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June 07, 1995 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-06-07

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Newton's favorite band
The Maids of Gravity are playing with
industrial band God Lives Underwater on
Thursday at St. Andrew's Hall; call 961-
MELT for more information.

AiRTSig ti g

June 7, 1995

Eastwood bridges the gaps in'Madison'

By Scott Plagenhoef
DailyArts Editor
"Bridges of Madison County" opens
with the son and daughter of the recently
teceased Francesca Johnson discovering
se collected mementos and memories
of a 30 year-old affair. As the daughter
begins to read a letter containing the now
famous psuedo-new age machodribble
of Robert James Waller's novel, the dis-
traught son commands her to "burn it, to
get rid of it." Fortunately the film does.
Staying true to the characters, loca-
tions, even the narrative structure of the
book, but dissecting the dialogue,
screenwriter Richard LaGraveneses and
9irector Clint Eastwood have trans-
formed water, well actually more like
vinegar, into wine. They have liberated
the passionate story of two individuals,
one bored, one almost too well-traveled,
who find the ultimate connection in four
short days and yet do not secure it, from
the muck of Waller's bloated, mystic
There are a few stray lines that lapse
into the Walleresque, but the film man-

ages to remain grounded; it refuses to film. It is after all a story of how she truly
become flowery or overstated. Much of discovers love years after she thought
the credit lies in the direction of she had and whether she should abandon
America's only rural auteur, Eastwood, her life and family.
who gives a tremendous study in re- Streep's performance does not simply
straint and detail, and the engrossing per- reflect a woman falling in love, but it en-
formance of Meryl Streep. compasses as enriching a character sketch
as in any recent American film. She uses all
of her resources -her face, her body, her
breathing, thectimbre of her voice -to cre-
Bridges of ate a character with a competent, yet te-
dious life, transformed into something
Madison County whole by her four-day love affair and the
Directed by Clint lifetime of memories it subsequently pro-
vided her. Hernear-apoplectic stammering
Eastwood; with Meryl is not a personal gimmick, ala Hugh Grant,
Streep and Eastwood it is the stumbling of a woman confused
At Briarwood and Showcase and consumed. Streep's Francesca
Johnson does not talk the way people act,
she talks the way people speak, and it is
In possibly another decision made to truly transfixing.
distance the book from the faults of the The enduring beauty of the story is
novel, Eastwood allows Streep and her that neither Francesca, nor Robert
character, Francesca Johnson, a bored Kincaid (Eastwood), the "National Geo-
Italian-born housewife whose vision of graphic" photojournalist with whom she
America certainly didn't resemble Iowa, falls in love, are strikingly attractive or
to appropriately take the focus of the even extraordinary people. It's not diffi-

cult to see why Julia Roberts and Richard
Gere or Demi Moore and Patrick
Swayze would be in love, yet Streep and
Eastwood must make you feel that they
are in love. Individually, their characters
are not special, collectively they are.
Yet the film is not without its road
blocks. The script's subplots and lesser
characters are uninvolving and underde-
veloped. The slow deconstruction of the
daughter's marriage is a tired and obvi-
ous metaphor, yet this and the suppos-
edly comic relief of the two siblings, do
little to detract from the film's focus.
Incredible in the simplicity of the
story - much of the film takes place in
a farmhouse kitchen - but startling in
the complexity of the characters,
"Bridges of Madison County" echoes the
restraint of "The Remains of the Day,"
the missed opportunity of "The Age of
Innocence" and, dare one say, the
should-she-stay-or-should-she-go of
"Casablanca." Amidst the current revival
of the '30's and '40's style, light roman-
tic comedies, "Bridges of Madison

-free of frivalty and convention, full of'
passion and heartache. Ironically, in a
summer of young, attractive couples
from Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline to
Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman strug-
gling to pull off cute without sliding into
melodrama, it is the middle-aged Meryl
Streep and Clint Eastwood who manage

Tludhoney refuses to milk the cow
By Matt Carlson - The Cow" is a sloppy, tangled garage- cover of Spin?"
Daily Arts Writer punk mess of power-chords, slide guitar, Mudhoney takes their cynicism
The life ofarock 'n' roll star can be the vocal wails and slurred words, utilizing even further on "Into Your Shtik," the
life of a whore - fame and fortune for all of Mudhoney's influences from the album's best track, when Arm
those whospreadtheirlegs wideenoughto Sonics to Link Wray to the Stooges screeches "Suzie's just a girl who's
give the customers what they crave. So ("1995" an intended rip-off of the doing her job/ Working with the man-
how has Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner Stooges' "1969") - a hell of a fantastic agement to the stars ! Kissing ass is just
n spending his free-time since his band album, but hardly exploitable to the part of the job / Oh she loves her job /
eturned from a European tour two weeks Lollapalooza youth and the MTV-con- What the hell, she does it so well" -
ago? sumed consumers. one line that painted too accurate a
"I've been working in my yard and "I would say we're probably getting portrait of one current MTV/Spin star,
riding my bike." smaller, and that's OK," Turner remarked. Courtney Love.

When: Saturday, June 10
Where: Phoenix Plaza Ampitheater
Tickets: $10 in advance.
oors open at 7:30 p.m.
No, Mudhoney hasn't been cokin' it up
in the Viper Room with Tommy Lee and
Pamela Anderson or jammin' on stage at
Planet Hollywood with Bruce and Demi.
In fact, Mudhoney has made numerous,
questionable marketing mistakes in the last
few months including turning down the
Lollapalooza '95 bill. What the hell kinda
rock stars are they anyway?
"We've been getting these questions
*e what's going to happen to you when
you get really big," Turner. said "Well,
we're not going to, and if we did, we'd
run screaming in terror. Especially now,
after we've seen a bunch of our friends
go through it. Some have handled it
great, but I don't want to handle it. And
thankfully, due to my lack of
songwriting ability, I won't ever have to
handle it."
Steve, you're being a bit too hard on
rself. After all, numerous critics have
appraised Mudhoney's fourth full-length
album "My Brother The Cow" as the
record that would break the band like fel-
low Seattleites and friends Nirvana and
Pearl Jam before them. But "My Brother

"Our tastes are fairly obscure - the stuff
that I've always been into has been un-
popular at best. But we reached the point
we wanted to reach when we got together
and put out a single. We never really had
any goals. Everything's been gravy."
"My Brother The Cow" (named after
a friends response to an outing to Burger
King - "I will not eat of my brother the
cow") also contains some of the best
words that singer/guitarist Mark Arm has
ever penned including two, "Generation
Spokesmodel" and "Into Your Shtik,"
that firmly confirms Mudhoney's entire
opinion on fame. Spin ("That's a maga-
zine I hate," said Turner), one of the larg-
est arenas for bands to spread their gos-
pel, is reduced to rubble when Arm, as-
suming the role of a fantasy rock star, in-
tones "Hey kids, how do I look on the

"At one point, Turner said,
"Courtney was supposedly crying about
how Mudhoney has a song about her. I ac-
tually like Courtney -she's weird -and
I know that that song is about a lot of differ-
ent people. But if she thinks it's about her
... if the shoe fits or something."
In addition to antagonizing industry
icons like Courtney and Spin, Mudhoney
also refused the opportunity to join Love
and her band Hole on Lollapalooza '95
- a chance to deliver the critically ac-
claimed songs from "My Brother The
Cow" to the largest possible audience.
"I hate Lollapalooza," explained
Turner all too easily. "We turned it down
so quickly. The booking agent asked us
if she should accept the calls for
Lollapalooza on our behalf and we

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