The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 11, 1997 - 9
'B.A.P.S. offers glamour, cheese to saps
By Julia Shih
Daily Arts Writer
The next scariest thing to Chris Farley in a tight Ninja
suit has arrived in Beverly Hills - complete with gold
teeth, big funky hair and an in-your-face attitude.
Halle Berry and Natalie Desselle
star in "B.A.PS.," (Black American RI
Princesses), a Robert Townsend com-
edy about two girls from Georgia
who head for Glamour Town with a
dream as big as their hearts.
Nisi and Mickey (Berry and
Desselle) have always wanted to
open the world's first establishment that combines a
soul food restaurant with a hair salon.
When a chance to audition for a music video and
win big money comes up, the two friends drop every-
thing to jump on a plane to Los Angeles.
Through a turn of events, they flop at the auditions but
are offered ajob at a Beverly Hills mansion belonging to
an aging millionaire (Martin Landau). As they live large
and have the time of their lives, they soon discover their
involvement in a plot to extort money from the kindly
V I E W"B.A.PS." is a film that starts
out loud and abrasive - and ready
B.A.P.S. to go straight to video. The movie
opens with Nisi and Mickey at
** their jobs in a diner, serving greasy
At showcase grits with their tacky press-on
nails. Soon they hook up with their
good-for-nothing boyfriends who look like pimps
straight out of a '70s blaxploitation flick. All of this
gives you the feeling that "B.A.P.S." is a blatant parody
of some other black comedies that feed on stereotypes.
As the first half tackled the subject of two opposite
stereotypes meeting in a head-on crash, the second:part
of the film deals with true love gained and lost.
Though extremely sappy and unrealistic at times, the
end of the film is inspirational and touching. Through
the old man who lost his true love, the girls learn about
what is important in life. Their final epiphany will
either cause tears to flow in the audience, or widespread
groans because of the overdramatization.
Halle Berry goes from a rich man's wife to a rich
man's house guest with eccentric fashion taste. She plays
her character Nisi well, but her immense amount of tal-
ent makes her stick out like a sore thumb in this film.
"B.A.P.S.' starts off as a stupid ridicule of two
extreme cultures that are widely stereotyped, but it
transforms itself into a sweet story about love and life.
So the only advice that I can give about "B.A.P.S.'
is this: To enjoy this movie, which is Beyond All
Plausibility, you'd better Bring A lot of Patience"
.Natalie Desselle and Halle Berry are B.A.P.S.
Poetry Project' to showcase diverse AZtalent
By Sarah Beldo
For the Daily
Whoever claims that poetry is a dead
art had better stay away from the East Hall
*Auditorium this Friday, unless they're
prepared to have this belief challenged.
The State Street Poetry Project is bound
and determined to show that poetry's
heart is alive and _
boating, and that the P
of Ann Arbor writ-
ers boasts talent to P
equal the more
established writers E
of the area.
LSA sophomore Greg Epstein,
founder and director of the SSPP, has
made it his mission to bring these
younger voices to the stage. "The reason
people don't have a favorite (contempo-
rary) poet is that it's been given up as
hopeless to meet modern audiences,"
Epstein said. "What I'm trying to do is to
provide the biggest, best forum possible
for young writers in the area."
Unlike other contemporary poetry
'forums, the SSPP is neither a poetry
slam nor a stage for performance art.
Instead, Epstein focuses on poetry that
is meant to be read on the page as well
as spoken aloud.
All the poets bring their own voices to
the poetry, which creates a different
experience than simply reading verses
on paper. The saying that graces SSPP's
flyers, "Ann Arbor's
best young writers
go from page to
tate Street stage" hints at the
try Project excitement that
Tonight at 8 Epstein hopes the
Hall Auditorium, free performance will
He likened this excitement to that gen-
erated by the Beat poets in their heyday,
and by established writers in this com-
munity more recently. "Ginsberg could
pack a large venue. Why can't there be
that degree of urgency for the next gen-
eration of writers?" he asked.
Rather than confining poetry to a
dark corner of a coffeeshop, Epstein
wants to bring his show into the open,
"to draw the public in." He wants the
SSPP to be as diverse as it can be, and
to be as widely advertised as possible.
