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December 10, 1997 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-12-10

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Annual Italian Film Festival
Today through Saturday, the Michigan Theater is presenting the 2nd
Annual Italian Film Festival. The festival features a retrospective of
the films of director Francesco Rosi, who will attend. The 11 show-
cased movies include "Hands Over the City," starring Rod Steiger,
tonight at 9:15, and the gala premiere of "The Truce," Rosi's first
English language picture, starring John Turturro, tomorrow Wednesday
at 7:30 p.m. December 10, 1997

Harlem Nutcracker to grace 'U'
Famous ballet to feature local choirs, exhibits, caroling this weekend

"Church of Intercession on the Nerl" by Brumfield Is part of "Lost Russia."
snu, bapshots of Russi
By Anna Kovalszki pigeons rose up, with their droppings
Daily Arts Witer constituting a common site inside. An
A professor of Russian literature, art estate church in Vysokoe gets pho-
and architecture at Tulane University, as tographed through the shrubbery and
well as author and photographer of a weeds that engulf it.
number of works in Russian architecture, Somehow, even though Brumfield
William C. Brumfield concerns himself does not try to hide the buildings' dilap-
with a "lost Russia" in idated states, the
his exhibition of silver R E V E rich architectural
prints now showing at heritage and beau-
the University "Lost Russia: of these largely
Museum of Art. Photographs by unknown monu-
To Brumfield, this William Brumfield ments becomes
loss constitutes the university Museum ofrt rTirough an. 4 apparent. The per-
many abandoned and feet white
unkept churches and old secular build- medieval architecture of the "Church of
ings dotting the Russian countryside. He Intercession on the Ner," shows a
attributes this neglect to the many wars, splendor achieved through an uncom-
revolutions and political and social cir- mon restoration. The wooden Church of
cumstances that have been typical to the the Transfiguration in Kizhi, with its
region throughout its history, particular- multiple cupolas typically identified
ly the 20th Century. The 46 silverprints, with Russian architecture, was built in
which hang in the special exhibitions honor of Peter the Great's victories over
gallery upstairs in the museum, along the Swedes, and as such, majestically
with the publication that has been com- shows the competence of its artisans.
piled from them, vividly portray his There is a certain purpose to
observances during his stay in Russia. - Brumfield's atypical focus on these
The unified aspect of the exhibition largely unknown architectural trea-
comes from a few visual and intellectual sures. Just as westerners tend to focus
effects. The photographs are all exhibit- more on the polities of the region, as
ed in black frames, a color that fits well viewed within the context of the select
with the black, gray and white tonality of few well-known politicians, art histori-
the pictures. The inclusion of brief his- ans also concern themselves with the
torical background and personal obser- architecture and art of the large cities,
vance in the text, which accompanies like St. Petersburg and Moscow. It is
each image, also allow the observer a not in the lives of the great politicians,
context in which to view the work. The nor in the symbolic monumental archi-
viewpoint of the camera during the pho- lecture of the cities, that nuanced
tographic process of these architectural effects of real history can be observed.
masterpieces lends to their effect. It is in these buildings, with their rav-
Brumfield photographs the aged markings of the economics and
Monastery of Joseph Volokolamsk, a politics of the region, and in the faces of
17th Century building, with its reflec- the common people, that true historical
tion on an undisturbed pond. The perspective can be found. Brumfield
Church of the Holy Spirit (1794-1800) states of his exhibition: "Through this
is seen through bleak isolation and integration of text'and image, I hope to
industrial pollution, and in Brumfield's inform the public and thus contribute,
own words, as he approached the porti- where possible, to the restoration of
co to view the church inside, clouds of these fragments of lost Russia."
Appointments January 6 +7
Deadline January 2
Includes Banners + Free Showcases
4015 MICHIGAN UNION 313 -764 - 0436 Gr r TO THE souRc
0< ..
Y f'

By Anitha Chalam collaborations with artists in other fields, including
Daily Arts Writer Twyla Tharp, Peter Sellars and Robert Wilson, as well
What is Christmas without "The Nutcracker?" as a number of famous dance troupes and companies,
Perhaps the most famous ballet in the history of including his own, The Group.
the dance, many people would include this piece To give "The Harlem Nutcracker" a more local
in their definition of the holi- flavor, the Ann Arbor produc-
day. At the same time, however, P Etions of this work will feature
there are people who are sick tEO EW 10 children from the Detroit
and tired of "The Nutcracker," ! Harlem Nutcracker Public Schools Dance Program
and furthermore, the holiday in each performance; a gospel
season does not begin and end tFiittat.adSun choircomposed of members of
with Christmas. Of late, Power center -call 7642538 11 area churches conducted by
Kwaanza, an African- James Abington, former music
American celebration that begins the day after director at Hartford Baptist Church; and a local
Christmas, has burgeoned in popularity around the jazz band led by another Detroit native, Marcus
country. Given all this, the University Musical Blegrave.
Society has chosen to define its holiday season by In addition, six different youth gospel choirs from
presenting a show that combines the timeless bal- Ann Arbor, Detroit and Ypsilanti will perform tradi-
let with a modern twist - "The Harlem
"The Harlem Nutcracker" begins with a contempo-
rary family celebration of Christmas. Clara and the
Nutcracker Prince, an African-American grandmother
and grandfather (as opposed to small children in the
original ballet), reflect on the state of their family as
they gather in their Harlem brownstone on Christmas
Interactions with family and friends depict the
realities of African-American life in the cities
today, and Gospel interludes reinforce the impor-
tance of church and religion in African-American
The performance continues in the second act,
where Clara reminisces about her childhood, what it
was like growing up in the 1920s and '30s, before
desegregation had come about. Set in a dance hall
evoking the 1920s Cotton Club, the second half
captures the glamour and spirit of pre-war Harlem
and the richness of its black community at that time
in history.
This section of the performance features Duke
Ellington's arrangement of the famous Tchaikovksy
score and dances, adding a little tradition to a fairly"-
non-traditional performance.
"The Harlem Nutcracker" is choreographed by
Detroit native Donald Byrd, who presents a diverse
and challenging dance palette, exploring all sorts of
dance, from classical ballet to the most contemporary
forms of modern dance. Since 1976, Byrd has com-
posed more than 80 works, many of which involved The Harlem Nutcracker will be performed this weekend

