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November 01, 2000 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Judy Collins
e interpretive folk singer will
perform and sign copies of her new
live and re-issued albums at Borders
beginning at 6 p.m.
michigandaily.com /arts

tdi ~jun ailg

NOVEMBER 1, 2000


Hill proves she
certanl can
with "I I could"

By Caitlin Friedemann
or the Daily
"For once I'm doing what I need
to do for me. But I don't think that
either of you will ever have what it
akes to do the same." Regina Ever-
ette proclaims this to her two closest
friends after making the life-altering
isions to divorce her husband,
quit her job as an
reporter and
If 1 Could pursue her dream
of owning her
own book shop.
Donna Hill Her two friends,
Grade: B Toni Devon and
Kensington Books Vicky Hunter, are
at first shocked
and appalled that
the previously
submissive and
docile Regina
would dare to say
this. Neverthe-
ess, her words carry a degree of truth
nd both feel the sting of it. The novel
'If I Could" by best-selling author
Donna Hill describes the journeys of
three women as they struggle to
d themselves and their places in the
Donna Hill, an award-winning
wthor who has been featured in
Essence, Today's Black Woman, Black
nterprise, The Daily News and USA
Today, has also had works appear on
he Blackboard, Emerge and Ingram
Books bestseller lists. "If I Could" is
he type of well-written and complex
Nork that one would expect from such
accomplished author.
The book begins with Regina emo-
ionally and spiritually unhappy and
unfulfilled from her domineering LIus-
band. Accustomed to suppressing all
lickers of independence because of
ier mother, her Catholic schooling
md now her husband, she appears to
be one to strike out on her own. How-
ever, Hill gives an insightful look into
Tlg t

her mind, and it is not surprising when
the spark of rebellion that has always
been there finally catches and grows
into a fire that fuels Regina to change
her entire life.
What makes this book interesting is
that Hill not only focuses on Regina's
catharsis, she also illustrates the sub-
stantial effects it has on everyone else
in her life, most significantly her two
best friends. Toni, a social worker,
tries to mold her life and the rest of
the world into her image of perfec-
tion. Her refusal to let anyone else
take control eventually leaves her out
of touch with her -husband and trou-
bled teenage son, lonely and seeking
comfort in the arms of another man.
Vicky also strives for flawlessness
in appearance. She has always been
ashamed of her extremely dark skin
color and is constantly aware of the
obstacles she faces because of it. Too
focused on beating the odds with a
successful career and a white hus-
band, she won't allow herself to love.
Regina's outburst sparks changes in
both of them that help them to con-
front and begin to conquer their prob-
Hill develops these separate plots
by jumping between the lives and
minds of the three women. Her tone
of an omnipotent, somewhat sympa-
thetic observer and her depictions of
the thoughts and emotions of each
character force the reader to identify
with all when they interact. This style
allows one to simultaneously expe-
rience Regina's growing optimism,
Toni's loneliness and Vicky's inner
hurt, creating a strong understanding
and empathy with the characters that
make the book hard to put down.
The realistic complexity ofthe char-
acters also compels one to relate to
them. Hill skillfully links the past of
each to their current fears and aspi-
rations. Toni's motivation to provide
everything for everyone stems from
her fear her childhood existence in
a poverty-stricken, fatalistic family.
See COULD, Page 8
climbs to

hits on
By Christopher Cousino
Daily Arts Writer
Donna D'errico. A name synono-
mous with ... well not very much.
A 1995 Playboy centerfold. Star of
"Baywatch" 1996 to 1998. Married to
Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx.
So when her name cropped up as
one of the sideline "sportscasters" on
Comedy Central's new show "Battle-
bots," it seemed absolutley absurd (that
aside from the show's basic premise).
"That's why I like doing the show,"
D'errico said, "I don't really fit in: I
like the cornbally kind of stuff."
Especially when she gets in the ring
side-by-side with the competitors. "My
favorite part is just during the actual
battling. Guessing who is going to
win," said D'errico. "Nintey percent
take it really serious. Almost too seri-
ous. They know the people at home are
laughing. Ifthey're laughing, it's not at
the robots."
While the main attraction lies in the
robot fights, D'errico's commentary is
both goofy and funny. Even hubbie
Sixx watches. "Nikki likes Battle-
bots,"' said D'errico.
If she were to design a bot, it would
be "shaped feminine, a la the fembots
with trills coming out of the breasts."
Speaking of breasts, D'errico thinks her.
buxom "Baywatch" friends wouldn't
last in a fight against the Battlebots.
"Most of us didn't have one athletic
bone in our bodies."

