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October 15, 1999 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-15

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Cheese, please
The String Cheese incident plays at the Michigan Theater.
Here in Ann Arbor for their annual show, the Incident spreads their
freeform bluegrass all over the audience. 8 p.m.

ft Eiwjd gan Emig

Monday in Daily Arts:
Check out a review of the University production "Escape
From Happiness."

8

Friday
October 15, 1999

'Club' hits
audience
X n~
two punch
By Ern Podoisky
Daily Arts Writer
The first rule about "Fight Club" is
that it's almost a great movie,
Only almost a great movie, because
sandwiched in between two stellar acts is
a painfully flat segment of riotous pro-
portions. It makes you want to answer
"David Fincher" when asked who you

'Carmen' and 'Solo for Two' share'
stage in Ballet Opera perFormance

dourdesE' o 20thCentury Fx
Brad Pitt and Edward Norton get bloody in David Fincher's "Fight Club,"

By Jean Lee
For the Daily
Europe's two most talked-about pro-
ductions will be making their regional
debut at the Power Center tomorrow as
the Lyon Opera Ballet performs
"Carmen" and "Solo for Two."
"They have an incredible reputation
for being very cutting edge. This is not
an event to be missed," said Eastern
Michigan University dance prof. Sherry
Jerome, who will be participating in a
master class with the Lyon Opera Ballet
tomorrow morning. The most well-trav-
eled troupe in France, the Lyon Opera

7'S
Fight Club
At Briarwood
and Showcase

would fight, living
or dead (other
answers include
"Shatner" and
"Gandhi" - I
would have picked
R i c h a r d
Simmons).
But, oh, those
bookends.
Galvanizing l y
energetic, belliger-
ent to the extreme.
in attacking soci-
ety as embodied
by that bastion of

:MTfseries furnishings, Ikea, Narrator's
(Edward Norton) deliciously matter-of-
fact voiceovers guide us through a world
he begins to see through the eyes of his
new pal, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt).
Tyler himself is a Virgil to Narrator's
bewildered Dante, taking the mild-man-
nered, white-collar Narrator and bring-
ing him into a world of mayhem. Tyler
appears early on as singular frames on
the screen. And then he springs forth
full-grown from Narrator's tale, sitting
next to insomniac Narrator on an air-
plane, playfully jibing, "Do I give you
the ass or the crotch?" when he gets up
to leave.
After he moves in with Tyler, ass or
crotch is the paradox that Narrator finds
himself faced with as he is sucked deeper
into a life of crime and punishment. Does
Narrator say no, demand that Tyler return
to his day job pissing in the soup at a
hotel? Or does he. give in and "hit bot-

tom?" Neither are particularly pretty
prospects, but one is a lot more fun to
play with than the other. Narrator makes
a decision, and the line between reality
and fantasy, between who is in charge and
who is making the choices, grows pro-
gressively more blurry.
But there's more to "Fight Club" than
the homoerotic dance of violence enact-
ed by the men of fight club sweating
under the dingy lights of a dank base-
ment. There is an entire ideology of orga-
nized chaos at work. Tyler and Narrator
create an army of angry men, plotting to
use them to tear down the very structures
that our society relies on for order.
This destruction is a fantastic concept.
Unfortunately, there is a huge chunk of
story devoted to the creation of a military
machine that has no hierarchal com-
mand. We see Tyler turn the house into a
barracks for his army. We see the men of
fight club made into nameless, chorusing
"space monkeys." We see and wish the
film would regain its original intensity
and build to something amazing.
Ultimately, it does.
In the midst of all these men Narrator
meets MarIa (Helena Bonham Carter) at
an illness support group that he uses as a
sedative against insomnia. He recognizes
her as a fellow imposter. Soon enough,
Marla phones him. Tyler answers. Four
used condoms later, Narrator's hatred and
jealousy for MarIa takes irrevocable root.
The sounds of vigorous fucking shake the
very foundation of the house, but he does

nothing to stop them. Again, Narrator is
powerless - maybe he can't do anything
to stop them. Can't. Not won't.
Norton establishes himself for the
umpteenth time as this generation's fore-
most performer. Bonham Carter affects a
pitch-perfect American accent and grim-
ly passionate demeanor while Pitt does
what he does best.
Fincher proves again that he's a visual
filmmaker of infinite proportions and
singular vision. Like "The Game," "Fight
Club" features a protagonist trapped in a
world that spins out of control until at the
final moment he finds a place to grab
onto.
And like Fincher's other films, "Fight
Club"'s middle slackness doesn't matter
all that much. It's easy to simply absorb
the frames of the film rather than be con-
cerned with the plot. Fincher's inspired
eve creates vistas of dark mechanization,
of lightning fast, fluid camera movement
and inventiveness such as the single-
frame Tyler
"Fight Club" presents a world inside
our own. Not everyone is going to want
to visit that place. But to give yourself
over to the giddy delight of losing all
hope - of gaining freedom from the
daily grind, from the droning boss, from
the regularly scheduled doses of societal
bullshit - is an achievement. It's one that
Tyler aids Jack in finding. The world
needs a Tyler Durden every now and
again. The question is, what do we do
when we've got him?

