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March 04, 2003 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-03-04

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March 4, 2003






olanus was raised to be a great warrior, and he
was. He served his country well, but he couldn't
play her games. Inadvertently caught up in the
intrigues of politics, he was destroyed by the
very forces that made him great.
'Midnight's Children'
The novel of the same name, written by
Salinan Rushdie, was originally published in
1981 and awarded the Man Booker Prize that
same year. "Midnight's Children" is an epic
story of the Indian independence and the births
of Pakistan and Bangladesh, seen through the
eyes of one remarkable family.
Saleem Sinai, the narrator and
main protagonist of the story, was
born at the exact moment of Indi-
an independence from Britain, and THE P
his life becomes magically THE
entwined with the destinies of the RESI
twin nations.
As one of the 1,001 midnight's At the Po
children, or the children all born March
within the same hour as he,
Saleem can hear the thoughts of Royal Shaken
the others, adding a touch of the
fantastic against the very real backdrop of the
first 30 years of the Indian independence.
The play "Midnight's Children" was adapted
for stage by the director, Tim Supple, a dra-
maturg, Simon Reade, and Salman Rushdie
himself. This is not the first time that a
dramatization has been attempted of this
work, but it is the first time one has success-
fully been completed. Due to the epic and
controversial nature, all attempts to adapt the
story for film or television in the past 110 years
have been futile.
This performance, the premiere of "Mid-
night's Children" in America, offers a unique
combination of performance and education,
which was only made possible through the


commitment of the Royal Shakespeare Compa-
ny and the University. This is a direct result of
the partnership including the University Musi-
cal Society, the RSC, the University of Michi-
gan and Columbia University.
'The Merry Wives of Windsor'
Shakespeare's hilarious comedy is centered
around the lust and greed of one fat knight, Sir
John Falstaff, and the two women who are
determined to teach him the lesson that wives
can be merry, but faithful, too.
Shakespeare first brought Falstaff to the stage
in his history plays. He was the companion of
the future Henry V of England, an
incorrigible rogue who cared for
little besides wenching, swindling
SAYS OF and drinking. It is believed that
LOYAL Elizabeth I herself commissioned
ENCY the writing of "The Merry Wives
of Windsor," because Falstaff was
ver Center her favorite character and she
st-16th wanted to see a play with him in
$60 love.
eare Company The details of the play, howev-
er, belie this assumption, as it is
clear that Falstaff hardly falls in love. Instead,
he assumes himself desired by Mistress Page
and Mistress Ford, both wives of well-to-do
gentlemen. Falstaff believes that he can use the
raw attraction of his body to coax the women
into submission. Properly mortified by his
amorous proposals, the two women decide to
not only defend their honor, but also seek
revenge for it. Falstaff has no idea what he is
getting into when he decides to cross these two
cunning women.
The director, Rachel Kavanaugh, sets "The
Merry Wives of Windsor" in Britain during the
aftermath of World War II, a tumultuous time
when the fighting was over, yet Britain was
still not at peace.

f 'Mancha' chronicles
the impossible dream

By Joseph Utman
Daily Arts Writer

By Jeff Dickerson
Daily Arts Writer

Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's
film "Lost In La Mancha" follows
Terry Gilliam, director of "12 Mon-
keys" and "Time Bandits," as pro-
duction begins on his version of
Cervantes' famous Spanish fantasy
"Don Quixote." What begins as a
dream project for the over-imagina-
tive filmmaker quickly turns into a
cinematic nightmare as a series of
catastrophes plague what could have
been a promising film.
Gilliams's interpre-
tation of Quixote,
titled "The Man Who n'
Killed Don Quixote,"
stars French actor Jean LOST
Rochefort in the title MAT
role and Johnny Depp At M
as his faux Sancho
Panza, a present day IFC
office drone sent to the

record dialogue. A massive rainstorm
washes away valuable equipment and
ruins a valuable production day, but
somehow the former "Monty
Python" animator manages to contin-
ue on. It isn't until Quixote himself,
the 70-year-old Rochefort, gets
injured when Gilliam finally admits
defeat. And all of this takes place
over a single week.
We learn of a Quixote curse as
Fulton and Pepe reveal the long his-
tory of adapting Cervantes' story to
the silver screen. Orson Welles, the

To dream the impossible dream - ahh my hernialI


Hollywood wun-
derkind behind "Citi-
zen Kane," tried for
years to bring
"Quixote" to cinematic
life, but ultimately
In one of the few
happy moments of
"Lost In La Mancha,"
we see Gilliam shoot-
>ulbous Spaniards running

past whom Quixote mistakes for his ing
sidekick. Gilliam's vision for the thr
film is vast, as is the case with all of sh
his films, but he is severely ham- Gi
pered by his scant budget of $32 cre
million. a
Money becomes the least of "g
Gilliam's worries as the production is of
halted by old fashioned bad luck. tle
Fulton and Pepe are there every step
of the way as the problems mount, ci
capturing each tragic event as it wa
unfolds to the chagrin of the crew. fo
One of the shooting locations hap- Do
pens to be next to a military base int
where jets scream across the horizon se
as the sound department attempts to is
By Joseph Utman
Daily Arts Writer

g three

rough the desert landscape without
irts on. The always artistic
lliam, often the victim of his own
eativity, uses a digital camera from
lov angle in what he calls his
iant test." The result is exemplary
what the director can do with lit-
bankroll and a lot of innovation.
"Lost In La Mancha" is an espe-
ally difficult documentary to
atch for Gilliam fans. What
otage from "The Man Who Killed
on Quixote" that actually made it
o the can is even more thrilling to
t on the big screen because there
so little of it. All of Gilliam's