"Fredo, you betrayed me." Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg re-enact a scene from "The Godfather" in "The Yard."
'Yards' socssmeiciy

By Wilhelmina Mauritz
Daily Arts WXriter

Wahlberg, Caan

You know that when a movie chooses
to start with a character making a speech
to a group about how all the bad times are

The Yards
Grade: C
At Showcase
and Quality 16

behind them, that
most certainly that
worse times are
yet to come. Never
was this truer than
in "The Yards."
The movie
begins with Leo
(Mark Wahlberg)
coming home
from a 16-month
stint in prison for
auto theft. We are
led to believe that
he was in prison
because he took
the fall for his best

It doesn't take long for Leo to notice
that he is surrounded by shady dealings
and crooked politicians and yet he just
can't believe that anything illegal is going
down. After growing up in what appears
to be a hard Bronx neighborhood and
with jail time behind him, his innocent
viewpoint of these criminal ways seems
We are supposed to feel empathy for
Leo because he is trying to go straight
and help out his ailing mother, yet I
couldn't help thinking how stupid he
Oneawful thing happened after another
making an easy out more and more
impossible. Because of these circum-
stances, "The Yards" seemed longer than
its 115 minute running time.
"The Yards" is by no means an original
story. If you think of"Tile Firn" crossed
with "Rounders" you pretty much have
"The Yards." This is not the main prob-
lem with the movie, however.
"The Yards" went wrong when it tried
to make itself original by filling an old
storyline we've seen before with a few
extra and absolutely ridiculous sub-plots.
It never worked.
"The Yards" is supposed to be a movie
about friendship and family and pro-
tecting these two precious bonds. Given

almost every character in the movie was
backstabbing and mean, it really made
you wonder why these so-called bonds
were all that important?
Despite a few scenes between Leo and
his mother, played by Ellen Burstyn, that
were very poignant and sincere as well
as a heart wrenching scene between Leo
and his aunt (Faye Dunaway) towards
the end of the film, the relationships are
largely implausible.
In an interview with Mark Wahlberg.
the actor talked about how he didn't
know if he were capable of playing the
role of Leo because lie was such a deep
and powerful character.
Keeping that in mind while watching
the movie, I was more than a little sur-
prised to see that not only was the char-
acter of Leo nothing special but so was
Wahlberg's acting.
The role did not seem a big stretch
from many of the things Wahlberg has
done before. The use of his puppy dog
eyes and gentle, sincere voice were put
to the max -but, his eyes were as
hollow as his words. Wahlberg's charac-
teristic monotone acting style could have
worked but the strength required for his
character and all the other missing pieces
made it just a little too much of nothing
for "The Yards."

friend Willie (Joaquin Phoenix from
"Gladiator"). not told the whole story
though, so we never know whether Leo
actually did anything or not.
Leo is trying to make a fresh start in
life and looks for a job with his uncle's
railroad company. Leo is mentored by
Willie who has become mysteriously rich
and high profile since Leo went away.

D'Errico & the Sklar brothers on 'Battebots.'

he top in 'Mountain'

By Priti Desai+
For the Dailv
The climb to the peak of a mountain 1
Mures much patience, endurance and
L facility to undergo several taxing
encounters. A six-mile mountain, how-i
ever, is an incredibly long and challeng-I
ing hike, but through his poetry, Richard
Tillinghast reveals the heartfelt emotions
and genuine experiences faced by those1
determined enough to attempt this feat.+
"Six Mile Mountain" is a compilation +
of powerful, vivid poetry, composed andi
c lected by Richard Tillinghast to dem-
trate his ascent to the zenith of his
own mountain.
Although at first read one might find +
Tillinghast's poems to lucidly describe1
the stepping stones in his life in termsi

of place and objects, it is the way he
searches for his place in life with such
anguish and emotion that touches one's
heart as one reads. He delves into aspects
of human life that everyone can relate to
as he writes ofjealousy, infidelity, chaos,
responsibility, sorrow and of course
As this is his seventh publication, Till-
inghast has a lot ofexperience expressing
himself through his words and thus, he
definitely succeeds in driving his audi-
ence to search their own souls to uncover
those buried emotions. And fortunately
for us, he teaches in the Master of Fine
Arts program here at the University. But
if you don't get a chance to meet this tal-
ented poet, at least immerse yourself in
heart-wrenching anecdotes from a jour-
ney up the six-mile.mountain of life.

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