Lyon Ballet
Opera
Power Center
Sat. and Sun.

Ballet will be
returning to the
United States
after having per-
formed at the
American Dance
Festival and the
Jacob's Pillow
Dance Festival in
1997. The 30-
member troupe
made its debut in
this country with
a new interpreta-
tion of
"Cinderella" in

1987 at City Center in New York,
instantly thrilling American audiences.
Since then, the Lyon Opera Ballet has
made many US appearances, including
inaugurating Lincoln Center's summer
festival with an opening night event in
1996:
This weekend's performance, spon-

sored by the University Musical Society.
will feature two works by choreographer
Mats Ek, critically recarded as one of the
most original and theatiically stunning
artist working in Europe today.
"I know he's done some wild things in
the past, almost rock and rollish:' said
dance department Chair Gay Delanghe.
" It's going to be outrageous."
Ek's "Solo for Two," which is noted
for including nudity, will feature two
dancers exploring human existence and
its contradictions over a gentle piano
solo. The work is known to be exemplary
of Ek's provocative style, through unusu-
al setting and ever-present humor and
irony.
"Carmen" is a modern-day version of
the famous Bizet opera, with new music
interpreted by Russian composer Rodion
Shchedrin. Eks uses the cinematic effect
of flashback to tell the story of
'Carmen,' as stunning dance solos take
the place of arias. Incorporating both
classical and modern techniques, the
Lyon Opera Ballet is expected to create a
few hard-to-forget images this weekend
with their contemporary, cigar-smoking
version of "Carmen."
"I expect it to be very dark, very
expressionistic," Delanghe said. She also
added that it's important for American
audiences to take the opportunity to be
exposed to these performances from
Europe and learn from them. "There is
more dance in Europe than here because
the citizens support it," she said.
Jerome also noted the international
aspect of Lyon Opera Ballet's Michigan

debut. "Europe has a lot of cutting-edgt.
art going on because they have govern
ment funding. It's created such a hot bed
of talent - Americans look to that."-
When asked about tomorr$
advanced-level master class with thi
Lyon troupe's artistic director Yorgos
Loukos, Jerome mentioned that it is very
difficult. if not impossible to arrange
such opportunities with visiting compa-
nies.
"A lot of companies say they do not
have the time for master classes...The
Lyon Opera Ballet was very willing to
do this - I think that says a lot," Jer e
said.
This weekend will also feature an edu-
cational event, "Drawn to Dance." spon-
sored by the Ann Arbor Art Center,
where visual artists will have a chance to
sit in on the troupe's dress rehearsal
tomorrow and sketch live, moving mod-
els.
"These dancers have such great
physiques. It'll be a wonderful opportu-
nity to have them as models", said the
Art Center's Education Director J '
Feibel. "The choreography in particut-
the gestures are very stark and dramatic,.
it's great for visual artists as well."
"This is the kind of thing that makes
Ann Arbor such a wonderful place.
There is such a wonderful collaboration
of artists," said Feibel.
There will also be a pre-performance
talk given by Yorgos Loukos in the
Michigan League, as well as a 'Meet the
Artist' post-performance dialogue f*
the stage tomorrow night.

Colonel Sun headlines the Blind Pig

By Ryan Malkin
Daily Arts Staff'
Does this world need another five piece band? The answer,
yes, if it's Colonel Sun. These guys began playing together in
February 1998. By April, they were opening for acts like
Maschina. And now they are headlining
the Blind Pig.
Perhaps the reason for their quick
increase in popularity is their ambition.
Colonel In asking Brian Cohen, vocals/guitar,
SUn how to describe their sound, he had a
Blind Pig great deal to say. Cohen doesn't like to
Tomorrow at 10 p.m. put labels on music, however he classi-
fied Colonel Sun as "beat laced indie
pop"

with different instruments."
As all musicians, these guys have a slew of influences rang-
ing from punk, hip-hop, and drum and bass to Brit rock like,
The Smiths, The Stone Roses and Radiohead.
While many young groups like to immediately jump on .
band wagon of "Modern Rock," Colonel Sun prefers to *W-
centrate on inventive songwriting and composing catchy
melodies.
As Colonel Sun moves up in the music world, or at least the
Ann Arbor music world, Getaway Cruiser, whom Sony signed,
has taken a bit of a nose-dive. Getaway Cruiser lost their lead
singer a year ago and brought their guitarist, Drew Peters, to
center stage. Under their new name, Six Clips, they will be
playing for the fourth time as an opening act for Colonel Sun.
Drew Peters. also happened to have produced Colonel Sun's
promo CD. "Martyr to the Cause." This Saturday at the B's"
Pig, Colonel Sun, will give away 20 free copies of a two s "
demo. If Colonel Sun, sticks by. their word, "above all, the
music comes first, and speaks for itself," they will soon be
"Covered In Lights"

tllil

4]

Cohen added, "Regardless, we're con-
stantly trying to push the boundaries cre-
atively ... As we become better musi-
cians, we're able to express the ideas we
have musically in different sorts of ways,

_

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