I'VE BEEN ROBBED!

SOME FILMS GOT SCREWED BY THE ACADEMY

Glenn R. Wilson Jr.

What follows is the first of three columns directly related to the Academy Awards presentation scheduled for later this month.

With this column I will attempt to right some of wrongs I feel have been perpetrated over the years by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences toward certain well-deserving films. These films, I believe, should have won Best Picture, but were instead overlooked for jealousy.

First of all, let me state right up front that I am well aware that I am not the first person to write a column addressing this particular issue, but I believe I am the first this year and that should count for <I>something<P>.

For anyone who knows me my first choice of films robbed of their Oscar for Best Picture should come as no surprise. <I>Star Wars<P> was ground-breaking filmmaking to say the least. After <I>Star Wars<P> no science fiction movie, or other movies for that matter, would ever be the same again. That is not an exaggeration on my part.

Yet the Academy in its all-knowing omnipotence believed Woody Allen's <I>Annie Hall<P> was more deserving of 1977's highest cinema honor.

I think I'm safe in saying that the number of quality films inspired by <I>Annie Hall<P> pales in comparison to the number of films and filmmakers who owe their inspiration directly to George Lucas's little space opera.

Perhaps the Academy's rationale for this decision was, since this was really only George Lucas' third movie, that there was still great things left to come from this wunderkind director, while Woody Allen had been making movies for years and this was probably their last chance to bestow this honor upon him.

More likely, it was plain jealousy over Lucas' success from <I>Star Wars<P> up to that time which prompted this robbery. But enough of that!

Another film that suffered on Oscar night because of its director was <I>The Color Purple<P>. Steven Spielberg proved with this film that he was more than capable of directing adult movies as well as he had directed children's fare.

Unfortunately, his success with the earlier films had bred so much jealousy among the Hollywood elite that most would just as soon drive an American car as give Spielberg an Oscar.

It's a shame too, because the performances in this film are among some of the best the actors involved ever gave. Whoopi Goldberg is incredible and Danny Glover is wonderfully hateful as Mister. But most unfortunate is the shunning of Oprah Winfrey as Best Supporting Actress, because it's doubtful that she will ever get another big screen opportunity with her busy schedule and all.

This year provides promise though because Spielberg is the front runner for Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for <I>Schindler's List<P>, his extremely powerful film about the German World War II concentration camps.

Lastly, I would like to discuss an older film which was passed over when it was originally released as well. Orson Welles' <I>Citizen Kane<P> is an incredible piece of art when you consider that the technology available to Welles was far below today's standards.

Using little-known actors at the time, and his own playful enthusiasm, Welles created what today is considered the greatest American film ever made by many renowned critics, including this one. Every inch of every frame is filled with remarkable images and some of the filmmaking techniques he invented then are considered routine today.

Yet the Academy did not have the foresight to see just what an impact this film would have on the future of the American film industry. Or perhaps it was one more occasion for them to reward an old Hollywood hand since the Oscar went to John Ford's <I>How Green Was My Valley<P>.

But more likely it was both another case of jealousy over the movie's success, as this was Welles' first movie ever, and a little of the influence of William Randolph Hearst, who tried to prevent the film from ever being released because it so closely resembled his own life story.

Whatever the reasons these films were snubbed, it remains clear that while they may not have taken home the big prize, they will forever be remembered as the true Best Pictures of their respected years. At least by me.

Discover for yourself what I mean and rent one or all of these movies, and take a good look. Whether you agree or not, at least you'll see three really good films. And that's more than most people see on an average weekend.

Wilson is a postbaccalaureate student studying history and government.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

CANDIDATES RUN AGAINST THE WIND

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

Students Association elections got off to a windy start Wednesday after a cold front blew in overnight.

"With the weather, I'm surprised we've had a lot of people turn out," said Habib Salley, election commissioner.

Salley declined to estimate how many had voted so far but said this has been a fairly quiet election with few election code infractions.

"We've had a few complaints and a few minor infractions, but mostly not the candidates," he said.

Salley said the few infractions like not getting a stamp from a dorm before passing out fliers have been caused by volunteers helping the candidates who do not have a working knowledge of the election code.

The election results should be in by Thursday night or Friday morning, he said.

Partisans from various groups have been standing outside polling places in the freezing weather to pass out campaign literature.

"Students are very cooperative as far as accepting fliers. Some didn't even know about the election. Their vote is their voice and that's what counts," said Stephanie Felts, a senator and Initiative candidate for student regent, who braved the cold weather to pass out literature in front of the UC Satellite.

