The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 28, 1996, Page 14, Image 14
Movie successfully portrays Irish history By Paula Lavigne Movie Critic It’s been said that those who forget history are liable to repeat it, and the ‘ explosive “Michael Collins” should be no exception. “Michael Collins” begins in 1916 Dublin at the time of the Easter Rising and traces the roots of the Irish Repub lican Army, as well as the bloodlines of those involved in its creation. Director Neil Jordan does an excel lent job in describing how Collins and the IRA became such romantic figures by showing the struggle of devotion and nationalism under an oppressive British rule. Only actor Liam Neeson, a native of Northern Ireland, could have shown how deep Irish loyalties run. Jordan paired Collins against Ireland’s first prime minister, Eamon De Valera, played by Alan Rickman. Rickman poignantly shows the cunning puzzle of a man Ireland is still trying 10 ngure out. Ana me airecior raxes some liberty in solving the puzzle. While De Valera was imprisoned for the 1916 Easter Rising protest against British occupation of Ireland, the terrorist actions of Collins’ Irish volunteers brought the British govern ment to the negotiating table. The resulting treaty negotiations after De Valera’s release, involving both Collins and De Valera, went on to establish an Irish Free State and sparked a civil war in Ireland. It also created a war among friends: De Valera, Collins and Harry Boland (played by Aidan Quinn), Collins’ lieu tenant and best friend. Quinn, in portraying Boland’s Name: “Michael Collins” Director. Neil Jordan Cast: Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Julia Rob erts Rating: R (violence) Grade: A Five words: Explosion of Irish politi cal passion choice between Collins and De Valera, exemplified the desperate choice faced by every Irishman that divided Ireland itself. Also, the use of Stephen Rea as Ned Broy, a British informant who sympa thizes with and aids Collins, was an excellent choice. Jordan expanded Brqy’s real role in history (Broy’s char acter is actually a composite of three people: Broy, who survived the events, Dick McKee and Peader Clancy, friends of Collins who died the way Bray’s character does in the film.) and succeeded in showing the tom alle giances on both sides. Not all characters were in such de lining rotes. Julie Roberts as Kitty Kiernan failed to accurately portray the intel lect, strength — and accent — of an Irishwoman to be paired with Collins and scoies of her buying a wedding dress (harking back to the “Pretty Woman” mush) should not have been mixed in with scales of the ambush that killed Collins. Though Jordan implicated that De Valera was responsible for Collins’ death in 1921, he did it in such a way that showed how Irish nationalism tran scended the lives of either character, and made a martyr out of the 31 -year old Irishman. Photo courtesy of Geffen Pictures EAMON DE VALERA (Alan Rickman), Michael Collins (LiamNeeson) and Harry Boland (Aidan Quinn) are the men caught in a three-way nationalistic struggle in Warner Bros, new historical epic, “Michael Collins.” It was almost as if Jordan was say ing that De Valera knew Collins’ death would bring Irishmen to their knees, and, in retrospect, would realize how division would be the death of Ireland. Even if Irish history isn’t a reason to see the film, it’s frightening to note that the majority of gruesome scenes —with minor alterations—are based on actual events. This includes a heinous scene of a British army vehicle driving on to a soccer field and gunning down the players and several fans. It is very important that viewers remember that movie is history. Collins’ army was fighting for a dif ferent cause in a different time than the present terrorist organization that wages war on innocent men, women and children. Collins’ IRA split into two factions in 1921 over whether to accept the treaty fo* an Irish Free State that Collins negotiated with the British. The IRA active today was created in 1969 in Northern Ireland as a result of “The Troubles” that continue there today. Nevertheless, in 1916, Collins cre ated a monster that would never be tamed. Jordan’s portrayal of history showed how Collins’ contradictory at tempt to take the gun out of Irish poli tics tragically backfired. Play explores heroism’s cost By Liza Holtmeier TheaterCritic This weekend’s Theatrix produc tion of “Largo Desolato” delivered a deep message on the prices of heroism through the use of the absurd. The play detailed the life of Pro fessor Leopold Nettles, a philosopher and writer whose material had been an inspiration to the common people and a threat to the oppressive government. The character of Leopold was bril liantly played by Mike Zaller. His frightened, almost crazy stares de picted the paranoia of a man who is precariously poised on a pedestal cre ated by his fans. Bertram, played by Ken Paulman, provided the analytical side of Leopold’s nature by continuously con fronting Leopold with the course his actions were taking. Eva Nekovar did an admirable job portraying the hero’s worshiping girl friend who gives love but never re ceives it. Suzana, superbly played by Erin McLaine, provided a glimpse into the lives of those who must actually live with a hero. Marguerite, played by Kerry Gallagher, provided someone who Leopold could identify with. She seemed to understand how he felt about the superficiality of the world. Despite the play’s serious tone, the absurdity and repetition of dialogue and action provided comic relief. Sev eral scenes throughout the play epito mized the absurdity and contrast uti lized by the play’s author and exhib ited by the play’s cast. I Happy Hours I ' $4 OFF ! I Dozen bagels plus I I 11). cream cheese ■ Choice of flavors 1 ii *; 1 )i . j 2-F0R-1 ! 1 Btry 1. Get 1 FREE 1 of equal or lesser value I Drinks, Desserts I Limit 1 free item per person 1 1 I Expires Dec. 2, 1996 I :Jll 13 th A Q I by Nebraska Bookstore 438-0088 I OPEN LATE I 1 Till 9 Sun-Wed 1 m 11 Thurs-Sat | ■ Till 12 After Ued events . YORK MU I I * % - I ' ■ * Ballet troupe's performance encompasses various styles . By Paula Lavigne Dance Critic Moving from point shoes to cowboy boots, the American Ballet Theatre set the stage for ancient Greece, the wild West and a bit of regality in between. The troupe of dancers brought the legacy of the 56-year-old ballet company from New York to the Lied Center for Performing Arts this weekend. The acting focus of the company was evident from the first piece, “Apollo,” which was set in ancient Greece, the cradle of theater. Unlike a strict, classical ballet, the dancers were more personable and characteristic in portraying the idol worship of Apollo. Without words, they interacted with eye contact and symbolism, creating great pictures when they came together. For the most part, the choreog raphy was on target; however, one or two dancers fell out of sync and out of step, leading to a somewhat sloppy execution during Friday’s first act. Any problems in “Apollo” were cleared up by “Transcendental Etudes,” which filled the stage with a full cast of dancers and more body collages. The two-person performance of “The Sleeping Beauty” showcased the talent of dancers Julie Kent and Maxim Belotserkovsky in regal, sequined costumes perfect for the portrayal. What really shined, though, was Kent’s talent and strength. The dancer mastered the tension of grav ity and the ability to isolate upper leg muscles. But for audience members who were looking for the bigger details, “Rodeo” roped them in. Set to Aaron Copland's fast-paced score, “Rodeo” put the dancers in cowboy boots and 10-gallon hats and gave the audience a character to care about. Cowgirl Kathleen Moore be came everybody’s sweetheart by showing the cowboys how to really ride a bronco. But when it came time for the ranch house dance, the head wrangler—whom she had her eye on—kept treating her like one of the guys. With a lot of spunk and storytelling, the ABT left the audi ence with a happy ending almost as good as a riding off into the sunset.