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September 29, 2003 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-29

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 29, 2003 - 8A

OutKast keepin' it separated, real

By Hussain Rahim
Daily Arts Writer
Music REVIEW *
Double albums in hip-hop. You make
one when you want to die (Life After
Death, All Eyez on Me) or when you
want to die musically (Wu-Tang Forever,
Blueprint 2, and Bones Thugs, yes they
did one.) So now one of hip-hop's most

adventurous and
critically, as well
as commercially,
received groups
ventures forth with
their very own
double album
Love Below.

Love Below
La Face

However, that doesn't
necessarily make it better.
As anyone who knows Out-
Kast expected, Andr6's
album, The Love Below,
takes the biggest risk and
pays off the most in the end.
It probably can't even be
called rap, as he turns his
MC card to be an acid funk-
soul singer.
Starting off the album
with half serious/half farci-
cal Frank Sinatra crooning,
you can tell Dr6 is in a space
lounge about to take you
farther than anywhere
Atliens took you. With
themes throughout the
album dealing with confu-
sion about all forms of love,
including intergenerational
issues ("Pink and Blue"),
fidelity and eternal love, you
can sense his confusion and


By Scott Seilla
Daily Arts Editor

What is it about Tokyo?
The omnipresent glow of neon? The giddy, ultramodern
pop culture? The distinctly familiar foreignness? Maybe the
mix of Zen-minimalism and hi-tech innovation?
Whatever it is, Sofia Coppola seems to have perfectly
captured the intoxicatingly disorient-
ing allure of Japan in her new dream-
scape of a film, "Lost in Translation." Lost in
The second-time director/writer easily Translation
lives up to her famous pedigree and At Quality 16,
the warm reception of her first pic- Showcase and the
ture, the heartbreaking suburban goth- Michigan Theater
ic, "The Virgin Suicides." Focus Features
"Lost" follows the parallel dazes of
two wayward Americans left floating in Tokyo for a week
with little to do and too much on their minds. Bob Harris
(Bill Murray) is a slump-plagued movie star in town to
shoot endorsements for a swinging whiskey eager to exploit
his waning appeal. His career and marriage crumbling
before him, Bob's middle-aged anxiety nears a fever pitch.
Recent Yale-graduate Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson)
knows how he feels. Trailing behind her rock photographer
husband (Giovanni Ribisi) to Japan, she's stuck in a liminal
funk with no career plans or close friends to anchor her. She
whittles at time by wandering the city streets, sulking in her
room and hiding from her martial and misgivings in the
hotel bar.
It's in the bar that the jetlagged pair meets and forms an

inexpressible bond, a quick, deep connection between strug-
gling souls far from home. It's a friendship nearly teetering
on romance, but Coppola depends on that fragile, distinc-
tive balance. She allows the characters to unfold at a deli-
cate but relaxed pace, giving Murray and Johansson plenty
of time to build nuance-rich performances. Plot is an after-
thought to evoking emotion and textures in Bob and Char-
lotte's relationship as they drift though Toyko's nightlife.
Murray is in top-form, straddling the line between com-
edy and tragedy with the twist of his face at his own sad
jokes, a break in his voice while singing Roxy Music's
"More Than This" at a karaoke bar or bittersweet smile
when Charlotte walks into his elevator. Tokyo is an under-
sized playground for his comedy persona as he dryly rifts
to comfort himself as much as to express his frustration at
losing his direction. Murray's only reference points are his
own screen persona and maybe a funnier, confidence-
shaken Bogart.
At a mere 18 years old, Johansson invests in her roll a
powerful world-weariness beyond her age, but shifts effort-
lessly back into a touching child-like vulnerability. Char-
lotte's habit of lounging in her underwear while listening to
cheap self-help tapes suggests a forlorn teenager in her bed-
room, yet her maturity leaps through in scenes with Bob,
ending any misgivings about their age differences.
Johansson possibly benefits from playing a fictionalized
version of her director. With Coppola's own husband, Spike
Jonze's mannerisms and fashion sense, Ribisi is an obvious
stand-in for the "Adaptation" director. Coppola's willing-
ness to explore or at least re-imagine her own experiences
deepens the intensely personal feel of this beautifully ren-
dered journey, molding a wistful yet surprisingly comfort-
ing classic.

