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February 12, 1998 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-12

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6B - The *higan Daily Weekend Idzine - Thursday, Februar 2, 1998


o State of the Arts

The Michigan Daily Weekend Ma
Surreal 'Corpses' come to life at A2
Art Center and Espresso Royales

Love i a many-splendored thing. But
who needs love when you've got Oscar?
Don't get me wrong -- I'd probably
drop Oscar like a hot potato if love
walked in. But while I'm single for this
Hallmark holiday, Oscar can be my
Delivered just in time for Feb. 14, the
nominations for the 70th Annual
Academy Awards were announced on
Tuesday morning, and you can bet your
sweet bippy I was up at the crack of 8:38

to witness the unfolding ofOscar's great,
yearly mystery.
I prepared my pen and pad. I tuned in
to E!, I checked my racing pulse -only
a power outage, or perhaps an act of
God, could bring me down from the
biggest potential thrill of my life, or at
least of 1998.
But as Geena Davis revealed the nom-
inees, the thrill was gone - Oscar was-
n't all that thrilling. In fact, he was some-
what predictable this year.

V a CP. c casse te.
c r Et-bvi .aJs Co 6SAnIe "oobye giAtAd gose
*Etki ;p AN 'M

Even if I called most of the nods
beforehand, I didn't care. Oscar, for me,
is like the cliche about pizza and sex -
even if it's bad it's still pretty good. But
while pizza and sex are fleeting, Oscar
hangs around for a whole month and he
requires no messy cleanup - take that,
Cottage Inn and "Debbie Does Dallas."
And what a month it is. Forget about
V-day, President's Day and other assort-
ed days. Tuesday was the real holiday,
kicking off a high of more
than 30 days, culminating
with the presentation of
Oscar on March 23, when,
sadly, he will go home with
someone other than me.
But even if I haven't won
yet - Oscar still sends
me reeling, in a four-step
program that began after
Davis uttered "Titanic" for Bryan Lar
the 14th time. Daily Arts
After the announcement
- including the revelation of "Titanic"'s
tying of the 48-year-old nominations
record set by 1950's "All About Eve" -
comes the reaction. Every time I walk
into a new room or even blink, I am pre-
sented anew with the opportunity to
gush ("I love me some Minnie Driver"),
to kid ("No special visual effects nomi-
nation for 'Boogie Nights'? Did they
think that was real 100 percent Grade A
beef?") and to just plain bitch ("Who the
hell ever heard of 'Afterglow?"')
The reaction is the step that allows you
to separate your friends from other peo-
ple who you could grow to hate. For
instance, if they are happy that Robert

Forster received a Best Supporting Actor
nomination for 'Jackie Brown," then
they are your friends. If they bemoan the
omission of Leonardo DiCaprio from
the Best Actor category, then they are
bad, bad people. Get the logic'?
Deserving underdogs - good.
Heartthrobs teaching others how to
"hock it back" in 1912 - bad. Sorry,
Leo. Maybe you should try directing or
playing mentally ill to get a nomination.
It worked for you before, and
for Robert Redford and Brad
Pitt before you.
This is not to say I'm com-
pletely against "Titanic." I thor-
oughly enjoyed the film. I was
actually almost moved by that
spitting scene. It's just that
mentioning "Titanic" in the
same sentence as "All About
Eve" doesn't sit well with me.
Editor Maybe it's my low tolerance
for cheese (I am lactose intoler-
ant, after all). I guess I'll just have to fas-
ten my seatbelt, for with "Titanic"'s lock
on at least eight categories, it's going to
be a bumpy Oscar night.
The second stage of the Oscar pro-
gram is the research. At this point, you
bone up on your Oscar trivia in attempt
to impress your friends ("Did you know
that Jack Nicholson's nod for "As Good
As It Gets" sets the all-time record at Il
nominations?"), intrigue your neigh-
bors ("Did you know that "The
Apartment" was the last full black-and-
white film to win Best Picture?") or
scare your family ("Did you know that
Jonathan Demme said 'Uh' more than


i e 1SC;k n

in0 real love. ree (089
phone: 663.5800
40 south university (above goodtime chareys), AA
mon.-thurs.: 9:00a-10:OOp sundays
I fri. & sat.: 9:00-11:00p 11 OOa-8:OOp
Music from tho Motiont Picture '.
r nad
b e e e n

