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September 05, 2001 - Image 51

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-05

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Arts desk: 763-0379
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SECTION D

PYLE
HENRETTY

Love the nightlife? It's alive and well in A2

k r(

Give me liberty
&nd give me death
(and lots o gore)
1e there are many rewarding reasons to pay the toll
and spend four years at the University, it may be the
impressive and eclectic list of celebrities that rol
hugh town that will most impress you relatives. In my time
hee, both Al Gore and Weird Al have offered their absurdities
to students, James Brown sweat all over Hill Auditorium, and
Jessie Jackson keeps popping up every few months to rhyme
and talk about Affirmative Action. Yet the visitor who has most
impressed me, someone whose visit I shall never forget, is the
incomparable actor/writer/director Lloyd Kaufman.
If you figure into the upwards of 11 people who know and
love Kaufman's work, then you realize what a entertaining,
informative lecture/commercial he gave at Borders Books on a
crisp winter night my freshman year. If not, allow me to identi
fy the man by his most famous achievement: He is the father of
troxic Avenger, the most popular tutu-wearing super hero
ever to be spawned by falling out of a window into a vat of
(open) toxic waste sitting on the back of an (uncovered) truck.
Some people feel that "The Toxic Avenger" is a cheapie
exploitation T&A horror flick that finds humor mocking child
murderers and the blind, with special effects that would have
made Ed Wood stop and say "Oh, that looks silly." These peo-
ple would be one hundred percent correct. Kaufman, and his
"Troma" studios have been producing schlock for twenty years,
"The Toxic Avenger" films and Toxie (as he is affectionately
wn) is their cash cow.
e reason Kaufman's amusing appearance was so important
was that he pointed me in the direction of Liberty Street Video,
the only place on campus where needy students can find not
only the entire Troma collection (on video and more and more
on DVD), but also such classics as "Girls in Cages," Peter Jack-
son's "Meet the Feebles" (like the Muppet Show, only with sex
and drugs), and, of course, "A Necropheliac's Love Story." The
good people at LSV have placed a little post it note on that last
title, promising (or warning?) that there is no actual sex with
the dead on the video. No where on campus can the discerning
taste (or sick-o) find so
n* cult films, which
range from obscurity to rel-
atively mainstream ("Reser-
voir Dogs" and "Raising
Arizona" both appear under
the "Cult Film" umbrella).,
Hopefully those of you
that are not so keen on ooz-
ing blood and pointless
T&A are still with me. My
A of cinema is not
p onholed by gore. U of
M may be the only Univer-
sity in the country that
offers a class showcasing
80's teen comedies and
another one forcing you to
write a paper on Louis
Malle's "Atlantic City."
Lucky for us, LSV has
every movie that even the
most sadistic professor
c d throw at you. Imagine
w ing into a Blockbuster
and asking where their Pol-
ish films were kept? There
are more foreign films kept Courtesy of Tromcom
in Ann Arbor than in all for- The Toxic Avenger
eign countries combined.
Movies are fun to watch on a Saturday night, but they can also
teach you about society, how pop culture influences life in the
world, and how the world has influenced pop culture. If the
r preachers in the Diag don't make you afraid of God, try
v4hing Bergman's "Seventh Seal" (in the Swedish Film see-
tion). Have a Charlie Chaplin film festival and see how funny
and sad are only a hair (and a wiggle of the mustache) away.
Then have a Roberto Benigni and see how influential Chaplin
still is.
The joy of independent cinema is its range from cheap fun to
extreme beauty to terror and back to grotesque (and the synthe-
sis of all these elements, if you are lucky enough to find it). A
"cult" film is simply a film that has a small group of people
devoted to it, one that never hit in the mainstream market.
Don't let the word frighten you, as it could be applied both to
" idnight Cowboy" and "Silent Night, Deadly Night 5" (star-
i vickey Rooney as Joe Petto). You are lucky enough to be
on a campus that holds all these films and more, both for their

educational and entertainment value. Get a card, and once you
have fully digested "The Toxic Avenger 4: Citizen Toxie," we
can debate its educational merit.

