The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 27, 2001, Page 8, Image 8

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Artist promotes justice and humanity I
■ Dadisi Sanyika speaks at UNL as part of the
Artist Diversity Residency Program,using drums
and dancing to engage students.
In African tradition and culture, storytellers and
artists had a social responsibility to instruct their
They weren't paid to simply perform but reveal
science or fact in a symbolic format, said Dadisi
Sanyika, a poet, artist, and community organizer
from Los Angeles.
Sanyika, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as
part of the
itogr^J^e Dadisi Sanyika is
a presenta- here to reveal the
q^ondayin depths of African
the seiieck American culture and
Dining HaiL why/f relevant.
in which We are here to find
jP°ng ways to help students
sanyika in go deeper.”
their class
rooms could Ron Bowlin
speak with director, Artist Diversity
™JJ[™other _Residency Program
Present at
the talk were
faculty from the Artist Diversity Residency Program,
the Teaching and Learning Center, the English
department, the Family and Consumer Sciences
department and the University libraries.
Ron Bowlin, director of the Artist Diversity
Residency Program, began the talk by explaining the
purpose of Sanyika’s visit
"Dadisi Sanyika is here to reveal the depths of
African American culture and why it is relevant,”
Bowlin said. "We are here to find ways to help stu
dents go deeper."
Sanyika, who will be visiting classes for several
more weeks, introduced himself to the faculty mem
bers present asa"deep thinker and philosopher" who
uses “art and culture as a means of communication."
"It’s all about engagement,” he said. "I use drums
and dance as a way to engage students.”
When Sanyika engages students, he wants them
to think more deeply about issues and to ask what he
calls deeper questions. Three words came up often in
Sanyika’s talk: justice, compassion and humanity.
“It's about basic humanity,” Sanyika said. "So
many out there are living on the privilege of the
oppression of others. We don’t face the harsh reality.
Ckir value system has to change."
DadbiSanyfl^apoet artist and community organizer,speabatafaailty luncheon at $«Heck Hall Monday to teachers who are sponsoring him in th«ir
classrooms. Sanyika said he wanted to provoke students to think more deeply about issues.
2Pac “Until the End ofTime”
It's been four and a half years
since his death. “Until the End of
Time” is his sixth posthumous
release of new material, not to
mention a greatest hits collec
tion. I think the double-album's
title states how long 2Pac’s label
plans to capitalize on his death.
Buckcherry “Timebomb”
What the world needs now is
more songs about cocaine.
Shawn Colvin “Whole New
Her 1996 release, “A Few
Small Repairs,” earned five
Grammy nominations during
two different years.
IndiaArie “Acoustic Soul”
Yes, that's a period in her
name. Pretension abounds on
this new soulful album by the
young artist who has been com
pared to TYacy Chapman.
Tkain “Drops of Jupiter”
Their self-titled debut
release saw the success of “Meet
Virginia.” The new single,
“Drops of Jupiter,” may prove
that TTain is a one-hit wonder.
Pearl Jam
TWenty-four more live CDs
documenting the final leg of the
US “Binaural” Tour. Are you Jam
fans satisfied yet?
Compiled by Andrew Shaw
Big Dumb Face unique but a fad
■ Although original, Borland's new band
should prove to have no more than a
fleeting cult following.
As the ever-original guitarist for Limp
Bizldt, Wes Borland is known for the elabo
rate costumes he dons for a sick-sensation
alist laugh factor at each of Bizldt's shows.
His wardrobe includes various aliens, a
Cyborg Bible salesman and something that
looks like the
love child of
Duke Lion Manson and
Fights the «he Eas'er
Terror, IS a Borland's
collection of newest incar
some of the * far tj,e m0st
silliest hardcore complex and
rockabilly to be per^sexin8the
released in only official
recent memory. Bi|mbDrum°bf
Face, Borland
shares with
the world his strange sense of humor and
The band’s debut album, “Duke Lion
Fights the Terror,’’ is a collection of some of
the silliest hardcore rockabilly to be
released in recent memory.
Please, don’t mistake that description
as praise.
The opening track, “Burgalveist,” sets
up the listener expecting mindlessly hard
goth, which made me think that I should be
wearing my studded leather S&M gear to
even attempt to enjoy the album.
But as quickly as the three-minute track
ends, the cartoony theme song for Duke
Lion, a magical warrior and the main char
acter for the album, takes shape. Although
the track spread a smile across my face, it
was a smile I remembered from the first
time I experienced Green Jelly’s debut
album, “The Cereal Killer Soundtrack.”
The complete pointlessness of “The
Cereal Killer Soundtrack” was entertaining
for an off-the-wall fad band. Green Jelly
had been working at the band thing for 13
years, never claiming to be musicians, act
ing more like death-crazed performance
artists, and after the video for “Three Little
Pigs” went out of MTV rotation, they were
The same fate awaits Big Dumb Face.
The novelty that flows through “Duke Lion
Fights the Terror” is the stuff that fads are
made of. But I believe Borland has known,
expected and maybe even planned the
whole time for Big Dumb Face to be a fad.
Anyone who creates the characters,
voices and music with this amount of
unbound creativity has to be an intelligent
person, and Borland knows exactly what
he's doing.
Big Dumb Face is a band searching for a
cult following, and with Borland’s popular
ity among a small group of freaky-friendly
followers, Big Dumb Face will have no
problem selling concert tickets for the next
But it definitely will take a special breed
to appreciate the sound. Pulling inspira
tion from Ween, Primus and numerous
nameless bands with double-bass lead
screamers, Duke Lion is destined to spend
his time being passed from garage sale to
garage sale.
