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November 24, 1998 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-24

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"Elizabeth" ends her domination at the Michigan Theater. Catch
the mighty Virgin Queen before she traipses down E. Liberty
Street to take residence at the State Theater. The film adds quite
a bit of sexual spectacle to what historians have deemed a barren
reign. Plus, pyres of burning Protestants. Who could ask for any-
thing more? Michigan Theater. 7 & 9:30 p.m.

94d* F "r
7h

ainbrrow in Daily Arts:
3 Upon the opening of Roberto Benigni's -Life is Beautiful
Daly Arts will present a review of the film, which is coming
to the Michigan Theater tomorrow evening.
Tuesday
November 24, 1998

5

Woody
satrizes
9celebs
By Christopher Tkaczyk
Daily Arts Editor
Woody's back, and he's up to his
dirty old tricks again. "Celebrity" the
long-awaited film from the master of
satire and one-liners, opened Friday
with the quiet exultation of a delirious
orgasm.
Recalling back to Allen's glory days
of "Manhattan"and "Annie Hall,"
"Celebrity" was shot entirely in black
and white. The intimacy of the two-
tone genre is expelled here, as Allen
has chosen to focus on the interaction
of a few leading characters, along with
a slew of star-studded appearances by
real-life celebrities.
Within the film, Allen suggests a
world where, much like reality, a soci-
ety of unknowns guest the eccentrici-
ties and oddities of the rich and
famous. It examines the ways in which
our popular culture celebrates certain
individuals, people who either don't
seem to deserve the recognition, or
those who abuse it. Attacking the glam
and schmaltz of the'American royalty,
"Celebrity"dunks our heads into the
toilet for a moment, waking us up to
the vile silliness of our ways. And, yet,

Metaica tears down the
Sate with intense assault

Courtesy of M ramax
Melanie Griff th shares a tender bedroom moment with Kenneth Branagh.

Celebrity
At State
-

we love it.
"Celebrity"
follows the days
and times of a
journalist, played
deliciously by
Shakespeare do-
goody boy
K e n n e t h
Branagh. If
there ever were
such one,
Branagh could
have graduated
from the Woody
Allen Acting
Conservatory for

al stud, most recently in last year's
"Deconstructing Harry," where a shy
Allen confronts an ex-lover played by
Elizabeth Shue. Instead of satisfying
his own fantastic wet dream, Allen has
placed Branagh into his typified per-
sona, an actor not only capable of
excellence in performance, but one
who's not too strikingly handsome.
That's not to say Lee doesn't have his
share of relationships- he does, in the
likes of Winona Ryder, Judy Davis and
Famke Jenssen. The film opens with
Lee still suffering from a recent divorce
from Robin (Davis). He has movdl in
with his editor, Bonnie, played sensual-
ly by Jenssen, an embittered mature
sexpot who is his obvious best choice.
Lee, who seems, like many other Allen
leading men, to be suffering from a
middle-aged crisis with pubescent
vigor, cannot satisfy himself with just
one beautiful woman. A young actress
(Ryder) appears and reappears in his
life and kicks him while he is down and
out and expects total admiration in
return. And, of course, like the celebri-
ties he interviews, Lee takes it all in
with the hunger of Richard Simmons
on a bad day.
Robin's side of the failed marriage is
examined in accounts separate from
Lee's; they only interact twice through-
out the whole film. Davis spends her
first moments in the film portraying a
woman who is attempting to move on
with her life while she and a friend
have checked themselves into a
monastery for isolation and emotional
healing. Here, as if anyone should
doubt, Allen lets the Catholic jokes fly.
Eventually, Robin meets a television
producer (Joe Mantegna) who gives
her not only a job, but also the relation-
ship of her dreams. Her story is one of
female triumph, something rarely seen
in an Allen film. Without Davis' per-
formance to add quality to the film,
"Celebrity" would have been just silly
dramatic fun.
Hollywood stars make guest cameos
throughout the film. With Nicole, an

