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April 14, 1998 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-14

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tee'f*4oW|w to the Ol'Ark
Jimmie Dale Gilmore performs tonight at the Ark. Check out this
rockin' country stud, as he delivers performance unlike any other.
Gilmore is critically acclaimed, and is a singer songwriter jammin'
on his guitar. The performance begins at 8 p.m., and admission is
$17.50. Get tickets in advance at the Michigan Union Ticket
Office, at School Kids' Records or 763-TKTS.

f irign BugL


® Check out a preview of the State Street Poetry Project's
latest performance.

April 14, 1998


fids art
y Anna Kovalszki
aily Arts Writer
In sunshine and rain, a sculptural
roup forms in front of the audience's
yes, and visiting artist Patrick
Dougherty's sculpture making has
eceived support from the Ann Arbor
nd University community in several
The community gets to partake in
he project during its formation by
stopping by, admiring, asking ques-
tions, taking snapshots, touching and
even building the sculptural group.
At the northwest corner of the Diag,
surrounded by walkways and tall trees,
the all-together 10, some phantom and
some realized "elements" or shelters,
stand in a circle.
ougherty uses only sapling wood
d a knife to construct his sculptures;
he chooses shapes that flow from the
material such as round, curved,
cocoon-like forms - the types that
occur in nature. Dougherty adds, "it is
by no accident that a bird's nest is
found inspiration

'Angels' dies
for its sins
By Bryan Lark
Daily Arts Editor
On a weekend when Good Friday, Easter and Passover
all occur, people are wise to ponder their existences, reaf-
firm their beliefs and question their own mortality - ful-
filling themselves through spirituality.
But one would be wise to choose crucifixion and pass
over "City of Angels," the sorriest excuse for Hollywood
spirituality since the debut of "Touched by an Angel," only
with more references to Dennis Franz's rear end.
"City of Angels,' based on Wim Wenders' "Wings of
Desire" and directed by "Casper" auteur Brad Silberling,
would probably be more entertaining if it were all about
Franz' butt, at least it would be an examination of some-
thing American audiences have never seen on a big screen.
But "Angels" is something we've seen. In fact, it's every
romance we've ever seen that asks
the question, "What would you give
up for love?"
City of Deep, spiritual seraph Seth
(Nicolas Cage) is an angel. Unseen
Angels by humans, he takes the souls of the
* dying or dead "home." But it turns
At Ann Arbor 1&2 and out that he'd give up eternity for one
Showcase sniff of Dr. Maggie Rice's (Meg
Ryan) hair, the taste of a pear and a
chance to go bodysurfing.
Audiences will give up what feels
like an eternity to watch this deep,
__ __ spiritual drivel, from which one
may need a sniff of ammonia to
wake up.
The sleepy film masquerades as a touching, subtle dis-
cussion of death and the possible life thereafter, but gener-
ally amounts to a whole lot of staring set to some dreamy
music - Seth stares at a bathing Maggie longingly, with a
sexy Paula Cole song playing in the background; Maggie
stares at her angel as he sleeps, some sweeping music from
composer Gabriel Yared caressing the scene; Seth stares
some more as he invisibly lulls Maggie to sleep to the tune
of Sarah McLachlan's "Angel."
A few of these nearly wordless music video scenes actu-
ally work. They succeed in conveying, through the mean-
ingful glances that comprise the lead performances and


Shaun Bangert Inspects the sculpture by Patrick Dougherty.


.arik far his work in
Patrk his childhood
rugherty wanderings and
thwest corner tree-houses.
of the Diag His sculptures
through April 18 are temporary,
however, unlike
his memories.
"One can remi-
nisce without
thinking histrion-
ically, childhood
memories are
:ed within a different context than

viewers touch and walk through them,
will evoke memories of walks in
nature, and perhaps make people, "go
and take other ones." He contends that
in this bustling, modern world, there is
no substitute for nature.
The method of creation blends three
stages of Dougherty's thinking, "struc-
ture, aesthetics and then cosmetics."
His said his sculptures are site specif-
ic, to fit the dimensions and shapes of
the building or space within which
they will be viewed.
Dougherty arrives with materials by
the truckload and builds on a particu-
lar site. His sculptures' parameters nar-
row gradually, and that is when he said
he knows a piece is finished. Then, "I
achieve such a fine polish that addi-
tions will not improve the piece," he
Dougherty's sculptures have been
made throughout the United States at
galleries, public parks, building
entrances and college campuses. He
has also traveled to construct in

