The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on September 2, 1988 · 25
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 25

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Friday, September 2, 1988
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i I TV & Radio 45 Arts & Films 28 MOVIZ REVIEW TXLEVISION I ED SIIGIL The battle of the sound bite hen the Dukakis staff tried to cancel a news conference on I I Monday, was a sisn tnat tnev J J were losing ground in one of the most crucial battlefronts of the election season: the war of the 30-second sound bites. Michael Dukakis would make speeches that he thought would be the focus of that night's broadcast news, but all that would get on would be his response, in later press conferences, to attacks made earlier in the day by George Bush. On Wednesday, for example, Dukakis imported Maine Sen. George Mitchell to bolster his attack on Bush regarding the Iran-contra scandal, but all the network news was interested in that day was Dukakis' and Mitchell's response to Bush's claims to be an environmentalist. Between the conventions and the debates, assuming there will be some, these snatches of the candidates on the nightly news are the primary way In which voters determine their preferences. Candidates know that commercial newscasts normally don't have room for more than 30 seconds of a stump speech or press conference and they, and their staff, tailor their words accordingly. Ever since the Republican Convention, the master tailor has been George Bush. Michael Dukakis may have the edge in debates, although that should not be taken as a given,' and their convention speeches were probably a draw, but Bush has had a clear edge in presenting his case, and trashing Dukakis' policies, since the New Orleans convention. Roger Ailes, one of Richard Nixon's and Ronald Reagan's media advisers. Is Bush's main media man. He is also, by most accounts, the man most responsible for Dan Quayle's presence on the Republican ticket, having sold Bush on the idea that Quayle, on television, would symbolize the future and make Bush look more presidential. In the middle of the Quayle controversy, it looked as if Ailes had gone to the telegenic well once too often, that he who lived by good visuals and media manipulation was going to die by them. It is still too early to say how much the Quayle decision will hurt Bush, but it is now evident that the Bush staff has at least neutralized what could have been a disaster. It stage-managed a press conference in Quayle's hometown designed to make Quayle look like Roy Scheider and make the press look like the shark in "Jaws" - hence. Bush's later "feeding frenzy" remark. It TELEVISION, Page 26 A powerful, sincere look at Christ THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST - Directed by Martin Scorsese, screenplay by Paul Schroder based on Nt-kos Kazantzakls' novel. Starring Willem Dqfoe, Harvey Keltel, Barbara Hershey, Harry Dean Stanton, David Bowie, Verna Bloom, Andre Gregory. At the Paris and Circle, rated R (crucifixion, brief sex scenes). Willem Dafoe as a Christ wracked by obsessive guilt-oriented introspection. By Jay Carr Globe Staff ollywood is no stranger to vulgar spectacles on the life of Christ. But Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" is not one of them. It's a powerful and serious film by a serious film maker -a sincere examination of Christ from a modern perspective, at times painfully earnest, often fascinating, sometimes moving. It depicts Christ as a troubled searcher. working on very limited knowledge, experiencing doubt and confusion, hardly the serene, omniscient, on-top-of-it-all figure usually depicted in movies. Moreover, it depicts the difficulty his followers likely may have experienced in knowing what to make of him, this erratic Dostoyevs-klan figure, stumbling out of the de sert after each mystifying revelation. Starting today, Bostonians finally can assess the film's value for themselves. To these eyes, "The Last Temptation of Christ" is anything but salacious or exploitative. That it should have provoked the heated attacks that greeted such unorthodox works as "Jesus Christ Superstar," "The Life of Brian" and "Hail, Mary," was inevitable. Had Scorsese depicted Christ in the bland Hollywood manner typified by, say, Jeffrey Hunter's depiction of Christ in "King of Kings," the furor surrounding "The Last Temptation of Christ" never would have taken place. It's a challenging film in the best sense, a gritty, deeply felt effort to renew the significance of Christ in terms of contemporary experience, and one that reminds us of how radical Christ was. The sequence that has triggered most of the denunciations, especially from those who haven't seen it, is an extended fantasy scene in which Satan, disguised as an angelic girl, tries to tempt Christ off the cross with a vision of how consoling his life would be if he rejected the