actress who Lee interviews, Melanie
Griffith adds another dumb blond role
under her belt of experience. A type
Marilyn Monroe recreated and perfect-
ed, yet by truly acting, Griffith doesn't
have to work so hard. In a scene where
Nicole and Lee revisit the home of her
youth, Nicole flounces onto her girl-
hood bed and looks up at the ceiling
and declares, "I used to lie on my bed
naked and watch my body develop" If
only to be the boy-next-door.
When Davis experiences problems
of the boudoir, she exacts the help of a
hooker she meets while working on
Mantegna's television show. Played
raunchily by Bebe Neuwirth, the hook-
er is asked to demonstrate proper fella-
tio technique. Grabbing a banana,
Neuwirth goes to town - a far cry
from Lilith Sternan-Crane, the ultra-
repressed dominatrix of "Cheers"' bar-
room antics. Maybe Allen can only
hope his film does for the banana
industry what Lewinsky did for the
cigar.
In this film, Leonard DiCaprio tries
to be toughboy Johnny Depp by push-
ing around a scantily-clad Gretchen
Moll and trashing a hotel room. While
the allusion is too painfully obv'ious,
DiCaprio just isn't convincing as a girl-
friend beater. His prettyboy image is
hard to look past and his peiformance
comes off as weak. His fake too-cool-
for-you attitude makes one want to step
on him, much like some of the charac-
ters in "Antz."
With "Celebrity," Woody Allen is
back to his old self. "Celebrity"is
both entertaining and thought-pro-
voking. Getting back to his old
school style of filmmaking, Allen
examines the life of a man and the
people he meets, with the richness of
humanity thrown in around him. It
teaches of expectation and false
attribution, with a large serving of
humor on the side. With "Celebrity,"
Allen reassures that fame isn't all so
extraordinary.

By Chris Cousino
1Yv ArsWriter
There was only one word to say as WRIF DJ Drew
Lai svpped out on sta e
Lars!!
As a thank you to their many fans, the local
Detroit rock station 101 WRIF threw a little appre-
ciation party at the quaint, darkened venue of the
State Theater, bringing none other than drummer
Lars Ulrich and the Metallica troupe to a die hard
fan crowd of about 3,000. Since the only way to
obtain tickets was to win them from the radio sta-
tion, this big band/small club
show was purely one for the
memories.
St;pping into the State. the
Meta ica swirling, whirling neon lights
State Theater, accompanied the intense excite-
Detroit ment with several hotty
Nov. 20. 1998 brunettes prancing in cages. The
fans, ranging from teen "Load"
rockers to late thirties "Kill 'Em
All" supporters, swarmed into
the little theater around 7 p.m.
after many had waited outside in
the wind-swept chill since 1 p.m.
to get first dibs at the mosh pit.
To engage the slamming early
on, the Toronto-based metal band Battery excitedly
ran out on stage, their long tendrils flailing. Hand-
picked by Metallica, Battery specializes in playing
Metallica cover songs. Thus, it exploded into won-
derful renditions of Metallica classics such as
"%Master of Puppets," "One," and a near perfect ver-
sion of "Sad But True."
The smashing wave of the thoroughly riled crowd
crashed back and forth as Battery's acid of sound tri-
umphed in a definitive "Fade to Black." After watch-
ing the band play like Metallica, one sorry fan was a
[ ttie too jostled as he lost his chance to see the real
deal when the hyped-up security quickly escorted
him out.
The seemingly endless 40-minute wait of drum
checks following Battery's exit finally ended when
Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett casually walked
oto the stage. Quick to follow were fellow bassist
Jason Newsted, lead singer James Hetfield and, in a
black tank top and Marilyn Monroe running shorts,
drummer Ulrich. And with that, they erupted into an
all-out, non-stop, lightning-fast hour and 45 minute
assault on the ears with ripping guitar riffs, intense

