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February 06, 1998 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-06

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u've waited so long for a new release from Pearl Jam, and Sony
ants you to hear it. Tonight at Touchdown Cafe, you'll have the
opportunity to sample new music from "Yield," hear some of the
band's rare material and get some inside information. The excite-
ment begins at 5 p.m. and lasts until 10.

Eau
ARTS

Monday in Daily Arts:
Are you uncertain if "Blues Brothers 2000" is worth your
$7? Find out if Dan Akroyd can still make classic blues and
classic comedy in the Daily's review of the "Blues Brothers"
sequel.
Friday
February 6, 1998

5

Canadian troupe charms
with unique personality

Courtesy of Fine Une Features
tan Holm stars as lawyer Mitchell Stephens, an outsider who travels Into a trauma-ridden town In "The Sweet Hereafter."
Lie is far fromJ sweet In
brillilant film 'Here V.after'

By Anna Kovalszki
Daily Arts Writer
Two trumpets, a French horn, a tuba
and a trombone. They are just only five
instruments, but with the right handling
they create a sound as complete as a
full-fledged orchestra or a blues band.
The potential of the brass quintet
ensemble has consistently not been
realized, and until the founding mem-
bers of The Canadian Brass came
together 28 seasons ago, it was quite an
obscure musical medium.
Traditionally, one expects loud flour-
ishes in marches to come from this fam-
ily of instruments. From the harsh, stri-
dent sounds of a victory celebration, to
the proclamation of a king's entrance
during medieval times, to Sousa's
marches, the brass was an instrument
of strength.
The Canadian Brass finds music
filled with tradition and soft, mellow,
perfectly harmonized sounds through
its custom-made Yamaha instruments.
Duke Ellington's upbeat, swinging
music, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony,
Bach's Fugues, Byrd's English
Renaissance music of Byrd, Christmas
favorites and popular Beatles' hits all
fit into The Canadian Brass' repertoire.
And judging from their versatile
artistry, one would expect non-tradi-
tional performance tactics from these
men. And the Brass don't disappoint.
In their eighth performance under
University Musical Society auspices,
The Canadian Brass are sure to offer
one of its most memorable perfor-
mances. Judging from past successes,
UMS President Kenneth Fischer pre-
dicted that this year's performance will
be a crowd pleaser. The Brass play from
memory, eliminating the need for con-
fining chairs, he said. They develop a
choreography, a playful banter among
themselves and a certain communica-
tion with the audience. They make full
use of the stage as part of their presen-
tation, many times using a takeoff on a
ballet as a theme. They are humorous,
along with being, "first rate musicians"
Fischer said.
Trumpet player Jens Lindemann, a
former admiring fan, is the newest addi-
tion to the band. Three of the five play-
ers were part of the original cast, and two
have been replaced since the ensemble
was established. Sunday's show will be
Lindemann's first in Ann Arbor. Fischer
says it will be interesting for Brass fans
to see how Lindemann adds to the
group's already developed personality.

.
Canadian
Brass
Hill Auditorium
Sunday at 4 p.m.

America" and
their hit "Penny
Lane."
The success of
The Canadian
Brass lies partial-
ly in its members'
versatility, and in
their incredible
drive to perform
and continually
develop. They
perform an aver-
age of 130 con-
certs a season in
North America

The scheduled program for the after-
noon is another indicator of the diversi-
ty of the group. It will perform classical
music, in the form of a Bach Fugue,
Pergolesi Suite, Gabrieli Canzone per
sonare No. I and a somewhat-comic
Schickele, "Hornsmoke, A Horse
Opera in One Act."
And then there is the subject of the
group's recording currently in the
works - a compilation of Beatles
songs, with a classical touch. Among
the pieces to be performed are
"Yesterday," the poignant song of the
classic movie "Once Upon a Time in

The Canadian Brass have extensively
added to the sheet music available for
brass quintet, and inspired numerous
similar groups with its success. Their
existence is arguably important to
groups such as the Empire Brass, the
Gabrieli Consort and the Philips
Ensemble. These groups have chosen to
focus on a narrower field of music 4nd
have become experts on those areas. But
few offer the wide range that The
Canadian Brass continues to develop.
Fischer cited the ensemble's dedica-
tion to teaching as one of its admirable
qualities. The members hold master
classes, seminars and workshops aiid
have hosted the World's Largest
Concert for two consecutive years. The
latter program was developed by the
Music Educators National Conference,
an organization of teachers and per-
formers who wish to further music edo-
cation in schools. The concert in 1997
took place in Washington, D.C. and fea-
tured a sing-along with about 8 million
students.
Affectionately calling the members of
Canadian Brass, the "Pied Pipers of
Brass," Fischer stated that this aspect of
the Brass has been incorporated in past
performances in Ann Arbor, where brass
majors participated in their concerts:
And so the two trumpets, French
horn, tuba and trombone are on their
way to Hill Auditorium. It is quite prob-
able that their shiny surfaces will reflect
smiling faces, their interiors release
waves of soft, harsh, undulating and
staccato notes.

