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April 08, 1997 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-08

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Ac ff

Explore the art of paper folding! Tonight at the Ann Arbor District
Library, come and learn how to fold little pieces of paper into beauti-
ful animals, cubes and other fun designs. Ann Arbor's own origami
guy Don Shall leads the program, beginning at 7 p.m. Pre-registration
is a must, so call 994-2345. Tuesday
Apdl 8,1997

5

kock

visits Hill
for night
BEugene Bowen
y Arts Writer
The essence of humor is the thin line
of truth upon which it lies. Utilizing this
fact to the utmost, Chris Rock and his
ning act, Mario Joyner, took Hill
uditorium by storm Sunday night.
Joyner, one of eight children, talked a
great deal about his family.
"My mom had eight kids in 10
years," he said. "Do the math. It's near-
ly impossible, but she made it. It took
me awhile before I realized my mom
was a freak.
"Eight kids are too many. In fact
eight of anything is too much. If you
have eight of anything, something's
Ound to be defective. If you have eight
ids, then you have a criminal in your
family."
Joyner also couldn't resist talking
about the one thing that goes hand-in-
hand with childhood: spankings.
"It's kinda funny how the first four of
us got whoopings, but the rest got time
outs. What the hell is that? And now,
everyone's trying to outlaw the ass
whooping. That's so stupid. I mean, ass
*hoopings are an American tradition.
Hell, that's how we got this country in
the first place.
"And remember Pearl Harbor? The
Japanese bombed us once, but never
again. Why not? Because we whooped
their ass. If we'd given them time outs,
they'd be bombing us every month."
When Chris Rock entered the stage,
the outpouring of stinging sarcasm was
immediate.
"Ann Arbor! Big city, just as I pic-
d it," he said. "Skyscrapers every-
where! So much to do! I don't even
know how you made it here tonight; I
mean you have so many entertainment
choices here. You got the mall. And you

'Saint' fails to be
second coming

Comedian Chris Rock performs at Hill Auditorium on Sunday. MARUARL MYERS/Daily

got the other mall.
"Every city has two malls: One's the
white people's mall. The other is the one
the white people used to go to until, you
know, new 'friends' started visiting too
much. I'm telling you, white people like
their black the same way they like their
seasoning: Just a dash."
This was Rock's entrance into one of
the most prickly
issues in American ;
life - racism. And
his handling of this
topic proves that
humor can carry
powerful subtleties, .
and it exemplifies
why he has been such a popular comic
across racial lines.
"Racism. Everybody thinks every-
body else has too much," Rock began.
"Everybody's mad. And guess who's
the maddest. White people. And the
poorer the white people, the madder
they are. And there are some poor, poor
whites; I'm talking about whites who
live under the trailer park. I bet nobody
in the KKK makes over $12,000 a year.

U

Seriously, these whites are getting mad
at successful blacks. They say shit like,
'How'd he become a lawyer?' Because
he went to school you stupid bastard."
Rock was also quick to notice a
major problem within the black com-
munity.
"We need a new black leader we can
all agree upon. Who we got for leader-
®_ship? Al
, Sharpton. Just the
mention of his
Chris Rock name brings
laughter. He
Hill Auditorium looks like
April 6, 1997 Bookman from
'Good Times.'
He's a punchline. Why did the chicken
cross the road? Al Sharpton.
"We got Jesse Jackson, but what hap-
pened to him? He was rhyming a bit too
much. I thought he was gonna have an
album with Puffy.
"We also have Farrakhan, but the
brotha needs to be a little more humble.
And what's up with the hating Jews
thing? This won't clean the graffiti off
my grandma's porch. Look, black peo-

ple don't be sitting around talking about
Jews. Blacks don't hate Jews; blacks
hate white people.
"So since we don't have any black
leaders, we've starting making leaders
out of entertainers. But come on, most
entertainers aren't smart enough to be
leaders. That's why we're entertainers.
And I don't get all this emotion about
Tupac and Biggie being killed. I liked
their music, too, but come on. News
reports saying Tupac and Biggie were
assassinated by an assassin's bullet. No.
MLK was assassinated, Malcolm X was
assassinated, JFK was assassinated.
Those two niggas was shot.
"But you know who I think the black
leader should be? Pat Riley. 'Cause
ain't nobody led as many brothas to the
promised land as he. And if he don't get
you there, at least you'll make it to the
playoffs."
Therein lies the power of Rock's
monologues on race relations:
Honesty. In his eyes, no one is com-
pletely innocent or guilty. Every group
of people has it's good people and bad,
See ROCK, Page 8