Frank Pena, a junior majoring in technology and poll worker at the Satellite, said he had not had a large number of people vote.

Some students complained that they could not just vote anywhere but had to vote in their designated polling place. The voting system was set up a few years ago after it was revealed students could vote more than once. The current system is designed to prevent election fraud.

Last year only three percent voted in the elections, party leaders hope for a larger turnout this year.

The voter turnout over at PGH has been good, said Prestin Pederson, a poll worker and Russian studies freshman.

"This is a very heavily traveled area. I think we have had a pretty good turnout considering the weather," he said.

Uniting Students, the most well-funded campaign, had a tent set up outside the UC as well as an army of people outside the polling places.

Other campaigns had people out but not as many.

In past years, SA elections have been shaded by ballot stuffing, mudslinging and negative attacks. In contrast, this year the campaigns have conducted a clean but quiet campaign.

The election has been so quiet that some students did not even know that elections were happening.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

SHEILA DEFEATS HER OPPONENT

by Phillana Williams

Contributing Writer

"Sheila!" "Sheila!" "Sheila!" shouted a room filled with Councilwoman Sheila Jackson Lee's supporters at Tuesday's Election Celebration at the Doubletree Hotel located on 400 Dallas.

Although all the votes had not been tallied, supporters said they were confident that Lee had beaten her opponent, U.S. Rep. Craig Washington, Democratic incumbent of the 18th Congressional District seat.

The announcement of Lee's victory later that night made U.S. Representative Craig Washington, D-18, the first local congressman to ever lose a primary in this century, political experts said.

"Sheila will be more attentive and accessible to constituents. Her votes will probably be the same as Washington's on many issues, but she will be a role model that the district deserves," said Sylvester Turner, member of the Texas legislature.

Turner added that Lee's victory signals the emergence of new leadership in the country. He added that people have to respect Washington for his past accomplishments, but in the final analysis, they were able to look at the two and make a decision based on the future.

Many of the songs played during the celebration were symbolic of Lee's campaign theme. Among them were "I''ll Take You There", by the Staple Sisters and "We Are Family", by Sister Sledge. Lee is looked upon by her supporters as a people-person who has a genuine concern for all people in the city of Houston.

"There is a lot of pain and heartache out there, but there is also alot of hope and I want to play upon the hope so that people can realize that they also can have a good quality of life," said Lee in her Doubletree hotel room awaiting the election results.

By her side were her husband, Dr. Elwyn C. Lee, vice president for student affairs at UH, and her children, Erica and Jason Lee.

When the results were given, the crowd was ecstatic. As Lee was escorted to the podium they chanted,"Whoop! There she is!" Whoop! There she is!"

Lee began by thanking God, her family, Booker Morris (her campaign manager), Houston City Coucilwoman Gracie Saenz and many others. She also thanked all the people - black, brown and white-all of whom she vowed to represent.

"To Craig Washington, I thank him for the hard fought race and I look forward to working with the community," Lee said in closing. "When we go, we will go for all the people." Lee promised that no one would be discarded if she is chosen for congress.

Lee will run against her Republican opponent, Jerry Burley, in the November general election.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

PANELISTS DEBATE LIFTING SA SANCTIONS

by Tiffany Vaughner

Daily Cougar Staff

As a result of UH's decision to rescind its policy of divestment in South Africa, students and professors joined together Wednesday in the UC to debate what course of action would best serve the future of the country.

UH' s Board of Regents recently passed a bill condoning the divestment. Regents said they were following the requests of Nelson Mandela, who asked corporations to reinvest in the country.

Economics professor Thomas Degregori argued that re-investment in South Africa was again a possibility due to the country's first all inclusive elections scheduled for April 27.

"On April 27, unless there's a violent coup or some other kind of measure, the long dark night of colonialism in Southern Africa will be over," Degregori said.

He went on to say that continued economic sanctions against South Africa would only hurt the people they were intended to help. He said after the elections the African National Congress and the people of South Africa will need the support of the global community to help move themselves into a freer country.

"They (ANC) have recognized the simple fact that those who have held power and dominance for so long have used their power to gain the education and the skills. The minority white community will hold tremendous economic power, they have used their privilege to gain that which is necessary to the operation of the economy," Degregori said.

He said economic expansion will help the ANC deal with the real life troubles of running a country.

