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October 08, 1999 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-08

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-9

The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 8. 199

Mimes
interpret
iversity
tn'Cty'
By Jeremy Salvatori
For the Daily
Something different flies into
town this weekend that will change
the pace from the typical movie or
party. The San Francisco Mime
Troupe performs in "City For Sale."
This is not your standard pan-
tomime show
featuring paint-
ed clowns on the
street silently
City For pretending
Sale they're trapped
in a box, but a
mime show of a
Tonight at 8 different flavor.
The San
Francisco Mime
O #Troupe "mimes"
in the traditional
sense: "To
mimic, or imi-
tate."
Their show tonight includes a
musical score combining samba and
rock styles, detailed set designs, ele-
rments of comedy and drama, a pow-
erful politically and socially-sensi-
tive plot line and, keeping consistent
Vltheir motto, "larger-than-life"
m leractersn.
Expect a show of surprises from

I

Poor direction, weak acting
undemine concept of 'Hearts'

M

Courtesy of David Alen
Velina Brown plays the mayor facing the residents' protest in "City For Sale."

this Tony Award-winning troupe
from the west coast.
"City For Sale," written by Joan
Holden and daughter Kate Chumley,
deals with the tightly-strung housing
problem in San Francisco - devel-
opers wield their economic power by
evicting the low-paying, long-term
renters, thus opening up space for
newer, upscale "lofts" that can
attract the higher bidders.
The poor are given the boot as-they
strugIle in this unfortunate system
into which they are helplessly
locked.
In "City For Sale," one such
woman, Agnes, gets caught in the
trap, and she finds herself the victim
of a weasily landlord named Ben.
This happens when she inquires
about a place to rent, and Ben claims
its current tenants, a band of musi-
cians that make up the Auto Body
Shop, are vacating the place.

She later discovers, however, that
the tenants are still living there and
have no intention of moving. What
can she do? Will the stubborn San
Francisco mayor help her? Will
Agnes become yet another victim?
"City For Sale" is just one of the
many shows this 40-year-old mime
troupe have produced in their histo-
ry. Their shows focus on expressing
minority views, such as race, class,
gender, political affiliation and other
multicultural themes, in bold fash-
ions.
"City For Sale" is sponsored by
Dialogues on Diversity, a University-
wide initiative that provides opportu-
nities for the open exchange of views
of diversity.
The troupe looks to not only enter-
tain, but to enrich its audience with
diverse viewpoints. Skip the movie
and try a new flavor of entertain-
ment: Mime.

By Erin Podolsky
Daily Arts Writer
There's almost a great movie inside of "Random
Hearts." The high concept pitch is nearly flawless: Two
people are thrown together by fate when they discover
their respective spouses, both of
whom perished in a plane crash,
were having an affair before meeting
their unfortunate end. That makes it
Random all the more sad to see the mess that
Hearts Sydney Pollack's ("Tootsie," "The
Firm") latest directorial effort
At Briarwood, devolves into in the latter two-thirds
Qualty 16 of the film.
and showcase Dutch Van Den Broeck (Harrison
Ford) and Kay Chandler (Kristin
Scott Thomas) are the cuckolded
pair of middle-aged professionals
from different class strata. Kay is a
rather upper-class congresswoman
struggling with reelection woes and
a 15-year-old daughter (Kate Mara). Dutch is an internal
affairs sergeant with the Washington DC police depart-
ment. "Random Hearts" is overly lengthy enough to pay
full attention to both the main story between the two
characters and their own side stories. In this case,
though, that is a major mistake. Not all that interesting to
start with after the first act's harrowing revelations, each
time the story veers from the already slack main road,
energy flows out of the movie like a mountaintop water-
fall.
Dutch is fueled by confused rage as he tries to find out
if his wife was on the ill-fated plane. He visits her place
of employment and gets nothing but stonewalling from
her coworkers; the airline claims she was not on the
flight, but Dutch knows better. Using his detecting skills,
lie narrows down the passenger list until he figures out
who his wife was with on the plane. Then he approaches
Kay and obliquely tells her the truth. That should have
been the end of it, but there is something in misery that
just loves company, and as we all know perfectly well, in
a movie a random meeting such as Kay and Dutch's is
never a one-time thing.

