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February 05, 2001 - Image 5

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-05

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MONDAY
FEBRUARY 5, 2001

DAILY ARTS HAS A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

Bad acting, worse script
thwarts the intentions of
Sarin's film 'Left Behind'

Osmonds take gospel
to television, again

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By Jeff Dickerson
D~aily TV/New \Mcdia Editlor

By Andy Taylor-Fabe
Daily Ans \\rliCr
So, we've gone from "Jesus Christ Superstar" to
"Jesus Christ: Action Ifero." Just what we needed.
" -ft Behind: The Movie" is a weak attempt to
c ate a spiritual thriller about Christianity and
findine faith that seems more suited to be a movie
of the week than a theatrical
release.
The fili stars Kirk
Cameron (Mike Seaver of'
Left "Growing Pains") and Brad
Behind Johnson (a "Troy McClure"
type actor), who play reporter
Grade: F Buck Williams and commer-
At Showcase cial pilot Ravford Steele,
respectively. But setting
ridiculous porn names aside
for a second, the film deals
with the Rapture (in which all
the faithful are taken up to
Heaven) and the aftermath of
the jarring and traumatic
event. There's a paranoid . subplot concerning a
United Nations evil banker/globalization conspir-
acy that is just plain stupid, but its absurdity pales
in comparison to the main plot, which includes a
that from a seeminely helpful man named
Nicolai Carpathia. Gee, I wonder if he's actually
evil. It took a delicate touch to come up with that
name. I guess they figured naming him Joev Anti-

Christ would make it too obvious.,
The film is barely deserving of the term "B-
movie." With acting that would make the worst
soap opera hack cringe, the actors churn out dia-
logue as if they're reading the script for the first
time, and the cheesy, stylized piano music in the
background doesn't help much.
The film seems like an amalgam of a cheesy
movie on the Sci-Fi channel and an after school
special. It makes me long for the days of films like
"Atomic Train." God help us.
The message of the film couldn't beless subtle.
The heavy handed preaching and propaganda
filled material is hopelessly transparent and con-
fused. As the film opens, we hear Buck in a voice-
over, "What does it matter what we think we
know; in the end, there's no denving the truth."
When Ravford comes home to find that his family
has vanished right out of their clothes, he breaks
down in tears, and as he falls to his knees in his
greatest moment of sorrow and need, what does he
find? ... the Good Book. As Ravford, the ex-sin-
ner, finds his new faith, he takes on this creepy,
calm demeanor that makes him seem freshly
lobotomized.
When Christian production company Ten Cloud
Pictures decided to release the film, they released
the DVD and VIIS versions before the theatrical
version. The logic behind this move is rooted in
the hope that all Christians (and followers of the
popular series of, books on which the film is
based) would rent it, talk about it and cause a fer-

Mike Seaver is now a born agpin Christian.
vor, making the theater opening a huge success
11ey. proselytizing seems to wvork for the religion,
wxhv not for a cheeseball action movie
The DVD version of' the movie contains gems
like music videos of the horrible sons eatured in
the film and previews for other films based on the
book of revelations. Revelation based movies with
diverse titles like "JudLement-" "Tribulation," and
best of all. "Revelation."
There is also a behind the scenes documentary
and a special video message from Kirk Cameron
in which he tells how great, the film is. As he
blankly looked into the camera, I kept waiting to
see the shadow of the hypnotist's watch moving
across his face. lev, Kirk, we all loved "Growing
Pains:" now walk away.

Jesus loves the Osmonds. Alan,
Wayne, Merrill, Jay and Jimmy com-
posed one of the most successful
groups of the 1970s, amassing a total
of over SO million albums sold world-
wide. laid I for-
get anyone'? Al
< nw: yes, who can For-
get those darling
Inside the younger siblings
Osmonds Donny and
ABC Marie? The Utah
natives followed
Tonight at 8 p.m. in the footsteps
*"Of other great
family groups of
the time such as
the Partridge
family. The
seven rowdy sib-
lings could best
be compared to the Jackson 5, only
white, with two extra members and no
LaToya.
"Inside the (smonds," the ABC
television event, follows . the
renowned family from their huminble
beginnings on the Andy Williams
show in 1962 to the cancellation of
the Donny & Marie show in 1979.
The events in between, penned
exquisitely by Matt Dorff, create a
story of mythic proportions. Under
the skillful direction of the TV movie
connoisseur Neill Fearnley, "Inside
the Osmonds" takes the audience
direct ly into the lives of music's most
important and electri fying family.
B~ruce McGill, best known for his
brilliant work as D-D)ay in "Animal
house;" stars as the commanding
father of the* Osmond posse. Veteran
actress Veronica Cartwright reprises
her role as Lambert in "Alien," only
instead of frantically running around
the Nostromo avoiding an S-foot
monster resembling an H.R. Giger
creation, she tours the world with her
fun loving Mormon children to
spread the gospel through bubble-
gum pop. The real highlight of' the tal-
ented ensemble cast is the perfor-
mance of Joel Berti as Alan Osmond.
The gifted young actor who once

