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October 08, 2001 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-08

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Visiting Writers Series
Film historian and writer Micheal
Anderegg lectures on "Filmgoing and
Autobiography. 1300 Chem, 4 p.m.
Free.
michigandaily.com/arts

ARTS

MONDAY
OCTOBER 8, 2001

Bad Denzel makes
for a good movie

Rusted Root

makes their

exciting, ecstatic comeback

By Andy Taylor-Fabe
Daily Arts Writer

It has been proved time and time
again: There's nothing more fun
than an over-the-top bad guy. Fine

Training
Day
Grade: B
At Showcase and
Quality 16

acting, charac-
ter develop-
ment, well
crafted plots-
I guess those
are important
too, but noth-
ing matches
the excite-
ment, fear and
amusement of
a clever, ruth-
less and
morally ques-
tionable char-
acter. 'In

"Training Day," Denzel Washington
plays Alonzo Harris, the ultimate
corrupt cop. The head of an elite
narcotics squad, Alonzo has unlimit-
ed power and influence, impunity
from the law and a customized 1978
Monte Carlo, complete with
hydraulics.
Ethan Hawke plays Jake Hoyt, a
rookie cop who is given a chance to
be in Alonzo's unit, which he con-
siders to be a jumping off point for
his career, since members of the unit
are given the most lucrative and
sought after detective positions. The
only problem is that to pass his
"audition" and get into Alonzo's
unit, Jake has to compromise just
about every principle in the book.
Within a few minutes of meeting
him, Alonzo forces Jake to smoke
PCP laced pot, because if he turned
it down on the street, he'd be dead.
At first, Jake thinks that his superi-
or's bizarre behavior and disregard

for the law is a test to see what Jake
is capable of, but he slowly realizes
that this is the real Alonzo.
Washington steals the show as
Alonzo, sporting diamonds and gold
over black leather, flashing a smile
one minute and pulling a gun the
next. A markedly different role for
Washington (think "Remember the
Titans"), he plays the dirty cop as if
he was born for the role. He seems
to fill up the screen as he cruises
through the roughest neighborhoods,
shaking down the drug dealers and
intimidating the people like a feudal
lord. His attitude toward the streets
is that if you don't intimidate them,
they'll see the weakness and get the
better of you. His philosophy of
winning the battle from the inside is
explained to Jake: "You have to
decide if you're a sheep or a wolf, if
you want to go to the grave or if you
want to go home."
Every motion, every smile (or
sneer) and every comment from
Washington is at the same time
appealing and repulsive. Despite all
of his flaws and the fact that he is
sometimes just downright evil, you
want to like him ... for a while.
Eventually, we begin to see how out
of control he really is in his fantasy
world of power.
This is also the point where the
film begins to lose its otherwise
gritty and realistic edge, for
although the first section of the film
is sharp and fast-paced, the last few
minutes feel a little more cartoon-
like, and although there is a satisfy-
ing ending, it loses something as
Alonzo descends into the caricature
realm of Nicholson's Joker or Brick
Top.
Hawke gives a fine performance
as the honest cop trying to walk the

Rusted
Root
Michigan Theater

By Robyn Melamed
Daily Arts Editor
They're back. Pittsburgh's biggest band, Rusted Root,
with all its African/Latin/Eastern jams came to the sold-out
Michigan theater last night to prove just how back they real-

ly are.
After what seemed to be an official
break up, the band came together for a
completely unexpected 2001 tour.
Judging by the sight of the crazed,
enthused fans, this was a very good
move.

a]
S
sl
ul
rE
e:
b
E
C,
R

courtesy or warner Brotners
Yeah, he's pretty, but he's mean too!
tightrope between the law and suc-
cess, all while trying to save his
soul. His pact with Alonzo is basi-
cally a pact with the devil: If he-
gives Alonzo a year or two on the
squad, he can get "the keys to the
kingdom," and he conveys with sub-
tlety the sense of uncertainty that
comes along with the choices that he
must make. As his fellow members
of the squad all split up money from
a shakedown, he hesitatingly turns
his down, saying "No ... no, right?"
with all the conviction of a elemen-
tary school kid resisting peer pres-
sure.
The atmosphere of the film is
unusually genuine, partly due to the
fact that many of the scenes on the
streets were actually filmed in the
neighborhoods in which they were
supposed to take place, despite the
objections of the studio on account
of safety issues. One has to pity the
kid delivering the mocha lattes as he
tries to walk the same gauntlet that
Alonzo strolls down so easily.