Possible strike looms on horizon for both actors, writers
LOS ANGELES — Sure, Hollywood cel
ebrated at Sunday’s Academy Awards show.
But many of those entertainers might not
be working several months from now.
The prospect of double strikes by writ
ers and actors later this ^rring was on many
minds during show business's golden
Screenwriter-producer-director Ernest
Lehman, who claimed an Honorary Oscar
at the ceremony, dedicated his award to the
“We have suffered anonymity far too
often,” Lehman said in his acceptance
speech. ”1 appeal to all movie critics and
feature writers to please always bear in
mind that a film production begins and
ends with a screenplay.''
Backstage, Lehman - whose writing
credits include “Sabrina” and "North by
Northwest” - said he held bade some opin
ions because he didn’t want to create ten
sion during a night of celebration.
”1 decided I did not want to make
tonight’s speech a soapbox speech,” he
Many referred to a strike as if it were
"I have not studied the details and the
movements daily on the strike and the
issues. I know that I need to do some study
ing up quick,” writer-director Cameron
Crowe said when asked about the issue.
Crowe won an Oscar for best original
screenplay, for "Almost Famous.”
The Writers Guild of America argues
that years of unfair contracts have prevent
ed its members from benefiting from the
explosive growth of videocassettes, cable
TV and foreign markets.
Early negotiations between the WGA
and the Alliance of Motion Picture &
“We have suffered anonymity far too often. I appeal to all
movie critics and feature writers to please always bear in
mind that a film production begins and ends with a
Ernest Lehman
screenwriter, producer, director
Television Producers broke down earlier
this month.
The contract for the WGA's 11,500
members will expire May 1.
In negotiations, studios have rejected
what they consider unrealistic union
demands, saying they ignore the realities of
a slowing economy and shrinking audi
This week, DreamWorks SKG executive
Jeffrey Katzenberg said that meeting the
WGAs demands even halfway could bank
rupt the studios.
The Directors Guild of America also has
objected to the WGA’s demands for more
creative control over moviemaking.
“I really clearly remember when I was a
writer trying to find a director who would
protect my work,” Crowe said. “So I have a
lot of sympathy for the writers. But I'm also
a happy member of the directors guild. So I
have to study which hat and how to wear it"
L. -C***Wj
“Enemy at the Gates" is yet
another WWII movie, this time
focusing on a period earlier in the
war-foe siege of Stalingrad by foe
German army, which took place
in the fall of1942.
After some initial scenes of
foe chaotic attack in September,
some of which are enormously
effective in illustrating the reality
of war, the movie really begins. A
propaganda officer, Comrade
Danilov (Joseph Feinnes) hap
pens upon Vassili Zaitsev (Jude
Law), an expat marksman.
Danilov sees the propaganda
value of such a skilled man and
writes a front page story about
VassiHls heroics for the official war
newsletter, which soon spreads
across Russia.
Vassili is put in the sniper
corps, which moves from build
ing to bumt-out building shoot
ing German officers and recruits.
The Russian forces in Stalingrad
are given renewed purpose, while
the German army is demoralized.
The Germans respond with
an expert marksman of their own
named Major Konig (Ed Harris),
and the focus of the movie nar
raws to a contest between these
two methodical hunters. At the
same time, Danilov becomes jeal
ous of a love interest that develops
between Vassili and a female sol
dier named Iknia.
This is an excellent movie, full
of action, tension, plenty of explo
sive machine gun fire and a nice
glimpse of Rachel Weisz’s (Tania)
gleaming buttocks. It's a great
hero story as well, complete with
a jealous comrade and a love story
that is all the more uplifting in the
midst of a bitter war.
That’s the short version. I’m
about to taint that version, so if
you’d like to go to this movie and
enjoy it as an action adventure,
stop reading. For those who want
to dig a little deeper, continue.
There is more to this movie.
Many of the reviews that I’ve
seen rave about the movie-it’s an
action thriller, a grand adventure,
etc. But this isn’t a Mel Gibson
action movie like “Payback." This
is history, and even though
movies like this are notoriously
inaccurate, they still retain that
much more of an impact since
these events actually happened
And, this is war. “Enemy"
reminds us of that at certain
points, and it is disturbing. Early
in the movie we see Russian com
manders shooting their own sol
diers for retreating, bellowing
“cowards” and “traitors” as the
commanders gun the survivors of
a failed attack.
This is war, the movie reminds
us. War is vicious; war makes
monsters of men.
Because we and the Russians
won this war, we are awarded the
privilege of telling its stories, and
more to the point, defining what
is what in war. We get to define
what is monstrous and what is
heroic, despite the fact that in war,
the lines are easify blurred.
Thus, the sniper “heroics* of
Vassili, and the macabre body
count that shows up all over the
Russian newspapers, is heroic. A
similar story, in which two
Japanese soldiers competed to
see who could kill a hundred
Chinese first is monstrous.
What I’m getting at is proba
bly beyond the thinking of the
producers of this movie. It’s a very
intellectual interpretation of it,
and perhaps I’m reading too
much into it But I think movies
like this are important for that
very reason: to make people think
twice about war and to illustrate
for them what war does to people,
both physically and mentally.
War is ultimately about who is
the more vicious, tire more willing
to delve further into atrocity.
Thus, iriWWH we had a gruesome
contest between all sides.
While the main story of
“Enemy at the Gates” is Vassili the
great Russian hero, there is the
hidden story of what war really
does. This hidden story bubbles
up every so often when people tell
brief stories about the pointless
death of loved ones, the pointless
cruelty of invading soldiers, the
pointless bombing of a city
already reduced to rubble.
Watch “Enemy* for these hid
den stories. Watch and remember
them. Tb forget them is the first
step to repeating them.