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October 23, 2002 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-23

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Wednesday
October 23,2002
michigandaily.com/arts
mae@michigandaily.com

ARTS

5

Columnist Savage
responds to Robert
Bork in 'Skipping'

By Laura LoGerfo
Daily Arts Writer
Recently, Robert Bork, a social
conservative best known as Rea-
gan's failed Supreme Court nomi-
nee, published a damning critique
of America's march into moral
inequity, titled "Slouching
Towards Gomorrah." Dan Savage,
the brilliant advice columnist fea-
tured in The Onion, responds to
Bork's condemnation of Ameri-
can culture in "Skipping Towards
Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly
Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness
in America."
In his amusing and surprisingly
informative rebuke against Bork
and friends, Savage engages in
each of the seven deadly sins

sense of irony. Unlike many
memoirs in which the author
touts him- or herself as a unique,
special and superior creature, this
book cheerfully exposes the
author's vulnerabilities, showcas-
es his ultra-personal life, and
reveals his curiosity and appreci-
ation for his fellow man (and
woman).
"Skipping Towards Gomorrah"
is not for the timid. The "lust"
chapter details the swinging sex
life of suburbanites, and after
reading these cheerful moms and
dads' accounts of bimonthly
orgies, I will never look at a
housewife in a minivan the same
way again. Savage's journeys into
the gambling world and the gun

culture of

actively and dogged-
ly, ultimately asking
the question: If
we're speeding
along the highway
to hell, why not
enjoy the ride? And
tonight, he'll be tak-
ing fans in tow at
1273 Davidson Hall.
Savage begins this

7 . 11
DAN SAVAGE
At 1273 Davidson
Hall
Business School
Tonight, 8 p.m.

Texas, presenting
informative tips on
how to play and win
at blackjack and
how to fire a gun
properly. This
advice alone merits
the cost of the book.
Amidst the
amusement, Savage
writes a thoughtful

Courtesy of Disney
Comedic gold, Mike and Sulley from "Monsters, Inc."
'Monsters, Inc' DVD nearly flawless

By Christian Smith
Daily Arts Writer

This m
cartoon,1
films haN

celebration

of debauchery by turning to the
man conservatives esteem most
highly, Thomas Jefferson. The
writers of the Declaration of
Independence considered life,
liberty and the pursuit of happi-
ness every man's right but never
specified what particular brand
of happiness each American is
allowed to pursue. Thus, if
Americans smoke a joint, gam-
ble, commit adultery and/or
wear pleather green thongs to a
gay pride parade to make them-
selves happy, so be it. They
should not be judged harshly by
Bork, William Bennett or Jerry
Falwell who just happen to
choose jelly donuts as their sin-
ful indulgence.
In "Skipping Towards Gomor-
rah," Savage recounts his
wickedlyadelightful adventures
with a highly refined wit and

criticism of modern political dis-
course. In advocating an essen-
tially libertarian approach to
social policy, he reveals the
hypocrisy of both liberals and
conservatives. His logic fails
only occasionally, once in the
"anger" chapter which his litany
against Bork's hypocritical stance
for guns and against drugs
becomes hypocritical, as well.
Vigorous nodding and uproari-
ous laughing should be expected
for this "part travelogue, part
memoir, part Bork-and-Bennett
bitch slap ... a love letter to
Thomas Jefferson, American free-
dom, and American sinners." As
such, "Skipping Towards Gomor-
rah" is an appealing read, unique
for its combination of amusement
and thoughtfulness. Given the
nature of "Skipping Towards
Gomorrah," tonight promises to
provide much enjoyment.

Earlier this year, a new category was introduced Appealin
at the Academy Awards, and although "Shrek" took creativel
home the award for Best Animated
Feature Film, there was another film
that could just have easily grabbed aA
Oscar gold. Now out on DVD, the MONSTERS, INC.
Disney/Pixar release "Monsters, DVD
Inc." features astounding graphics,
loads of bonus extras, and of course Picture/Sound: *****
the endearing animated adventure Movie: ****
film itself. The film has been such a*
smash success that it recently Features: *****
became the best selling DVD of all Disney
time. In a mere four weeks, it sur-
passed the previous record set by
(ironically) "Shrek," selling 9.2 million copies his scare
compared to 9 million for the green ogre. scandal ti
Whereas "Toy Story" crafted a remarkably tion. To t
intelligent and witty story under the guise of a lis, wreak
similarly inspired adventure tale, "Monsters, the mons
Inc." leaves behind some of the dialogue and executed
brings together a hide-and-seek account of corpo- conceptu
rate greed; filled with twists and turns, leading mactic ch
up to an action-packed finale -visually

