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April 10, 1996 - Image 8

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

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 10, 1996

Lush, surreal 'City' is a feast for the senses

By Ted Watts
Daily Fine Arts Editor
Two words: Visually lush. "The City
of Lost Children" is the most beautiful
film to have hit the screens in a long
time. Well, at least since the last project
by its makers, "Delicatessen."
The movie is a surrealistic story: It
begins with ashot ofa stylized snowman
through a window and pulls back to
reveal a kid at Christmas. The scene
degenerates into a nightmare about se-
rial Santas coming into the house.
As it turns out, what has been shown
is a dream being stolen from a child by
the evil scientist Krank (Daniel
Emilfork). He can't dream properly him-
self because he was made improperly.
Oh, did I mention he was genetically

engineered, like his six clone servants
(all playedby Dominique Pinon), dwarf
housekeeper and disembodied, mi-
graine-riddled brain, Irvin (who bears
a striking resemblance to HAL at times)?
As the film moves along, a circus
strongman named One (Ron Perlman)
has his adopted little brother kidnapped
by the Cyclops, a group of fanatics who
blind themselves to escape the world of
appearances. The group then kidnaps
children to trade to Krank and his en-
tourage for cybernetic eyes. As One
searches for his brother, he encounters
a ring of orphans who steal for their
Siamese twin boss, known as Octopus.
Specifically, One becomes attached to
a seasoned 9-year-old girl named Miette
(Judith Vittet).

REVIEW
The City of
Lost Children

Directed by Jean-Pierre
Jeunet; with Ron Perlman
and Dominique Pinon
At Ann Arbor 1&2
The events progress in an oddly con-
nected way. A couple of scenes in this
process occur very swiftly. One involves
a series of 14 events, ranging from a bird
pooping to a ship being unable to see
properly; this createsarandom, self-feed-

ing loop of action. And that's a pretty
good metaphor for the way the entire
movie rolls along; people have chance
encounters that ultimately lead to what
they were trying to get to all along. Very
neat and tidy.
The movie takes place in a univefse
not so very different from our own. It
has Santa Clauses, trash cans and cops
that look like they do here. But it also
has a sky that never brightens, toxic,
green ocean water and post-apocalyp-
tic water structures - plus, cyborgs,
clones and disembodied brains.
The instances of unreality that are net-
ertheless anchored firmly somewhere-in
our reality give the film a fairy tale qua
ity. Just as the movie opens with a dream,
the whole enterprise is dreamlike. Andso
the movie has a magic that allows total
suspension ofdisbeliefand acceptance of
its various ideas.
The cast adds to the surreal quality of
the picture. Perlman is probably best
known for his role as the Beast in TV's
"Beauty and the Beast," but his own
features are drawn out and formed in
such away that they fit in very well with
the film's abnormal look. Pinon, who
plays at least seven roles in the film,
also has an unreal look about him. These
instances are contrasted by the adult
ordinariness of Vittet, making them
seem even more odd. The casting is
simply excellent.
The film also has some beautiful tech-
nical work. The clones, all played by
Pinon, interact seamlessly.Itseemslike
the clones are played by a real set of
sextuplets. With the addition of some
beautiful animation of dream essence
and Fleakins, a master assassin flea, the
film is almost as mythical in execution
as in story.
"The City of Lost Children" is a fine
piece of entertainment. Disappear to
this side of blindness for awhile.

Dog's Eye View is just plain silly. Yes, indeedle-o.

Dogs Eye View sets its
sights on the big time

Daniel Emilfork and Dominique Pinon star in "The City of Lost Children."

