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January 21, 1998 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Jean Luc Godard's classic shown in a newly restored version. This
French film with English subtitles explores the life and times of a
troubled woman whose husband is struggling with troubles at work.
The power of emotion is at work in this classic drama. Renowned
director Fritz Lang also makes a cameo as himself. Find yourself in
'Contempt' beginning at 9 p.m. at the Michigan.

January 21, 1998


Bloom blossoms in latest novel

By Amy D. Hayes
Far the Daily
Psychotherapist and author Amy Bloom has
reinvented love. Expanding on a previously pub-
lished short story, Bloom's debut novel, "Love
Invents Us," explores often-overlooked aspects
of love found in everyday life.
The seemingly-effortless expansion on
loom's recurrent themes found in "Love
ents Us" were read by the
author herself in front of aR
50-member audience at
Shaman Drum Bookshop
The shift from short story
to novel has not been with-
out some difficulties for
Bloom. "Novels are very
different," Bloom said at the reading. "It's a big
ayground, and there are a lot more rides. It has
different shape and has to stay connected in
different ways."
Despite her concerns about the transition,
Bloom has woven the most delightful elements

of her popular short stories - believable human
characters, idiosyncratic plots, sharp wit - into
"Love Invents Us" seamlessly.
After reading an excerpt from her novel,
Bloom read a new short story, tentatively titled
"The Gates Are Closing." This may be included
in the current collection on which Bloom is

Bloom's career in
Amy Bloom
Shaman Drum
January 19, 1998
tion: Bloom's short

writing has, until now,
been confined to a col-
lection of short stories,
1993's "Come to Me"
and some unpublished
poetry that she describes
as horrible, Her work in
print, brief as it may
have been, has not gone
without critical atten-
stories have been pub-

tuous love affairs, adultery, transsexual and bi-
racial love have all been portrayed with under-
standing and acceptance in Bloom's work.
Although Bloom says she does not see her train-
ing as a psychotherapist as affecting the tone of
her fiction. ("I don't think anybody can be
trained to be nonjudgemental.") she does
acknowledge this inherently compassionate
aspect of herself that led her to pursue both writ-
ing and psychology. This sympathetic nature is
part of what makes Bloom's first attempt at a
novel so endearing to her readers.
The focus on sexuality has been a common
thread throughout Bloom's writing. "People are
what I find interesting," she said. "I think if you
are going to write about people between the ages
of 17 and 60, sexuality is going to figure promi-
"Love Invents Us" documents the varieties of
love that protagonist Elizabeth Taube discovers
throughout her early adolescence and adulthood.
Bloom treats her readers to a barrage of emo-
tions in her slim volume. The comic aspects of
one of Elizabeth's obsessive lovers are por-

lished in "The New Yorker," two subsequent
collections of "Best American Short Stories,"
and the "0. Henry Prize Story Collection."
Bloom has turned her nonjudgemental eyes
on situations often seen as unacceptable; inces-

Author Amy Bloom reads from her novel "Love Invents Us" Monday at Shaman Drum.
trayed alongside the tragic death of his oldest "Literature, I think in some ways, can't be as
son. important now, because you get your pictures
Acknowledging the declining importance of from other sources. Now it seems to me, if a
literature to today's society as well as her own book actually moves somebody, that's a real
substantial impact on modern prose, Bloom said, accomplishment."

Mayfield maintains stellar groove in 'Superfly' special edition

Curtis Mayfield
fuperfly Deluxe 25th


Rhino Records
So it's been 25 years. One quarter of a century has passed
since the "El D" rolled up and a man known simply as Priest
stepped out, with relaxed hair tied back in a pony-tail, furry
collar and a bag of dope from "The Man."
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's Curtis Mayfield's landmark
undtrack "Superfly." He proves that he has not fallen off the
face of the planet, and with the recent release of the "Superfly
Deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition" he reminds listeners that
his talent should not be overlooked.
Long after the rise and fall of Ron O'Neil's acting career,
his title character, the pusherman, lives on in the hearts and
ears of funk/disco/rock fans. Thanks to the continuing popu-
larity of many songs and the modern fascination with kitsch,
this record has always been a popular one. But credit should
go where credit is due: Curtis Mayfield created one of the
reatest and most prolific soundtracks of all time. He gave
gitimacy to the blaxploitation genre, which is otherwise so
vulnerable to attack.
r The first CD contains all of the original soundtrack mater-

