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July 31, 1996 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1996-07-31

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Bring your popcorn and your homemade robots
to this late-night showing of "Mystery Science
Theater 3000," the cult TV show turned feature
film. At 11 p.m. on Friday.


July 31, 1996

'Trainspotting' presents slice o
youth subculture and heroin a
By RYAn Poiy
Daily Arts Writer attempts to focus more on character
study than plot. McGregor is totally
As if we weren't bogged down engaging as the one guy we feel com-
enough by the recent invasion of fortable rooting for. He knows he is on
British pop culture on our shores - a downward spiral, and he continues,
Oasis, Hollywood's love affair with not because he is powerless against
Jane Austen, Oasis, Absolutely the addiction, but because he has
Fabulous and its made a conscious
hip compatriots, JE iE WJj choice against life.
Oasis - we are Trainsoting His character is
sent yet another Directed by Danny Boyle f a s c i n a t i n g
juicy morsel in the With Ewan McGregor because it is so far
shape of a new At MainArt Theater in Royal removed from any-
indie film that *** (out of five) thing we know and
everybody seems can relate to.
to be talking about, "Trainspotting." His supporting cast, however, can-
Sure to satisfy even the hungriest of not sustain our interest longer than a
Anglomaniacs, it generally lives up to single scene - but the fault ties with
its hype as an energetic, vivid and the script,
-unbiased portrait of youth subculture not the
in Scotland. actors. Each Dubbed as
The story focuses on a handful of of Renton's
restless and reckless young men in friends is British resp
Edinburgh, renouncing material suc- simply a
cess and the lifestyle that it breeds one-not e to "Pulp FC
while destroying their own lives with character,
heroin. There is no involved plot; in and we are "Trainspott
effect, the film presents merely a slice never given
of life, centering on Renton (Ewan a glimpse notneary
McGregor), the most charming hero- into their
in addict since Vincent Vega. p s y c h e s. memorable
"Trainspotting" follows Renton and When it
his friends through idleness and comes tofilI1L
aggression, through overdose and character-
cold turkey withdrawal attempts, all driven stories, what we don't know
the while neither condoning nor con- can hurt us. "Trainspotting" is
demning their lifestyle. brought to us by the same team that
Dubbed as the British response to crafted the dark, brilliant 1994
"Pulp Fiction," "Trainspotting" is not Hitchcockian thriller "Shallow
nearly as memorable as that film. It Grave" (director Danny Boyle,

f Scottish
screenwriter John Hod
ducer Andrew MacD
Boyle chose to abando
tone of that film for a vi
video-like style in "Ti
emphasizing the raw er
thetic youth. "Trainspo
far more humorous th
Grave," which adds tot
the characters by muffli
temptibility. Boyle clev
real imagery to both1
humor - as when F
swimming through af
search of his drugs -
the horrors of heroin ab
Unfortunately for Bo)
times-indecipherable Sc
can't I
fll most o
in film
Ponse last 3

ge and pro-
lonald), but
n the murky
brant, music-
nergy of apa-
lting" is also
an "Shallow
the appeal of
ng their con-
erly uses sur-
heighten the
Renton goes
full toilet in
and intensify
yle, thick, at-
ottish accents
hide the fact
we've seen
if this before,
ns as recent as
year's "The

,m ,, Io dlu tsl IIU ,It ine i aajiuu ing.-


Academic murder mystery
suffers from lack of realism

By Kristina Curkovic
Daily Arts niter

the end of the b
between the mystet

Basketball Diaries." This book is a mystery, both in its problems with Stel
on, "Trainspotting"- genre and how it came to be caled amys- and only make thei
ion, has a decidedly tery. A good mystery should include tionship harder to t
ing" lS British attitude and shocking twists, intriguing details and Nick's involve
atmosphere, which mind-boggling endings. This one, on the as a sleuth only
3s amounts for some- other hand, includes delicious details of time after suspic
thing (after all, the menus, agonizingly long and unnecessary turns to Stephan.
as British did invent histories, and items that stray so far from vinced by his mo
the whole quasi- the central story that the book barely cousin that hes
punk subculture makes it past the mystery-genre end zone. own investigatior
from which films However, it scores a few points. The does, two-thirds
like this are spawned). And story takes place at a university strikingly book, his search
McGregor's performance as the allur- similar to Michigan State, which has been and findings at
ingly abhorrent Renton absolutely named the State University of Michigan, impressive and ar
begs to be seen, if only to see how dif- located in the capital of Michigan, ative on Raphael
ficult it is for some people to ulti- Michiganopolis.
mately choose life. (Large, pretty cam-
pus, a wide variety 0REVIEW
of architecture and Let's Get Criminal
ducks.) The narra- By Lev Raphael
tor, Nick, is an St. Martin's Press
English professor at *** (out of five)
the university, inter-
ested in Edith Wharton, cooking and in his fessors and gra
colleague and lover, Stephan. When a new apparent and ma
professor, Perry Cross, joins the English tense momentsr
department, Nick quickly discovers that arena in which th
Stephan was once intimately acquainted gate. On the othe
with Perry. The ten-year relationship a habit of inc
between Nick and Stephan is suddenly and details in the mit
unconvincingly threatened by a one-night tant information;
stand of years before. after Nick discos
The mystery slowly emerges when perished Perry to
Perry is found murdered the morning fortably trivial p
after a dinner with Nick and Stephan at laundry room<
their home ("pasta shells stuffed with basements made
escargots, prosciutto, spinach, cream, never went down
T o ri A m o s parmesan, white wine, garlic, and Contrary to oura
Dew Drop Inn Tour '96 Pernod"). Nick wonders about a myriad about basements;
of people who could be guilty, most of rest of the book.
JULY 31 - 8:00PM them part of the English department. Apart from s
STRANAHAN THEATER Raphael does present an array of well- ers, a well-color
drawn characters, whose physical features and the fact tha
At The Masonic Complex - Toledo are described in detail, but among the Michigan is m
characters there is little variation in their develops poorlyz
The Stranahan Theater and speech and manner. Stephan is perhaps ly. While by thet
allT t a." Toutlets. the most intriguing of these; yet his own and the relatiot
story, however interesting, dominates the characters could
Charge at (810) 645.6666 book and throws the plot out of balance. balance between
His relationship with his family is an odd combit
For more information call44191 381-8851 dwelled upon unnecessarily, adds little to Nick's marvelou
theamystery and dpvglpps into nothing by leaves a bad taste

ook. The transitions
ry and Nick's growing
phan are not smooth,
inclusion of their rela-
ment in the mystery
takes place some
cion of the murder
Nick is finally con-
should conduct his
n. When he finally
of the way into the
and interrogations
re not particularly
e not extremely cr*
's part.
The most
appealing part of
the mystery shows
itself in the inner
workings of a uni-
versity academic
department, where
the politics of pro-
d students becom
ke for some of th
needed to form an
e reader can investi-
r hand, Raphael has
uding unnecessary
ddle of more impor-
; for example, soon
vers a note from the
Stephan, an uncom-
aragraph about the
appears. "Besides,
me nervous, and
to this one alone.
anticipation, nothing
appears again im the
ome smart one-lin-
ed cast of characters
at the University of
entioned, this book
and ends too abrupt-
mselves the mystery
nships between tle
be interesting, the
the two makes for
nation that, unlike
s meals, in the end
e in your mouth.

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