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April 12, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-12

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Country Clubs and Folk Singers
AISEC, the International Association of Students in Economics and Business Management, has recently
started a new program called 'The Country Club.' The group focuses on destroying stereotypes and
preconcieved ideas about certain countries. This Thursday the group highlights Ireland from 7-9 p.m. at
the Ecumenical Center on Church St. Call 662-1690 for more info. Tongiht, at the Ark, it's Dar Williams,
a singer who's opened for the likes of Arlo Guthrie and Ani DiFranco. Doors open at 8p.m. and the show
is free. Call 761-1451 for information.

Page 5
A nril 12. 99500


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Rob Roy' has both action and heart
,.ange and Neeson star in often stunning new film
y Sarah Stewart tage of a larger than life presence to other action films is the strong, com-
^ily Arts Writer create a character whose chivalrous pletely sincere bond between hus-
After making a place for himself honor infiltrates every aspect of his band and wife. While other films
Hollywood as the unlikely hero life and every aspect of this mightprovideromancein the formof
Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's oftentimes stunning film. a newly kindled passion, director
_Ast," it is somehow appropriate that Set and filmed in the Scottish Michael Caton-Jones wastes no time
iam Neeson plays the obvious hero Highlands, the visual beauty of "Rob showing the audience that Mary and
the title character in "Rob Roy," Rob have a cultivated love that will
new film joining the ranks of ro- withstand even the misguided honor-
tantic, action-packed dramas like able intentions of a MacGregor man.
Robin Hood" and "The Last of the Rob Roy The two love scenes near the begin-
Aohicans." Whereas the part of Os- Directed by Michael ning of the film depict a believable
-Ar Schindler required Neeson to Caton-Jones; tenderness and passion between aman
e..manate a humane, almost .Jand a woman beautifully secure in
-.ommonsensical honor, as Rob Roy with Liam Neeson their adoration of the other. "Do you
MacGregor, Neeson takes advan- and Jessica Lange know how fine you are to me, Mary
At Showcase and Briarwood MacGregor?" Rob asks, just at the
right moment.
Roy" - marked by mountains peak- Just as the union of Rob and Mary
ing out of dense fog and acres of sparks emotions that touch the heart,
vibrant greenery - contrasts the the demonic cruelty of the Marquis'
grueling experiences of Rob, a de- henchman, Cunningham (Tim Roth),
°Avoted husband, and Mary (Jessica ignites a hatred that grows deeper as
Lange), his devoted wife. The film the film progresses. On the surface,
is based on the real-life Robert Roy Cunningham is a pretty-boy, smaller
MacGregor, a cattle drover born in and better dressed and powdered than
1671 to the MacGregor Clan Chief- the aristocratic men whom he sur-
tain. Apparently Rob made the de- rounds himself with. But given the
cision to borrow £1,000 from the opportunity, he is not at all above
Marquis of Montrose only to have theft, killing and as portrayed by the
the money stolen and to find him- film as worst of all, "violating"
self imprisoned when he could not women.
pay off the debt; declaring a private Caton-Jones does a superb job
war on Montrose, MacGregor es- countering the extreme masculinity
caped three times from prison and of Neeson's character by portraying
Lange is an essential actress.was ultimately granted a pardon. the tragic helplessness of even the
.a...ge is ssntaacWhat sets "Rob Roy" apart from strongest women in a world of law-

lessness. For many viewers, a rape is
even more disturbing to witness than
murder. Nonetheless, Caton-Jones'
decision to illustrate Cunningham's
brutal rape of Mary is an integral part
of Lange's performance in the rest of
the film - we feel deeply for her as
she passionately scrubs between her
legs, warns Rob's brother Alisdair
(Brian McCardie) that he must not
tell Rob of her violation and proceeds
to grit her teeth and bare the pain of

suffering from a wrong that far sur-
passes the humiliation of even her
husband's hardships.
Although "Rob Roy" takes awhile
getting off the ground, once it reaches
full speed, it slows down only to
present arelatively anticlimactic end-
ing. At the peak of action, Rob is
dragged by a horse, escapes
Cunningham's wrath by almost hang-
ing him over the edge of a bridge and
then makes a second escape by cre-

atively hiding himself from the view
of Cunningham's men.Neeson never
looses sight of his primary goal of
righting his wife's wrongs even when
his narrow escapes make it impos-
sible not to perceive him on a level
akin to the Energizer bunny. Putting
this flaw aside, "Rob Roy" is a sur-
prisingly complex film that is not
forced to rely merely on raw excite=
ment in its effort to embody human

