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July 28, 1989 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1989-07-28

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily
Who in Detroit: not
kids, but still Alright
BY MICHAEL PAUL FISCHER opera Tommy employed unpre-
"We are a bunch of guys," de- dictable segues between instrumental
clared an aging Pete Townshend passages and radio standards like
proudly - as roaring applause fol- "We're Not Gonna Take It," and
lowing "Won't Get Fooled Again" "Pinball Wizard." And aside from the
reverberated through the giant Pon- band's rousing versions of Town-
tiac Silverdome - "who have the shend solo hits like "Face the Face"
impudence to call ourselves The and the raging "Rough Boys," as
Who." well as bassist John Entwistle's
Certainly nobody in the audience lugubrious "Boris the Spider," the
of 50,000 was about to challenge band offered a stunning, incendiary
any longer the claim of these three cover version of John Lee Hooker's
men to the territory they had for- "I'm a Man" and an explosive, heart-
saken along with their name seven tearing encore of Jimi Hendrix's
years ago. The footsteps of a "Hey Joe," featuring Townshend's
rock'n'roll dinosaur echoed in the astonishingly charged blues solos.
rumbling thunderclaps of Simon And of course, the motionless En-
Phillips' bass-drums and had struck twistle reeled off mind-boggling
the place with awe - and Town- licks throughout with a customary
shend knew it. A comic fit of tri- nonchalance.
umphant breast-beating was the But these guys are getting on in
animated guitarist's final gesture be- the years; and like the Gilmour pro-
fore leaving the stage. duction, they've brought in a bur-
For two-and-a-half hours Tuesday geoning crew of back-up musicians
night, The Who suddenly stood once to lighten the stadium-sized load a
again as the greatest rock'n'roll bit. Townshend, in particular, is af-
group on the planet. flicted by a debilitating ear problem,
And I'll admit that it came as a tinnitus, which requires protection
bit of a surprise. Out come the Who from amplified noise - forcing him
members proper (down to three with to play acoustic guitar about two-
the dismissal of Kenney Jones, who thirds of the time, handing the elec-
replaced Keith Moon on drums in tric leads over to the adept Steve
1977), looking as though their Bolton, a gaunt Scotsman with a
stylistic paths have diverged some- foot-high punked pompadour; the
what since the ill-fated 1982 two-guitar set-up allows Townshend
"Farewell" tour: vocalist Roger Dal- to add circling arpeggioed overlays to
trey, in boot-cut jeans, appears an expansive "Eminence Front."
barechested in a Bono-esque leather There's a usually superfluous
vest, blond curls bushing down to five-man horn section, three back-up
his shoulders; the bearded Town- singers, a percussionist, and long-
shend, balding hair back in a pony- time associate John "Rabbit" Bun-
tail, is wearing a baggy black suit, drick, who contributes beautiful
white T-shirt, and jogging shoes; keyboards and synth to a magnificent
greying bassist John Entwistle wears "Love, Reign o'er Me." The wall of
black polyester and a silver sequined sound created by it all implodes
waistcoat. But the 15-piece band, Townshend's "Give Blood" into ca-
unlike the four-man Who which dis- cophony, and a hoarse Daltrey can't
integrated on stage at Live Aid, falls match the volume of the band at
together immediately into a tight large until late on; but during the
groove, show's killer second set instruments
American audiences generally build upon the snarling chords of
make a point of getting truly wasted "Won't Get Fooled Again" and the
before shows like this, so they're legendary riffs of "Baba O'Riley" for
going to go apeshit for their fa- a symphonic blast which positively
vorites no matter how things turn quakes the stadium. Behind it all is
out; but far from going through the The Who's secret weapon, the manic
requisite motions like the passion- power of awesome drummer Simon
less Las Vegas revae/world tour of Phillips.
David Gilmour's Pink Fraud - still But wasn't it all just a sell-out
playing dates in Europe right now anyway? Townshend, publicly the
off the same exact set-list brought to most socially-conscious member of
the Silverdome two summers ago - the re-formed Who, has unabashedly
the Who's set selection and perfor- admitted that he's only in it for the
mances prove challenging and often money (projected take-in: $30 mil-
inspired. lion). The concert's intro - the
Although vocalist Roger Dal- galloping TV theme from Bonanza
trey's first wide-radius microphone - is perhaps an in-joke referring to
whirl was as sure-fire a crowd-pleaser the stunning financial success of the
as Townshend's trademark windmill 40-date U.S. tour.
strums, the opening 40-minute
medley of songs from the 1970 rock See Dinosaur, p. 10

