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March 30, 2000 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-30

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2B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Thursday, March 30, 2000
EJFrom the Vault - Jack Nicholson
Nicholson plays image-sealing role like a fine piano

. 0


OThe Michigan Daily - Xekend, etc. Ma2


By Laura Flyer
Daily Arts Writer
We've seen a lot of Jack
Nicholson during the past week,
starting with his fierce performance
in the eerie classic "The Shining,"
which ran last week at the Michigan
Theater as part of a StanleyKubrick
series. Then, Sunday night, he pre-
sented the Thalberg Award at the
Academy Awards to his longtime
pal and collaborator Warren Beatty.
A full decade before "Heeeere's
Johnny!", however, Jack's career
was just beginning to blossom,
notably through his role in the
Oscar-nominated film "Five Easy
Psychopath or disillusioned soul-
searcher - whatever role Jack takes
on, he carries the same demeanor in
each of his performances. His biting
sarcasm and overwhelming irrever-
ence for just about everything is his

stamp-of-approval. signature on-
screen character. "Five Easy
Pieces," as directed by Bob
Rafelson (the same fellow who
introduced American television to
the Monkees), is a remarkable study
of the complexities of a singled-out
character who struggles to make
sense of his life.
Robert Dupea (Nicholson) has
abandoned his talent at playing the
piano to basically waste his life
working on a southwestern oil rig -
just ask his high-toned and musical
family. Robert, -who clearly fails to
fit into their high-brow lifestyle, at
the same time is restless with his
own conditions. Construction work
is where he takes his aggressions
out, aggressions which stem from
unresolved tensions with his father
and recurring troubles with his girl-
friend Rayette (Karen Black).
Whether to stay with "Ray" eats
Bobby up inside on a daily basis.

Courtesy of Warner-r os.
Jack be nimble, Jack be slick.

She's pretty and sweet, but exceed-
ingly flaky and nagging. Rather
than confronting situations, Bobby
tends to avoid them until they drive
him crazy.
Ray nearly sends Bobby into the
depths of insanity until he finally
finds a logical reason to ditch her
(thereby avoiding the last resort of
an act of bravery he is too cowardly
to muster) upon visiting his sister in
Los Angeles. She tells him their
father has had a stroke and is
approaching death. Jack takes off
for Puget Sound, reluctantly bring-
ing Ray, and becomes equally dis-
gruntled about the upcoming family
Helena Kallianiotes and Toni
Basil's performances as picked-up
hitchhikers on Bobby and Ray's trip
westward are fantastic; their juxta-
position with Ray makes Bobbv

question even further the realities of
his life with his incredibly superfi-
cial and uninteresting girlfriend.
But Bobby faces his greatest
identity crisis when he falls in love
with his brother's girlfriend
Catherine (Susan Anspach), the
very day of his arrival at the Puget
Sound cottage. Catherine is strong
by comparison with the weak Ray,
and does not put up with Bobby's
mood swings and drifter lifestyle.
He therefore must test his own
wants and the strength of his deci-
sions in order to resolve his own
personality battle.
Because Jack's acting emits non-
stop intensity, he accounts for much
of the quality of the film. Still,
Rafelson really does hone in on the
frustrating relationship between Ray
and Bobby in a way that is deep and
Rafelson also does a good job in
closing up any missing loopholes in
the story; the viewing of the film
isn't interrupted by questionable
gestures or scenes. From the dimly
lit scenes of Jack sitting by the fire
to the long takes of natural settings,
cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs
sticks to details without letting the
lighting or camera shots override or
interfere with the drama of the
Furthermore, Nicholson's bold,
witty banter with his family mem-
bers and Ray is funny and entertain-
ing in "Five Easy Piecs.' molding
Jack into the icon he has since.

Steve Lacy/Roswell RuddI Quartet
These two were playing Thelonious
Monk tunes before the pianist was a
household name. Bird of Paradise, 312
S. Main. 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. $20.
Knee Deep Shag Benefit concert in
support of the band's new name,
changed from Ankle High in Linoleum.
Blind Pig, 208 S. 1st. 10 p.m. $5. 996-
Thornetta Davis I'd sing the blues too,
if I were from Detroit like Thornetta.
Cavern Club, 210 S. 1st. 10 p.m. $5.
Moscow Virtuosi This world-famous
string chamber ensemblefeatures
famous conductor and violinist
Vladimir Spivakov as its head.
Rackham Auditorium. 8 p.m. $26-40.
S'lichot See Thursday. 8 p.m.
Unity The last show of the Theatre
Department's annual "Playfest," this
piece looks at the loss of idealism
during the college years. Arena
Theater, Frieze Building. 7 p.m. Free.
The Crucible See Thursday. 8 p.m.
The Ride Down Mt. Morgan See
Thursday. 8 p.m.
Kimberly Kafka The author reads from
"True North," a literary yet adventur-
ous novel set in Alaska. Shaman Drum '
Bookshop, 311 S. State. 6 p.m. Free.
Aspros Dromos See Thursday. 8 p.m.