October 7, 2001 For two hours straight, Rusted RootP
gave out all the goods. They per- I
formed a lot of their old hits, includ-I
.- ing "Artificial Winter" and "Welcome }
to my Party." They also threw in a few t
from their just-recorded album, such
as "Live Long."
The band started off the concert by
giving the crowd goosebumps with the
enchanting "Voodoo." This song made for an incredible
comeback for the band and afterwards, it only got better.
In the middle of the set, the band got the crowd complete-
lythyped by playing a Bob Dylan/Jimi Hendrix favorite,
"All Along the Watch Tower."
Lead vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Michael Glabicki was
a highlight of the show. With his guitar solos and his (oh-so-
sexy) unforgettable voice, the crowd just couldn't get
enough of this man. Although Glabicki was a hit, he defi-
nitely needed a little help from his band. Dressed as if they
were on their way to class, Liz Berlin, Jenn Wertz, Jim
Donovan, Jim DiSpirito, Patrick Norman and John Buynak
Multi- cutural

all contributed to making the show incredible. With all the
switching of instruments and the girls' harmonization, the
show was beyond exciting.
One of the great performances of the night was the song
'Beautiful People." Its slow, mellow rhythm let the crowd
relax from the rest of the high-energy songs.
Another favorite was "Ecstasy." This one brought the
excitement in the theater to an ultimate high because the
band began this song with ten minutes of dualing drums.
Everyone in the theater was dancing, clapping and looking
completely at ease.
After what seemed to be the end of a great show, Rusted
Root came back for an encore with their hit "Send Me on
My Way" Although this got everyone excited, this would
have been a disappointing, cliched ending to a great show.
Luckily, the band came back with a second encore, and
played "Tree" This song made for a great rap-up to an
unbelievable show.

Courtesy of Mercury Recoros

Those crazy rusted folk.

performance

revitalizes 'Guys and Doll's'

/

By Autumn Brown
Daily Arts Writer

'Ghost World' avoids nonnality
in story of several outsiders
By Todd Weiser
Daily Arts Writer

Guys and
Dolls
Fisher Theater
October 928
Dolls" debuted

"Guys and
Dolls," the clas-
sical musical
about gamblers
and the dolls
that rocked their
world, is
un doubtedly
one of the most
popular shows
performed in
this century.
Created by
Damon Runyon,
"Guys and
on Broadway in

"Ghost World" should primarily
be honored for nothing more than
simply being different. With con-
tinuous loads of mainstream trash
filling our theaters and the reviews

woman with him to Cuba. Mean-
while, Detroit's fianede, Miss Ade-
laide, laments over her inability to
secure a wedding date.
This year's 50-city national tour
of the production will mark the 50th
,anniversary of the famed musical,
and will star Maurice Hines as
Nathan Detroit. According to the
company manager, Susan Guszyns-
ki, the concept behind this produc-
tion is a "fresh new look on an old
classic". Guszynski mentioned that
one such twist is including a multi-
racial cast.
"This is the first time Nathan
Detroit will be played by someone
who is not Caucasian," she said. The
character of Miss Adelaide is also
being played by an Afri'can-Ameri-
can, Alexandra Foucard of "Les
Miserables" fame.
"All of the cast members audi-
tioned in New York and since this
production was first performed in
Washington, D.C., we cast some of
the alumni from the original produc-
tion," Guszynski said. "And the
remaining roles were filled by those
who auditioned in New York."
Director Charles Randolph-
Wright and the choreographer, Ken
Roberson also worked on the D.C.
production and will have the advan-
tage of working with most of the
same actors and actresses.
In the Hollywood version of

"Guys and Dolls," Nathan Detroit
woos his fiance with the song "Ade-
laide." Oddly enough, the song has
not been performed since, but
Guszynski claims that there is a
method to this madness. "The song
has not been performed for a long
time,,because the person cast as
Nathan Detroit is usually chosen for
his comedic talent rather than his
singing ability," she said. "'Ade-
laide' sounds best if it is performed
by a real singer, but we don't have
this problem as Maurice Hines is an
excellent singer."
Greg Mazure, the production elec-
trician, envisioned the production as
" big and flashy" and had planned to
include the image of a plane in the
openin'g segment. After the tragedy
of Sept. 1Ith, he tactfully cut the
image, which appeared to be hover-
ing over Times Square. Although he
believes that lighting is a vital part
of the production, Mazure is quick
to comment about the other aspects
of the show: " It's not about lighting;
it's about the dancing and the stars,"
he said. "My job is to make sure that
the actors are seen and to take as lit-
tle time as possible. In essence, I try
to make it look effortless."
Susan Guszynski and Greg
Mazure are both University alumni
and credit their experiences at the
University with encouraging an
interest in theater.

