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November 26, 2001 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-26

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 26, 2001

ARTS

E

'Harlem' explores relationship
between Hughes, Van Vechten

'Out Cold' not

even worthy to be
next cult classic

4

By Beatrice Marovich
Daily Arts Writer
When Langston Hughes and Carl

Remember
Nye to
Harlem
Emily Bernard
Grade: C
Knopf

Van Vechten
were introduced
at a party in
1924, Hughes
was a young
and undiscov-
ered African-
A m e r i c a n
writer. Van
Vechten was
twice his age,
white and well
established. But
from that intro-
duction, the two
formed a friend-
ship which
would span 40

dence consisting of over 1500 letters.
In "Remember me to Harlem," for-
mer Harvard fellow Emily Bernard
has assembled a fraction of these let-
ters in a historically important book.
Today, Carl Van Vechten is a dis-
puted and somewhat inconspicuous
figure. His interest, which could
even be called an obsession, with
African-American culture during the
Harlem Renaissance, was once seen
as an exception to the characteristic
superficial white fascination with
"downtown."
During a time when blacks were
not allowed to frequent the same
clubs at which they performed, Van
Vechten acted as a mentor and friend
to several literary figures, including
Hughes as well as Zora Neale
Hurston. After the publication of his
controversial novel, "Nigger Heav-
en," however, his motives were more

closely questioned. Hughes was one
of those who stood staunchly in Van
Vechten's defense and Van Vechten
was equally supportive after the pub-
lication of "Fine Clothes for the
Jew."
"Remember me to Harlem" is an
invaluable reference for this contro-
versy. Both Hughes and Van Vechten
were name-droppers; their letters
offer animated portraits of dozens of
other artists of that generation, such
as Zora Neale Hurston, Paul Robe-
son, Countee Cullen and Arna Bon-
temps, to name a few. Bernard did an
excellent job in selecting these let-
ters. Her footnotes are exhaustive
and incredibly useful. The letters are
not, however, of an incredibly inti-
mate character. The constant name-
dropping becomes tedious at points
and this contributes to a rather slow
read.

By Trivia Donelan
For the Daily

Although the previews appear to be
consumed with cheese, "Out Cold" has
unbelievable cult classic potential. It
will undoubtedly become a "must see"

~4 .\~:*PO

Courtesy of Knopt
One will not forget that these men
were recognized literary figures and
the letters reflect this in their spark
and creativity. Most importantly, the
book ultimately serves its purpose
and offers the reader a genuine
glimpse into the past, free from
affectation.

for teens and early
Out Cold
Grade: D
At Showcase and
Quality 16

twenty-somethings,
non-snowboard-
ers included.
Jason London's
role in this film is
his best since he
was cast as the
infamous Ran-
dall "Pink" Floyd
in the 1993 fatty
boom batty hit,
"Dazed and Con-
fused." The intri-
cacy of the plot
line is quite
shocking to the

years and an extensive correspon-

In lieu of sequels, 'Matrix' fans get DVD

Alexander, "The Sixth Man," "Juice")
originally feel as though the reconstruc-
tion of their "home" will attract the hot
to trot snow bunnies, so they jump
onboard. The libidinal drive of the guys
comes to a halt when they realize just
how much hatred they have accumulat-
ed for John Majors and what he has
done.
A romantic fairy tale-esque love
story is woven through the plot, involv-
ing the characters of Rick, fellow
employee, Jenny (A.J. Cook, "Virgin
Suicides) and John Major's daughter,
Anna (Caroline Dhavernas). This is
when the viewer is introduced to the
depth of Jason London's psyche and
how prolific his acting ability truly is.
You can even catch a hint of Randall
Floyd if you concentrate faultlessly.
"Out Cold" is the directing debutof
Brendan and Emmett Malloy. If the
future works of these entrepreneurs are
at all comparable to this masterpiece,
their stream of limelight will never fade
away. Burning out from overuse of
extreme talent is the only possibility.
The American public must pay homage
to the Malloys for their contribution to
the country's film culture. It would only
make sense to designate a day of wor-
ship, possibly a day in April. April is a
pretty month, which is convenient,
because Malloy Day should be a pretty
day. Whether it was the intimate cyber
sex scene between two of the co-work-
ers or the recitation of "Fight Club" dur-
ing a phenomenal satirical routine. "Out
Cold" is a worthy addition to the cult
classic genre. It is, beyond the shadow
of a doubt, one of the saddest movies I
have ever seen. Jason London should
stick to being "Dazed and Confused." At
least that flick is quote worthy.