40 times in five minutes during his
1991 acceptance speech?").
After your friends, neighbors and
family get over how much of an
absolute loser you are, you move on to
the preparation, a carefully planned rit-
ual that leads all the way up to the big
night. You've got to invite the guests,
prepare the food and imagine what
you'd wear to the ceremony to make
Joan Rivers not look down her surgical-
ly-enhanced nose at you. Then, of
course, you say "screw it" and call a
couple of people, open a beer and throw
on whatever is on top of that pile of
clothes in the corner.
In further preparation for Oscar's
arrival, you must practice three key
phrases: "And the Oscar goes to ... ;
"And now, Celine Dion ... ;" and "It's
an honor just to be nominated." This
last can usually be heard from through
the gritted teeth of losers, because it's
highly unlikely a winner would ever
chuck the Oscar back at Jack Valenti
and say "I just want to be nominated -
that's all!"
Finally, you must engage yourself in
the final step in the pursuit of Oscar -
you must urinate prior to the ceremony.
If you're anything like me, which I
doubt, you might want to see a man
about a horse or drain the weasel before,
say, Kevin Spacey wins Best Supporting
Actor for "The Usual Suspects" and
your excitement overwhelms your blad-
der control and you end up with the tini-
est wet spot on your trousers. All right,
so no one is anything like me.
This is what Oscar has done to me.
Scratch that -- this is what Oscar does
to me every year. He makes me a gush-
ing, fact-spewing, well-prepared, pee-
ing idiot. Why, you ask. is this a suitable
alternative to some good Valentine's
lovin' for me?
It's the glamour of it all. that elusive
something that divides regular folk
from stars. It's not about "the craft" or
Stanislavski on Oscar night, it's all
about that little gilded man upon whom
everyone would like to cop a feel.
It's also about the promise that Oscar
holds, the knowledge that I will take
Oscar home one day; that 1, too, can
become a Matt Damon or Ben Affleck
and go from unknown to double-Oscar-
super-stud in a year. You can chalk this
up to the overactive imagination of a
movie freak, but for me, winning an
Oscar is a real, almost palpable goal.
even if I am majoring in communica-
tions and have no idea whether I can
act, write or direct.
The excitement and anticipation
Oscar brings me makes this dry, white
Valentine season worthwhile. Valuable.
Attractive. Full of knowledge.
Available. With Oscar as my valentine.
the winner is ... me.
But now that double nominee Matt
Damon has dumped his costar, fellow
nominee and all-around 100 percent
Grade-A hottie Minnie Driver, do you
think she needs a valentine for Saturday
or an escort for March 23? Sorry, Oscar,
love - or at least misplaced lust -- just
busted down my door.
- Bryan Lark can be reached at
blark@umich.edi. Oscar can be
reached at hp://www : oscar:coin.

By Lucija Franetovic
For the Daily
Surrealism has begun to seduce Ann
Arbor. An art exhibit at the Ann Arbor
Art Center, films at the Michigan
Theater, and lectures and games
throughout the city are only a few
aspects of a multi-disciplinary celebra-
The 20th-Century art form also takes
shape at Espresso Royale Cafes, where
specially designed kits allow. anyone,
artistic or not, the chance to explore their
own creative pools playing "Exquisite
Corpse." The game was created during
the birth of surrealism and is the focus of
an arts extravaganza invading the heart
of the city.
The idea of surrealism is the expres-
sion of raw, psychic thought through
writing, painting or any other medium.
Constraints of morals, reason and aes-
thetic rules are abandoned. This is the
concept with which writer Andre Breton
founded the movement along with such
artists as Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and
Rene Magritte.
The game "Exquisite Corpse," which
the surrealists played in French parlors
and cafes, stemmed from a Dadaist liter-

