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May 10, 1995 - Image 18

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-05-10

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18 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Richardson and Harris
save a dry'Tom & Viv'

By Sarah Rogacki
Daily Arts Writer
During the height of modernism, T.S.
Eliot said that poetry was an escape from
emotion and identity. Yet, ifithad not been
for his passionate relationship with Vivien
Haigh-Wood, much of his most famous
verse would have never gleaned the page.
Director Brian Gilbert brings this
little known love affair to the screen with
the sleeper hit "Tom and Viv." Featuring
Willem Dafoe and Miranda Richardson
in the title roles, Gilbert unravels the
story of the mythic poet's whirlwind
courtship of a young radicai from an old
British family, and the couple's twenty
year devotion to the publication of
Eliot's work. Wrought with emotional
problems due to mysterious "women's
troubles," Vivien proves a burden to
Eliot during his ascension in the
Bloomsbury literary circle. Her mood
swings and sporadic outbursts cause an
ever-growing chasm between the two.
Although Vivien serves as both inspira-
tion and editor of much of his early work,
Eliot and Vivien's brother Maurice de-
cide to institutionalize her under the Lu-
nacy Act, which imprisoned more than
30,000 women during the early part of the

century. Vivien spends the rest of her life
in a mental ward under her husband's or-
ders. Vivien dies in the asylum in 1947;
T.S. Eliot wins the Nobel Prize for Poetry
the following year.
Like some of Eliot's most intellectu-
alized poetry, this film can feel dry and
slow moving at times. Although the cos-
Tom & Viv
Directed by Brian Gilbert;
with Miranda Richardson
and Willem Dafoe
At the State Theater
turning and warm cinematography gives
the film all the charmof a stunning period
piece, some sequences drag and the writ-
ing proves ineffective in places. While
more of Eliot's work could have been
worked into the piece, Gilbert stays true to
the script's focus - a portrait of a mar-
riage. The loss of Vivien's own literary tal-
ents and her systematic victimization by
the medical community gives insight into
the woman behind the artist, as well as the

mass disregard for women's health during into the family and then subsequently dis
this era. misses him after her daughter's committal
In fact, women's performances save Although a fine actor in all respects
the film from being a total bore. Dafoe's Eliot is both stodgy and spinel4
Richardson, much deserving of her recent and at times annoying.
Oscar nomination, shows a wide range of Even though the film is meant tc
emotion in her portrayal of the mentally reach a larger audience, only hard-cor
troubled Vivien. Herhysteriaeven borders Eliot fans will appreciate "Tom anc
on comedy in some scenes, particularly Viv." While the dramatic styling o;
when chasing Virginia Woolf and another Richardson does prevent the film fron
Blooomsburian with arubber knife. Rose- being a complete snooze, even crusty lit
mary Harrisgives a stellar supporting per- erary types will find it hard to stay awak
formance as Rose Haigh-Wood, the strong through a whole screening. Curl up with
matriarch who welcomes the young Eliot good book instead.

As you will find out when playing
'Myst" for the first time, opening the
)ox is like walking into another di-
tpension. According to the instruc-
tions, you are a bystander who has
stumbled upon a "most intriguing"
book. Not knowing where it came
from, who wrote it, or how it got there,
the text still fills your imagination with
thoughts of a remote island. Upon
reaching the end of the book, your
hand touches the final page. Every-
thing around you vanishes, and you
find yourself in this world that has just
been described. Not able to determine
what has happened, you must explore.

And thus, you have entered the world
of "Myst."
Created by Cyan, a company
formed by two brothers, Rand and
Robin Miller, "Myst" is a first attempt
to produce a goal-oriented adult game.
After two years of collaboration, they
have created a fantasy adventure game
that provides hours of enjoyment and
puzzles. They have assembled places
to explore, all with such amazing clar-
ity that it's easy to forget that they're
not real. They have made the island of
Myst come alive.
"Myst" is not linear, it's not flat, and
it's not shallow. The vivid scenes utilize
a wide range of colors, and the use of 3D
adds to the feeling of reality. Small de-
tails prevail in each screen, from shad-
ows to rippling water, and it is in these
details that the mysteries of "Myst" take
root. The puzzles are all solvable, but

each one takes logic and information
taken from both real life and previous
play. The true key to solving "Myst" is
becoming a part of it as though you were
really there.
As in life, "Myst" is not a game in
which one dies very often. In fact, it's
very possible to make it through the
entire game without dying. Myst's
only fault is that it is all seen through
the eyes of your character. This means
that you cannot move a character
around inside each screen. Instead, the
scene appears still before your eyes.
This can be distracting when taking
into account the fluidity of the game,
but without this factor, the 3D would
be much less effective.
Overall, "Myst" is an outstanding
game. With precisely accurate sound,
everything from seagulls to rushing
water, and minute details, "Myst" chal-
lenges every sense with puzzles and
tricks that would amuse and perplex
any fantasy lover.
And, for those not interested in
spending money on a hint book, use a
UM computer and look up the follow-
ing World Wide Web site: http://
ww .yahoo.com/Entertainment/
Games/Myst This site can be reached
on Univesity computers through
Netscape and it gives good walk
throughs and hints for the game with-
out charge.
-Lice Har win

e y e w e a r

Half Japanese are full-fledged legends
Half Japanese are arguably the quintessential Indle-rock band. The group's
leader, Jad Fair, started the band with his brother In the mid-'70s. Inspired by the
minimalism of the Velvet Underground and the bizarre musings of his own brain,
Half Japanese proceded to make lots and lots of songs about monster movies
and puppy love to wild critical acclaim. Indeed, the band's simple-but-beautiful
asthetic has garnered many fans and imitators over the years, including Kurt
Cobain and the Velvet Underground's Maureen Tucker (who played with the band
for a time). Last year's "Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King"
documented the band's long and varied history for both longtime fans and
newcomers to the Half Japanese legend. With all of that and a new album
coming out in June, what more do you need to convince you to go to this
show? Half Japanese play the Shelter next Sunday, May 14. Tickets are jum
$8.50 for those 18 and over. Call (313) 961-MELT for more information.

Think You're Pregnant?
. Free Pregnancy Test A
" Information about pregnancy K-mart
and options WASHTEN w Cleary
GNA =College
Pregnancy Counseling Center e "" PACKARD
Women Helping Women Ypsilanti
(313) 434-3088 (24 hours) HighSchool
2950 Packard, Ypsilanti, MI (I Block East of Golfside) a

FALL '95
1 & 2 BDRM. APTS.
Varsity 4
625 Church St. " 668-1100
Mon-Fri. also Sat. and Sun. showings

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