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March 31, 2000 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-31

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'Never-Ende-ing' German
Written by Michael Ende, author of "The
Never-ending Story," "Der Rattenfaenger"
is a contemporary Pied Piper tale. Presented
by the RC Deutsches Theater in East Quad,
Fri. & Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 1 p.m.
michigandaily.com /arts


MARCH 31, 2000


By Leslie Boxer
Daily Arts Writer
"High Fidelity," a new John Cusack film based on
the Nick Hornby book of the same name, hits the-
aters today. The story here follows Rob, a thirty-
something, vinyl record store owner who analyzes his
romantic life as a result of his break up with long
time girlfriend, Laura (Iben Hjejle). The film is a
quirky romantic comedy that focuses on Rob's fear of
commitment and his analysis of male perspectives on
Cusack was drawn to the story about two years ago


When he approach
Starring John
Opens today
ing and he had no

ed Nick Hornby about making an
adaptation. Along with his act-
ing duties, Cusack and his two
co-authors from "Grosse
Pointe Blank" wrote the
screenplay and also served as
co-producers of the film.
Cusack considers the adapta-
tion of the script both faithful
and responsible to the book
with the slight change of set-
ting from London to Chicago.
And as for the change in loca-
tion, "We approached Nick
(Hornby) about changing it to
the United States because it
would be more accommodat-
problem with that. Nick felt that

Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures
Commitment problems? Must be a John Cusack role.
and the other writers grew up in the Chicago area and
are "familiar with the geography." Cusack felt that he
knew exactly where in Chicago Rob's record store
would be and what bar Rob would go to when feel-
ing down - "it is all very familiar," Cusack said.
When asked about his history with Chicago,
Cusack reflects on his childhood with great enthusi-
asm. "Chicago was a great place to grow up," Cusack
said. "There are like 300 different local theater com-
panies that were all playing avant-garde type theater
- not just institutional theater that 65-year-olds
attend - and it was great training ground for a young
actor. Somehow it provided me more than growing
up in L.A. in which everyone is solely trying to get
in a pilot."
Cusack identifies with certain elements of Rob's
character, which he describes as "an everyman type
of guy" and feels that Rob's honesty is one of his real

strengths. Cusack said that Rob's fear of commitment
and self-analysis on relationships is "dead on with
how most men feel." Personally, Cusack finds the
scariest thing about relationships to be "when you
start to settle in and realize things are not always
going to be like the first two weeks and there is a cer-
tain element of wondering whether or not you should
leave the person."
Another aspect of the film that Cusack enjoyed
was working with friends; "High Fidelity" reteams
Cusack with director Stephen Frears who he
worked with in "The Grifters." Cusack also got the
opportunity to work with his sister, "Joanie," and
the chance to reunite with fellow "Say Anything"
co-star, Lili Taylor. Working with these familiar
faces is comforting, Cusack said, because, "you
know their short-hand and it makes filming feel
more familiar and less like working as a
Reflecting on his 17 year career, Cusack said he
thinks that he has had seven really good films that
make him especially proud. They are: "Say
Anything" (can't you just see him in the trench coat
blasting "In Your Eyes?"), "The Sure Thing," "The
Grifters," "Bullets Over Broadway," "Grosse Pointe
Blank," "Being John Malkovich" and "High
Fidelity." Cusack feels that his work has gotten more
focused over the years and less dependent on what
other people think of him.
As for the future, Cusack's next projects involve
writing. He said that he "might work with Cameron
Crowe (director of "Say Anything") or work on the
adaptation of Mark Leyner's "Et Tu, Babe." When
asked about directing, Cusack had a very interesting
perspective on the process, "Directing is an awe-
some amount of work and takes a lot of time. I
would never do it just for the work, but rather only
if I had written something and felt close to it."

Singer Wyclef Jean brought the crowd to their feet - and onstage - at last night's show.
Refugee leadges
groove on at HillI

the book was about more than just the location of the
record store; it is about sexual politics and male
affairs of the heart. Also, we realize that there is an
indie rock subculture in just about all cities and using
Chicago was easy,' Cusack said.
The reason Chicago was an easy choice for
Cusack is that the city is his old stomping ground. He

Weak scipt 'High'
on list of problems

By Gautam Baksi
Daily Arts Writer
Singer Wyclef Jean and the Refugee
Allstars brought The Carnival to town
last night. Didn't hear the 5,000
screaming fans storming the stage at
Hill? Didn't hear The Product singin'
"Maria, Maria"? Didn't hear Wyclef
proclaiming himself as the "black Dirk
Diggler"? If not, he promises to be
back to the University simply because
"The ladies in this school be bangin'!"
What began the night as an ordinary
rap/hip-hop show at Hill Auditorium
turned into a two hour marathon of
sampling, simulated sex, spontaneous

By Aaron Rich
Daily Arts Writer
Once upon a time, I thought I
knew a lot about music. I had a
large collection of CDs arranged
into subcate-
gories and I