By Prashant Tamaskar
Daily Arts Writer
One of the most critically acclaimed films of 1997, "The
weet Hereafter" is a poignantly lyrical piece that deals with
the pain of a small community. Directed by Atom Egoyan
("Exotica"), the movie combines psychological drama with
mystery and plot twists to create a contemplative atmosphere
that stays with the viewer long after the final credits roll.
Renowned stage actor Ian Holm stars as Mitchell
Stephens, an attorney traveling to British Columbia to bring
"justice" to the residents of a town haunted by its past.
On a snowy winter day, a school bus swerves off the road

The Sweet
Hereafter
At Ann Arbor 1&2

into an icy lake killing 14 children and
injuring nany others.
Uncertain of why the accident
occurred, and smelling blood, Stephens
seeks to attack anyone who may be
held accountable, in order to gain a set-
tlement that will financially aid both
the families of the victims and himself.
Probing deep into the psyche of the
community, the lawyer finds parents
who cannot deal with their loss and are
unable to move forward with their
lives. But even though many residents
hire Stephens to take their case, it soon
becomes apparent that his presence is
not helping their situation.

u

ily wants to win the largest settlement possible to provide for
their paralyzed daughter. A single father who lost two chil-
dren seeks to rid the town of the attorney who is rekindling
painful memories. These are just some of the few characters
played to understated brilliance by a large and balanced cast.
But, the film is built around Stephens, and to a lesser
degree Nicole Burnell (Sarah Polley), the aforementioned
young girl confined to a wheelchair as a result of the acci-
dent. In Stephens, Atom Egoyan has created one of the most
complex characters in recent movie history.
A lesser production would have made the attorney the
obvious villain of the story. A big city outsider comes to a
small town haunted by an accident, stirs up people's emo-
tions, finds someone at fault and gains a big profit for him-
self.
But this is not the case with "The Sweet Hereafter."
Stephens pursues the lawsuit with a passion that goes far
beyond financial compensation. The reason is that he too has
a child whose life has been ridden by disaster. His daughter
left home and is a drug addict wandering the streets, occa-
sionally calling her father for money.
Obsessed by his own past and left wondering where he
went wrong, it is obvious that the attorney understands the
suffering of the people of the town. But due to the nature of
his job, this is only revealed when he is not interacting with
his clients.
Stephens, in many ways, views the lawsuit as a chance for
some sort of illogical redemption. Andhe sees in Nicole the
idealized version of what his daughter could have been.
Everyone in the town loves Nicole, but a part of her has
been taken away, a situation which Stephens wishes to
amend.
Haunted by their pasts, the lawyer and the girl have an
interesting dynamic that plays out nicely through the last part
of the film. The quality of their interaction is made possi-
ble by the superb performances of Holm and Polley, who
subtly express their emotions through their mannerisms,
and not through the film's dialogue.
Thus, the film builds up to a dramatic climax,
where the truth is revealed and the conflict is ulti-
mately resolved. Egoyan does not disappoint, pro-
ducing a finale that takes a few minutes to absorb,
but is utterly satisfying.
Ultimately, "The Sweet Hereafter" is the type of
film that requires the emotional and intellectu-
al participation of the audience in order to
be appreciated. Technically seamless,
with an abundance of substance, the
understated movie does not over-
power at any point, but has a grad-
ual, lasting effect that may be felt
after its conclusion. While the film
is not the most unforgettable of the
year, it is a mature, impressive
hose life is shattered by a work that will please those
s "The Sweet Hereafter." who take the time to view it.

alone. In their 1997-98 season, they
travel through Germany, Austria,
Greece, Canada and the United States.
They have performed all over the world,
even during the restrictive Communist
periods in the Soviet Union and the
People's Republic of China.
Since starting to develop this genre,

Courtesy of Ferderbar Studios
The Canadian Brass will bring all that jazz and more to Hill Auditorium on Sunday.

Egoyan's work is built around a mixture of plot devices and
enotion; he masterfully develops both without sacrificing
either. The somber atmosphere of the community is without
evident from the beginning of the film, and it is obvious that
something plagues the characters on the screen. Piece by
piece, the director reveals the details of the plot, slow-
ly allowing the viewer to relate with the protago-
piists. But Egoyan plays with the timing of
Gents, ignoring the standard linear sequence
utilized by most filmmakers.
The main characters of the film are also
used to put the story together. But to his
credit, Egoyan emphasizes their feelings
and mindset before revealing their part in
the story. After spending enough time
,developing each character, Egoyan
{moves on to the plot. Each family on
which he focuses adds a different ele-
ent to the story as a whole, and their
Uvelopment as characters adds to
the overall flow of the movie.
The grief of the community is
heartbreaking, as each character
reacts differently to the accident
and to the lawyer.
The bus driver, with pictures
of all the dead children on her Sarah Polley stars as a girl
wall, is still in shock. One fam- bus accident in Atom Egoya

.4

w
an'

Mtn V " Y r .s r w.....

i

4 EST
E4BESTPeople
A comedy by Avery Hopwood
with James Dapogny and his Jazz Repertory Ensemble
"It's not that mom .
and dad don't like

JOIN US FOR MOE EICMNG
HoPWOOD EVENTS
Avery Hopwood and the
Theatre of the Twenties
Panel Discussion
February 13,1998 at 2 pm
Rackham Amphitheatre
Avery Hopwood and the
Hopwood Awards

I

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