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November 30, 1995 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-30

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The Michigan Daily - w/e cU., 4c. - Thursday, November 30, 1995 -58

With new filh:'Casino,' actress
Sharon Stone nakes on-screen
move from seipot to serious

By Christopher Corbett
Daily Arts Writer
Let's say you're Sharon Stone and
it's 1992. You've slaved away in Hol-
lywood for some 12 years, appearing
in such dead-on-arrival duds as the
ill-fated "Allan Quartermain and the
Lost City of Gold" and "Action Jack-
son." You sell your patio furniture in
order to keep your house. And finally,
you win the role of the beautiful but
murderous Catherine Trammel in the
controversial "Basic Instinct."
;Under director Paul Verhoeven's
coaching, you serve up the best per-
formance of your career. Even though
the role requires you to give mucho
screen-time to bouncing up and down
on men and baring your breasts and
booty, you give it your all. Your per-
formance keeps the audience guess-
ing. They don't know if you really are
the killer until the last frame of the
film.
Then, it seems that nearly every
critic in the land bashes you with
insults like, "Slut!" or, "Sharon Stone
is talented-in taking off her clothes"
and "She's only worth her [insert ap-
pendage of choice here]."
You're awesome as the femme-
fatale, but maybe you'd aim for a bit

of sophisticaon. Maybe you should
do a productie of Shakespeare's clas-
sic tragedy'Romeo and Juliet"
("Romeo, dst it please thee to
watch?"). Mzbe you'd just go for
class, and tryo land a role like the
composer Moirt's wife Constanze,
in "Amadeus'("Wolfie! Hurry and
finish writing:hat piece! My girl-
friend and I a, running out of co-
caine!"). Or mabe you'd go for sheer
commercialismnd try landing a part
in the upcomit new "Star Wars"
trilogy ("Han! llon't trust Lando. If
I can't get rid ofte male lead, then no
one can.").
Stone seducedailly Baldwin in the
1993 movie "Sli'r" and stripped like
a banana in 1994 "The Specialist."
For $7.50, we sawvery part of Sharon
Stone's body, excpt maybe her ton-
sils.
She didn't have uch luck in chang-
ing her image or 1 showcasing her
talent. But who's fLlt is that? No one
put a gun to her hed and said, "You
had BETTER be a ig old hoochie in
your next film!"
This year, Stone as stopped play-
ing cheap charactts. She put five
quarters into the pker machine by
landing the role of finger McKenna

- opposite Robert De Niro and Joe
Pesci -in director Martin Scorsese's
"Casino." And guess what? She
stopped losing; she got a royal straight
flush. And when you finally hit the
jackpot, what's the first thing that
comes to your mind, after people have
poked fun at you for losing and for
making mistakes? Revenge, baby. Re-
venge.
Scorsese's hallucinatory crime
films always draw in the crowds. But
De Niro and Pesci have worn out their
welcome as buddies screaming at each
other (as in "GoodFellas" and "Rag-
ing Bull." Give it up already!) With
these two heavyweights boring the
film's viewers, Stone reaches out and
snatches the audience's interest as
the flawed Ginger.
A real casino hustler, Ginger flips a
box full of one man's $100 chips after
he refuses to share his winnings. She
laughs as the man scrambles to re-
cover his money from the crowd. She
swings her arms up into the air, scat-
tering the rest of his chips with glee.
Stone might as well be a kid jump-
ing rope or playing hopscotch. As
Ginger, she has the energy that both
De Niro and Pesci lack. Stone be-
comes the lifeblood of the three-hour
"Casino."
No wonder the early Hollywood
buzz pits Sharon Stone as a lead con-
tender for an Oscar. Scorsese, unlike
the brilliant, but too often tasteless
Verhoeven, makes Stone act
throughout, rather than forcing her
to take it off and do the nasty with
the fellas.
Stone convinces us. We believe her
as her character makes a sickening
slide into alcoholism and drug addic-
tion as the trapped wife of casino
operator Ace (De Niro). We can hear
the rage in her voice-and she sounds
like a locomotive barreling down a
tunnel. We can feel Ginger's despair
as, time and again, she fails to claw
her way out of the satin sheets of the
giant, soft bed that has swallowed her
up.
Stone does more than hold her own
against Scorsese's dynamic duo. That
feat in itself should earn her some
consideration for the Best Actress
award. Not many people can miss
Stone when Ginger stomps into the
kitchen of her home, with Ace sitting
across from her at the table. Not many
people can miss her face as De Niro's
character questions her about where
she's been. Ginger doesn't flinch as
Ace raises his voice and tries to trick
her into admitting she's seen her old
boyfriend.
And Stone doesn't flinch as the
legendary De Niro flexes his acting
muscles. As she keeps her face calm
and icy, you can practically tell what's
on Stone's mind. You can practically
see her shadow-boxing into the cam-
era, at us.

