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The Gazette from Montreal, Quebec, Canada • Page 53
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The Gazette from Montreal, Quebec, Canada • Page 53

The Gazettei
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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4 1 I I D- Dance F40 Living F9. Probe FW I I4 ir Top 40 dies, 990 MR snow Susan Sarandon As waitress Louise Thelma Louise is first feminist Western MIKE BOONE GAZETTE TV RADIO CRITIC JOHN GRIFFIN GAZETTE MOVIE CRITIC curious and somewhat troubling notion that rock stopped when Richard Nixon resigned. Listeners born after Watergate the qudience CHTX cultivated in its 27 months as a teen-oriented hit station have nowhere to turn to find contemporary music on the radio this morning. "That's the sad part of this change," says CKIS program director Susan Davis, who calls today's teens "the lost generation." "We're disenfranchising an entire generation of young people from radio. But two years of the hit format haven't produced a product that's Changing its call letters to CKIS and its identification tag line to Oldies 990, CHOM's AM sister station will play nothing but hits from yesteryear.

New Kids are off the playlist. Vanilla Ice is gone, and so is M.C. Hammer. But the aforementioned Beach Boys are back, as are the Beatles, Stones, Supremes, Aretha Franklin and 50 years old today Bob Dylan. The CKIS playlist is tightly focused on music that was popular when the post-war baby boomers were teens listening to what was CKGM a few format changes ago.

The station may stray as far back as the late 1950s for an Elvis Presley classic, but the station won't play any music that is more recent than the early to mid-'70s. Listen to the new 990 and you'll be exposed to the Montreal radio listeners go time travelling this morning, 25 years back to the future of a rock roll station. At 5:55 a.m., CHTX the Top 40 station that calls itself 990 Hits plays Cover Girl, the latest hit from New Kids on the Block. The next song, at 6 on the Garry James morning show, is Good Vibrations, recorded by the Beach Boys in 1966. This won't be a short detour down Memory Lane.

CHTX is no longer a Contemporary Hit Radio station, and its change of format leaves Montreal with no Top-40 radio. Bob Dylan said that "to live outside the law you must be honest." Thelma and Louise hold him to his word. Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon star in Thelma Louise. Ridlev Scott's breathtaking road movie about two good ol' girls from Arkansas who head off PLEASE SEE OLDIES PAGE F5 for a weekend away from their men ana just Keep on going. Geena is Thelma.

She's a wide-eyed, ditzy house wife with a carpet salesman husband. He's the kind of Argentinian director Solanas shot in legs AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE i v. i guy who watches too much football on TV and drives a 'vette with licence plates that read "The 1." "He's a she'll admit later in the movie. "But most oTthe time I let it slide." When she packs for the girls' weekend away, Thelma empties the contents of her drawers into a suitcase the size of Texas. She throws in a .38 calibre revolver, too.

Just in case. Oh-oh. Has her guard up Sarandon is a waitress; Sarandon is always a waitress. Her name is Louise and she's been letting things slide for so long that life has left a scar on her heart. Louise has got a decent boyfriend, assuming cians can be decent boyfriends.

He's played with solid, errant-musician values by Michael Madsen, but Louise has her guard up and won't let him in. She's become used to the kind of order that packs sneakers in plastic bags. It's what you do to keep chaos and commitment at bay. Together, this mismatched pair head out of town in Louise's prize '66 turquoise T-bird convertible. The car.

The gun. The open road. Ten minutes into this wildly exhilarating buddy adventure, all the heroic American movie myths are firmly in place. This looks like a romp it's 9 to 5 meets Easy Rider as made by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and produced by Bonnie and Clyde. Scott is certainly shooting that way.

The director BUENOS AIRES Gunmen shot a prize-winning Argentinian film director in the legs Wednesday and a prominent civic leader reported receiving threatening telephone calls apparently linked to the shooting. Two hours before the attack on Fernando Solanas, Hebe de Bonafini, the leader of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, received an anonymous telephone threat. Her organization, named for the Buenos Aires square where its members march, is demanding to know the whereabouts of thousands of people who disappeared under the right-wing military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976-1983. "We are going to get you in the head, not in the legs," de Bonafini said she was told. Bonafini told police she considered the call insignificant until she heard about the assault on Solanas, which prompted her to contact authorities.

