Thursday, October 19. 2006 -
The Michigan Daily - 3B
concert at Hill
Take note, heroines: Harder is hotter
By Christina Choi
Daily Arts Writer
By Priya Bali
Daily Arts Writer
"I suffer for all who were tortured,
starved or shot to death, whether by
I feel eternal UMS
pain for each presents
of the victims. The Kirov
My sympho- Orchestra
nies are tomb-
stones." Friday and
For years, Saturday at8 p.m.
the words of Sunday at 4 p.m.
Dmitri Shosta- $10 -$75
been recog- At Hill Auditorium
nized as a
reflection of the composer himself, a
man who struggled internally as an
entertainer and as a human being. As
part of the Shostakovich Centennial
honor the composer's genius starting
Friday and continuing through Sun-
day at Hill Auditorium.
Erika Nelson, marketing assistant
for UMS, the concerts will be "a
wonderful opportunity for students
to experience a world-renowned
orchestra in U of M's 'Other Big
House,' Hill Auditorium, and to dis-
cover one of the finest Soviet com-
posers of the 20th century."
In this weekend's celebration of
Shostakovich, the audience should
expect to hear six of the composer's
15 symphonies composed anywhere
between 1905 and 1969. Much of
Shostakovich's repertoire has been
influenced by Russian politics in
the days of the Soviet regime. For
instance, "Symphony No. 12" is
a tribute to the Bolshevik revolu-
tion of 1917. "Symphony No. 11;"
is recognized as a memorial to the
revolution against the autocratic
rule of Tsar Nicholas II in 1905. The
chaos and hostility is communi-
cated in the dramatic and haunting
language of each composition. The
cello, viola, violin, French horn and
flute, to name a few, all contribute
to the soft melody that transforms
into a lively climax, a trademark in
Founded in the 1700s, The
Kirov Orchestra of the historic
Mariinsky Theater is St. Peters-
burg's leading symphony orchestra.
Over the years, the theater has been
a home to some of Europe's most
renowned composers, including
Hans von Bulow, Otto Klemperer
and Bruno Walter. "The Sleep-
Conductor and musical director
of the Kirov Orchestra Valery
ing Beauty," "The Nutcracker,"
"Tristan und Isolde" and "Prince
Igor" are only a few of the great
masterpieces from ballet and opera
history that were born on the stage
of The Mariinsky Theater.
This weekend's performance will
mark yet another appearance by
Valery Gergiev, music director and
conductor of the Mariinsky Theater
since 1988. Among Gergiev's many
awards, the director has won the
Golden Mask Award and the Peo-
ple's Artist of Russia Award.
Gergiev has crossed the Russia's
borders into forty-five other coun-
tries where he has toured with the
group in Europe, South America,
North America, Australia, China,
Japan and Israel. In January 2007,
Gergiev will become the Principal
Conductor of the London Symphony
When listening to Shostakovich's
workthe listenermay hearthe trage-
dy of war and inevitable revolutions,
or he may hear the cry of a man
who wanted nothing more than to
experience a better world. Whether
his musical expression is a record of
political history or simply a memoir
of the soul within the composer,
The Kirov Orchestra's interpreta-
tion will be a reflection of some of
Shostakovich's most profound and
$10 student rush tickets are
available the day of the perfor-
mance at the Michigan League
Ticket Office. Half-off tickets will
be available at the door the night
of the performance beginning 90
minutes before the event.
A forced viewing of "Terminator 2: Judg-
ment Day" this past weekend evoked some
conflicted feelings. On one hand, I was
proud of Gov. Schwarzenegger for rising
so far above his days of kicking cyborg ass.
On the other, I cringed at Linda Hamilton's
inability to kick ass at all.
When the wife-beater clad Hamilton march-
es out of a motor home, Rambo-style, with
guns and ammo strapped to her back, the word
"cool" doesn't exactly come to mind. "Psychot-
ic breakdown" is more like it. Accordingly, her
mission to kill a scientist fails when she col-
lapses in tears in front of his terrified family
after she barely manages to wound him.
As distant as the 1991 debut of "T2" is,
action-film heroines haven't progressed
much since. They are consistently del-
egated to some of the worst scripts in Hol-
lywood, roles that frequently involve more
fluff and sex appeal than action. While the
sex inevitably sells, isn't it sad when the
only thing memorable about "Catwoman"
is Halle Berry's skintight leather costume?