With "The
exquisite corpse
will drink the new
wine," the game
was named.
ary movement in the beginning of the
20th-Century. One person would con-
tribute a word or phrase and fold the
paper, giving it to the next person who
would do the same. This would continue
until a collaborative and unusual piece of
writing had been created.
The first sentence created this way
read: "The exquisite corpse will drink
the new wine," and the game got its
name. Surrealist artists expanded the
game into the art arena, gathering in
cafes to witness the miraculous discover-
ies that unfolded.
Sharon Currey, exhibition gallery
director of the Ann Arbor Art Center,
has brought together professional artists
from schools in Metro Detroit to create
their own exquisite corpses. The works

are on display at the Ann Arbor Art
Center (517 W. Liberty) beginning
Currey began organizing the exhibi-
tion 10 months ago when she invited 25
professional artists from local universi-
ties to begin working on exquisite
corpses. Talent came from the
University's School of Art and Design,
the Residential College, Eastern
Michigan University, the Center for
Creative Studies, Cranbrook and inde-
pendent artists.
A few of the "paintings" are three-
dimensional and all are abstract, incor-
porating anything from computer images
to dried fruit. The exhibit features 60
works by 80 different artists. All of the
works were donated and will be sold in a
silent auction; proceeds will benefit the
Art Center.
But "Exquisite Corpses" will come to
life outside the gallery, too.
"We want to bring the game back
into the cafe atmosphere where it orig-
inated," Currey said. "The whole
mindset behind having kits available is
so non-artists can have a chance to par-
At the Espresso Royale Cafes on
Packard and Main streets, patrons can
use supplies to make exquisite corpses.
After a piece of paper is divided into
three portions, one person works on the
upper portion, usually constructing some
form resembling the head and neck. That
part is covered before being passed to the
next person, who proceeds to draw a
torso. The third participant draws the
The kits at the cafes include fabric and
magazine cut-outs along with painting
and drawing supplies.
Coffeehouse-artists are welcome to
take their creations home with them. The
Art Center plans to compile a collection
for the gallery from those pieces left
"The concept is perfect because it
allows collaboration and autonomy for

Three Ann Arbor artists collabo
the artists.," Currey said.
The Michigan Theater w
tonight's opening, which will fe
unveiling of three 5-by-9 ft. "I
Corpses" to be displayed in th
The evening will also include
performance by the Detroil
Collective. In response to ti
corpses, the performers will inc
chance, improvisation and a :
mood into their piece.
The 6:30 p.m. reception wil
lowed by the screening of a :
film Salvador Dali helped cre
Chien Andalou." Other surreal
will be shown later -- David
"Lost Highway" will be shown
p.m. tomorrow, and his "Erase
10:15 p.m. on Saturday.
Activities continue with a
ture Feb. 18 at the Art
Borders Books and Music wi
lecture on "Surrealism in Lit
Feb. 22, and will host a day 01
surrealist games March 8. T



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"It's not that mom
and dad don't like
you, it's just that
they can't stand the
sight of you..."

Courtesy of Sharon Currey
The head of an "Exquisite Corpse" by Ellen Wilt, Helga Haller and Judith Jaacobs

put it on sal~e now
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-- 51t' EWfl --- to LibAi 2r4f4usO I1
expires on February 15,1998 RECgRDS I
--- --...------.-.-. --, J
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~Bi sr People
A light romantic comedy about a jazz-age generation gap.
Written by Avery Hopwood
with James Dapogny and his Jazz Repertory Ensemble

Love and
from your
friends, at

k!,-(.d C VLc Nice 4peop(44

Apart i
" Deluxe Loft Style
Volleyball Pool
Free Extra Storag
We'll Tackle You
High Rent probl~

February 12-14 at 8 PM
February 15 at 2 PM
Mendelssohn Theatre
I Pept. of Theatre and Drama

Tickets $18 and $14
Charge by phone: 764.0450
Students $7 with ID
at the League Ticket Office

eservine e 663-3888 Travel
CIEE: Counil on International
Educational Exchange
S Taxi 8erviCe 1218 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor
(734) 998-0200
(below Tower Records)


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