ial and two added gems. As before, the soundtrack opens with
"Little Child Runnin' Wild," the only song not specifically
written for the film. Organs and percussion lead into this
lament about growing up in the ghetto. The strings, cutting
guitar riffs, and horns - typical of blaxploitation music -
come in as Curtis sings his falsetto line.
Ah, and then "Pusherman." This tune, stronger in
legend than in music, stands out - even today - as
the anthem to inner-city life. Riddled with percus-
sion and a bass line the size of Priest's money roll,
this piece sets up a cool, smart mood and brings
in important themes such as "drugs are good,
baby" and "The Man made me do it!"
"Freddie's Dead," which was released
prior to the debut of the movie in order to
attract crowds, is also known as the
"Theme From Superfly." Once again,
the bass line pounds listeners into
melody-induced submission.
Mayfield's lyrics are even moren
important here than the music, as he
tells a tale of a small time junkie/pusher
who gets smoked by "The Man." This
song is not "anti-dealer;" rather, it
takes pity on Freddie for being such a
weak loser in the dog-eat-dog world Curtis Mayfield jams

on the streets.
On the first CD, the bonus material includes remixes of
"Freddie's Dead" and "Superfly," the tune from the ending
credits. The only difference between these versions and the
original cuts is the length. All in all, it's a rather lackluster
showing from the bonus front, but there's yet another CD.
The second CD largely includes alternate versions of
the classic songs, which were either used in the movie
as background sound and not put in the soundtrack,
or simply never were heard in theaters.
"Pusherman" from the second disc, is
quite a shock for fans of the original, as
Mayfield throws horns into the mix.
They sound a bit out of place, but after
the initial shock, they add new depth to
the layers of vocals, bass and percussion.
Ar At one point the
horns show the
delirium of the
pusher better
than ever before.
"The Underground," a song
described in the liner-notes as "Superfly-
esque," never appeared in the film, but it
fits nicely. A sweet "wa-wa" guitar plays
n "Superfly." over a strong bass line. This intoxicating

number tells a rather apocalyptic story of the rise of the ghet-
to and the incidental fall of civilization. Musically, this is one
of the best pieces on this soundtrack - old or new.
This CD includes two of the original radio spots with
Mayfield himself reading proto-rap poetry lyrics and inspir-
ing the masses to keep their noses clean. This is not a plug for
the film per se, as he never mentions the title of the film.
Savvy listeners know that when Mayfield talks about a man
named Freddie, it can only mean one thing.
As a final thought, Mayfield speaks in an interview about
all that went into the creation of the soundtrack, and how it
holds up 25 years later. This is a great bit for fans of the
soundtrack and especially for Mayfield followers.
The best part about this new edition is that it pulls pieces
from many sources to create a more complete musical story.
Perhaps such a re-issue was not necessary. Most of the tunes
can be found in one form or another on various recordings and,
honestly, the original soundtrack stands up well on its own.
But in the end, this new deluxe edition is simply added
fun. It puts listeners back into the era when "The Man" just
wanted to make a score from the brothers and platform
shoes and afros were as commonplace as chicken soup.
With this release, Curtis Mayfield reminds fans that - to
use his own words - he has "the baddest bitches in the
-Aaron Rich

is or

On the road to your future,
Read become a part of history. Q00
Maaine I Summer sessions for 1998:
May 4-9 May 11-16 August 23-28
Applications available at:
tom orrow " Dean of Students Office 3000 Michigan Union AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
u "~ * 1240 Lurie Engineering Center, North Campus
" Student Activities and Leadership Office,
m o e2209 Michigan Union
a Leadershape Mass Meeting:
Wednesday, January 21, 1998
UrnversPty Pound Room, Michigan Union
aCtiViSt Applications Due at any pick-up site:
Friday, February 13, 1998.5 :00 pm
For more information, contact
Susan Burke @ 647-7013 or saburke@umich.edu


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