6A - Monday, March 11, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Franco and Raimi
talk 'Oz' legacy
The Last Word serves
up intimate experience
By CARLY KEYES
Daily Arts Writer Y
What lies at the end of the yel-
low brick road is no secret, but _
what came before it? What's the
story behind this eccentric land .
of toxic Poppies, flying monkeys,
many munchkins and witches -t
both good and green? Who really f
is that man behind the curtain?'
"Oz the Great and Power-
ful," a prequel to the classic film,
hit theaters this past weekend,
nearly 75 years after Dorothy and
crew made their epic quest.
In a conference call with jour- "Spring Breakers 2.
nalists on Feb. 17, Director Sam
Raimi ("Drag Me to Hell") dis- ters' sense of love that they have
cussed the pressures and plea- for each other. How friends come
sures of creating a new world together, and that very soulful,
while preserving the spirit of the sweet message when we learn
original story. from the Wizard that all of us
"The most challenging part are complete, all of us are broken,
was juggling what part of the lonely individuals and we have
backstory I should include, and within us the thing to make us
what part would be most effec- complete if we only recognize it."
tive if I let the audience use Raimi detailed how he cast the
their own imagination to fill in dynamic roles of these beloved
the blanks,"' Raimi explained. characters. He sought not star-
"Because that's really the secret quality, but actors who possessed
- letting the audience partici- the qualities of the characters,
pate. Not spoon-feeding them such as Mila Kunis ("Ted"),
everything, but giving them just whom he chose to play Theodora,
enough tools to finish building the Wicked Witch of the West in
the bridge and make them their her prime.
own collaborator." . , "The wizard breaks her heart,
Raimi described how he made but then a deep anger starts to
the pivotal creative decisions to stir within her, and she becomes
best answer these daunting ques- a raging woman scorned," Raimi
tions and fulfill his wish to capti- said.
vate viewers. He said he knew Kunis could
"I drew it all from the great handle both sides of the charac-
author L. Frank Baum - his ter, because in "Forgetting Sarah
vision of Oz - that he had written Marshall," she emanated a posi-
about in some 14 books, and I was tive vibe, and in "Black Swan,"
also inspired by the illustrator she took 'on a darker, witchier
Denslow (W.W. Denslow)," Raimi quality.
said. "But more than the visuals, Raimi mentioned how
what inspired me wasthe charac- Michelle Williams ("My Week
By JULIA KLINE
Daily Arts Writer
It might be counterintuitive to
write aboutthose Ann Arbor bars
that fly beneath the radar. Part of
their appeal lies in small crowds
and the feeling of being in on a
secret, but I also want to sip fancy
cocktails and call it research, so
let's go out for a nightcap.
Pushing through the
unmarked and unassuming red
doors at 301 Huron Street, you
enter a dimly lit saloon reminis-
cent of a 1920s speakeasy. The
Last Word is a dreamy tapestry
of dapper waitstaff, dark wood
paneling and erudite novels. The
latter are just bindings that have
been repurposed to hold lists of
fanciful cocktails. Some of the
novel ingredients include egg
whites, honey and orange peel.
Adam Lowenstein and Rob-
bie Schulz, two of the bar's four
owners, told me they didn't set
out to recreate the Prohibition
era. Instead, they wanted to take
the best of speakeasy style - the
cozy, intimate environment -
without going too far with the
kitsch. Accordingly, there's no
hidden door or secret password.
The owners said the bar's raison
d'&tre is to serve fantastic craft
drinks. Contrast that with a true
of the s
asy, where you might have the bar's forte, but there was a
d bathtub gin, and I'll take certain authenticity to the grog,
talgia the way The Last which was historically imbibed
erves it, even if it is a bit by pirates and navy men.
d down. Patrons come to The Last
bar's moniker is a refer- Word for the .atmosphere, which
a Prohibition-era cocktail is a bit more sophisticated than
ame name that originated the typical Ann Arbor bar, and
roit. The drink was for- also for the theme nights. On
for many decades until Wednesdays, The Last Word
rgence in the popular- hosts Whiskey Appreciation
craft cocktails brought it Nights, which Schulz described
'om obscurity. Today, the as "a secret night in the secret
l, which is a combination bar." Whiskey enthusiasts can
lime juice, maraschino sample half-off scotch, bourbon
and green Chartreuse, is and rye, some of which comes
I in bars around the globe. from local distilleries. Tuesdays
feature craft beer and a live DJ
spinning 45s. The music selec-
Arbory tion ranges from funk and soul to
.nn Arbors '80s, making the place even more
of an anachronism.
p a '~ The Last Word was created to
iithout the fill a void in the Ann Arbor bar
scene, and the result is some-
athtub gin, thing a little more mature and
definitely more resistant to cate-
. gorizationthan other local estab-
lishments. The owners enforce a
my first visit to the boozy maximum occupancy, meaning
apsule called The Last the bar will maintain its intimate
I sipped a dainty mint atmosphere as its popularity
tion that tasted like dis- grows. For those who need a ref-
appiness. My companion uge from the noisy pubs of South
sample his grog, a fierce University, The Last Word offers
ace that left my throat a welcome retreat to a more
g. Cocktails are clearly refined era.
with Marilyn"), who plays Ann
a youthful Glinda the Go.
Witch, radiated a "very swe
aura" perfectly fit for the role.
"I needed an actress that h
a good soul. So, suddenly th
ruled out about 90 percent
the actresses in Hollywood,"l
James Franco ("Lovelace
steps in as the enigmatic wizat
reuniting with Raimi, whol
worked with in the "Spider-Ma
trilogy, for a fourth collabor
tion. This time around entail
an entirely new working relatio
"I was a supporting chara
ter (in 'Spider-Man'), and Sa
identifies with his lead chara
ters very closely, so lie very mu
identified with Peter Parke
Franco said. "Because my cha
acter was trying to kill (him)
think Sam blamed me for th
not in a harsh way, but I felt li
I got a little less love than Tob
Maguire, just because of what t
character was doing. Now th
I'm the protagonist, I felt a 1
more of Sam's love on this film.
See OZ, Page 8
raWANT TO WRITE ABOUT BARS
z AND OTHER COOL PLACES
h-~ AROUND TOWN?
at, JOIN THE DAILY ARTS COMMUNITY CULTURE BEAT!
IA E-mail email@example.com to request an application.
RELEASE DATE- Monday, March 11, 2013
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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mattress, e.g. winter 41 Tea of Tower 52The Big Easy
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the salon race? ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:
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3 Region By Jeff Chen 03/11/13
(c)2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
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