RESIDENTS CAN AVOID DORM BURGLARIES VIA SAFEGUARDS, POLICE SAY

by Nita Gonzales

Daily Cougar Staff

Two recent checkbook thefts in UH's residence halls remain unsolved with no suspects while UH police remind students to lock their rooms when leaving for any length of time.

In the first theft, one check was stolen at an unknown time last month from one student living in Taub Hall.

Last week, a Settegast Hall resident reported her Texas driver's license and UH identification stolen, along with her checkbook.

The checks stolen in both cases were left unattended and unsecured.

It takes someone only seconds to steal something from an opened dorm room, UHPD Lt. Malcolm Davis said.

Either carrying the checkbook or keeping it locked in a student's car or dorm can "do away with the opportunity" for someone else to steal it, he said.

"If a door is closed, why force it open?" Davis added. "If a door is open, I know if you're in there or not."

Good crooks know what valuables students have, he said, and if they want it badly enough, they will go after the items.

People letting other people into the dorms is another problem that contributes to increased thefts, Davis said.

Quadrangle dorms are accessed with keys issued to the residents, but when someone enters the dormitory, other people follow them in, said Shirley Hollingsworth, Residence Halls Association president.

The policy is that people who follow other students into the dorms are supposed to be asked if they belong there, she said.

Some people do not ask because they do not think about it or they see the next person getting out a dorm key, she added.

Students living in the dorms feel safe and can forget to shut or lock their doors, Hollingsworth said.

"People leave their doors open when they visit friends down the hall," she added.

An open door is an invitation for others to enter and meet new people, she said, and many people meet that way.

"It can be inconvenient to carry a key," said Davis, but so can cancelling credit cards if they are stolen.

"The biggest problem with unattended stolen property is that it has to be positively identified" by the person who reported it missing, he said.

If someone steals a wrist watch that is not identified with a brand name and other markings, it will be returned to the thief, Davis said.

All personal items marked with a driver's license number will ensure a positive identification and a likely safe return to the owner, he said.

 

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

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

 

UH ENROLLMENT, CREDIT HOURS DECLINE AGAIN

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

Enrollments at UH, on a steady decline since 1992, fell yet again in the fall '94 semester, marking a decline of 5.2 percent since '92, while semester credit hours have fallen 4.3 percent in the same time frame.

UH President James H. Pickering cited three factors as being responsible for the decline: the price discrepancy between community colleges and UH, a growing economy that creates more jobs to lure the nontraditional UH student into the work force instead of the classroom, and the lack of state appropriations.

"We're beating ourselves over the head by saying, 'Golly gee, we're obviously screwing up, we're not teaching the students,' – well, what I think the state recognized this time in its appropriations is to provide UH with a resource level to get the job done, or the job doesn't get done in terms of the number of students we can teach," Pickering said.

Pickering added that the faculty is overworked because of the low state funding level and that because UH cannot hire more professors and assistants, the personal attention is lost, adversely affecting retention.

Because Texas public universities are funded by a formula based on enrollment and credit-hour figures, both become intensely important when the state Legislature is in session.

If it were not for holds harmless funds, money that the state loans to universities, and special line-item funding, UH would have lost almost $11 million due to formula funding.

Because of less funding, faculty have had to increase teaching loads, and programs to retain students and lure them away from other institutions have been downsized.

Skip Szilagyi, associate vice president for planning and executive associate to the president, said the university needs to build programs to increase enrollment.

He said the formula is a "double whammy" because urban universities have unique needs.

He added that the urban-university argument is taking hold with the Legislature.

"Our problem here is that productivity on the faculty side is already extraordinarily high," Pickering said.

"(To retain students), we need to make sure they get the individual attention," he said.

In today's increasingly competitive educational environment, retention is an important issue with the university, Pickering said.

"The faculty need to be out there taking care of the needs of the city," he added.

Henry Trueba, UH provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, has proposed the forming of a task force responsible for reviewing recruitment, admissions and retention.

The task force will make a set of recommendations intended to resolve "once and for all" the problems in this area, he said.

 

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

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

 

KUHF FACES FUNDING CUTS

by Andy Alford

Contributing Writer

Will the proposed balanced-budget amendment mean the end of public radio at UH?

