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October 20, 1999 - Image 37

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-20

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12B -- The Wjjhigan Daily - Weekend,,, &tc. Magazine -- Thursday, OApber 21,.1999

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throw 'The Limey' to its death

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Students woii"Lardiforrmoney, some'get trea ed righT

By Christopher Tkaczyk
Daily ats Writer
Fresh from his 1997 screen success,
"Out of Sight," director Steven
Soderbergh offers up a similar action-
esque drama
foray with "The
Limey," a slight-
ly less intriguing
The Limey film that holds
* potential at every
turn, but is hin-
Starts tomorrow at dered by a weak
the Michigan Theater script and chop-
5reen ng Soorn py sequencing.
Written by
Lem Dobbs, the
scribe who con-
cocted last year's
"Dark City" and
1991 sleeper "Kafka," "The Limey"
suffers at every word. The dialogue,
often contrived and sometimes silly, is

only laughable when not taken seri-
ously. There shouldn't be anything
funny about a father seeking to avenge
his daughter's death. Remember, even
though "Hamlet" has its clown, it isn't
But this is no "Hamlet." A compari-
son cannot be made between
Shakespeare and Dobbs, who would
do well to study real drama.
"The Limey" recounts the post-
prison exploits of Wilson, a British
thief played by Terence Stamp (repris-
ing his role from "Poor Cow") who
had lost contact with daughter Jenny
before being thrown into the slammer.
Now, following parole and again in the
land of freedom, Wilson learns of
Jenny's "accidental" death and travels
to Los Angeles to find the person or
persons responsible for her dear
departure. Collecting her former
friends and using them to reconstruct
the past, Wilson teams up with Luis

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"Maurice T. Rodriguez" Guzman and
Lesley Ann Warren, acquaintances
from her acting class.
Wilson learns of Jenny's relation-
ship with Valentine, a record producer
played benignly by Peter Fonda.
Appearing at an industry-only party
thrown at Valentine's house-on-stilts,
Wilson crashes lafete when he throws
one of Valentine's bodyguards into a
nearby culvert. A chase begins, and
the rest of the film concentrates'on
Valentine running from Wilson, who
follows him to his other home on the
rocky Northern California shore.
When it should be exciting, "The
Limey" is not. Instead, it is restrained
from becoming a qualified dramatic
action film by both the fore-men-
tioned script and Soderbergh's trying
cinematics. Going off into too many
of Wilson's emotional issues, "The
Limey" concentrates on his internal
struggle, and slows the film to a stand-
still. Internal struggle can be a con-
flict, but only when it is actually pre-
sented. An audience is challenged
when it is left to piece together 10-sec-
ond flashbacks to reconstruct the
father-daughter conflict.
Equally unprovocative is the pathet-
ic ineptitude of the culturally confused
Wilson, who, as a recent prison dis-
charge, suffers from cultural transplan-
tation. Flashback scenes remind the
audience that Wilson's only memories
consist of his years before prison,
when his daughter was but a wee lass.
Within the film's many flashbacks.
we see the young Jenny, whose kinder-
garten innocence and childish cute-
ness are Wilson's only accounts of her.
A beach scene, in which nothing hap-
pens, is seen again and again and
again. Finally, some sense is put to it,
but only when it is too late because the
scenario has become tiresome.
Soderbergh takes another stab at
success by recreating the same style
that is becoming his trademark. That
style, defined by flashbacks and flash-
forwards and slowdown (not slo-mo),
choppy scenes, is what gave "Out of
Sight" its tense, titillating mood.
The slowdown style is artistic, to
say the very least, but is just about as
exciting as watching water freeze. It is
refreshing to stand back and admire

By Sarah Blitz
For the Dail1'
Short on rent this month? Find your-
self scavenging between furniture cush-
ions to pay your friend back a couple of
bucks for last month's phone bill? Or do
you just think it would be nice to have
some extra weekend spending cash?
Look no further! If these problems
sound familiar, there are indications Ann
Arbor just might be the place to be.
Right now Ann Arbor is exploding
with "help wanted' signs and employ-
ment opportunities. Just walk down
State Street or South University, and the
evidence is clearly posted in business
doors and windows. Jobs in coffee
shops, retail stores, and evenr estaurants
are waitn' for an excited and intelligent
college student to fill it - "just like
you." they Imply.
Some tItght-object that their schedule
of classes and activities is too demand-
ing. Worried about classes and exams'?
Brenna Polzin. an LSA junior working at

