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September 22, 1997 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-22

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Remember 'Fame'
Catch the screening of the pilot for the new series "Fame L.A." An
updated version of the '80s movie and TV show, this new "Fame"
introduces us to a new class of wanna-be stars bumping and grinding
their way through high school - you know they're going to make it
to heaven. Even though Irene Cara is long gone, "Fame"'s gonna live
forever, so see it before anyone else. Nat Sci at 8 p.m. Free.


September 22, 1997


Absurd 'Out' is definitely in

By Bryan Lark
,Daily Arts Editor
Jn today's complicated and extremely
touchy world of sexual politics, homo-
phobia is no laughing matter - but
who knew it could be so damn funny?
Homophobia, along with many other
jthings, is hilari-
ous in "In &
Out," written by R I
openly gay play-
wright Paul
Rudnick, who
takes everything
iemotely uptight At Bi
-r. prejudiced
about the world and makes it a dormant
-41eer at an NRA convention.
Because Rudnick is gay, the hilarious
slid devilishly clever "In & Out" does-
-i't, take on an insulting tone, but rather
rings the issue of homosexuality,


which shouldn't be an issue at all, back
down to Earth with some good old-
fashioned satire - nothing is sacred
from Rudnick's naked gun; he's got
everyone from farm matrons to super-
models and everything from the
Midwest to Hollywood in his sights.
Still, the film gets
its best tongue-in-
V I E W cheek ammunition
from gay stereotypes
In & Out and fears in the over-
the-top story of
small-town teacher
rwood & Showcase Howard Brackett
(Kevin Kline) and
the chaos his life becomes when a for-
mer student announces that Howard
was an early gay inspiration.
See, this normally wouldn't be a
problem for Howard - he acknowl-
edges that he's clean, neat, uses his nap-

kin and loves Barbra Streisand - but
the announcement comes from newly
christened flavor of the month Cameron
Drake (Matt Dillon) on the live
Academy Awards telecast three days
before Howard's wedding.
Homosexual hijinks ensue when
Howard's whole hamlet of Greenleaf,
Ind., gets all hot and bothered after the
Oscars - his students gossip; his moth-
er (Debbie Reynolds) is strung out; the
media (represented by tabloid newsman
Tom Selleck) is swarming, Howard's
wrist grows a mind of its own, falling
limp at the most inopportune times -
only his slimmed-down fiancee (Joan
Cusack) who devoted three sexless
years of her life to Howard understands.
Howard can't be gay, he's getting mar-
ried in three days, right?
But for Howard, everything isn't that
Kline slays as he plays out Howard's
extensive range of anti-gay backlash:
Convincing his buddies that Streisand
doesn't really mean that much to him,
only to explode in fury as one guy diss-
es "Yentl"; or showing his fiancee his
true flair for man-woman sex, only to
be interrupted by the terrifying gaiety
of Richard Simmons; or learning to act
like a man through inspirational tapes,
only to be tricked into dancing wildly
and saying how fabulous the window
treatments are.
Kline's isn't the only performance
directly on target; he's well-supported
by Joan Cusack, who gets to go ballistic

Emily (Joan Cusack) and Howard (Kevin Kline) get the surprise of their lives when Howard is outed during the Oscars in th4
on-target satire "In & Out."

when her life and sanity begin to unrav-
el; Tom Selleck, who hones his comedic
chops further as an ambitious gay jour-
nalist; Bob Newhart, who is cast as the
sole villain, a prejudiced principal who
subjects Howard to the "Would you
walk for me?" test; and even model
Shalom Harlow, who comes off well as
a bulimic supermodel who has some
trouble with rotary phones.
But the two best comedic sharpshoot-
ers are Debbie Reynolds and Matt
The superb Reynolds gets in the
movie's funniest line about placecards
and heroin and is the centerpiece of a

love-in, in which elderly ladies come
out of their own respective closets: one
didn't really make the Rice Krispie
treats, another hated "The Bridges of
Madison County," and yet another
admits that her husband has a unique
problem ... wouldn't want to spoil it for
you, though.
Dillon as the clueless Cameron puts
on his best Brad Pitt and has the plea-
sure of being in the singularly funniest
scene, a no-holds-barred parody of all
those self-important melodramas.Oscar
tends to love. That means you, "Forrest
Oscar will probably love "In &

Out"'s cast and script this year, or most
definitely should, since comedies,, let
alone ones that are social commentaries
masquerading as mainstream romps,
are rarely this intelligent, quick and
genuinely funny.
Shooting and scoring, "In & Out"_.is
good for a laugh and a few thoughts to
ponder, the most obvious of whj.o
being "Is he or isn't he?" which st i
from the well-publicized and hilarious-
ly shot kiss between Kline and Sefleck
Well, after the movie, you'll know
that Howard is definitely out and seeing
"In & Out" is most definitely in.

