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March 31, 1999 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-31

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toryknown by heart
N "Playing By Heart" screens at the Michigan Theater. This
collection of relationship vignettes stars Sean Connery, Gillian
Anderson and Angelina Jolie. 7 p.m. $5.50.

te Sktan kil

0 Weekend, etc. Magazine looks at the excitement of
Detroit's rave and techno scene.
Wednesday
March 31, 1999

"---

Little to hte
in 10Things~'
Bryan Lrk
Arts Writer
There's much to love about "10 Things I Hate About You."
More than 10 things, actually.
There's Julia Stiles, for one, the most fully-formed leading
lady ever to be introduced in a teen film.
There's Stiles' crack backing ensemble, including "3rd
Rock from the Sun"'s Joseph Gordon-Levitt, that properly
convey the timeless angst and malice that permeate adoles-
cence.
There's the whip-smart and hilariously raunchy script by
I n Lutz and Kirsten Smith, who, in addition to expertly
tsl ating Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" to a
contemporary Seattle high school, give the world some
choice lines like "What's with this girl? Does she have beer-
flavored nipples?"
Still, there's plenty to hate about "10 Things," such as the
fact that it's the harbinger of another trend of Shakespeare-

'Matrix' explodes on screen
By Ed Shollnsky
Daily Film Editor
What is "The Matrix?" It is the most
explosive sci-fi action flick since
"Terminator 2"; it is easily the best
movie released in 1999; and simply an
awesome visual feast.
Directed by the Wachowski brothers,
"The Matrix" incorporates the finest
aspects of the many genres it work with-
in (including, but not limited to, action,
science fiction and noir). What comes
out of this blending is a unique vision of
a world where nothing is what it seems

10 Things
1 Hate
bout You
At Showcase

in-the-'90s that will surely have purists
reeling and will see Ethan Hawke play
Hamlet and see Othello, Desdemona
and lago in the world of college bas-
ketball.
Also hate "10 Things" because it's
another of those ultra-hip, ultra-cute
teen movies that clog multiplexes near-
ly each week.
But don't count it out on those
grounds alone; "10 Things" deserves
more than the stigma of teen appeal
- it's a well-rounded, wonderfully
consistent comedy that captures the
acerbic spirit of "Shrew" in the
heretofore pWaved-out context of high

Courtesy of Tuchstone Pitures
Larry Miller dresses Larisa Oleynik In a pregnancy outfit.
romantic comedies, for that matter - love, namely between
Patrick and Kat, throws a wrench into the bribery, fear and
loathing.
The story is aided by the quick quips of the script and the
vibrant direction of Gil Junger, best known for directing the
coming out episode of "Ellen."
"10 Things," however, is the coming out party for Julia
Stiles, recognizable to most as the postergirl for "The '60s"
in the recent NBC miniseries.
Here, Stiles is everything you either wanted or wanted to
be at 18 - her Kat is brilliant, has a great old car, wants to
start a rock band and is truly her own person.
Oh yeah, and she's tongue-waggingly gorgeous -as is
the rest of the young cast.
With the possible exception of pretty-boy Keegan, whose
makeup is purposefully visible throughout the film, the cast
possesses a flawed, very real beauty, the kind of people you'd
see in high school - unlike "She's All That," for instance, in
which Usher, Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Lil Kim all went to the
same school and Rachael Leigh Cook was the ugly one.
Here, it's the words that are ugly - acidic barbs meant to
cover insecurities and unhappiness. It's in balancing that
touching undercurrent with the first-class raunch that "10
Things" succeeds.
Sure, the film's rather conventional in structure and char-
acterization, but what does that matter when it's this hilari-
ous and convincing.
It may not really offer beer-flavored nipples, but "10
Things I Hate About You" is just as enticing, intoxicating and
truly tasty.

The
Matrix
At Briarwood
and Showcase

and reality is just a
figment of your
imagination.
Unique vision
is nothing new to
Andy and Larry
Wachowski,
though. "Bound,"
the brothers' first
film, took film
noir in an erotic
new direction,
with two female
leads and a lesbian
subplot. And as
they reinvisioned

_..,..

*ol politics.
The freshness of "10 Things" belongs first to the classic-
with-a-twist plot: Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik) would
be the most popular sophomore at Padua High, if only her
dad would let her date, but he won't do that until Bianca's
older, "heinous bitch" of a sibling Kat (Stiles) dates first.
In true "Shrew" fashion, the horny guys of Padua -
scary Aussie hunk Patrick (Heath Ledger), new guy
Cameron (Gordon-Levitt) and vapid male model Joey
(Andrew Keegan) - plot to get Kat out of the house and
her permanent state of unpleasantness, making Bianca fair
e. .
ut as always in Shakespearean comedies - and teen

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Keanu Reeves fights for his life in "The Matrix."

