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May 08, 1984 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1984-05-08

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ARTS
Tuesday, May 8, 1984

The Michigan Daily

Tapping for

heavy
By Deborah Lewis
This is heavy metal, hard-driving
rock 'n' roll. This is skulls, Stonehenge,
cancelled engagements and crotch-
hugging lycra pants. This is Spinal Tap.
Rob Reiner is the fawning television
commercial director turned "if you
will" Rockumentarian, Marti DiBergi
(shades of Martin Scorcese and 'his
syrupy tribute to The Band in The Last
Waltz.) DiBergi takes us on the road
with Spinal Tap, a five member rock 'n'
roll band which tends to metamorphose
with the trends of the times: Once a
flower power ensemble, now a tongue-
wagging (a la Gene Simmons), crude
heavy-metal band.
The three primary members of Tap,
lead singer David St. Hubbins (Michael
McKean), lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel
(Christopher Guest), and Derek Smalls
(Harry Shearer) are thouroughly
believeable as the gung-ho limeys who
are a bit simple-minded, frequently
vulgar but innocents nonetheless. After
all, isn't it society that molds the
majority of performing artists?
The lyrics to "Big Bottom" certainly
represent the amalgam of social ills
rather than those of five naive,
disillusioned rock puppies - "I met her
on Monday, it was my lucky bun-day, if
you know what I mean."
Promoter/manager Ian Faith (Tony
Hendra) is the ulcerated babysitter for
the boys who aren't quite the teen idols
they once were. When asked by DiBergi
why Tap was now playing in veritable
coffee houses compared to the
magadomes they once (erstwhile)
rocked, Faith confides, "They're not
getting less popular, their appeal is just
becoming more selective."

Page 8
metal
Faith must also cope with the pettiest
of gripes from the band members. In a
pre-concert dressing room scene, Nigel
complains of the bread size, dumbfoun-
ded and discouraged that either the
luncheon meat is too large or the bread
is too small for an appropriate san-
dwich. As with everything else Ian grits
his teeth and tries to remain optimistic.
Reiner and the three center stage
Tappers wrote the script, music and
lyrics which, along with careful atten-
tion to authentic props, costume, and
consistent documentary shooting style,
create the necessary illusion of reality.
Tap faces unexpected hardships on
its first U.S. tour in six years and it's
these dilemmas which charge the
power cell of high voltage satire which
runs on a constant current of humor for
the endurence of the film.
- Spinal Tap accurately and mer-
cilessly parodies rock documentaries in
the vein of Woodstock, The Kids Are
Alright, Don't Look Back, and Gimme
Shelter.
A number of easily stereotyped bands
are suggested through the casual
dialogue, on-stage presence, and Stevie
Nicks-type blonde girlfriends of Tap.
Their recipe for authenticity includes
the hair of Ro5ger Daltrey, the lyrics of
Queen, the eerie pagan themes of the
Moody Blues, the logo of Iron Maiden,
and the intellectual fortitude of Billy
Squire.
This is Spinal Tap has been the pet
project of Reiner, Guest, McKean, and
Shearer for years. Their careful atten-
tion to detail and communal critical eye
sharpen the blade of their satire and at
the same time soften our hearts to the
oscillating fortunes of some guys in a
band.
Bill Murray, Teri Garr, Charles Dur-
ning, and even director Sydney
Pollack. (Friday, May 11; Natural
Science Auditorium, 7:30, 9:40).

Heavy metal gets a new sound when the members of Spinal Tap unleash
their unique (and humorous) brand of rock 'n' roll in Rob Reiner's new
rockumentary, 'This is Spinal Tap.'
Dance
Theatre
Studio
711 N. University
(near State St.)
Ann Arbor
Classes in ballet,
modern, jazz, tap.
New classes begin May 7
For current class schedule
and more
information: 995-4242
1-5 weekdays

A selection of campus film highlights
The Great Dictator
(Charles Chaplin, 1940)
A masterpiece of satire. Hitler and
gang are lampooned in this mis-
treatment of the rise of fascism.
Starring Charlie Chaplin as the Great
Dictator and a lowly barber. (Wed-
nesday, May 9; MLB 3, 9:00).
The Adventures of Robin Hood
(Michael Curtiz, William Keighley,
1938)
Campus
F ilms
The classic telling of the Robin
Hood legend with one of your great
casts: Errol Flynn as the green-
tighted friend of the poor; Olivia de
Havilland as the ever-faithful Maid
Marion; and Basil Rathbone as the
bad guy. Great spectacle, sword-play,
and fairy-tale histrionics. (Thursday,
May10; MLB 3,7:30,9:30).
Tootsie
(Sydney Pollack, 1982)
A near-perfect comedy that can be
enjoyed again and again. Dustin Hof-
fman gets a job playing a woman's
role on a soap opera and all hell
breaks loose. Great acting by a talen-
ted cast, including, Jessica Lange,

Allegro Non Troppo
(Bruno Bozzetto, 1976)
Better than Fantasia. Animated
creatures cavort along to classical
music, but Bozzetto is witty and
emotional where Disney was, though
innovative, simplistic and super-
ficial. Allegro Non Troppo is mar-
velously imaginative at pairing
animation with Ravel, Vivaldi,
Dvorak, and others. (Friday, May 11;
Michigan Theatre, 7:35, 10:30).
Casablanca
(Michael Curtiz,1942)
A required course in film ap-
preciation; if you don't like it, there's
no hope for you. A classic among
classics, this love-triangle among
Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman,
and Paul Henried has more
memorable dialogue than most
novels. Also with Peter Lorre, Sidney
Greenstreet, and Claude Rains.
(Friday, May 1); Lorch Hail, 7:30,
9:30).
-compiled by Richard Campbell

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