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November 03, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-03

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 3, 1997

doesn't live
up to hyp e
By Prasbant Tamaskar
Daily Arts Writer
The winner of the Grand Jury Prize for best picture
at this year's Sundance Film Festival, "Sunday" is the
moving story of a meeting between two people whose
lives are headed in the same direction. While its tri-
umph at the acclaimed movie competition may have
been more a reflection of the weakness of the field
than of the quality of the work itself, director Jonathon
Nossiter's film still has numerous strong points that
help keep the viewer engaged.
The movie opens with scenes from a New York
homeless shelter, where a group of men wake up
early on a Sunday morning. After rising, they go
their separate ways for the day. One of them, Oliver
(David Suchet), is approached by Madeleine (Lisa
Harrow), an attractive middle-aged actress who
mistakes him for a film director. Surprised at first,
Oliver plays along, and he and Madeleine have
lunch together.
The pair ends up spending a good part of the day
with each other. But throughout this Sunday, the two
characters share moments of happiness, passion, pain,
confusion and deceit, making their encounter particu-
larly intriguing.
Without a doubt, the film works best when the
focus is completely on Oliver and Madeleine. Brought
together by sheer loneliness and the similarity of their
life circumstances, their interaction is interesting due
to the mysterious chemistry between the two. Oliver,
at one time the ultimate "company man," is living at
the homeless shelter because IBM did not need his
accounting skills any longer.
There is no work available for him R
and his wife has left him, com-
pounding his sense of worthless-
Madeleine is a struggling
actress who cannot find many gigs
either. She has lost most of her
confidence, and separation from her husband has not
helped much.
The bonding between the characters is fulfilling,
but the most enchanting aspect of their relationship
are the mind games that they play with each other.
Throughout the film, the viewer is left wondering
about who is lying, who is telling the truth and who
knows what about the other. Even the truth is cloudy
and enigmatic. As a result, Oliver and Madeleine seem
to be suspicious of each other even when obviously


Mendelssohn work,-
makes American
premiere at Hill

By Stephanie Love
Daily Arts Writer
Larry Todd wasn't looking for a new
Mendelssohn work. Imagine his sur-
prise when he discovered - hidden
between scraps of musical notation -

an undiscovered
piano concerto.
It was nearly 20
years ago that Todd
poured through a
pile of miscella-
neous manuscript
Delivered to Oxford

y phony

Director Jonathon Nossiter's "Sunday," won the Grand Jury Prize for best picture at this year's Sundance Film


connecting. These doubts make it difficult for the
audience to know exactly how they feel.
Director Nossiter enhances the uncertain atmos-
phere by deliberately making the film's pace slow.
"Sunday" is a lyrical movie that
V I E W cautiously moves forward, but not
necessarily toward an inevitable
climax. Instead of creating con-
Sunday trived situations for the characters
*** to express their emotions,
At State Theater Nossiter develops moods and
tones for the film that basically do
the speaking for the characters. Thus, dialogue is not
that integral of an element.
David Suchet and Lisa Harrow, as Oliver and
Madeleine, capably handle their roles. They work
well together and bring the necessary authenticity
to their characters, both physically and emotionally.
Although "Sunday" presents a touching story in an
effective, but hardly ingenious manner, several weak-
nesses plague the movie. Overall, the film is almost
artistic to a fault. Grainy pictures enhance the atmos-

phere, but there are far too many out-of-focus shots.
While this technique may serve to emphasize the blur-
ring of reality, the result is too distracting.
Moreover, "Sunday" is unsure of what it wants to
do with secondary characters, like the other mem-
bers of the homeless shelter or Madeleine's hus-
band. They appear throughout, but their purpose is
Between scenes featuring Oliver and Madeleine,
Nossiter cuts to the downtrodden men, whose lives are
not going too well. Meant to evoke feelings of sympa-
thy and despair, their presence is unnecessary and at
times gratuitous. They are not people, but part of the
scenery. The movie would be greatly improved if the
filmmakers understood what they wanted to do with
these characters.
"Sunday" does not quite live up to its standing as
the best picture at one of the year's major film fes-
tivals. But to the patient viewer, it manages to be an
entertaining piece that tugs a few heart strings
along the way, making it worth the time and the