"If today we try and impose their moral vision on them, on that neglects in the equation the day-to-day needs of the people of South Africa and the ability of their elected leaders to respond to those needs, we may feel good about ourselves as having some higher ethical or moral standards but we will be forgetting that our morality will have to have the equation of people," Degregori said.

Frank San Miguel, a senior journalism/sociology major, did not agree with Degregori's assessment and said corporations should not invest in South Africa until the outcome of the election is known.

"There's a debate within the ANC itself about whether stopping investments or sanctions is the right thing and there's debate on which way the country should go. In his speech to the United Nations, Nelson Mandela said the reason to lift sanctions and re-invest was to reward the changes that have happened in the country and also to give an emphasis to those changes. But the actual democracy and election, one person one-vote hasn't happened yet. It seems odd to stop the most effective tool before the process you've been struggling for has taken place," San Miguel said.

San Miguel said the internal debate springs from the ANC's abandonment of some aspects of its Freedom Charter (a list of ideals set up by the ANC in its inception): state assistance for farmers and transference of bank monopolies to the people.

San Miguel also said that even though the ANC wants re-investment and speaks for a large portion of the people they do not speak for all the people. He said re-investment should be held off until all the voices have been heard.

"... One person-one vote has yet to be realized regardless of what the ANC says. You can't paint a different face on it. There has not been an election yet and to go ahead and say end the sanctions ... smacks of opportunism and is a complete contradiction of what we as freedom fighters have fought for," San Miguel said.

Local representative of the ANC, Tebogo Clement Molema, said the elections should be perceived as a transition from one form of government to another but that it should not stop re-investment.

He said the result of the elections will mean a more representative government, but to make sure this new government has what it needs to succeed, economic support from the world community is essential.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES FORUM

Professors, deans and artists from all of the country will attend a national African American Studies Symposium called "Working Together to Create the Future," that the UH AAS program is hosting.

Sessions that will be held include, "AAS and Its Role in the Economic Redevelopment of the Black Community," "AAS and the Challenge of the Black Athlete," "Literature as a Mainstay of AAS," "The World of Theatre in AAS," "The African American Music Experience and Blues in Houston" and "AAS and strategies for the Future."

Professors are coming from Colgate University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Maryland, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Texas, Scripps College, Ohio State and University of Virginia. A number of professors from UH and UH-Downtown will also be participating.

Students can register for the conference for free, and others can register for $100 before March 15. Late registration will add another $25 to the fee. For more information call Morris Graves or Veronica Ferguson at 743-2811 or 743-2815.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

UH WOMEN OUT IN 1ST ROUND

SMU DEFEAT THE COUGARS 82-73 IN SWC TURNAMENT

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Dallas-- Overlook the injuries that led to a depleted bench, disregard the home court advantage enjoyed by Southern Methodist and factor in a gutsy comeback attempt, and Houston played a good ballgame.

But mental errors and poor shot selection undid the Lady Cougars in losing 82-73 to the Mustangs in the first round of the Dr. Pepper Southwest Conference classic Wednesday at Moody Coliseum.

After taking a 4-3 lead in the first half, the Cougars (11-15) never led again. They had their chances down the stretch to tale control, but nine missed free throws and several ill-timed turnovers kept SMU (18-7) just out of reach.

"We didn't capitalize on the free-throw line and didn't take care of the basketball in the clutch," said Houston head coach Jessie Kenlaw. "They were intense and determined, but it was the little things."

Senior post Chontel Reynolds, playing her last game in a Houston uniform, sank the second of two free throws to pull UH within 74-71 with 2:09 remaining. Following a timeout, Houston went to a full-court press and forced SMU to stop the clock twice.

But guard Jennifer McLaughin, who had 18 points and six assists, pulled up for a jumper at the free-throw line to give the Mustangs a 76-71 lead.

Reynolds followed with a 12-foot turnaround jumper for a 76-73 disadvantage. But after forcing a Mustang turnover, Michelle Harris lost the ball out of bounds off the dribble and Kim Brungardt sank a short jumper to stretch SMU's lead to fine with 48 seconds left.

Another turnover followed and Mary Gleason hit four foul shots to dash Houston's hopes.

"I don't think SMU's a tough match-up. We just beat ourselves," said freshman Pat Luckey, who had 17 points and eight rebounds. "They're not a better team than we are."

The Mustangs may not be a better team, but they heated up at the right time, shooting 60 percent from the field in the first half.

Gleason made all five of her shots from 3-point range and was 5-of-8 from the line. She and Leslie Frazier led the Ponies with 20 points each, matching Gleason's career high.

