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February 19, 1991 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-02-19

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Tuesday, February 19, 1991

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

Innocents abroad still appeal

Landscape in the
dir. Theo Angelopoulos

by Brent Edwards

There is one long shot in Land-
scape in the Mist where a giant
hand, broken off of some enormous
ancient statue, is lifted out of a
bay by helicopter and slowly
transported over the modern city of
Thessaloniki until it can no longer
be seen. At this point, the camera
pans down to reveal the main
characters watching this Magritte-
like event in silence. It is a simple
but visually striking scene, encap-
sulating all of the qualities of this
slow-moving but thoughtful film by
the European master director Theo
The film is about a voyage, in
which 14-year-old Voula (Tanai
Palaiologou) and her five-year-old
brother Alexandros (Michalis
1 Zeke) run away from their home in
Athens, taking a train to Germany
to find their father, whom they've
never seen. Like many films of this
genre, the children's quest can
never succeed, for the audience
learns early on that their mother
made up the story about their fa-
ther to pacify them, since she has
no idea who their father really is.

Thus the film becomes a journey
of experience, with the children
traveling through the desolate
modern world, both of them grow-
ing up quickly through random,
and sometimes harsh, experiences.
Like in the scene with the giant
hand, the children, and thus the
audience, are frequently observers
of unexplained events that they
encounter: a dying horse, a wed-
ding party dancing through the
streets, a town transfixed by the ar-
rival of snow.
Angelopoulos presents most of
these scenes with one prolonged
shot, many lasting well over a
minute. This "unblinking eye"
technique creates a cinima veritu
feel, as if the camera is happening
upon this moment as a silent ob-
server. The shots are thoughtful
and, although many focus on the
mystery of the landscape through
which the children are moving,
there are both touching and power-
ful scenes involving the children
In the most moving scene, the
camera remains transfixed on the
back of a truck, while the truck
driver throws Voula behind the
covered opening and follows her
inside. The camera continues to
stare at the flapping tarp as cars
drive by until the driver reappears,
and finally Voula crawls out, the

camera zooming in until it shows
only the blood her hands have left
on the truck's frame.
Both Palaiologou and Zeke are
impressive, evoking child-like un-
certainty and resoluteness that is a
refreshing change from the cutesy,
too-sweet-to-be-real kids seen in
Hollywood films like E.T. or Three
Men and a Little Turd. Alexandros
experiences his own "awakening,"
as far as a five-year-old can, but it
is Voula who changes the most
through the film, from getting over
a crush on an older homosexual to
accepting what she might have to
do in order to obtain money for her
and her brother's travel.
Although Landscape in the Mist
has won many major European
awards, as have many of An-
gelopoulos' past films since 1970
have, he has remained virtually
unknown in America. This is per-
haps due to the fact that this style
of film has never been as popular
as the more plot-oriented Holly-
wood films. (How many average
moviegoers have seen Truffaut's
masterpiece The 400 Blows?)
Those who can enjoy a more alle-
gorical film, however, will be
amazed that Angelopoulos has re-
mained hidden for so long.

shown tonight through Sunday at
the Michigan Theater.

Tanai Palaiologou and Zeke Michalis in Theo Angelopoulos' Landscape in the Mist. The sequel, already in the
works, is to be directed by John Hughes; Voula and Alexandros get left behind in Athens when mom goes away
on vacation, and that's when the wackiness begins!

w ..
.N eview

You might need helmets for your ears

Sanborn gets
crowd movin'
without Paul
When thinking about jazz
concerts, one usually thinks of a
calm atmosphere where most peo-
ple are stationary in their seats,
silently listening or verbalizing
nothing more than an "oh yeah"
every once in a while. But saxo-
phonist and composer David San-
born has a reputation of being
more than a jazz musician, and his
concert at Hill Auditorium to a
packed house was more than a
serene jazz concert.
There are many different kinds
of jazz, and Sanborn incorporated
rhythm & blues, some urban-
contemporary strains, and, at
times, a Latin-American rhythm.
Although a regular on Late Night
With David Letterman, the com-
mercialism of television has not
dulled Sanborn's ear or tamed his
style. The music on Saturday was
not simple pop music with a per-
cussionist keeping the beat, a bass
player emphasizing the harmony,
and Sanborn carrying the melody.
He utilized the other instruments
to the fullest, often playing melody
simultaneously, especially with
keyboardist Ricky Peterson and
bassist Tom Barney.
Sonny Emory's performance on
drums was exceptionally impres-
sive, especially on the congos.
When he was joined by Sanborn
on the saxophone, the two sounds
blended together so that it became
ambiguous as who was playing
melody and who was playing
harmony. But it was the guitarist
Hiram Bullock who really got the

