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November 18, 1997 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-18

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It all begins tonight with a special presentation of "West Side Story."
Don't miss your chance to see the Robert Wise/Jerome Robbins
classic on the big screen. Starring Natalie Wood, the musical tells
the tale of a Puerto Rican Juliet and her anglo Romeo as they love in
the face of gang warfare. Dance, sing or fight your way to the
Michigan Theater tonight at 7 - just play it cool. $5 for students,
$6.50 if you're Officer Krupke.

November 18, 1997


criggis' 'One Night' is hard to stand

By Matthew Barrett
Daily Arts Writer
A bad start to a bad movie. "One Night Stand,"
directed by Mike Figgis, starts with an aside in which
NJ& (Wesley Snipes) tells us
e thing about his life. A good
part of the next half hour is spent RI
showing us what Max has just
told us. Come on - give the NOOne
audience a little credit.
The makers would have been
much better off scrapping the
aside and starting off with the
second scene. In a dark room, amidst flashing strobe
lights, models are taught how to strut their stuff as the
c ts roll. Starting with this would have done a lot
m e to grab the attention of the audience than the
first scene. Granted, it wouldn't have made the movie
spectacular, but it would have been a start.
The plot is fairly simple. Max is an advertising
director who's in New York on a business trip and to
pay a visit to his gay, HIV-positive friend, Charlie
(Robert Downey Jr.). He misses his plane and ends up
spending a passionate night with Karen (Nastassja
Kinski). Max returns home to wife Mimi (Ming-Na
Wen), but nothing is the same.
"One Night Stand" is hurt by a terrible script, poor
d~ting and horrendous acting (save Downey). The
movie never seems to know where it is going and with
the way the characters are developed, it's hard for the
audience to care. It's impossible to feel for Max's tor-
tured soul if you take a step back from the action to
see wvhat a slimeball he is. All he does is lounge


around, smoke weed, shoot an occasional commercial
and think to himself how bad his life is.
As bad as Snipes is in his role, Kinski is worse.
Karen and Max are supposed to be linked by an
incredible bond. They were
w brought together by fate, yet there
V I E W is no chem-
Night Stand between theA
two charac-
ters. They
At Showcase stare at
each other
with doting eyes, but if they are
really supposed to be soul>
mates, isn't there something
they should share besides an
attraction for each other's bod-
Also detracting from the film
is Figgis' inclusion of constant
music. This quickly becomes
distracting and annoying for the
viewer. Several times through-
out the film, characters are
whispering things to each other
that are drowned out by the
background music. This hap-
pens during key moments, Robert Downey Jr.t
where it is more important to busy felony schedu
hear what the characters are say-
ing than to see them reacting to each other.
Figgis also ends almost every scene by cutting to a

black screen and then back to the action. This serves
no purpose except to accentuate the fact that "One
Night Stand" is a jilted movie that has no flow.
After Max has spent some time in Los Angeles, the
movie jumps a year ahead, as Max returns to New
York to be with a dying Charlie. Despite a-few dopey
lines, Downey gives an excel-
lent performance that allows the
audience to understand his suf-
fering. It's hard not to shudder
as Charlie's body twists in pain
on the hospital bed. Although
his advice to Max may not be
that profound, Downey's deliv-
ery is. You're left sitting on the
edge of your seat, as he strug-
gles to mix his words with
breaths on an oxygen machine,
never knowing which breath
will be his last.
Not surprisingly, while in the
New York area, Max has anoth-
er encounter with Karen. What
ensues is one of the few unex-
pected and well-done sequences
of the movie. The last 20 min-
utes come out of nowhere to sal-
vage an otherwise weak and
kes time out of his unenjoyable movie.
for "One Night." Brought down by bad acting,
writing and directing, "One
Night Stand" lacks the chemistry and emotion
between characters that is necessary for it to work.


Nastassja Kinski and Wesley Snipes stare blankly at each other, in preparation for
a night of meaningless lust in Mike Figgis' disappointing "One Night Stand."

