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March 26, 2001 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-26

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smatter of opinion...

NOW president Patricia Ireland
and Playboy writer Asa Baber
sign copies of their books
tonight. Borders. 5:30 p.m.
michigandaily. com/arts


MARCH 26, 2001

heartbreakers' cons
entertaining film out
of comedic formula

University Art Museum
merges art and science
in 'Paradise Now'

By Jeremy Sullivan
For the Daily

B Wilihelmina Mauritz
Arts Writer
When most people think of
Sigourney Weaver they think of the
"Alien" series and her tough bitch
attitude. The same thing goes for

Grade: A-
At Showcase
and Quality 16

Jennifer Love
Hewitt - the
TV series "Party
of Five," and her
sweet young vir-
ginal image (or
maybe just lots
of cleavage). In
the movie
both of these
actresses are
able to shine and
actually break
through their

s. They also get a chance to show
their chest size and shapely bod-
ies along with their comic acting
abilities, which are surprisingly quite
strong for both of them.
"Heartbreakers" is a charming
romantic comedy reminiscent of
such classics as "Dirty Rotten
Scoundrels" and "A Fish Called
Wanda." It revolves around a mother-
daughter con team. Max (Weaver)
men to marry her and has her
daughter Page (Hewitt) seduce them
into infidelity. Max catches them in
the act, files for divorce and receives
a hefty settlement for all her "pain."
At the start of the film, Page has
declared to her mother that she is
ready to be on her own and wants to
part ways. Max reluctantly agrees
until they discover the IRS has taken
all their money. Page agrees to do
more hit but it has to be big. It
to be Palm Beach.

The two set up shop and cruise the
area to find their next victim,
William B. Tensy (Gene Hackman),
the billionaire owner of a tobacco
company who subsequently appears
to be dying from his own products.
Hackman is brilliant. In his first
30 seconds on screen he is able to
portray the entire depth of his char-
acter through his actions, body lan-
guage and facial expressions. Tensy
stumbles out of his mansion, hacking
while simultaneously smoking a cig-
arette, swats a cat out of his way
with a cane and proceeds to stumble
to his knees on account of all the
coughing. You can't help but laugh at
the sheer hypocrisy of the scene.
"Heartbreakers" has a very strong
supporting cast overall, which only
adds to the movies greatness. After
Hackman, you've got Jason Lee
("Mallrats") as well as Ray Liotta
who plays the first victim of the
mother-daughter duo that we get to
witness. There is a scene at the very
beginning where Liotta is carrying
Weaver in his arms down the hall to
their hotel room and the hall just
keeps going and going with Weaver
obviously not getting any lighter. His
facial expressions alone (as well as
his buckling knees) encompass the
scene perfectly.
Like any good con movie "Heart-
breakers" has lots of funny moments
and plenty of twists and turns that I
guarantee you won't be expecting. It
seemed that every time the plot was
moving in a predictable direction and
I thought I had figured out what was
going to happen next, it would slip in
a zinger and change course, always
for the better.
As with most romantic comedies,
endings seem to be where they lose
steam and go for the predictable

Last summer, scientists
announced to the world that they had
completed a rough map of the
human genome - the genetic blue
print of the human race. For a per-
spective on genetic breakthroughs
like you've never experienced

Museum of Art
through May 27

before, visit the
University of
Michigan Muse-
um of Art's
"Paradise Now:
Picturing the
Genetic Revolu-
tion." You are
guaranteed to be
impressed, daz-
zled and to stare
in awe for hours
-- no kidding.
The exhibit will
run through

Courtesy of MGM-UA
ABOVE: Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sigoumey "The Alien Slayer" Weaver display their raw
sex appeal in "Heartbreakers." Ripley, you can break my heart any day.
BELOW: "Tiger Woods, y'all, It's all good, y'all."

(read: Boring). "Heartbreakers" did
fall prey to some of this but not as
much as one might think. The movie
did a good job of sticking with its
already well-defined, realistic charac-

ter development (for a Hollywood
movie that is). Overall, "Heartbreak-
ers" left me feeling satisfied and not at
all like I had just been scammed the
S8 admission price for pure drivel.

May 27, and will feature a panel dis-
cussion April 11 from 5 - 7 p.m
that will be moderated by University
President Lee Bollinger.
Undoubtedly, decoding the human
genome is one of the most ground-
breaking accomplishments in scien-
tific history. Biotechnology will give
science, medicine, agriculture and
business unprecedented opportuni-
ties for growth and advancement.
With the developments come
progress and excitement, but also
protest and debate. While some peo-
ple see the developments with enor-
mous promise, others view genetic
research as a formidable threat.
From either perspective, it is a uni-
versal truth that genetic research is
rewriting the definition of life. Dur-
ing this scientific transition, artists
can be invaluable guides and inter-
preters. By creating images that
express the abstract concepts and
new possibilities accompanying the
genetic revolution, they remind us of
the implications genetic research has
for society.
"Paradise Now: Picturing the
Genetic Revolution" is the first
major exhibition of contemporary
art to address the deep questions
associated with biotechnological
research. The exhibit, featuring 34
works by 18 artists, explores artists'
reactions to genetic discoveries, and
to the broader ethical and societal
implications raised by advancements
in the field. "Paradise Now" gives
voice to the humanistic meanings of
genetic exploration by drawing par-
allels between scientific research
and other forms of creative expres-
sion. The exhibit is part of an effort

