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April 10, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-10

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Ministrys
By Ted Watts
Daily Fine Arts Editor
Ministry has wriggled itself into the
hearts and minds ofagood many people
in this nation, not unlike the Kennedys
or tapeworms. But the band doesn't
know why that's happened, exactly. "I
don't .know what accumulates a 'fan
base,'" explained
bassist Paul MINISTRY
* ker. "Or what
makes people in- THE YOUN(
terested in music. Where: The State
Or the music we in Detroit.
do, specifically. When: Thursday
But it seems that p.m. Thursday's
we have a pretty Call TicketMast
hardcore follow-
ing, and we're thrilled about that, espe-
cially considering this album does not
nd like Psalm 69. Yet people are
WI buying it. We're happy that people
want to go where we take them."
The band's new album, "Filth Pig,"
is a fairly new rection for them. It's
both slower and simpler, while it re-

icIhTgaan ig

Thespians kick it at Shaman Drum ...
Always impressive Theater Prof. Ari Roth joins others from the
University's theater department to act out scenes from Roth's play "Oh,
the innocents," at 8 tonight at Shaman Drum Bookshop.

,A-WeWnesday
April 10, 1996

Psalm' offer
tains the essential elements ofMinistry's
music. A lot of people are wondering
why this is.
"I don't know. Because all of our fast
music we wrote over the past few years
just was so much more Psalm 69, and
we didn't want to do that. We weren't
interested in treading over well-trod-

WITH
G GODS
e Theater
and Friday at7
show is sold o
er at (810) 64

den ground, so to
speak. So we
threw those songs
out, and we're
wholly satisfied
with the music we
7:30 ended up with on
ut, this record, and
the fact that it's
slow is primarily

a byproduct of us not wanting to repeat
ourselves. I mean, we love fast music,
no question about it. It's just that I
consider albums to be a snapshot of a
band as it is at that time, and not the be
all end all," Barker said.
There's even a cover of Bob Dylan's
"Lay Lady Lay" on the new album to

s a change
give you an indication of the direction
Ministry has been going in recently.
"Al (vocalist Al Jourgensen) really
wanted to do the song, so we struggled
through it, and I think it's a good ar-
rangement and so forth. But it's not one
of my favorites on the record or any-
thing."
Barker has had a good long time to
consider what he likes about the album,
considering the inordinate amount of
time Ministry went without a new
record. "Yes it's true, it took a while for
us to get the record out. But, we've been
busy aside of that, maybe not musi-
cally, but we have lives. Yeah, I apolo-
gize for that because it's pretty pitiful
when a band can't put a record out in
three and a half years. That's the way
the ball bounces, I guess. I'm not happy
about it, but things happen for a reason,
and it happened with the record, so ..."
In addition to lives, band members
have had plenty of side projects, from
Lard to the Revolting Cocks. "Our side
projects are by and large inactive right
now. We've been concentrating on Min-
istry, and that's been a handful. When we
were doing all the side projects, it seems
like ... I don't know what to say. I guess
I want to say we were more capable of
being satisfied with what we were doing.
Perhaps less critical and therefore willing
to let things go."
And after such a long time slogging
through the music business, Barker
certainly deserves to be able to have
some easy work. But the time spent in
the trenches has soured him a bit on
the work going on in his genre. "It's
so narrowly defined. If it's industrial,
it's gotta sound like this. To me that
just is not interesting. The parameters
of what that music is, what will be
defined or could be defined as indus-
trial music is just so narrow. You
have to have blinders on, and to me
it's just not interesting. I love the
energy behind it, and the fact that
people are doing it, but musically, it's
just not challenging me personally. I
can only speak for myself, and only
want to speak for myself."
Well, it's all probably part of a natu-
ral evolution. And finally, it's even
bled over into the band's aesthetics.
"I'm so thrilled 'cause our crew has
long hair and the band doesn't, so we
hope everyone gets mistaken." Remem-
ber that at the concert.