crowd moving.
About midway through the
concert, during his main solo,
Bullock jumped off the stage and
roamed the aisles, daringly playing
on the edge of the first mezzanine,
up and down the aisles, and
straddled between two seats on the
main floor before taking a
backwards roll onto the stage
again. After Bullock's perfor-
mance, percussionist Dan Alias'
tricks with his drumsticks were
tame in comparison.
But when Sanborn did take
center stage, it was magical. There
was only one slower song during
the evening, purposely played
early on so that the crowd left in
an up mood. The song, which
Sanborn hadn't named yet, seemed
to last for hours, catapulting the
imagination towards summer
evenings in a New York cafe.
Although he was tightening
screws on the saxophone during
the first half of the show and
seemed flustered while talking to
the audience - "I've been in the
recording studio for three weeks...
and I'm blowing so hard on this the
screws are popping out" -
Sanborn was definitely not
flustered while he was playing.
Although I was disappointed that
there weren't more slower songs, it
was obvious that Sanborn's
intention was to get the audience
moving. And he did.
- Mary Beth Barber
If you can't
take the heat,
get out of the
Mix together a neurotic college
See WEEKEND, Page 7

by Greg Baise
Helmet plays spastic metal filtered
through your favorite albums in the
Blast First catalog.
Examine, for instance, Helmet's
part-time resemblance to Big Black,
minus Roland the Drum Machine
and the moronic cartoonishness of
Steve Albini. In Albini's place is
Page Hamilton, once a member of
the Band of Susans. Hamilton sings,
plays guitar, and also writes the mu-
sic for Helmet. His unobtrusive

lyrics stand clear of interfering with
any headbanging enjoyment on the
part of the listener. In Roland's place
put John Stanier, who steadily
pounds out some levee-breaking
Bonhomies. To Hamilton and
Stanier, add bassist Henry Bogdan,
who completes this band's integral
rhythm section, and Peter Mengede,
who doubles Helmet's guitar crunch.
Grunge czar Tom Hazelmeyer re-
leased Helmet's debut album Strap It
On on his Amphetamine Reptile la-
bel. "Repetition," the first song on

the album, serves as a Helmet
It opens with a brief second or
two of intense guitar scratching,
followed by a few seconds of a bass
and drums interlude before the frenzy
of instrumental aggravation again
ensues. Finally, the chaos settles
into the headbanging start-stop
groove that dominates the rest of the
song. Of course, there are some
obligatqry guitar solos from this
band th are too cool, too powerful,
and too dangerous to be on Head-

bangers' Ball. Unconventionally, the
guitar solo comes just before the end
of the song, and it sounds like it was
recorded by a microphone inside of
an unplugged vacuum cleaner while
the standard "Repetition" crunch con-
tinues outside.
Metal mayhem continues in the
prime instrumental Sabbath-cum-
Prongisms of "Blacktop," while the
indie-grunge contingent can feel the
satisfaction of idly dangling over the
precipice of "Sinatra," perhaps while
See HELMET. Page 7

I, Napoleon
I, Napoleon
Any band that is named for that
little Corsican runt with an attitude
problem (especially since the band
leader/vocalist/keyboardist Steve
Napoleon apparently re-named
himself after Napoleon) and thanks
the pathetic band Bang Tango
along with Mozart in their liner
notes and thinks it is playing
heavy metal/hard rock cannot be
very exciting. I, Napoleon should
have stayed in their parents'
basements. I don't understand why
this album was released in 1991;
most of the songs were written in
'88 and '89 and sound like stan-
dard commercial pop-metal fare.
Steve Napoleon (please get a
new name) tries desperately to
sing like Jon Bon Jovi, to capture
that growling-yet-feeling inflection.

The band makes music that sounds
like Poison and Motley Crue
without the flashy guitars and
moving-somewhere songs. At other
points, most notably on songs like
the power ballad "Don't Want to
Sleep Alone" and the most
metallic song on the album, "I am
the Idiot," I, Napoleon sounds like
a fair American version of the
The major problem lies in the
subject matter of the lyrics being
sung over the blah power ballad to
straight ballad tunes. There are too
many stupid songs about love that
re-hash feelings expressed more
constructively ages ago, and these
are the songs that lead off the
album. They progressively become
harder and harder, but five songs
like this in a row is not the way to
get people to want to listen to your
album. The sixth song is the
funniest of all. "Love I Hate" is

actually not really a love song, but there is only one love song. But
the token social-consciousness mostly it's because of the gem, "I
song, featuring the most inane yet am the Idiot," featuring the line,
insightful comment: "The church "Life's a bitch and I'm a whore."
is so rich/ it's so damn ill/ It takes Lyrics about Napoleon aside -
your money/ and says no pill." whether it's Bonaparte or Steve or
The second half is slightly bet- both is never made clear - the
ter than the first, in part because See RECORDS, Page 7
.ANN. AboRl&21






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