'Warriors' a gripping, arresting picture

Sarah Rogacki
y Arts Writer
Tattoos can be emblematic of many
dhings. They can besymbolsofself-hateor
even self-love. They can communicate
the pain of alienation or the sacrifice of
community. In "Once Were Warriors,"
we learnfrom a group of oppressed urban
tribesmen that tattoos can be worn on the
Director Lee Tamahori presents the
*ttoized world of the Maori, New
Zealand'saboriginal population, who suf-
fers unemployment, underdevelopment,
and impoverishment under hundreds of
years of white colonization. Tamahori
gives an insider's view into the lives of an
urbanized tribal family torn apart by alco-
holism and domestic violence against a
gritty landscape of tattooed faces, graffiti
ars, and barroom brawls.
.Once the golden daughter of her tribe,
th, played by Rena Owens, falls in love
and leaves her Eden-esque island to raise
a family on the mainland. Her husband
Iake,playedby TemueraMorrison,comes
=upon financial hard times and abuses his
wife and the bottle habitually. The chil-
dren suffer under the brunt of this abuse
and the violent world that seems to dis-
mantle any hope of a stable family life
from the outside in. The eldest son, Nick,
Ws community in an urban gang trying

to recover their roots; Mark becomes a
of the family, seeks escape through writ-
ing while fighting off the advances of her
father's drunken friends. It's not a pretty
picture, but one of visceral depth and
Once Were
Directed by Lee Tamahori
with Rena Owens
At the State Theater
Vividly illustrating the painful jour-
ney to regain a tribal identity in the face of
postmodern hell, Tamahori depicts the
destructive force of western commercial
culture, which has apparently seeped to all
corners of the earth. The writing and direc-
tion is bold and gripping. Borrowing from
the graphic style of such masters as
Scorsese, Tamahori makes us rethink vio-
lence in acinematic context.Seeing aman
punch his wife dead in the face with such
ferocity brings us a breath away from the
real thing - more than most Americans
can learn from the Simpson case. Yet,
under this startling display lies acurrentof
fluid spirituality which shows through in

long dolly shots and the earthbound cin-
ematography. Tamahori's visual style
makes us search for the beauty under the
urban grim and the oppressive body art.
Much like "Menace II Society," we
could hate the characters in "Once Were
Warriors." RenaOwensgives acomplex-
ity to Beth through her botched attempt to
be a good mother and the love-hate rela-
tionship she has with her husband. Even
under his Henry Rollins meets Mad Max
exterior, we sometimes sympathize with
Morrison's misunderstood Nick. During
a party scene where Jake and Beth sing a
duet of an old rock song, we do believe
there once was a time when things were
right in their relationship. "They're beau-
tiful when they're like that," Gracie
breathes. They are, which brings us into a
state of disbelief during the abuse scene
that entails. Owens and Morrison play it
frighteningly and flawlessly.
As Mark learns, one can wear their
anger on the outside or gain the respect of
the warrior inside. Beth proves herself a
real warrior, only by experiencing pain,
loss, and abuse to emerge on the other side
of this urban wasteland bruised but still
breathing. "Once Were Warriors" offers a
glimpse of hope through a hard journey
the viewer must be prepared to experi-
ence. It is an important film in both its
visual fluency and arresting messages.

John Fahey
Return of the Repressed: The
John Fahey Anthology
Rhino Records
John Fahey could be called the
father of new age. Of course, he would
detest that term with a passion, yet it
is a way to begin to understand his
music. If Fahey did father new age, it
was through his atmospheric amal-
gam of folk, blues, country and clas-
sical music. Technically, he fit into
the folk explosion of the early '60s -
he was a college kid with an acoustic
guitar. Yet his music had little to do
with the communal sing-alongs of
Pete Seeger or the protest singing of
Bob Dylan. Fahey's music was a pri-
vate music. It was designed for intro-

spection, out of hours of studying,
playing and listening. Fahey was self-
taught - many critics have dubbed
his style "primitive guitar" - yet his
approach was never simplistic; he
consciously melded as many differ-
ent styles as he could. The result was
distinctive and without too many pre-
cedents. Elements ofrural music were
evident, yet the final music was any-
thing but rural: It was the music of an
educated, intellectual student of mu-
Fahey's records were ambient yet
rough, minimalistic yet complex.
Within those records lay the ground-
work of new age - composition-
oriented, self-conscious eclecticism
that created one sustained mood.
Fahey himself was too strange to be

called simply new age, yet musicians
like George Winston, Jan Akkerman
and Leo Kottke followed in his foot-
steps. Fahey never lost touch with his
initial passion for folk, country and
blues, which makes his records more
gritty than his descendants.
Nevertheless, this is music that
requires either very careful listening
or extremely passive listening. Some
listeners will find its languid repeti-
tion mesmerizing, others will simply
find it boring. Most of the guitarist's
records are very rare or out-of-print,
so the double-disc collection "Return
of the Repressed:- The John Fahey
Anthology" provides a useful service
forfans,as well as thecurious.Fahey's
music doesn't inspire many lukewarm
See RECORDS, page 8

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