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December 08, 1998 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-12-08

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

The Academy Award-winning film "Out of Africa" plays at the
Michigan tonight. The Oscar champion in the categories of Best
Picture, Director, Screenplay, Cinematography and Original Score
stars Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. The screening will follow
with a question and answer session with screenwriter Kurt
Luedtke. Admission is free, and the film begins at 7 p.m.

Ulr £c tw N

Tomorrow in Daily Arts:
Did you hear the Buffalo Tom is coming to the area? Well,
yes it is, so check out a preview of the show tomorrow in
Daily Arts.

December 8, 1998


Students perform semester's work

By Jenny Curen
Daily Arts Writer
There is no better way to ensure
that students have been hard at work
all semester than to subject them to
rforming their work in public.

Betty Pease
Studio Theater
Today at 2:30 p.m.

In the School
of Music's
dance depart-
ment, it is tradi-
tion to hold
showings of
certain classes.
Today's perfor-
mance com-
bines the
progress of
three courses:
D a n c e
Composition I,
D a n c e
and Traditional

dents in the Composition classes are
eager to present the fruits of their
"It is a collage of different studies
we've done throughout the semes-
ter," said Music first-year student
Ariah Farley, of her class' presenta-
Prof. Jessica Fogel proposed vari-
ous assignments throughout the term
to her first-year dance students, on
which they worked individually to
create original compositions.
The compositions addressed ideas
such as space, texture, breath and
time. They also embodied different
themes including the behavior of an
animal such as a pigeon or a chip-
Although students worked inde-
pendently on their own choreogra-
phy, they will perform mostly in
groups tomorrow, with an impro-
vised ending, danced to music
they've never worked with before.

Prof. Peter Sparling's Composition
III class is similar to Composition I,
but it is comprised of mostly sopho-
more dance majors.
"The showing is basically a 'best-
of' from the semester," said Music
sophomore Anne Zuerner.
One piece, "Theme and Variation,"
interprets the choreography of one
student and its variations by others in
a group performance. But the show-
ing will mainly consist of individual
compositions that the students com-
posed without music, because,
according to Zuerner, "it's to get us
to concentrate more on the move-
The Congolese Dance showing
focuses less on structured composi-
tions and more on the exuberant and
intense movements of the Congo.
Prof. Biza Sompa said the best thing
about the class is the variety of people
who take it. Unlike the Composition
classes, Congolese Dance is for non-

dance majors, and attracts students
from all areas of study.
"The class is great," engineering
senior Loleetha Smith said. "I origi-
nally took it merely as a diversion
from my engineering classes."
Though they aren't dance experts,
the Congolese students make up an
impressive group. The choreography
is full of vitality and energy, due in
part to the frenetic accompaniment
of the drums.
"The connection between the
drummer and the dancer is very
important," Sompa said. "The music
is telling you what to do."
Whether they aspire to be prima
ballerinas or just wanted to get some
exercise, tomorrow's show should be
an impressive display of people who
actually did their homework.
The Betty Pease Dance Studio
theater is located at 1310 N.
Universitv Ct., next to the Central
Campus Recreation Building.

Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures
Harrison Ford and Anne Heche team up in "Six Days, Seven Nights."
Hoidays bring
tidngsof video joy

Composition II,

Undaunted by the public eye, stu-

DVD adds
intngue to
By Matthew Barrett
Daily Arts Writer
"Villainry is a joy." This pearl of wisdom comes
courtesy of Michael Douglas via one of the audio
commentary tracks on the newly released "A
Perfect Murder" Digital Video Disc. Douglas
thrives playing evil characters and his latest per-

By Matthew Barrett and
Aaron Rich
Daily Arts Writers
The holiday season will bring
many things on and under the
Christmas tree to those who make it
through these final weeks. Some will
find chestnuts, peach pudding or
decks of playing cards. Others will
find a bevy of videos in an always
rewarding trip to the video checkout
Arriving today is "The Parent
Trap," a remake of the popular fami-
ly classic, not to be confused with
the "Parent Trap" sequels starring
Haley Mills. But, alas, Miss Bliss
does not have the starring role in this
sure-fire hit. Dennis "Franklin"
Quaid and Natasha "Richie"

A Perfect

formance is no exception.
In the remake of Alfred
Hitchcock's "Dial M For
Murder," Douglas is at the top
of his game as business exec-
utive extraordinaire Steven
Taylor. Dissatisfied with his
cheating wife, Emily
(Gwyneth Paltrow), Steven
hires her love interest, David
(Viggo Mortensen), to polish
her off. As
expected the
plan doesn't
go quite as it
was drawn

Courtesy of Warmer Bros.
"A Perfect Murder" DVD gives an alternative ending to the psychological thriller starring Viggo Mortensen,
Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Douglas.

screenwriter Patrick Smith Kelly, and the other
featuring producer Peter MacGregor-Scott and
several other important behind the scenes players.
One of the film's main shortcomings is
explained in the first commentary track.
The Taylors live
in a very posh New
York apartment, yet
* '~the entire plot to
murder Emily

up, which forces the characters to
fend for themselves as the plot
Director Andrew Davis, who
after striking gold with "The
Fugitive" turned out consecutive
duds in "Steal Big Steal Little"
and "Chain Reaction," takes a
large step in the right direction
with "A Perfect Murder." He
*ves an intricate story that,
despite some shortcomings,
should keep audiences guessing
until the film's final frames.
The DVD version contains sev-
eral special features that should
be of intrigue to fans of the film.
It has two commentary tracks:
One featuring Davis, Douglas and

hinged on the fact
that she would get
out of her nightly
bath to answer the
phone. In the days
of answering
machines, this
seems a little
unlikely, but appar-
ently the Taylors
didn't want to pop
down the cash for a
According to the
track, the phone-
line that was called
was an unlisted
maid's phone, and
although it's nice to

