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April 15, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-15

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The Michigan Daily - rnichigandaily.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 5

'Enemy' underwhelms



I wonder what Angie did with my blood."
Freeman shines in
FX 'Fargo'rboo


can I
ed to
on l
the de
ing th
to be.
a diff
ries ti
the m
to cre
in a s

llar scenery pays conversation promisesto change
each of their lives and Lester's
omage to classic Minnesota town forever.
n m What "Fargo" does
,-oen Bros.fillm remarkably well is set up a
sense of place, creating a very
ByALEXINTNER specific world. Given that FX
Daily Arts Writer airs "Justified," it shouldn't be
surprising that another one of
er the success of "Ameri- their shows can capture this
Horror Story," FX decid- particular slice of life. From
expand its presence in the snowy backgrounds to the
"limited accents, the show's location is
field, unique and special in its own
recently right, capturing the "charm"
Ssuccess Fargo of Minnesota. It also utilizes
HBO in its aesthetics to create some
Detec- SeriesPremiere striking imagery, especially at
This AMC the opening of each episode.
lay marks A world like the one created
ebut of its isn't interesting if it's not
recent entry: "Fargo." Tak- filled with interesting people,
e location and some of the and "Fargo" was able to cast
cter archetypes from the fantastic actors to fill those
of the same name, each roles. Thornton is giving a
n of "Fargo" is designed remarkable performance as
a closed-ended story with Lorne. He's playing a character
erent cast and set of char- that doesn't show emotion often,
. What results is a minise- but makes his presence known
hat's a great entry into the in every scene. And, when he
, using the elements from breaks out of his straight faced
ovie and its fantastic cast character, it's amazing.
ate a fascinatingnew story. Although Thornton is great
rgo" follows what happens and will probably earn an Emmy
Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob nomination later this year,
ton, "Armageddon") a Freeman is the star here. His
with a sketchy past, arrives character changes immensely
mall Minnesota town and in the first episode alone from
Lester Nygaard (Martin a person who can't stand up
nan, "Sherlock"). Their for himself to someone who is

capable of some horrible acts
of violence. Freeman makes it
seem realistic that the character
could flip 180 degrees, without
losing the core of his personality.
It's exceptional work. Plus, the
British Freeman accomplishes
a decent Minnesota accent.
He slips in and out at times in
the pilot, but he gains more
confidence as the series goes on.
I'd call him a lock for an Emmy
nomination as well.
Thornton and Freeman are
the main reason why the "cat
and mouse" element of the
show is so fascinating. Even if
some of the things stopping the
cops from making their arrests
feel like they're artificially
inserted, especially with the
incompetence of Molly's (new-
comer Allison Tomlin) new
boss, played by Bob Odenkirk
("Breaking Bad"). Lester and
Lorne's attempts to throw the
cops off their scent are'fascinat-
ing because of the actor's per-
formances. It's just enough to
make up for the artificial story
obstacles thrown in the depu-
ties' way by the writers.
It seems like the "limited
series" genre is here to stay.
As long as we get shows like
"Fargo," with its brilliant
performances and fantastic
sense of place, it's a great
thing for the future of FX and
television in general.

Daily Arts Writer
The best way to watch
"Enemy" is without knowing
anything beforehand. Don't
read the
page. Don't
read any Enemy
(except this StateTheater
one). Watch A24
the trailer if
only because
it's misleading and doesn't truly
reflet the film's absurdity.
The reason to go into
"Enemy" blind is because the
movie relies on unpredictability
and shock factor. It works:
You'll lean back several
times while watching with
an uncomfortable, churning
feeling in your gut. And the
ending may be one of the most
unexpected and jarring endings
of all time - people remained
rooted in their seats, wide-eyed,
as the credits roll.
"Enemy," directed by Denis
Villeneuve ("Prisoners"),
stars Jake Gyllenhaal ("End
of Watch") as Adam Bell, a
depressed history professor
who spends every day
teaching the same lectures
on dictatorship to a glassy-
eyed group of undergraduates.
Each day after expounding
upon Hegel he goes home to
his sparse apartment and has
loveless sex with his girlfriend
Mary (M6lanie Laurent, "Now
You See Me"). The routine falls
apart when Adam spots his
doppelganger Anthony Claire,
also played by Gyllenhaal, in a
movie and becomes obsessed
with meeting him.
The movie is far from your
typical thriller. As it begins, an
epigraph emblazoned on screen
says, "Chaos is order not yet
deciphered." The pace is tense
but slow, interspersed with
surrealist frames of spiders in


