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July 03, 1996 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1996-07-03

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REE SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL
The Center for Japanese Studies kicks off the
Free Summer Film Festival 1996 this Friday with
a screening of Shiro Toyoda's 1957 film, "Snow
Country." Showing is at 7 p.m. at the Natural'
Science A uditorium - admission is free.

ARTS

'Hunchback' has Disney charm, lacks in animation

Sil rts Wrt voiced well by Jason Alexander, Charles
Kimbrough and Mary Wickes, whose perfor-
It's summer, so it must be time for a new mances keep the film from becoming unbear-
Disney marketing blitz, uh, I mean animated fea- ably tense. The heroic leads are all voiced
ture. The heavy-handed message-bearerthisntime acceptably, although Hulce and Moore's
is Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." voices are a little uninteresting, with Kevin
It's the story of Notre Dame's deformed bell- Kline providing a moderately more entertain-
-ringer Quasimodo (Tom Hulce) and his journey ing performance.
out into the world of medieval Paris that has The animation, however, is very uneven.
been denied him by his The opening sequence
repressive, gypsy-hating mas- EVI Ew seems second-rate as far
ter Frollo (Tony Jay). Quasi is , The Hunchback ofNotre Dame as Disney animation
lured out by the raucous glit- S isrted by Gary Trousdale and Kirk goes. Much of the
ter of the Festival of Fools, with the voices orom Huce, emi movement is unconvinc-
and meets the beautiful gypMy MoeKvin Cline andonyJ ay ing and the colors are
Esmerelda (Demi Moore, in *** especially unsatisfying.
her first of two exotic-dancing The animation improves
roles this summer). Quasi falls in love at first fairly quickly, but the colors in the film are
sight but Esmerelda thinks he's wearing a great terrible, conveying none of the Gothic intent
mask. Frollo ends up taking undue interest in of the story in scenes with any amount of
Esmerelda, and sends his gallant Captain of the light. Low-light scenes have satisfying hues,
Guards, Phoebus (Kevin Kline), after her. but there aren't enough of them. They seemed
Esmerelda escapes to Notre Dame and is given to be trying to make too much of the film too
sanctuary there, and Phoebus and Esmerelda start happy.
taking undue interest in each other. Frollo wants The misuse of computer-generated images
to either have Esmerelda for himself or destroy (CGI) is also troublesome. In the last scene,
her. The movie progresses relatively predictably a CGI crowd is milling around and is sharp
from there, underlining the old Disney moral that and clear, while the painted buildings around
it's what's inside that counts. them are hazy and out of focus, making for
The voices in "Hunch" are done very well. an unacceptably incongruous effect. Notre
Tony Jay's Frollo is typically villanous and Dame's facade itself is fairly sharp and clear,
authoritative, and is very effective. The but is afflicted with some nasty CGI effects,
comic-relief gargoyles of the movie are found largely in the glinting of the sun off of

one of its stained-glass windows, but also in
some disastrously jarring twirling-perspec-
tive shots that don't mask their technology at
all.
"Hunch" is a Disney movie, and as such,
has all the usual charm. But with nine ani-
mated feature films in the last 10 years, and
another on its way next year, it seems like
Disney's animation department might be get-
ting stretched a little thin in order to produce
movies. Still, Disney's animation is of lesser
quality only in relation to its own previous
output. Disney just hasn't reinvented the
wheel this time around.

Dances of India Troupe tells legend of Gauthama Bi
By Anitha Chalam R r wBuddha" which featured her own dance bration of Prince
Daily Arts Writer and the Prince troupe in a difficult yet beautiful drama- during which a wise
Western society often looks to the Budha tization of the life of the Buddha. the child would on
East for various aspects of the humani- choreographed by Malani "Illusions and the Prince" was a por- great king or a great
ties, such as folklore and dance. The leg- V Suday.Je 29 trayal of the life of Prince Siddhartha, The next few s
ends of the Gauthama Buddha are [mwse Auditorium from his birth until the time he left his Siddhartha's life in t
among the more interesting tales, espe- ** castle life. The audience followed the scene featured a raas,
cially the story of Siddhartha, a prince ways the antithesis of ballet, is equally story, divided into seven scenes, in dance, indigenous to northe
who turns down his life of riches for graceful, and comes complete with the which began with the Dashavatara, in fourth and fifth
greater enlightenment as the Buddha. exoticism of the East. On Saturday which the dancers described the various Yashodara, a young g
Another interesting Eastern tradition evening, choreographer Malani Srirama avatars, or incarnations, ofVishnu, one of Siddhartha fell in lovi
is Bharatanatyam, the classical dance of combinedthe two for a spectacular show, which was Buddha. The sixth scene w,
India. This earth-bound dance, in some "Illusions and the Prince: Gauthama In the second scene, we saw the cele- in which Siddhartha

Wednesday 1
July 3, 1996 10
Ella Fitzgerald dies at 79
One of the grand old folks of jazz passed away quietly in he4
home this week. Ella Fitzgerald was 79 years old and left
behind a legacy that more than filled her long life. In a world
where careers are meteoric and brief, Ella hung on like a
champ.
Her most brilliant and popular recordings, such as the Cole
Porter songbook and her collaborations with Louis Armstrong,
were very much an ideal of this era of music. Her approach
was twofold. First, technique: Ella was one of the most tech-
nically gifted jazz singers ever. Second, style: Ella imbued her
music with an emotion that went far beyond rattling a fe
notes at the end of a phrase. 1
There's not much left to say that isn't being said by others
this week. She had a career that befitted an artist of her
stature, and she deserved no less. So long Bess, and thank
you.
- By James Miller; Daily Arts Writer
uddha
Siddhartha's birth, s' n4
sage predicted that
te day be either a
monk.
cenes focused on
he palace. The third
or lively stick dance
m India, while the The dance troupe in performance attire
scenes told about the castle walls for the first time and
irl with whom Prince encountered old age and death. Upon
e and married. questioning his charioteer, Siddhartha
as the critical scene, discovered that suffering comes to all.
journeyed outside In the final scene of this dance drama
Siddhartha returned home, distraught by
what he had seen outside and realized he
HTS't' must leave his home. The dance at this
NTS!!! point featured Mlani Srirama herfin
the role of Siddhartha's step-mother, try-
~ ILA LE' itg to convinve her son to stay
B "Illusions and the Priice" ended with
J the departre of Siddhartha. Hle sat
UNDING . neath a papal tree indclassical medit
tive position. His step-mother, wife and
. ~attendants all came to him, offering
praise. The music in this scene was sun
2435) in Pali, the language believed to have beet
spoken by the Buddha during his life.
The Dances of India Troupe and Malani
Srirama have worked very hard for many
months to put together this amazing show.
tests for Home "Illusions and the Prince" featured a num-
'S5oftware hber of dancers, including Mrs. Srirama
herself. All of the dancers worked to the
Gore Improvements last minute to put on a great show, and
their effort was evident. Though the
ne/ scenery was a bit lacking, the ornate coO
tomes and excellent dancing, combined
begin with a fascinating story, made for a bril-
15th liant performance. The Dances of India
Troupe puts on such a performance every
year. If you missed it ths year, it would be
a shame to make the same mistake twice.

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