"Look babe, the name is Chazz, not Chuckle. Call me Chuckle again, and I don't know what."
Chemad Chazzfal tosprke
TWO big stars can't save 'Faithful" from constantly dragging
By Christopher Corbett M azursky's direction, the visual movement of "Faithful,"
Daily Arts Writer comes off like smooth sailing during the hostage sequences.
Two minutes into "Faithful," Maggie (Cher) and her hus- He doesn't use quick cuts and choppy editing; in "Faithful,"
band dance at their wedding. Their faces appear fat and he often gives us one continuous, slow-moving shot that
contorted. The camera closes in on them. With the distorted follows them through the sandy, hardwood corridors of the
images, the pair not only seems uncomfortable with each enormous house. Cher's and Palminteri's arguments com-
other, but also remains indistinct to us. bine with the gliding pans and steady dollies ofthe camera for
We don't get an up-front, clear picture of the characters. some slick, lavish moments.
We don't know why the husband hires He may be a technical whiz, but
a hit man to pop his wife after 20 years R EVIEW Mazursky ("Enemies, A Love Story")
of marriage, except from the most basic sure dn't get the emotions of the film
of explanations: Cher, 40-ish, has that Faithful right. Too often, the characters are
not-so-fresh trait, whereas the husband's straight when they should be silly, and
assistant (emphasis on those first three silly when they should play it straight.
letters) is bouncy and bountiful. Directed by Paul Mazursky I Eventually, Palminteri calls his
We don't feel confused, though, as with Cher and shrink and tells him he is going to kill
the killer (Chazz Palminteri) ties Cher Chazz Palminteri Cher. The shrink only tells Palminteri
up and waits with his gun tucked under I he should have read "The Celestine
his belt for the phone to ring twice and At Showcase Prophecy," as he recommended. Be-
the husbandto secure an alibi: Not know- cause the shrink comes across as out-
ing much about the players propels the film. Does Cher tell landish, we don't take Palminteri's craziness, his murder-
the killer a few sad stories about herself to seem more human ous side, seriously anymore either. We don't feel tension.
so he won't kill her, or because she feels lonely? Is she lying Instead, we see he can't do the brutal job; we see he can't
or sincere? We try to find some hint. We watch her, looking tear Cher's clothing, rape her and put a bullet in the back
for some revealing sideways glance or move of the hand: of her head.
Cher, not desperate but literally laid back and subdued in a Likewise, the seriousness of the ending - the husband
chair, holds our attention. comes home - works our nerves because the strained--
The relationship between victim (we get high-angle shots husband and wife really want to shoot each other: Mazursky
pointed down at Cher, revealing her helplessness) and domi- gives us anger and hatred at a time when he should have tried
nator (Palminteri hovers over us, glaring down, letting us feel for more playfulness.
his control) becomes perhaps the most enjoyable part of the The smoothness of the film wears thin after awhile: The
film. Waiting for the signal in boredom, Palminteri scares her confrontational climax, a long-winded argument, seems to
a little when he describes how he dissociates himself from his last for 40 days and 40 nights. Watching "Faithful" is like
murderous job -"I follow them, I watch them, I get inside having someone feed you grapes: You feel pampered, but if
their mind; I see theirmurder in my mind and then I do it." We someone is rude and keeps stuffing them down your throat,
can feel the energy between the two as they play back and you reach the point where you just want to grab the grapes
forth off each other. and smash them in the person's face with, "Enough!"

Everyone's favorite sacred musicians - Mi
Cast of'Les
Erin Crowley
or the Daily
Playwright Eugene lonesco once
wrote, "the unusual can spring only
from the dullest and most ordinary daily
routine and from our everyday prose,
when pursued beyond their limits."
Director Jen Kuhn's production of
ionesco's "The Lesson" in the Arena
Theater this past _-
weekendmighthave t
irted with the lim-
of the ordinary, y m!T
but never quite man-
aged to push past
those margins. As a
result, the play re- --- -
mained confined to the plane ofthe "usual"
and, in the end, flattened rather than ani-
mated the chilling rifts in this piece of
absurdist theater.
The title of lonesco's play, "The Les-
n," first produced in Paris in 1951,
qggests routine. A young woman arrives
at a professor's home for a tutorial. The
circumstances of the tutorial become im-
mediately suspect when the professor
commences the arithmetic portion of the
lesson with the question, "What do one
and one make?" As the professor ex-
claims his approval at the pupil's correct
answer, the mundane begins to masquer-
ade for the extraordinary. Let the
ofessor's zealous praise be our first
'ruing that this play intends nothing
less than to push the banality of this
arithmetic lesson well beyond its limits.
As we find out soon enough, the
elementary exercises of adding and sub-
tracting-which elicit inordinate praise
when performed correctly - invoke a
disquieting menace when miscalcu-
lated. The pupil's failure to compre-
hend the principles of subtraction sends
Ae professor into a mounting fury of
Tustration and of sadistic illustrations
"You have two ears .... I nibble one
off. How many do you have left?"
From here, the lesson transforms into
After all th ' -

