Club Indigo to present Charade April 25
By Joe Kirkish
CALUMET -- The Mu Beta Psi music fraternity will present Audrey Hepburn and Cary
Grant in the 1963 suspenseful thriller Charade at the Calumet Theatre's next Club Indigo, on Friday,
Ms. Hepburn plays a young woman in Paris whose new husband has been murdered for a huge sum of stolen money. Now threatened herself, she
is on the run from unknown crooks who want that money. Enter Grant as -- who? What? -- a mysterious stranger -- savior or threat?
Stanley Donen stylishly directs this combination of intrigue, mystery, romance and fun in the Hitchcock mode. Add a dash of music
from Henry Mancini, wild chases through the exotic streets and subways of Paris and one surprising turn after another to the
greatest concluding exposť of all times -- and you have an award-winning delight.
The movie begins at 7:15 p.m., preceded at 6 p.m. by a gourmet buffet provided by
chef Eric Karvonen of the Fitzgerald Restaurant in Eagle River. Admission to both the buffet and film is $13. Movie alone,
$3.50. Reservations for the buffet can be made by calling the theatre at 337-2610.
Charade has been made possible by the support of the Country Village Shops of Copper Harbor and attorneys Tercha & Daavettila of Houghton.
The next Club Indigo -- on Friday, May 23 -- will be the Academy Award winner as best foreign film in
1994, Il Postino (The Postman).
Movies in town earn high grades
THE PIANIST (Rated R for violence and profanity in large quantities): You can tell a lot about a movie in the first few minutes; here, with the focus on hands playing Chopin, intercut with horrible black/white shots of brutality in the streets of Warsaw, you know already that this is the product of a thoughtful pro, the work of an accomplished film maker who first showed his stuff way back in Poland with a quixotic short film,
The Wardrobe, and who proceeded to turn out minor masterpieces from his British
Repulsion to his last great American film, Chinatown. And now, The
Pianist reminds us that Roman Polanski is still a gifted film maker who has grown to great stature.
The Academy Awards bestowed on the movie are well earned. It is a painful, beautiful, hauntingly memorable experience -- a product of its director, a stellar cast, evocative cinematography by Pawel Edelman, haunting music from Wojiech
Kilar and an inspired script based on the autobiographical book by Wladyslaw
Szpilman and written for the screen by Ronald Harwood.
At the outset, a movie about the Holocaust invites comparisons, particularly with Stephen Spielberg's powerful opus of a few years back. But this film skirts the usual approach by remaining in Warsaw and following one particular person's fight for life, beginning in 1939, when the Jews were forced from their homes, methodically driven into humiliation, debasement and, ultimate death. Szpilman, an accomplished pianist, is the focus; he is separated from his family and is forced into menial labor, then escapes only to suffer
horrendously -- scrounging for food and water, constantly dodging the Nazis, eking out the barest of existence for 6 years, until at the end of his rope, now more a bearded animal than a man, he is freed by the Russians.
In this sprawling saga of degradation and the human drive for existence on any level, the urge to live is starkly revealed. There is the sense of continuous exhaustion, hunger, the need for shelter, the fear of capture that permeates the film, while the use of available light, the desensitized film colors and the seemingly random editing augment the telling of the character's story as he becomes both a unique individual and at the same time a representative of an entire race trapped in a horror not of their own making.
Adrien Brody's performance is beyond reproach. Gaunt, breathy voiced, bland in expression that almost conceals the emotions smoldering inside
him as he is transformed from a contented, well groomed artist into a grovelling creature while grasping for his passion and sensitivity for music throughout the ordeal -- all are brilliantly created for us. Images and music remain with us well after the final credits -- incidentally presented over the playing of Chopin's piano concerto so stunningly that the entire audience remained in their seats to the final conclusion. What greater tribute can a contemporary audience give? (Grade: A)
HOLES (PG for mild Disney-type violence): "Willy Wonka" comes to mind, but only in the moments when the characters seem out of a story book -- which is natural, since the film was taken from a children's novel that combines fantasy with reality. It was written for the screen by its author, Louis
The movie goes beyond its plot, tackling the immigrant issue, race conflicts, essential human values and moral issues -- all in one felled
A teenager overshadowed by a curse on his family is unfairly thrown into a prison camp for boys, isolated smack in a Texas desert. No fence is needed; the camp is miles from the nearest escape from hot sun over a now dried up, caked lake bottom. The boys must dig holes daily, to build character, they are
told; but as the story unfolds an ulterior motive is discovered, truth is
exposed and wrongs are righted. The pace is brisk, the characters are generally well created (especially that of the boy, played by Shia LeBeouf, with Jon Voight and Segourney Weaver as cartoon-like baddies -- and there's even a cameo appearance by Eartha Kitt as the catalyst for the doings). There's enough suspense and character involvement to keep adults as interested as the kids they sit with. Not many Disney films of late combine mystery, magic and heart as does this one. (Grade: B+)
BULLETPROOF MONK (PG-13 for Kung Fu-type violence, some sexual innuendo and profanity): Taken as a serious martial arts movie, this would be a dismal failure. But --
as I think Director Paul Hunter and writers Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris intended -- as a tongue-in-cheek parody, it becomes a guilty pleasure.
Chow Yun-Fat (of Crouching Tiger fame) hovers between melodrama and moments in which the glint in his eye and the curve of his lip prevent us from taking anything in the movie with seriousness. It's a dumb plot, about a monk who is guardian of a sacred scroll, devoutly wanted by a nasty former Nazi
-- a scroll with which he could take over the world. Original idea? There are chases -- above, on the streets of, and below New York City -- obligatory clashes, hyped up digital sound effects and
music and lots -- oh, lots! -- of destruction all around. Also included is a subplot of teacher/pupil lessons that will come as no surprise. The basic plot is improbable, as are most of the escapades that make up the action, but no matter; the film is far from dull and taken less than seriously it could even be -- up to a point -- entertaining. (Grade: C+)
Learn more about the author of this guest column, Joe
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