The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 23, 1998, Page 9, Image 9

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rroaucer nooert anapiro visits ui\il to lecture
like Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Whitney Houston and Tbm Clancy,
■ •- •••' ■ w >. ■■■■& ? !<
— ■' -- •
vision talent department and vice
president of its motion picture depart
In 1968, William Morris offered
^ the 28-year-old Shapiro a job as
^v-managing director of its
London office. Shapiro
took the job, sold his
’ house and packed up
^ his wife and two
thought,‘Ifit doesn’t work out, it will
be the best vacation that I could never
afford,’” Shapiro said.
Shapiro said his time in London
was spent at the tail-end of London’s
swinging era. The movie and televi
sion business was flourishing, and the
London fashion world was rivaling
that of France.
“It was a happening time,”
Shapiro said. “It was an eye-opener
While in London, Shapiro made
connections with some of the
entertainment business’s biggest
stars and continued to hone his repre
sentation skills.
^ In 1974, Shapiro moved back to
the United States to become head
* of Wiliam Morris’ international
^motion picture department. Shapiro
stayed there for two years, counsel
ing writers and directors about their
material and how to get it made. But
' he soon tired of serving as an advis
sv\ “I realized I was sending my
clients to all these great, exotic
locations, and I only got to visit
from time to time,” Shapiro said.
“I decided I wanted to exercise more
of my creative juices.”
In 1976, Shapiro left William
Morris without a contract or deal,
determined to venture into the world
of producing.
Shapiro formed his own produc
tion company - Robert Shapiro
Productions. At the same time,
Warner Bros, asked him to become its
head of production. Shapiro served as
president of Warner Bros. Theatrical
Production Division for six years.
Some films the company pro
duced during his tenure include
“Hooper,” the “Superman” series,
“Private Benjamin” and “Chariots of
At Warner Bros., Shapiro main
tained his close relationship with the
writers, directors and actors.
“You still have to be conscious of
die talent and be able to convince the
Please see PLAYER on 10
• ^
Nothing held back by mends and Neighbors
By Jotf Randall
Senior editor
Neil LaBute is a side man.
The writer and director of 199?’s “In the
Company of Men” and the newly released “Your
Friends and Neighbors” seems to be building a
career out of films that make audiences squirm in
their seats. :!
Filled with brash and uncompromising dialogue
spat out by characters who are practically beyond
redemption, LaBute’s mastery of immorality is unri
valed in contemporary film.
But whereas the characters in “In the Company
of Men” were based on the most extreme manifesta
tions of sexism and cruelty, “Your Friends and
Neighbors” is more subtle in its depiction of deprav
ity, filled with characters who are, as die film’s title
implies, more realistic and everyday.
“Your Friends and Neighbors” builds its edginess
around die suspicion that everyone in the audience
has at least a hint of each of die character’s flaws.
The film centers on two couples - Mary (Amy
Brenneman) and Barry (Aaron Eckhart); and Terri
(Catherine Keener) and Jerry (Ben Stiller)-who are
torn apart by both their infidelity and the sexual atti
tudes within their relationships. Meanwhile, Cary
(Jason Patric) plays the cold-hearted bachelor who
critiques their behavior, despite the feet that his own
actions make those of his friends appear downright
And as far as a plot that is about as far as “Your
Friends and Neighbors” readies. For the most part
this film is driven by the characters’ conversations
whether they take place in a locker room, the work
place or the bedroom. And action takes a back seat to
astute observation.
And die realism that drives these conversations is
the most winning aspect ofthe film. Unlike the shal
low realism of Quentin Tarantino and his legions of
followers — who seem to believe realism should
involve minute details but little depth-LaBute offers
characters who divulge minute details in discussions
about the most persona] of matters: namely love, hate
and sex as a manifestation of both.
Hearing Jason Panic’s character justify his hor
rific acts of degradation and manipulation toward
women as a common course of events may sound
extreme to the point of hyperbole, but itfc also brutal
ly honest
And that honesty carries throughout “Your
Friends and Neighbors.” Whereas most directors
would take a boys-will-be-boys attitude toward
something as meaningless as a “who was your best
lay” discussion, LaBute manages to uncover the
seedy dishonesty that usually accompanies such talk.
The result is a film that plays out like a nephew of
Stephen Sodernergh’s “sex, lies and videotape,” an
unnerving work with unsettling characters and
meticulously drawn-out moments that linger long
after one has left the theater.
Ned LaBute is a sick man. But he makes illness
into an emotionally riveting experience. And that not
only makes the characters of uYour Friends and
Neighbors” worthwhile, it may even offer them
Hot bad for $5.
DGC Records
Grade: C+
A song on Hole’s latest release
offers this food for thought: “If
the world is so wrong - yeah you
can take it all with one song.”
True or not, that one song isn’t
on the album.
What is on Jelebrity
Skin,” however, is collection of
12 intricately written and luxuri
ously produced total pop songs.
Gone are die days of power chords
and screaming punk-style
anthems about high school
cliques. Arrived are clean and
stringy chord progressions lay
ered over nhsenre effeetc and
The angst of “Live Through
This” seldom rears its ugly head
and when it does, it just isn’t as
ugly anymore. Songs like
“Reasons to be Beautiful” and
“Playing Your Song” seem to
emanate a desire for decadence
but end up sounding entirely out
of place.
However, Hole’s attempt to
bury grunge rock with Courtney
Love’s late husband works
throughout the album. The band
has adapted to playing pop songs
quite well and, though rebellious
rock anthems like “Rock Star”
and “Violet” are nowhere to be
found, there are a number of tunes
that take their places with a softer
Songs like “Awful,” “Boys on
the Radio” and “Heaven Tonight”
will have teen-age girls dancing in
front of their mirrors like Molly
Ringwald before you know it.
They’ll be shakin’ around as they
squeeze their teddy bears and
smile at Johnny’s yearbook pic
ture, dancing their way into
Man I hope things work out
between those crazy kids.
The lighthearted feel is kept
throughout much of the album;
ana tne lyrics, rnougn generally
dealing with sad topics, seem to
indicate singer Courtney Love’s
desire to be happy. The feel-good
ness of the album is almost sick
ening at times, and moms every
where may even enjoy the noise
coming from their daughters’
rooms this time around.
Celebrity Skin starts off with
the album’s title track and first
single. The song has a Veruca Salt
feel to it, combining a few cleaned
up power chords mixed with a
lighter sing-songy verse.
The second track, “Awful,” is
by far the best song on the album.
Love’s vocals actually sound good
and give the impression she can
sing (don’t worry, some of her
other songs prove she can’t). It
features a catchy verse melody
and rhyme scheme with an even
more catchy chorus.
From here die album gets a lit
tle caught up in the effects, and
the next few songs are somewhat
Please see HOLE on 10