Bodlian Library by Mendelssohn's
descendants, the manuscripts contained
the first two movements of a proposed
three-movement concerto.
Nearly two decades have passed since
Todd, then a Yale doctoral musicology
student, created a performance edition
from both the musical content and
Mendelssohn correspondence. But until
this year, the work was never performed.
Tomorrow night, the University
Symphony Orchestra, under the direc-
tion of Kenneth Kiesler, presents the
American premiere of Mendelssohn's
unfinished Piano Concerto No. 3 in e
minor, with guest faculty pianist Anton
"I like it very much. When you hear it,
you can tell it's Mendelssohn; the style is
very clear. There is a good combination
of things in it-it's full of nice melodies,
and parts are very brilliant, and it's very
nice to listen to," Nei said.
Kurt Masur conducted the world pre-
miere of the work with the Gewandhaus
Orchestra and pianist Rolf-Dieter on
Saturday in Leipzig, Germany, the city
where Mendelssohn passed away.
But why Ann Arbor for the American
According to Kiesler, who pushed
for the Ann Arbor debut, "We beat

some people to the punch. Plus we h
a wonderful hall with a great histll
and a very well-respected student
orchestra. And a pianist with national
and international credentials:'
The piece, which may have been
composed between
E V I E W 1842 and 1844,ais
a significant find.
University The mature work
y Orchestra was composed
Tomorrow night at 8 only a few yof
ill Auditorium - Free b e f o r
death, and may have been a prelimi-
nary study for his famous violin con-
certo of 1844.
"It's hard to describe the piece
because we don't know what it sounds
like," Nel said. "I think it's very beau-
tiful, but we're still in the process of
putting it together with the orchestra.
We're creating something brand-na
People should come to hear
because it's unusual to hear a new work
by someone who has been deadk for
such a long time."
The concert, which falls on the exact
date of the 150th anniversary of
Mendelssohn's death, also commemo-
rates other anniversaries.
The first half of the program pays
tribute to John Adams' 50th birthday
with "The Chairman Dances," written
for Nixon in China. The second l*
features Brahms' Symphony No. 4,
which, according to Kiesler, "is one of
the most ennobling, glorious works'in
orchestral repertoire."
1997 also marks the 100th anniver-
sary of Johannes Brahms' death.
"The Brahms and Adams are really
thrilling pieces to play. They are at the
heart and soul of what orchestras doApd
the students are excited to have the
opportunity to play the American 14
miere of the Mendelssohn,'said Kieskr.

Here' offers light read,

Here on Earth
Alice Hoffman


N}, :


Prospective Teacher Education Meeting
Wednesday, November 12, 1997
6:00 p.m.
Schorling Auditorium
Room 1202 School of Education Building
Call 764-7563 for more information.



Stories of all-consuming love are easy
to come by. But in "Here on Earth," Alice
Hoffman ("Seventh Heaven," "Turtle
Moon") has constructed a love story that
delves deeper than the traditional smut
into the psychology of love and its ulti-
mate consequences.
When her childhood housekeeper dies,
March Murray returns with her daughter
to the small New England town where
she was raised and,
through that physical
transplant, she'
returns to the life
of 20 years>
past. But she
cannot admit to
the changes in
herself, and she can
no longer safely exist in
her former world.
In those 20 years, her brother (once
bullying and maddeningly proud) has
been financially, mentally and nearly
physically destroyed. Her childhood
love, once timid and penniless, is now
the most powerful and feared man in
their society. Like in any small town,


What are your
rights under
the code?
next meeting:
Nov. 3, 1997 6:30 pm
4th floor Union
conference room
4229 Michigan Union

Shaming of the Sun
Sale c
c A t~

gossip has run rampant. Secrets hive
been revealed, but even more have been
carefully hidden over time.
March's period of mourning turns
into a complete change of lifes
when she and her daughter remain in
town, abandoning her husband in
exchange for Hollis, her old love; and
the house where she grew up. Her 15-
year-old daughter, Gwen, also finds
love in Hollis' foster son and in his old
horse, and their world appears perfect
.. until things begin to fall apart.
Now tell me that's not a set-up.
"Here on Earth" contains nothing
unique in the way of plot or charac
nearly everything is %oc -
of any good author.
The book's worth
lies in Hoffman's
r:. writing style;
she keeps the
' - story moving
". with a lyrical flow
of words. Metaphor
is abundant, and the
description creates an ideal s
ting for a mesmerizing tale in a care
chosen dreamlike setting.
Character development is slow but
complete. None of the characters are par-
ticularly likeable, but there is a different
sort of sympathy for each, and the vari-
ous facets of each are eventuaily
revealed. "Here on Earth" is written in
the manner of the small-town gossip
which sets it up; the reader is exposedto
details in bits and pieces, as they become
available, only to be connected throro
foggy inferences and unsure predictions.
Overall, this is not a book destined to
become a classic, but it far surpasses
much of the standard lighthearted read-
ing available on the shelf. It moves
quickly, and is hard to, put down. But I
suppose that's partially the nature of the
work; after all, who can refuse all-con-
suming love?
-Jessica Ea

November 1


U of M Office of Major Events Presentation
Reserved seats at the Michigan Union Ticket Office
and all Ticketmaster outlets. Charge at 763-TKTS.

All Ages are

316 S. Main St
Between William and Liberty

Thinking of Graduate School?
Come see what we have to offer

MOXY FRUVOUS www.azark.oI
Wed Nov. 5 8PM
"a combination of barbershop, doo-wop,
Phil Ochs, REM, and Billy Bragg"
Thur. Nov. 6 8PM Folk rock from DC
Sat. Nov. 8 8PM Hilarious sketch comedv!


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