12 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, June 7, 1999
'Castle' director comes up from down under.
By Erin Podoisky
Daily Arts Writer
Rob Sitch, director of "The Castle," is
sitting in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel of
Dearborn, admiring the Detroit skyline. I
feel bad telling hint it's little more than a
ghost metropolis, but I do anyway. He's a
little surprised, buta itmore surprised
than I am hearing about Austmalia. We
both know little about each other's
hometowns - but a hell of a lot about
Hollywood. "In New York no one wants
to hear about Kansas, but in Kansas
they'll hear about Kansas and New York.
It's a one-way street," Sitch tells me.
Sitch has spent over a decade revolu-
tionizing Australian TV with comedy
shows, but "The Castle" is his first film.
He doesn't have any big agenda, saying,
"We just like films. Nothing too com-
plex." His philosophy is like his movie:
Disarmingly simple and, looking back
on the experience, worth a chuckle or
two. "The Castle" was huge in Australia
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and received warmly when it arrived on
American shores in 1997.
"We had a great experience at
Sundance. We went there and all the
geniuses n Australia said that no one
would get the film at all. Well, they did.
The Q&A ... had smarter questions
than I had ever been asked,' Sitch says.
More than the reception, though, Sitch
loves his characters and the fairy tale
quality of their lives. He says, "What
makes me really sentimental is the pride
with which Dale says 'This is my stot.'
It's almost like in Australia you never
would have heard of the (fictional)
Kerrigan decision in the high court so
Dale needs to tell you." Sitch feels the
same pride in his own stoty and, while
his roots are in television, clearly feels
movies beckoning him.
"Film is a great way of immortalizing
stories." Sitch should be giving comedic
tales infinite life on celluloid for years to
Stephen Curry gives a grin as his hit Austr
At the Michigan Theater
The difference between Hollywood
and foreign cinemas is a perfectly logical
difference and in the case of the
Australian "The Castle," it's a perfectly
executed- and welcome - difference.
Darryl Kerrigan (Michael Canton) is
a wildly eccentric tow truck driver. He
and his family live adjacent to the air-
port, and when the airport decides to
expand, the Kerrigans are about to be out
on their collective ass. Darryl mounts a
lawsuit, at first defending himself, then
involving his incompetent lawyer buddy.
The Kerrigans truly believe that they
will triumph, but things look bleak until
Darryl has a chance meeting with a top-
Courtesy of Miramax Flms
alian film "The Castle" arrives in the U.S.
This is a heartwarming little tale about
a working class bloke who isn't content
to sit back and let his life be directed by
the powers that be. There's little sub-
stance, but there doesn't have to be. Just
sit back and enjoy the antics of this
endearing, slightly dumb family. It's sim-
ply a working class fairy tale.
The Winslow Boy
Sony Picture Classics
At the Michigan Theater
"The Winslow Boy," an adaptation
trom the Terence Rattigan play, tells the
story of young Ronnie Winslow (Guy
Edwards) who claims to be falsely
accused of a theft at the naval academy.
The accusation leads to his expulsion
and to his father, Arthur (Nigel
Hawthorne), to fight the crown for his
While the story is old hat, it plays out
quite nicely. David Manet doesn't rely
on cliches to tell his story, and gets fine
performances from his entire cast.
Rebecca Pidgeon, as Ronnie's sister
Catherine, and Jeremy Northam as
Ronnie's lawyer Sir Robert Morton are
Though this film is a change of pace
for Mamet, but it's still a fine effort.
Continued from Page 10
ignored. There's no denying the beauty
of these songs, but the question still
remains if mainstream America will
accept the non-traditional elements of
Primary songwriter Stephen
Malkmus perfects the traditional verse-
chorus-verse ballad formula for "Spit on
a Stranger" yet throws a curve with his
peculiar lyrics. On the other hand,
Malkmus ignores any sort of traditional
song format for "The Hexx," instead
slowly weaving an eerie mood of somber
ambience with gentle Pink Floyd-like
guitar strumming. The hypnotizing
musical structure then peaks during an
impossibly beautiful chorus, again con-
sisting of eccentric poetry: "I saw you,
wheeling round the parking lot."
But as weird as these lyrics may
seem, think about "Murmur"-era
Michael Stipe or Robert Plant in
"Stairway to Heaven." It's not so
important what you sing as how you
sing it, and Malkmus's genius lies in his
stubborn ability to make bizarre words
and music sound amazing.
Pavement's current tour of America
functions as their latest attempt to edu-
cate American audiences about the
virtues of quality music. There won't
be any pyrotechnics, choreography,
trendy wardrobes, sexy dancing or
mammoth light shows at their show
Saturday night in Detroit at St.
Andrew's Hall. A quick warm-up tour
of England last month proved that they
instead plan to impress audiences with
their new songs and a few classics.
"I think we're going to try to play
mostly our new stuff, but we've just
done some shows over here (England)
and we've pulled out some old ones we
haven't actually played in several
years, Ibold said. "I assume our fans
are going to be excited about hearing
the new stuff, but there are some people
that want to hear old songs so we'll mix
it up a bit."
Despite their ability to magically
rework songs and spontaneously imp~
vise with minimal effort duritig
shows, Pavement seldom tours. Whe
they do tour though, it's a big event fot
fans. The fact that Pavement needs to b
booked for two nights at major venue
in most major cities shows the amoun
of excitement among fans surroundin
their live shows.
"We're trying to work out the new
songs in a way that will be interesting,
Ibold said. "Some of them we migh
play faster or do slightly different ver
sions of them. We try to have the so
sound a little different."
So what happens if America finall
wakes up to the sounds of Pavemen
with the expected success of "Term
"It would be nice to sell more record
and make a lot of money, but I don'
feel so bad when I listen to what's o
commercial radio and find that very lit
tle of it interests me," Ibold said.
would be nice if one day the taste
the American public coincide with ou
tastes. On this record there are two o
three songs that could be potential radi
hits, but I've thought that before with
other records and it hasn't work out. It's
kind of a tricky thing."
Even if MTV decides to grant
Pavement buzz status, don't expect the
band to leave Matador Records for
wealthy major label such as REM did
"I'm happy with our level of -
cess " bold said with modest sincerity
"We've been able to make a living fron
it. We probably make a little more thar
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