Robert De Niro, one of Martin Scorsese's favorite actors and a frequent star in his films, observes the action in his "Casino."

On 'Mean Streets' or in
of Innocence,' Scorsese

By Kristin Long
Daily Arts Writer
Perhaps it is not so much what hap-
pens in front of the camera that makes
some movies a great success. Rather,
maybe it is what the camera does not
show that constitutes an achievement.
Take Martin Scorsese, for instance.
This man has contributed to all realms
of the motion picture industry. His list
of films have brought him numerous
Academy Award nominations, along
with great fame and recognition.
Scorsese's unlimited talents have
enhanced his reputation. It would be
impossible to designate this man into
one specialty, for he can do it all. He
edited, produced, wrote, directed and
even acted in numerous films that
have hit the big screen. Classic Films
like "Mean Streets" (1973), "Taxi
Driver"(1976) and "Raging
Bull"(1980) lead his repertoire of over
15 films.
Scorsese's career began after he
graduated from New York University
film school and made his first feature,
"Who's That Knocking at My Door?"
(1968), starring then-unknown actor
Harvey Keitel. He caught the eye of
producer Roger Corman, who wanted
the up-and-coming filmmaker to di-
rect the 1972 film "Boxcar Bertha."
This started a wave of successes for
Scorsese. In 1973 he acted, directed,
and wrote the popular "Mean Streets,"
for which he garnered wide acclaim.
His vast array of themes makes
Scorsese one of the foremost direc-
tors in the industry. He directed the
1974 flick "Alice Doesn't Live Here

Anymore," for which Ellen Burstyn
won a Best Actress Oscar. He di-
rected and acted in "Taxi
Driver"(1976), working with his fre-
quent colleague, Robert De Niro, as
well as child star Jodie Foster. He
joined forces with De Niro again in
the Academy Award-nominated "Rag-
ing Bull" (1980); the actor won an
Oscar, while Scorsese went home
empty-handed.
Many of his films have displayed
Oscar-winning talents. In 1986, Paul
Newman won his first Oscar in the
Scorsese-directed "The Color of
Money" - a sequel to Newman's
earlier film, "The Hustler" (1961).
Then, in 1990, Joe Pesci received a
Best Supporting Actor Academy
Award for Scorsese's "GoodFellas."
He also directed the critically-ac-
claimed, yet theologically-question-
able "The Last Temptation of Christ"
(1988).
In 1992, Scorsese captivated audi-
ences with the modern version of the
thriller "Cape Fear." He also directed
and wrote "The Age of Innocence"
(1993), starring Michelle Pfieffer and
Daniel Day-Lewis. And, if directing
isn't enough, he has acted in numer-
ous films (directed by others) such as
"'Round Midnight" (1986), "Akira
Kurosawa's Dreams" (1990), "Guilty
By Suspicion" (1991) and the criti-
cally-acclaimed "Quiz Show" (1994).
This year, Scorsese has created two
films that have had audiences talking
endlessly about his talents. He pro-
duced director Spike Lee's "Clock-
ers," a story about a cop who must

the AgUe
is biiat
solve a complicated homicide case
involving two brothers with opposite
personalities. He also directed and
co-wrote the gambling flick "Casino,"
starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci
and Sharon Stone. Here, he brings
Nicholas Pileggi's story of the deceit
and savagery of the Las Vegas lifestyle
to the silver screen.
In addition, he almost single-
handedly brought forth the return
of director Luis Bunuel's classic
romantic fairy tale, "Belle De Jour"
(1967), by funding its big screen
release this year after an almost 30-
year absence.
Scorsese is undoubtedly a movie-
making machine. His talents are re-
vered by the entertainment world; he
has been nominated for eight Academy
Awards: three for directing, three for
producing, and two for screen writing.
He has produced numerous films like
"The Grifters" (1990) and "Mad Dog
and Glory" (1993) in order to boost the
careers of younger and lesser-known
talents. He also developed a company.
Martin Scorsese Presents, devoted to
preserving classic films (the first being
"Belle De Jour"). His future directing
endeavors include another film due out
in 1997 entitled, "Kundun."
Once married to actress Isabella
Rossellini, much of his private life is
now left to our imagination. While
most of us probably don't have a clue
what he looks like, there is no doubt
that he has enchanted us all. We are
familiar with him because of his fine
work on the big screen - perhaps
that's all we need to know.

Sharon Stone (pictured here in "The Specialist") changesar onscreen image
from bare-it-all slut to serious actress in Martin Scorsese'new film "Casino."

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