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November 08, 2006 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-08

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 5A

A tr s
Daily Arts Writer
Set in Haiti at the end of the '70s, "Heading
South" (or "Vers le Sud") is
thestoryofseveralwealthy ***'>
middle-aged women who
recapture their youth each Heading
summer. They leave their South
responsibilities at home At the Michigan
and travel to a beach near Theater through
Port-au-Prince,wherethey Thursday
spend three months swim- Focus
ming, sunbathing and buy-
ing the affections of local young men.
"Welcome to paradise," one socialite says to
another upon her arrival.
Ellen (Charlotte Rampling, "Swimming
Pool") plays a British professor of French lit-
erature from Wellesley, a woman who's come to
Haiti every summer for years, always returning
to a man named Legba (Mdnothy Cesar) during
each stay. Port-au-Prince is a haven of relaxation
and sexual indulgence untilthe arrival of Brenda
(Karen Young, TV's "The Sopranos"), a discon-
tent housewife from Savannah who has a history
with Legba as well. Ellen feigns disinterest in
the developing tryst while Brenda fancies herself

Up, out and beyond

"If you smoke one, you might as well smoke 30."
involved in an epic love affair with the 18-year-
old gigolo. Tension between the women mounts
as we discover Legba has been preoccupied by
other illegal matters - transgressions that have
the police hunting him down murderously.
If the story revolves around any central point,
it's the love triangle. But the film has no princi-
pal character - a fact that keeps the audience
shifting sympathies and creates a fitting, consis-
tent tone within the collage, but also creates a
distance between the viewer and the narrative.
This is a film with deeply nuanced characters,
about which director Laurent Cantet never
reveals enough for us to get a good handle on
their true natures. It's powerful in its own way,
but lacks immediacy and casts a blanket sense of
aloofness over the piece.

Intermittently, the characters give their life
stories in monologue form, addressing the cam-
era. This is an unusual tactic, but an effective
one. The screenplay is well written: The French
is casual and succinct, the English translated
loosely, preserving the carefully chosen yet
informal voice. The performances are top-notch
to boot, but, at the risk of sounding like a middle
school creative writingteacher, a little too much
is told and not enough shown both in the mono-
logues and especially at the end.
Catastrophe strikes in the last moments of the
film, and Cantet uses the opportunity to reveal
too much too quickly about the characters' per-
sonalities. We're left in appreciation of the film's
beauty and dumbfounded by the adrupt change
in its otherwise subtle characterizations.

You're donevotingandthere's
a lull in classwork - turn on
E! and get ready for dirty
secrets because Britney Spears and
Kevin Federline are breaking up.
TMZ.com obtained the legal
documents filed yesterday, in which
Spears cited "irreconcilable differ-
ences" as the cause for the
split. Spears has managed
to cement herself as the
face of white trash after y
two failed marriages with,
only some stretch marks
(and kids) to show for it.
Meanwhile, the free ride'
ends for K-Fed, who tookP
the title of "America's PUNI
Most Hated" too close MATT
to heart, embarrass-
ing himself along the painful road
to impending bankruptcy. With a
rock-solid prenuptial agreement,
and Spears requesting that Feder-
line pay for his own attorneys, she's
likely to get the kids, the house and
the cars. She won't, howeverbe able
to get the one thing she lost when
she married him: her dignity.
It was no surprise that Ameri-
can sweethearts Reese Wither-
spoon and Ryan Phillipe's divorce
planted itself on the cover of every
celebrity glossy last week. Reports
indicate that Witherspoon used her
"Legally Blonde" skills and found
incriminating e-mails on Phillipe's
Blackberry the night of the "Flags of
Our Fathers" premiere. Although it
must have been tempting to toss out
an "I know what you did last sum-
mer" comment, Witherspoon man-
aged to resist. Apparently, Phillipe
made a midlife-crisis move about 20
years too early, trading in his two-
time baby mama for his 24-year-old
Australian co-star. Already saddled
with the image of an untalented
pretty-boy riding his Oscar-win-
ning wife coattails, Phillipe has now
isolated his small fanbase by plant-
ing his flag in the wrong place.
Marriage problems aren't an
immediate concern for Neil Pat-
rick Harris. Better known as TV's
"Doogie Howser," he gave into pub-
lic speculation and revealed that
he's gay, making his performance
in "Harold and Kumar" even more
out of character. The announcement
comes on the heels of "Grey's Anat-
omy" actor, T.R. McKnight outing
himself in response to rumors. And

