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September 09, 1996 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-09

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 9, 1996 - 9A

%TRATFORD
Continued from Page 8A
environment, proving to be a problem
for many directors. While the structure
of the writing calls for a madcap romp,
to play it traditionally is sure to create
an unpleasant reaction in the audience.
Fortunately Stratford has Marti
araden, whose answer is to go against
e writing and create a darker feel that,
though still a comedy, causes a deeper
reaction in the audience than the typical
happy ending. Creating a feel for the
times, Maraden sets the story in the
Venice of the 1930s, a time period that
evokes memories of Hitler and
Mussolini. Large, imposing sets by
Phillip Silver, a dark score by Louis
Applebaum and murky lighting by
Louis Guinand creates an oppressive
'vironment that immediately sets the
tore for the performance.
-There is an uneasiness about it, with
yo4 ng lovers running through the city,
seeiingly unaware of the dark environ-
meat in which they've been set. Hints of
what -is to come, however, continue to
ereep out. A Jewish man not being
a~lowed into a cafe, the young men
laughing a little too loud at a joke that is
the expense of Shylock (Douglas
ain), the Jew in the story.
Only Portia (Susan Coyne) and her
Idy-in-waiting Nerissa (Michelle Fisk)
seeM to be aware that something is rot-
ten in Venice. Maraden has given them
a"Conscience when it comes to anti-
Semitism, so when Portia must defeat
Shylock in a court battle in order to save
lirlove's best friend, she does so with
agonizing grief, and is then put into the
position to enlighten the blatantly prej-
iced Bassanio (Paul Haddad).
Susan Coyne, as Portia, does a
rf litarkable job balancing the weight of
Wk, interest and conscience of the play.
She does so with dignity and grace, and
her pain is palpable. Michelle Fisk's
Nerissa is high-spirited and blessed
with a tremendous feel for balancing
out the comedic end.
: As Shylock, Douglas Rain is stun-
. He must be the villain of the
'Wece as written, but we must know the
unwritten reasons for why he does what
he does. Once beaten in court, he is a
S S
4humor.
runsdr
frPrashant Tama"
Daly Arts Writer
*Attempting to capitalize on a film
trend that became popular with "Lethal
Weapon," Ernest Dickerson's new
action-comedy "Bulletproof" is an
uninspired variation on the buddy-cop
genre. Despite a few humorous
sequences and a couple of interesting
chgracters, the movie fails because of
ilifetess action scenes and a typically
dull plot.
Best friends Rock (Damon Wayans)
aidCharlie (Adam Sandler) are a pair
*f small-time criminals in Los Angeles
who make their living stealing cars,
selling drugs and taking part in other

offenses. But when a huge drug deal is
busted by the police, Rock reveals his
tra identity as an undercover officer. In
the ensuing madness, he is accidentally
thot in the forehead by his former best
friend.
KVVEW
Bulletproof
At Showcase
'A short time later Charlie, in
A'izona, turns himself in, and agrees to,
supply the authorities with incriminat-
ing evidence against the mastermind of
fhid drug deal, for whom he had been
!brking. The only catch is that he wants
ock to be the one to arrest him and
firing him to jail.
B=ut as Rock is leading Charlie away
in handcuffs, snipers try to pick the wit-
ness off so he can't testify against his
former boss. Consequently, the two old
friends must work together so that they
tth aren't killed in the process of
ttansporting Charlie back to Los
,Ageles.
, Surprisingly, the strong suit of this
film is the subtly effective presentation
dcf the friendship between the two main
ciaracters. Sandler's Charlie, despite his
line of work, is a caring and loyal per-