Not according to Georgeann W. Smith, financial director of KUHF Radio.

In a letter distributed to KUHF members Jan. 18, John M. Proffitt, general manager and CEO of KUHF Radio, said, "For the first time in 28 years, members of Congress are calling for the elimination of federal assistance to public radio and television."

Proffitt explained that the proposed budget cut would likely put many public broadcast stations and programs out of business.

Smith said if funding to KUHF were to be cut, some of the radio programs would have to be dropped, but the station would not go off the air.

There was a subcommittee hearing Jan. 19 in Washington, D.C., in which two panels discussed rescinding funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The CPB is the government organization that distributes funds to public radio and television stations like KUHF Radio and KUHT-TV.

"The proposed cuts would affect KUHF in a large way; 16 to 17 percent of our direct funding comes from CPB. That comes to about $300,000," Smith said.

Friends of KUHF membership donations account for approximately 57 percent of the station's total income, with underwriting accounting for 15 percent and miscellaneous sources for the remainder.

Aside from a building in which to operate, KUHF gets no support at all from UH.

"KUHF doesn't get state funds because it is not classified as an educational station," Smith said.

KUHF is asking its 13,000 members to write to their Congress members to vote to maintain current funding for public broadcasting.

Kevin Bishop, press secretary for U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Houston, said, "Congressman Stockman is definitely in favor of eliminating federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting."

Bishop would not say why Stockman was so inclined.

Many House and Senate Republicans, along with some conservative Democrats, have been pushing to eliminate funding for public broadcasting in order to cut alleged budgetary waste.

The argument by many Republicans stems from the belief that public broadcasting is the tool of liberalism. With the anticipated passage of the balanced-budget amendment, leaders in Washington are looking for ways to meet that goal. The amendment under consideration now calls for a balanced budget by 2002.

In his letter, Proffitt wrote, "While public broadcasting can accept fair and proportional budget cuts that may be necessary as part of the push to balance the federal budget, total elimination seems to be part of an ideological, not an economic, campaign to destroy the public broadcasting infrastructure."

In a phone interview, Proffitt said, "It's all up in the air right now. The subcommittee hearing on Jan. 19 was just an exchange of information. Nothing has actually been decided.

"There has been no date set for a meeting of the Appropriations Committee, but when there is, plans will be presented on what's to be done."

 

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

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

 

Part 2 of 2

5-40-1

SERIOUS COUGARS FANS FOR HALF A CENTURY

2-20-1

'Mr Coog,' Co. have seen it all

by Roslyn Lang

Daily Cougar Staff

A look at the past 50 years -- OK 49 -- of UH athletics through the eyes of "Mr Coog," 77-year-old James Langham, provides numerous prized stories and memories of the great players who've graced the Cougars sports scene through its history.

"Too many to put one above the other," Langham said.

One of the greatest occurred in 1965, when the Cougars football team beat No. 2 Michigan State 37-7 in Michigan.

Five thousand people were waiting at the airport when the team returned. The fans commandeered the tarpon to greet the team, and the players could hear the crowd and the band playing from inside the plane.

"This was 1965, it was like the Beatles," said John Sullivan, UH assistant sports information director.

Another great -- three years later -- took place Monday, Jan. 20, 1968. The Cougars put college basketball on the map, Langham said. Before a record-setting sell-out crowd of 52,693 fans in the Astrodome, the Cougars squeaked by No. 1 UCLA 71-69 in what became know as the "game of the century." Houston went on to win the regular-season NCAA championship that year.

It was the first college basketball game to be broadcast nationally.

That attendance record stood until the early 1980s when the Final Four was played at the Superdome in New Orleans. Houston bested its own record in 1982 with an attendance of 61,612 for a loss in the first round to the eventual national champions, North Carolina, which featured ex-Chicago Bull Michael Jordan.

Langham said the most disappointing loss for him was the 1983 national championship in Albuquerque, N.M. The Cougars had been ranked No. 1 in the country nearly all year, but they lost to North Carolina State 52-54 in the final two seconds .

"It was referred to as 'Black Monday' around campus," Sullivan said.

