The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 17, 1997, Page 8, Image 8
--1.. - ^ . ' > * . - , * aULt ^aMEiafigM^ag^ ; < _ CoUSTKSY PHOTO 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 pense. 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. u Film: “Return of the Jedi” Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher Director: Richard Marquand Rating: PG (sci-fi violence) Grade: A Five Words: Extra footage doesn’t help ... much. (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? -EBUBp Typical Lynch effects confuse, distort Lost Highway5 By Cuff Hicks FilmCritic 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 star. 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 reverse. 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 down. 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.