"What you looking at, POLE?!"

film f
this is
says t
is sym
in you
the sa

is sexual contexts and But where does all this
us strings and bass. The metaphor lead the film? The
rop of Toronto looks moody imagery, in-your-face
in smog - ill, latticed thematic messages and random
telephone lines that look spiders - they cram the film
spider webs, uninviting. with aDeep Meaning, butit's too
y. vague and unspecified for the
oughout the confusion, viewer to reach it. How do the
euve inserts clues into the spiders relate to the characters'
or us to put together. "It's sexual relationships? Though
tant to understand that Villeneuve is a master of
a cycle that repeats itself," presentation, fastidiously
lectures on oppression structuring his storyline with
ghout history. Then he artistic sequences, he falls short
:he same line to another of giving it substance. "Enemy"
is a glossy and mesmerizing
package with nothing inside.
There must be some
unexpected, significance in how Adam first
-rn esees Anthony in a movie, since
"' we're watching a movie too.
The screen is a reflection of
reality, and in this case reveals
how grotesque life's banality
a few minutes later. It's the can be, as Adam's dull routine
hideous, garish neon sign is punctuated by Kafkaesque
le, blaring the words, This events and a confrontation
rbolic! Talk about this part with the self, which terrifies
rfilm class! The film is all rather than fulfills Adam. It's
repetition and parallels - a dark movie - literally, since
in history, the physical characters never turn the light
blance between Mary and on while indoors, preferring to
ny's wife Helen (Sarah move about in gloom so as to,
n, "A Dangerous Method"), again, hammer in a symbolic
me scenes of Adam in the message. Are we all walking
er, staring at his shaking in darkness? Is life but a dingy
apartment with bad lighting?

Afghan Whiggin' out

Daily Arts Writer
Remember those
multicolored Transformers
toys your mother used to buy
you when you
were nine?
You know, the
ones that could Do the
be whatever
you wanted to Beast
be, and could Afghan Wigs
surpass your
adolescent e~ne Music
short attention
span with its
ability to reconstruct at any
given moment?
Imagine what it would be
like if music had the power to
do the same. What if a band
could evolve and grow through
the span of only an album and
recreate itself from start to
finish while still maintaining its
Let me introduce you to The
Afghan Whigs'Do the Beast. The
band's first record in 16 years
and first after being reunited
as a band last year, Do the Beast
tells a story of dimness and
obscurity, drawing on minor
progressions and sweltering
melodies to showcase emotion
through every mix.
As the album opens with
"Parked Outside," it's clear
that The Afghan Whigs has
reemerged unblemished,
reunited as a band that remains
just as experimental as it was
two decades ago. Still, the light
jazz-influenced, avant-garde
rock the band categorized itself
under in its last record, 1965,
appears tobe nothing more than
a reminiscence of the past, and
the sex appeal in tracks such
as "Somethin' Hot" and "John
the Baptist" has dissolved just
as the band did in 2001. But in
return, The Afghan Whigs has
given us a sultry record that



The Backstreet Boys haven't aged well.

Do t
No, it'
track i
start t
an une
you ba:
riff th
a Midd
as the
you be
your fl

us casted to the bass line There's no doubt: very few
he very end. bands know their sound as well
he Beast isn't an album. as The Afghan Whigs. With
s an experience. Every lyrics that hardly sound through
is evolutionary, with no the variations of instruments
sounding the same from that pound through every
o finish. There's always track, it's evident that the focus
xpected riff, a seemingly of each track remains intact
ntal melody that grips through founder and frontman
ck into each song midway Greg Dulli's vibrant mixes.
h. "Matamoros" is a The Afghan Whigs may be
orphosis, with a thematic more bass-driventhanithasever
sat begins by drawing been before, but it's a change
that's welcome. The band has
abandoned its technical polish
and classical undertones for
) the Beast' a energetic melodies, drawing on
international music and cross-
dess reunion. genre rhythmic elements. A
lot has changed in music since
1998 - rock 'n' roll began
relying more on low-toned
tion from experimental resonances to assert its genre
later renewing itself in while alternative became a brew
le Eastern scale. In the of both pop and rock rather
for a Tango? Turn on than standing out as a genre
s." The eerily nostalgic of its own. Do the Beast is an
bass that starts off example of The Afghan Whigs
in Woods" is far from exploiting that transition,
entative of its entirety, making music that experiments
piano leads into an among different genres rather
ation of instruments, than conforming to any one
es and themes, leaving definition of music.
hind with nothing but If anything, the result is
eeting breath. flawless.


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