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November 25, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-25

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

MMEMMMW'

UrjeAiclulia 1t

A bug's point of view
Hey, Insects have feelings too! And in the new, remarkable film.
"Microcosmos you can take a look at the world from a whole new
perspective - that of a miniscule creepy-crawly. Painstakingly filmed
over the course of many years, the movie looks deep into the small
world of some of our favorite (or hated) critters in nature. The film runs
this week at the Michigan Theater. Tonight's show is at 7:30.

Monday
November 25, 1996

5A

*Where no 'Trek' has gone before
8th installment in film series takes psychological themes into warp drive

By Prashant Tamaskar
Daiy Arts Writer
The story of "Star Trek: First Contact" -
e eighth installment in the "Trek" film series
is pretty simple.
Although "Star Trek" knowledge does help
in understanding the film's plot and themes, it
is .not essential. The
Borg, an evil race of
drones, travels back to R E
the 21st century. St
Arriving on the day
before the first contact
between Earth and living
eings from another At
linet, the Borg attempts
to assimilate humans into its race. Defying

V
Br,

als must still occur, or the course of history will
be altered.
Granted, the "Back to the Future"-esque plot
is a bit hokey. But it ends up working because
it allows a more interesting psychological bat-
tle to take center stage. The triangular conflict
involves the queen of the Borg (Alice Krige),
Captain Picard and his
loyal android Data
JI E W (Brent Spiner), who is
Trek: First captured by her majesty.
Data's desire to be more
human is granted by the
** female Borg, with
arwood and Showcase intriguing results. The
queen seductively teases
Data to the point that his attraction to her is
nearly as strong as his devotion to Picard. She
is, however, really using Data to get at Picard
- who escaped from her grasp once before.
The sexual tension between the three char-
acters is one of the true strengths of the film.
Thoughtfully presented by Director Jonathan
Frakes (Riker), both Data's and Picard's rela-
tionships with the queen are full of contradic-
tions obvious in their eyes and mannerisms.
The heroes both hate and love her; they are
both repulsed and intrigued by her; they both.

want to kill and join her. This is all believable
because of the wonderful performance of
Krige as the Borg leader. She is the epitome of
an irresistible wicked temptress.
Along with the idea of desire, the film also
does a nice job of addressing the theme of
revenge. "First Contact" alludes to "Moby
Dick" in presenting the Borg as the whale to
Picard's Ahab. The mild-mannered captain is
obsessed with defeating his enemies to the
point that he cannot make logical decisions
that, in the long term, would benefit everyone.
The psychological warfare is the centerpiece
of the movie because of Frakes' choice to
spread the action scenes throughout the story.
The characters think, then they act; conse-
quently, the excitement doesn't seem quite so
contrived.
Although I must admit that I initially react-
ed to "First Contact" with a bit of skepticism
(as I do with every new "Star Trek" film), my
preconceptions were proved to be foolish. The
film is a thoughtful, exciting feature with
high-tech sets and interesting characters. In
fact, I enjoyed it so much that I'm sort of
looking forward to seeing the next movie in
the series. Just don't expect me to start watch-
ing the TV show. 6

orders, the crew of the Starship Enterprise, led
by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart),
sets out to stop their enemies from transform-
ing more organisms into cyborgs.
Picard, who himself was once wooed by the
Borg and its enticing queen, has revenge on his
mind. But the bad guys manage to penetrate
the Enterprise and they are poised to take over
the ship and the Earth, if Picard and his crew
*an't stop them. At the same time, the initial
encounter between humans and extraterrestri-

Captain Picard
(Patrick Stewart)
finds a lover
(above); Riker
(Jonathan
Frakes) and
LaForge (LeVar
Burton) search
for some Klingons
on Uranus.