By Lyle Henretty
Daily Arts Writer
"The Matrix Revisited" should be seen as both an
affront and a gift to the die-hard cyber-geeks and
geekettes that elevated the 1999
smash from simple franchise
.eM ti fare to a kind of erstwhile
The Matrix religous experience. With both
Revisited the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and
DVD the death of co-star Aaliyah
Warner Bros. slowing the production on two
"Matrix" sequels, Warner Bros.
throws fans a bone with this all-new documentary
loaded with goodies, previews and interviews galore.

While it does seem like a cheap attempt to squeeze
even more money out of fans who may be forced to
wait for years for the return of the Nebuchadnezzar,
"Revisited" is so informative and entertaining that
any true fan would be remiss to skip it.
While your gut reaction may be to simply re-watch
the supplements on the original "Matrix" DVD and
save yourself $15, the carrot is dangling just a little
too close. The documenatry itself is fantastic, follow-
ing the film from conception through the intense
training of the actors to the weird cult-like following
Neo and his compadres accquired via the Internet.
The feeling of overwhelming dorkiness you incur
while learning how bullet-vision was conceived will
be eradicated once you see a creepy Midwest house-
wife's dead-eyed stare into the camera, claiming that
she sometimes feels as if she is in the Matrix herself.
The high-point of both the documentary and the
extra material comes in the compact form of Yuen
Woo-Ping, the martial arts auteur who choreographed
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and nearly every
other cool Hong Kong actioner to come about in the
past 10 years. Yuen, who cannot speak English, strug-
gles to find nice things to say about each of the lead
actors, but can came up with nothing more interesting
to say about lead Keanu Reeves than "he tries very
hard."
Also of interest are his personal blocking tapes,
showing real martial artists performing the scenes
later made famous by Reeves and Laurence Fish-
burne. Yuen solidifies his reputation as a master by
turning the put-upon actors into balletic fighters,
equally adept at wire-work and pulling punches.
Other behind the scenes highlights include a
detailed deconstruction of the subway fight between

Reeves' Neo and Hugo Weaving's Agent Smith, com-
plete with shattering concrete and a near-dead stunt-
man. The afore-mentioned bullet-vision and its
origins are shown in great detail, as are several back-
up plans that would have been employed had the
newer technology been a disaster.
The Wachowski brothers, the co-directors/creators
of the series come across, both in their talking-head
interviews and in footage taken from the set, as zen-
master comic nerds who quote Khamu as they com-
ment on what kind of gleam they want off of actress
Carrie-Anne Moss's latex jumpsuit. Instead of bring-
ing clarity to the Matrix, the brothers' minds seem to
open up to reveal its vastness. Confusion and awe are
compounded by the intricate story-boards and mad-
dening set designs that the Wachowskis lackadaisical-
ly demand of their underlings. It's amusing to watch
these comic-shop flunkies helm an $80-million pro-
ject, and fiber-producer Joel Silver pretend that he
and the studio always had the utmost faith in them.
The disc also includes a look at the new Animatrix,
a series of Anime cartoons avalible on the Internet by
acclaimed artists, including the minds behind cult
classic "Vampire Hunter D." The cartoons take the
mere idea behind "The Matrix," and use it as a seed
to create new characters and universes. Add a behind-
the-scenes look at "The Matrix" sequels, a few easy-
to-find Easter Eggs and plenty of sexy shots of Moss
in a harness kicking ass, and you've got yourself
quite a little DVD.
So Warner Bros. accomplishes what they set out to
do, make a new disc with enough depth to appease
the crazed fanboys, but also one easy to understand
and enjoyable to the casual fan who wants to take
another look down he rabbit hole.

system. You may
walk into the film expecting pre-
dictability to be laid out on a platter
before you, but instead you experience
twists and turns that may keep you up
until dawn. I do not wish to act as a
spoiler, so I will not reveal so much as
to deter you from embarking on this
voyage, but I will tell you this much:
Bull Mountain, the ski lodge of which
the film is supposed to take place, is
cherished by its locals for its comfort-
able atmosphere and familiarity. How-
ever, a quasi-fascist figure sporting the
name of John Majors (Lee Majors)
decides to buy out the resort and trans-
form it into an elite getaway. The
employees, Pigpen (Derek Hamilton,
"Disturbing Behavior"), Rick (Jason
London), Luke (Zach Galifianakis,
"Corky Romano") and Anthony (Flex

C rtesy of Warner Bros.

"Hip hip hooray! This terrible movie isgyei"

Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

.--) J

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