know that now, that information belonged in the
Other high points include a lengthy explanation
by Douglas about the process of shot setup and
editing and the fact that actor Viggo Mortensen
did all of the art work used for the artist that he
The second commentary track is not nearly as
interesting, as it includes a producer, director of
photography, set decorator and costume designer.
And while costume and set design are more
important than usual in creating the right tone for
this movie, what the people had to say is not of
great interest.
The other tidbit of interest included on the DVD
is an alternate ending to the film. Although the
different finale has the same results as the one
used for the film it is still worthwhile to see one of
the other possibilities that was considered for the
film's conclusion.
"A Perfect Murder" is not an exceptional movie,
but it is the best remake of a Hitchcock movie that
has been released this year ("Psycho" and "Rear
Window" both failed miserably). It is beautifully
shot, the characters are dressed to the nines and
Michael Douglas is at the top of his game.
Doing what he does best, sucking every bit of
joy out of playing the villain. Maybe greed is


bids adieu to soulmate Ellen to star
in "Six Days, Seven Nights." Rule
for Harrison Ford ("You ever seen
that movie 'Star Wars?'"): No
romance, just action. This flick is
about as enjoyable as a hot and
muggy six day, seven night adven-
ture in South Bend.
In the weeks to come the movie
buff in all of us will be pleased to
sample some other holiday treats.
Just in time for the season of green
and red comes "Halloween: H20."
Guess what kids? Michael "Stipe"
Myers is still very much alive. A tor-
tured Jamie "General" Lee Curtis
returns to the franchise for what may
prove to be the final installment of
the series. LL Cool J stars a cop who
just wants to knock Michael out.
Don't call it a comeback!
Another unnecessary sequel on its
way is "Lethal Weapon 4." This
action epic features Mel "The Mind"

star as the
parental units
in this famil-
ial comedy.
Fr eshly
from her stint
in "Psycho,"
Anne Heche

Gibson, Danny "The Love" Glover,
Rene "Deuce" Russo and Chris
"Keep" Rock(ing) and rolling and
making better pictures." The flick is
loaded with laughs, love and lots of
explosions. Will Mel and Danny
catch the bad guy? Will they sur-
vive? Will Richard Donner be stupid
enough to make another Lethal
Weapon movie? Only time will tell.
If the sequel to "Babe" is sizzling
at the box office then imagine what
"Air Bud: Golden Receiver" will do
at stores. The story of a boy, his mutt
and a dream. We hear that the mutt's
NFL rights are possessed by the
beloved Cleveland Browns and that
he could check David Boston.
Expect a woofing good time!
Wesley Snipes is by far the most
underrated actor in Hollywood
today. After the actor's gut-wrench-
ing performances in "Major
League," "Passenger 57," "Money
Train" and, most recently, "One
Night Stand," expectations are high
for the soon to be released "Blade."
Snipes plays a vampire slayer with a
killer attitude. Much like Air Bud,
his bite is much worse than his bark.
Happy chewing!
Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman
star in the misguided attempt at
action comedy "The Avengers." The
highpoint in the film is when the vil-
lains dress up as teddy bears to con-
ceal their identity. Cute.
Fans of "South Park" are misled if
they missed out on "BASEketball."
The clever story of Trey "Stasz"
Parker and Matt "Sword in the"
Stone is a much needed relief for the
people upset about the NBA lockout.
Sorry kids, no Grant Hill, Shaq-Fu
or Jesus Shuttlesworth in this
wannabe funny sports movie.
And finally "Why Do Fools Fall In
Love" should come out just in time
for a back to school gift for that spe-
cial someone that you've been wait-
ing to hook up with.
Enjoy the' holidays. Don't forget
Santa's milk and go for a realfilm,
like "Hard Eight"

Gwyneth Paltrow stars in "A

Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Perfect Murder."

Rushkoff dumps poor first-attempt

Douglas Rushkoff
Ecstasy Club
Riverhead Books
He "held (her) by the ankles so that
s could go digging head first into a
b Dumpster." This is what Douglas
Rushkoff does to the poor readers of
his first novel, "Ecstasy Club;" he
places them into a dumpster, forcing
the reader to patiently sift through
more than 300 pages of
cyberspace jargon and
hokey phrases, trying
to find the nonexis-
tent innovative
Rushkoff exploits
the rave subculture of
He takes an intense,
drug-enhanced party
scene and turns it into a
piece of propaganda for liv-

throughout the book to prevent criti-
cism, as if Rushkoff is aware of how
silly it all sounds. The question, then,
is: What is the purpose of the whole
One might unknowingly answer this
with the possibility that this is a book
about drugs, for this is the implication
of the title.
But it is not a book about drugs;
Rushkoff merely drops a variety of
drug names with brief, nondetailed
descriptions of how it
feels to be on each drug.
The book probably
would have been
more interesting if
the book, in
Ginsburg style,
had been more
about drugs
and their psy-
Instead. the

addition, there lie more character
weaknesses in the existence of the
"hacker, hippie, hustler, and hipster."
As the book's description foretells,
these characters are just as flat as their
titles indicate.
But the book's only redeeming ele-
ment lies in one of its characters,
Duncan, the British cybershaman. He
is the only character who does not
immediately fall into a stereotype. The
way his role as leader is portrayed is
constantly impressive. Whenever a
problem arises at the Piano Factory,
Duncan is there with an answer that
generally involves creative justifica-
tion or some sort of hypnosis.
Unfortunately, even a character as
interesting and strong as Duncan is not
enough to carry the weak plot or string
together some sort of theme.
There is a subplot of a budding
romance between the narrator and one
of the other inhabitants of the Piano
FactoryB ut it is weak and utterly nre-


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