starred as Red Team Guy 42 in
"Saved By the Bell: Wedding in Las
Vegas" has come into his own com-
mercially and artistically.
The story begins well into the fam-
ily's musical career. Not content with
playing second fiddle to Andy
Williams, the boys seek out producer
Rick hall to begin production on
what would be their first of many suc-
cessful albums. Immediately con-
cerns emerge from the father retard-
ing the content of the lyrics to the pop
songs his boys sing. The producers
and the Osmonds soon reconcile their
differences and scheme to take con-
trol of the world by touring exotic
locations from Cleveland to
Philadelphia.
Despite having 34 gold records, all
is not well with the family. Tensions
build as heartthrobs Donny & Marie
move to the forefront and steal the
limelight from their equally endowed
siblings. Not since the team-up of
Gileameshrand Enkidu has there been
a force so commanding. The duo
becomes the country's favorite televi-
sion program and thrills it's viewers
with special guests and musical num-
bers. Then the shit hits the fan.
I won't spoil the dramatic conclu-
sion to the television event of 2001
but you have to see it to believe it.
Let me just tell you this ... the ending
includes dynamite, helicopters, pole
vaulting and a surprise appearance by
the Osmonds themselves. I guess I
ruined the ending, oh well.
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In a Feminine Voice features st n i g
artistry with representations of wormanhood

By Marie Bernard .
For the Dail,
Our lives are assembled by the ele-
nients of the fainiliar. This familiari-
ty protects us with comfort, security
and routine. In
the Ann Arbor
Art Center's cur-
rent exhibit, "In
a Feminine a Feminine
Voice Voice." five
female artists
Ann Arbor Art Center explore'the intri-
Through February 8 cate familiarity
of the female
experience. In a
variety of' media
paint, col-
lage, ceramics,
textiles each
artist brings a
fIrsh voice and a darint investigation
to the themes of womanhood.
The exhibit begins with Kate
Roesch's bold and colorful paintings:
"1 leat," "Laces," "Sweethearts" and
"Grace." 1er work, constructed by a
strikine fusion of oranges, vellows,
reds and blues, is seemingly geomet-
ric at their base. Strong lines and
c 6 r shapes are evident in all of her
ewes. Combined with these linear

strokes, however, are more familiar
domestic presences.
"My forms refer to domestic
objects such as bedding and night-
lowns," Roesch said. "I associate the
forms with gender and sexuality. I am
struck by the dichotomy that presents
itself both formally and conceptually
when I use these forms."
In addition to the stunning artistry
inherent in her paintings. Roesch has
successfully scrutinized the instinc-
tive associations of womanhood.
The second room of the gallery
features the other four artists.
Susanne Kilpela's mixed-media
abstract work expresses her struggle
with the traditional relationships of
women to- their art. I ler pieces ---a
wire mattress pad with a ball of string
on top, panty hose strung out and
stuffed with onion-like bulbs - sug-
gest a different method of looking at
the everyday. "My parents told me
that I didn't have to conform."
Kilpela said.
"Sometimes my life has been a
struuule because I haven't."
IEunhee Im's work looks at the
forms we confidently inhabit. She
investigates the essence of her sub-
jects through their dwellings. She has
constructed a variety of objects,

