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October 07, 1999 - Image 23

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-07

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10B- = The Michigan Daily -- Weekend, etc. Magazine -- Thursday, October 7, 1999

... _ _


The Michigan Daify Weekendet.Mag


tc Movies of the Decade - #8
Bright lights, big city shine in corrupt

The strange man walking around
the ursually empty hallway outside of
my room caught my attention. This
corner of the all-girls dorm never
attracted much traffic. "Can I help
you?" I asked curiously.
"That singing - who is that?" he
responded, obviously as surprised as I
at his wandering around a strange
building during the first week of
On some level, I already knew why
he htid ventured here. The answer was
simple: The University's incredible
Musical Theatre program.
Or, depending on how you look at
it, he was in search for companion-
Becky, the Musical Theatre major
who lived next door to me last year,
spent most of her waking moments
singing. She was so talented that the
stranger who heard her from across
the street decided to track her down
and ask her on a date.
Far from being the exception to the

rule, Becky was just one of many
developing talents on campus. Now
that she's graduated, Becky is trying-
her luck in New York, following in the
footsteps of many other Musical
Theatre program graduates.
In fact, recent graduates from the
Musical Theatre program have foind
viable opportunities in many areas of
the arts. The 1998 class boasts mem-
bers who perform on studio sets, on
cruise lines and at theaters across the
Although it seems unrealistic in
today's pessimistic era, some gradu-
ates from the past year already have
found breakout roles, including leads
in national tours or in Broadway
shows. Others have less glamorous
jobs, such as Jessica Cauffield, better
known as that girl appearing in the
Midol commercial. It's hard to
ridicule her, however. Other acting
credits she earned after graduation
include roles in "Law and Order,"
"The Out-Of-Towners" and "Frasier."

Cauffield's variety of parts demon-
strates how to negotiate the successful
transition from educational training to

c a r e e r
Considering the
fears many stu-
dents share
about finding
jobs in "the real
world," the
importance of
these small,
beginning jobs
to build up a
resume increas-
es immensely.
The success
of students like
C a u f f i e I d
means students
are getting the
experience they

State of
the Arts
need to find jobs in

with different types of training.
Besides putting on performances of a
variety of challenging shows, the
department takes students on official
visits to New York, where they can
develop contacts with producers who
may later determine their futures.
The University's tradition of pro-
ducing big names in the art world
both inspires and helps empower its
students' ambitions. The current gen-
eration of students recalls the fact that
celebrities such as Arthur Miller,
James Earl Jones and Lawrence
Kasdan were once in the very same
situation we are in now. Because the
University draws more than its share
of talent, anyone who takes the time
may meet someone stimulating and
get more involved with campus arts.
The chances for reward in the arts
exist at the University for anyone
willing to take them. Student-run
groups such as MUSKET and Rude
Mechanicals provide students the
opportunity to take charge of produc-
tion, costumes, lights and every other
aspect necessary to a show. Basement
Arts also provides aspiring directors
with $100 and a theater space to put

on a show of their choice. Few orga-
nizations offer that freedom to anyone
with an inspiration.
College provides a unique opportu-
nity for audience members to see
many burgeoning talents on or behind
the stage in various campus produc-
tions. Even in the midst of a heavy
schedule, a break to attend a campus
play or exhibit usually proves worth-
Who knows which students among
us will be in a position to continue the
University's tradition of professional
artistic excellence. For all we know, it
could be the person at the next com-
-puter terminal in the Fishbowl or the
person in the next chair at lecture.
Or it could be your next-door
neighbor. I miss waking up on
Saturday mornings to Becky singing
Andrew Lloyd Webber in the next
room, but there's some consolation.
Maybe the next time I see her perform
it will be on a Broadway stage instead
of in the hallway, next to our commu-
nal sink.
-.Jenni Glenn is the Daily fine and
performing arts editor You can reach
her at jaglenn@nuich.edu.

the arts through the, University.
The Musical Theatre Department,
for example, provides the students

Welcome Back Students
Wendy's is seeking people to work
in our friendly team environment.