The two journey to Miami, where their spouses were
on their way to. They journey back. They attempt a desul-
tory tryst in the car, each for their own miserable reasons,
but go no further. Their relationship continues at this
bizarrely languid pace until the last reel plays out. The
changes are as slow and slight as the Earth's yearly jour-
ney around the sun, never veering sharply but shifting
nonetheless from warm to cold and back again.
The nerves-on-edge hysteria that Pollack builds in the
first part of the movie never pays out after the affair is
discovered. Instead, we're left with a film that seems to
be more about the damage an elephant in the room can
cause than an actual live relationship. Kay feels it too, at
one point telling Dutch that she doesn't want their rela-
tionship to always be about "the four of us" rather than
the two remaining players. But Dutch is too far gone; he
loves his wife too much and he cannot heal fast enough.
Ford and Scott Thomas do far from their best work
here, although Ford is better off than his British counter-
part. Playing an American, Scott Thomas is in dire need
of a better dialogue coach. Ford, meanwhile, does his
usual emotionally remote acting job, although he does
warm up in places to the point where it looks like there
might actually be some tortured-yet-hot blood pumping
through his veins. Scott Thomas never gets to that place.
Charles S. Dutton, Dylan Baker, Bonnie Hunt, Sydney
Pollack himself and a few others play smaller roles, but
there is nary a moment when either Ford or Scott Thomas
is not on the screen.
There are similarities between "Random Hearts" and
Peter Weir's superior post-plane crash human trauma
exploration "Fearless" that are impossible to ignore.
Perhaps Pollack and Weir should have gone out for cof-
fee to discuss emotional distress and how to properly
film it.
The very human need for others, for co-sufferers in
times of despair and gloom in the wake of tragedy, is an
aspect of all of us that is worth taking a look at. But there
are ways to do it without causing boredom, or forced-
ness. "Random Hearts" is a lesson in how to craft a
clunky, essentially uninteresting romance that could have
been a powerful psychological investigation into human
reaction.

Good and evil fight WWF-style
in new comedy-thriller 'GvsE'

Read the
Daily.

eDaily
The forces of good surely prevail tonight on USA's latest
cries, "GvsE," from indie filmmakers Josh and Jonas Pate.
hey are joined by fellow executive producer Paul Biddle
nd bring a new spin on the "God cares" theme. "Touched
y an Angel" this is not.
Chandler Smythe (Clayton Rohner) and Henry McNeil
Richard Brooks) are at the front of this comedy-thriller as
two operatives within the Corps, a dis-
crete agency headed by the Almighty
himself. Agents of the Corps are mor-
tals who are reborn for the fight
GvsE between good and evil. Not exactly
being beacons of godliness in their for-
mer lives, operatives are thus allowed
USA the chance to redeem themselves
Sunday at 8 through the saving of souls and the
slaying of Morlocks. The show is set in
a splendid town wallowing with soul-
less ones, Hollywood.
Chandler, the skeptical agent, is
slowly coming to terms with his new
day-job and sparkles with wry humor.
His recent contacts with his son Ben
Tony Denman), though officially forbidden, provide a
limpse of Chandler's former life as a regular dad. Henry,
e laid-back veteran, still manages to get ecstatic on meet-
g his favorite movie star and even lucky (yet another
od-frowned upon act), but can be counted on to back up
is partner.
Morlocks are two-horned individuals who have sold their
uls to the devil. Sarcasm and an air of general malevo-
rice are musts for these characters. Morlocks lure mortals
tilgning the standard Faustian contract, showering them

with their hearts' greatest desires. All for the mere price of
eternal damnation.
It falls on our two reluctant heroes to persuade the luck-
less fools to renounce their deals and come up to the land
of the shining once again. If their tactics, some of which
include the use of cattle prods and in one case the behead-
ing of Barbie dolls, fail to convince the Faustians, well, the
boys are not adverse to "relieving them of life."
This week's episode has the two entering the wide world
of wrestling and poses the threat of the WWF being cor-
rupted by the ranks of the Morlocks. Enter WWF-hopeful
Testicules, an average dim-witted chump who just happens
to be consorting with a minion of Satan. Said Morlock in
question is Howard Deline, a former wig-donning B-list
wrestler who after losing his last match, vows to avenge
himself. He guides Testicules' ascent into the WWF, chid-
ingTesticules for his bad table manners and furnishing him
with his finishing move, "The Hernia." The Morlock's
darker motives become apparent when the Corps agents
uncover the blueprints of a bomb.
What to do in the face of such evil? Chandler and Henry
do a little recruiting of their own in the form of WWF
champion Mankind. Added to the fray are a Don King pro-
moter and the special wrestling debut of Chandler-san. At
the end of the episode, Mankind offers some more lessons
on what it means to be a wrestler, exclaiming, in reference
to his torn ear, "I am a man! I am stupid enough to get in
situations where I lose parts of my body!"
The trumpeting, pulsating soundtrack gives a rousing
backdrop to this retro-feel show. Split-screen camera
shots allow for simultaneous action and a diverse selec-
tion of viewpoints. The dialogue is wickedly sharp, and
the characters spring into action. A masterful show,
"GvsE" is fighting the good fight and doing a little hell
raising of its own.

