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March 20, 1996 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-20

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

*1p enence
fy Kaisten 4kosky
Daily Ats Writer
lt is a rare movie that uses every
moment of screen time to its maximum
potential. "Angels & Insects," based on
the ndvella "Mor ho Eugenia" by A.S.
Byati; is just such a film.
Itis the story of William Adamson, a
poor naturalist returning from the Ama-
zonto England in 1858. On the way
home,:he is shipwrecked, and all the
notes and specimens from his expedi-
tionae lost.
William is taken in by the wealthy
* atrol; Sir Harald Alabaster, who
shares'tis interest in the sciences and
planis to write a book. While living on
the estate, William falls in love with
Alabaster's beautiful daughter
Eugenia who, surprisingly, agrees to
niarry him.
On the surface, their marriage is
'fine: They have a good sex life and
severa-l children together, but they
*main emotionally distant. William
suspects that Eugenia may be hiding
some mysterious secret, and the'plot,
slowly and subtly, moves toward its
"Angels & Insects" is an extremely
beautiful film. In the opening credits, a
tribaldlance in the Amazon gradually
dissolves into a waltz at the Alabaster
'estate. Brightly painted, naked bodies
become the fancy dresses of the En-
glish aristocrats. Haas draws striking
isual, parallels between the two so-
REvIEw 1
Angels and
Directed by Philip Haas,
with Mdrk Rylance and
Kristin Scott Thomas
F At Ann Arbor 1 & 2'
'called"primitive" and "civilized" cul-
With its slow, deliberate pace, the
filmitself is choreographed like an
elaborate waltz. No action is superflu-
ous. or wasted, and eicli'shof is care-
fully:designed so it resembles a beauti-
' l photograph or painting.
In an attempt to win Eugenia's heart,
William invites her into the observa-

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 20, 1996 - 9

... .... ...0 ... - 'i .. - . . .I , .. .. , - .,

Comedy troupe thrives at'U' Club
Without A Net entertains audiences every Wednesday

By Karen Sommer
For the Daily
"We're on fire, don't you forget.
"With breath so hot, you'll need
"We're burnin' rubber like a Cor-
"We face the world without a net!"
Not only are these lyrics from one of
Without A Net's most recent improv
shows, but they aptly describe the
University's hottest and only improvi-
sational comedy troupe. While I didn't

posium, when an audience-member
wrote a quote about the Death Star from
Star Trek. We were so coherent," said
rookie Marni Raitt.
Audience members participate
throughout the show and attendance
has grown in this semester alone. "Our
audience has gone from 60 to 70 to 100.
Surprisingly, our Valentine's Day show
brought in the biggest audience," Raitt
noted. "The audience has fun watching
us create on a whim and we come up
with some great shit," Gilliam mused.
While the troupe's goal is to make
the audience laugh, "the core of it is that
we enjoy doing it," said member Joe
Lacey. "The troupe is constantly build-
ing and clicking off of each other on
stage," explained producer Erik Olsen.
In order to think up instantaneous com-
edy sketches while speaking in gibber-
ish or constructing a scene around a
human slide show, "you must com-
pletely trust who you are on stage with,"
shared Raitt.
As the director, Gilliam has the job of
assigning players to parts each week.
"Other than specific attributes, as

Steve's tradition of physical comedy or
(member) Gordon Eick's phenomenal
musical talents, the cast is so inter-
changeable that I'm confident putting
anyone in any part," Gilliam said.
"There is a level of confidence in the
group, that anyone could jump in at
anytime and the skit would still be great
or even better," seconded Lacey.
"The funniest moments come from
mass chaos of everyone on stage," Eick
remarked. "The troupe as a whole is a star
- the comedians don't try to be stars
themselves," said Olsen, explaining why
the group works so well together. "Also,
these are not intimidating people. They
are great, supportive people," expressed
member Barbara Liss.
Without A Net hopes to establish
itself as a University icon, having the
same level of recognition as Amazin'
Blue and the Friars, two University-
sponsored musical groups. With many
of its members graduating in the spring,
the group hopes to perpetuate with a
new crop of comedians. In the mean-
time though, these comedians are ready
to light your night on fire.