trademarks - his lavish production
designs, skewed camera angles,
delectable eye candy, et cetera -
can be found in the few scenes that
survived the tumultuous production
"Lost In La Mancha" is a more
straightforward documentary than
last year's dazzling "The Kid Stays
in the Picture" or Michael's Moore's
slanted, but enchanted "Bowling For
Columbine." By documentary stan-
dards, "Lost In La Mancha" isn't
particularly noteworthy, aside from
a short segment of Monty Python-
esque animations, but the story cap-
tured by Fulton and Pepe is a
compelling look at Gilliam and the
man's unflinching desire to put
"Quixote" on film.
There may be a light at the end of
the tunnel for those hoping to see
Gilliam's "The Man Who Killed
Don Quixote" hit the big screen.
The director recently purchased
back the rights to the film in hopes
that production might start up again
sometime in the future.

On Jay-Z's mediocre 2000 release
Dynasty: Roc La Familia 2000, the
most memorable songwas "1-900-
Hustler," and any attention paid to
that track was stolen by a then-
unknown, highly energetic MC
named Freeway. Free followed that
brief-though-promising appearance
with solid work on the soundtrack
album State Property, highlighted by
his collaboration with Beanie Sigel
on the bangin' "Roc the Mic," a song
which raised hopes that Free would
be the Roc's next quality artist. Over
this past summer, "Line 'Em Up"
furthered piqued interest in the
Philadelphia MC and now, following
several delays (October was sup-
posed to become "Roctober"), Free-
way's solo debut, Philadelphia
Freeway, has arrived.
The album will be tepidly received
by the fans endeared to Free by his
previous efforts. His beats, most pro-
duced by Roc-a-fella standby Just
Blaze, are solid though not fantastic
and his delivery is, if nothing else,
consistent with his earlier sound. The
MC's nasal voice makes his flow - a
high-pitched, sing-song style - an
acquired taste, and one that will
always be wholly rejected by some.
However fans of Free's mic persona
will enjoy hearing the man rhyme
over melodies ranging from the hard
("Flipside") to the soft ("Victim of
the Ghetto") with ample of middle
ground in between ("What We Do").
That diversity of sound is this
record's greatest strength: The wide
array of beats is reminiscent of other
music, yet Free's voice serves as a

distinguishing characteristic. The
guitar-riff infused "On My Own"
(which Tribe fans will recognize) is
a prime example of this distinction.
The song's hook features guest work
from Nelly, who himself is prone to
a sung delivery, yet his sound is
quite different from Freeway's, and
placing those styles adjacent to one
another on the track helps prove that
no one else sounds like Philly's lat-
est musical delegate.
The embodiment of several styles
is also this album's greatest weak-
ness: The beats too often sound deriv-
ative. While Free is certainly a unique
individual, the beats over which he
rhymes do not work individually or
collectively to find new ground and
ultimately, Philadelphia Freeway
sounds too much like. other music
and not enough like Free's. Lead sin-
gle "What We Do" is an exception to
this unfortunate situation, as is "Line
'Em Up" and a few others, however,
those songs serve to almost taunt lis-
teners, making them aware that Free-
way could have done more.
In music, as in life, people can
only make a first impression once,
and Freeway's will leave his expec-
tant audience disappointed and his
skeptical audience validated.


It's only a model.

While Jason Kidd was leading his team to last year's NBA
Finals, Stephon Marbury, the player for whom Kidd had been
traded, was getting ripped for being inferior. On DJ Envy's
Desert Storm Mixtape: Blok Party, Vol. 1, in the midst of a rap
album, Marbury uses an interlude to
respond to his critics. Yet on an album so -
musically diverse, Marbury's mono-
logue doesn't even seem out of place.
How scattered is Blok Party? The
album comes replete with the asinine -
Baby rapping over a cell-phone-ringer
version of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture;
the serendipitous - Juvenile reappear-
ing on a track with Petey Pablo; and the
hi7,rre - Marhtirv ecnriatina his

spersed - on "D Block," a joint on which the underrated
Sheek shines. Redman, too, makes a trip to his own well,
rapping over an Erick Sermon-produced beat that can best
be described as bearing the "Def Squad sound."
All of these quality tracks are tempered by several under-
whelming songs. In addition to Baby's misbegotten "Big
Things," the unpleasantly bland "What, Why, Where,
When" and sonically gaudy "Why Wouldn't I" all contain
beats that will quickly, if not immediately, cause listeners to
reach for the skip button.
Most unfortunate, though, is that Blok Party features too
many wack artists. Foxy Brown spits about designer hand-
bags while Baby sets a record for most
songs only about material wealth. And
then there's Fabolous, whose continued
mediocrity and repetitive lyrics make his
breakout "Y'all Can't Deny It" seem like
the product of lottery-type luck.
Blok Party is not only a compendium
of the sufficient and the terrible,
though. Rah Digga steals the album's
spotlight with her energetic, command-
ina and intellieent verse on "Throw

You are welcome to
Ash Wednesday
Meditative Worship for
Campus & Community
An ecumenical service of Scripture,
praye silence, meditative singing of
music from the Taize Community,
liturgical dance, imposition of ashes,
and Holy Communion
March 5
7:30 p.m.


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