Steve and Barty's, said although she
would rather "spend my free time doing
nothing," her expenses dictate otherwise.
"It's easy here because I get exactly
the hours I need," Polzin continued."The
store is pretty laid-back and flexible so if
I need extra time one week to study for
an exam I can get some time off." This
seems to be the attitude of most busi-
nesses around campus who employ stu-
Francesca Muller, a junior with a job
at Caribou Coffee, agrees, with the addi-
tional caveat that "having a job makes
studying easier and more efficient. You
have a specified amount of titme to get
your studying done in, so you are more
focused, and you just do it"
Although it might seem a bit over-
whelming to have a job and go to school
at the same time. manv hard workers say
the sacrifices are well worth it. They
might come home a bit more tired than
their friends, but they also come home
with a soothing chunk ofchange in their

pockets. Also, most employers around
campus understand that they will be
obliged to hire students and plan accord-
They typically hire an abundant
amount of employees, with the expecta-
tion that most can only work minimal
hours. Mat, a manager at manager at
Einstein's Bagels, said, "The best thing
about hiring college students is that there

are a lot of them who don't work a lot of
hours so it's always easy to be flexible
and find subs when we need them"
Another motivation for students to
hold .down a job during school is that it
gives them something to put on their
resume besides college education. Most
of the student body remembers when,
while applying to college, the mound of
paperwork arrived at the "extra-curricu-

lar activity" section, causing panicked
teenagers to dream up something with
which to fill that empty space.
Today many students recognize that
having a job during college, no matter
how trivial it is, also fills up that empty
space. Literature from the Career
Planning & Placement (CP&P) staff
argues that many campus jobs will even
See JOBS, Page 168

crystallizing formations of matter, but
after awhile, ice gets pretty boring.
Soderbergh tends to forget this in
"The Limey" and uses the flash-
sequences in a way that slows the film
down. His flashforwards are too repet-
itive and by the time the story arrives
to the actual scene from which they're
taken, the audience has either already
been spoiled with them or just doesn't
give a damn. The characters become
useless forms moving in multiple tem-
pos. Repeating a scene over and over
again doesn't achieve anything unless
something new is learned each time
it's re-revealed.
But Soderbergh's filmmaking is a
cinematic symphony. There are defi-
nite melodies and harmonies within
his craft, and his films are nothing
short of art, which is why "The
Limey" had the potential to be a great
filmy Unfortunately, Soderbergh's
penchant for making the film his own
takes away from the story, and, like all
artforms given too much attention, it
arrives overdone.

The performances in "The Limey"
are all well-made, but, unfortunately,
they cannot resurrect it from an
untimely death. Guzman, a seeming
favorite of Soderbergh, again portrays
a stock character, but this time, he is
refreshingly alive. He finally is with-
drawn from the depths of the gene
pool and is given to portray a charac-
ter with a brain. Lesley Ann Warren.-
bless her heart, will always be Miss
It is unclear why Peter Fonda was
chosen to portray Valentine, for it is
evident that not one ounce of talent
was used in his performance. Other
than standing around pretending to be
a rich schmuck with a hot-ass girl-
friend, Fonda has no purpose and
could've been replaced by a better
looking, nameless unknown.
With panoramic shots of the famed
Mullholland Drive and breathtaking
vistas of the craggy California coast-
line, sunsets included, "The Limey" is
a beautiful film to look at, but a taxing
one to watch,

Respect The Michigan Daily.
The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures presents
The Twenty-Third Annual Hayward Keniston Lecture
Deborah Tannen
University Professor, Georgetowtn University
Author of You Just Don't Understand- Women and Men in Conversation
Agonism in the Academy
Wednesday, October 27, 1999, 4:10 p.m.
Auditorium B, Angell Hall, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
A reception will follow the lecture.

Anderson Consulting's Ron Kim visits Career Planning and Placement to recruit
potential employees.
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