overwhelming consequences of his divinity, shed his virginity, and lived the . life of an ordinary man. In this dream sequence, which lasts approximately 30 minutes, Willem Da-foe's blond, blue-eyed Christ yields to human appetite. He marries Barbara Hershey's tattooed Mary Magdalene, and is shown In a brief, discreet sex scene with her, after which she is struck dead. Christ then marries Lazarus' sister, Mary, commits adultery with her sister. Martha, and dies peacefully at an advanced age, after rehashing the old days with the surviving disciples. In the end, though, Christ rejects this last temptation and accepts the hard consequences of his divinity. But the film, like the 1955 Nikos Kazantzakls novel from which it is drawn, emphasizes Christ's human side and makes him very much a modern man. riddled with doubts, questions and self-loathing over what he sees as his weakness and vacillation. Following Kazantzakis' TEMPTATION, Page 29 g i. y -4... v,.?' j ;A ' v l-'f i i .V v- M I i i v f Well ... you know what I heard? David Suter Illustration By Joan Vennochi Globe Staff r ell people you are doing a story about political rumors and what do you hear? The latest rumors. No one is printing them - yet. But that could change, if circumstances somehow conspire to confer upon them what the media like to refer to as legitimacy. Where do rumors come from? The potential sources are endless: Rival campaigns. Reporters and political operatives, participating In what John Buckley, a Republican consultant, refers to as the "echo chamber." Wall Street brokers, who speculate about political possibilities as they speculate about the future of the market, every day, all day in what one investment banker calls "the most sophisticated game of telephone that man ever invented." Anyone who wants to sound as if he knows something no one else does. Bill Jarrell, press secretary to Sen. Steve Symms (R-Idaho), admits his boss could have heard the rumor that Kitty Dukakis burned an American flag to protest the Vietnam War, virtually anywhere - In Washington social circles, at the Republican National Convention, or from media contacts. Jarrell certainly had. But the rumor was not printed or broadcast until last week, RUMORS, Page 26 Contemplating Jesus in a new light 28 Scorsese's fascination with Christ figures 28 Woody Herman Band lives on without it?, leader 35 A quiet advocate for the land M Coos I 1 1 9 Area of land purchased for conservation HAMPSHIRE V7 ( mm.u.uu.i1Jij Globe staff map By Whit Andrews Contributing Reporter C"""'"3hese are quiet zealots. UThe Nature Conservancy Is an old, respected, but little-known group in the national real estate market. Its goal Is to protect "biological diversity" in this and other countries. And, working as a corporation rather than as a vocal activist. It has protected, around 3.5 million acres in the United States since its formation in 1952 - acres that in some way it sees as essential to biological diversity. The word its members use to describe themselves is "focused." as in "focused on land acquisition and protection." Most recently, the conservancy played a major role in protecting a 45,000-acre tract of prime, undeveloped tirnberland in northern New Hampshire's Coos County. The land is part of 89,500 acres put up for sale in New Hampshire and Vermont by Diamond International, a French-based lumber firm, and purchased by Rancourt Associates of Nashua, N.H., a syndicate of housing developers - including mobile homes. Rancourt stepped In and bought the land after conservationists working with state and federal groups couldn't come up with the money to purchase the land from Diamond. The acreage was appraised by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests at about $100 per acre. The 89,500 acres was sold to Rancourt for Just under $19 million or about $212 an acre. The 45.000 acres the conservancy was Involved in buying went for $12.75 million or about $285 an acre. Why is the conservancy so keen on saving this land? So interested that it has been willing to pursue the land after Diamond spurned its original offer last winter? Ed Spencer, director of the New Hampshire Conservancy chapter, says it is interested in protecting the land because there's a lot of trees and marsh and living stuff in 45,000 acres. Specifically, Canadian lynxes need large stands of forest to roam in. and a disturbance easily spooks them Into another territorial area. Moose need large areas, too, and so do many other species. But not only Is the land big, it Is barely touched. Not that it's virgin forest: it's probably been cut at least twice, since lumber companies have owned it for at least 100 years. But it is undisturbed by development: still a contiguous forest enormous by New England standards. Only 40,000 of the 45,000 acres are together, but of the other 5)00 about 4.000 are In CONSERVANCY. Page 26

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