By Tyler Brubaker
For the Dailyl
It's 1996. You have to be careful. If
you don't watch out, you'll end up a
statistic. It's downright scary. MTV
may try to tell you that everybody's
into it, but all they care about is money.
They couldn't care if you get hurt in
the process. It happens all of the time,
probably to people you know. They
start off small, maybe with a Bush
CD. No harm done, but before they
know it, they end up with a collection
full of
Silverchairs, Del DOG'S EYE'
Amitris and yes,
even Hooties. Where: The Sanct
Well,kidswill be When: Tonight atE
kids, but every once Call (810) 338-28
in a while they get more information.,
lucky and MTV
throws them a bone and promotes some
worthwhile music. Dog's Eye View is
the latest bone. Lead singer Peter Stuart
had some kind things to say about his
new pimp: "(MTV) is like a big na-
tional radio station; it helps get the
music out there, and I'm a big fan of
anything that gets music to people."
And when you've got a hook like Dog's
Eye View's latest single "Everything
Falls Apart" has, people's heads are
bound to turn.
For Stuart, it's not the gimmicks and
buzz bins that sell records, it's the mu-
sic. "Forme, it all comes down to songs.
Either you have good songs or you
don't. Whether those songs are couched
in Marshall guitar amps or couched in
acoustic guitars, it doesn't really matter
so much. ... For me, if people like the
song, they wanna go buy the record,
then we're rockin', and if they don't,
they don't."
Easy to say for a band who's only a

w
lun
N

few steps away from Alanis on most
playlists, but after listening to Dog's
Eye View's debut effort "Happy No-
where," you might actually believe he's
telling you the truth. "Happy Nowhere"
travels the long and winding road from
dark and brooding to upbeat and quirky,
all done with a brutal honesty. Then
again, aren't there a lot of bands out
there trying to do the same thing? *
Stuart puts his money where his mu-
sic is. "People are still gonna react to it
or not. People hear a song on the radio
A& and I don't think
VIEW they go, 'Oh that
sounds like Dave
um in Pontiac. Matthews' or 'Oh
8 o'clock, that sounds like
28 for this.' I think they
go, 'Oh I like this
song' or 'Oh I
don't."' Still, with a lot of singe*
songwriter types out there, compari-
sons are bound to be made. But once
again, Stuart puts his trust in the music:
"Too many people worry about a stigma
with (being a singer/songwriter). I'd
ratherbe consideredthat than atalentless.
bastard."
If songs are what Dog's Eye View is
all about, then live shows must be like
heaven. "We're gonna go for it (live
and give it everything we have. It'd ba
a big pile of shit to go out there and just
kinda sing songs unless I'm fully into it
and fully for real every night, then I
wouldn't see any point in touring. I'd
just put out records." Dog's Eye View
again makes their case for music of the
people, for the people, by the people.
There's always room for bands making
honest music with a good hook here and
there-and you never know, ifthe lead
singer's cute, you might just see 'em i
the buzz bin.

Babylon Zoo
The Boy With the X-Ray Eyes
EMI
OK kids, are you ready for dance
music with a message? Well, even if
you are, steer clear of Babylon Zoo
and their annoying political/spiritual
ROADWAY PACKAGE SYSTEM
PACKAGE HANDLERS
PERFECT FOR
COLLEGE STUDENTS
Saving for tuition?
Find part-time work,
Year-round at RPS!
Roadway Package System, a
small package delivery service,
hires package handlers to
load and unload package vans
and semi-trailers. If you
are not afraid of hard work,
are at least 18 years old
and want to work 4-5 hours
rner dav. Mon.-Fri. we can

rantsset tomusic.Jas Mann,theZoo's
ringleader, has unleashed an album
whose single "Spaceman" has topped
almost every chart in the world ex-
cept the good old U.S. of A's. How-
ever, since Babylon Zoo is Britisl
and almost every Brit group of note
except Oasis (and to a lesser extent,
Elastica) has failed to make ripples
across the pond, we'll probably be
spared Zoomania.
Unlike most of those other British
groups, though, Babylon Zoo is well
worth ignoring. "The Boy With the X-
Ray Eyes" is filled with "anthemic"
lyrics like "There's a fire between us/
So where is your god?/I can't get off the
carousel," lots of wibbling keyboard4
tired dance beats, grungy guitars and
alien/chipmunk voices, all of which mix
like lemon juice and milk on "Space-
man."
While"Spaceman"isn't the only song
on "The Boy With The X-Ray Eyes,"
it's one of the best of a bad lot. It's hard
to tell which is worse about Babylon
Zoo -the turgid music or the dogmatic
lyrics.
You see, Jas is an angry Mann
He's angry not only about religion
and erm, carousels, but also the fash-
ion industry ("Paris Green"), the gov-
ernment ("Confused Art"), drugs-
("Caffeine") and the quiet despera-,
tion ofthe modern existence ("Is Your

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