The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 17, 1997, Page 8, Image 8

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Trilogy’s finale returns tn screen
By Gehhy Beltz
Film Critic
Great. The Force meets the Muppets. It must
be “Return of the Jedi.”
The third film in George Lucas’ hi stoic tril
ogy brings this set of adventures to a close, and
of course it is done in a flurry of dazzling spe
cial effects and a whirlwind of action and sus
Oh, and don’t forget those CUTE little
Ewoks (teddy bears who run around with props
and wardrobe from a bad “Thrzan” flick).
This is another of the special edition films
in the “Star Wars” movies, so everything has
been cleaned up and revamped (though the print
I watched was a bit grainy at points). The shots
of the emperor also have a much more menac
ing appearance to them, diminishing the fact
that his face looks as though it were covered
with a pound of white Play-Doh.
The highlight, if it can be called that, would
be the additional footage. Included here are a
more threatening Sarlacc (the thing on Tktooine
they try to dump the heroes into), an extended
dance scene at Jabba The Hutt’s palace and
shots of celebrations on other planets at the end
of the film.
One small problem with this: One of the
planets shown is the Imperial home planet of
Coruscant, but how many average “Star Wars”
fans would recognize this fact? If the toppling
statue of Emperor Palpatine had been more
precisely detailed, this would have helped.
The movie itself is still a wild ride from
beginning to finish, culminating in possibly the
best cinematic space battle sequence of all time.
Performances throughout the film are not i
Oscar-worthy (have they ever been?), but the
cast does take things seriously, adding cred
ibility to its work.
Film: “Return of the Jedi”
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie
Director: Richard Marquand
Rating: PG (sci-fi violence)
Grade: A
Five Words: Extra footage doesn’t help ...
(This film also has my all-time favorite
sound effect: the “twung” when the speeder bike
rider hits the clothesline. My neck still hurts!)
Overall, just cleaning up “Return of the
Jedi” would have been enough, although the
dance scene was pretty neat.
Besides, how could you resist those cute
little Ewoks?
Typical Lynch effects confuse, distort Lost Highway5
By Cuff Hicks
Watching a David Lynch film is kind of like
drinking bad beer — you’ll get messed up no
matter what, you just might not enjoy it.
Lynch’s latest film, “Lost Highway," is about
Fred (Bill Pullman), a jazz saxophonist whose
life is turned upside down when ... well, it’s
hard to say how much to talk about and how
much to keep secret.
He and his wife (Patricia Arquette) start
receiving videotapes that get stranger and
stranger, and before we know it, JJed is going
to the electric chair for killing his wife.
One day in prison, though, a guard goes to
check on Fred and finds out that he has been
replaced by another man, Pete (Balthazar
Ghetty). And from that point, things start get
ting REALLY weird.
As always, the actors aren’t really what’s
important in a David Lynch film, though Pull
man does a nice job.
There also are some nice appearances from
Richard Pryor (who refuses to let his illness
- keep him from acting) and Henry Rollins (with
his one line of dialogue)—and, yeah, Marilyn
' Manson does put in an appearance as a porno
In the end, though, it’s still Lynch who steals
the show with a lot of weird visual tricks and
distorted perceptions.
If you plan on going to see “Lost Highway,”
don’t go right after you’ve eaten. There are sev
eral reasons for this.
Lynch likes to play with film speed, so some
things happen at incredibly fast speeds and
some happen incredibly slow, sometimes in
The film speed tricks and sudden cuts be
tween shots are typical Lynch, so their appear
ance here cones as no real surprise. A lot of
the time, they make for some beautiful cinema
tography but occasionally they just bog things
They can also give you a sense of motion
sickness, as you travel along a dark road at 10
times the normal speed, watch a house explod
ing in reverse, pin your eyes on a saxophonist
under a strobe light and see lots of other visual
feats that don’t appear anywhere in reality.
Violence is also something that Lynch likes
to toy with, and “Lost Highway” has plenty of
it — from surrealistic grainy shots of innards
to a hysterical scene about tailgaters.