The upcoming show features at least
five Hopwood winners, ranging from
sophomore undergraduates to current
University faculty members. Not just
poetry will be included; many different
styles of writing will be featured, from
fiction to poetry to what Epstein called,
"an innovative form of poetry written
for the page, but with an exciting per-
formance in mind"
LSA junior Zu Ziomecka plans to per-
form a poem based around the restric-
tions that society places on nudity.
"I feel as if I should say something ahead
of time about Zu's performance," Epstein
said. "It's different than the other pieces.
She's the kind of person who has a lot of
statements she wants to make" Epstein
refrained from giving away too much about
the performance, but added that the audi-
ence should find it funny and offbeat.
Other featured readers are University
professor Brenda Cardenas, and stu-
dents Dean Bakopoulos, Fritz Swanson,
Neela Ghoshal, Sara Grosky, Jon Kidd
and Epstein himself.
Even after this latest installment of the
SSPP, Epstein has bigger plans for student
poetry. The same team that put together
this show is planning a grand exhibition in
March in Rackham Auditorium.
"We're currently assembling a board
of directors, including faculty and stu-
dents, to choose 10-12 of the best writ-
ers in the Ann Arbor community" to be
featured in the show, Epstein said. He
hopes to include students at all points in
their careers, from those doing their
first reading to seasoned readers. Once
again, diversity is key.
The show at Rackham will be spon-
sored, as the SSPP currently is, by the
University Activities Committee and
the Rude Mechanicals. It also receives
support by the English Department, the
Creative Writing Program, the
Hopwood Program, the Michigan
Quarterly Review and Shaman Drum.
But for now, Epstein is concentrating
on Friday's show, pouring as much of his
own life as he can into making the show
exciting and accessible to the public.
With enthusiasm like this, there can
be little doubt that poetry's heart is alive
and ticking. The beat goes on.
7 . 4 '
Continued from Page 8
"I think 'Grosse Pointe Blank" is one
of those rare movies. I think everyone
(at The University of Michigan) should
go see it, because it's one of those real-
ly cool movies that got in under the
radar, that is really about something.
"It takes place at this high school
reunion, and it's about taking responsi-
bility for your life, oddly enough. And
also, what job you pick and how the
government is ultimately responsible if
they train you to be a killer. But it's
mostly a love story and about checking
in with your past and your life. It's done
so well. I mean, I'm in it so I shouldn't
say that, but I'm just really proud of
that movie. And above all, it's really
entertaining. It's a cool, subversive
As for the filming of"Grosse Pointe
Blank," Piven was noticeably happier
on that set than on the set of "Ellen."
"On 'Grosse Pointe Blank,' I was
dealing with highly intelligent, fun,
good people. And that just encouraged
me to put my own spin on the charac-
ter I play the best friend role, but it was
just really great. Cusack's great.'
As for his future? How long he'll
remain in the cast of "Ellen" is ques-
tionable, but he can be seen in the
upcoming independent film "Music
From Another Room" with Jennifer
Tilly, and of course, the eagerly antici-
pated comedy "Grosse Pointe Blank?'
So if you don't know who Jeremy
Piven is by now, you'd better find out
.soon. Because he's about to take the
entertainment industry by storm.
Courses in everything French
from the Beatles to
" Over 300 courses in 44 departments:
Advertising and Marketing
Art Theory and Practice
Business & Finance
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Comparative Literary Studies
Industrial Engineering and Mngmt Sciences
Premeds: your courses
. Fulfill your premed requirements with
an intensive course sequence in
- Earn a full year of credit in eight weeks
There's more than one
way to earn a little
" Earn credit for three courses in eight
weeks in one of eight intensive
" Study abroad this summer in one of
-Prague, Czech Republic
" Earn credit for two or three courses,
depending on the study abroad program
* Do field research in one of five programs
-Archaeological Field Studies
archaeological research at the
Cahokia settlement, near St. Louis
-Chicago Field Studies
urban studies in one of Chicago's
government or service organizations
-Environmental Field Studies
ecology and resource management
issues at one of our national parks
-Ethnographic Field Studies
service-oriented research in a Navajo
or Spanish-speaking community
-San Francisco Field Studies
social policy and education
issues in the Bay area
" Earn credit for two, three, or four courses,
depending on the field studies program
When you need a
* Summer Session fun
-Weekend canoe trip in Wisconsin
-Day hikes at area state parks
-Intramural sports leagues
-Musical and theatrical productions
-Northwestern's private beach
-Campus fitness and aquatics center