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January 24, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-24

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12TV._ A l t. - 7%st4L.

Kick out the jams with the kish!
Are you a beginner harp player? Tonight, folk and celtic Harp players
will gather to converse, listen to records and kick out the jams.
Beginners are welcome. Come to Guild House. 802 Monroe St. at 7
p.m. $1.

Page 5
Wednesday,
January 24, 1996

Gilliam's new

'Monk

Randy Kurstin and David Burtka star in "Remember Me," now playing at the Performance Network.
.Moving 'Me'i unforgettable

By Kelly Xintaris
For the Daily
Call it a "Brazil" for the '90s.
In "12 Monkeys," Director Terry
Gilliam offers the same grubby pan-
orama, almost comically evil charac-
ters and surrealistic techno-visuals
present in his 1985 cult classic. Even
the darkly humorous Saran-wrap face-
lift scene in "Brazil" is filtered down
this time- in "12 Monkeys" it appears
as the grotesquely distorted reflection
ofa scientist's face. The Orwellian slant
combines with a Wellsian time-travel
story, resulting in an often perplexing,
12 Monkeys
Directed by
Terry Gilliam; with
Bruce Willis
and Brad Pitt
At Briarwood and Showcase
equally profound apocalyptic thriller.
Bruce Willis stars as James Cole, a
21st century man with a mission. Prom-
ising a pardon from prison, where he
literally lives underground, scientists
send him back to 1996, ostensibly to
save the planet. Cole must find the
Army of the 12 Monkeys, who suppos-
edly brought an unimaginable plague
upon 5-million people with the help of
a deadly virus.
Cole mistakenly ends up in a mental
institution in 1990, where he meets the
looniest toon ofall, Jeffrey Goines (Brad
Pitt), as well as psychiatrist Kathryn
Railly (Madeleine Stowe). The scien-
tiststhen sendColeto 1996, trustinghis
immense willpower and infallible
memory to get the job done. When he
inevitably partners-up with Railly, it
becomes them versus Goines and his
mysterious "army."
Through frequent shifts back and
forth across time, Cole's dream se-
quences and unpredictable character
twists, the story line gets increasingly
complex. In Gillian's playground of
the inane, Cole and Railly struggle to
distinguish between sane and insane,
good and evil and justice for self and
society. Essentially, Cole must decide
between saving the world or saving his
soul, which yearns to revel in nature
and Railly's love.
Ironically enough, Willis, Pitt and
Stowe provide mainstream appeal in a

film that is not exactly paint-by-num-
bers. Willis is surprisingly effective in
this role despite his "Die-Hard" repu-
tation. In a particularly moving scene,
Cole's normally icy eyes well up as he
relishes the sounds of Nat King Cole's
"Blueberry Hill." Willis successfully
captures the anguish of a man bound
by the confines of circumstance, un-
able to transcend his fate as a pawn in
the scientists' game.
Pitt's performance as the impish
nutcase Goines, however, is even more
impressive. As he rambles on and on to
Cole in the insane asylum, donning a
velour shirt over his hospital pajamas,
Pitt seems to truly enjoy portraying the
scrappy, wild-eyed leader of the "12
monkeys."
In a moment of the film's self-
parody, Goines screams "Monkey
Business!" in delight as Cole and other
hapless mental patients watch the Marx
brothers movie on television. Without
overdoing it, Willis and Pitt blend into
the film's already hyperbolic flow.
Stowe also does a fine job in her role
as Railly, Cole's relentlessly skeptical
yet deeply passionate love interest.
Railly's hope and Cole's despair
complement each other well. At one

eys'shines
point, Railly reminds Cole to stop and
"smell the flowers," to which Cole re-
sponds in exasperation, "What flow-
ers?!"When Railly's cool exterioreven-
tually fades, her chemistry with Cole
fuels the suspense - will they live
happily ever after?
Not quite. Never one for cookie-cut-
Willis captures the
anguish of a man
bound by theu
cofines of
circumstance.
ter clean endings, Gilliam halts the
hyper-kinetic motion of this film with
an unexpected conclusion. Although at
first it may seem like a cop-out way to
tie up loose ends, it is actually a fitting
finale to a relatively absurd string of
events. Without the somber final scene,
the film would have succumbed to for-
mula and softened its preceding impact.
"12 Monkeys" may not be a barrel of
laughs, but it is certainly worth the price

By Melissa Rose Bernardo
Daily Theater Editor
Though many critics and theater afi-
cionados argue the era of the AIDS play
has come and gone, there is always
room for drama like "Remember Me."
The honest, heartful love story of Jack-
son (David Burtka) and Marc (Randy
Kurstin) is enough to move even the
xREMEMBER ME (

