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February 08, 2000 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-08

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


I never learned to read!
But author Douglas Copeland did, and
Canl write, too. Copeland will be reading
Ercom "Miss Wyoming" at Borders toniglht
at 7 p.m.

ARTS

TUESDAY
FEBRUARY 8, 2000

5

michigandaily.com/arts

.Tender 'Mother'
reveals honesty

Prison art exhibit

reflects personal
growth, change

.

By Laura Flyer
Daily Arts Writer

Pedro Almodovar is back with his
latest successful cinematic enter-
*rise, "All About My Mother." He
definitely provides a surfaced
description of the film, calling it a
"screwball drama." Rather, "All
About My Mother" is intensely
probing, magnanimously honest and
touchingly praiseworthy of the
unbreakable bonds of family and
friends.
Almodovar's cast is bereft of pop-
larized, glamorized stars; they are
instead people who have been close
to him throughout his life. His
method of choosing actors may seem
skewed, but it's not as though he
made the wrong selections. His so-
called "family" of actors are as indi-

All About
jMy Mother
Grade: A-
At the Michigan
Theater

vidually unique
as they are tal-
ented. For
Almodovar, the
cinema isn't a
battleground to
duel over the
most flawlessly-
skinned actor of
the Hollywood
lot. His picks
are as honest and
real as they

tv conversation, wholly engrossed in
one another's comforting presence.
Agrado introduces Manuela to
Sister Rosa, a seemingly devout nun
who is committed to helping the dis-
advantaged. Though Rosa isn't as
bull-headed as Manuela, she shares
the same filial piety and lack of pre-
tensions. She also is not as innocent
as one would expect; it turns out that
she and Manuela both shared the
same man (before he became a
woman) - Lola, who is also the bear-
er of Manuela's lost son, Esteban.
Manuela, with the memory of her
son still fresh in her mind, seeks
emotional refuge in clinging to the
theatrical production "A Streetcar
Named Desire." The play is like a
Shakespearean play-within-a-play,
mirroring the tensions in "All About
My Mother." Externally, it signals a
flood of memories for Manuela;
internally, it deals with characters in
situations akin to those surrounding
Manuela.
When Rosa becomes pregnant,
Manuela does not hesitate to devote
her energies into helping her. Rosa's
mother, however, continually makes
her relationship with Rosa difficult
because she refuses to see her
daughter in a true light, always
begrudging her alternate choices in
life. What makes Manuela and Rosa
seem so fierce and enviable is not
that they contrast those who judge
others superficially, but that they
consider those fakes a hostile influ-
ence on their well-being. Rosa does
not waste her time bickering with her
mother over issues that the elder will
never come to understand. Likewise,
Manuela refuses to have others
undermine and condescend to her
because of how she chose to lead her
life.
Almodovar does not leave behind
traces of humor so redolent in his 1988
film, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous
Breakdown" in "All About My Mother"
These characters endure multiple hard-
ships, but they never forget about the
importance of enjoying life's little plea-
sures. Almodovar puns on sexual innu-
endoes and mocks others' often heavy-
handed perspectives. But most of all, the
insufferable Blanche Dubois or Huma
Rojo (Marisa Paredes), the actress who
seems to mold into such a character.
always have and will continue to
"depend upon the kindness ofstrangers"

Courtesy of MTV
The cast of "The Lyricist Lounge Show" hopes to freshen up sketch with rap.
Sketchy ounge
Show' boasts tirt, o-edy

Michigan
Prisoner
Art Show
Rackham Galleries
Feb. 8-23, 200C

By Rosemary Metz
Daily Arts Writer
Incarcerated men and women in
Michigan prisons have discovered
artistic ways to escape the bleakness
of daily life. Artwork by these pris-
oners will be on display this month
at Rackham Galleries through the
efforts of Prof. Buzz Alexander.
The Prison Arts project has grown
since its inception in 1990. The
prison population has grown as well.
Alexander said the number of pris-

ons in Michigan
jails "has
quadrupled.
Prisons are
where people
with no econom-
ic resources are
being sent -
especially per-
sons of color
and women"~
New sentenc-
ing laws, such as
the "third
strike " have
been instrumen-

