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February 23, 2000 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-23

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

t for an 'Emperor'
The Michigan Theater screens "The
Last Emperor," starring Peter O'Toole
and Joan 'Josie Packard' Chen.9 p.m.


micligandaily.com Iarts

FEBRUARY 23, 2000


Director up to same old' ames'

By Erin Podolsky
Daily Arts Writer
With a career that spans more than four decades,
director John Frankenheimer has had plenty of
opportunity to produce a classic. He made good on
1t promise early on with "The Manchurian
ndidate" in 1962, widely acknowledged to be a
ilassic American film. Although he's had his share
of bumps in the 1990s with the unmitigated disas-
ter otherwise known as "The
Island of Dr. M(oreau" (a.k.a.
"Big Head Marlon and the
Monsters"), Frankenheimer
Reindeer has rebounded with adrena-
GameS line-fests "Ronin" and the
rected by John upcoming "Reindeer Games."
Frankenheimercame to
rankenheimer Detroit to visit the state in
Starts Friday which "Reindeer ..Games" is
set and spent a few minutes
with The Michigan Daily.
While the scope of
"Reindeer Games" is a little
' more contained thap interna-
tional thrillers like "Ronin,".
that wasn't a big concern for Frankenheimer. "I
read the script and loved it. It's very smart. I loved
the twists and surprises, the characters, the humor.
9 a very moral story, which also appealed to
me," he said.
The characters of "Reindeer Games" are yoop-

problem is that Nick gets shanked in the prison
yard a few days before his release, so his cellmate
Rudy (Ben Affleck) assumes his identity. Rudy, a
seasoned car thief, exists on a plane of intelligence
slightly above his companions.
"Rudy is very smart. He thinks on his feet. The
other guys might not be, but Rudy is,"
Frankenheimer said.
Frankenheimer has turned his attention in the
past few years to television miniseries work, win-
ning Emmys for "The Burning Season,"
"Andersonville" and "George Wallace." The latter
also garnered an Emmy for star Gary Sinise, who
plays the longhaired, truck-driving lead bad guy in
"Reindeer Games."
"I brought him the script and asked if he want-
ed to do it. If I could make every picture with Gary
Sinise, I would," Frankenheimer said.
Frankenheimer said he also enjoyed working
with Miramax and the famously nurturing
Weinstein brothers. "If you have a problem, you
can call up the head guy and work through it. He'll
talk with you and take care of it," he said.
Regarding other directors currently making
movies, Frankenheimer said, "I think Oliver Stone
is the best director working today. I loved 'Any
Given Sunday."'
And while his own films often skew toward
older viewers, Frankenheimer acknowledged his
potentially analytical college audience with a
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures
Young and in love, Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) chills outside Rushmore Academy.
Criterion DVD hits
with a reol",vised 'Rush'

Photo courtesy of United Artists
"Reindeer Games."

John Frankenheimer directs

ers who are sick of ri ing trucks. They plot to rob
an Indian casino in the upper peninsula with the
help of former casino employee Nick - without
letting Nick know until he's in their clutches. The

Changes nVigorate 1ca1 Guild's 'Carmen'

By Nick Faizon
Daily Arts Writer

*his weekend, th
Guild presents "Can
most popular oper
world, to the An
Carmen ,
Theatre ;
Feb. 24-26 at 8 p.m.
Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. +

he Comic Opera
men, one of the
as in the entire
n Arbor public.
Despite its
renown, though,
the COG produc-
tion of the opera
promises to offer
a totally new
experience to
everyone who
sees the show,
even to 'those
front-row fans
who have long
since memorized
the entire libretto.

To begin with, COG decided to pre-
sent their rendition of the opera in
English instead of in the original
French. Brad Rondeau, the produc-
tion's director, said that he madc this
decision partly to make the snow
accessible to a larger audience.
"Even though we're perfortmin here
on campus where there's a hiher inte-
lectual degree, we would st ill ike to
reach a bigger audience. eSpcialy
more kids," Rondeau said. "With dif-
ferent angle on the show. - s nvcver
been done in Ann Arbor in i h
we're hoping to attract morea
with that"
Another aspect of the 1how that
should attract a significari'tnto P u
attention is the operas new settinaen
Originally placed in aund a rund I h
Century Seville, Rondean decided to

transport the opera to Puerto Rico dur-
ing the 19th Century, a time of great
political unrest for the Caribbean
"At that point, Puerto Rico had been
under the Spanish regime for 300
years." Rondeau said. "Each year, it
became harder and harder for the
colonists to survive and one day, a
r.up (of insurrectionists) decided that
hey had had enough of it."
To reinforce the opera's new setting,
Rondeau incorporated some of the rev-
olut ion's key insurrectionists into the
COG rendition of Carmen, replacing,
for example. the original character
bnilas Pastia with the rebel leader
Manuel Rojas. Rojas, along with two
other new personages, constantly
remind the audience of both the
impending Puerto Rican revolution

and of the show's revised location.
Due to the opera's new time period
and locale, many of the characters'
conversations in the COG rendition
have also been completely revised.
Rondeau, in collaboration with COG
Managing Director Thomas Petiet,
spent more than three-and-a-half
months researching and rewriting
much of the text. Rondeau said,
though, that relatively few alterations
have been made to the score.
"There is very little change in the
songs," Rondeau said. "Our goal was-
n't to rewrite Carmen, but rather to
bring it as close to the U.S. as possible.
Even though I would tell people to go
see Carmen done by anyone, I hope
people will come to this show to see
what the opera would be like set in the
Western Hemisphere."

When "Rushmore" was released on
DVD last summer, it had already found
a place in the hearts of smart viewers
who had discovered it during its limited
theatrical run. Unfortunately, Buena
Vista Home Video didn't do their duty
with the DVD, sticking only a bare-
bones version of the film and not much
else on the disc. It was a major disap-
pointment to fans and new viewers alike.
They've made up for their past trans-
gressions, though,
by working in
Grade: A conjunction with
noted special edi-
Rushmore tion DVD (and
Criterion DVD f o r in e r I y
Buena vista laserdisc) produc-
Home Video er Criterion. This
Reviewed by is Disney's second
Daily Arts Editor collaboration with
Erin Podolsky Criterion after the
Michael Bay teeth
extravaganza, "Armageddon." While
that earlier film might not top many top
ten lists, "Rushmore" is an instant quirky
classic of love lost and friendship gained
that deserves the highest level of DVD
Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is
a charismatic, brilliant student who has

poured all his efforts into his extracur-
ricular activities at Rushmore Academy.
While he is well-known on campus as a
playwright, yearbook editor, president of
the beekeeping club and the calligraphy
club (among others), Max has let his
schoolwork fall by the wayside and has
been put on "sudden death academic
probation," The probation is the one
thing he can't talk his way out of, and
when he breaks ground on an aquarium
it's lights out for his career at Rushmore.
Meanwhile, Max falls in love with
Rushmore teacher Miss Cross (Olivia
Williams) and becomes pals with steel
tycoon Herman Blume (Bill Murray),
creating a very sweet, touching love tri-
angle of strangely Robinsonian propor-
tions. These plot points are only the most
basic; the real joy of "Rushmore" resides
in the details, like Max's friendship with
young Dirk Calloway (Mason Gamble)
and his rivalry with Scottish boor
Buchan (Stephen McCole), or the infa-
mous "OR they?" exchange.
At one point in "Rushmore,' Max and
Blume come to an understanding about
the things they hold dear to each other.
"She's my Rushmore," Blume tells him
in an effort to explain how he feels about
See RUSHMORE, Page 8





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