made from wax and Asian paper and
covered in Korean writing, that ana-
lyze this tension. "In my works, the
essence of'the human is characterized
and shown with the particular gar-
ment shape or abstract form. The
idiosyncratic form symbolize the
shelter of the human body, and the
human itself in space," she said.
Her most striking piece, a series of
miniature boats made from wax
paper and held together by variety of
other media, echoes with the stories
we accumulate in those vessels used
for traveling.
Patricia Mink's linens are the most
apparent example of the journey into
domestic language and the explo-
ration of the familiar. Her work,
which includes variations on a quilt
and a baby's dress, all look at the pro-
gression of fabric as a symbol of our
lives.
Her most effective piece, "Ironic."
is a three-by-three cream-colored
quilt. Each patch of the quilt is
stained by the brown form of an iron.
but these stains have become the
quilt's apparent design, or pattern.
"I'm interested in developing an
iconography that acknowledges the
significance of the ordinary, the pat-
terns of the everyday, and the corn-

fort of the famiiar,' she said. Her
work expresses this clearly through
its embroidered quilting squares and
tainted fabric.
Meredith Ridi Kalajainen's subtle
and gentle penetration of the female
dress is the highlieht of the exhibit.
Several of her smailer works, such as
tiny watercolored paper dresses atop
burlap or canvas, were complimented
by a more striking installation
"Dress Diary." hundreds of these
one-dimensional paper dress cut-outs
are hanin, from strinm in one corner
of the gallery. She pursues this
"diary" of our personal histories by
writing on the dresses. Some of her
words are legible, and some are faded
and scrawled heyond recognition.
She is attempting to gather the
words that construct our memory of
expcrience and place them on the
style of' clothing that can take many
f'orms. "I wanted to reconsider the
form to create a gentle shape that
could embrace many moments at
once. and Live words a place to con-
nect, a place to dwell." Kalajainen
said.
Like the other artists in the exhibit,
Kalajainen is taking the familiar
forms we inhabit and exposing their
intricacies.

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Above: "Help me Donny, I've been tied to a train track."
Below: The Osmond clan try to kick some network ass.

Puzzling, historic story 'Rain Dance'
disrupts serenity and humanity of 1945

Young Judaea

By Jenny Jeltes
Faily Arts Writer
What do a Native American Indian, a young sci-
entist, a quiet young woman, and her older hus-
band (also a scientist) all have in common? No,

4a V
Rain
Dance
Purple Rose
TheaterChelsea
Through March 17
AI "i

this is not a scenario leading
into a punch line of a silly
joke. Actually, these are
everyday people in Lanford
Wilson's World Premiere of
"Rain Dance."
"Rain Dance" is the first
play to open in the newly ren-
ovated Purple Rose Theater in
downtown Chelsea. Owned by
actor Jeff Daniels (originally
from- Chelsea), the restored
Purple Rose Theater has
sparked the interest of both

recently served in the war, speaks and acts coolly
and confidently. Careful to say only what he
means, he finds himself unable to relate to Hank's
anxious and eccentric style. Hank, who just won't
stop flapping his mouth, is obviously worried
about something, although he attempts to make
small talk about Hank's rituals and traditions as a
Native American. Tony is annoyed and it's appar-
ent that the two can't relate to each other
Letscher's performance is believable and
impressive. His acting ability, evident in his recent
film credit,."The Mask of Zorro." can clearly be
seen in his portrayal of hank. Little quirks and
characterizations are so beautifully utilized that
Hank becomes a real person, who directly trans-
fers his feelings and experiences to each audience
member. One sees his obvious pain, frustration,
and distress.
Irene (Suzi Regan), who we find has a special
kinship with both Tony and lank, is a much more

This is serious stuff we're talking about here.
"Rain Dance" is indeed wonderfully construct-
ed, but if you're not a stickler for extreme ambi-
guity (some ambiguity is of course effective and
necessary), the play will lose vou. On the other
hand, if you enjoy putting together bits and pieces
to make your own assumptions, it could be enjoy-
able. So try it out.

Programs
Work in, Israel!
If you have counselor/teen education experience, have been to
Israel, and are knowledgeable about Judaism and Zionism, we've
got a job for you! Staff one of Young Judaea's exciting Israel
Summer Programs for teenagers or our 10-month Year Course, in
Israel for high school graduates.
Study in Israel!
More than just a semester abroad at Hebrew University, Young
Judaea's Sharsheret program offers activities beyond the classroom
internships, volunteer pro'grams, and off-campus apartment housing
enabling you to be an active member of Israeli society. Sharsheret is
a supplementary program to the overseas program at Hebrew
University and includes exclusive trips, lectures, hikes, seminars and
cultural activities.
Tour in Israel!

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