(the young lovers, the lesbian pal, the
unforgiving mother, the jealous older
brother) are no strangers, and the dia-
logue is filled with cliches. Still, the
flashback structure provides a comfort-
able frame, with props providing smooth
transitions, and the' compatibility of
David Burtka and Randy Kurstin gives
the play much genuine emotional force.
Until Marc is gone. In an attempt to
portray Jackson's descent into self-de-
struction, "Remember Me" actually
self-destructs. The second act gets
bogged-down early with the eulogies,
repetitive monologues detailing events
we've already heard of or seen, a re-
corded montage of dialogue to the beat
of a heart-monitor, and that solemn
flute rendition of "Amazing Grace."
But then the play goes on to Jackson's
story - his drinking, his isolation. his
anger, etc. - and loses its emotional
pull.
After a few minutes, we stop feeling
for Jackson and begin feeling sorry for
Burtka, who has been saddled with this
immense burden. Though his physical-
ity was at times too much for the Net-

work space, Burtka wins major points
for carrying offagood half-hour's worth
of self-flagellating monologues, grief-
and alcohol-induced torrents of self-
pity, ranting and raving - the amount
of which rivals your average Eugene
O'Neill drama.
But by that time Patterson and
Pascaris have lost a good portion of
their audience, who are fidgeting rather
than empathizing, watching the clock
instead of the action. Long-winded
monologues bog the play down more
than once;as Marc's motherEllen,Erica
Dutton gets completely lost in her "it's
a sin-you-choose-to-be-this-way-this-
is-wrong-you-can-be-cured" lecture. In
general, however, the performers handle
the script and the structure with ease;
Ingrid Eggertsen is a strong presence as
Peggy, Jackson and Marc's mince-no-
words lesbian chum.
"Remember Me" is a good effort by
these young playwrights, and it un-
doubtedly achieves many of its goals.
The story of Jackson and Marc will not
be easily forgotten; would that the play's
difficulties be less memorable.

most hardened'90s theatergoer. If only
it stopped there.
"Remember Me" tells Jackson and
arc's story through flashbacks, as we
egin with Marc's sickness andprogress
to his death; after he flatlines, the rest of
the show remains in the present.
Though the writing is generally quite
solid, Ryan Patterson and Stephanie A.
Pascaris' play is neither completely
original nor unfamiliar; the characters
.. ' .1!1,

both a broad range, as well as a vulner-
able quality. This can be heard with the
mostpoignancy on "I Am SoOrdinairy,"
Cole's ode to the ex-girlfriend who
swears she will still "be the one who
will give when she's gone." The "she"
being the new girlfriend she feels like
"the morning after" in comparison. It is
this type of honesty that makes Cole's
music a personal journey for anyone
who has ever felt like an outsider to the
everyday intricacies of life.
Backed up by acoustic guitars and vio-
lins, Cole's voice displays a power all too
rare in many female musicians. "Harbin-
ger" carries off a very subtle sound that
never aims to overwhelm the listener.
Cole's ability to combine beat boxing and
vocals in several tracks makes her one
with her songs, as ifthere is no separation
between the lyrics and the music.
The album's sentiment is best illus-
trated in "Bethlehem," which is about a
1 6-year-old living in a town of "picket
fences, church at 10" whereshe's sim-
ply "tired of standing still tired of liv-
ing" though she still dreams of leaving.
This track is an accumulation of the
common hell of being a teen-ager and
small-town mediocrity.
The most personal exploration comes
in "She Can't Feel Anything Anymore,"
which tells ofthe trials of a rape victim.
Though this seems like heavy material
for musical entertainment, it is Cole's

storytelling technique that makes her
songs unique; in addition, it brings the
listener into the music as an observer,
finding a common experience.
- Shannon O'Neill
Faith Evans
Faith
Arista Records
Her name is Faith Evans, so don't call
her"Notorious B.I.G.'s wife." She didn't
ride to musical success on her husband's
back; she doesn't need to. And regardless
of the knock-downs the music business

dishes her, she will remain on her feet,
singing.
Found in "Faith" are a myriad of
excellent, first-rate songs that establish
Faith Evans as an artist to watch in the
nine-six. You've probably already heard
her seductive coos in "Soon as I Get
Home" or her duet with Mary J. Blige,
"Love Don't Live Here Anymore,"
where the two pour out their sorrowful
hearts. Her slightly hipper "No Other
Love" uses a softer version of the beats

Interview cool authors or directors.Write for
Books or Theater. Meet Dean and
Melissa.Come to the Mass meeting. Tonight.
420 Maynard St. 2nd Floor. 7:00. Be there.
Plan to attend the.
Multicultural Career
Conference
Tuesday, January 30, 1996
5:00pm - 9:00pm
Michigan Union
2nd floor
Connect with employers & graduate school representatives!
" Explore career options and internship opportunities
" Investigate graduate school options
* Arrange interviews for January 31
Make the most of the conference!
" Attend a pre-conference workshop to learn more about the event
* Use the Conference Briefing Books to review organization information
* Collect last minute tips from employers at the Sneak Preview -
January 30 (4:104:50)
Career Planningent

See RECORDS, Page 9

a I

Vd

Paula Cole contemplates her chin.
vraula Cole
Harbinger
Imago Recording Company
"Harbinger" is a 14-track testament
to the fact the female musician is alive
and well. She's also willing to show-
case lyrics about maternal guilt, stale
relationships and the trials of being an
intelligent female. '
Paula Cole's voice brings each track
Alive with its ability to capture the es-
*ence of unwavering honesty. It has

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