The Lynch trademarks are all here: fire,
velvet, leather, a motorcycle, a musical instru
ment, sex and stale dialogue.
Film: “Lost Highway”
Director: David Lynch
Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette,
Balthazar Ghetty
Rating: R (violence, language, nudity)
Grade: C+
Five words: Lynch is a scary man
The opening of the film itself is fairly slow
—a lot of waiting for things to pick up, a lot of
watch checking. Once the story starts to get
moving, things become interesting but not en
tirely engaging.
The film itself never really captures the
imagination to its fullest. There's always a lin
gering sense of “Yeah, but so what?”
It’s the surrealistic story line, another
Lynchian trademark, that gets a little distract
ing. Lynch seems divided between making an
art film, a noir film and a psychological film,
and that blurred distinction holds filings back.
In the end, “Lost Highway” becomes more
like a dream—it makes for some fascinating
viewing but don’t try to make sense of it. Just
flow along for the ride.
Strong cast
brings tragic
story to life
By Liza Holtmeder
Theater Critic
The suffocating world of “The House of
Bemarda Alba” by Federico Garcia Lorca
was brought to life by the UNL Department
of Theatre Arts and Dance Friday night.
The play opened with Bemarda and her
five daughters beginning a mourning period
for Bemarda’s husband. As the play pro
gressed, the daughters were tom between
their need to be alive and young and
Bemarda’s increasingly tyrannical rule.
Belinda Barnes gave a multilayered per
formance as the defiant servant, Poncia. She
naturally shifted among the roles of mother,
enemy, confidant, conspirator and mediator.
r Her musical voice cascaded over the lines,
giving them a lyrical quality, while her sway
ing walk and full, round gestures portrayed
a passionate, triumphant woman.
Shirley Carr Mason made a formidable
Bernarda. Her methodical delivery and
harsh enunciation of consonants
complimented her rigid posture and tense,
controlled gestures. Her only awkwardness
_ resulted from ha one vital prop, ha cane.
The cane should have existed as another ap
pendage of Bernarda, but Mason remained
too conscious of it and the result was un
natural and contrived.
Ebru Gokdag was wonderful in the role
of Adela, the youngest daughta. Her fiery
voice, haughty stance and defiant arm flings
served as a vital contrast to the restrained
characters of her sisters. Her passionate,
compulsive interpretation complimented
Barnes’ Poncia well, and the scenes between
the two of them were some of the strongest.
Jacque Camperud did an excellent job
playing the jealous and repressed Martirio.
Ha facial expressions and glances held more
meaning than pages of lines. Like Barnes,
she also traversed a variety of relationships
and emotions, transforming from a zealous
gossip to a wildly, covetous woman.
Kathy Dudley gave a satisfactory perfor
mance in the role of Angustias. Though her
childish naivete helped to illustrate the shel
tered, oppressive life Angustias led, her con
stant pouting left this forlorn, suppressed
character hollow and flat.
Judith Hart provided some moments of
comic relief in her role as Maria Josefa. Her
blunt tone and vacant looks were funny, but
they also helped to underscore the sad and
true situation of Bemarda’s daughters.
Amy Jirsa’s childish portrayal of Amelia
seemed vastly inappropriate for a character
who is supposed to be 27. She ignored the
bitterness and desperateness of her
character’s situation, and her constant
clodding across stage drowned out more than
a few lines.
Becky Key’s performance as the servant
seemed restrained. She seemed to be hold
ing back from portraying all of the contrast
ing bitterness and fright that her character
felt towards Bemarda. Consequently, she lost
the multiple dimensions the role had to of
fer. _____
Finally, the blocking and constant mov
ing helped to compensate for the poor sight
lines that might otherwise have existed, and
the white, flowing curtains of the set helped
to break the monotony of the flat stage.
The play continues this Tuesday through
Friday at 8 p.m. in the Studio Theatre of the
Temple Building.