During the mid-1960s the Langhams met Leonard and Rosie Lala on a bus trip, and for more than 30 years, the two couples have joined forces in support of the Cougars. Like the Langhams, the Lalas have been married 47 years.

"I was married when I was five," laughed Rosie Lala. She worked on staff at Cullen Auditorium from 1980-88 doing marketing and coordinating reservations.

"A friend of ours, Royal Allen, would get buses up to take fans to the ball-game," Lala said. "Mr. Langham would bring his homemade ice cream on the bus trips."

Some famous names from the NBA and Europe have been to ice cream parties hosted by Langham. Clyde Drexler of the Portland Trail Blazers, Michael Young formerly of the Boston Celtics, Carl Herrera and the 1994 NBA MVP, Hakeem Olajuwon of the Rockets were guests of Langham.

"Young overshadowed Olajuwon while he was here," Sullivan said. "Michael was the SWC scoring champion and went to three Final Fours."

Alvin Brooks, head coach for the men's basketball team, was holding a kids basketball camp in 1993. At a press conference for the Reunion game, a group of kids passed right by Olajuwon to Michael Young, Sullivan said.

Langham has donated five carloads of memorabilia to the UH sports hall-of-fame, which will be part of the new athletic complex. Included in this donation was his invitation to Young's wedding.

Of Olajuwon, Langham said, "The first time Hakeem ever had ice cream was at my house and he told me that. I took Hakeem next door and introduced him to a neighbor. He held his stomach and bowed down. When we got ready to leave she told him, 'anytime you want to come over to this house, we don't got nothin' but we'll split it with you.'

"When we got back to the house, there wasn't a seat left so he sat on the floor, right by the door, and I know he ate a half-gallon of ice cream."

Langham said that basketball secretary Lois Thorn asked if he would take some of the players back to Houston from a tournament in San Antonio. Among them was Olajuwon, who had just come to UH and was ineligible to play.

"Hakeem asked if he could play his record player in the back and stick his feet out the window," Langham said.

He stuck his size-22 feet out the window in Flatonia and Langham joked he "had to stop in Schulenberg to get an over-width permit -- we were blocking traffic on the freeway back for 10 miles.

"That freshman year (Olajuwon) came in, he was nothin' but a tall, skinny kid," Lala said. "He weighed 191 pounds."

Langham added, "And he was only 6-foot-10 and three-quarter inches. He was never seven-foot and he's not seven-foot now. I know, because Lois Thorn, as the players would come in, she would measure them up against the wall, by the door of the basketball office and write their names by it."

Lala said, "Then there was that group that went to the Final Four in 1968, Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney, all the members of that team. They were still playing at a high school gym across town and then moved into Hofheinz.

"The most exciting basketball players that ever played here were Clyde Drexler and a guy we had named Ollie Taylor.

"The year before they outlawed dunking (in practice), the people would come out before the game and pack (Hofheinz) just to watch (Taylor) warm up. This guy was unreal. He would take two balls and he'd go up and he'd dunk with one hand and then he'd dunk with the other -- before he came down."

Langham added, "He was only about 6-foot-2-inches tall and jumped center. He told me he knew in high school he wasn't gonna be tall so he strapped 15 pounds of weights on his ankles and practiced jumping. He could jump up and crimp his four fingers on the top of the back-boards -- the jumpinest guy I've ever seen in my life.

"Drexler was just like him only he was 6-7 -- he was a bigger guy," Lala said. "Of course we had Louis Dunbar, who played with the Globetrotters. He was about 6-9 and he was a guard. He could handle the ball like a 5-10 guard. He could dunk and shoot and everything else.

"Then there were all the Phi Slama Jama guys. Those teams don't come along but once every 50 years, so you've got to enjoy them while you can."

Langham and his friends have enjoyed the Cougars for nearly half a century.

"I have been and will be faithful as long as I'm living," Langham said. "I'll be a Cougar 'til the day I die."

 

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

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

 

THE OTHER EPIDEMIC -- CHLAMYDIA TRACHOMATIS

by Lady Oliver

Daily Cougar Staff

Paws for Health

PULLQUOTE: "Some people have no symptoms at all and symptoms can vary from person to person," Susan Leitner-Prihoda, RN, Nurse Practitioner at the UH Health Clinic said. The only way to be sure is to see your doctor. "People should have themselves checked for chlamydia regularly as part of their check-up routine. Early detection and treatment is crucial."

