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March 15, 2007 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-03-15

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0 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tthe b-sidel Thursday, Marchs15,2007 -3

Courtesy of Gege Produes Artisticas LTL

Coolest. Minister. of. Culture. Ever.

Golden funk

By LLOYD H. Cargo
Daily Arts Writer
The University Musical Society already
blessed us once with a concert-opportunity-of-
a-lifetime last fall with Alice
Coltrane, and this spring, G
they're back at it again. Gilbrto Gil
Gilberto Gil (pronounced Tomorrow
Jeel-ber-toh Jeel) will make
his only Midwestern appear- $10 -$65
ance tomorrow at 8 p.m. at At Hill Auditorium
Hill Auditorium, a singular
event not to be missed. It's
pretty rare that a man often known as the Paul
McCartney of Brazil (to Caetano Veloso's John
Lennon) takes the time out of his jammed sched-
ule as Brazil's Minister of Culture to play at ,
college campus.
Gil began his career in the '50s by joining a
band, The Desifinados, but it wasn't until he
heard Joao Gilberto on the radio and moved to
Sao Paolo that he found success. His first big
break found him showcased in a show directed
by Caetano Veloso about Bossa Nova, "Nos Por
Exemplo," and it wasn't too long after that Ellis

Regina made his song "Louvacao" a hit.
His second album, 1968's Frevo Resgado, was
an instant classic. A fusion of British invasion
and Brazilian influences, with Gil backed by Os
Mutantes on some tracks, the album served as the
starting point for the prolific and revolutionary
singer-songwriter's impressive run of albums.
Immersed in the protest folk-psychedelia move-
ment of the late '60s, dubbed "Tropicalia" after
a Caetano Veloso song, Gil was deported along
with Veloso to Great Britain after his hit song
"Aquele Abraco" scared the military regime into
arresting him.
While in England, the respect he garnered
from his musical peers resulted in gigs with
superstar bands like Pink Floyd, Yes, Rod Stew-
art and the Incredible String Band. His subse-
quent return to Brazil in 1972 spurred a series of
hits that kept his pioneering world music at the
top of the charts, and his message of black con-
sciousness to an ever-increasing audience. Top-
selling albums like Cerebro Electronico, Nega
and Expresso 2222 kept pushing the envelope
and developing Gil's unique brand of Brazilian
funk, culminating in a masterpiece-like collabo-
ration with fellow Brazlilian music titan Jorge

Ben titled simply, Gil E Jorge, in 1975.
Thirty plus years later finds Gil far from his
days in solitary confinement. Now Brazil's Min-
ister of Culture for five years, he's been spreading
Brazilian musicthroughout the world, to adoring
audiences from South America to Europe. His
signature dreadlocks seem to always be accom-
panied by a smile, and what's not to be happy
about when you've sold five million albums and
are considered a living legend?
Still, at 64, Gil isn't hitting the road quite as
often, and trips to America, specifically concerts
between the coasts, are few and far between.
Hill Auditorium's intimate acoustics ought to
compliment his joyous and refined compositions
quite well, and with tickets as cheap $10, you
can't afford not to go.
Some other notable music styles and trends from Brazil:
" Samba s*Axe music
" Bossa Nova * Choro
e Baile Funka "*Lundu
and Funk Carioc Baiao