Solanas, 55, whose film Sur has been honored at the Cannes Film Festival, had just stepped outside a Buenos Aires studio where he was editing a film. Gunmen in a car pulled up alongside him and opened fire. The director made headlines Tuesday as he reiterated harsh criticism of President Carlos Menem. In a magazine interview, Solanas described Menem and his closest associates as "a ferocious gang" and "very dangerous," prompting the president to sue him. Bonafini said the call she received proved the attack on Solanas was planned.

She added: "As we have been reporting, there is a new surge of Nazism in Argentina." who crafted futuristic epics like Blade Runner and Alien is clearly head' over-boot heels in love with the chance to make a iifiiivii.i.ii. if-1 -g if i tightly focused little mo vie set on the American frontier. GAZETTE. JOHN MAH0NEY Hey, any more glorious Off-the-wall perfOimsnCe Rodrigue Proteau contemplates Johanne Madore, hanging as a living work western-sunset filters, and of art in Carbone 14 play Peau, Chair et 0s. It part of Iheatre hestival ot the Americas, bee PAGE F3 we'd expect to see the Lone Ranger and a rearing white stallion etched against the skyline.

In Firefighter calls Backdraft three-alarm movie stead, the T-bird car radio pumps out sweet music in time to the whip of their auburn hair as the kilometres spin by in the rear-view mirror of their lives. Hot damn! Then they stop at a roadside honky-tonk to loosen up, and the bottom falls out. Geena Davis As Thelma Thelma is sexually as 'm ii. i i tm i i jyMBp ''iff i Jii I 4 I MAX I i fJ it rB GAZETTE. TEDD CHURCH Backdraft Westmount firefighter Graham Morrison (above) enjoyed movie, starring Kurt Russell (left), even if it was unmistakably Hollywood.

saulted by a psycho cowboy in the parking lot. Louise blows the S.O.B. away. She doesn't have to do it. His insults aren't sticks and stones.

But something inside of her snaps, she squeezes the trigger and we're glad she does." Now Thelma Louise takes a controlled skid turn into brand-new territory, and becomes the movies' first feminist Western. Thelma looks at her wasted attacker, and wants to call the police. She wants to call her husband. 'Don't live in that kind of world' Louise reminds her she's been seen dancing with the guy all night. "Who's going to believe you," she says.

"We don't live in that kind of world." With the decision to run, they leave a place controlled by men, and light out into fresh territory. They're the other side of the law now. They have to make their own rules. Because first-time screen-writer Callie Khouri wrote the movie in response to what she saw as an appalling lack of films about what women are really like, Thelma Louise has some ripe, real stuff to say about men and the battle of the sexes. It's not about feminism, not about relationships per se.

It's about freedom and i fit i i4" 'There's a lot in there that firefighters can relate to' The firefighter is almost late for the firefighter movie but for good reason. Graham Morrison, deputy chief of the Westmount Fire Brigade, had to help extinguish a three-alarm blaze on his way to Backdraft, the first Hollywood blockbuster about the tribulations of firefighting. Before he can catch his breath and the curtain rises, Morrison gives this layman a crash course on the three stages of a typical building fire: 1) Incipient the start of the fire; 2) Free-burning, in which the temperature rises to almost 1 ,500 degrees and the oxygen level drops from 21 to 16 per cent; 3) Smoldering, in which there is no air. It's during this stage that the introduction of outside air to a fire creates a violent explosion of smoke called a backdraft, which can hurtle humans about 10 metres often to their deaths. "Lots of people claim they have survived a backdraft but it doesn't seem likely because there is little advance warning," says Morrison, 39, a veteran of "hundreds" of fires, including several featuring back-drafts.

"And the sad reality is very few people actually do survive a backdraft." The question now is will audiences survive the movie Backdraft? Odds are audiences will flock to this flick. It may be long two hours and change and melodramatic, but director Ron "Opie" Howard gives moviegoers a few bangs and a lot of spectacular fireworks for their bucks. Bull-headed and heroic In a relatively short period, Howard has covered almost all the blockbuster bases: aliens and seniors in Cocoon; the rearing of alien-like kids in Parenthood; and gothic medieval fantasy in Willow. He's seen fire Backdraft and he's seen rain albeit with mermaids, in Splash. Against a backdrop of male bonding in the fire station, Backdraft is the tale of two siblings sons of a deceased firefighter who play out their rivalry fighting fires.