Grade: C
At Quality 16
and Showcase
Coltrane had been

would go into
small seizure
fits whenever
a friend or rel-
ative moved
one out of
place. I would
sit around
thinking about
the world's
greatest band
(what if John
in a band with

Rob is the owner of a small
record store - LPs, that is, and not
CDs. He and his two buddies,
Barry (Jack Black) and Dick (Todd
Louiso) pass the time in the sleepy
store by one-upping each other on
remote musical and pop cultural
knowledge. They put together "top
five lists" of their favorite albums
and songs.
Rob sees his life in terms of such
top five lists. What are the top five
jobs he would most like to have,
what are the top five things he likes
most about certain friends or, most
importantly, what are his top five
most painful breakups.
As the film opens, we see him
breaking up with his most recent
girlfriend, Laura (Iben Hjejle). This
loss brings up a slew of memories of
his top five worst breakups, which he
explains to the audience through the
fourth wall of the movie screen. He
figures that if he can find out exact-

Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures
Rob Gordon (John Cusack) and cohorts wax poetic on music in "High Fidelity."

Hill Auditorium
March 31, 2000
Bee-Gee' s version

reggae and a cele-
bration of youth.
Shortly past
8:30 p.m., Jean
entered the stage
with a tribute to
Bob Marley's
slow, but immor-
tal rendition of
"No Woman, No
The young
Haitian wasted no
time in energizing
the crowd with his
of "Stavin' Alive.".

proceeded to grind their bodies to the
heavy beats of the DJ before lying
down and proceeding to thrust their
hips into each other. The audiene
erupted with applause as Jean smil
with approval,
Mixing Fugee classics with DMX,
House of Pain, Michael Jackson, Prince
and even the '80s one-hit-wonder A-
Ha, Jean spent the majority of the night
acting as a DJ to the highly charged
crowd. In between songs, he blasted
both Puff Daddy for his over-used sam-
pling and his former friend Cannibas
for his back-stabbing lyrics.
Mixing humor with politic#
activisim and his passion for his green
friend ganja, Jean reminded the crowd,
"This ain't MTV! Fuck that conserva-
tive shit!"
Ninety minutes into the show, a
young boy with dread-locked hair bare-
ly ten-years-old was lifted from the
'audience. Hardly breaking a sweat, the
youngster helped his father on-stage.
Jean turned the microphone over to thA
long-haired man before the two san
reggae duet, thus proving the artist's
versatile talents. Other spontaneous
acts included a freestyle competition
between a tattooed audience member
and Jean.
Throughout the night,-Jean repeatedly
teased the crowd by pretending to end
the show. However, the crowd's ferori-
cous energy hardly subsided with each
idle threat. Finally, two hours into the
concert, as Jean screamed "The after-
party has begun" crazed fans beg,
climbing on-stage. Within a span of 1
minutes, a mass of bodies filled the tiny
stage dancing and singing along with
The Product, Jean and his band. Security
eventually pulled the plug while Jean
looked down on the crowd standing on
two 8-foot speakers.
Overall, the show highlighted
Jean's ability to entertain and energize
a crowd. Though he sang less than t'
songs, Jean held to his promise an
made his show unforgetable.

lv what went wrong in each of these
splits he can exorcise his relationship
demons and get out of his mini-mid-
life crisis.
Of his top five worst breakups,
number three is Charlie (Catherine
Zeta-Jones), an airy model-type,
and number four, Sarah (Lili
Taylor), a woman he got with out of
convenience. But the one he really
wants back is Laura.

The problem at this point is that
the film drags on for a long time
with virtually nothing happening,
other than lengthy record store
banter sessions and several tepid,
unended moments between Rob
and Laura as she moves out of his
apartment over a period of several
days (here's a hint: Rent a U-Haul,
pack up and move out already!).
See HI-FI, Page 9

Marvin Gaye?). I was nothing com-
pared with Rob Gordon (John
Cusack) and his friends in "High


Jean mixed his studio verses with
freestylin' rhymes as the audience
clapped their hands and waved them
from side to side, mimicking moves of
the Refugee Allstars onstage.
Stripping down to a wife-beater
(which he eventually ripped off), Jean
challenged the crowd's best to strut
their stuff on-stage. A young man and
woman looking like Stooges climbed
on-stage only to be quickly booed off.
At Jean's urging, the next couple gyrat-
ed their bodies as the Fred Durst looka-
like tried to seduce the young blonde
girl who joined him. Finally, a third
couple accepted Jean's challenge and
nearly brought down the house. They

with special guest ZEN TRICKSTERS


life is disappointing?


In here life is Beautiful... Come to the
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Book by Joe Masteroff
Direction & Choreography
by Linda Goodrich
Musical Direction



The Fulbright programs support study abroad in over 100
countries, providing grants or research, study and travel for
selected countries, and various other opportunities such

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