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January 17, 1991 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-17

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ARTS
Thursday, January 17, 1991

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

"The Long Write of Dilworth

by Carolyn Pajor
S haron Dilworth has quite a
capacity for communicating. For a
writer and woman of letters, Dil-
worth shows a definite inclination
for things spoken. But she is effu-
sive rather than garrulous, and the
sum of her chatter is as pleasing as
her writing. "Writing is tough dici-
pline," she says. "You have to be
alone a lot and for social people
that is hard. You can't just sit
around and say, 'Let's get every-
one together tonight and sit around
and write."'
Dilworth did not always know
she wanted to be a writer. Even
though she was a self-proclaimed
creepy kid "who kept a journal and
wrote about the next door neigh-
bors," Dilworth spent the years af-
ter college working in the garment
industry. "Then suddenly I realized
I had better do something," she
says, and became serious about
writing. Her first book of short sto-
ries, The Long White and Other
Stories, a collection which ulti-

mately won the Iowa Short Fiction
Award in 1988, was published
while she was a University MFA
student. Diloworth contends that
she "is not good at anything else,"
and adds, "Writing is the one thing
I don't have any qualms about; it's
the right profession for me. I finally
feel like I'm not faking it."
Currently an Assistant Professor
of Creative Writing at Carnegie
Mellon, Dilworth has seen many
talented students in and out of her
classroom. "Talented, and
surprisingly so," she notes. "They
always ask, 'Do I have what it
takes to be a writer?"' She tells
them that they must have a need
to write, and without that, no mat-
ter how talented, they will not con-
tinue. "If you love it you'll do it no
matter what the odds," she says.
"Listen to your heart."
"The Long White" is a story
which takes place in the Upper
Peninsula, as Dilworth feels strong
ties to Michigan. Her next collec-
tion of short stories, Women Drink-

ing Benedictine, mostly take place
in suburban Detroit or Ann Arbor.
"I told myself I'd never write about
suburban Detroit," she says. "But I
keep going back to writing about
Michigan. Once you're away you
filter it out and look at it differ-
ently." Dilworth favors stories
steeped in setting, with women
characters who are dealing with
some sort of relationship -- inde-
pendent of men. "Relationships
with men are not the focal points
of my stories," she says. "They're
about women making choices re-
gardless of men."
Having The Long White pub-
lished changed her life, she says.
"It gave me the confidence to con-
tinue writing." And like many of
her talented students, she said, "If
you don't get motivated, you won't
continue.
SHARON DIL WORTH will be
reading from Women Drinking
Benedictine this evening in the
Michigan Union Pendleton Room at
5p.m.

1Schwarzenegger likes kids

r

Kindergarten Cop
dir. Ivan Reitman

1

by Gregg Flaxman

It seems altogether predictable
that Arnold Schwarzenegger's
character, John Kimble, when
confronted with an undercover
assignment as a kindergarten
teacher, should approach the task
with totalitarian intolerance.
Kindergarten Cop director Ivan
Reitman's latest 'commercial
bonanza contrives to thrust the
muscle-laden Schwarzenegger into
a classroom of thirty pre-
pubescents and watch him come to
terms with the kids. The premise is
as credible as the circumstances
themselves, which is to say not
very credible. Yet Kindergarten
Cop is markedly better than many
of Reitman's previous efforts if
only because Schwarzenegger,
with whom he has worked
previously, appears more human
and articulate - shedding much of

what was a Cro-Magnon image -
than ever before.
At first Kimble, with the con-
summate detective three-day
stubble, recognizes little else than
the need to get the job done.
Justice, like any customer in an
overpriced restaurant or the
concept of a Judeo-Christian God,
must be served. And it's in pursuit
of that justice that the rough 'n'
ready urban detective finds himself
in a small Oregon town trying to
protect a mother and her child
from ruthless killer Cullen Crisp
(Richard Tyson), the psychopathic
father who desperately wants his
son back. The problem is that
Kimble doesn't have a clue as to
the identity of the child he's
supposed to protect, much less the
mother. The fact that the audience
knows the vulnerable twosome
before Kimble does little to add to
the film's authenticity.
But Kindergarten Cop makes
little pretense of re-creating
reality. Otherwise Oscar-winning
actress Linda Hunt, who plays the