Page 9

Sanpao, the bandit chieftain (Ji Cun Hua), is prepared for torture in Zhang Yimou's Red Sorghum.
Love, violence haunt Red China
BY NABEEL ZUBER. On her return to the winery, the nese prints. You can't help but be
No two ways about it; Zhang bride finds that Big Head Li ha: been reminded of the fluidity and grace of
Yimou's Red Sorghum is a must for killed. She persuades the workers to Oriental art.
anyone with the slightest interest in stay and make a go of the winery, But unlike painterly movies
cinema. The movie won the coveted and promise" to work alongside made in Europe and Hollywood, Red
Golden Bear prize at the 1988 Berlin them as fellow worker, not feudal Sorghum never comes across as an
Film Festival, the first Chinese mistress. The first half of the movie exercise in pure style. Its visual de-
production to do so. One only hopes follows the fortunes of the house- meanor may make allusions to John
that films like this still have a hold and the awkward romantic ten- Ford and Akira Kurosawa but its
chance to be made despite recent sion between the young widow and swagger and humor owe more to
events in the People's Republic. the head carrier. The second half Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns.
Narrated by the protagonists' deals with the Japanese invasion The comparisons with Kurosawa are
unseen grandson, Red Sorghum is years later when their son is nine predictable, given that both film-
set in the China of the 1920s and years old. Both romantic comedy and makers are from the Orient and both
1930s. The story begins with a historic drama are conveyed with a have a sweeping and brash style. But
young bride's journey in a sedan remarkably assured, confident hand Zhang paints with fine touches of
chair toward a pre-arranged future by first-time director Zhang. color as well as with broad brush-
with Big Head Li, the leprous owner Before this movie, Zhang had strokes. He shoots in sharp, dark
of a sorghum wine distillery. As the gained plaudits for his cinematogra- reds and in shadowy sunlight. His
party of bride, winery workers and phy on Chen Kaige's highly ac- direction registers a whole repertory
sedan carrier makes its way through claimed Yellow Earth. Zhang's eye of gestures that have little to do
the wild, swaying sorghum, it is at- for detail and the flair of Gu Chang- with words. The gazes between the
tacked by a hooded bandit who forces wei's cinemascope photography two lovers are charged with static
the bride out of her traditional con- make Red Sorghum a visually electricity; movement of characters
cealment in the sedan chair. How- sumptuous feast. Each image is has the elegant simplicity and al-
ever, the main sedan carrier kills the composed with the loving care and most ritualistic nature of Oriental
assailant after catching a glimpse of attention you find in classical Chi- See China, p.10
the beautiful bride.
After the wedding ceremony, the
bride is on her way home for a few Vi a ATENTION-
days according to tradition. Once 0TTETIN :
more she is abducted by a hooded M -Care HM O
bandit, who carries her kicking and M C r H
screaming into the wild sorghum. participants-
He reveals himself to be the head
carrier, and they make love in the We are your
sorghum. This is one of the most "*" neighborhood pharmacy!
highly charged romantic movie "e. -";
scenes since John Garfield and Lana *,*e" 1112S. University 663-5533
Turner got it together in The Post ee Daily 9-6 cosed $unday
man Always Rings Twice.

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