But then again, how sexy is a purring 38
year old anyway?
But "Catwoman" isn't the only action flop
in recent memory to go down at the hands
of a female lead. She has plenty of com-
pany with the likes of "Elektra," "Charlie's
Angels: Full Throttle" and the especially
atrocious "Ultraviolet." None of them will
ever catch a whiff of an Oscar, no mat-
ter how many miles Demi Moore runs in a
skimpy black bikini.
The problem with these films is their fixa-
tion with keeping their characters stereo-
typically female at heart. Love interests,
children and deep-seated insecurities com-
prise the uninspired weaknesses of these
heroines. Even Kate Beckinsale's vicious
and cold-blooded vampire in "Underworld"
ends up falling in love with a man - which
then prevents her from killing him when she
has the chance. Male heroes are allowed
to handle this differently. If the Termina-
tor were in "Underworld," he would simply
shoot the source of the problem in both legs
and call it a day.
In the bloodbaths of "Kill Bill," Uma
Thurman appears to be immune to these
weaknesses. Her vengeful character is able
to enact her rage both skillfully and convinc-
ingly. In addition to single-handedly ripping
out a fellow woman's eyeball, Thurman can
also pound her way out of a buried coffin
with just enough blood and pain to make it
knuckle-breakingly realistic. However, her
most recent film - aptly entitled "My Super
Ex-Girlfriend" - has made me re-evaluate
DAILY ARTS. I
my faith in Uma's credibility.
Perhaps the only contemporary Hol-
lywood woman who's thus far proven to
consistently deliver a competent hero-
ine is Angelina Jolie. Sure, her legendary
looks are partly responsible for the modest
success of "Tomb Raider," but at least no
one laughed at her in the process. Instead,
Jolie's character is able to pull off the
type of shaken-not-stirred confidence that
accompanies any great fictitious hero. And
she is also capable of genuinely falling in
love with a man and killing him upon the
discovery that he's a gold-digging traitor.
Beckinsale should take notes.
Jolie's confidence carries over into her
"Mr. & Mrs. Smith" role as a domesticated
assassin who finds out that her husband,
played by the savory Brad Pitt, is a rival
assassin who must be terminated. While
love predictably prevails, it's not without
an extensive fistfight between the two that
highlights Jolie's left hook. Like the mantra
of "America's Next Top Model," Jolie has
mastered the art of being both fierce and
But with the exception of Jolie, the future
looks bleak for action heroines. Currently,
there's nothing on the horizon but "DOA:
Dead or Alive," a video-game-inspired
film set for release in December. Its most
talked-about feature to date consists of a
three-minute-long beach-volleyball scene.
Clearly, another exciting Oscar-nominee
season has begun.
TOP: Angelina Jolle in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."
BOTTOM: Uma Thurman in "My Super Ex-
Art for whose sake? The
role of student publications
By Alex Dziadosz This is because the media How about when they quit the
Daily Arts Writer also exists to inform the public day jobs?
- to point out new and inter- The line is hard to find, bi
Last week the pages of this esting trends without judging it's there somewhere.
paper hosted a denouncement and to help those who deserve a It's hard to imagine that th(
of one Ann Arbor's most popu- chance at success get one. Daily condemned University
lar student acts, the previously The trick is to figure out dropout Iggy Pop's immatur(
unscathed Tally Hall. Arts edi- what combination of inform- sound as he and The Stooge
tors' inboxes were flooded with ing and persuading is appropri- thrashed their way to promi
responses. Some were clearly ate or necessary. When college nence on the stages of the Unio
articulated and reasoned, some art hits the level of popularity and Blind Pig. But there's noth
were unintelligible. Nearly all currently enjoyed by Tally Hall ing wrong with the music sec
of them were furious. - yes, whatever its quality, tion calling his 2003 releas
Clearly, the Daily's criticism Marvin's Marvelous Mechani- Skull Ring "uninspired."
of this semi-casually attired cal Museum can and should be Not that Tally Hall and Th(
"wonky rock" troupe is a touchy considered art - the boundar- Stooges have much in commo
subject. But why? ies get a little blurrier. apart from their local origin
Regardless of the review's Most bands have to make but the comparison is a goo(
quality, much of the debacle artistic sacrifices to get their blueprint for this sort of issue.