heart-wrenching-
ly broken man,
and it would be
hard to believe
that the "Hast not {
a Jew" speech has
ever been deliv-
ered with more
fervor and
despair. He has
been mistreated
by the world and
is finally
demanding
answers for those
crimes against
him, allowed only
because of his
religion. It is
stunning.
There are some
uneven perfor-
mances, but they Tom McCamus, Joe
are kept to a min-
imum. The brilliance of the rest of the
cast and the clarity of the director's
vision will far outshine any qualms you
may have with anyone else. "Merchant
of Venice" remains a comedy, but one
that will not let you off the hook quite
so easily.
WAITING FOR GODOT
Samuel Beckett's tragic farce has
confounded'actors, directors and audi-
ences alike for four decades. A play in
which "nothing happens" for more than
two hours would seem to be unbearable.
In many cases, it would be. Even this
play, lauded as "the quintessential play
of the 20th century, can be tedious. Or,
in the hands of extraordinarily talented
actors and a gifted director, it can be one
of the greatest theatrical experiences.
The Stratford production of "Waiting
for Godot" is, in a word, brilliant. The
two actors playing Vladimir and
Estragon (Tom McCamus and Stephen
Ouimette, respectively) have such pre-
cise timing and delivery that the time
flies by. It clips along at a blinding
pace, jumping from one routine to the
next. In their effort to kill time "wait-
ing,' the two actors, sing, dance, juggle
and banter away until the abrupt fall of
night silences them until daybreak.
Director Brian Bedford (best known
for his acting at Stratford) has pointed

Low flies high with 'Curtain'

Dinicol and Stephen Ouimette star in 'Waiting for Godot.'

Low
The Curtain Hits the Cast
Vernon Yard
The beauty of Low's latest 12-track
album lies in the band's ability to make
stark, lonely vocals and minimal guitar,
bass and percussion accompaniment
sound extraordinarily large. Resting
somewhere between ambient and folk,
the melodies on "The Curtain Hits the
Cast" are subtle and sleepy. Percussion
whispers behind bass, which sounds
above the murmur like a heartbeat.
The combination of these instruments
culminates into wave after wave of a bit-
tersweet emotion which comes and
goes, much like the vocals split between
drummer / singer Mimi Parker and gui-
tarist / singer Alan Sparhawk. Tracks
like "The Plan" sound like a music-box
lullaby for a breakup, with Parker's
soothing voice repeating "Can I hold it
far away" accompanied only by the low
echo of guitars and slow drumming.
It is difficult to describe the combi-
nation of sound and silence that Low
creates. There are moments, such as on
the fourth track, "Mom Says," when the
music is barely audible. Then again,
tracks like "Lust" and "Do You Know
How to Waltz" prove the fullness of
their vocals and instrumentation, mak-
ing for a delirious listen.
Low's music is original and senti
mental. Just when they reach their peak,
the bottom falls out and the listener is
left in a barely murmuring musical
chamber. "The Curtain Hits the Cast" is
an album stripped of the typical layers

of bombastic bass and guitars, which is
replaced by a bare emotion pulled taut
by the band's intensely quiet approach
to creating music.
"The Curtain Hits the Cast" shines
with a trance-like quality of beautiful
sadness far beyond the typical in-your-
face vocals and emotion of most bands.
- Shannon O'Neill
Cows
Old Gold 1981-1991
Amphetamine Reptile
***I
This is a compilation of songs off the
Cows' AmRep albums previous to
"Cunning Stunts." And this is a pretty
good way for most people to get some
access to some of the finest songs of the
Cows' early career. A gargantuan 23-
track CD that is worth its price in volume
See RECORDS, Page 1OA

up the idea that these companions may
have, at some point earlier that has
drifted out of their memory, been a
vaudeville pair. They address the audi-
ence directly, and the banter has a feel
of half-forgotten song and dance rou-
tines, still in the muscle memory, but
with the majority of the act long since
faded away. It is lonely and forlorn, and
deals with the monotony of growing
older and forgetting even what you
were living for in the first place.
Waiting. Trying to grasp hold of any
shred of memory that might give your
life and existence meaning again. It is a
desperate situation, but even that fact is
forgotten occasionally, until it comes
creeping back with even more terror
than before.
Ouimette's Estragon is frightened
and growing desperate. He knows he
must wait, but forgets why. With no
meaning he is like a caged man, yearn-
ing to be freed, but not knowing what
freedom will bring. He is trapped here,
and Ouimette is outstanding.
As his more optimistic cohort, Tom
McCamus' Vladimir tries as hard as
humanly possible to belie his friend's
fears, but any answers he may have at
one time provided have long since drift-
ed just out of reach of his memory. He
knows he should know, but the attempt
at remembering proves futile. Still he

