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February 08, 1991 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-02-08

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Friday, February 8,1991

Jump in the line, everybody!

by Scott Schiff
H ave you ever considered killing
or torturing (or even simply push-
ing out of the way) the people in
front df you in line? If this reaction
sounds a little absurd, or better
yet, if it secretly sounds like fun,
then you should get in line for
Basement Arts' production of Line.
But when you meet the characters
in this play, the line on stage is
one line you won't want to be in.
- The play revolves around the
aptions of five characters who are
standing in a line. The plot is ab-
stract; it's unclear what the line is
actually for, even to the charac-
ters, who are so concerned about
getting ahead of the people in front
of them that they lose sight of their

original reasons for standing there.
The play is a commentary on
mindless competition and human
destructive tendencies. Director
Kevin Humbert notes "how easily
we can get lost (in competition)."
The characters use everything
from sex to violence to attain a
more desirable position. Aaron
Williams (Stephen) says it is
"competition for the sake of com-
petition," and Humbert agrees that
the action tends to get a bit brutal
at times. The play would best be
categorized as a black comedy,
exposing and examining the West-
ern notion of power and success
that fails to consider who might be
hurt along the way.
Although the scenario is unreal-
istic, the characters, which include

a martyr, a whore, a whimp, a
complainer, and a passive-aggres-
sive, emulate real people. The sit-
uation may be exaggerated, but it
is an example of what could really
happen to people forced into such
an intensely competitive situation.
The play can be taken on a po-
litical level and on a personal
level. "The mock of American cul-
ture... is obvious," Humbert says,
"but there is something to say
about everyday cruelty."
LINE will be presented at the Arena
Theater tonight and Saturday at
5:00 p.m. Admission is free. The
Arena Theater has limited seating,
so come early.

Ah, la vie. C'est bizarre. C'est amusant. C'est triste. Mais que sera,

Continued from page S
earned its formidable reputation
through extensive tours of the
United States, Canada, the United
Kingdom, and Ireland, as well as
one in Australia.
"The performance is a heavy
dose of absurdity," said Long, de-
scribing the show as "a vaudevil-
lian treatment of Shakespeare's
works." In order to retain people's
attentions in the theater, the Com-
pany combines such influences as
the Marx Brothers, the Three

Stooges, and Monty Python to cre-
ate an evening that may include
anything from rap to acrobatics.
In describing fond memories of
past performances, Long recalled
one in Ireland in which they had a
Catholic priest from the audience
play Ophelia. "We were a little
nervous under the circumstances,"
Long said, "but the audience abso-
lutely loved it!"
It is obvious that not only the
spectators enjoy the productions,
but that the performers themselves
love what they do. "I would like to
work with the Company for the rest

of my life, if I can," said Long.
Headed for Ireland in April, the
RSC is looking forward to a new
show, which Long expects they
will be able to perform in 1992.
"Our overall purpose is to keep
people from being intimidated by
his works," Long explained, "by
putting the 'shakes' back into
BRIDGED) will be performed at the
Michigan Theater tonight at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $15, with student rush
tickets priced at $8.50.

sera, n'est-ce pas? C'est la vie. Oui,t
Continued from page 5
dom and loss as friends and loca-
tions change and identity becomes
progressively difficult to pin down.+
Which is why, most likely, that+
coming-of-age films take place
during the summer, notably Stand+
By Me and Summer of '42. Yet, as
in most genres, the usual perspec-
tive is uniquely male, focusing on
emerging sexuality and the real-;
ization that seems to typify matu-
rity: life isn't always fair, and
adults are indeed fallible. That's
life; c'est la vie.
Director Diane Kurys brings her
two earlier autobiographical films,
Peppermint Soda and Entre Nous,i
into an unintended trilogy with
C'est La Vie. Her conventions
place her firmly within a particular
genre, but the autobiographical
sources of her story remind us that

- r



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some genres aren't entities unto
themselves, but instead spin out of
common experience.
Although the story bears dis-
tinct resemblance to the standard
coming-of-age allegory, the film
departs from the usual with its fe-
male perspective and its emphasis
on relationships between adults
and children. Gone are the parental
"Waa, Waa, Waa"s from Peanuts;
Kurys reconstructs the significant
adult absence that defines most
child-centered films.
C'est La Vie is narrated by 13-
year-old Frederique (Julie
Bataille), who is paired with her
younger sister, Sophie (Candice
LeFranc). The two are sent to Brit-
tany with their governess (Valeria
Bruni-Tedeschi) while their par-
ents grapple with the reality of
their impending divorce. The first
third of the film belongs to the
girls, as they try to understand
their parents' absence and reinte-
grate themselves with their sum-
mer companions, four cousins and
an aunt and uncle.
Kurys impeccably develops
likeable and sympathetic charac-

ters who reveal their flaws
throughout the film, all the while
maintaining their appeal. The girls
are mischievous, but their mali-
cious side disappears when their
mother returns, and it becomes ap-
parent that they're just acting out.
They idolize their uncle Led*
(Jean-Pierre Bacri) for his humo&l
but he puts unbearable pressure on
his oldest son (Alexis Derlon).
Their mother, Lena (Nathalit
Baye), has an affair and hides the:
inevitable divorce from the girls,
but she loves them dearly and sur
fers greatly from the break-up cI
her marriage. The completeness of
the characters lends a reality to
their familial relationships, a true@
necessity in a film that studies the
relationships themselves.
Although the divorce subsumes
the greater part of the narrative,
life goes on as the girls attempt t
quell their fears through play. Sum,
prisingly, C'est La Vie is not a sal
film; it just portrays the way life iqj.
Relationships and growth continuqi.
and no child can resist the pranks'
of a summer at the beach. Fred-,
erique and Sophie go through no4'
mal rites of passage, developing+
crushes on their cousins and trying
to establish themselves as the set
ual adolescents and older children.
that they've become. Adults, .
always, try to hide the truth from,
the children, who, as always, knw-
what's really going on.
Perhaps Kurys' greatest;
achievement is the film's psycho-
logical acuity - everybody's pain
aches with a sense of future ndi
talgia. The girls will always r6
member this summer. Years latd,
they'll be grappling with the meaiV,
ing of divorce within their own &
lationships. As much as parents try
to spare their children the pain 6i
adulthood, children perceive aidff
hurt. Every experience contributtr
to who they are. That's life. - .
C'est La Vie plays at the
Michigan Theater Saturday.
through February 15.4'
-Jen Bilk


A Masterpiece ...


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