film noir, with "The Matrix" they bring
us a revamped and intense look at the
future.
Taking advantage of computer imag-
ing and Hong Kong-style action (care of
Fight Coordinator Yuen Wo Ping), the
Wachowski brothers have defied prece-
dent (set by directors like Luc Besson
and Robert Rodriquez) and seamlessly
moved from the world of small budget
independents to the world of high profile
studio films.
"The Matrix" is "the world that has
been pulled over your eyes to blind you
to the truth" as Morpheus (Laurence
Fishburne) tell Thomas "Neo" Anderson
(Keanu Reeves). For years Morpheus
has been searching for the One, and he
believes Neo is it.
The One, as Morpheus tells Neo, will
free the humans from the Matrix. The

Matrix is a construct of sentient
machines that have defeated the humans
and destroyed the earth. There is only
one city left, Zion, where humans out-
side the Matrix hide from these
machines.
Sound confusing, silly, bizarre?
Maybe it is all of these things, but with-
in the context of the film it. all works
quite nicely. As humans are bred and
used as an energy source while their
minds are transmitted into the Matrix, a
small band of humans challenge them
for not only the freedom of their minds,
but their bodies as well.
Ultimately, "The Matrix" is a parable
about fate and not giving into it. It
argues that when people free their minds
from another's control they are the mas-
ter so their fate. In this way, "The
Matrix" bears a strong similarity to its
two closest cousins, "T2" and last year's
"Dark City."
Nevertheless, "The Matrix" is not an
imitation of either of these films, and
never tries to be. Instead, it picks up on
their thematic material and runs with it.
Still, this movie does have some prob-
lems, most of which comes from the act-

ing. There are times when Reeve's subpar
abilities make realize you're in a movie
theater, not the movie itself. For the most
part, though, he's bad but passable.
Fishburne, a terrific actor who often
chooses poor movies, is more of a chal-
lenge to dissect. His enunciation of
every word and his emotionless style of
acting add to the film's surreal quality,
but at times it's rather jarring. If this was
the Wachowski brother's intention, then
Fishburne never misses the mark; other-
wise it makes moments offputting.
Relative newcomer Carrie-Anne
Moss plays the female lead, Trinity, with
flair. Though her character could have
slipped into the typical second-string
female, action movie cliche, she man-
ages to balance her characterization of
Trinity with the script to make sure this
doesn't happen.
In their supporting roles, Hugo
Weaving and Joe Pantoliano do a terrific
job with little screen time.
Despite this praise, to be fully appre4
ciated "The Matrix" must be experi-
enced. It's like Morpheus tells Neo, "No
one can be told what The Matrix is. You
have to see it for yourself."

'Blowjobs' looks at
more than just sex

Search for silver in a land of gold and honey

By Jenni Glenn
Arts Writer
"Seven Blowjobs," the latest
Basement Arts production, examines a
lot more than the role of sex in society.
Through a plot reminiscent of the
Monica Lewinsky scandal, this Mac
Wellman play satirizes the nature of
jargon and politics.

9 Seven
Blowj0bs
Arena Theater
April 1-3 at 7 p.m.

A packet of
explicit photos
sent to a senator
causes mayhem
during the course
of the one hour
show. The secre-
tary faints after
opening the pack-
age, while aides
puzzle over the
identities of the
people in the
photos. The sena-
tor and a reverend
also participate in

of the way they speak is really unique."
"Seven Blowjobs" features lengthy
monologues interspersed with stretch-
es of dialogue. The monologues proved
particularly challenging for the cast. "It
was hard to balance the fact that the
words speak for themselves, and
there's also very many words," Chung
said. "One must keep the audience
alive."
Chung has directed the Rude
Mechanicals' production of "The
Tempest" and another Basement Arts
play, "Sight Unseen." "I want to do
something simpler to wrap up the craft
that I've been building," he said. With
"Seven Blowjobs,"he attempted "to do
something fun that speaks, that res-
onates."
Chung turned to Basement Arts in
order to focus his work on the actors
rather than the technical aspects. The
show's one set allowed more time to be
spent preparing the actors for their
roles. "Essentially, it's all about the
actors in the space and the language
itself," he said.
Yet, for all of these serious, topical
elements, "Seven Blowjobs" remains a
satirical comedy to the core. "It bor-
ders on the absurd," Chung said. "This
is really a comedy with some topical
matter."
In that humorous spirit, hopefully at
the end of the performance the audi-
ence will feel "like they should after
seven blowjobs' Chung joked.

"Nothing," she said in her broken English.
She had said, "Nothing."
I turned and looked over my shoulder. A small
Asian woman, about 50- years-old, streaks of gray
running through her hair, smiled back. Her eyes
seemed to glow with the lustre of youth - a magic
reflection of myself.
"How about you? Change?"
The woman obviously didn't understand me.
Whether or not she sensed the desperation in my voice
didn't matter. She didn't have change. What wild
thoughts she must have stored in that head. Her eyes
screened them without hesita-
tion. But still, no change.
I clutched my $20 bill tighter
and retreated from the counter,
looking back only once at the
woman standing behind it.
"Nothing," she said again.y
"Some place;' I thought, and
headed back out onto the street.
The hot dog vender on the
corner shook his head. "You
buy? You no buy, you no Christopher
change." His black moustache
bounced with each syllable. Tkaczyk
His eyes were hidden within kaue
the dark shadow of his cap's tate of
brim. "Futility," I thought. the Arts
I headed further down the
avenue and parted a gray sea of
pigeons. "Goddamn rodents better not shit on me," an
elderly gentleman muddled, obviouslly perturbed at
the disruption of afternoon tea with friends. Like this
morning's weatherman, his long coat called for rain.
The birds swarmed into the branches overhead, leav-
ing the white bread crumbs he continued to spill onto
the polka-dotted sidewalk. To my right, the park's
rhodedendrohns offered their purple pleasure, teasing
softly - swelling with blood, cleavage for botanists.