Being John Malkovich (1999)See
Thursday. At State: 12. $5.50.
Earth (1999) It's not just our planet,
it's a new movie from filmmaker
Deepa Mehta. Michigan Theater, 603
E. Liberty. 4:45, 7 & 9:15. $5.50.
The Shining (1980) Jack Nicholson
gets nasty for probably the last time
this year in this classic from Kubrick.
At State: 11:30. $5.50.
Steve Lacy/Roswell Rudd Quartet
See Friday. 8:30 p.m.
Govt. Mule See if the former Allman
Brothers members can still ramble,
man. St. Andrews, Detroit. 9 p.m.
313-961-M ELT.
Dirty Three with Shannon Wright &
Storm & Stress Odd instrumental trio
of violin, guitar and drums plus a
bunch of 'and's. Magic Stick, 4120
Woodward Ave, Detroit. 9 p.m. 313-
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra The
orchestra pays tribute to its first con-
ductor Antonin Dvorak by performing
his Symphony No. 7. Hill Auditorium.
8 p.m. $14-46. 764-2538.
S'lichot See Thursday. 8 p.m.
The Crucible See Thursday. 8 p.m.
The Ride Down Mt. Morgan See
Thursday. 8 p.m.
Liza Nelson Author reads from her
debut novel "Playing Botticelli."
Shaman Drum Bookshop, 311 S.

More twentysomethings pretend to be your peers in "The Skulls," only this tim
State. 8 p.m. Free. 662-7404. Theater, 603 E. Liberty. 8:45. $5

Aspros Dromos See Thursday. 8 p.m.
Earth (1999) See Saturday. Michigan
Theater, 603 E. Liberty. 4:45 & 9:15.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) See
Thursday. Michigan Theater, 603 E.
Liberty. 2 & 7:30. $5.50.
The White Balloon (1995) It's the
only time this is showing, so if you
want to see it, you better go.
Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty. 7.
A Musical Millenium Celebration A guy
from PBS and his friends sing songs
from the 20th Century. Orchestra Hall,
3711 Woodward, Detroit. 3 p.m. $5.
S'lichot See Thursday. 2 p.m.
The Crucible See Thursday. 2 p.m.
The Ride Down Mt. Morgan See
Thursday. 2 p.m.
Docent Tour This free tour will show
spectators through the Annette
Lawrence installation,
"Transparent/Opaque." Museum of
Art. 2 p.m. Free. 764-0395.
Angela's Ashes (1999) If you like
the colors blue and green then you'll
flip for this film. Michigan Theater,
603 E. Liberty. 7:30. $5.50.
Earth (1999) See Saturday. Michigan

The Key (1987) Once again, it's
only time this movie is showing,
you want to see it, you better go
Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty
Korn Go ask them why they didn'
spell it "corn," because I bet the
got a real profound answer. Palac
Auburn Hills. 248-377-0100.
Bryan Adams Maybe he'll play th
great song from the "Robin Hood
Prince of Thieves" soundtrack:! c
Theatre, 2115 Woodward, Detroi
7:30 p.m. 313-961-5450.
Bad Livers Bluegrass, punk and s
absurd humor. The Ark, 316 S. M
8 p.m. 761-1451.
Nathan Englander Author reads fi
his short fiction debut "For the F
of Unbearable Urges," followed b
signing. Borders Books & Music,
E. Liberty. 7 p.m. Free. 668-765e
Brian Porter U-M Assistant Profe
of History reads from "When
Nationalism Begins to Hate," a s
of the relationships between mod
ty and nationalism in turn-of-the-
tury Poland. Shaman Drum Book
311 S. State. 4 p.m. Free. 662-7
Michael Zadoorlan Author reads
his latest novel "Second Hand."
Shaman Drum Bookshop, 311 S.
State. 8 p.m. Free. 662-7404.
Earth (1999) See Saturday. Mic
Theater, 603 E. Liberty. 6:45 & i
Eyes Wide Shut (1999) Stanley'
final masterpiece returns to thea
for one last waltz. Look for Tom,
Nicole, Sydney (the director, not
movie) and a boatload of crotch
shots. Michigan Theater, 603 E.
Liberty. 7. $5.50.

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courtesy of Eektra Entertainment
The elevator stops here for the gracefully aged Allman Brothers by-product that is
Gov't. Mule. Their concert is at St. Andrew's Hall this Saturday night.

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