Kurt Russell is the elder, a bull-headed, heroic figure who takes chances and saves lots of lives. The brooding William Baldwin, a neophyte firefighter, lives in his brother's shadow and tries to make his mark as an arson investigator. With his chain-smoking boss Robert De Niro, Baldwin is trying to bust a homicidal arsonist who has been torching several prominent citizens of Chicago. Curiously, all the victims who've been backdrafted to death and ash sought to make cuts to the financially strapped fire department. In a scene reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs.

De Niro and Baldwin consult psycho arsonist Donald Sutherland Hannibal the Heater? to get a bead on their torch. This is a little silly as is the Fire Academy frolicking featuring the boys acting goofy with their hoses. And the soap opera played out between the firemen and their ladies is a tad soppy. But if you seek I O-alarm-blaze thrills with nifty stunts and spooky special effects, catch this Backdraft. 4 PLEASE SEE THELMA LOUISE PAGE F6 i It "Furthermore, firefighters couldn't survive the extreme heat depicted without the use of special breathing apparatus.

And no experienced firefighter would go into a building without water." Morrison compares other situations shown in Back-draft with real life: On listening to Martha and the Vandellas' rendering of Heat Wave on the way to a fire: "We don't do that. Maybe the guys in New York and Chicago do." On the high incidence of chain-smoking firemen: "Although funny, it's too true and On sliding down the fire pole without pants: "Yes, it can be very painful." On hot sex in the fire truck, featuring fighters and female fans: "It's been known to happen." Over all, Morrison, who's been fighting fires for 18 years, says Backdraft written by ex-firefighter Gregory Widen is the best film of the firefighting genre he has seen. "It sure beats movies like Towering Inferno and City on Fire which really don't address concerns of firefighters. Anyway, it's about time firefighters got their due like the police. I think our jobs are as, and possibly more, dangerous than theirs except they get all the movies." Told to charge wall Today, would-be Montreal firefighters must graduate from a two-year course at the Institut de Prevention d'Incendie du Quebec in Laval.

In Morrison's day, however, the selection process was a little different. "They drew a chalk line 10 feet from a brick wall. All the recruits got into a three-point stance and were told to charge the wall. Anyone left standing got hired," claims the husky Morrison, who lives in Bros-sard with his wife and three children. "Today, it's the guys who don't move when they're told to charge the wall who got hired." Backdraft opens today at li wisMhon.

Bonaven-ture. Centre-ville. Decane. Claire and Carnfour Laval theatres. PG: adult thorn rhe firefighter and film critic agree on rating tor the mow: Gazette TV critic Mike Boone picks the best of tonight's programs: Capital City (CBMT-6 at 8): A 23-part British drama series is the CBC's summer present to its loyal Friday audience.

Set in London's financial district, the series features money, power, sex, intrigue all the good stuff Dallas fans expect. Smithsonian World (Vermont ETV-33 at 9): A Certain Age looks at golden-agers and knocks down a few misconceptions about the aging process. There's no narration, just testimony from seniors including choreographer Agnes de Mille. The Entertainer (WCFE-57 at 9): Script by John Osborne, leading role (an aging vaudevillian) played by Laurence Olivier, Alan Bates and Joan Plowright in the supporting cast what more could you want in a prime-time movie? Street Legal (Channel 6 at 9): CBC drama series begins reruns of one of its best seasons. Manuel (Channel 6 at 12:30 a.m.): Bad time slot, but better late, late than never for a terrific little movie set in Plateau Montreal's Portuguese community.

Full prime-time schedule. Page F-5 BILL BROWNSTEIN Firefighter Morrison concurs: "It's super or let's say a very good movie, even if it is definitely Hollywood. There's a lot in there that firefighters can relate to. particularly the team spirit and the inter-relationships among the men." On the other hand, Morrison says Backdraft is not cinema verile: "The fires are spectacular, but they aren't realistic and that's understandable. In a real fire, you can't see a thing because of all the dense smoke and that wouldn't go over very well in a movie..

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