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October 11, 2000 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-11

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Look closer...
The University Detroit Observatovis
holding an open house tonight. From
noon to 3 p.m. $5 suggested donation.
WEDNESDAY
michigandaily.com/art~s A.,SOTOBR 11, 2000

GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN
Lades step up the standards ini 'Girfight' and 'Girl on the Bridge'

By Wilhelmina Mauritz
For The Daily

The eyes of our heroine, Diana, play an impor-
tant role in the movie "Girlfight." The first and
last scenes of this movie are extreme close-up
shots of them. Eyes are and
have always been windows to
the soul. "Girlfight," a movie
Girifight about exploration and trans-
formation, uses Diana's eves
Grade: A- to portray her inner-change.
At Showcase At first, tier eyes are filled
and Qualty 16 with so much anger and rage
that you feel like you're
looking at a death stare-
down. By the end of the
movie this has changed,
revealing satisfaction, almost
peacefulness.
"Girlfight" is slightly low
budget by today's high Hollywood standards but
nevertheless uses everything it has to pull off a
truly great film. It's all about the small details.
Just the use of music alone is a work of art. The

way it sets the feel of every scene and is orches-
trated around distinct shots is just elegant - sub-
tle things like this give away the fact that a lot of
effort and energy went into the making of this
movie.
Thse movie revolves around Diana played by
newcomer Michelle-Rodriguez. Diana is lost and
has so much anger inside of her with no outlet that
it just keeps seeping out of her at inopportune
times.
At the start of the movie, she is one fight away
from being expelled from school. While looking
for her own personal niche, Diana falls into the
world of boxing. However, this movie is not about
boxing, it is about Diana's inner-struggle and her
journey into self-discovery.
Rodriguez is spectacular as Diana - a difficult
character for the actress to work with. She had the
potential to be played so one-dimensionally, but
she wasn't.
She's not just a tomboy who liked to fight. She
was a girl with a past that explains her present
state.
Diana is a rebel but she's not a loner. Diana
cares about other people dearly and is always

interested in their stories and where they come
from, where they want to go and why. She listens,
which is what so many people in this movie seem
to need.
There are many stories going on in "Girlfight."
The deliberate way that the plot slowly unwinds its
intricate story lines is timed perfectly.
By the time you hit the climax of the movie,
there is so much that comes together that it's like
an explosion. For example, throughout the movie,
there is a lot of anger between Diana and her
father.
It is not explained why exactly this animosity
exists but it is obvious that it goes beyond the typ-
ical parent-teenager angst.
The tension builds and by the time you find out
the reason for all of Diana's hatred toward her
father, you literally feel like you just got the wind
knocked out of you.
The movie's romantic spin between Diana and
another boxer, Adrian (coincidentally the very
same name as the girlfriend from the Rocky
movies) is one we've seen a dozen times over but
it is played out with such sweet sincerity that it's
See GIRIFIGHT, Page 10

Banessa Paradis stars as Adele, the heroine in "Girl on the Bridge."

"Of thee I sing" blends music, politics

By Lisa Rajt
For the Daily
The song goes, "I like a Gershwin tune, how
bout you?"
If you in fact also enjoy a Gershwin tune, or
even if you just enjoy a romp
through the politics and music
of the 1930's, do not miss out
Of Thee I on "Of Thee I Sing."
in In what promises to be a
first-rate production by the
Mendelstohn Theater University's always-talented
pensTor8 spm. Musical Theater Department,
politics, American history,
catchy music and lyrics by the
fabulous Gershwin brothers
will all be standard fare.
A satire about politics in
America during the Great
Depression, this musical has

been widely praised as one of the best of all time.
Purists in the realm of musical theater will be glad
to know that the show presented this coming week-
end will stay true to its original story, music and
overall style.
Appropriately, this musical will premiere at the
University just a few weeks before our nation's
own Presidential election.
Director Brent Wagner stated that, "like any
classic, many aspects of (the show) apply to our
society today, particularly to our political cam-
paigns."
It will be interesting to compare and contrast the
politics of the 1930's shown in"Sing" to the polit-
ical climate of today.
In fact, the New York Times deemed the musical
"funnier than the government and not nearly so
dangerous."
A Pulitzer Prize winner in 1931, "Of Thee I
Sing" was regarded as the premiere play of the
times, with the music considered to be secondary.

In hindsight, however, many believe the music to
be just as important as the storyline, if not more
so. Brian D. Sweeny, of the Savoyard Light Opera
Company, once wrote, "'Of Thee I Sing' remains
unchallenged as the greatest American operetta
ever written."
It also stands out as the first musical to ever wilt
a Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Particularly important to lovers of music and
drama alike is the quality of the performers. The
University's Musical Theater Department is wide-
ly recognized as being one of the best in the coun-
try.
On the quality of the performers, Wagner com-
mented, "This production will feature impressive
performances by undergraduate musical theater
students who are training to become professional
actors."
Additionally, the directors of music, scenery,
costumes, lighting and choreography are all sea-
soned professionals within the school of music.

By Joshua Gross
Daily Arts Writer
Her large brown eyes are intoxicating
pools where loneliness floats like disem-
bodied tree trunks
and desperation
drifts like a toxic
spill. That's what
Girl On draws you in, at
the Bridge first, the eyes, the
Grade: A- puppy eyes that
seem to grow
At Tato larger and larger
MieigaTt until they appear
ready to burst.
This is the open-
ing scene, an ago-
nizingly polite
int errogation
through which
Adele, "The Girl On the Bridge's"
dream-eyed heroine, constructs the
depressing spiral of passionless sex that
has consumed and implanted the happi-
ness in her life. It is details like this, the
infinite emotion in fluttering of the
human eye, the love story imbedded in a
single sigh, the seduction in the way a ray
of light can drape itself over a female
body that sucks you into "Girl."
Everything else, the atmosphetic light-
ing, the hypnotically jazzy soundtrack,
the breathtaking cinematography, the
sharp, witty writing, the abundance of
sharp knives is all soft padding so the
emotional whip does not sting too
strongly.
"The Girl on the Bridge" is a quintes-

sential love story, an impossible, unat-
tainable, beautiful fairy tale. Adele ke.,
at her future and sees nothing, she looks
at her past and sees nothing, she looks at
her present and sees nothing. She goes to
the bridge to jump. Gabor, the knife
thrower, goes to the bridge to find atar-
get. Very few women wish to have kntves
thrown at them; so Gabor recruits those
unstable types who have already give,
up. What follows is an argument that
sways between cuteness and harshness,
sweetness and bitterness, dreams and
reality.
Director Patrice Leconte does not
allow the limits ofreality to taint his film,
the characters converse telepathically
through rooms or overseas so naturally
that the audience can do nothing but
accept this connection and sigh at their
itability to achieve it with their lovers,
He toys with the myth of luck, then
redefines it ie his own terms. The two
characters become unexplainably 1
in each others company, wmnnmn
roulette, clearing tip raity skies, but in
turn become painfully unlucky when
apart.
Over and over again we are presented
with occurrences that could only happen
in a movie, yet that is what makes them
so appealing, their fantastic impossibili-
ty. Although the boundaries of possibili-
ty are stretched beyond repair within the
ninety minutes of "The Girl on tb
Bridge", we welcome this dissol
and smile serenely at the celebration tar
is the romantic imagination. Only in a
movie. Sigh.

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