Most of us are not concerned about things we can not see, even when it comes to our health. But this is not a healthy practice. We are leaving ourselves open to serious health risks like chlamydia.

The Texas Department of Health says that chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. An estimated alarming three to 10 million people are infected every year.

Chlamydial infections are caused by bacteria called <I> Chlamdia Trachomatis<P> which is spread by sexual contact with someone who has the disease, according to the information service of Parke-Davis.

"Both men and women can pass the disease to their partner," Susan Leitner-Prihoda, RN, Nurse Practitioner at the UH Health Clinic said.

Although both men and women will have symptoms, men will tend to notice symptoms first. For men, the symptoms include a yellow muciod (commonly known as mucus) discharge, painful or frequent urination and itching and burning in the genital area.

Women will also have a muciod discharge or itching along with pain in the lower abdomen and bleeding between menstrual periods. Sometimes these symptoms will be accompanied by a slight fever.

"Some people have no symptoms at all and symptoms can vary from person to person," Leiner-Prihoda said. "The only way to be sure is to see your doctor. People should have themselves checked for chlamydia regularly as part of their check-up routine. Early detection and treatment is crucial."

If left untreated, chlamydia infections can be dangerous. They can cause nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) in men. NGU is described as a burning sensation in the urethra.

In women it can cause serious diseases, such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Chlamydia can also cause an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and infertility in women.

In both men and women sterility is a possibility and a severe infection may cause hospitalization.

If a woman has chlamydia and is pregnant, she can pass the disease along to her unborn child. This could give the newborn infant an eye infection or pneumonia.

Chlamydia is also transferrable from the genitals to the eyes by your hands.

The most effective cure for chlamydia is antibiotics which are prescribed by your doctor. The drug of choice according to the federal government's Centers for Disease Control is the antibiotic doxycycline. The drug is available in different forms -- one of which is a capsule with a specially designed delivery system. Many patients have found this newer form easier to tolerate than the older forms.

It is important to take the antibiotic for the entire length of time your doctor prescribes. Although symptoms may subside within a few days, the infection may take up to two weeks to clear up. During this time, it is still contagious. If medication is stopped prematurely, the infection may come back strengthened and can create further complications.

Individuals who believe they may have chlamydia should never take another person's medication or try to treat themselves.

While being treated for any sexually transmitted disease, it is best to abstain from sexual relations. If this is not possible, use a barrier method of contraception (such as a condom) to prevent transmitting the disease to your partner.

If diagnosed with chlamydia, it is also important that individuals contact all their previous sexual partners (within the past 90 days) and urge them to see a doctor for treatment, even if they have no symptoms.

How can you stay healthy? First, use a condom. Second, limit the number of sexual partners. Third, get check-ups regularly and see your doctor if you suspect that you have a sexually transmitted disease.

For more information, call the UH Clinic at 743-5151 or call Texas Department of Health's STD hotline at 800-227-8922.

 

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

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

 

FEBRUARY CELEBRATES AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE

by Lady Oliver

Daily Cougar Staff

Black History Month Logo

February has become known as the month dedicated to the culture and heritage of African Americans. Dating back to their long journey to America, this culture has made tremendous sacrifices and contributions.

In celebration of the triumphs of this culture, the UH African American Studies program (AAS) is sponsoring events throughout the month of February.

Calendar of events:

• Wednesday, Feb. 1, 1995

Meyer Park-AMC 14 Theatre

4730 W. Bellfort

The film: "Higher Learning"

John Singleton, Producer

Time: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

After the film there will be a moderated discussion of the reaction to the themes in the film. AAS is providing a forum for a collective experience on this film with a panel of diverse viewpoints. This movie deals with a variety of explosive and thought- provoking themes surrounding the university environment, race and other contemporary social issues.

All seats are limited and it is strongly recommended that tickets are reserved through the African American Studies Program today.

Tickets are available at AAS Office at $1.50 for students (any high school or college) and $2.50 for non-students

• Thursday, Feb. 9, 1995

Room 108, Agnes Arnold Hall

Lecturer: Dennis Rahiim Watson

Time: 3 p.m.to 5 p.m.