By Use Rait
Daily Arts Editor
It certainly does not boast the hip clubs and ultra-
chic nightlife of Chicago, New York or L.A.
Nor does it have the rich tradition of cow-tipping on
Saturday night or county fairs and 4-H pageants, as so
many other Midwestern towns are reputed to.
Somewhere in between these recreational extremes
lies Ann Arbor, Michigan affectionately known as "A-
squared" to its residents. And although it's not a mecca
of all that is happenin' in the urban world, it has, at the
very least, ten times more to do on an average night
than East Lansing.
There are many ways to spend that much-needed and
well-deserved break from academia (besides the requi-
site trips to Pizza House, dorm-room debauchery and
horrifying community bathroom experience that every
Freshperson must at some point become acquainted
with). A few ideas:
Frat Parties: Each fall, thousands of bewildered yet
enthusiastic Freshpeople venture en masse to Hill
Street, the magnificent mile of the Greek system. Pay

an occasional cover charge to fund the alcohol you are
consuming; Drink lukewarm, low-quality, beer from
kegs that need desperately to be pumped; get groped
by obnoxious, still-maturing upperclassmen; dance to
the finest booty music our country has to offer. You
too can be a part of this time-honored tradition. And
don't forget your khakis/black booty pants!
The Cultural Scene: Ann Arbor offers an incredible
number of affordable, quality fine-arts performances
each year, and the performing arts programs at the U
of M are widely recognized as being terrific. See a
musical; attend a dance show; visit the Museum of Art.
Being cultured is actually considered sort of cool when
you are in college - and most events end early.-enough
to permit a visit to a frat party.
See Bands Play: A lot of great musicians, from
well-known locals like Donkey Punch to giants-such as
Beck, perform each week in Ann Arbor. The Blind -Pig
(usually 19 and over), Rick's Caf6, The Cavern Club
and The Ark are popular spots for area artists to play,
while Hill Auditorium and the Michigan Theater gen-
erally host bigger names.
See NIGHTLIFE ,Page-2D

MAN IRA N/ai
Bored in Ann Arbor? There are plenty of cultural shows,
such as the annual "Generation APA" show.

_' Y

Theater has
plenty to off'er
to students
By Lyle Henretty
Daily Arts Editor
Many people now reaching college age have never
been inside a movie palace and have virtually no con-
ception of the grandiose place they hold in the history
of entertainment in America. The Michigan Theater,
which isolated at 603 East Liberty Street in downtown
Ann Arbor is a throw-back to another time. While the
wide screen and sound are state-of-the-art, and
Goobers and Twizzlers can be found in the recently
refurnished lobby, the Michigan Theater reminds its
guests what an event going to the movies once was. A
sweeping staircase with an ornate railing leads to the
epic grandeur of the 17,000 seat theater. Even today,
the old Barton organ will rise from the orchestra pit,
stage right, and those that arrive early are treated to a
few songs by the in-house organist. Those that nearly
filled the house for the Ann Arbor debut of "Crouch-
ing Tiger, Hidden Dragon," earlier this year felt the
same magic that may have touched their grandparents
who sat in the same theater to watch "Frankenstein"
more than sixty years ago.
The original theater was commissioned in the
1920s by immigrant businessman Angelo Poulos, and
designed by Maurice Finkel. Throughout the 20s, the
theater showcased vaudeville acts and showed silent
films accompanied by the organ or a live in-house
orchestra. When film became wildly popular in the
1930s and 40s, it became the number one draw for the
theater as well, though live shows were still a staple.
With the advent of the multiplex, most movie
palaces began to close down, or converted into some-
thing new to stay with what was popular at the time.
Michigan Theater Board President Henry Aldridge
and philanthropist Margaret D. Towsley formed a not-
for-profit organization so that the theater could con-
tinue to be operated as it had for years, and is still
operated to this day. The main theater is big enough to
hold a concert, yet retains the intimate feel of a small
venue. In the past few years everyone from Lyle
Lovett to John Popper to Dr. Ruth Westheimer have
performed/spoke at the theater. Other Michigan The-

FIE PHO)TO
The Michigan Theater has been a cultural center in Ann Arbor for decades. In addition to showingnationally-released
features, it also hosts student films and the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

ater events include the Ann Arbor Symphony Orches-
tra's concert season and the annual Ann Arbor Film
Festival, the oldest festival to showcase 35 mm films
exclusively.
The biggest draw, though, remains the films. Often,
in conjunction with a local group or club, the theater
will offer a classic film viewing at reduced or no
charge. In the past year such films have included
Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" and Akira Kurosawa's
"Kumonosu-jo" ("Throne of Blood") shown at no
cost. Also, lucky film classes will commandeer the
Michigan Theater (the public almost always welcome)
to screen films as they were meant to be seen, and not
on the wall of some classroom.
The past few years have brought many positive
changes to the theater. A second screening room has
been added that is able to accommodate 200 people.