The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF MUSIC

p

PJ'S
RECORDS &
USED CDS

THEATRE AND DRAMA

617 Packard
Upstairs from
Subway
Paying $4 to $6
for top CD's in
top condition.
Also buying
premium LP's
and cassettes.
Open 7 days
663-3441
The selection is
ENDLESS

October 7th, 8th, & 9th, 8:00p; October 10th, 2:00pm
Trueblood Theatre (Tickets $14: call 764-0450)
Escape From Happiness
LECTURE/DEMONSTRATION
TRICHY SANKARA, CARNATIC PERCUSSIONIST
8 Fri, Oct 1999
Rackham Auditorium, 7:00pm
Trichy Sankara, a professor at York University in Ontario, Canada
will be demonstrating the Mridangam and Kanjira and giving a per-
formance of jazz-influenced Indian music.
FACULTY RECITAL: ANTHONY ELLIOT, CELLO
Friday, October 8
Britton Recital Hall, E.V. Moore Bldg., 8:00pm
- Bach: Suite #6 in D major'" Cassabo: Suite for solo cello
- Kodaly: Sonata for Unaccompanied cello
SYMPHONY BAND
Friday, October 8
Hill Auditorium, 8:00pm
H. Robert Reynolds, Conductor
" Barber: Commando March - Schuman: George Washington Bridge
" Schoenberg: Theme and Variations Shostakovich's Festive
Overture *Larson: Liten Marsch " Hoist: Second Suite in F
39th ANNUAL ORGAN CONFERENCE (OCT. 10-13)I

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6

Telluride
House
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Room & Board
Scholarship
Intellectual Challenge
Self-Government
Public Service
Informational
Meeting
October 10, 3 p.m.
Hussey Room,
Michigan League
refreshments sered

Sunday, October 10
Hill Auditorium, 8:00pm
Delbert Disselhorst, organ
performing works by Bach, Messiaen and Dupre
Monday, October 11
Burton Memorial Tower (beside Hill Auditorium), 7:30pm
Margo Halsted, carillon
performing works by Bach, Vaughan and & Balkom
Hill Auditorium, 8:00pm Music of Michigan Composers
Performers: Michael Gould, David Hufford, Michele Johns, James
Kibbie, Marilyn Mason, & Joyce Schroeder
Tuesday, October 12
First Congregational Church, 4:00pm
Tim Berlew and Larry Shou, organ
performing works by Bach, Schumann, and Rheinberger
Hill Auditorium, 8:00pm
Tong-Soon Kwak, organist
performing works by Tournemire, Vierne and Franck
Wednesday, October 13
Hill Auditorium, 2:30pm
Huw Lewis and Anita Werling, organ
performing works by Bach, Brahms, & Liszt
Burton Memorial Tower (beside Hill Auditorium), 7:30pm
Jeremy Chesman, carillon
performing works by Scarlatti, Miller & Johnson
Hill Auditorium, 8:00pm
William Osborne, organ
performing works by Hollins, Parker, Foote, & Guilmant
VOCAL ARTS LAB

Monday, October 11
Britton Recital Hall, E.V. Moore Bldg., 6:30pm
Students from all degree programs (BA, MM, DMA) sing for their
peers. The public is invited to listen.
GUEST MASTERCLASS: TOM RICCOBONO
Tuesday, October 12
Britton Recital Hall, E.V. Moore Bldg., 6:30pm
Tom Riccobono, professor of low brass at the Interlochen Academy
will present a short recital followed by a trombone master class.
Open and free to the public.

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