By Michael Zilberman
Daily Arts Writer
The main storyline of Phillip Noyce's
"The Saint" begins with a hotel-room
view of a stark Russian cityscape and a
title: "Moscow. Tomorrow." Tomorrow
looks fairly bleak; the government is
forever in flux, oil
shortages ravage
the countryside, RI
and Vladimir O
Tretyak, a flam-
boyantly -sinister
Rasputin-like fig- At Br
ure, quickly rises
on the political horizon.
All of this naturally makes The Third
Rome a preferred playground for assort-
ed shady types, not least of all the Saint
(Val Kilmer) - a burglar par excellence
and a human chameleon, offering his
services to the highest bidder. The bidder
in this particular case is Tretyak himself,
who has just hatched a scheme to defeat
his political opponents by introducing to
Russia - cue the theremins - a cold-
fusion machine. The contraption is to be
stolen from its creator, an ostracized
British physicist, Emma Russell. Sounds
like a job for the Saint; the dramatic
complication is that Emma Russell is
played by Elisabeth Shue, with all the
ensuing conflicts of interest.
As soon as the words "cold fusion"
are uttered, a significant weight is taken
off the film. Now we know we're in for
unapologetic escapism and not a
somber "Russia House" variation, and
we know what to do: dispense with all
expectations, sit back and enjoy the sex
and the accents.
That said, the fun of "The Saint" lies
primarily in seeing Kilmer try on a half-
dozen of broadly .caricatured personali-
ties - from a Russian homeless guy to a
dorky British scientist, from a deep-
voiced Hispanic playboy to an effeminate
German swindler (the last looking inex-
plicably like Michael Stipe). Perhaps the
most hysterical bit arrives when, in order
to charm the impressionable Emma,
Kilmer slips back into his Jim Morrisson
impersonation from "The Doors, com-
plete with the hair, the leather pants and

EVIEW
The Saint
riarwood and Showcase
The Saint, if you

Saint" simultane-
ously more and less
enjoyable than
"Goldeneye" is its
insistence on taking
at least the protago-
nist- if not the
action - seriously.
think about it, is an

even more absurd creature than 007: a
Catholic school boy gone bad with style.
Yet the script treats him as a tortured
lonely antihero throughout.
Thankfully, Phillip Noyce ("Clear
And Present Danger") is less of a film
school brat than Brian De Palma, so
"The Saint" is at least free of all that
made the similarly themed "Mission:
Impossible" a two-hour exercise in
camera gymnastics. Its acting is of a
higher caliber as well, with Elisabeth
Shue perhaps even giving her character
a bit more than it deserves in context.
"The Saint" makes terrific use of its
Russian locations, although setting
scenes in the Red Square - a novelty
in "Red Heat" and the like - has
quickly become as much a visual clich6
as defining New York by a shot of the
Brooklyn Bridge. Noyce has an eye for
Moscow's off-kilter architecture, and
the glimpses of Emma pursued by
Mafia hitmen through snow-covered
avenues are drenched in such bizarre
detail that you wish for Elisabeth Shut
to slow down.
The film's coda, as expected, leaves
plenty of plot threads to be picked up in
a sequel. Whether the public is eager to
see Kilmer pull off more Eurotrash
accents remains to be seen. But even if
the (hypothetical) first installment
doesn't look especially promising, it
could be remembered that "From
Russia With Love," the opening chapter
of the Bond mythology, was Ian
Fleming's weakest by far.

the beatific glazed-over gaze.
Most of the time, "The Saint" aspires
to create a franchise hero, a latter-day
James Bond for the less geopolitically
predetermined world. It's not an easy
task considering that the original seems
to be coping just fine; what makes "The

White Town makes more than white noise

Win free passes to

fhite Town
Women In Technology
EMI Records
Straight from M2, MTV's half-heart-
ed attempt at returning to a music video
channel, emerges a new mastermind
that encompasses numerous musical
genres in his work. White Town's Jyoti
Mishra proves time and time again on
"Women In Technology" that he has
astered the ability to make truly
addictive music. Ranging from '80s

synthpop to a Depeche Mode-meets-
Pulp sound, the disc is worth every spin
you give it.
"Undressed," the disc's first track,
starts out sounding like motivational
music but soon reveals lyrics reminis-
cent of Pulp's "Underwear." Mishra's
voice sounds generally consoling as he
sings, "Let me help you get undressed /
... I can make it if you stay / I can't take
it if you go."
Desperation hasn't been cool for a
while, but nonetheless the disc's fourth
track, "Your Woman," parades around

with a story of a woman who feels inad-
equately able to fulfill the man she
wants. Something of a dance hit in the
making, the song is nothing short of bril-
liant. The lone violin cries out with a
catchy, whiny sound. A longing sound
fills Mishra's tone as he moans again and
again, "I could never be your woman."
Filled with one-liners like "Boy, you
can't play me that way" the song is one
of the most addictive I've ever heard.
"The Death of My Desire" also
deserves mention. The song starts with
a wind organ sound and Mishra claim-

ing sainthood in the foreground. Again,
the theme is desperation and sexual
dependence, but you might miss that as
the song converts into a rock 'n' roll-
esque song.
Taken as a whole, the disc is an
excellent combination of music. It is
well worth a spin, but be careful, or
you'll find yourself wasting hours at a
time listening to "Your Woman" over
and over again. But do not worry, the
song's quality surely warrants that sort
of obsession.
- Jack Schillaci

'The Saint'
Let Daily Arts be your sav-
ior. Courtesy of Paramount
Pictures and United Artists-
Briarwood, you can win one
of our pairs of passes to
see Val Klmer and
Elisabeth Shue save each
other and the world in the
new espionage thriller, "The
Saint." Just send an e-mali
to dally.arts@umich.edu
with your name and phone
number for a chance to let
The Michigan Daily help you
save your $7.

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