rests on a basic question of what music played, and it's silly to In the end, what's importan
the relationship between student assume that Tally Hall - about is that both parties realize wha
media and student art should half of whom seem to be going role they are able to play. Fo
and should not be. The same to medical school - aren't now, Tally Hall is still a buncl
article might have incensed aware of this. of 20somethings, staving o
people had it run in the Los So when does an artist "make medical and grad school t(
Angeles Times, but probably it," and when does the media's make a living off of music for
not to the same degree. responsibility shift from while. The Daily is and alway)
All media, the Daily includ- informing the public of that will be run and written by sti
ed, exists in part to persuade the artist's existence to critiquing dents, also trying to make it.
public. Professional columnists the quality of their work? Is it Neither role is comfortable
and critics are expected to accu- when they get played on Vhl? but they're both necessary.
mulate knowledge and powerful
opinions, then convince others
of their point's legitimacy.
This is important.
Like anything else, culture
needs arbiters - experts who
know a lot about it, think a lot
about it and are able to articulate-
ly convey their conclusions. It's
why The New York Times has an
Arts section. It's why people can
make a career out of criticism.
Still, when a student show -s
at the Work Gallery opens, the #i
Daily is expected to write about
why it is there, how long it will
be there and perhaps tell the
story of the artists on display.
The Daily is not expected to
closely analyze and critique the -
art. It would be in poor taste
to deride the work of a spo
more sculpture major who just
landed his first gallery show
last week. '
It's assumed there will be
time for all of that when and if W
they "make it." n
1thU SEASON 20061 2007
World-class performing artists.
Cheap tickets for students.
SHOSTAKOVICH CENTENNIAL FESTIVAL
of the Mariinsky Theatre
Valery Gergiev conductor
Men of the UMS Choral Union
U-M Men's Glee Club
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 8 PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 8 PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, 4 PM
Esteemed conductor Valery Gergiev and the Kirov
Orchestra return for the final installment of the
Shostakovich Centennial Festival, a series of concerts
celebrating the 100th birthday of Russian composer
ALL-SHOSTAKOVICH PROGRAM (FRI 10/20)
Symphony No. 11 in g minor, Op. 103 ("The Year 1905")(1957)
Symphony No. 6 in b minor, Op. 54 (1939)
ALL-SHOSTAKOVICH PROGRAM (SAT 10/21)
Symphony No. 12 in d minor, Op. 112 ("1917, or Lenin")(1961)
Symphony No. 14 in g minor, Op. 135 (1969)
ALL-SHOSTAKOVICH PROGRAM (SUN 10/22)
Symphony No. 8 in c minor, Op. 65 (1943)
Symphony No. 13 in b-flat minor, Op. 113 ("Babi Yar") (1962)
The Shostakovich centennial Weekend is presented with supporttfrom
Kaydon Corp. and the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation.
The Friday night performance is sponsored by 4
U-M students can
Tickets to each
$10 on Friday,
October 20 from
9 am to 5 pm
at the Michigan
Office, or for
50% off regularly
prices at the Hill
The Saturday night performance is
co-sponsored by BORDERS. -
Funded in part by the Wallace Endowment Fund.
Media Partners WGTE 91.3 FM and Observer & Eccentric Newspapers
These are CLASSICAL KIDS CLUB concerts.
PRECONC[RT[ECTUR[: "Mass Murder, Memorials, and Music: Babi Yar And Its Politics"
SUN, OCT 22, 2 PM Zvi Gitelman, Preston R. Tisch Professor of Judaic Studies and professor, U-M
Rackham Auditorium Department of Political Science, leads a special pre-concert lecture prior to the
(915 East Washington St.) final performance of the Kirov Orchestra featuring Shostakovich's Symphony
Free admission No. 13 in b-flat minor, Op. 113 ("Babi Yar"). This historic composition
memorializes the Russian Jews killed at Babi Yar during World War I.
A collaboration with the U-M Center/for Russian and East European Studies.
c um s Call or click for information! V.
scs 747428Iw wuso
so/ 734-764-2538 I www.ums.org -~~