son' has much to learn

nothing less than an interrogation of
torturous proportions as the professor's
fierce, tautological quizzes ofthepupil's
command of philology paralyzes her in
a spell ofhelpless agony. He has trapped
her so completely in his cruel imagina-
tion that to give the final fatal blow, he
simply crafts the image of a knife with
his words and sacrificially stabs her
through. The maid
REVIEW as our informant,
we discover that
he Lesson this sadistic ritual
Arena Theater happens every
hour- each time
April 5, 1996 a new pupil rings
for the professor.
While Kuhn's choice to open the
play with the maid methodically clean-
ing the wreckage of the professor's
book-strewn office effectively estab-
lished this playing space as a war-torn
battlefield, the motion lacked urgency
and set a tone of complacency which
crept into the dragging momentum of
the rest of the production.
Beth Shaw's portrayal of the preco-
cious, vivacious pupil who has arrived for
her first lesson with the professor lacked
the subtly of expression and easy vulner-
ability needed to keep the dynamic be-
tween her and the professor alive and
compelling in its many mutations.
As the saving fixture ofthe production,
Troy Sill-the distracted, ostensibly shy

professor - endowed his character with
the kind of quirks and emotional realness
needed to restore dimensionality to the
production. His appropriately understated
speech and ever-mounting vigorpeppered
the dramatic movement of the play with
variety and even added a hint of the
humor. Sill's comic pacing as he com-
manded his pupil to perform her addition
tables brilliantly strummed the ironic fu-
tility of this mundane ritual. However, as
Sill's tongue sharpened and quickened,
Shaw remained utterly unaltered by his
stinging words. The pupil's toothache-
the pain of his words made manifest -
rather than causing her to shrink in agony
as the professor sapped the life from her,
became only a gratuitous distraction.
The sexual dynamic Kuhn tried to de-
velop in the final moments of the murder
fell flat, as Shaw never fully surrendered
herself to the seductive torture of the
professor's language. Sill found himself
twisted in the spokes of his own elocution
as he valiantly but unsuccessfully tried to
save the dramatic crescendo of what be-
came a one-man show.
In the final moments of the produc-
tion, as the grandfather clock ticked and
signaled the return to a kind of artificial
order "in a world that now seems all
illusion and pretense - in which all
human behavior tells ofabsurdity," this
particular production, unfortunately,
became its own exercise in banality.

Free stuff from the new 'Kids in the Hall'
movie, 'Brain Candy!"
Everything from real 'Brain candy' to the shirts off our backs! (And you can
see the new 'Kids in the Hall' flick for free.) Mmm ... "Brain Candy." It's
that time again, folks. You know what we're talking about - ENTER TO
WIN time!!!! Just stop by the Daily Arts office (2nd floor of the Student
Publications Building, 420 Maynard St.) between 12 noon and 5 p.m.
today toenter. Put your name in the box to receive some prettyhcool (and
did we mention FREE?) prizes and passes for that new Kids in the Hall
movie "Brain Candy." We've got plenty of'stuff for you - CDs, shirts,
tongue depressors (how can you skip out on this one?) and even
depression medication (actually, they're only jellybeans). And if you're
lucky, you'll be at Showcase on opening night, this Friday, with your free
tickets, laughing at the people who have to pay, Remember, supplies are
limited ... so get here!

O F

YAM P I ONS
STUDY ABROAD!

London..................$504
Paris.............................610
Madrid ....... .........738

" Unmatched academic programs
" Internships with world-class firms
" Business courses in three countries
* Generous grants and scholarships

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