Ghost
World
Grade: B+
At Michigan Theater
1:

on these very
pages, "Ghost
World," tells the
story of two
teens who rebel
against the
norm. The film
is also counter
culture in its
avoidance of
cliches (story-
wise and visu-
ally) and
avoiding an all
too mainstream
ending where

1951 and was later made into a
movie starring Frank Sinatra and
Marlon Brando. In 1997, the show.
returned to Broadway and starred
actor Nathan Lane as Nathan Detroit
and Peter Gallagher as the smooth
talking Sky Masterson.
Set in New York City, "Guys and
Dolls" follows the adventures of the
crap game operator, Nathan Detroit
and his cronies as they look for a
place to shoot crap away from the
intrusive eye of Lieutenant Branni-
gan. To raise capital for the rent of a
place for the game, the ever-enter-
prising Detroit bets his partner in
crime, Sky Masterson, $1,000 that
he cannot take a certain missionary

Courtesy of1urated Artists
Damn, not even outcasts like Johansson (left) and Birch would date me in high school.

theatergoers contentedly leave the
theater knowing all is right with
the world. The Hollywood happy
ending is not real life, and "Ghost
World" knows this.
Terry Zwigoff, known for his
award-winning documentary
"Crumb" about the odd artist of
the titular name, is the man at the
helm of "Ghost World." Zwigoff
collaborated with Daniel Clowes,
who co-wrote this script based on
his comic book of the same name.
The two men are self-proclaimed
nerds who have together fashioned
main character Enid (Thora Birch,
"American Beauty") as the poster
girl of nerds everywhere. Enid's
partner in counter-culture crime is
Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson, "The
Horse Whisperer").
We join these two during their
high school graduation and then
proceed to witness the life-altering
events of the following summer.
They are life-long friends and
dream of sharing an apartment now
that school is out. However, Enid
has to complete a remedial art
class before being rid of school.
Rebecca takes a job at the local
Starbucks-like coffee shop to raise
money; and this corporate job is
the first sign that Rebecca is possi-
bly straying away from the world

hero for her and then her mission
is to find a woman for him because
she can not stand to live in a world
where a guy like him can't get a
date.
There are many great perfor-
mances in "Ghost World," but
Buscemi's is easily the best. No
one is able to play pathetic and
funny at the same time as well as
the indie-movie king. Buscemi also
beams of sweetness and clueless
sincerity as he tries to develop a
life outside of all the antiques he
keeps locked up.
Birch and Johansson make a
great team, both exuding great
boredom and excitement at the lit-
tle oddities of life and the people
around them. Their friendship is a
sisterhood that neither wants to let
go of, but both feel they may have
to. In supporting roles are Illeana
Douglas as Enid's eccentric art
teacher and another source of
hope, Bob Balaban as Enid's dry
and uncomfortable father and Brad
Renfro as the girls' source of teas-
ing and affection. They all produce
wonderful low-key performances
that shape this puzzling, difficult
world.
"Ghost World" is filled with
wonderful music, costumes, per-

does not achieve masterpiece sta-
tus, it is still a welcome diversion
and alternative to the formulaic,
unrealistic popcorn flicks that
dumb down the viewers they try to
entertain. Hats off to "Ghost
World" for shunning the norm and
reveling in this fact.
Attention
CHORAL SINGERS
You are invited to join the
University Musical Society
CHORAL UNION
Thomas Sheets, conductor
2001-2002 Season
Handel: Messiah Ann Arbor SO
Ives: Symphony No. 4 San Francisco SO
Brahms: German Requiem Ann Arbor SO
Beethoven: Missa Solemnis Detroit SO
The UMS Choral Union does it all!
Under the leadership of Thomas Sheets,
the 135-voice Choral Union appears
regularly in Ann Arbor with major
orchestras andrconductors in critically
acclaimed performances of choral
masterworks. The 72-voice Concert Choir

i . I

Summer'
Study
Tibet

May 9, 2002 - July 9, 2002

This exceptional Summer Study Abroad program in Tibet provides a
comprehensive nine-week, six credit program for the study of Tibetan language,
history and culture, run entirely in Tibet. It combines two weeks in Tibet's capital
Lhasa and neighboring urban areas, three weeks in various rural areas on the
high plateau of Central Tibet (the Tibetan Autonomous Region), and three weeks.
across the rolling mountains of the Eastern Tibetan region of Kham (Qinghai
Province).
INFORMATION SESSION
Friday, October 12, 2001, 3:00 pm
3050 Frieze Building

I KNOW WHAT 1 KNOW. WE COME & WE GO. IT'S IN THE BACK OF MY EYES

Y

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