In fact, every time Houston closed the gap, Gleason was right there to rip it open.

With 7:45 left in the first half,the Cougars were down by three, but Gleason swished her first 3-pointer to double that deficit. Twenty seconds later found themselves at the 3-point margin again and Gleason replayed her previous shot to keep the Cougars at bay.

"We forced the gaps when they were there," Gleason said. "Our game plan was to take it to them."

Kenlaw was impressed with the 5-5 junior from Pasadena's St. Agnes academy.

"They were shooting the ball real well," Kenlaw said. "A lot of times we were in Mary Gleason's face, but she stepped up during crunch time."

The Cougars didn't. They couldn't buy a long range shot, going 1-11 from 3-point range, and silly fouls sent SMU to the foul line 26 times to UH's 15. The Mustangs converted 17 to Houston's six.

"We're a very aggressive team and we're penalized for being aggressive," Kenlaw said. "we're always going for it, were not going to lay back and wait."

Houston, only having eight healthy players to use, put itself in a hole early in the first half by benching Harris, the Cougar's second leading scorer at 13.6 points per game. Kenlaw said she kept her out for personal reasons.

"She's had some problems with officials," she said. "I'd rather have her for a half instead of her picking up cheap fouls."

Harris finished with four points and seven rebounds in 13 minutes.

After Luckey closed the Cougars to within four at 21-17, several ill-advised shots and the lack of penetration sent the Mustangs on a 10-0 run that put them up 31-17 with 11:01 to play.

But the Cougars jumpstarted their offense with tough defense and battled to within six at 44-38 off Antionette Issac's steal and a Luckey jumper with 2:55 left. They went into the break down 49-41.

Reynolds led the Cougars with 18 points. Issac disappointed the 1,200 fans with 4-15 shooting. She was 1-of-5 from the charity stripe.

Houston's 17-9 run to open the second half brought the Cougars to within 58-55 but unnecessary fouls caused their downfall.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

BO HERNANDEZ GOES THE DISTANCE IN 8-3 DEFEAT OF OKLAHOMA; COOGS WIN NO. 1000

by Chris Pena

Daily Cougar Staff

The Cougar baseball team picked up win number 1000 on Wednesday as they beat 14th-ranked Oklahoma 8-3 at cold, damp Cougar Field.

After defeating Creighton 9-8 in 11 innings on Tuesday, the Cougars (14-10) continued their winning streak, combining timely hitting with solid defense.

The Cougars jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and that was as close as Oklahoma got.

The big story in the game was the pitching performance by junior Bo Hernandez.

Hernandez (2-0) went the distance in route to picking up his first complete game victory of the season.

Sooner starter Pat Connelly picked up the loss, lowering his record to 2-2. Previously this season, Connelly had beaten national power Texas, and last year he defeated Texas on three different occasions.

It was only the second time this year that an opposing pitcher had gone the distance against the Sooners.

Hernandez who has had arm trouble this season had been limited to 70-80 pitches due to shoulder problems.

But this game saw Hernandez throw 150 pitches in temperatures that hovered around 41 degrees.

"I was worried about my curve ball, because it wasn't breaking early," Hernandez said."I made some adjustments in the ninth inning and it started to work."

Keeping control of his breaking ball may have helped Hernandez escape from a bases-loaded, no-out ninth-inning jam, but the way he pitched all day, he really didn't need to pitch, he just needed to throw.

"Bo was outstanding today," coach Bragg Stockton said. "He pitched a heck of a game."

The Cougars also provided offensive fireworks, led by senior Ricky Freeman who went two-for-four on the day with a double, a home run, and three runs batted in.

After the game, Freeman stressed the importance of the win.

"This was a great win for us," he said. "We needed to beat a good team like this one."

The Cougar's other superstar, Shane Buteaux, didn't have a bad day either.

After getting a single in the top of the fifth, Buteaux stole second then third base, and scored on Mike Hatch's home run.

Buteaux agreed with Freeman that the win was a big one for the team.

"Hopefully, this win puts us on the right track now," he said.

All around, the team could not stop talking about the importance of the win.

Stockton said that the Cougars will need to continue their steady defensive play if they want to be competitive in the '94 SWC season.

"If we keep our fielding (percentage) up around .975, it'll be huge for us," he said.

The team will also need a healthy Bo Hernandez, who was encouraged by his feat.

"My arm feels great now, and beating Oklahoma was a great win for us also."

The Cougars had not defeated a nationally-ranked team this season.

