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December 03, 2007 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-12-03

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, December 3, 2007 - 5A

The sibling rivalry taken to felonious extremes.

Lu met 's
masterpi ece
There'n something painfully
familiar about being pressured A nd it m ak
or persuaded. Perhaps to steal a
candy bar, or to say something
mean to someone else. You know what it's A f e n.n
like to feel compromised.
But say an older sibling pushed you into
robbing a store. He wouldn't be involved By Blake Goble
directly. He'd just take credit for the idea
and get half of what's
taken. To top it all off, Hawke, "Before Sunset") to perform the
the store happens to aforementioned heist. Andy's in a stunted
belong to your par- e marriage, and he needs extra money to
ents. make the possible escape that might save
And if it all got DeVil KnoWS it. Hank is a dead-beat dad and divor-
fucked up? You're Dead cee looking for dough to help pay for his
Such is the prem- daughter's private-school tuition and
ise of Sidney Lumet's At the State child support.
wickedly , brilliant Theater Both are at the end of their respective
"Before the Devil Thinkfilm ropes and robbing their parents business
Knows You're Dead." seems easy enough. They've worked there.
Assured, lean and They think no will get hurt. But this is no
forceful every minute on screen, "Devil" heist caper, and the robbery goes shock-
makes "Dog Day Afternoon" look opti- ingly wrong.
mistic. It's a fierce domestic tragedy about Completely mis-advertised as a kooky
pained people and the terrible things they crime film,"Before the DevilKnows You're
do to get by. Dead" is much, much more. The robbery is
Skeezy big bro Andy (Philip Seymour just the opening hook, and I strongly urge
Hoffman, "Capote"), at his most deceit- you to do yourself a favor - know no more
a ful, convinces little brother Hank (Ethan than that when you go see it.

A new
kind o
Associate Arts Editor
Advice to those trying to
squeeze a few parties in dur-
ing the last few weeks of the
semester: solve the winter (and final
exam) blues by hosting a funky, heavy
dance party.
With our town freezing itself shut,
it's difficult to find (or go to) very
many parties. This week's High Soci-
ety dishes out a little advice instead.
The Daily has written about soul
clubs and soul proms, and I've recent-
ly had the pleasure ofcstumbling upon
parties with surprise DJs and last-
minute live bands who favor all sorts
of funk, old-school hip hop and allow
guest covers of Herbie Hancock.
But for those who want to throw a
similar deal and have yet to, or would
like to encourage this overallihip
behavior, here's some hints in terms
of dance moves - because grinding
all up on your partner, however fun
(and yes, we have covered this in an
Youknow you
already know
all about the
'slippery slope.
earlier column), doesn't always work
to remixed Stevie Wonder.
Just as ways of dress have come full
circle in the last 20years (high waist-
ed pants, patriotic-striped headgear),
so can the dancing.
Finger snaps, possibly combined
with some arms pumpingup and 6
down soyou can look abitlike Al
Pacino in "Cruising." (Butlet's notget
into "Cruising.")
Dance moves that look as if you're
doingsomethingelse other than danc-
ing, i.e. scramblingup a slippery slope
with your hands, aping Linus from
Charlie Brown small steps (because
of those tight jeans) and accented
stomps (to show off those kid boots).
Combine, if you like, by stomping
one foot and quickly circling around
in small steps until you come full
- Email highsociety@umich.edu.

es Dog Day
seem cheery
Daily Arts Writer

And do go see it. The film goes beyond
the standards and comforts of conven-
tional drama to force its way into your
consciousness, a tragedy of the highest
order. Maybe it's an acquired taste, but to
see such nasty characters pushed so far
is rare. There are four leads that you hate
but dare not ignore.
Andy's older brother has a cruel streak
(he calls his little brother a faggot and
makes fun of his poverty) that makes
Capote seem like a saint. Hoffman is at the
top of his game here, and he's only getting
better at playing a sociopath. The baby in
the family, Hawke's Hank is a true fuck-
up. We want to give him the benefit of the
doubt, but when we see him spend all his
money at the bar, we can't feel sympathy
for him. And he's supposed to be the nice

Albert Finney is the wild card. A bad
father, not on speaking terms with his
sons and self-involved, the man's a sonuv-
abitch. His lust for vengeance after the
robbery turns the film into a thrilling cat-
and-mouse story.
Refreshingly character driven, "Devil"
benefits from four leads that grab atten-
tion the moment they hit the screen. First-
time screenwriter Kelly Masterson finds a
real and despicable voice for his characters
uncomfortable in its harsh clarity. And this
is his first screenplay. At 83, Lumet ("12
Angry Men") is pretty much his opposite,
a veteran who nevertheless directs like
an ace in his prime. An actor's director,
he stages each scene effectively in a non-
linear manner that slinks back and forth
in time. Your stomach knots tighter and
tighter with no resolve in sight. The film
will stay with you and leave you drained
long after the final scene.
Simple in form, "Devil" is outstanding in
execution. We all do things we don't want
to sometimes, but consequences are never
this sensational. Seldom are people so
vicious on film and yet feel so inescapably
human. The movie of the year and prob-
ably many others, "Before the Devil Knows
You're Dead" is harrowingly true.