The fusion of the group becomes
more evident now that they are separat-
ed. These two completely disparate discs
show how they balance each other out.
The OutKast sound is pushed outwards
by Dre's penchant for experimentation
and kept more in root by the Big Boi's
dirty south sound.
The album happens
as pretty much dictated
b y history, p erso n alities
and album titles. Big ,
Boi presents Speaker-
boxxx, which is the rap
album you can play on
the radio, evidenced by
bangers such as "Flip
Flop Rock." In true Out-
Kast form, Big Boi
focuses on brass instrumentation, elec-
tro beats while throwing some reflec-
tive, conscious and street lyrics in the
mix as well. His album is definitely
more mainstream and easily palatable.

Courtesy of La Face
We stimulate and activate your left and right brain.

earnest disillusionment
towards relationships and women, some
of it stemming from a
recent relationship with
Erykah Badu.
The Love Below is as
eclectic as they come.
The ecleticism displayed
here is more in vein with
6 early Wyclef, when it
was actual heterogeneity
and not contrived
attempts. Anyone who
uses Bach's "Concerto
for Two Violins" in the modern version
of "Who's on First, What's on Second,"
as well as an incredible techno cover of
Coltrane's "Favorite Things" is a friend
of mine.

With this album, the creativity,
thought and energy that were put in are
felt throughout. More than ever, Out-
Kast give a view into the personal, and
it works. So far, this is easily the best
major label hip-hop album of the year.
Not only have they redefined their
sound, they have redefined the double
album. It is an extreme pleasure when
the hip-hop mainstream can move the
genre forward.
Would it be better if artists attempted
to be more progressive and experimen-
tal? Or would they sound like mere Out-
Kast epigones? Is that such a bad thing?
More than ever the questions to ask is
what can these two do from here, and
will they come back together and do it?

Ben, Drew try to kill old
lady, make, funny flick

Forgone reality plagues
Lane's new 'Tuscan Sun'


py 9JrIe Pitoun
For thedailf

11,-1 ,11 r a rtr tvtt r'rI 'j s, r?. 7

Once again, audiences are asked to
laugh at Ben Stiller being tortured on
screen,and again, audiences are will-
ing to oblige.
"Duplex" tells the story of
bohemian young couple Nancy Hen-
dricks (Drew
Barrymore) and
Alex Rose (Ben Duplex
Stiller) who buy At Madstone and
a duplex in Quality 16
Brooklyn to Miramax
begin their fami-
ly in. But to get the low price
offered, they have to take on a tenant,
the sweet Irish lady upstairs Mrs.
Connelly (Eileen Essel) who at the
beginning of the movie seems to be
knocking on the door of death. See-

ing only potential and hoping for a
quick passing for Mrs. Connelly,
Nancy and Alex move in.
The beginning of the film has an odd
feel, seemingly reimagining "The
Burbs" or "The Money Pit." But then it
really falls into its comedic groove
when the crafty old Mrs. Connelly starts
making life hell for our cute couple.
As Alex strives to finish his novel
by his publisher's deadline, Mrs. Con-
nelly keeps interrupting by helplessly
asking, as as an old lady can, if he
could help her with her chores. A
series of household accidents forces
the frequent return of a mean NYPD
officer. The madness drives the ini-
tially very rational Nancy and Alex to
fantasize about killing the old lady.
Their conspiratorial efforts to get rid
of her keep going bad and the two
begin destroying more and more of
their apartment.
Barrymore and Stiller form an

You can milk just about anything with nipples.

By Mary Hllemeior
waily Arts Writer

exceptional duo. Watching them ride
hand in hand down the path of insanity
is truly funny. Barrymore is a perfect
complement to Stiller in a rehashing of
his "Meet the Parents" role. She's able
to go right along with him for every
hellish twist. Essel plays the perfect
torturer; appearing harmless, but is
actually quite funny and ingenuous in

tearing her landlords apart. Her charac-
ter is by far the best in the film.
Director Danny DeVito and writer
Larry Doyle have put together a new
spin on a concept that initially
appears very familiar to audiences.
After a series of misfires for both, it's
refreshing to see Barrymore and
DeVito doing good work again.