Tentative:

Mr. Watson, executive director of the National Black Youth Leadership Council, will present a motivational workshop and lecture on "100 Challenges Facing Youth of Color."

• Tuesday, Feb. 14, 1995

Room 102, Wortham Theatre lab

Stage Reading: The play -- Class

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Frank Anderson, along with actors, will present a reading from his latest play, <I>Class<P>. An urban contemporary love story, <I>Class<P> involves the encounter of two seemingly dissimilar individuals who discover that, despite our backgrounds, we all have much in common in our experiences of joy, pain, self-doubt and our struggle to survive the rigors of life.

<I>Class<P> premiered at the Kaplan Theatre of the Houston Jewish Community Center in February of 1994. It has subsequently toured throughout Texas, including the University of Houston, the Tyler Caldwell Auditorium and the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio. Most recently, <I>Class<P> completed a successful two-week run at New York's Tribeca Theatre.

• Thursday, Feb. 16, 1995

Room 108, Agnes Arnold Hall

Lecturer: Charlie Woodson

Time: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

"From the Curer's Cabin: A lecture on Conducting African American Genealogy Searches." If you have ever wondered about how to trace your family tree, here is a great opportunity to get first- hand information on how to do it! Mr. Woodson will discuss the process as well as talk about his Civil War era ancestors.

• Monday, Feb. 20, 1995

Room 202, Communications Building

"Black Studies at the Crossroads"

Time: 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Presentation of the videotaped satellite discussion of "Black Studies at the Crossroads" produced by Black Issues in Higher Education. The AAS Director along with former directors and student founders of AAS respond to issues raised and discuss the future of such programs.

• Mondays and Thursdays throughout February in the

AAS Conference Room

Time: 4:30 p.m.

A series of classic black films will be shown. Avoid the rush- hour crush. Stay on campus and watch a great old movie. Free popcorn is included!

Call AAS at 743-2811 for listings or more information.

 

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

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

 

STUDENTS EXPERIENCE URBANIZATION IN MINORITY PROGRAM

by Jessica Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

UH's Mexican American Studies Program and the Office of the President will honor minority participants in UH's Urban Experience Program for their academic achievements today at 6:30 p.m.

The reception will take place in the Waldorf-Astoria Ballroom of the University Hilton Hotel. This opportunity will introduce the program to prominent community and political leaders, faculty, staff and participants' parents.

The President's Office contributed $200,000 to the program that is based in the Mexican American Studies, and African American Studies Departments. Laura Murillo helps direct one component from the MAS office, and Morris Graves, director of the Vice President for Student Affairs directs the African American component of the program.

Each year as many as 50 students will benefit from the individualized learning sessions, support services, full academic scholarships and internships offered by the program.

The purpose of the project is to recruit, retain and propel more Hispanic and African American students to graduation.

High schools and other UH support groups recommend program participants.

The program offers workshops in financial aid, self-esteem, time management, study skills, public speaking, computer training and parenting skills, among other activities.

Students in the program must participate in study hall, tutoring, self-help and career seminars, take courses in Mexican American and African American studies, respectively. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA.

"You can always look for help here (Mexican American Studies department)," sophomore participant Araceli Delgado said.

Benefits include $2,500 in financial aid or in scholarships, paid room and board and paid internship in field of study.

After one semester, 99 percent of the participants have increased their grade point averages from low C to B range.

"Being in the program makes it a lot easier (to handle responsibilities)," said George Cavazos, sophomore student participant. "My daily life is much more structured, and living on campus helps."

For more information call Laura Murillo at 743-3136.

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

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

 

ALVIN AILEY TROUPE PRESENTS SPIRITUAL DANCE

Info Box:

Who: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

What: Contemporary dance

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Jones Hall

How Much: $8-$44

Phone: 227-ARTS

by Deanna Koshikin

Daily Cougar Staff

<I>Revelations<P>, Alvin Ailey's spiritual piece will conclude each of the troupe's performances this weekend as they salute Black History Month. Premiering new works, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company will present three separate programs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Jones Hall.