Akin's subtle
Daily Arts Writer
Nothing empowers an over-
talented person like indie rock.
Nathan Akin is one of the newest
recording solo
albums under ***
pluralmonikers Clearligers
! (he's recruit- Brutal
ed a group of
friends for the Death Maze
live show). His
project Clear Tigers's first LP
has been anticipated since he
began posting early tracks on the
Internet. The final result, Brutal,
combines Akin's considerable
skill with the best of today's
indie sound into a genuinely
impressive debut album.
Opener "Vacation" begins
with a simple, strummed riff
Under another
of those plural Res
monikers, a slightly nasal ton
tive,wavering qu
solid debut. ics are here and
album primarily
individuality and
on a guitar's low strings, call- persona alterna
ing to mind Elliot Smith. Akin's precocious, frenz
voice has none of Smith's distant student just fin
wispiness, however; he chooses and the keynote
instead to channel Thom Yorke graduation. "Star
or Muse's Matthew Bellamy, he advises as hi
delivering his lyrics in a strained, joined by piano a

Same art, different
thought processes

Daily Arts Writer
Said Eric Booth, an actor, author,
businessman and arts educator
at Rackham Amphitheater last
Wednesday in his keynote address,
"I was as engaged and challenged
creating a marketing plan for my
company as I had been when I
played Hamlet."
Booth's Residency was among
a series of events co-sponsored by
the Ross School of Business student
group Arts Enterprise, formed in
2006, which allows students from
the School of Business and the
School of Music, Theatre and Dance
to collaborate on strategies to unify
the arts and business worlds. This
is the first Arts Enterprise Week,
continuingthrough Dec. 5.
"These events are not only about
how business and art influence
each other, but how both coexist,"
said Michael Mauskapf, Arts Enter-
prise's communications officer and
a graduate student in the School of
Rarely do we ever think of art
when we solve for x in a math equa-
tion or dissect a human brain. Pre-
conceived notions define art as only
visually or sonically appealing,
like a painting or a poem. Booth's
address prompted the audience to
question the ability of art to push its
traditional boundaries.
Booth, who believes that art is
a verb and not a noun, discussed
American society's tendency to
classify art based on the type of
work produced, rather than on the
process one takes to make a prod-

* Guest speakerJohn McCan discusses the
new roles of artists and administrators in the
arts tonightfrom 6:30-8 p.m. atWork Gallery,
306 State St.
* Ross School of Business hosts PBS's news-
hour"NOW"and its"Health Care Franchise"
story for a discussion on franchise modeling
in relation to social enterprise, and how PBS
got involved with social enterprisefrom story's
producers on Wednesday at 4:30-6 p.m. atthe
Ross School of Business, room W0750.
"Those verbs of art - the things
artists make when they create those
nouns of art - the things human
beings do when they enter the world
of 'works of art' are the same verbs
all of us use when we creatively
invest in a conversation, and when
we creatively engage in an interest-
ing problem," Booth said.
Through thought experiments
and audience participation, Booth
demonstrated how creative think-
the artistic
ing is something humans have the
capacity to engage in on all levels,
and how, with practice, it becomes a
habit of mind. With this process, we
can broaden the ways we perceive
artistic experiences. For instance,
forming a supply and demand

pect for the polaroid.

ne with an emo-
ality. Those lyr-
throughout the
concerned with
d youth - Akin's
tes between a
ied high-school
ding his voice
speaker at your
rt a revolution,"
is simple riff is
nd reverb-heavy

electric guitar.
Unfortunately, very little
about Akin's music is revolu-
tionary. Clear Tigers is heavily
influenced by indie rock's usual
suspects. Bits of Radiohead, the
Arcade Fire and Animal Collec-
tive are scattered throughout; a
"brutal" round of spot-the-influ-
ence would make for avery effec-
tive drinking game. Somehow,
though, Akin manages to avoid

contrivance and remain surpris-
ing. "Deathray" opens with a
sequenced synth line that would
easily fit into a "Final Fantasy"
game, and the final, lurching
solo ends an otherwise mournful
song of a menacing note. "Kids,"
a waltzing acoustic track with
plenty of tinkling piano, sudden-
ly unleashes a bona fide Lynyrd
Skynyrd-style solo that changes

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