The prisoners work in all media,
some of which is highly unique.
Alexander said these works included
a leather "Last Supper," as well as
pieces rendered in instant coffee
granules or Colgate Tooth Whitenet.
Prisoners also use more convention-
al materials such as acrylic, water-
color, pencil and pen. Each artist
supplies their own materials.
Some of the types of pieces in the
show include portraits, landscapes,
abstract art, still life and magazine
photo collages. Alexander notes that
some of the most repeated themes
are African heritage and Native
American subjects.
While providing space for this self
expression, Alexander and Anadon
take pride in their own personal
achievements. Anadon, in her work
with women at facilities in Coldwater
and Plymouth, describes how this
artistic and personal interaction has
helped her to become more open and
willing to express herself. Anadon has
seen the transformations that occur
when female inmates feel safe enough
to express themselves. She says they
become free to do "amazing stuff"
artistically.
Despite the hardship of prison life,
the sameness and bleak conditions,
Alexander sees the prisoners' works as
an attempt at healing and growth for
themselves. Never denying individual
responsibility for past crimes,
Alexander said, "everybody has a
chance to change." The 100 works of
art in this display demonstrate that
willingness and effort.

come.
Honest;
H~fIfEf n e s

y,
ti

n~~t Ue,s p L:J
*alsity and triumphs. There is
Manuela (Cecilia Roth) a hard-nosed
woman who carries with her the
weight of two deceased family mem-
bers. Leaving her memories behind
in Madrid, she attempts to start anew
in Barcelona, hoping to settle some
"unfinished business" with the hus-
band who estranged her and her
child (unborn at the time).
Immediately upon arriving she
seeks out her old friend, La Agrado
(her nickname due to her "agreeable
nature" - a character played by
Spanish nightclub performer
Antonia San , Juan). A cab takes
Manuela to a circus-like encir-
clement of cars known as "The
Field" - a situational hub for nightly
prostitution. After rescuing Agrado
from harassment by one of her cus-
tomers, Manuela doesn't even flinch
Spon seeing her bloodied friend
amidst such an environment. The two
friends embrace and engage in chat-

By Anika Kohon
Daily Arts Writer
A hearty blend of hip-hop rhyming
and comedy sketches, MTV's "The
Lyricist Lounge Show" is a brazen,
raucous and raunchy little gem offer-
ing laughs for the hard core viewer.
"The Lyricist Lounge Show" owes
its conception to New York City's
"Lyricist Lounge" which hosted such
talents as Puff Daddy, Notorious
B.1G. and
Eminem. The
original idea
Th11 was created by
he Lyricis A h
Lounge Show M a r s h a lil,
Grade: C+ Danny Castro,
P e r r v
Tuesdays at V0 p.m. Landesberg and
Jacob Septimus,
when they were
all sixteen and
seventeen.
MTV's talent-
ed and diverse
cast includes,
Baby Power, Marty Belfasky,
Daryanyan Edmonds, Master Foul,
Heather McDonald, Mike Ricca and
Tracee Ellis Ross. Their resumes
include such varied experiences as
opening for 0l' Dirty Bastard
(Master Foul), writing for the
"Keenan Ivory Wayans Show"

(McDonald), and graduating from
Brown University (Ross).
The show opens with two women
playing Barbies, followed by a rap
group confessing their transgres-
sions to one another in rhyme as
their plane experiences turbulence.
One of the more audacious sketch-
es, "Change of Ass," is a parody of
the game show "Change of Heart"
that introduces an alternate partner
into a sexually dissatisfied couple's
bed. The host describes the new
man as a G.E.D. holder who has
"brought more women to orgasm
than the index finger." The last
vignette features special guest Mos
Def rapping about Jumping off a
window ledge.
The camera work and editing do
not call too much attention to them-
selves as they often do in MTV pro-
ductions. The half-hour format is
rich with comedic moments, some
more original than others. Some of
the pieces seem derivative, recycled
even. Though the sketch comedy for-
mat is a little passe, the rap element
adds a fresh look at a stale genre.
The show pushes the limits of pro-
priety without taking it too far. The
danger inherent in shock-value
humor is that the show will be so
absurd that it alienates the viewer.
Happily, "The Lyricist Lounge
Show" does not do this.

tal in filling prison cells with minor
offenders. Within this burgeoning
and diverse population are artistic
voices that yearn to be heard.
Alexander and his staff, including
fellow professors and assistant cura-
tors Pilar Anadon, Janie Paul and
Ann Savageau, have listened for
those voices and offer a venue for
their expression with the current
exhibit.

Feelin' the Love?
r .1

Daily Arts presents
~-THE BEST SCREAM OF ALL!
CLEVER, FUN & SCARY!".
Ii
STOP BY
THIS THURSDAY
A F T E R 2 P. M.
For Your Free
Engagement ticket for two.
tK~rKx.IC Na E.t , Ry, *t :' ~tEE i

ARE YOU BORED WITH
YOUR LIFE?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU
DON'T GET WHAT YOU
DESERVE?
DAILY ARTS CAN HELP.
WRITE FOR US.
CALL 763-0379.

Courtesy of AP News Library
Peter Sellars stars as in Stanley Kubrick's hysterical dark comedy about the atom.
ic bomb "Dr. Strangelove," which screens at 7 p.m. at the Michigan Theater.

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