8A - Monday, January 31, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
8A - Monday, January 31, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Looking at style
on the stage
of a 19
atham doesn't sex and hard drugs will all flash
across the screen; but you won't
k, shoots guns be leaving with too many mem-
ead in new film Statham plays a contract
killer named Arthur Bishop,
By BEN VERDI about to retire from his dirty-
DailyArts Writer but-lucrative profession until
he meets Steve McKenna (Fos-
e Mechanic" is a remake ter), a young man who wants to
72 film by the same name become a trained hitman - the
ig Charles Bronson. twist being that Bishop's last
on was secret kill was Steve's father.
lar of Steve's first lesson is that there's
smo no time for weak, emotional
his The Mechanic bullshit when trying to kill
- much people in violent and expensive
Jason At Quaity16 ways. Statham's characters usu-
m, the and Rave ally know this well, and he says
f this little to his apprentice and only
e, is CBS Films friend even while they're out
ing killing people.
Bronson injected films It almost feels uncomfort-
'he Dirty Dozen" and five able how little the characters
nt movies called "Death speak in this movie, but the rela-
with enough testoster- tive absence of dialogue oddly
blow up one of the cars ends up adding something to the
'em to explode whenever experience, once you get used
r-apparent Statham is on to it. And, knowing Statham,
L. it shouldn't come as a surprise
if you see this modern that this film lacks lines. Just
e of "The Mechanic," looking at his career, and the
:arring Ben Foster ("The titles of movies he's been in (like
nger"), you should bring "Snatch," "Crank," "War," "Lon-
ne to talk to. That is, you don," "Chaos"), it's pretty clear
be hearing much from the the guy appreciates brevity.
ters who spend 90 min- Something Statham can com-
rying to kill each other. municate with a grunt or stare is
s will blow up; people always better than something he
murdered and betrayal, has to talk about.
Good. Now let's see the white swan.
Despite how modernized and
drenched in special effects "The
Mechanic" becomes, you can
tell the story itself was taken
from the '70s. That is, there is no
clear hero, no person we're sup-
posed to relate to or sympathize
with and no one, in the end, who
we can point to and call "good."
This action movie is fun, but it's
also dark. It presents a world in
which ridiculous, murderous
stunts go off without a hitch
and there seem to be too many
thugs, criminals and hitmen
to possibly live with any peace
of mind. Above all, it depicts a
world in which there is no jus-
tice save for what is rogue, cold-
blooded and ruthless.
Perhaps the silence inherent
to this film is not something
we're supposed to get used to.
Perhaps the fact that Statham
understands the merciless-
ness of this world is the reason
he has so little to say about it.
Maybe we're not meant to draw
any conclusion from this film
apart from the fact that the
world is terrible, and the sooner
we pack heat against it the safer
Stoic Statham makes himself
seem like the man to ask about
the justice, discipline and what
desolate fate awaits us all. But,
in "The Mechanic," he makes
it clear that he doesn't want to
talk about it.
By ARIELLE SPECINER
Daily Arts Writer
There are many paradoxical
problems in this world, like the
chicken-or-egg debacle. But the
one we are concerned with at the
moment is this: Does music influ-
ence fashion, or does fashion influ-
Fashion has always made a big
statement in the music world. The
style of music a band plays often
determines what its members will
wear while performing. Imag-
ine The Ramones with perfectly'
slicked-back hair sportingsuits and
ties while rocking out on stage, or
Jimi Hendrix not in a silk robe with
wild hair sprouting from a bandana.
It just wouldn't compute.
Style is a significant component
of what a band sounds like. As we
live ina visual media-driven world,
appearance is everything. Now,
before you criticize my materialis-
tic approach to music, please con-
sider the fact that music probably
wouldn't be as cool if it didn't look
cool. For example, contemplate
the punk era - those rock stars
wouldn't seem as legitimate with-
out torn-up cigarette jeans and
messy bed-head hair paired with a
plaid flannel peeking out of a black,
leather, studded motorcycle jacket.
Looking badass is half the battle.
The style of songs a band or
musician plays on stage determines
their presence on stage, and with
that comes their wardrobe. Still
not convinced? Think about a more
modern, less era-driven band like
Vampire Weekend.*The Upper East
Side preppsters wouldn't be half as
fun without their Burberry button-
downs, blazers and Ralph Lau-
ren khakis. Their style makes the
band's sound, and the sound makes
the style. There is no chance in hell
I could take their profoundly intel-
ligent lyrics seriously without an
educated flair in their apparel.
However, some may argue that
bands with a conformed style are
just products of their record label.
Take '90s boy bands, for instance.
boys of *NSYNC did not enjoy con-
forming and collaboratingtheir red
carpet-ready outfits just to make a
statement they were agroup. People
like individuality, and music is often
about individuality and uniqueness.
So in order to express their creativ-
ity further, musicians often create
their own styles.
She & Him is one of my favorite
bands,and one ofmylifelongdreams
is to raid singer Zooey Deschanel's
closet. I love the romantic frills and
girly silhouettes of her style, and
you can bet that when I saw She &
Him live and noticed Zooey wear-
ing a blue; 1950's flare-out, lace and
tulle dress, I rummaged through
every vintage store I encountered to
find a dress just like hers (I failed).
Zooey's fashion sense' meshes well
with the type of music she produces
and a sort of presence is created.
And I, like others, want to emulate
that presence - with that presence
comes a liking to a certain style of
But which one
It is obvious that there's an ele-
ment of fashion in music - why
else would we care who was wear-*
ing what to the Grammy Awards
or want to dive into a pile of plaid
pullovers and sweater vests after
every time we saw the Tommy Hil-
figer commercial featuring Vampire
Weekend's "Holiday?" There is a
correlation, and while there is still
no saying which inspireswhich, one
thingis for sure - in order to sound
the part, you have to look it too.
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