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December 11, 1998 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-12-11

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making Out With Toby
The art exhibit "Making Out With Toby" opens today. Check out
three full galleries featuring photography, electronic music, a "live
XX performance," a fashion show and "money." What more could
you want? The exhibit is open today from 6-9 p.m. in the
Rackham galleries on the third floor of Rackham School of
Graduate Studies. Admission is free.

ftfi*id$itm 1&guf

January in Daily Arts:
N Daily Arts returns after break with the best in entertain-
ment reviews from films such as "Stepmom" and the much-
anticipated holiday flick "You've Got Mail," as well as "Home
Alone 3: Lost in a Paper Bag:"
Friday
December 11, 1998

8

'Trek' rises against sci-fi fodder

By Joshua Pederson
Daily Film Editor
There was something special about "Star
Trek: The Next Generation" when it ran on
television from 1988 - 1994. While the aliens
were often a bit far-fetched and the sets
sometimes campy, it proved to be one of the
most singularly compelling series week after
week.
The plots were original, the characters
identifiable, and the acting admirable. But
somewhere on the bumpy road from backwa-
ters of syndication to the glitz of a Hollywood
.feature, the voyages of the starship Enterprise
-seem to have lost that something.
- The newest addition to this list of feature
films is "Star
T r e k :
Insurrection.
The ninth "Star
T r e k
Hollywood
release and the
third featuring
the cast of "The
N e x t
Generation,"
"Insurrection"
brings the crew
of the
Enterprise to a
remote paradise
world threat-
ened by an
oppressive race
of aliens with a
chip on their
collective shoul-
der and skin
problems that
would make
N o x z e m a

essentially unchanged from the previous two
movies and the television series. And the act-
ing continues to be sufficient, if not strong.
Patrick Stewart reprises his role as the aus-
terely heroic Jean-Luc Picard.
Producer Rick Berman was incredibly for-
tunate to recruit Stewart at the show's incep-
tion. An accomplished stage actor, Stewart
once again proves himself an exceptional
performer in this installment. Above and
beyond any apparent acting talent, Stewart is,
with respects given to Jack Palance, the
buffest over-50 entertainer in Hollywood.
Sleeveless scenes featuring his incredible
biceps have become expected fare in the
"Star Trek" feature film.
Jonathan Frakes
not only stars as
Will Riker, the
Enterprise's first
officer, but also
Sd i r e c t s
"Insurrection."
Levar Burton
(best known for his
a w a r d - w i n n in g
public television
program "Reading
Rainbow") returns
as the blind head
engineer, Geordy
LaForge.
Brent Spiner,
whose career has
experienced a mod-
est upturn in recent
years, plays Data,
the android lieu-
tenant.
Marina Sirtis,
Gates McFadden
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Michael Dorn
Murray Abraham, a bad also return, repris-
novie. ing their respective

roles.
"Insurrection" also features the most intri-
cate special effects of any "Star Trek" movie
to date. For the first time, the technicians
chose to use computer animation in produc-

Star Trek:
Insurrection
At Briarwood
and Showcase

ing the Enterprise's bat-
tle scenes, to the movie's
credit. The fight and
flight scenes taking
place within the so-
called "briar patch," a
difficulty unpredictable
region of space, are
visually spectacular,
though disappointingly
brief.
But despite its solid
acting and excellent spe-
cial effects,
"insurrection" doesn't
seem to possess the

magic that made the television series so com-
pelling. One of the strengths of the series was
its terse yet thorough dealing with each of its
separate storylines. Each episode contained a
stimulating and original plot that accom-
plished much without aiming above its
means.
The plot of "Insurrection" doesn't follow
suit, taking a watered down, cliche storyline
and cramming too many of its elements into
a two hour movie. By doing so, the film's
character development borders on unbeliev-
able, because each of the numerous scenes
which could possibly reveal or advance a
character's personality seems cut short.
A further weakness of each of the feature
films, including "Insurrection," is the failed
attempts at humanizing the characters.
For some reason, it seems that the creators
feel that they must make the characters more
palatable to a wider audience, that Data,
Picard, Riker and the others will not be
understood by those not intimately familiar

Donna Murphy stars as Jean-Luc Picard's (Patrick Stewart) girlfriend in the latest Star Trek flick to
hit the big screen in "Star Trek: Insurrection."

with the television show.
In trying to do so, writers add a foreign
element of humor to the world of "Star Trek."
Unfortunately, these attempts often fail,
revealing themselves as false or forced.
Brent Spiner, who plays the android Data, is
often the victim of these botched forays. The
humor that presented itself in the original
series was situational in nature, which made
it genuinely funny. The humor present in
"Insurrection" is too often contrived and
unnecessary.