Seleck, Shalom Harlow and Matt Dillon are too sexy for themselves.

lndie pop hipsters Yo La Tengo play Detroit tonight
!t Anders Smith-Lindall of, 'Gee, I wonder if anyone's gonna like this,"' Kap
b y Arts Writer said.
.Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan wishes that "more people Perhaps some of this uncertainty stems from
Would follow their hearts." Or so he said in a recent band's hermit-like approach to recording.
interview with The Michigan Daily. "We hole up in a room and work for a really I
y Kaplan, singer, guitarist and one-half of the husband- time. Then we come out and blink our eyes because
and-wife pair that accounts for two- sunny out," Kaplan laughed.
tiirds of the band's membership, is Though Kaplan's often viev
in many respects a textbook exam- PREVIEW as the band's 'leader,'Yo La's so
'pke of that ethic in practice: Though writing and recording process
Je began a career as a music writer, Yo La Tengo marked by a spirit of collabora
b really wanted to create rather Tonight among the band members that1
tIan critique. The Magic Stick only increased in recent years.
V , was a cliche," Kaplan admit- Detroit "All but two songs on then
4 "somebody who wanted to be record were written (as a grou
in a band. And now that I am, I don't need to (write) Kaplan said, explaining that "the lyrics tend to c
anymore." last. What will really happen is somebody will
To be truthful, Kaplan's not just "in a band" he's at playing and we'll all fall in and play for a long ti
the helm of the oh-so-hip indie-pop trio Yo La Tengo, We'll finish playing an hour later and kinda say, 'Oh
who played the Blind Pig on Saturday and will appear you remember what you did?' Then we'll write so
at Detroit's Magic Stick tonight. thing down - or maybe we won't," he concludedw
While Yo La's new album, "I Can Hear the Heart a laugh.
Beating As One," has elicited nothing but pandering Featuring plenty of both the slightly off-kilter'
paeans to its greatness from music critics nationwide, gems and artsy, feedback-laden jams the band is kn(
the band was initially less confident about its chances for, the new album sprawls more than 70 minu
for critical and commercial success. something that Kaplan says was not planned.
"We were pleased with it, but there was also a sense "The long record wasn't our intention. (But)

;s is
, do

Moore brings 'Big
One,' book tour to A2

Yo La Tengo frontman Ira Kaplan
decided that 'Spec Bebop' was going to be on the
album by hook or by crook ... and we couldn't find any
other way to make it flow except to make the record
really long," Kaplan said.
Of the typically dynamite Yo La live performances,
Kaplan said, "In this MTV age, I think many bands just
try to recreate the sound of the record. That's never been
our goal. We try to make the shows different - differ-
ent from the record and certainly from each other. We
are playing in Ann Arbor and Detroit, and we will con-
sciously play two very different sets, hoping that people
will come to both."
Consider that an invitation. And consider this a chal-
lenge: Kaplan said that the title of the album, "I Can
Hear the Heart Beating as One," is taken from a line in
a movie, but won't reveal the source.
"I think it's a nice, evocative title - it seems to mean
a lot but it doesn't really mean anything," he said coyly.
"It comes from a movie, but I'm not telling what
movie. You'll have to see it one day and say, 'Eureka!"'

By Geordy Gantso
Daily Arts Writer
With a Northwest
ball cap and his stan
jeans and sneakers)1
the stage at the M
Friday to cheers and
gave the Flint
native a welcome
usually reserved
for hometown
Moore gave a
brief speech to
kick off the
evening that
brought the audienc
has been going oni
last trip to Ann Arb
his book tour here 1
York Times Best
This! Random T

odes Unarmed American," Moore hit 47, .S.
cities in just a few weeks,
ern University base- After the first few cities, Moore began
dard attire (suit coat, to get the feeling he had just before he
Michael Moore took made his first movie, "Roger &. Me.'
ichigan Theater last The hilarious story about Moore's .val
whistles. Ann Arbor attempts to interview Roger SmithC*
of GM, to show hii
what the Flint plani
REVIEW closing did to his
The Big One hometown became a
huge success. : So,
Screening & book signing Moore did what he
felt he needed to do:
Sept.19 at the Michigan Theater He gathered a filnl
crew and brought
e up to date on what them along on his book tour.
in his life since his His creation, "The Big One,"
or. After kicking off even better than "Roger & Me," an4
last fall for the New even more in-your-face. With a stop?
Seller, "Downsize over in Milwaukee, Moore visited comr
houghts From an pany that had just announced it was
packing up and moving to Mexico aftei
years of record profits.
Moore walked in with a a big novelty
check for $0.80, to pay for the first hour
of labor for an exploited Mexican worker
As in "Roger & Me," Moore spendi
the entire movie trying to save
working man while making the exec
tives look like incompetent boobs.This
movie holds a huge surprise at the end;
everyone will get a chance to see it
when it is widely released in 1998.
During the Q & A following the
movie, Moore took on all questions rang
ing from unions to women's rights with
fervor and sincerity. He even maintained
poise and control when one studet
began to berate him over not receiv,
credit for work done on "The Big One."
Moore, a staunch supporter of th4
U.S. government, encouraged the audi-
ence to become more involved in the
working of democracy.
Moore recognizes the irony of his
popularity; big corporations fund hid
movies and books, and those are the
people he is trying to shut down. He
longs for the day when he is no longer
being signed by these companies,
that would signal that they will I
longer be free to walk over the working
nian anymore.
Oh, and the baseball hat? Mr. Goss,
he won't wear the beloved 'M' until we
clean up our athletic department.

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