Barbara Hauptman, executive director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company as well as of the Alvin Ailey Dance Academy said, "<I>Revelations<P> is Alvin's signature piece, made in the 1960s. It's about growing up in Rodgers, Texas. It's also about spirituality, the church, Baptism, joy and Afro-American culture."

<I>Scissors Paper Stone<P> premiered in New York last December. Hauptman said, "This (<I>Scissors Paper Stone<P>) very 90s trio is hip and contemporary. This piece is about relationships. It's somewhat cartoon-like, yet witty, smart and sure to be a crowd pleaser."

<I>Hymn<P> was inspired by Judy Jamison who has since taken over as artistic director since Ailey's death in 1988. Jamison interviewed all of the dancers to use as inspiration for her choreography, recording their voices on the musical tape, on which Ailey is the first and the last to speak.

Other pieces that will be performed include <I>The Winter in Lisbon<P>, which describes their sensual experiences in Lisbon, <I>Carmina Burana<P>, a 1970s rendition of a classical ballet piece, <I>The River<P>, Ailey's ballet, which the company adapted, and <I>Vespers<P>, a piece choreographed to look at mothers and women who attend Vesper services (which only allow women).

Ailey had a unique and powerful style. "Alvin worked with music of his generation. He was inspired by spirituals," Hauptman said.

Ailey's style was predominantly influenced by Lester Horton, his muse and mentor. Ailey later adopted Horton's company and turned it into what it is today. "He was heavily influenced by Horton technique, which emphasized weightiness and earthy, attached movements," Hauptman said.

During its residency in Houston, the company will instruct two master classes geared for intermediate to advanced students. The first will be offered at 11 a.m. Friday at the Jewish Community Center. Contact Maxine Silberstein for information at 729-3200. The second master class will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday at Houston Community College, Central Campus in studio A. For details call 630-7264.

Tickets range from $8-44 and can be obtained at all Ticketmaster locations. Call 227-ARTS to charge tickets by phone.

 

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

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

 

<I>DEATH AND MAIDEN<P> EXPLORES JUSTICE AND REVENGE

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

Imagine living for 15 years with the horrifying images of an unspeakable crime. Then, one fateful night, you come face to face with the person who may be responsible. How far would you go for the truth?

This is the question posed by <I>Death and the Maiden<P>, a politically charged, psychological thriller by director Roman Polanski. The seemingly simple premise develops into a highly complex film where the lines of justice and revenge are blurred.

Polanski has assembled a highly intense piece of work with excellent performances by his three main characters. The sparse setting and biting dialogue add to the movie's overall success.

Late one night, somewhere in South America, Paulina Escobar (Sigourney Weaver) prepares supper for her husband Gerardo (Stuart Wilson) while listening to the radio. A storm is raging and electricity is soon lost.

As she listens, Paulina learns that her husband has been appointed to head a council to fight terrorism in the country. The problem is the council will work only for those who have been killed.

This incites great anger in Paulina, who survived beatings and torture 15 years earlier by a terrorist group. She grows even more frantic when an unknown car pulls up to her home.

She discovers it is her husband who had a flat and got a ride home from Dr. Roberto Miranda (Ben Kingsley). Paulina recognizes his voice as the man who beat and raped her.

From here Paulina flies into a frenzy, knocking Roberto out and tying him to a chair. She commands him to confess to the crime. His voice, his smell, his use of peculiar phrases, all trigger her memory.

The final straw is her discovery of a cassette in his car. It is Schubert's <I>Death and the Maiden<P>, the same piece her attacker played while he raped her. This is all Paulina needs to convince her that Roberto is the criminal, and she puts him on trial, in a manner of speaking. Gerardo is the defending attorney, Roberto is the defendant and Paulina is the prosecution. But is Roberto guilty?

<I>Death and the Maiden<P> lets the audience act as the jury in this demented court case. The claustrophobic setting and dark atmosphere heighten the intensity and gives a feel of the paranoia endured by Paulina, who is even wary of her husband and has never told him the entire story.

The performances are riveting. Weaver is outstanding in projecting both the frenetic terror, rage, hidden fears and distrust Paulina has been living with since the crime occurred.

Kingsley's performance is equally affecting. He portrays Roberto as a man caught in an unfortunate situation, who is never fully revealed until the end. His performance is tragic and understated.