tional African-American Christmas carols in the lobhy
prior to each performance.
In addition to the seven performance┬▒. there are a
number of free residency activities that will he taking
place in Ann Arbor, which are directly related to ''s
spectacular show.
An exhibition titled "Family, Friends and a Sense of
Community: African Americans in the 1920s and
1930s," will be on display at the Power Ccnter during
all of the performances of the production. This exhibi-
tion is curated by the African American Cultural and
Historical Museum of Ann Arbor and is free and open
to the public.
So if you're looking for a traditional Christtas
show, "The Harlem Nutcracker" might not be for
you. In past years, tickets for the show have d
out quickly, so early ticket procurcmens

at the Power Center.

Suspense, wit, strong characters color 'Kiss'

By Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud every stop. Has Al finally cracked? Or
Daily Arts Writer is Nikki unable to suppress homicidal
"Kiss or Kill," as the title tendencies from her childhood trauma?
implies, is about both love and Maybe the two are blameless, and a
crime. In this fascinating and mysterious stranger holds the key.
strangely disquieting movie, the The two lovers are chased by the ex-
two notions are rugby player Zipper
not mutually R E V I E W Doyle (Barry
exclusive. "Kiss Langrishe) who
or Kill" is both a Kissor Kill wants a tape back
suspense and love * '*Kissshowing the local
story in one, an **** hero engaged in
un pr e di c tab I e opens Friday at the State Theater pedophilia. Also on
adventure through the track are two
the landscape of Australia. policemen (Chris Haywood and
The opening scene starts out shock- Andrew S. Gilbert) trying to solve the
ingly enough with a woman being string of deaths.
burned alive in front of her child. The The most engaging part of this
mystery is set, and director/writer Bill road movie is the love between Al
Bennett masterfully and deliberately and Nikki. The best scenes occur
unravels the knots of this complicated when the two question each other
plot. about the deaths. Al suspects Nikki
Al (Matt Day) and Nikki (Frances may have put too many pills in the
O'Connor) are both lovers and businessman's drink. Nikki wonders
thieves; as a team, they rob rich and whether Al might have killed the
sleazy businessmen. Nikki lures the motel owner to get some quick cash.
businessmen back to a hotel room And the audience is left with equal
where she spikes their drinks. At suspicion for the two paramours.
that point, Al is let in and the two The ensemble cast turns in strong and
make off with the belongings of compelling performances. Day plays Al
their prey. with a raw edge that leaves us wonder-
All goes well for the two petty crimi- ing whether he might be the killer. He
nals until one of their victims unwit- displays a wide range of emotions, from
tingly dies. Their unexpected situation guilt-ridden and nervous to unsettlingly
leads them on a road trip to an unknown confident and vicious.
destination. O'Connor reveals brilliantly the tena-
On the way, murders occur at their cious hold on sanity that her character

possesses. The interaction between her
and Day divulges the full complexity of
their relationship; they alternate
between wanting to kiss or kill.
In addition to the leads, the minor
characters show interesting personali-
ties. Zipper is played adeptly as the
aging and disturbed celebrity.
The two detectives provide much
of the film's comic relief with
some hilarious scenes. At one
point, the two long-time partners
are sitting in a restaurant eating
and talking. One of the cops tells
the other matter-of-factly about his
personal life. The other responds
with incredulity.
At first choppy and fragmented, the
camera shots gradually settle into a
more narrative style.
Still, the camera retains the rough
quality that is so common in pur-
p rtedly "modern" movies. In the
case of "Kiss or Kill," this element
of rawness actually adds to the film
by creating a sort of unglamorous

She turns around
and slams himup9
against the wall
while holding a
knife to his throat
"Kiss or Kill" never bores. Filled
with suspense and wit, it goes beyond
the genre of the road movie to ills
nate a puzzling and strange relatin-
Near the end of the film, Al wakes up
in the middle of the night to find Nikki
in the kitchen chopping up some food.
She turns around and slams him up
against the wall while holding a knile to
his throat. A gasp of surprise escapes
the lips of Al. Appropriately, we are left
wondering what she will do - "Kiss or

Pstt m PatiEnts Wanted fo
lew Preventative Asthma Irug
Study. :****..*.............. .
Participants must be a non-smoker, have
a history of asthma, and be a male or "
non-pregnant female. Five outpatient "
visits over 9 weeks. Compensation $50 4 *"*"** *'*"
per completed visit. Contact Deborah
Smith: 936-5634 or 647-6988 or
email dasmith@umich.edu

"Kiss or Kill" opens this Friday at the State Theater.

We have Rose Bowl c .
ararphernaOaOP DOLLAR FOR
BOOKSOR EFor More Information Contact:
549 E University - 662-3201 O S S I BIANCHI-ROSSI TOURS at
W: :.'.800-875-4525
Win a Web site: www.bianchiaossitcom
/ !~r ~ k .7 A!G OLfA;1:
ham. .Y i' i',r" .... ... . ". .::.: ": . :.:..


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