fiercely caring principal of Astoria
Elementary School, would hardly
be lauding the boot-camp that
Kimble has created from a
kindergarten classroom. Kimble at
first tries to establish order with a
steely glare' and irate commands.
The kids, in one of the films
funnier scenes, respond with a
collective chorus of tears. Kimble
is lost. But as the film progresses
Schwarzenegger notably softens
his demeanor as an actor - even
sociably smiling as the film goes
on - and Kimble softens himself
as a teacher.
Kimble turns to using a whistle
to encourage the children to line
up. He also emphasizes physical
fitness. In the end, he is
overwhelmingly successful in
winning over the children and
parents. Still, Kimble's tactics,
though funny, seem like watered-
down authoritarianism. It would
undoubtedly be too much to ask for
the aggressive Kimble to
metamorphisize into Mother
Teresa, but it seems difficult to
believe that parents would entrust
their children to a hulking dictator.
Kimble's intentions are never in
doubt- only his methods. It is to
See COP, Page 7

by Mike Kolody
Set in the turbulent time period
when the U.S. was gripped in the
Vietnam conflict,The Zoo Zoo
Chronicles by local playwright and
performer Elise Bryant is unnerv-
ingly timely. As the U.S. stares
down the muzzle of a new
confrontation, Bryant's work
suggests that the overseas conflict
is nothing new at all, and nothing
less tragic than what has happened
in the past.
Though not set in Vietnam, the
placement of the play in the late
'60s or early '70s during the war is
essential, as times of conflict are
times of intense social change. In-
stead of focusing on a large social
abstraction, Bryant has chosen to
focus on the individual concerns
and anxieties of real people in a
way that is relevant to a viewer's
own sense of self, especially for
Ann Arbor residents.
A small group of female col-
lege students with contrasting per-
sonalities find themselves together
during their first year of school. Ini-
tially the combination is nothing

short of explosive. When a militant
African-American, a closet lesbian
and a high school prom queen
have to share the same space in a
dorm, there's bound to be tension.
Nonetheless, they and two other
female students form a seemingly
impossible friendship. They hit the
streets to protest the war and come
together in the face of a common
terror. The characters grapple with
racism, drugs, gender roles and
their sexuality. These characters
bond in a kind of Breakfast Club
scenario, illustrating in true '70s
fashion that love, after all, is what
makes the world go 'round.
"Regardless of what the world

The college students from The Zoo Zoo Chronicles sit and talk about the Vietnam war in the new play by local
playwright and performer Elise Bryant, opening tonight at the Performance Network.
It was a jungle in Zoo Zoo

does, if these women stay together
they'll be happy," says stage man-
ager Rae Sovereign. "Within
themselves they learned that
friendship and sustaining love is
what [keeps] them going."
Though this is Bryant's first
full-length play, she has an
extensive theatrical background
and has always been at the
forefront of social change. She is
the original founder of B.A.M.
(Black Action Movement) here at
the University, a precursor to the
Office of Minority Affairs. As a
student here from 1969-1974, the
time period which is covered in
See ZOO, Page 7

Auditions and Opportunities
Basement Arts is holding Wednesday, Jan. 22 and 23rd. Sign
auditions for the mid-March
production of The Taming of the up in the Green Room of the
S h r e w on Tuesday and Frieze Building on the first floor.I

215 S. State St.
Ann Arbor
995-DEAD
(upstairs)
ViGH

WANTED
USHERS
For Major Events Concerts
MASS MEETING
Tonight
Anderson Room, Michigan Union
VETERAN USHERS- Those who have ushered
Major Events concerts in the past.
NEW USHERS- Those who would like to usher
Major Events concerts.

LS&A SCHOLARSHIP
LS&A Scholarship applications for Spring-Summer
1991 and Fall-Winter 1991-92 are now available
in 1402 Mason Hall
To qualify for scholarship consideration, a student must be an
LS&A undergraduate and have completed one full term in LS&A.
Sophomores must have a U of M grade point of 3.7 or better and
Juniors and Seniors must have a GPA of at least 3.6. The awards
are based on financial need and on academic merit.

- Alternative Sporting Goods
- Rockshirts A-Z
- brateful Dead Stuff

" Imported Clothing
- Large Sticker Selection
" Indian Blankets

University of Michigan Library
School of Information and Library Studies
present
CLAUDE
BROWN

Author of
Manchild in the Promised Land
and Children of Ham

Crystals and Jewelry
Former President Gerald Ford
discusses the Gulf Crisis.
Julie Foster examines the MTS social scene.
Steve Cohen relates the philosophy
and message of the rap group X-Clan.
Tony Silber looks back at the
Godfather saga.

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