Nonetheless, despite its flaws, and despite
the fact that it may not do justice to its tele-
vision predecessor, "Star Trek: Insurrection"
is an entertaining film. It has its weaknesses,
but it has its redeeming qualities as well,
especially for those of us who were fans of
the syndicated series, and still crave its orig-
inality and charm. While far from perfect,
"Insurrection" does provide its viewer with
one more chance to travel into the depths of
space, and, if you'll forgive the cliche, to g
where no one has gone before.

cringe.
The

A Tarlac puts the moves on F.P
cast is villain in the new "Star Trek" m

ChanukahCelebration
Sunday, December 13
5:00 pm
Hillel, 1429 Hill Street

'How? Why?' unites past and present

[a kes! Dre e J !II

belly Cdoughnuts!

Candy igtiqng!

Community-wide Candle lighting
Light up for Chanukah!

By Jenni Glenn
Daily Arts Writer
College students face the task of
finding their place in the world. A
student production being presented
this weekend, "How? Why?" looks at
this dilemma in the context of an
unusual family history.
"How? Why?" examines how the
lives of two teenagers change after
they learn about their grandparents'
roles in the Holocaust.
"It's about the Holocaust, but it's
about our generation looking back at
it," said writer and director Music
senior Francine Liebling. "We obvi-
ously have different prejudices, dif-
ferent conclusions since it is two

How?
Why?
Video Studio,
Media Union
Tonight at 11 p.m.
Tomorrow at 8 p.m.

g e n e r a t i o n s
away from us."
For writing
the script,
Liebling drew
on her experi-
ences from
March of the
Living, an edu-
cational tour
through concen-.
tration camps in
Poland and
Israel she took
five years ago.
definitely a chal-

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday

12/14
12/15
12/16
12/17

Union
Hillel
TBA
Hillel
Michigan
League
Hillel
TBA
Hillel
Hillel
Hillel

@5:15
@7:00
@5:15
@7:00
@5:15
@7:00
@5:15
@7:00
@7:00
@7:00

pm
pm
pm
pm
pm
pm
pm
pm
pm
pm

pass the information (on the
Holocaust) without it being over-
whelming," she said.
Her research on the period includ-
ed interviewing a friend from
Germany whose grandfather was in
the SS, a Nazi security force, and
visiting the Jewish Heritage Museum
in New York City.
"I felt I knew about the Holocaust,
(but) when I started researching I
realized I didn't know very much,"
Liebling said. "Even with writing
this, I don't think I even touched
upon the magnitude of what's out
there."
That spirit of exchanging impres-
sions about the Holocaust also con-
tributed to casting choices. Liebling
chose six actors to form the cast,
which has African American and
Jewish minorities represented.
"I tried to make it diverse," she
said. "They had all their own views
coming into it."
The actors directly involve the
audience in the show. Audience
members actually become the Jews
in the concentration camp during the

performance.
"That's what I set out to do wh
wrote this," Liebling said, "to m
it interactive and exploit theatre for
what it has over film."
These advantages include the
movement piece that represents
Kristallnacht, the night when many
Germans vandalized Jewish homes
and businesses. "It relates to current
riots and fighting," Liebling said.
"How? Why?" also features multi-
media to immerse the audience 0
images of the Holocaust. The show
uses video footage of actual concen-
tration camps as well as slides fromh
Liebling's trip to the camp sites.
Liebling brings her directinwg
career full circle with this project.
During her sophomore year of high
school she directed her very first
play, another show about the
Holocaust. Now this show serves as
her final college project for her
directing major.
"I'm doing my best to connect te
past with the present and show that if
we don't change, this could easily
happen again," Liebling said.

"Writing it was+

lenge, since I've never written a play
before and (was) trying to encom-

Saturday
Sunday

1
1

2/19
2/20

Call H illel at 769-0500 for more info.

Good Luck on Finals, from Daily Arts.

ill1

I1

The University of Michigan
School of Music
Friday, December 11
Musical Theatre Studio Presentation
McIntosh Theatre, E. V. Moore Bldg., 7.30 p.m.
Dance & Related Arts Performance
Betty Pease Studio Theatre, Dance Bldg., 8 p.m.
[Admission $5 at door one hour prior to performance]
University Symphony and Concert Bands
Kevin Sedatole and James R. Tapia, conductors
Hill Auditorium, 8 p. m.
Saturday,,December 12
Dance & Related Arts Performance
Betty Pease Studio Theatre, Dance Bldg., 8 p.m.
[Admission $5 at door one hour prior to performance]
Sunday, December 13
Violin Studio Recital
Students of Andrew Jennings perform violin repertory
Britton Recital Hall, E. V. Moore B1dg., 12 noon
Faculty Recital

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