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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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1 1 UU.I Madonna's shrubs ruin view: suit LOS ANGELES Madonna and a neighbor are su ing each other over trees and shrubs in her back yard that block a city view, and the sinoer will act a chance to tell her side ol the story in court. INSIDE Madonna, singer ot such hits as Like a Virgin and Material Girl, in- Weekend Guide F6 i neruea me oispute irom a previous If tvJ owner when she moved into the lv 'rj Hollywood Hills home. the previous owner lor allegedly tailing to trim the foliage, then sued Madonna. Madonna's countersuit claims Robinson trespassed on her property in 1989. "making threatening.

Madonna Show abusive and derogatory statements" and "cutting various trees and plants." Trial has been scheduled lor Nov. 30. Superior Court Judge Sally Disco ordered Madonna to be there. Doctors said I was dying: Taylor ARLINGTON. Va.

Elizabeth Taylor says her doctors were blunt when she was admitted to hospital i fv 1 1' i 1t mm this year with a near-latal case ol I pneumoqia. -ii 'THpu tnlrf mo that I wa rlvinn 4 4t i Taylor told USA Today. "They said it in Iront ot my sons, too." Taylor. 58. was admitted to 4 Hniol Croomon Merino Uncnita! "3 on April 9 with a sinus infection.

rew' But her condition worsened and Elizabeth Taylor 1 sne was transferred to bt. jonn with viral pneumonia. Star takes a turn behind camera. He devoted three years to project. ef fair shake She was placed on a respirator and intravenous medication, and doctors said she was near death on April 22.

Taylor rallied, however, and was released in June. Taylor offered a candid account of her ordeal: "Oh. sweetheart. I had so much machinery coming out ol my throat, my nose, my neck, it was like science fiction," she said. "Colorful, too with the tubes, you can see pieces ol yourself floating by.

Very gross Technicolor!" Sioux in Cost Bier's Wolves Bill Wyman, wife split up Kevin Costner's Dances With Wolves a a if- cJ fV M' LONDON Rolling Stones bass guitarist Bill Wy-man's 17-month marriage is over, Wyman's lawyer saia yesieraay. Wyman, 54, and ex-model Mandy Smith, 20, were married in June 1989. They had dated since Smith was 13. Recently they have lived apart while Smith was in hosDital with an undisclosed illness. "After careful consideration and discussion with Costner plays a white soldier who tinds himself within South Dakota Indian band.

Mandy," Wyman's lawyer Wright Webb Syrett said in a siaremeni, nis marriage is ai an ena. Wyman and his first wife, Diane, were divorced in 1969. ness. Simply people doing what people do when their asses are in grass. Likewise, Costner in a self-deprecating, all-American role to establish cinematic links to Gary Cooper and Henry Fonda makes his own first encounter of the native kind as naked as a newborn.

That's right, female Costner afficion-ados, without anything on at all. is a Western. Only this time, the moccasin is on the other foot. Ever since the first Hollywood greenhorn galloped off to a perfect Burbank backlot sunset. Hollywood movies have portrayed Indians as objects worthy of bad jokes, boogie-man nightmares and bullet holes.

Costner is different. He believes our native people are human, that they've been given a poor shake in the North American history books. So he staked his substantial leading man's reputation, three years' work as actor, director and co-producer, and a wad of white investors' dough to set the record straight. It's something of a miracle that the idea of a three-hour epic favorable to the South Dakota Sioux of the 1860s should get far enough to open in our local cinemas today. But it's a flat-out miracle that it works so well.

Make no mistake about it: Dances With Wolves is a great movie. It doesn't matter whether you wear your bleeding sentiments on your sleeve, or tucked deep in some heart of darkness this is one film to send you back into the theatre. I It works as revisionist history lesson, as social anthropology and as high adventure. It works as environmentalist message and as breath-catching travelogue. And ijt works as high drama, sweet slapstick comedy, pure romance and inevitably as a devastating collision with history.

The film may take a not-so-subtle stance against injustices imposed by ignorant men on an innocent people, but Dances With Wolves is more than liberal salve applied to the collective conscience of the conqueror. Gazette TV critic Mike Boone picks the best of tonight's programs: The Last Emperor (WPTZ-5 at 8): Bernardo Ber-tolucci's epic won every Academy Award worth winning in 1987. Movie-making in the over-the-top Cecil B. DeMille tradition is rarely seen these days, but the sweep and majesty may seem less sweeping and majestic when reduced to small TV screens. Great Performances (Vermont ETV-33 at 9): The multi-talented Harry Connick, Jr.

a 23-vear-old JOHN GRIFFIN REEL LIFE derfully human story told in supremely entertaining fashion. If there's a moral here and there is it's both painless and serious as an arrow through the soul. Costner plays John J. Dunbar, a Union soldier with a flair for courage during the carnage of the Civil War, whose burning desire is to quit what he knows of civilization and head out to the last American wilderness. "I want to see the frontier before it's gone," he says.

Though he's not spreading the news around, we learn soon enough the real frontier Dunbar seeks is within himself. His posting, in the glorious rolling fastness of the Dakotas, is utterly deserted. It's a seemingly perfect spot to begin Dunbar's search for companionship, and for himself. In this, there is none of the touchy-fecly, kiss-the-compost pomposity that could have doomed the project. Instead, our first encounter with Indians sees one native hothead zeroing in on a hapless white muleskinner while his companions eye each other edgily and wonder if their psycho companion will eventually get them all killed.

