The best of what’s around

By defaultuser
March 1, 2001

Loquitur presents some of the best movies, music and books that may have slipped under the radar.


by Chris Vesci
staff writer

Indochine is an Academy Award-winning French film from 1992. If you like The English Patient or romantic movies set before great historical backdrops, this is for you. Catherine Deneuve and Vincent Perez give stirring and memorable performances in a story of a love triangle during the Communist uprising in French Indochina. Deneuve plays a determined plantation owner who has an affair with Perez, a military officer, only to see her adopted Vietnamese daughter fall in love with him. Indochine probes into France’s past and explores a dark history. In the United States, we are familiar with the blemishes on our own past. It is interesting to see the sins of other nations as well. Indochine conveys the downfall of an empire, the beginning of the Communist era and the lasting pain and short-term pleasures of secret relationships.

A Night to Remember is about the sinking of the Titanic and was made in 1958. Unlike James Cameron’s movie, A Night to Remember tells what actually happened on the Titanic and not what could have happened. Starring Kenneth More and based on a book by historian Walter Lord, it is painstakingly accurate. It also includes pieces of the story that the modern-day film ignores. Did you know that another ship literally watched the Titanic sink, oblivious to what was going on? We also get to see the drama that unfolds in the lifeboats. Obviously, the two films can’t compete when it comes to special effects, but A Night to Remember does look decent, especially for 1958. And it doesn’t take over three hours of your time to watch. In the end, it’s a classy and intelligent film but also quite emotional.

Tired of horror movies that follow the same predictable pattern? Tired of not getting the gore that you paid for? Then maybe you should consider Dead, Alive. A crazy and offbeat foreign film from 1992, each scene will make you want to laugh or vomit (or possibly a combination of both). Dead, Alive is a lot of things. It’s a cult classic in the tradition of The Evil Dead. It’s great slapstick. It’s a spoof of the horror genre. It is an amazing collage of mutilation and blood baths. In terms of visual effects, it is The Matrix of the horror genre. But it is not for those with weak stomachs or conventional senses of humor. Be sure to rent the unedited version.


by Elizabeth Farrell
guest writer

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
At this point, most of you have read a novel by John Steinbeck; most likely it was Of Mice and Men in high school, or perhaps The Pearl in junior high. Now that you have grown up and matured, you are ready to encounter one of Steinbeck’s greatest novels: East of Eden. Steinbeck himself considered it his masterpiece, the book to end all books, the novel he had waited his entire life to write. It is, in fact, an incredible work. With ease and fluidity, Steinbeck manages to tell a tragic and moving story. Set in the lush Salinas Valley of California, it explores the connected fates of two families whose struggles and downfalls parallel the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. This novel has something for everyone; it explores sibling rivalry, sexuality, the fight between good and evil and the power and pain of love: both requited and unrequited. Steinbeck successfully portrays the human condition in this stirring epic. It touching on much more than family relationships, East of Eden delves deeper into what it means to love and be loved and what impact an individual’s existence can have on the world.

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
This darkly comic and often hopeful novel of Proulx’s won her the Pulitzer Prose for Fiction in 1994 and with good reason. She skillfully portrays a family’s relocation to the land of their ancestor’s: the harsh but breathtaking Newfoundland Coast with humor and uplifting prose. Here, in their new desolate home, Proulx’s characters come to life and learn to live. The story of the Quoyle’s is intertwined with the history of the island. Along with the Quoyles, the reader gets an education about the shipping and fishing industry that is the livelihood of Newfoundland and a glimpse into the strength of the people who live there. Every page of this novel is full of rich, vivid characters that are both funny and sad, strong and pathetic and most of all, real. It is evident why E. Annie Proulx is considered one of the most talented writers alive today. Her novel rings with a certain humanity that hits home and yet remains mysterious enough to be appealing. The Shipping News is one of the best novels of the past 10 years and you are sure to enjoy it.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
A Prayer for Owen Meany is full of bold characters and an original story that has the reader both laughing and crying. The story is told from the point of view of John Wheelwright, a middle aged man looking back at his life, and the best friend he grew up with, Owen Meany. Owen, a diminutive figure with almost transparent skin and a grating, shrieking voice believes that he is an instrument of God, and is on Earth to fulfill a certain destiny. His faith is so strong that Owen thinks everything about his voice, size and actions are full of purpose. His determination and faith are heartbreaking and inspiring. Its sweeping story appeals to just about everyone, and draws you in. This is not a book to pass up. Read it, love it and pass it on.


by Matt Tholey
assistant features editor

The Atari’s: The End is Forever
The Atari’s story reads like that of a punk rock fairy tale. A teenager from a small Midwestern town in Indiana attends a Vandals show and gives the band a tape; weeks later he gets a call from the Vandals bassist and owner of Kung Fu Records, Joe Escalante, asking him to record for his label. He moves to California, puts a band together, records several albums and EP’s, and becomes one of the most popular punk bands on the scene today. The Atari’s have toured with such bands as Blink 182, Mxpx, Lagwagon, and Fenix-Tx. The Atari’s, The End is Forever may be their best effort yet. This Compilation takes catchy guitar riffs, cool beats and mixes it with vocals about battling through the many emotions involved with being in a relationship and falling in love. The End is Forever, is a very emotional CD, but still maintains and withholds the position as a pop punk masterpiece. My favorite song on this CD is track six, which is entitled “Road Signs and Rock Songs.” Road Signs and Rock songs talks about being in love and how it can leave certain individuals devastated.

The Get Up Kids: Something to Write Home About
The Get Up Kids are a four-piece emo-pop/punk band hailing from Olathe, which is 15 miles from downtown Kansas City. The Get Up Kids, Something to Write Home About, is a CD that blends great vocals and lyrics with melodic keyboard harmonies, catchy guitar riffs, and excellent 4/4 time drumming. Something to Write Home About is an awesome CD, that also talks about the everyday ups and downs of being involved with someone. Something to Write Home About closely resembles a more poppy/punk version of Weezer. The Get Up Kids can actually be seen this summer and spring on tour with Weezer. The Get Up Kids are great musicians and show their talent on Something to Write Home About.

E-Town Concrete: The Second Coming
E-Town Concrete is either a band that you immediately love, or a band that you immediately hate. E-Town Concrete is from the inner city of Elizabethtown, N.J.. E-Town is a very powerful, four piece that combines hip-hop and metal to make a very loud and intense sound. E-Town Concrete’s The Second Coming is an awesome CD. One minute you want to sit and relax listening to the chill guitar riffs, flowing rap vocals, smooth bass parts, and quiet drumming, and the next minute the cut-throat guitar and vocal parts make you want to break everything in your room. The Second Coming is definitely a recommend buy for fans of hardcore rap- metal.

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