drums and Hetfield's taunt, ferocious vocals.
In promotion of a new double disc album, "Garage
lnc." Friday's show was one stop on a very small
four city tour also including Chicago, Toronto and
New York. "Garage Inc." includes cover songs from
the band's out-of-print selections, "Garage Days
Revisited" and "Garage Re-revisited" as well as I I
new covers by bands such as Thin Lizzy, Black
Sabbath, Mercyful Fate and Bob Seger.
Fans heard new and old songs alike as one of the
opening songs was the razor fast, loud "Blitzkrieg.'
Carousing around the entire stage, Hetfield smiled.
as he wailed away on his guitar. Newsted stepped
over the speakers to get as close as possible to the
worshipping audience while Ulrich looked like the
Muppet Animal-on-speed as his drumsticks flew
into the cymbals.
The captivated audience cheered as Hetfield
screamed, "Are you ready Detroit? You're in the
fucking garage!" From this moment on the concert
never took a .moment to breathe as the foursome
played like loud boys who were just having fun.
After a phat bass solo in "The Prince," Hammett
took over with super snazzy guitar licks in a monster
version of Black Sabbath's "Sabbra Cadabra."
Metallica's dive into '70s influence didn't end with
Ozzy Osbourne as they ripped into Queen's "Stone
Cold Crazy." A song later, the band left the stage to a
lone Hammett playing a solo in the spotlight. As his.
bandmates crept back, they fused a dark, airy, explo-
sive performance of Seger's "Turn the Page,' drawing
much screams from the swaying crowd.
The less-abrasiveness lasted momentarily until
fans chanted along with Hetfield yelling, "Am I
evil? Yes I am." Fast riffs and loud drums were the
showcase of the latter part of the show with the
songs "Killing Time," "So What" and fan favorite,
"Last Caress." The very short lapse for the encore
break was quickly dismissed with the rousing rendi-
tion of the die-hard classic, "Breadfan."
Pushing each other into the front of the stage, the '
crowd strained to slap Hetfield's hand as he and his
bandmates tossed guitar picks to the aggressive
audience. Through the show's non-stop loudness and
tons of stalwart grins, Metallica showcased them-'
selves as boys with toys, ripping guitars and drum
smacks as they reminisced their days playing in the
garage.
Leaving, Hetfield exclaimed, "Hey Detroit, you
made Metallica feel fucking good." If he only knew
how good he made the many fans feel.

the Retentive Jewish New Yorker.
Branagh's imitation of Allen's trade-
mark witticisms, brevity and quietude
are superb - he's come a long way
from Henry V
But then that leaves the question:
Why didn't Allen just do it himself?
The best guess to answer that query
may lie in the fact that audiences would
find Lee's sexual exploits unbelievable
- a hindrance that has kept audiences
from accepting Allen as the supersexu-

Iw ® e 1 *1 /® M

Poetry Jam returns to League

By Amanda Scotese
Daily Arts Writer
At Hip Hop Poetry Jam's "The Session," Thursday night, one
performer read a poem sarcastically titled, "How to Succeed in
a Coffeeshop." He poked fun at the cliches, "pseudo-intellectu-
al speak" and the basic bull that people create on open mike
nights in cafes.
But his poem did not apply to this event. No bull - this was
real.
The evening was a meld of original poetry read, or rapped,
by more than 25 performers with hip hop music spun by DJ
Beniquez.
"The Session" lasted about four hours with people filtering
in and out throughout the evening.
Held in the Michigan League Ballroom to at least 100 atten-
dees, the MC Saladin Ahmed offered the mike to any performer.

Emotions went wild at "The Session."

s
Hip Hop
Poetry Jam
League Ballroom
Nov. 19, 1998

But no one read cliched love poems or
depressing rants that so often waste open
mikes.
Most people read with the hip hop
style of rhythmic rhymes and witty lines,
while others expressed themselves in
more conventional ways.
The evening was initiated by an expres-
sion of frustration with "the industry"-
the industries of music, fashion and tele-
vision. The first performer pointed out the
control corporations have over our psy-
ches, comparing it to sexual control.
Though similar themes came about
throughout the evening, each poet
expressed their individuality. Overall, the
most common themes were sex, relation-

clever wording.
Several poets confronted African American issues in
American society.
And still others chose to rap with the rhythms of music, and
one poet recited with two musicians. The lyrics were especially
potent with the dreamy sighs of a violin and the smooth slides
of an upright bass.
The violinist showed his skills by playing free-style to DJ
Beniquez's spinnings. A few other performers also showed their
free-styling skills, although lyrically.
The evening concluded with an improvisational conglomera-
tion of several of the rappers who had previously performed.
RC senior Amy Rose Dinges organized the Hip Hop Poetry
Slam, the first to occur this year. Last year, she coordinated the
MSA funded event six times, always with a successful turnout.
She and a friend began the Slams two years ago. It started with
a gathering in her house and has now grown to a large regular
event in the Michigan League Ballroom,
Dinges was motivated to initiate the evenings because she
saw that on campus there was a "lack of an open forum for peo-
ple to express themselves."
Hip Hop Poetry Slam will be in December or January, coin-
ciding with the Martin Luther King, Jr Symposium.

ships, American society and racial issues. But above all, hor-
mones seemed to be the most inspiring muse.
For example, David, a.k.a. Slick Tongue, declared, "spiritual
orgasm is what I need at night."
Some performers were blatantly graphic, descriiing sex in
detail or erotic fantasies, but always with unique imagery and

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