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May 10, 1999 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1999-05-10

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

. O 1NG TIME AGO
Tickets for "Star Wars: Episode 1-
The Phantom Menace" go on sale this
Wednesday. Daily Arts will have full
coverage next Monday.

ft.-M-d-itS

Monday
May 10, 1999 7

'Mummy' spooks in summer movie season

onah Victor
a ly Arts Writer
With the release of "The Mummy',"
Jniversal Studios tries to resurrect for
he third time a production of a classic
orror moVie series. Brendan Fraser
'George of the Jungle," "Gods and
Monsters") leads
this celebiation of
the ravages of
Egyptian antiqui-
The ties during the.
Mummy 1920s by gold
hungry treasure
hunters.
At Briarwoo Iraser plays a
and Showcase soldier of fottne
who is hired to
lead an expedition
,. that includes love
interest Enelyn
(Rachel Weisz of
SC h a i n
Reaction"), and ier brotlier Jonaithan
John Hannah of "Four Weddings aind a

Funeralf), both of whom are obsessed
with finding the treasure ofa legendary
ancient burial site. They're challenged
on their trek by a team of equally eager
American fortune-seekers, as well as an
order of desert dwelling warriors who
have committed their lives to insure that
the tombs are left untouched. During
the two teams' gold frenzied race to tear
apart the can ernous tombs. Eelyn feels
compelled to break open the sarcopha-
gus of a head priest. It turns out the
priest was buried alive and is the bearer
of an eternal curse. The title character
then seeks to punish those who tane
inaded his realm with the power of the
ten plagues of Egypt.
Director Stephen Sormmer's
(-RUdyard Kipling's IThe Jtungle
Book") version of "The Mummy" ties
to be a little bit "Ghostbusters" aid a
lot of "Raiders ,af the Lost Ark," but
miisses both marks. Fraser lacks the
nwit, style aInd likability of Harrison.
Ford: He simply rides ithrough the
de/ert with a grin and two loaded pis-

tos. This is compounded by the fact
that the relationship between Fraser
and \Weisz never denelops into any-
thing interesting. E ven the romance
between the Miummy and his dead girl-
friend is less chilly.
Despite "The M tummy's shortcom-
ings as an efective romantic comedy
or a grand adventure it's the old fash-
ion spooks that truly entertain. The
same tricks that worked id the original
1932 film hold strong today. It doesn't
hurt that the producers have built rnag-
nificent sets, hired a cast of hundreds
and created the most fantastic special
effects this side of May 19th.
One of the few remarkable things
about "The Mumity" is that none of
the characters are really likable enough
to syompathize with. It's really up to the
audience wIether they want to side
witht greedy Fraser and his tomb
raiders, the cult of warriors who die to
defend the tombs or maybe the
' Munmm y becadse he still looks
great after all tliese years

The Mute's
Soliloquy
Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Hyperion East
Pramoedya Ananta T oer, an
internationally - recognized
Indonesian writer and prominent
figure in the country's revolution,
was taken from his home on Oct.
13, 1965 by the national militarv.
Within hours, he was quickly
recaptured by another group of
masked ren who told him they
ere taking him "to rerove (him)
rom harm's way." These men, who
Toer later learned were also from
the Indonesian government, trans-
ferred Toer from prison to prison
until Aug. 16, 1969, when he was
sent with 20,000 other prisoners
into exile on a Buru Island penal
colony.
"The Mute's Soliloquy" was
nearly completely written during
Toer's 11 years on Buru, scraped
together from records made with
W'riting materials found by friends
on the island and kind visitors who
smuggled them in. Although
banned in its native country, the
work is gaining international
recognitiott for the auithor's first-
hand observation of tIe effects of
political upheaval.
The compilation of letters
comes from the precious few occa-
ions when the author had both the
time (with a stressful schedule of
hunting and developing a means of'
fartming to survive) and the gov-

ernmen's generrs err rissIIron tot
anwrite.
But "Soliloquy" isn't just a
record of Toer's experience as a
political prisoner. Many of the let-
ters that make Up the memoir were
written for Toer's family, and they
contain the father's xvords of wis-
dom and the friend's reflections ont
relationships, as well as the hard
facts of the prisoner's exile.
"A person and his experiences
are inextricably and inexorably
linked," Toer writes. "... (One
must) hold on to the experiences
that have proven beneficial and
use them as a compass for firther
movement."
As a prisoner, Toer has taken his
experiences and eloquently
extended them to the lives of his
children. Even more, his writing
has transferred these observations
to the society sympathetic to inter-
national rights. Toer's fellow exiles
supported his work and covered
for him because they knew that his
work, Toer's life story, would be an
important record of their own tri-
als.
Toer signs all of his letters, such
as the one to his daughter,
Anggraini: "For you I wish eternal
happiness, safety, and prosperity.
With love, from your distant father
A fascinating thing about these
signatures is that when writing.
Toer knew he would never send
the letters off of the Buru penal
colony and he believed that his
children might never see this
advice. The letters were written in
resnonse to government-censored

postcards Toer occasionally
received -rmany letters to the
island were never received at all.
As an internationally-recog
rnized celebrity, a political activist
and possibly the greatest writer
Indonesia ever produced, Toer is
surprisingly modest in his work
and unaware of his impact on the
world. These characteristics make
his work endearing to the reader
- Toer simply doesn't understand
why his writing is important or
why anyone would want to
imprison him because of it. He's a
normal man caught in draratic
situation, and this gives his writ-
ing a candid quality.
Toer's writing is reant to leave
a lasting lesson about the power of
political captivity and the way it
can destroy innocent lives. From
the opening lines of his memoir
wheti he questions his travel to
Buru, writing "People are raised to
believe that happiness is the land
to which then are destined to trav-
el. But that believe, which one so
easily accepts as true, right just
as well be a mirage" - to the last
pages, where he has compiled a
partial record of Buru's dead,
Toer's emphasis is on the innocent
people who fell victim to their
government's activity. "The Mute's
Soliloquy" awill becomre atn imrpor-
tant work for any studert of huria
rights.
Pr dra litAnunta Toer read
nyom selected iiorks, includiing
/tahe taute's Sot/i/oqui'." M 'at 3 art
Shaman Drumr BOOksholp
Jessica 'Eaaton

CourtesyoftUnersaPtures
The evil dead come alive in the most recent incarnation of "The Mummy."

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