Gerardo is confused and angry with the whole situation. Wilson shows us the back and forth swing Gerardo makes between believing Paulina or Roberto, and we realize he has never fully known his wife.

Much of the credit must also go to Polanski. Adapted from a play by Ariel Dorfman, Polanski adds his own unique touches to the film. A sense of claustrophobia and moments of perverse comedy are evident, as were in his last film, <I>Bitter Moon<P>.

The music by Wojciech Kilar is also a plus. Rage and terror are evoked through the musical score, which comes in at just the right time to give scenes an added push.

Overall, the movie is very effective in letting us in on Paulina's darkest fears and fantasies. As it progresses, we realize she wants to relive the crime, she wants Roberto to retell it back to her. This is her way to exorcise the demons within herself.

The movie's end is equally impacting, steering away from the expected. The truth is finally reached, but the cost is extremely high. They must all live with this truth for the rest of their lives.

<I>Death and the Maiden<P>

Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley

Director: Roman Polanski

***1/2

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

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

 

ALBUM BRINGS MATTHEWS BAND OUT FROM <I>UNDER THE TABLE<P>

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Daily Cougar Staff

In 1995, seemingly the only truly successful launching ground for new bands is MTV. Like rock, MTV started fresh and revolutionary, and it sure sounded like a good idea at the time. Instead of being an outlet for new talent, though, it has become the scene of the deflowering of artistic virgins at the hands of greedy record execs (always the bad guys). When you've agreed to a bikini shot, you know your credibility has been hopelessly shot. MTV makes or breaks everyone, and they are the gods to whom record companies kowtow.

This is why the goose the Dave Matthews Band gave MTV and record companies was such a hoot. <I>Under the Table and Dreaming<P>, the Matthews Band's major label debut, debuted somewhere in the top 50 of <I> Billboard's<P> album chart unannounced, buoyed strictly by a well-cultivated fan base - no video. Kurt and the MTV News guys seemed a little shaken, and ran to get some footage of a live show to run, but it was too little, too late.

Of course, I have yet to hear much made about the music, or a single on the radio. Dave Matthews doesn't fit neatly into standard radio formats, so it might be a while. Passing this up, though, would be a mistake. <I>Under the Table and Dreaming<P> is a refreshing amalgam of rock, folk and jazz from a highly talented group.

Matthews, a South African expatriate who formed the group in Virginia three years ago, writes melodically inventive, supple songs that spiral outward from his acoustic core. His fretwork is polished and full of snap, but always perfectly restrained (he never takes a solo).

His voice is the real marvel, and that which the band works so hard to frame and protect. Matthews conveys mountains of honesty in one well-turned phrase, and is vulnerable and almost menacing, sometimes simultaneously.

The production is crisp and spacious, thanks to Steve Lillywhite (U2, the Pogues), who's used to keeping several balls in the air at once. The band's live shows are rumored to be stellar, and the marvelous interplay captured by Lillywhite makes me inclined to understand why. Drummer Carter Beauford can be credited with much of that spaciousness; with bassist Stefan Lessard in tow, Beauford swings and leaves lots of room for the other musicians to move.

Solos are fluid and concise, and none of them are retreads. The choicest bits go to Boyd Tinsley's violin ("Rhyme & Reason") and reedman LeRoi Moore. Blues Traveler John Popper lends his formidable harmonica talent to "What Would You Say" and nails the Matthews Band vibe perfectly - not a note wasted.

Matthews is a wordy guy, but much of it counts, and almost all of it sounds like it does, which is all that really matters. His phrasing, while bearing an initial resemblance to Natalie Merchant, is unique and instantly catching.

Matthews' lyrical stabs at social commentary ("Typical Situation," "Ants Marching") are hard-earned; more often than not the target includes himself. "So here we stand/ but we stand for nothing," Matthews jabs at the opening of "Rhyme & Reason." Matthews is unafraid of vulnerability but keeps pain from the surface, except on the gorgeous "Pay For What You Get." The band is accomplished throughout; few acoustic bands can manage the muscle of "Rhyme & Reason," or the haunting grace of "Pay For What You Get."

If you've got the pocket change, definitely check this one out.

 

Visit The Daily Cougar