gangster much like how Holly-
wood romanticized Italian gangsters in
the '30s and '40s. From the profane
lyrics to the thundering beats, every-
thing in Eazy-E's music was larger than
life. Not only did Black teenagers in
similar situations relate to what Eazy
was talking about but white suburban
kids fantasized about being in his situ-
ation. That is, they wanted to live out-
side the law, taking all the money and
they could hold on to and shooting
anyone that stood in their way.
While he was in N.W.A., Eazy-E
created the role of the gangsta rapper
and he popularized it. Eazy may not
have written the music of most of the
lyrics - with the supremely gifted
Ice Cube and Dr. Dre in the group, he
didn't have to - but he was the super-
star in the group. He was the focal
point in the songs and the videos, he
was the one who had a successful solo
career while N.W.A. was active. He
was also the one with the business
______ U

sense, forming his own record label
Ruthless Records (allegedly with the
money he made dealing drugs). Ad-
mittedly, Eazy wasn't the greatest
rapper, nor did he have the best voice,
but he had something more important
- charisma. Eazy-E was a star.
Once N.W.A. imploded in 1992,
the members became embroiled in a
vicious feud, which had its roots in Ice
Cube's 1990 split. Eazy-E became the
target of derision not only forIce but for
Dr. Dre. With Eazy-E being attackedon
both sides, his career began to slip.
Although his albums still sold well, his
street credibility was nearly ruined; he
didn't help matters much by releasing
subpar material when he did record.
Not surprisingly, Eazy-E had the
last laugh. Reportedly, he earned a
portion of Dr. Dre's publishing rights

and royalties in N.W.A.'s split, so0
received a chunk of the millions of
dollars Dre's multi-platinum "The
Chronic" made, as well as a portion of
Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Doggy Style."
Ruthless was thriving and he pro-
duced the multi-platinum Bone Thugs
N Harmony. At the time of his death,
he was recording a double album that
would have certainly earned him an-
other platinum album, if not more.
Although he wasn't at his artistic
prime when he died, Eazy-E's artistic
impact remains quite large. Hope-
fully, his death will make not only the
hip-hop community but the pop world
at large aware of how AIDS can strike
anyone. Hopefully, it will make people
change their habits.
Hopefully it will ... but it's not too
likely. _


IF THE LP Was OE& (W~ic" ISMXT) OV6R. 5000
pE ' ° :Co,12cT DISC5
.I*6 9
S "S 1{!
to-G3 t.5LcLI I . " i" 5~ A



THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 911 N. University
Michigan League Student Programming proudly presents in the Michigan League
for info

705 W. Cross

Yhis Wukenifsl!

Fri.-Faked Potato
Opening w/ Riddle MaThis
Sat.-The d.t's
Opening W/ Plain

by Darrah Cloud
Directed by
Lynn M. Thomson
March 30-April 1,
Anril 6- at anm

*min. age 19 required*


When it comes to Europe, nobody offers you
more fun-or more value-than Contiki. For
example, a two-week, nine-country tour costs
only $1,244 including airfare.* There are over
30 tours-ranging from 9 to 52 days.
Stop by or call Council Travel, 998 -0200 The Worlds
for a free brochure. BgetTrae opn
S rPce double|occupancy from New or k Departures available For 18.35 Year Olds
from most major U.S. cities. Prices vary according to departure date.







Back to Top

© 2022 Regents of the University of Michigan