They had been swept at home by No. 7 Louisiana State and had also lost to the Sooners on Monday.

This win revived a team that was down in the dumps, and unsure of how well they could play when potential became reality.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

ACETONE'S ALBUM, CINDY BAGS A HALF-JANET

by D. McAdams

Daily Cougar Staff

L.A. is making a comeback in the indie, trendy music world and its ascension is being heralded by Acetone's <I>Cindy<P>.

No, the band didn't lift its name from Mudhoney's song "Acetone" on <I>Piece of Cake<P>. Lead guitarist Mark Lightcap and Bassist and lead vox Richie Lee say the band got the name from a Kurt Vonnegut book, which was describing a shade of green as acetone.

Lee, describing the band's name choice says, "It just looked good, and it doesn't mean anything stupid."

One suspects drummer Steve Hadley would wholeheartedly agree. A sense of authenticity and sincerity pervades <I>Cindy<P>. The CD appears to be broken into two halves.

The first five songs (of ten) display Acetone's semi-hardcore, guitar slashy side. But the music can hardly be called punk. It can best be described as a type of late 1960s/early 1970s rock sound. punk music lite, if you will. The band most comparable to Acetone would have to be Royal Trux, with the band's early Rolling Stones era sound.

But this analogy is inadequate because Acetone has truly carved a little musical niche all of its own. "Come on" is the CD's opener and it sets the pace for the first "half." It features Lee and Lightcap harmonizing over a mild, subdued rhythm. The song then gradually builds up to a controlled crescendo which features a bubbly brook kind of guitar riff that drones back into the songs more relaxed state. And the thing is, on this and most other Acetone songs you get an average of 6 minutes 20 seconds (the shortest song being 3 minutes 28 seconds and the longest being 7 minutes 28 seconds long).

Next is "Pinch" whose opening line is "My kidneys scrape my back." Ouch!

"Sundown" features Acetone in a similar styled song as described above. This one is a little bit more bluesy though and dares you not to bob your head to the funky guitar line.

The band lets its balls hang on "Chills," one guesses in an attempt to prove the group can do the all-out rocking song as anybody in the alternative music genre can!

The group succeeds admirably and one yearns to hear more of these styled songs from them. "Endless Summer" is damn near just that; 6 minutes and 23 seconds of the coolest guitar reverb around and it drones on and on and on. This is where <I>Cindy<P> changes direction. "Intermission" feature a jazzy bass/drum/guitar rhythm sans vox.

From here on out it's mellow city, beginning with the elegantly crafted "Louise." "Don't Cry" is on the mellow ballad tip but the guitars seem to bark and gripe around the gentle harmonies.

"No Need Swim" takes it down to a level so smooth and low, you feel as though you've fallen into a slow, hazy, tulip and rose filled field floating about on puffy, white clouds and saying to yourself all the while, (say in a heroin induced like state).

"Barefoot on Sunday" picks it up a bit with a cool bass line that seems to flop all over itself and guitars which show the band's stuff after having been repressed for four songs, but the group is soon put back under tight control as Lee and Lightcap harmonize the band's way out of an impressive musical work. On a scale of Janet Jackson to Ester Rolle (matriarch of <I>Good Times<P>), <I>Cindy<P> gets a 1/2 Janet.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

CLASSIX PUTS NEW SPIN ON CLASSICAL MUSIC

by Tom Turner

Daily Cougar Staff

What's your first thought when you hear classical music? Not too good? Well, here's something that may change some of those hang-ups.

It's <I>Heavy Classix Volume 2<P>. Now before you skip the rest of this, hang in there for just a little longer and give it a chance.

This is not your average, tranquil, listen before bedtime, collection of classical music. These are some of the most powerful and bold pieces in classical music. In the 63 minute barrage of pieces, a collection of various orchestras perform the twenty-one pieces, some of which are excerpts. So, they've left out the light sections to leave room for more powerful pieces.

Some of the more recognizable pieces include Dukas' excerpt from <I>The Sorcerer's Apprentice<P>, an excerpt from Mussorgsky's <I>Night On Bald Mountain<P>, and Prokofiev's "The Death of Tybald," from <I>Romeo and Juliet<P>.

Performing these pieces are some of the world's finest orchestras. These include the likes of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

So, even though the thought of classical music may have bad connotations for some, this is an interesting CD to add to the ol' collection.

Consider a bit of classical culture, give <I>Heavy Classix Volume 2<P> a listen. Who knows, you may actually like it. Pretty scary, isn't it?!

Visit The Daily Cougar