The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 28, 1996, Page 14, Image 14

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    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
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
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
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
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.
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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
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
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
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
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.