Also, the Michigan now chooses and promotes the
films shown at the State Theater, located on the corner
of State Street and East Liberty. This way, more than
one film can be shown at once, and an especially pop-
ular film can be held over at either theater, allowing
for a continual stream of diverse and important films
to flow through Ann Arbor. The films themselves
range from classics to independents to mainstream
fair. Both cinephiles and the average student just
looking for a fun time should be pleased with the
Michigan Theater's ever-changing line-up.
The Michigan Theater caters to the University stu-
dents, and attempts to show them the art of film in the
environment originally designed to showcase it.
Whether it's for fun on a Saturday night or a grade in
a film class, the Michigan Theater is ideally and sim-
ply suited to watching movies.

Class o f200S:

What is in your stereo?

midst a sea of checks coming in
for your summer money launder-
~ng scam (graduation + open
house) you will face some serious
choices as to what to spend all that
dough on, because FAFSA didn't
squeeze your upper-middle
class ass too tight, and mom
and dad are gonna front the
cash for your education so you
have the cheese to spend. And
where better to spend it than
the $11.88 section at Target.
I mean, people won't like
you if they don't like your
music. It all starts on freshmen U
move in day, you don't want to S
be walking into your 6x8 room
in East Quad with an armload A
of luggage and your roommate
is moved in and cranking his
favorite song from the latest
Matchbox Twenty CD. More so, you
don't want to be that moved in room-
mate sitting at a teeny desk blaring Life
of Saturdays, when your roommate
walk in and von start tn o<gh ahnut

you own. A wide selection is critical to
acceptance into that dorm on the Hill.
Everyone in Markley is from New York,
better bring along your Jay-Z, crank
"Big Pimpin." Once you have a wide
selection of albums that other people

1*

like and think are cool, you can
go back and buy what you want,
just make sure you hide it in
your dresser.
Your average college student
isn't going to be impressed by a
copy of Spiritualized Ladies
and Gentlemen We Are Floating
in Space, but if you pop in
Radiohead's Kid A, not only do
you have taste, but you are an
arty bastard. So if you want to
be cool, I'd say read on for a
few helpful tips at spending that
not-so hard earned graduation
cash.

Dave Matthews Band - Complete
Collection: This dope-smoking jam
band hippie revivalist folkster finds
giant-sized popularity on college cam-
puses, and also finds himself playing
while many-a-girls are doing things
their daddy's wouldn't like.
See also: Phish, and Ani Difranco.
Radiohead - OK Computer, Kid A,
Amnesiac: It is only vogue to like
Radiohead sans guitars. If you want to
be the pretentious artsy college liberal
you have to take in as much Radiohead
as you can in huge doses. Eventually
Thom Yorke's croon will increase your
brain power.
Outkast - Stankonia: The penulti-
mate in "hip-hop to listen to if you are
a white kid" these two funkmasters
made it so vogue to like rap, and broad-
ened their audience to include the
dorky white kids whose ears are nor-
mally squeezed between high doses of
Weezer.
Nirvana - Nevermind: VHI loves
this album, and if VHI likes it so should
you. Not to mention that while this album

The Beatles - Anything but Past
Masters: While thc Past Masters Vol--
umes 1 and 2 are great discs "Sie-Lieb
Dich" isn't gonna turn any heads. For a
quick fix in showing how pop-sensible
your taste is, just buy the recent 1 CD.
Backstreet Boys - Millennium: Basi-
cally you are paying the 15 bucks for "I
Want it that Way," but believe me, no girl
can resist Nick Carter's vocals, and-even
your husky friends will be able to-sing and
know all the lyrics. Avoid playing-this
album when you're drunk. Please.
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On: John
Cusack put this in his top 5 all time in
"High Fidelity," and I'd put it in the top
five panty removers all time. Something
about hearing a man's voice so smooth
that lets the good times, and you, roll.
Creed - Human Clay: The rock
revivalist sounds of the fence sitting
Christian super group will not only send
the religious flocking towards you, but
your frat friends will give a hearty nod
to your resplendent taste in the finer
things. And ladies, there's a big picture
of Scott Stapp on the inside, shirtless,

UKE
41TH

Marilyn Manson - Holy Wood:
Marilyn Manson kicks plenty of bass,
drums and Satan for the darkest kid on
your hallway and provides enough vitri-
ol for Limn izkit fans/Frat Guvs With

mm

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