The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 13, 1997-11A
PA arts Writer
Crti worldwide have not been able to stop raving
uit "L.A. Confidential." One of the most talked-
i utflms in recent years, the gritty crime thriller has
hepower and momentum to shoot itself through
th6~Oscars into motion picture immortality.
butas Hollywood's prized gem takes the world by
storm, its director, Curtis Hanson, calmly takes all the
publieity in stride. Hanson, whose past directorial suc-
cesses include "The River Wild" and "The Hand that
Rocks the Cradle, is obviously pleased that the pub-
ic has accepted his film with open arms. Still, to him,
the greatest achievement has been creating a film with
ich he is satisfied.
"1 used the success I had (on my previous films) to
rhake what is my most personal movie," Hanson said.
"My attitude was, I'm going to like it and hopefully,
some other people will."
Hanson's efforts at concentrating on cinematic
quality by his own standards rather than molding a
film merely to please the masses has paid off beauti-
fully. Creating "L.A.
Confidential" as a full-length I N T
motion picture took a great deal
of time and hard work due tot
1 nson's strict attention to every
detail; but the final product is one irector, "L.A
of which he is extremely proud.
This labor of love was adapted
from a successful novel by the same name by James
Eliroy One of the maj-or steps the director took was to
rework the script so that the movie was more focused
on building themes and strong characters rather than
"James Ellroy does not write books that are blue-
rints for movies," Hanson explained. "(Elroy's sto-
.s are) very intricately plotted, they're densely struc-
tured,_they have many sub-plots, back stories and so
forth w hich is why they are such rich reading experi-
ences. And Brian Helgeland, my screenwriting part-
ner, and I spent well over a year doing it."
Hanson was very selective in the casting process,
Free concert to offer
innovative music, dance
Director Curtis Hanson, on the set of 1994's "The River Wild," has generated critical acclaim and Oscar buzz
for his latest effort, "L.A. Confidential," starring Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger.
choosing to cast the actors according to skill rather
than their box office draw. "I didn't cast the film with
commerciality in mind. I cast it with actors like
Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce who I thought could
do the best jobs even though their
E RV I E W names didn't mean anything on
the marquee," Hanson said.
With so much care and atten-
urtis Hanson tion put into the making of"L.A
A. Confidential" Confidential." the end result is a
At state ruggedly aesthetic and intense
film set in 1950s Los Angeles.
I he movie reveals the dark side of the city through the
exploits of three cops, played by Pearce, Crowe and
screen-veteran Kevin Spacey. The further the group
goes into its investigation of a coffee shop massacre,
the more they reveal the corruption that plagues their
city and society.
"So many things, that started in Los Angeles then
are still with us today - such as freeways, destroying
a city in order to make it bigger, the dream of subur-
bia, television as an image-making machine for police
and the birth of modern tabloid journalism," Hanson
Similar in style and content, "L.A. Confidential"
has inevitably garnered a great deal of comparison to
"Chinatown,' one of its film noir predecessors. While
these comparisons are flattering, Hanson admits that
while the two films are alike genre-wise, the similari-
ties end there: "Once you get into specifics, the two
movies are very different. For example, 'Chinatown'
took place in the Depression. Our picture takes place
in the booming '5s after World War I. 'Chinatown'
is a story about a private eye, sort of a Raymond
Chandler-type story. Whereas ours is a multi-charac-
ter story with very different themes."
Nevertheless, the comparisons are harbingers of the
accolades to come. "L.A. Confidential" has already
won the coveted Metro-Media Award at the ultra-com-
petitive 'loronto International Film Festival -- an
award which is voted on by more than 700 journalists.
It also nearly took the viewer's choice award at the
Hanson has undoubtedly accomplished a personal
triumph, as well as an overall cinematic and a com-
mercial success. And with the promising film current-
ly knocking 'em dead in theaters nationwide, Mr.
Hanson might want to consider having a speech ready
come Oscars time.
Just in case.
By Lucija Franetovic
For the Daily
Music and dance influenced by
Eastern philosophy and art will be the
focus of a free concert tonight at the
School of Music. Designed by pianist
and composer Stephen Rush, the con-
cert will feature singing, piano and
dancing. These mediums of expres-
sion will be challenged with innova-
tive styles drawn
from various cul-
tures, as well as \ P R
Rush's personal S
by his acid jazz Mcintosh t
Rush will open
this artistically explorative event
with a beautiful and meditative
Southern Indian song called "Indian
Ye Mise Thura Linga." This tradition-
al, religious folk song is about a
woman who is searching for her
The woman looks in the water, but
the fish have been eating and discard-
ing their waste in it. Instead, she looks
in the air but people have been
breathing it, making it dirty. She sees
a beautiful flower and decides that
God must be there, but when she
looks inside, the bees are pollinating
Rush laughs at this comical ending
that leaves us without closure, as he
explains the Zen sentiment behind it.
"You can look for God in many
places but you won't find him," Rush
Rush's seven-year-long study of the
profoundly religious, structured and
formulized music of southern India has
been a combination of private lessons
from trained Ann Arbor resident
Sharada Kumar and a 1992 grant to
study Indian dance and music.
Learning about music applied in the
Eastern method is interesting, Rush
"It doesn't believe in the step by
step process," said Rush, who likes to
apply a similar process in his teach-
ing. Indian music is all taught by rote,
which means that it is listened to and
then sung back.