Qperas reign at Power Center

By Stephanie Love
Daily Arts Writer
Don't believe anyone who says
opera has to be
stuffy. Ask an audi-
ence member from R
Saturday night's t e
performance of
Ravel's "L'Enfant
es Sortileges'
an they will tell
you otherwise.
The antics of a child (Deborah
Lifton) frustrated with his homework
set the scene for Ravel's one-act opera.
Suddenly a world of agitated clocks
and dancing frogs was possible to
Brief appearances by the Teapot and
Chinese Cup, Arithmetic, the
1chair and Wingchair, and the
W ite and Black cats were captivating
and humorous.
But Lifton carried the performance
with her charisma and a voice which
made Revel's score sound as it were
indeed simply child's play.
Joshua Major's direction and chore-

ography were excellent. The opera
showcased the talent of the cast as an

ensemble as well

t les Sortileges
& Le Rossignol
Power Center

as the individual
singers as they
flew around the
stage in a frenzy
of music and
color. Equally
impressive was
the simplicity but
effectiveness of


the set that further
emphasized the talent of the perform-
In addition, the University
Symphony Orchestra played a major
role, often creating the setting through
the highly intricate scores of both
In fact, the orchestra may have
helped carry Stravinsky's "Le
Rossignol," the first half of the double
"Le Rossignol" was not excessively
atonal, nor was the story uninteresting
or the quality inferior.
What kept this production from
appealing to the audience was simply

the lack of action,iwhich the perform-
ers struggled with throughout the
Often there was no motion from
anyone on stage, which forced the
singers and orchestra to carry the per-
formance solely through their musical
At times, it seemed as if this was too
much to ask from the performers.
Jennifer Larson, who played the
Nightingale, gave a very respectable
performance of a difficult part.
Other commendable performances
included Scott Piper's narration as the
Kathryn Hart was charming as the
Cook, and was able to connect with the
audience in a way that the other char-
acters did not.
But even Stravinsky lovers had to
admit that the Ravel made the evening
while "Le Rossignol" just didn't move
the audience in the way it could have.
Although one might question the
programming, the quality of both per-
formances was apparent, even if the
Ravel was more fun to watch.

'Wings of the
Dove' takes off!
Daily Arts loves its readers. This
is your chance to join Alison
Elliott, Linus Roache and Helena
Bonham Carter in the gondola of
love, lust and betrayal found in
Henry James' "Wings if the
Dove." Simply come to the Daily
Arts office in the Student
Publications Building at 420
Maynard St. after 1 p.m.
todayand answer the all-too-
easy trivia question. Tell us
in what European city these
:lovebirds may be lounging
and you and a guest could
be on your way to a spe-
cial sneak preview
tonight; courtesy of
Miramax Films and
Daily Arts. Hurry in,
because supplies are

Helena Bonham Carter in
"The Wings of the Dove."

: x ;

Iaylor brings 'Life' to Ann Arbor

By Jason Boog
For the Daily
Local poet Keith Taylor summed up
his own work best
with the title of one
of his collections, P F
"Life Science."'
Writer Thomas
ch agrees, writ-
, "(Taylor's)
poems (have a)
generous and persistent witness: of flora
and fauna and his fellow humans."
Best of all, in poems like "Counting
Birds at the Bookshop," Taylor captures
the experience of thousands of Ann
Arbor residents and students with a
careful eye. He writes of the campus'
flocks of birds, "this winter's murder of
ows gather(ing) each evening on three
is half a block down around the col-
lege arts building," and Ann Arbor can
see the image.
But Taylor's work is not bound to Ann
Arbor, as his four books of poetry and
his one collection of short stories span
generations between Canada and
California. A current manager at
Shaman Drum Bookstore, his experi-
ence includes teaching at U of M, house
rnting and working as a pinball arcade
4ndant. It is obvious that Taylor's
work depends on such varied experi-
On the writing side of Taylor's life, he
has served as an Isle Royale National
Park Artist in Residence and earned a
fellowship with the National
Endowment for the Arts. Concerning


quite soil, ten thousand scattered, glis-
tening flecks of stones."
Nature is Taylor's most sacred mys-
tery, as his work
proves. A love for
E V I E W birds is a major
(eith Taylor motif for the writer,
as their distant, nat-
Today a pm ural observation of
ackham Amphitheater hu
Free humanity is cap-
tured in the short
story, "Lament for the Crested
Shelduck." Above a Russian boat,
Taylor writes, "the birds would have
been part of the mist in the evening,

swimming off from the riverboat, reclu-
sive and wary of men." Nature's stun-
ning beauty and indifference and
Taylor's conservative upbringing are the
major aspects of Taylor's "Life Science.'
His more adult reflections in "Dance
Suite" explore his new identity after
escaping childhood religious dilemmas.
"Dance is as real as rocks ... as love, as
someplace lived in," Taylor decides
about the once forbidden activity.
Currently, Taylor has decided to settle
in Ann Arbor, feeling "it was important
to find a place for a home ... Ann Arbor
has been good to me."


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