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March 31, 1997 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-31

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Photographer Shimon Attie presents his work. Attie, whose exhibition
includes slides taken of Berlin's Jewish Quarter before World War II,
will give a free lecture on his photography. Join him at the School of
Art (2000 Bonisteel) at 4 p.m., to explore his visual experience.
Attie will give the same lecture at 7:30 tonight at Hillel, 1429 Hill

March 31,1997

.. .

Codfather' hits theaters
Coppola's classic returns to big screen after 25 years

Dy Michael Zilberman
Daily Arts Writer
In the early '70s, two movies by
two NYU film-school brats have
ought upon a revolution in gangster
molding it from pulp into a
legitimate - and uniquely American
- art form. Scorsese's "Mean
Streets" turned wiseguys into fast-
talking, hyperviolent eternal adoles-

cents, equal parts childish bravado
and guilt. Francis Ford Coppola's
"The Godfather" took a grandiose,
operatic approach
to the matter, pre-
senting to us the R
Mob royalty as a.
mythical com- TI
pound of Old
World values in an
unwelcoming Main.
It could be the acting - the still
fresh-faced Al Pacino and the slight-
ly inhuman Marlon Brando. It could
be the cinematography, bathing
everything in lush old-photograph
browns and yellows. It could be that
in their derision toward a new,
remorseless, drug-dealing Mafia, the
Corleones assumed tragic hero qual-
ities because of their refusal to adapt.
In some peculiar way, the audiences
related to that. Related enough to
make "The Godfather" the highest-
grossing film of its time, to instigate
ongoing debates on Mob glamoriza-
tion and to warrant a 25th anniver-
sary re-release.
After what Coppola did with his
creation in "The Godfather Saga"

(re-cutting all three films in chrono-
logical order, from Vito's childhood
to Michael's lonely demise), audi-


he Godfather
Art Theatre in Royal Oak

ences could
expect the
anniversary edi-
tion of the origi-
nal to have under-
gone some drastic
changes; "Star
Wars" it isn't,
thankfully, and

the modifications are limited to a
touched-up soundtrack.
Since "The Godfather" was a peri-
od piece to begin with, it fares better
in the here and now than, say, "The
Graduate" (also in current re-release).
The film's themes and concerns are
not locked into the decade that gave
birth to it; Its mythic underpinnings
contribute to its staying power - a
stylish meditation on loyalty and
honor, it has a decidedly timeless
The first installment of what wasn't
yet meant to become a trilogy, "The
Godfather" is not without its share of
rough spots. The Sicilian section is
stylistically different from what pre-
cedes and follows it - and not in a

Marion Brando and Salvatore Corsitto in Coppola's classic, "The Godfather."

good way: Coppola seems to momen-
tarily transform into Sergio Leone,
then jolt back. Seen through the prism
of Diane Keaton's later performances,
her turn as a meek American wife
here is a bit bland and inexpressive
compared to the raging, highly vocal
passions swallowing up the rest of the

Several years and a masterpiece
("The Conversation") later, the director
would revisit the Corleone clan, with
triumphant results, in "The Godfather
Part 2.'
The original remains the original,
however; in an age when the gang-

ster film is fast dissipating into the
fragmented trash from which
Coppola helped it rise - now with
an increasingly obnoxious self-
reflective twist - for all the pomp
and pathos, "The Godfather" looks
better among its spawn than it ever
did by itself.

Pacino and Brando in "The Godfather."

Mendelsohn to read
from 'Amelia Earhart

'Carey Show' sparks up prime time


y Elizabeth Lucas
Daily Books Editor
When aviator Amelia Earhart's plane
went down in the Pacific in 1937, her
disappearance became a puzzling enig-
ma, complete with searches and con-
spiracy theories.
Sixty years later, first-time author
e Mendelsohn has explored what
ight have happened after the crash
in her novel, "I
was Amelia
Earhart." P1
"I wanted to fin- Jan
ish this unfinished
mysteiy, but in a
more kind of
metaphorical way'
Mendelsohn said
an interview with The Michigan
"The fact that she's kind of dead and
not dead, because she disappeared, cre-
ated a tension I wanted to talk about,"
Mendelsohn said. "(The novel) is really
about the possibility of living more than
one life."
Mendelsohn said that she became
interested in Earhart's story after read-
ing an article about her.
"It mentioned that she'd had a navi-
*or, and I hadn't known about that,"
Mendelsohn said. "The idea of two peo-
ple traveling around the world, getting
lost, disappearing - it seemed like
kind of a dramatic idea.'
In researching the book,
Mendelsohn said she drew on several
biographies and Earhart's own writ-
ings, in addition to looking at photos