By Erin Podolsky
Daily Arts Writer
I saw "LA Confidential" for the
first time just a few days after seeing
"Chinatown." The similarities
between the two are striking: Each
mining the dark, corrupted depths of
government and policing in 1940s
and 1950s Los Angeles, each offer-
ing a host of such precisely drawn
characters and impeccably sharp dia-
logue that you could slice a diamond
on their edges. Even their scores are
undeniably similar (both beautifully
done by Jerry Goldsmith); in fact, to
this day it takes me a minute or two
to determine which is which in a
blind test.
I look back on what I wrote in
those hours following that first view-
ing (I subsequently saw it twice more
- six months later in a span of two
days when it was re-released on the
heels of the 1997 Oscars) and I see
that my opinion hasn't changed
I still find "LA Confidential"
more immediately gratifying and
rewarding than its more languorous
grandfather. "Chinatown." They're
different. yet the same, two equally
rich, textured works with indelible
moments and a sense of mood and
time that sticks with me long after
Ive turned off the TV or left the the-
ater. Although they were made more
than two decades apart, their time-
less qualities and instant classicism
is undeniable.
"LA Confidential" is the story of
three Los Angeles cops in the
Hollywood precinct and the mysteri-
ous, initially misinterpreted chain of
events that develop from a drunken
Christmas party. From there the
seemingly unrelated events sprawl
from a pulp tabloid journalist to
hookers cut to look like movie stars
to drugs to gangsters to the police
and back again until there is no
doubt left as to who is involved with
what - and with whom.

The evolution of the characters is
as entertaining as a ride on a bullet
train, each with a sure destination.
The ambiguity of the idea of justice
is just one of many explored. To say
more would be to reveal the intrica-
cies of a plot that is best left unrav-
eled by a first-hand viewing rather
than explained (and poorly, at that)
by any review.
Although the real star of "LA
Confidential" is the colorful, inven-
tive script taken from James Ellroy's
novel, the film would be lacking
without the incredible performances
spread across the board. There are
few truly excellent casts these days
in which all members get to play
interesting and dimensional charac-
The three largest roles, fellow cops
Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey), Bud
White (Russell Crowe) and Ed Exley
(Guy Pearce), take their strength
from the supporting cast of mysteri-
ous businessman Pierce Patchett
(David Strathairn), Captain Dudley
Smith (James Cromwell), yellow
starfucker Sid Hudgeons (Danny
DeVito) and Veronica Lake looka-
like, Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger).
The supporters don't stop there,
either, but continue on for what
seems like miles as the film is fleshy
and thick with intrigue.
What's even more amazing is to
watch the film with the knowledge
that Crowe and Pearce are
Australian, yet sound more American
than most US citizens. Their unre-
lenting performances drive the film
from start to finish, with Spacey act-
ing as the catalyst.
Unfairly slammed at the Oscars,
the cast of "LA Confidential" came
up empty-handed except for a bone
thrown to Basinger, arguably the
weakest link in an iron-clad ensem-
But consolation lies within.
"Chinatown" was also nearly shut
out at the Academy Awards, and it

has only gained strength in the pass-
ing years. A latter day film noir, "LA
Confidential" has that same magic
and mystique to it. It gets better with
each viewing. It is forever fresh.
Like its ancestor, its rich complexity
is consistently shocking and perfect-

ly envisioned. Minute points can
contemplated and argued over
Captivating any audience's att
tion throughout, "LA Confidenti
makes it an impossible task to
passively or let your mind wander

(Know your e-mail do's & don'ts)

Ask how you can eam up to

Aply in person

U of M eague
911 N. University

N Check out the Shift key. Hint: YouI
have two of them+
* Remember everyone has feelings,
especially those such as sadness,
anger and the urge to kill1
Know who's on the other end of I
your computer screen, whether or noti
they deserve to be recognizedI
* Realize your emails/postings i
can span the globe in two seconds
and ruin your life in threeI
N Be drug-free and conscious of ;
your cyber environment, even if no-{
one can see you nakedI
Send friends and family loving
messages frequently
Distinguish between the "Y"
and "N" PINE commands
Change your password with

E mumble, using only small-case
letters so people have to squint to
understand you
Say what you'd never say to
someone's face, no matter how
much of a reject he/she is
Assume everyone knows who
you are, even though the world
does revolve around you
Send messages you'll regret
later, even if your ex-boyfnend's
new woman doesn't know how to
check e-mail
Drink and drive through the
informationsuperhighway, hitting
innocent netizens with 100 cc's
of "Make love, not war"
-U Assume that e-mails can be
erased from your permanent
record. They can be used against
you throughout your long and
prosperous life
Reply to everyone on the
group list to find out if Mike has
extra tickets to this weekend's
football game
" Change other people's pass-
words with regularity

U of M Union
530 S. State St.


Medication-free women, suffering from
depression between the ages of 18-48 are
needed for a treatment and research project
studying brain chemistry.
For more information call 936-8726.

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