"Touch me "they called. "Change?" I asked. No. Only
aroma.
Another bus passed with the sign "Exact change
only" posted on its glass door.
"Some town," I thought.
I crossed 88th Street and glanced between the
grates of the sewer, down into the subterranean world.
I eyed for a silver reflection, hoping to find quarters
- six of them - the answer to my most persistent
prayer. Prayers too often go unanswered.
"I happen to like New York;" that lusty-voiced
woman kept singing into my ear. Too bad she didn't
have change. Only sleeping pills. Only here, dear.
Two hours before, I had shoved my ATM card into
the machine - hoping that my funds would transfer
from a non-Chase institution. They did and I was
rewarded with a crisp, new $20 bill. Thank god for
Cirrus. Now the bill, having been takenfrom my wal-
let and shoved into three of my four pockets (I never
use the back right), had wilted down to a wrinkled
scrap. Jackson's face was bloated and green. He
could've been sick from all the movement - the
jouncing pace of my search upon city streets for
change.
In a town that has everything, I could not find the
one thing I needed. I glanced at my watch - 25 min-
utes to spare. If I lassoed a bus now, that would give
me 15 minutes for the ride to 45th, and 10 minutes to
walk the six blocks to the cinema. Making her wait
seemed worse than the lateness of death itself. I began
to run.
No more stores. Houses on the left. Park on the
right. Pavement straight ahead. Change not in my
pocket.
I saw the monumental edifice of the museum up
ahead. "Change," I thought, and climbed the stairs.
"Museum closed on Monday,' read the sign.
"Danmit "
German tourists always find ways of nuisancing the
environment. Especially when I don't speak German.

Why is it that Europeans entertain themselves by mak-
ing bathhouses out of public fountains? Is it revenge
on American tourists who litter their homeland?
"No sprechen das douche," I attempted. They
laughed. "Avez-vous das change?" I tried again. For
once in my life I wished I'd faced a Frenchman. More
laughter. "Fucking foreigners;' I thought as I moved
on. Thirty more blocks to go. I began to sweat.
I hailed a cab when I realized tardiness to be
inevitable. I worried that I couldn't spend too much on
the ride. Twenty dollars was all I had for the rest of the
afternoon, including the movie. "Change?"
"Got no change, man. This ain't a fuckin' bank. If
you want change, beg for it like every other peg-leg
sonuvabitch," the cabbie told me before driving away
in search of a fare. I hadn't even closed the door.
I asked everyone who passed me on the street.
"Change? I need quarters. Change?"
Everywhere I went, the same. No change. No
measley quarters. In a city bursting with commotion
and evolution, there was nothing of its own essence.
Simple subsistence was bought out by high-powered
business. Nothing was changing. In order to get
money you have to spend money. Take the Oscars, for
instance.
The shopping district cried out. Bergdorf
Goodman's was bound to have change. Tiffany's
wouldn't. St. Patrick's was bound to have collection
trays overflowing with silver. A simple exchange -
no harm done.
"Change is good!" I wanted to shout. "Don't deny
fate...
But by then, I was too close for comfort and 18 min-
utes late. All I needed was change. I wasn't begging
for a salary. I wasebegging for change. There is a dif-
ference.
If only the world were a simple song. But I happen
to like New York.
-- Chris has all the dignity he wants, but only needs
change. He can be reached at tkaczykcumich.edu.

trying to solve the mystery. "There's ...,
all kinds of strange, dysfunctional
behavior that follows" director Kris
Chung said.
Wellman first wrote "Seven
Blowjobs" as a rebuttal after the Far
Right's ban on the NEA. The conserv-
ative characters in the show can't even
discuss the content of the pictures
openly. "They tiptoe around mention-
i what's in the photos,' Chung said.
oliticians in Seven Blowjobs" use
labels for behaviors they consider
immoral in order to avoid the fact that
these activities exist. The play examines
"ways we can escape things by codify-
ing them with jargon," Chung said.
The language constitutes another
dimension beyond the action.
Wellman, who has been called a
"Jabberwocky-ian," wrote the show
his characteristic focus on word
pIty. "He's a language-driven play-
wright," Chung said. "The way it real-
ly flushes out these characters in terms
OQffset printing

M -M 1 0"1 El I L -T.F... . . .. 1 -The campus humor magazine is on sole in the Fishbowl..

ONE

D AY

O NL Y

This ain't your parents'
g travel agency.

Today, Wednesday, the April 1999 Issue of Gargoyle Magazine is on sale in the
Fishbowl. It only costs fifty cents, so buy two.
In honor of this event, we bring you:

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F(w) kWI4

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