Bob Dylan sets 'U'
ablaze with moving
'ill performance

MUSKET's 'Cabaret'
mixes emotions

By Rick Stachura
For the Daily
"There's still so much to be done,
Bob Dylan must have thought to him-
self backstage while paging through his
mind before going on stage at Hill
uditorium last Thursday night.
On stage, a 19-year-old named
Kenny Wayne Shepherd was shredding
his guitar in the spotlight, furiously rip-
ping notes as if Stevie Ray Vaughn were
suddenly reincarnated and waiting
inside his body to be freed. But not to
be overshadowed,
Jimi Hendrix
must have out- R1
wrestled Vaughn
or control of the
young blues gui-
tarist's final song.
For when the fin-
ishing strains of
"Voodoo Child" screamed over the
crowd, the air was ablaze with a similar
buzz: "Who are we watching? Isn't that
Jimi?" And as Shepherd slowly turned
from the stage, Dylan must have
smiled.
But there was work to be done, and it
vas time to go.
Looking more like Hank Williams or
Woody Guthrie in his straw hat, country
black jacket and gray leather pants than
the 'Blood on the Tracks" rocker of the
recent past, Dylan slipped onstage to
thunderous applause. Backed by his
baud consisting of John Jackson (gui-
tar), Tony Gamier (bass), Bucky Baxter
(pedal steel, lap steel, dobro, electric
V andolin and guitar) and David
(nper (drums), Dylan appeared
slightly displaced within the country
mtsic atmosphere. And there wasn't a
trace of his signature harmonica.
IBut once he stepped up to the micro-
ptione with his eyes practically in his

pockets, there was no mistaking that
this was Bob Dylan: His two opening
songs came complete with raspy vocals
and nearly unintelligible lyrics running
circles around all who fought to listen.
Dylan must have sensed the crowd's
frustration and, not wanting to have any
causalities of music, drove into a ver-
sion of "All Along the Watchtower"
that came with a painfully constructed
jam session that featured Dylan playing
lead guitar. Each of his movements
were intentionally slow: Each lift of his

EVIEW

Bob Dylan
Hill Auditorium
Nov. 21, 1996

leg or bend of his
back was a path
to his soul, trying
to spill all that it
could.
Then there
came "Silvio,"
which enlivened

the crowd and
called a girl from the front row to
incense the singer. She climbed onstage
and pinwheeled around Dylan, who
probably figured she wouldn't be the
last. So he backed away from the micro-
phone and allowed her to dance.
After her show, Dylan donned his
acoustic and reached deep into the past
to strum 1964's "The Lonesome Death
of Hattie Carroll" as pictures of
Carroll flickered behind on the wall of
the stage. But he'd only begun. Dylan
paid tribute to the Grateful Dead and
honored Jerry Garcia by playing a
flawless version of "Friend of the
Devil," which gave some dancers a
reason to climb to the stage and shim-
my at will. The crowd caught the spir-
it and Dylan responded with a bluesy
dose of his "Tangled Up in Blue."
Sprawling with energy, the center
aisles nearest to the stage began to
flood with teenagers, each wanting a
chance to touch or to kiss Dylan, a

By Evelyn Miska
For the Daily
Within the world of musical theater,
shows often have a tendency to be light
and carefree. Little attention is paid to
earth-shaking events, and even less
attention is paid to politics. This is
where "Cabaret" strays from the main-
stream.
Correctly labeled a "dark musical,"
MUSKET's latest production,
"Cabaret." confronts ideas and situa-,
tions commonly found in Berlin in the
1920s and '30s. Love in hard times, the
rise of the Nazi regime and anti-
Semitism all work together to create
this unique show. Yet there are numer-
ous questions that
must be faced
when dealing RI
with themes such
as these. How
does a director
deal with such
subjects in a deli-
cate manner?
How does one get a message across
without creating an uncomfortable
atmosphere'?
T. Adam Hess and his talented com-
pany managed to deal with these issues.
They touched the audiences' hearts
while at the same time managed to deal
with a delicate topic.
Much of the action is set in the Kit
Kat Klub, a Berlin cabaret, which also
acts as a symbol of the Nazi regime.
The Kit Kat girls shimmy their way
around the club, oblivious to all that is
going on around them. Things then take
a drastic change for the worse at the end
when they are forced to face a changing
Germany.
Opening the show is the wonderfully
sleazy Master of Ceremonies, played by
Nick Sattinger. Oozing his way from
scene to scene, Sattinger managed to
send chills down one's back as well as
inspired laughter at his outrageous
antics. Thoroughly delightful in the
song and dance "Two Ladies,"
Sattinger's charismatic personality was
portrayed perfectly.

The plot went on to wind itself
around the characters of writer Cliff
Bradshaw (Michael Short) and actress
Sally Bowles (Heather Freisleben).,
Freisleben flung herself into her role,
making Sally frivolous, outrageous and
extraordinary. Charming the audience
as well as charming Cliff, Freisleben"
delivered her role with finesse. Short
played a somewhat subdued Cliff,
whose anger and passion are seen only
for fleeting moments. Supposedly furi-
ous at the events and ideas surrounding
him, Short's character never quite con-
vinced the audience of his feelings.