There's no irony in this, no concept of the noble savage, no Little Big Man camp, no post-modern super-aware- For their part, his Sioux neighbors aren't stupendously impressed. "A smart horse and a few white man's clothes" do not advance him to the head of the tribe. Especially because Dunbar speaks English and they speak Lakota, an incredibly complex lan bar's assimilation into the tribe. Still, for all the ritual ping natural beauty and the laudable, belated cast ing of native Americans not to mention a buffalo hunt to make the Indie 500 look like a soapbox derby there are other reasons to see Dances With Wolves Simply, they have to do with an ageless story well told: that of a man search- ing for some sense of self in the immensity of existence. "Kevin wanted to make this different from the thousands of other cowboy-and-Indian movies we've seen," says veteran actor Graham Greene, an Oneida from Brantford, who radiates strength, compassion and humor in a finely shaded major role as Sioux holy man Kicking Bird.

"He (Costner) had a vision of what he wanted to see on screen. From the very beginning of a tough five-month shoot, he had the production by the throat. "Our job was to make these people human. Td make them believable, with families, problems and personalities." "I want to make sure that people know we are here. Yes, we are alive.

Yes; we are human beings, the same as everybody Dances With Wolves opens at Le Foii-bourg and Pointe Claire today. There is some violence, but the film, is recommended to mature families. Jf jf ftl Graham Greene Has key role. jazz giant sings and plays the piano in Swinging Out With Harry. Accompanied by a 16-piece orchestra and his own small combo, Connick will mix standards such as It Had to Be You with his own compositions.

2020 (WVNY-22 at 10): The show takes time out from serious current affairs to shmooze with Ted Dan-son. Precious Memories: Strolling 47th Street (Channel 33 at 10): The Vermont PBS station tops off its night of jazz with a documentary on the South Side Chicago area that produced Nat King Cole, Earl Hines and Dinah Washington. Full prime-time schedule. Page F4 guage that Costner translates with onscreen subtitles. It's a daring and surprisingly unobtrusive move that adds to the authentic historical atmosphere of the piece.

As is the essential bridging role of Mary McDonnell, playing Stands With a Fist, a white woman raised as a Sioux since childhood with a rudimentary grasp of English. Her language and their love ease Dun- Finally, when the prairie dust settles and the ponies bed down for the night, Costner's labor of love works as a won- 11111 11 1 Is lambada dead? It hasn't even faded away g. in BILL BROWNSTEIN Craze lives on at downtown club The Forbidden Dance may be forgotten, but it hasn't gone away. A year ago, only the hip-pest dancing fools knew that "lambada" was a dance, and not a former dictator from the Belgian Congo or a skin condition. But by the beginning of 1 990, almost everyone on earth knew the lambada was the Kama Sutra of dancing safe sex for the "90s, from Brazil by way of Paris.

Lambada soon spread like a bad joke. Lambada records, clothes and how-to videos flooded the marketplace. Sprouted everywhere Rotten movies like the innovati-vely titled Lambada, Club Lambada, and Lambadamy were rushed into production. And lambada clubs sprouted everywhere. Today they can't give away the lambada records and frocks.

The movies can't even find an after-life on the home video front. And most of the clubs have been boarded up or have seized upon another hot new dance craze. The last outpost of lambada in Montreal seems to be Club Alexandre. 1454 Peel St. during this period.

The club also employs 12 other teaching couples. Francine, 22, has been dipped and dropped by inexperienced dancers. She's had her hair stepped on in the process. And she's been lifted by lawyers who aren't endowed with Arnold Schwarzenegger's strength. Marcos, 24, hasn't had to worry about being dipped and dropped or being hoisted by the hernia-prone.

But he is forever being propositioned by silver-haired matrons who want private lambada lessons in their living rooms. Francine has also entertained offers from would-be Astaires, but like Marcos, she has learned to decline gracefully. "Traditional lambada may be dying. But other forms of lambada still live. I get bruises from hundreds of happy customers every night to prove it," beams Marcos, who learned the dance in his native Venezuela.

"After a while the old, traditional moves got repetitive and exhausting. But now we've introduced a few new twists to the dance with the lambada soca and tango, and I could go on dancing for years. "Anyway, show me another job that makes so many people this happy every night." "Everyone started exploiting the dance and tried to cash in on it." says Francine, a product of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens school and a former dancer with the Eddy Toussaint "But we're trained and we take it seriously. too, do most of the customers it's a very respectable crowd that comes here. "I saw about five minutes of the movie Lambada and I had to walk out.

I hated it. It had nothing to do with the dance except give it a bad name. Lambada will change; but it won't ever die." "It's like rock roll," explains Marcbst "It has changed over the years, but people still want to dance to it." 'Still a demand' "If 300 people show up every night and we have to turn away lots of other people, I guess there is still a demand and if not dead," adds Francine, a Montrealer with Brazilian roots. "It's definitely in my blood." Marcos: even lambadas on his nights off. "I was lambada'd out for a period, but no longer." Marcos and Francine go their separate -ways off the dance floor.

He is involved with a woman, but she is presently unattached. "It's hard holding on to a boyfriend." she laments. "They tend to get jealous hen they see ou dancing intimately with so many men every night. I tell them it's only a job and I keep my distance from customers, but they still get upset." Here, night after night, scores of well-heeled lawyers and doctors who will never pass for Patrick Swayze actually stand in line for the pleasure of hitting the club's dance floor to lambada their hearts out and work their butts off. When poorly executed, lambada looks like an update on the bunny-hop, and it's not very pretty.

When well-executed, however, it looks like a blend of salsa and dirty dancing, and it's both exotic and erotic. To ensure that clients don't look like so many bumbling Bozo the Clowns on the floor, club management dispatches teams of lambada pros to demonstrate the rudiments of the dance and sh-e it up with patrons. Alexandre's senior lambada team of Francine Duberry and Marcos Bruno is still writhing and strutting and enthused, they say after a year. The dancers estimate they've taught and danced with more than 5.000 sweaty customers GAZETII SDr Francine and Marcos still strutting and dipping at Club Alexandre..

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