holds on with both hands to the idea
that if they remain in this spot, Godot
will come and return meaning to their
lonely existence.
The one visitor they do come across
is James Blendick's Pozzo and his ser-
vant Lucky (Tim MacDonald).
Appearing first to have more drive
than the other two, Pozzo is quickly
sucked into the void as well. He, how-
ever, is in denial about his position,
and grasps firmly the belief that he is
on precisely the right road. Blendick
offers some great comedic moments as
the over-confident Pozzo, and his
return in Act 11, after having been
unexplainably blinded, contrasts beau-
tifully.
Filled with rim shots and musical
accompaniment, Bedford's direction is
flowing and fast-paced, switching
quickly from one mood to the next. The
line "Habit is a great deadener" is spo-
ken in the play, and Bedford realizes this
and leads us through new moments deft-
ly. With fine acting, a brilliant script and
inventive direction, this "Waiting for
Godot" surpasses all expectations.
Vladimir and Estragon are searching
merely for existence. With any luck, in
this production they have found immor-
tality. They will not soon be forgotten by
anyone fortunate enough to witness this
stunning production.

Low looks depressed.

Sponsored by:"
Andersen Consulting M
Arthur Andersen
Hewitt Associates
Leo Burnett Company November 22, 1996

Partial List of Employers:
Andersen Consulting
Arthur Andersen
Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc.
Central Intelligence Agency
Citibank
Defense Intelligence Agency
Delphi-Saginaw, GMC
Federated Department Stores
Fidelity Investments
First Chicago
General Mills
Hewitt Associates
Leo Burnett
Manor Care, Inc.
Merrill Lynch
Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals
Price Waterhouse
Prudential Securities
Reuters America, Inc.
PLUS MANY MORE.!

Westin O'Hare Hotel
Chicago, IL
TO REGISTER:
Send or fax your one-page resume with
3 industry preferences on the back to:
Crimson & Brown Associates
201 Bradway
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 577-7790 phone
(617) 577-7799fax

son, who merely seems to have had
some unfortunate luck in his lifetime.
He loves Rock like a brother who under-
stands him, and consequently does not
judge him. The last thing Charlie would
ever want to do is harm his friend.
Rock, on the other hand, finds it hard
to resist Charlie's compassion and sense
of humor. He feels that somehow he can
eventually provide Charlie with the
guidance he needs to get back on the
right track. Even after he is shot, he
shows concern for his old friend, and
deep down in his heart knows that what
took place was accidental.
Together, Sandler and Wayans have a
good chemistry that makes their friend-
ship very convincing. Of course, they
bicker throughout the film, but there are
a few moments where they reveal their
tender sides and display their feelings

toward each other. The fact that a lot of
effort was put into explaining the
source of these affections keeps this
bond from being overly cheesy.
And there are some extremely funny
scenes involving the two lead actors.
However, if you are not an Adam
Sandler fan: Beware! You will not find
anything humorous about the film. The
former "Saturday Night Live" star
offers an over-the-top performance that
is successful only because of his deliv-
ery, not because any of the writing is
particularly witty.
Ultimately, the movie does not work
because of a plodding pace and action
sequences that aren't even as stimulat-
ing as the opening credits of some of
the recent summer blockbusters.
"Bulletproof" features your basic car-
and foot-chase scenes and a few

shootouts. This sorry excuse for excite-
ment becomes even more insubstantial
when the lack of creativity is consid-
ered. After all, how many times can we
watch a police car pursue a speedy red
sports Ferrari through the streets of
downtown, as we do at the beginning of
this film?
Among the ;central themes of this
film is the notion that life cannot always
be defined in black and white terms -
a large gray area exists as well. For
example, Charlie often criticizes Rock
for only seeing things in a discrete man-
ner and for not realizing life's ambigui-
ties. Ironically, "Bulletproof" also
defies concrete classification. It isn't
really an action movie, nor is it a come-
dy. It isn't really stimulating, nor is it
completely mindless. It isn't good, nor
is it bad -just somewhere in between.

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