at this rate, even Paris Hilton is run-
ning out of people to sleep with.
"Survivor" contestant Reichen
Lemkuhl said that these stars
recently forced out of the closet
had been "Lanced," in reference to
his boyfriend, Lance Bass. Bass was
outed earlier this year after pressure
from blogger Perez Hilton.
It's hard to make any jokes
here without crossing the
particularly thin line of
offense, but you have to
wonder if maybe he should
have taken another term
from the dictionary that
r didn't also mean "to pierce
or open with a long wooden
oo shaft"
It doesn't matter what
your sexual orientation is: Everyone
Kev and Britty,
Doogie ... Lance?
gets excited for any kind of celeb
rity sex tape. And especially od
that might feature Hollywood goa-'
dess Scarlett Johansson. A website
popped up recently, supposedly crea
ated by a crew member on a film set.
He says that one of the sound per-
sonnel realized a buxom actress lei
her mic on when she entered a co-
star's parked car and started, uin,
doing things to him. The two crgr,
members recorded a 12-minule,
video and plan to shop it to distribu-
tors, but for now are keeping tha
actress's identity a secret. Thereo:
only one clue on the website: a red
(perhaps scarlet) "A." The hint le,
to millions of drooling boys hopirti
Johansson had followed in the foot;
steps of Pamela Anderson. And wit'
a history of public acts of indecency
including a post-Oscar tryst with
Benicia Del Toro in a hotel eleva,.
tor, it's easy to anticipate a role that'
won't require any lines to rememn-
ber. Some, however, believe that tit
actress in question is Demi Moor,
who starred in the film adaptation
of "The Scarlet Letter." If so, look
for the dentures on the dashboard,
- Mmm, dentures. Reach
Mattoo at mattoop@umich.edu.

Renovations can't stop beat

Daily Music Editor
The last few years have seen at
least one great collaborative effort
from WCBN and UMMA each
They've wel- Parenthetical
comed acts Girls
as diverse
as The Tonight at10 Rm.
Books and Free (Ticket m st
be picked up #t
His Name Michigan Union
is Alive's Ticket Office)
tribute to At UMMA Offsite
Marion Brown for concerts at the
University's now-under-construc-
tion art museum. Fortunately,
the renovations on the museum
haven't slowed these efforts; and
The Parenthetical Girls will play a
free show tonight at 10 p.m. it the
UMMA offsite location on South
University Avenue.
While tickets are free, they must
be picked up prior to the slow at
the Michigan Union Ticket Office.
Very few are still available since
this is the Parenthetical Girls' only
planned show in the Midwest.
The Parenthetical Girls' second
album, Safe Houses, has bees dom-
inating local radio charts of late,
and their fey, sometimes experi-
mental pop can be heard almost
daily on Ann Arbor's student-run
and community-aided rado, 88.3

Headed by Slender Means label
head Zac Pennington, the band
is rounded out by two members
of Dead Science. Comparisons to
Jaime Stewart are inevitable: Dead
Science are his labelmates and
self-proclaimed favorite band, and
Safe Houses bears many sonic sim-
ilarities to Stewart's efforts under
the moniker Xiu Xiu. Besides a
fondness for xylophones, organs
and wind instruments, Penning-
ton shares the same androgynous
vocals and skittish nervousness as
Some have taken to calling
their style "panic-pop," but that
Concerts stick
with UMMA,
even offsite.
label undersells the depth of the
Parenthetical Girls. Their songs
aren't just nervous, limp-wristed
indie rock, but rather intricate re-
imaginings of a lost childhood full
of gender ambiguity and innocent
flirting. The albums teen-pop bal-
lads and electronic experimen-
tation sound like what may have
happened if Phil Spector had been
a friend of Nicky Siano rather than
the maestro behind the Wall of

Tonight's show at UMMA off-
site is a unique opportunity for
the community to come out and
support two Ann Arbor cultural
institutions, and check out an
innovative band in an intimate set-
ting for the perfect price of noth-
- Cargo is a DJ
for 88.3 FM WCBN.


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