Courtesy uofMuseum of Art
Susan Anker's "Zoosemiotics" is one of
the stunning pieces in "Paradise Now."
to establish a relationship between
the artistic community at the Uni-
versity and other disciplines, such as
the sciences. The Museum of Art
seeks to present art that will engage
audiences beyond only those dedi-
cated to an interest in the fine arts.
If you have only a few minutes,
take a second to drop in and see
"Mother and Child." This "living"
work of art is made from genetically
engine red grass. The large-scale
portrait of a mother and child
appears to be an eloquent black and
white photo from afar, but with a
closer look, you'll be spellbound to
see the individual blades of green
grass from which the portrait is
composed. The artists, Heather Ack-
royd and Dan Harvey, approached a
team of scientists to design them
genetically modified grass that
keeps its green color, even under
"Paradise Now" is also likely your
only opportunity to see a bold and
colorful work of art grown from col-
ored bacteria. By sealing the air into
the work, artist David Kremer way
able to put the work, "Biogenesis,"
into a period of stasis. If placed ml
an incubation room, however, the
living image will continue to grow.
The best thing about "Paradise
Now: Picturing the Genetic Revolu-
tion" is that you don't need a con-
centration in History of Art o
appreciate it or understand it. No
matter what your background is, it's
sure to hold your interest. You'rc
guaranteed to say the word "cool" at
least a dozen times. Enjoy.

'Bus Stop' looks at urban Chinese styles

By Elizabeth Manasse
Daily Arts Writer
Basement Arts will perform Gao Xingjian's
.' "The Bus Stop" this weekend in the Arena
Theatre. The play is a loose adaptation of Samuel
Beckett's "Waiting for Godot." "The play is very
heavily influenced by 'Waiting for Godot' it's
pretty obvious. It's the futility of waiting and not
making things happen," said director Claire Con-
ceison, a visiting assistant professor in the The-

The Bus
Arena Theater
March 30-31

atre and Drama department.
The play centers around
eight characters who, in
total, represent a cross sec-
tion' of urban Chinese in the
mid 1980's. They wait at a
bus stop for a bus which
never arrives, or does arrive
but never stops. Their con-
versation begins light but
becomes more desperate
and disillusioned as the wait
increases. Its subtle criti-
cism of the Communist sys-
tem caused the play to be
stopped after ten perfor-
mances in 1983 and con-

she added.
Conceison has adopted an experimental style
for the production. The performance will be done
in the round and each audience member will be
given a water bottle, piece of paper, or stone in
order to create the play's sound effects. She hopes
this in combination with an original score by Pei
Lu, a Chinese doctoral candidate from the School
of Music, will add to the enjoyment of the perfor-
mance. "The set is very user friendly...it's a real
ensemble piece that lends itself to experimenta-
tion and I like to do experimental work," Concei-
son said.
Some of the experimentation includes changing
the genders of two of the characters. "I think that
making 'Glasses' and 'Supervisor' female
enhances some of their personality traits in inter-
esting very ways and it gives some of the lines
they have with other characters a new reso-
nance... it calls attention to that type of Chinese
citizen who is the female acting in a kind of non-
gender specific role in a male capacity," she said.
Conceison tries to emulate and capture the feel
of urban China through costumes. "[We've] cho-
sen costumes that are similar to what people were
wearing in 1983, but we haven't made the charac-
ters Chinese people, in hope to make it relevant to
a University audience in 2001...We've tried to do
both of those things," she said. "Hopefully Chi-
nese people who come to see the play, or people
who've been to China will recognize that element,
but everybody else can identify with the play
-too." Conceison feels these changes keep the spir-
it of Gao's message. "I think he'd be really excit-
ed about this production. I think he'd like it," she
Performance times for "The Bus Stop" are Fri-
day, March 30 at 7 and 11 p.m. and Saturday
March 31 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., with a discussion
after the 2 p.m. show.

tributed to the author fleeing China in 1987.
The author, Gao Xingjian, has caused a great
deal of controversy in the United States as well as
abroad lately. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for
literature in October, 2000. Until his award, no
Chinese writer had ever won the prize. His status
as an exile complicated the Chinese reaction,
since they refer to him as a 'Chinese-French'
writer. "All these years they (the Chinese Gov-
ernment) have been complaining that a Chinese
writer has never won a Nobel Prize, and now they
*illy got one and they're saying he's not a Chi-

Courtesy of Chinastarcom
Playwright Gao XingJiam looks forward to an exciting
performance of his controversial work, "The Bus Stop."
nese writer because he's been in France," Concei-
son said.
"The reason I chose to do the play is because
he just won the Nobel prize and I know most peo-
ple don't know his work, and I wanted to give the
community and the University a chance to see a
piece of his work since he is an important figure
right now...I think it's his most significant play,"

p I ____________________________________________________________

IS MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2001-
9:00 A.M TO 1:00 P.M IN 1014 TISCH HALL.

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