nay not sound like your average Disney
but the latest line of digitally animated
ye long since transcended that genre.
g to kids and adults alike, the movie's
y simple story is its driving force. In
Monstropolis, a parallel monster
world, monsters Mike Wazowski
(voiced by Billy Crystal) and James
P. Sullivan (John Goodman) work at
the titular scare factory, harvesting
energy from frightened children's
screams by coming out of their clos-
ets. This is not an easy job though, as
the monsters are told that children
are toxic and that direct contact with
them would be catastrophic.
All is well until Sulley, the compa-
ny's top "scarer," and one-eyed Mike,
assistant and best friend, come across a
:hat could bring down the entire corpora-
boot, a little girl penetrates Monstropo-
king havoc on the company and turning
ster world upside down. Everything is
;with remarkable precision, from the
ally inventive door process to the cli-
hase-scene. Particularly impressive is the
meticulous animation of Sulley's fur,

especially in one scene where he lies facedown in
the snow as the wind blows his 3 million hairs
with exceptional sharpness and detail.
The movie's funny gags, clever jokes and stun-
ning visuals spill over into the DVD extras,
which go above and beyond today's standard
DVD inclusions. In addition to the usual film-
makers' audio commentary, outtakes and deleted
scenes, the two-disc set contains an exclusive
sneak peek at "Finding Nemo," Disney/Pixar's
planned summer 2003 feature, "The Monsters,
Inc. Company Play," and "Humans Only"/"Mon-
sters Only" sections that deal with the film's pro-
duction and technical aspects. In addition, there
are two animated short films: "Mike's New Car,"
an all-new short created exclusively for the DVD
and the Oscar-winning Pixar short "For The
Birds," which also played before "Monsters, Inc."
in theaters. Overall, there is enough material here
to last until next Hanukah.
"Monsters, Inc." is a film that's as visually
impressive and inventive as any of the studio's
prior efforts, and while it doesn't match the fun
and wit of "Toy Story," it's still sure to make kids
run and check their closets and make everyone
else smilingly remember the times when they did
the same.

Intimate, sexy 'Room' comes to Basement

By Marie Bernard
Daily Arts Writer
When "The Blue Room" opened
in New York, throngs of theater-
goers flocked to the half-off ticket
stand in Times Square for a $45
glimpse of Nicole Kidman's bare ass
(and, I hear, a portion of her left nip-
ple). What carried this play though
its extended run in London and New
York and what brings it to Basement
Arts this weekend, however, is not
simply sophisticated pornography.
Rather, David Hare's adaptation of
Arthur Schnitzler's "Reign" is a
highly-charged, sexual daisy-chain
that can enchant audiences with its
investigation of sexuality and com-
pelling interwoven plot line.
Ethan Kogan and Jessie Cantrell
play five roles apiece in a series of
10 scenes - each a separate sexual
encounter. Characters include a
crass cab driver, an au pair, a coke-
snorting model, a politician and a
young student. These characters and
more interlock over the course of
Hare's story.
The play was critically acclaimed
for its sardonic examination of
human sexuality in today's world, in
all of its lust and darkness. "The
beauty of this play is its currency,
and especially in this STD and post-

HIV world there's a lot of relevance,"
said director Clark Johnson. "When

need to hit people over the head
with the sex."
The Basement Arts version will
also differ from the original produc-

Schnitzler first wrote it,l
ing about syphilis, and
how it's still current
100 years later."
The original work
was simply 10 sexual
sketches by Schnitzler,
a doctor. The Vienna
Police shut down the
original production in
1921 due to its sexual
"indecency" and
"pornographic" nature.
His version was set in

he was writ-
it's amazing

THE BLUE ROOM
At The Arena The-
ater, Frieze Building
Thursday, Friday
Saturday at 7 p.m.
Free
Basement Arts

tion in London, which
Sam Mendes directed.
"It's a different setting,
and even though some
of his stage directions
were written on the
play, I didn't feel any
obligation to follow
those. I didn't have a
million-dollar budget
or Nicole Kidman,"
Johnson points out.

work when he saw Max Ophlus' film
version, and chose to bring it to the
Basement Arts stage as his first
directing project. "I believe this
show has a great meaning in the
social/relationship world," says actor
Ethan Kogan. "But it's different for
each person, because no one has the
same ideas when it comes to how
you should deal with men/women,
exactly. I mean, do they?"
And, in the end, there is still the
promise of nudity. Kogan says, "It's
about as unique a show as I've seen.
10 characters are played by two peo-
ple, their relationships intertwining
from one to the next, and its beauti-
fully written. Plus, there's a lot of
sex for those less inclined audience
members, and who knows, you
might see me naked!"

a socially stratified Vienna, but
much of how lovers treat one anoth-
er hasn't changed. "In the update,
the sex is still there, but you can do
it subtly," said Johnson. "You don't

"The production value isn't so much
on big-budget. It's an intimate
piece, and good for the Basement
Arts theater."
Johnson was first attracted to the

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'Arli$$' leaves HBO
after seven seasons

Heres

By Ryan Blay
Daily TV/New Media Editor
After seven seasons on HBO,

critical success of "The Sopranos,"
"Six Feet Under" or "Sex and the
City," the show did manage to reach
its highest ratings this past season.

Golden Op
0. imtdtie.

IF

III

C-..- n- V-Rov t-s'.Vfi R;ft"l I

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