Imagine you are in Italy, sipping
wine on the beach gazing into the
eyes of a gorgeous Italian lover.
Throw in a line like "I wish I could
swim in your eyes" and a furry kit-
ten, and you've got not only every
woman's unrealistic fantasy, but also
the premise of Academy Award nom-
inee Diane Lane's new film "Under
the Tuscan Sun."
A screen adaptation of the novel
by Frances Mayes, the similarities
between book
and film essen- Underth
tially end with n the
the title and set- Tuscan Sun
ting. While the AtQuality16and
novel follows the Showcase
"adventures" of a Touchstone
middle-aged lit-
erature professor with a passion for
villa restoration and Etruscan histo-
ry, the film floats along on the heels
of a beautiful young writer looking
for love.
Frances (Lane, "Unfaithful")
loses her husband and home in the
opening minutes of the film, making
for a strangely dark beginning that
doesn't quite mesh with the ridicu-
lousness that follows. A friend
offers a free ticket for a gay tour of
Tuscany, setting up the visual of
Diane Lane in a jaunty "Gay and
Away" cap following her flamboyant
tour guide; a blatantly stereotypical
representation of the gay communi-
ty. The stereotypes don't end there,
as Frances encounters several of
America's favorite Italian charac-
ters, including the endearing mum-
bling old man and the passionate yet

'Secret Lives' validates fear of crazy dentists

By Vanessa Miller
Daily Arts Writer

"The Secret Lives of Dentists" dark-
ly provides a looking glass into the
minds and family
life of two married The Secret
dentists. From its
first moments, the Lives of
stereotypes and Dentists
preconceived AtMadstone
notions about den- Manhattan Pictures
tists come alive
with eccentricity. The movie recalls
those fabulous shared moments where
we sit in the dentist's chair with

mouths pried open and a drill hum-
ming in our ears.
Director Alan Rudolph's ("Mrs.
Parker and the Vicious Circle") story
unravels through the daydreams and
hallucinations of David Hurst (Camp-
bell Scott, "Roger Dodger"), a quiet-
mannered man who goes off the deep
end when he wittiness his wife (Hope
Davis, "About Schmidt") kissing
another man. As David fears his wife
will leave him, his subconscious
takes on a different character Slater
(Denis Leary), a sarcastic divorcee
who is the complete opposite of the
milder dentist.
David's new facade on life affects
his failing marriage and three chil-

dren through extreme tension that
creates a virus between the entire
family, mostly as a result of the
annoying one-liners Leary plants into
his mind. The most enjoyable
moments of the movie are the delu-
sional and odd pornographic mind of
David, whose neurosis about his wife
even involve her hygienist and her
esteemed chair.
The idiosyncratic and bizarre dia-
logue in "The Secret Lives of Den-
tists" foretells what one would
imagine a dentist's life to be, com-
pleting the prophecy "Seinfeld" cre-
ated for dentists and making those
words anti-dentite spill out of audi-
ence's mouths.

courtesy of Touchstone
Is that like people eating people?
unfaithful lover.
When Frances abandons her tour
to purchase a nearby villa on
impulse, her "new life" begins and
all pretenses of reality are forgotten.
What remains is not as fun as it
could have been, the film is plagued
by attempts at profound statements
about the nature of life and love that
appear out of place and cheesy.
Considering the location and, let's
face it, sheer beauty of several male
costars, one can almost understand
how Lane was able to overlook the
often embarrassing script and inco-
herent plot. For the viewer's purpos-
es, however, it would be cheaper and
more worthwhile to simply purchase
a Tuscany travel brochure.

'' " rF''rE rCrCFO'A WOh E" 1rLD CW IJUR' rOF'Jr C' t r O"V/IOW'rC
McKenny Union Ballroom -- Saturday, October 4th, 7-9:30 PM Tickets: $10 for advance purchases --- $15 at the door
Discussion will cover the Indian Freedom movement, the US Civil Rights Movement, and the current World political situation in which the US id at the
center of events. This presentation will address many questions including the following:
How can we establish a movement to bring about a peaceful revolution in US politics both now and in the coming election? Why the ideas of Tagore (India),



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