"Hey Patsy, I loved ya in "Lethal Weapon 2." Wanna stroke my beard? I want to
stroke yours!"

smell any burnin' rubber during my
time spent with the troupe, member and
former circus performer Steve Kime's
fire-breathing warmed me up for the
upcoming show this Wednesday night.
Two years ago, when the director of
the campus-based improv comedy
group, Highly Improbable, approached
Bob Gilliam about starting another
group, Gilliam had no idea thatthis new
group would bloom into "a cohesive
group of funny actors pulling in crowds
of 100 people." Originally deemed
"most likely not to be paying attention
while the director is speaking," Gilliam
now directs Without A Net. When
Highly Improbable's castmovedto New
York City to begin its professional ca-
reer, Without A Net began its collegiate
one. Modeledafter Highly Improbable's
format of improvisational comedy, this
six-member cast holds court in the
Michigan Union's U-Club weekly.
Without A Net structures their show
around various theater games, such as
Symposium. The group asks the audi-
ence to write down their favorite movie
quotes and they build an impromptu
scene around the randomly selected
quotes. "Our best skit came out of Sym-

tory. He lets loose a swarm of butter-
flies, which flutter around her and land
in the folds of her ornate dress. In this
scene, Eugenia resembles a butterfly,
or even an angel. This is only one of
many breathtaking images the movie
has to offer.
In contrast, when Lady Alabaster
dies, the funeral procession is pre-
sented in an aerial shot of small, black
figures slowly marching along a wind-
ing path. They, unmistakably, re-
semble insects.
"Angels & Insects" engages the au-
dience with serious themes and ideas,
often a rarity in film these days. The
symbolism connecting human society
and insect life is obvious, but never
simplistic. It can be read on many lev-
els, including the conflict of nature/
nurture, class divisions and male/fe-
male relations.
I a touching scene, Sir Alabaster
confesses his dilemma of growing up
believing in angels, and, with Dar-
win, being forced to accept that hu-

man beings are only part of a con-
stantly evolving creation. He struggles
between acceptance of this fact and a
lingering feeling that something holy
still distinguishes the human race from
other animals.
The acting in this film is impeccable.
Mark Rylance plays William with a
quiet, intelligent reserve that makes his
occasional emotional breakthroughs all
the more powerful.
Kristin Scott Thomas plays Matty
Crompton, a poor relative of the Ala-,
basters who becomes the friend and
intellectual equal that he lacks in
Eugenia. With a fairly calm perfor-
mance, she is able to convey the sharp
wit, strong ambition and deep emotions
that lie beneath Matty's surface.
Patsy Kensit also does a good job
giving the spoiled Eugenia a human,
sympathetic dimension.
All in all, there doesn't seem to be a
single, negative thing to say about"An-
gels and Insects." It is a great movie
that is certainly well worth your time.

The players of Without A Net practive their wild antics. JI, uaiy

Continued from Page 8
Various Artists
Planet Dub
Mammoth / Planet Dog
"Planet Dub," a two disc compilation
of various U.K. dub artists, is a tad incon-
sistent, but nevertheless a worthwhile lis-

ten. While the genre that was the prede-
cessor to trip-hop and jungle may or may
not stand for "deeply unobtrusive beats,"
one thing is for certain: The simple, laid-
back bass and drum loops are often quite
rich. Although the rhythms are too re-
laxed and spacey for dancing, they are
great to have playing when hanging out,
living out the Cheech and Chong lifestyle
or simply doing homework.
Disc one is highlighted by Silicon
Drum's "Dubkiss," Childrenofthe Bong's

"Underwater Dub" and Astralasia's
"Bongwater Dub-Kissing the Toad."
Unlike Disc one, the second disc hasno
throwaway tracks. Eat Static's "Freedom
Ridge" and Alien Progeny's "Sadhana
Dub" are populated with loony, but damn
cool programmed sound effects encir-
cling the rhythm. Other tops songs: on
Disc two are Full Moon Scientist's "Lu-
nar Base Dub" and Alpha and Omega's
"David and Goliath."
- Aaron Rennie

- __________ __

Be sure to deck Qut our annual showcase of warm weather cloting in tomorrow's Daily.
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You must not have a history of:
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You must not:
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Payment for completing this study is $2,422.00.
For more information, please call Ann or Barb at (313) 996-7051,
Mon. - Fri., 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.,
Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis, Community Research Clinic,
2800 lymouth Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105.


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