Rush uses a talented ear in the sec-
ond part of the concert as well. Here, he
plays two Meredith Monk piano com-
positions. He describes them as "emo-
tional -a combination of different cul-
tures with which Monk makes up her
Because these compositions are
rarely heard and difficult to obtain,
Rush had to transcribe the music from
the CD, a rather difficult and admirable
Rush recalled a road sign he encoun-
tered while driving through the
Himalayas. It read: "Take a risk, take a
life." Though it is doubtful that art
could involve many life-death situa-
tions, Rush seems
to be incorporating
E V I E W risks in his new and
hen Rush bold performances.
The last piece of
Tonight at 8 the concert
ater, School of Music involves quite an
section -- the
amplified sound of breath. There are,22
breaths in the musical accompaniment
to this dance piece. The dancers base
where they are according to Rush's loud
breathing. The breathing is like a
metronome and rules the dynamics of,
the piano piece, depending on how fast
It is a miraculous union of body and
mind that requires intense concentra-
tion. Rush reflected that yoga might
have helped him though "the techniquew
is very hard physically and you cansget
dizzy, high and confused while doing
The ritual-esque Japanese dance'is
choreographed by Ayako Kasto.and'
features a tea ceremony. Three women
and a man engage in greeting, dating,
eating and being as part of an -old
Buddhist tradition of a "ritualzed
moment-by-moment careful drinking
The graceful and elegant taicbi-
inspired gestures give the dancers a
"strange glow and purposefulness" in
this work, which culminates the eon-
Stephen Rush is also the Director
of the University of Michigan
Digital Music Ensemble. He com-
poses music that has been performed
worldwide and does touring him e~1f.
He plays the synthesizer witgs
acid-jazz group "Quartex," v h
also includes an electric trunt,
bass and drums.
The band performs at bars14d
museums and plays weekly -tz
Masses at the Canterbury Hou |ts
performances incorporate ing -
tive video software and inclia
video representation of the no -it
fNCAA' delivers No. 1 football action for '98
By Deveron Q. Sanders
For the Daily
True, collegiate football action has
finally made its way to the Playstation.
Where NCAA Gamebreaker dropped
the ball, NCAA
Football '98 fromR
Electronic Arts has .R
picked it up and
run. All 112
* AA Div. I-A
teams have made Elec
the journey to this
CD, and they even brought their stadi-
ums with them!
jThe game is based on the current ros-
ters from this college season, which
means that you get to throw touch-
downs with Peyton Manning, crush
tacklers with Curtis Enis and return
kicks with University of Michigan's
vn Charles Woodson. There is a
ethora of options and game modes, so
you cin customize the game to your
style of play.
But let's get down to the nitty-gritty.
How good is the game? In a word, spec-
tacular! The gameplay - which, by the
.way, was my main beef with
Gamebreaker --- is excellent. Concise
play control allows you to smoothly
duke your way to a 15-yard gain, or to
weave your way through. blockers to
make a game-saving tackle. The com-
puter's Artifical Intelligence has been
beefed up to really give you heartaches
ments. (In fact, if
VIEW you really want to
CAA Football spend some time
'98 pulling your hair
*** out, try playing on
nic Arts --Playstation the All-American
level.) The players
actually do a goodrjob blocking for you
on the run, which can help you to get
that critical first down. In the past
(especially with Electronic Arts's
games), the players just kind of stood
and watched or ran away - when they
weren't getting in your way, that is.
The main problem with the game is
that there is still that one play that
seems to work on the computer 95 per-
cent of the time - an EA trademark.
The end zone celebrations leave quite a
bit to be desired, and at times look a bit
pixeled. The game takes quite some
time to move to the pause menu; it takes
an eternity to save or load a season; and
there just aren't enough bone-jarring
hits to get fired-up about. The game
also fills up an entire regular memory
card, taking up a whopping 13 blocks
for-a season alone! If you want to save
a season or anything else, looks like
you'll have to get two memory cards.
On the positive side, the mind-bog-
gling amount of game-setup options are
enough to make you forgive and forget
the flaws. Aside from exhibition and
season play, you can replay some of the
greatest match-ups of all time or take
on your favorite school's arch-enemy in
You can perfect your timing on pass
routes or get better on defense in prac-
tice mode. There is also a dynasty
mode, one of the most innovative ideas
to hit sports gaming in a while. In this
mode, you will play your way through
four seasons in which your players
improve and/or graduate! You get to fill
vacancies left by graduates by "recruit-
ing" freshman that fit into the type of
team that you want to build.
You can even create your own players
and watch them improve. Which brings
me to yet another feature that makes
this game pretty innovative: You can
"draft" your created players from
NCAA '98 into EA's Madden '98 and
watch their domination continue in the
Without a doubt, I would quickly rec-
ommend this one to any football fanat-
ic with a PSX. NCAA '98 is a clear cut
No. 1 in the polls.
SET YOUR t,,L
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A STAR IS BORN!
Epsilon Chapter of
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
Presents the Debut Concert of
In an Evening of Classical Works
Fnr Instrumental and Vocal Ensemble
Two miniature operas of fairy-tale wonder and lyrical geni
by the composers of Bolero and The Firebird.
L'Enfant et les SortiIejes Ly Maurice Fave[
"The Child and the Enchantments"
Le Rossignol IylorStravinsky
Sung in French with English supertitles
Directed by Joshua Major
Conducted by Kenneth Kiesler
With the University Symphony Orchestra
Y FOR THE
nber13-15 at 8 PM