of Earhart and listening to tapes of
her voice.
The resulting novel, however, only
follows historical fact up to a point.
Mendelsohn begins by describing
Earhart's attempted flight around the
world with her navigator Fred Noonan,
filling in biographical details and facts
about the flight.
But after the plane crash, the novel
illustrates the pos-
sibility that
REVIEW Earhart and
1e Mendelsohn Noonan survived,
living on a desert
Tonight at 7:30 island in the
Borders Pacific.
Though shorter
than most novels,
"I Was Amelia Earhart" is a polished
Besides its intriguing premise and
attention to its characters' psychologies,
it is written in elegant, impressionistic
Mendelsohn said her style was influ-
enced by "everyone I've ever read," but
primarily Gabriel Garcia Marquez and
Marguerite Duras.
As might be expected, though,
Mendelsohn had difficulty finding a
publisher for her non-mainstream first
"I tried to get an agent, but I could-
n't;' Mendelsohn said. "I was told the
book was too literary ... no one would
be able to sell it."
But through a strange twist of fate,
the novel received more publicity than
most best-sellers.

Jane Mendelsohn, author of "I Was
Amelia Earhart," will read from her
work tonight at Borders. ,
A New York woman picked up the
novel in a bookstore, read it, and passed
it on to her husband - radio host Don
Imus. Imus spent the next week prais-
ing the novel on-air.
Mendelsohn said she'd rarely listened
to talk radio before this event.
"My father called, and said that peo-
ple had called him and told him Don
Imus was promoting the book."
In this way, "I Was Amelia Earhart"
received the notice it deserved.
Though it provides one fascinating
answer to the puzzle of Earhart's
death, it leaves the mystery open for
other solutions.
"(Earhart) is a great American hero-
ine, maybe the great American hero-
ine," Mendelsohn said.
"I think the fact that we don't know
what happened - that her story's open
to be finished by anyone, not just me -
makes her a mythic figure?'

By Julia Shih
Daily Arts Writer
Everyone, jump for joy! There is yet
another sitcom on television depicting
the struggles of life in the '90s as seen
through the eyes of an individual. No,
it's not "Ellen" or
"The Single Guy,"
or any of the other R1
shows that have
basically the same
premise. The ABC
Network would
like to present W1
"The Drew Carey
Show" in its second season as the net-
work's resident mediocre "life comedy."
"The Drew Carey Show" is based on
the humorous outlook of stand-up
comedian Drew Carey. Having former-
ly strutted his stuff on "Star Search"
and "The Tonight Show," Carey is back
to show the world how a nice, trusting
and easy-going guy gets through life.
Carey plays Drew, the "nice boy next
door" who works as the Assistant
Director of Personnel at the local
department store in Cleveland. It's not
the most glamorous job in the world,
but he puts up with it with a light-heart-
ed and optimistic attitude.
Unfortunately, his work day
requires that he deal with a meddling
boss and an overly hostile and overly
made-up co-worker named Mimi
(Kathy Kinney). Drew and Mimi
(who is best described by the words
"circus freak"), seem to have been put
on this Earth to get on each other's
Fortunately, Drew has some good
friends to help him get through the trials
and tribulations of life. Always there for
support are his three lifelong friends:


Oswald (Diedrich Bader), a good-natured
and often clueless delivery guy; Lewis
(Ryan Stiles), a janitor obsessed with pop
culture; and Kate (Christa Miller), a beau-
tiful but tomboyish woman who is con-
stantly trying to find love. When the gang
gets together, life no
longer seems as
V I E W harsh as it first
The Drew appears to be.
"The Drew
Carey Show Carey Show" is
ABC carried by Carey's
:nesdays at 9:30 p.m. presence. His ami-
able approach to
life and his likable personality are a
wonderful contrast to a world full of bit-
terness and anger. He never gets mad at
anything. Drew Carey is a funny guy
who has some great takes on the little
things injife.
Also extremely amusing on the show
is Bader, who is best remembered as
Jethro from the movie, "The Beverly
Hillbillies." Bader's Oswald is like an

innocent and naive little boy who never
grew up - one who is always cracking
hilarious and often outrageous com-
ments at inappropriate times.
Guest appearances by celebrities also
run amuck on "The Drew Carey Show,"
with anyone from sports stars (Dave
Winfield), to famous musicians (Little
Richard) dropping by.
The show does suffer from occasion-
al weak plots and lackluster writing.
The humor level in each episode varies
from week to week, and the show often
illustrates a lack of enthusiasm.
Nevertheless, this sitcom shows plenty
of sparks of life that prevent it from
being easily dismissed.
"The Drew Carey Show" isn't per-
feet, but it is still entertaining to watch.
It is ideal for people who think they
have pretty crappy lives, allowing them
to see that there is at least one person in
the world who has it off worse than they
do ... and can still smile and pleasantly
joke about it.

Drew Carey and Kathy Kinney star in the comedy "The Drew Carey Show."



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