Intertwining I
story wereI
EVIEW
Cabaret
Power Center
Nov. 22, 1996

Robert Zimmerman (a.k.a. Bob Dylan, pictured in 1967) performed at Hill
Auditorium last Thursday night.

themselves into the
Fratlein Schneider
(Margaret
Magee) and Herr
Schultz (Gabe
Goldman).
Handling a diffi-
cult role with
ease, Magee cre-
ated a wonderful

nominee for the 1997 Nobel Prize in
Literature.
But what was he doing? Dylan
recalled his electric guitar and sang
about it in "When I Paint My
Masterpiece," sliding into "Stuck Inside
of Mobile with the Memphis Blues
Again" that featured all of one verse
and an extended improv section full of
girls rushing the stage and locking the
singer into kisses from all directions.
Dylan neither smiled nor winced and
continued into "Highway 61 Revisited."
It was maimed into a verse as the
Grateful Dead dancers returned, flutter-
ing about until Dylan had to seek refuge
and ended the jam.
When he came back he struck up

just a verse of "Like a Rolling Stone,"
sang it to the first girl that conquered
security, then let all the stage rushers
have their way with the lyrics: "How
does it feel to be on your own / Like a
complete unknown?" Dodging the
chaos, Dylan left and returned to light-
ly chastise the crowd with an acoustic
lash of "It Ain't Me, Babe," but it did-
n't work for long.
Retaking the stage after yet another
departure, Dylan launched into his
encore, "Rainy Day Women," without a
destination. He played without words.
He played with conviction. He played
until we all got too tired to dance. He
handed his guitar pick to the nearest fan
aid then vanished with the night.

F r a U 1 e i n
Schneider. She was able to break hearts
with her difficult decision not to marry
Herr Schultz. Likewise, Goldman made
the audience want to laugh, especially
with his song "Meeskite," and then cry
with him for his lost love.
A chilling Ernst Ludwig (Barret Foa)
manages to slam the production into
serious issues when the audience dis-
covers he is a member of the Nazi party.
Yet this did not cause the song
"Tomorrow Belongs to Me" to be any
less breathtaking.
Tackling such topics as the Nazi
regime is never easy, and perhaps it is
even harder in musicals. But MUSKET
managed to deal with such difficult situ-
ations, and still satisfy the audience's
desire for a theatrical performance,
Director Hess did an admirable job of
dealing with difficult topics even in the
medium of musical theater. If Hess' goal
was to have the audience remember the
events of the past, this objective was def,
initely achieved. A complex and unusu,
ally dark musical, "Cabaret" offers '
constructive message for all of us.

NWA strikes back with new 'Greatest Hits' collection

NWA
NWA Greatest Hits
Priority / Ruthless
When five unknown brothas from
Compton began rapping together
back in '86, who would've
Messed that they would be lead-
rs of a revolution. It is no news
that Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren,
DJ Yella and founder Eazy E -
under the collective title Niggaz
With Attitude - sparked the rise of
gangsta (and, later, hardcore) rap music,
and raised West Coast hip-hop to a level of

(who have both released solo projects) have gone
nowhere trying to make it on their own. Nevertheless,
the importance of the once-almighty NWA to modern-
day rap can never be overstated.
Thus the birthing of an "NWA Greatest
Hits" should come as no surprise.
Featuring such memorable songs as
"Straight Outta Compton," "Real
Niggaz Don't Die" and "Alwayz
into Something," this CD recre-
ates the imagery of controversy
..''and scandal which surrounded
NWA.
NWA was constantly demonized
by everyone from the media to politi-
cians to the police for its roughneck atti-
tude and honest portrayal of America's treatment

mosity, support and anger hurtled at them after the
release of hit single "Fuck Tha Police" in '91. This
song - the cornerstone of NWA's explicitly contro-
versial nature - is no less the cornerstone of this
album.
NWA's power was in members' ability to put into
words the unspoken hurt, anger and rage many
African Americans felt then and now. While group
members were constantly labeled as ignorant and
disrespectful, the truth stands that NWA did what
few were able or willing to. They spoke of a harsh
reality in America's underside that many would pre-
fer to pretend is nonexistent, and they demanded
accountability from those (e.g. politicians and
police) who - quite opposite to their promise to
work for a better society for ALL Americans - were
often a major factor in keeping down many black

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