Huston: recognizing
the underrated
By BLAKE GOBLE ing for that matter. If ever a film
Daily Arts Writer deserved its Oscars, this is it.
If it seems like his movies are
Though he died in 1987, John laundry listed in such short space,
Huston recently gave me the best it's only to parallel how much Hus-
gift I've had in years. ton crammed into such a small
I watched his "The Treasure part of his career. In the 1940s,
of the Sierra Madre" purely by Huston went off to war as a docu-
chance, and I was in awe. "Trea- mentarian, but that wouldn't deter
sure," the harrowing Humphrey his thunderous motivation. In
Bogart adventure considered one 1948, he also directed Humphrey
of the great films ever made, made Bogart in "Key Largo" - another
me realize it was time to pay my Oscar winner - the same year as
dues to Huston, the beyond-leg- "Madre." In 1950, "The Asphalt
endary entertainer whose reach in Jungle" was released, much to
Hollywood went far beyond this delight of the public. "The Afri-
one film. can Queen" was released in 1951,
Huston was the poster boy for Huston's exemplary literary adap-
working-class, studio-built talent. tation. To prove he could handle
While filmmakers today stall and music and flair, 1952 gave the pub-
allow projects to gestate for years lic "Moulin Rouge," a rare and ear-
at a time, Huston stayed busy nest love story.
keeping audiences riveted, and he Each of these films earned Hus-
did itby any means possible. ton deserved Oscar nominations.
"The Dead," "The Treasure Of And to think that people were
Sierra Madre," "The Man Who freaking out when Soderbergh got
Would Be King," "Prizzi's Honor" a double nomination for directing.
and "The African Queen" are just a Huston slowed a bit as he got
handful ofthe everlastingworks of older in the '60s, and he almost
Huston's career. And that's just his vanished into obscurity during the
directorial work. Huston was also '70s until he burstback like a pow-
an Oscar-nominated actor ("The der keg with the 1975 smash "The
Cardinal"), screenwriter and pro- Man Who Would Be King." It was
ducer. a rousing return to the sturdily
Huston'sfirstjobwasatestament assured works of his earlier career,
to his abilities and work ethic. He and it afforded him his last leg in
convinced Warner Brothers to let Hollywood.
him direct "The Maltese Falcon" Huston died in1987;his last film
after years of writing and knowing was "The Dead." Irony of the title
well that two versions of the film notwithstanding, this film of sor-
had already been produced. The row and regret is as accomplished
film, Huston's debut, is arguably as anything Huston ever directed.
the greatest work of crime noir His prolific career spanned
ever put to film, far stronger than more than 40 years. Inthattime he
"Zodiac" or "The Departed" could directed more than 45 films, wrote
ever even strive to be. It's the kind more than 30 and performed in
of effortless, assured work seldom almost 50. Seldom similar in con-
seen from newcomers. tent and style, Huston was more
From there Huston churned out consistent in his ability to make a
movies and didn't stop. Warner film all the more compelling solely
Bros. helped nurture his talents because of his singular involve-
as he kept pushing for work, but ment. Nominated for 15 Oscars,
it was in 1948 that Huston would winner of two, Huston had serious
make his mark on cinema. bragging rights.
Possibly his finest film, "The Why harp on about a man
Treasure of Sierra Madre," is clas- whose efforts were relished and
sic Huston. It's a drama of mascu- relinquishedbefore we were born?
line greed and all that drives our Because more people should be
primal urges. Humphrey Bogart's envious and admiring of him.
(a frequent Huston collaborator) Huston maybe gone, but hisworks
Fred C. Dobbs is a landmark in have barely aged at all.
schizophrenic, paranoid acting, If you haven't seen Huston's
while Huston's father Walter gives movies, get up and get one. Now.
nepotism dignity by providing the He was beloved by critics and
film with its humanity as a crazy general audiences alike, but the
old coot prospector. he only way to really appreciate
You know the line about "not him is to look at his work indi-
needing any stinking badges"? It vidually. Don't take my word for it
came from this movie. Hoarding - get "The Treasure of the Sierra
gold and the toll it takes has never Madre" and see for yourself.
been this harrowing, or entertain-

From page 1B
in front of him strikes an awk-
ward dance move: "Say what's on
your mind Harris, the language of
dance has always eluded me."
The banner over a caption-
less cartoon from 1979 reads "101i
Annual Woodstock Reunion."
Beneath it lies a landscape of suited
figures sharing cocktails. Another
cartoon has suited partygoers
quipping, "If this is the Informa-
tion Age, how come no one knows
"The purpose of the fantasy
world is somewhat like the pur-
pose of the horror movies: We can
indulge our not-correct impulses
in a fairly harmless way," Mankoff
For Mankoff, this approach is
"rooted in the psychological truths
about what humor is for." He cited
chimpanzees as beings that laugh,
smile and mock fight as a neces-
sary form of interaction. "A lot of
humor is saying 'We're teasing,
we're probing, we're saying things
you couldn't normally say, but ulti-
mately it's for fun.'"



Patrons view selections from Bob Mankoff's cartoon exhibit at the Institute for the Humanities yesterday.

It's hard to reconcile the ideal
innocence of humor with its real-
world consequences. Mankoff firm-
ly disagreed with the publications
that decided not to run the contro-
versial Danish cartoons depicting
Mohammed as a suicide bomber.
He spoke of the decision as based
on a culture of fear.
"There's a purpose for
deal with all our ambig-
uous impulses, even
the ones of aggres-
sion, because it's just
mock aggression,"
he said. "Wouldn't
the world be so much
better if we had mock
aggression instead of
real aggression?"
Mankoff and his work are

not new to Ann Arbor. In 2003,
Mankoff was informally invited by
the Knight-Wallace Fellows to give
a series of five lectures in conjunc-
tion with the University's psychol-
ogy department.
Mankoff was able to grant the
University access to the entire
New Yorker cartoon catalogue.
Several avenues of research have
subsequently benefited from the
catalogue's availability, such as a
project tracking pupil dilation at

the moment a spectator compre-
hends a cartoon's punchline.
For Mankoff, there is no last
laugh. He invests equally in ratio-
nal and irrational qualities of
humor, a human emotion he likens
to an unexplored territory.
But for all of his psychology, per-
haps Mankoff's take on cartoons
can be best defined by the two
requirements for his mini-course:
a gift for laughter and a sense that
the world is mad.

Dr. David Fivenson
Clinical Study: Toenail Fungus
Do you have ugly thickened toenails? You may have a toenail
fungus infection. Dr. Fivenson is conducting a 52-week clinical
research study for healthy volunteers ages 16-75 years old with
toenail fungus infection. Qualified participants will receive study
related procedures and will receive compensation for time and
travel. If you or someone you know would like more information, or
would like to schedule a screening visit, please call, 734-222-9630

INFO. SESSION: March 28, 4 p.m. Chemistry Bldg.


Volunteer full-time
Alternative break, summer, or
year-long programs in the
U.S., Israel, & other countries
Change the world for good.

734-973-8380 0 nationalamusements.com

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