Denmark, Ireland and Japan.
Dougherty relies on word of mouth
for his commissions and constructs
approximately 89 sculptures yearly.
Dougherty said that he chose this
area of campus because it is so busy;
he wanted to make the sculptures
high, approximately 17 feet each, for
visibility. The works needed to be
large enough to count, and also safe
to touch and walk through. He chose
to create a circle of dwellings which
create a walkway.
Dougherty said he likes the classic
bottle shape of amphorae, so impor-
tant during Grecian times. Each sepa-
rate "element" is evocative of such
Dougherty's works typically stay on
site for about a year, until the nature
has taken its toll and the commission-
ers decided to lay them to rest.
From day to day, the sculptural
group grows and develops. While the
community watches, the artist's con-
ceptions materialize.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Nicolas Cage likes pears and Meg Ryan in "City of Angels."
sun-drenched Los Angeles vistas, the film's message about
the impermanence of life and love. And the audience is
able, if only for a moment, to forget the detriment of the
film's treacly dialogue telling us to stop our hectic urban
lives for a moment - again,just to smell Meg Ryan's darn
cute hair, savor the taste of pear and go naked bodysurfing
with Dennis Franz.
Two of those three peculiar interests could get Seth
arrested in the real world, but if we can suspend our disbe-
lief at these absurd happenings, as the film begs us to do,
we see that they are all Seth wants in both this world and
the next.
As the heavenly stalker follows his true love and her
tick-infested dog Earl around L.A., trying to transcend
immortality with the help of hedonistic fallen angel
Nathan Messinger (Franz) and pointless angelic sidekick
Cassiel (Andre Braugher), we are expected to swoon at the
boundary-breaking bond developing between Seth and
Since the film offers little in the way of character devel-
opment or a reason for Maggie and Seth's bond, other than
the fact that it's something they "feel," the real bond that
develops is between the visual marvels that are Franz's butt
and Braugher's incredibly white teeth and the awestruck
viewer. Both command the screen when shown and blind
the audience with their sheer whiteness, but, sadly, do
nothing to make the film any better.
By the time the film shamefully uses death as a plot
device, there is no fathomable way that "City of Angels"
could be any more that the unwatchable piece of fluff it is,
eternally filled with trite dialogue, slick cinematography,
soulful staring that barely passes as acting and a heavenful
of unexplained phenomena.
Angels live in libraries? Lonely surgeons will fall in love
with a strange man who wears the same clothes every day,
stares at them and then buys them produce? Ticks can be
removed from animal fur through the application of olive
oil? The list of unanswered questions goes on and on.
At least "City of Angels" doesn't attempt to answer the
question of the existence of a higher power. It just takes for
granted the fact that heaven and angels and single surgeons
that look like Meg Ryan are alive and well and living in
Los Angeles and revels in its world of sun, beauty, love and
death, oblivious to the fact that no one in the audience
On this Easter weekend, Christians all over the world are
remembering their belief that Jesus died on the cross for
everyone's sins. From now on, let all the audiences of the
world remember that "City of Angels" died from its own.

learned history," he said.
"All art is not necessarily applauded
by art history," Dougherty said.
Dougherty wants to remind people
of a few ideas. He believes art is a nor-
mal activity, that no studio doors need
to be closed for its creation.
He said he hopes that in conjunction
with the Environmental Theme
mester that his sculptures, by having

Samia freaks out' at the State

By Colin Bartos
Daily Arts Writer
Opening for a big-time radio rock band might be a strange
thing for a punk-rooted outfit like Samiam, but considering the
past two years in the life of the band, it actually seems pretty
First, the 10-year-old band no longer had a record deal.
Then, the departure of its drummer led to the addition of M.P.,
which vocalist Jason Beebout said in a recent interview "took
a while for us ... M.P's a really, really good drummer, but he
didn't come from a punk background ... the whole feel of our
band was new to him and it took him a while to get it, but now
everything seems to be clicking."
The band recorded a new album in late 1996, but had no out-
let to release it in the United States. The album, "You Are
Freaking Me Out," was Samiam's fifth, and just recently saw
e light of day approximately three weeks ago.
Fans wondered what had happened to the band. "We were
wondering as much as everyone else was;' Beebout said. "We
had no idea what was going to happen, how we were going to
get (the record) out, if we were going to find a record label"
"We thought about breaking up ... but Sergie kept talking to
people and trying to make shit happen."
Soon he did, and Samiam was signed to Ignition Records.
Shortly thereafter, longtime bassist Aaron Rubin left the band.
Just when the band thought things could not get much worse,
things seem to be looking up. "You Are Freaking Me Out" was
released, and showcases a gigantic leap in the evolution of
*miam from its Gilman Street raw punk beginnings to its cur-
rent status as a full-fledged rock band.
Stylistically and musically, "You Are Freaking Me Out" is
the most diverse Samiam record to date. "Basically, Sergie
changes his taste in music really often," Beebout said. "And it
has a lot to do with his writing ... Our ability to work together
and write has gotten a little better, and I think in the past we
probably had ideas about what we wanted to sound like, but we
really didn't know how to accomplish that."

Another noticeable change in the Samiam sound is
Beebout's voice, which is stronger and more dynamic than
ever. "I feel more comfortable with my voice," he said. "In the
past, when I was in the studio, I'd get really scared listening to
my voice on the headphones. It was really discomforting, you
know. It was really hard to have any intensity in what I was
doing ..."
The album begins with "Full On,' the latest in a series of
Samiam's trademark off-and-running album openers. When
asked why the first song on a Samiam record is always so
intense, Beebout said, "Whenever I hear a record, I don't like
to have to skip around to find the good song. I feel if you put a
really good song first - the first impression of a record is real-
ly important in whether I'm really gonna like it or not."

courtesy of Warner Bros.
Surgeon Meg Ryan falls for stalker/angel Nicolas Cage.


State Theater

Tonight at 8 p.m
Samiam might be al

The rest of the album goes from fast
to slow, pop to hardcore, and back
again, which is quite uncharacteristic of
Samiam's often supercharged past
work. Listeners may wonder why the
album is so musically diverse.
"Curiosity, I guess," Beebout said. "I
just wanted to see what we could do.
Maybe we just felt a little brave ... a lot
of those songs we don't play live for that
very reason. A lot of 'em aren't exactly
'Samiam' songs."
What the audience will hear live,
though, is a lot of the old stuff, with
some of the newer, more uptempo num-
bers thrown in for fun. You might think
little uncomfortable, what with new per-

sonnel and a new record label, but Beebout said the group is
more together than ever, and ready to take on Creed's larger
venues and crowds. "I think even more so than we were years
ago,' Beebout said. "Because we've been through so much shit
getting this record out. Now that we're actually playing it's real-
ly exciting ... We definitely are a tighter group now."



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