The print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1977-1989, January 11, 1984, Page 6, Image 6

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    The Arts
Winter theatrics
get under way
with ‘Close Ties’
By Kathy Johnson
Of The Print
“I think it’s going to be a
really good, hot, solid show,”
Director Jack Shields said of
the new winter term play pro­
duction, “Close Ties.”
Shields describes “Close
Ties” as a comic drama which
has some very interesting, ap­
proaching zany, characters.
“It also has a really
strong underlying morality
about it regarding what to do
with Granny,” Shields said.
“Josephine is the grand­
mother who is 84 years old and
is slipping mentally. She is
now at the point where she is
beginning to hurt herself ac­
cidentally. The essence of the
play is how the family deals
with this situation,” he ex­
“It is a good play with
eight well-defined characters
which provides a good exercise
for the cast,” Shields said.
“The cast, in return, is very,
very strong.”
The play was chosen fall
term with the auditions held
near the end. This allowed the
chosen cast members the op­
portunity to work on their
scripts over Christmas vaca­
tion. Rehearsals for the play
began on Jan. 4 and will con­
tinue until the play opens on
March 1.
“Everyone obviously
spent a good deal of time on
their lines over the holiday,”
Shields said. “This made our
first read-through hopeful and
The cast will also be per­
forming the play in the
Coaster Theater at Cannon
Beach in the College’s 12th an­
nual Coaster Theater spring
vacation production.
“Close Ties” is a family
drama written by Elizabeth
Diggs. It was first performed
in New Haven, Connecticut.
“This is possibly the first
time it has been performed in
Oregon, possibly even the first
time on the west coast,”
Shields said.
“Close Ties” was Shield’s
second choice for the winter
production, the first one being
unavailable at this time. But,
as he says, “It’s not a bad
choice at all. It’s going to be
just great.”
boring, ‘Gorky* slick adventure fare
By J. Dana Haynes
Of The Print
In the avalanche of films that were unload­
ed on the unsuspecting populous during the
holidays, two of the biggest releases were cops
and robbers shows, “Sudden Impaet” and
“Gorky Park.”
Both “Impact” and “Gorky” have cops
and both have robbers, but there the similarities
“Sudden Impact” is the latest offering of
Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry Callahan. Like
its predecessors, “Dirty Harry,” “Magnum
Force,” and “The Enforcer,” this movie is a
montage of murders, all committed by either
scrungy, lice-ridden bad guys or by Dirty Harry
and his hand-held cannon.
If you don’t want good writing, thought
provoking dialogue or three dimensional
characters, then Dirty Harry is just the hero for
you. And, all things considered, there’s nothing
wrong with that. However, unlike the first three
Harry movies, “Impact” commits the cardinal
sin of action/adventure films: It’s boring.
The first half dozen people Harry kills
have nothing whatsoever to do with the plot.
Like the opening chase scenes in James Bond
flicks, the first few mass murders are mostly
These deaths aren’t even slightly in­
teresting, and in retrospect I can’t remember
them too well. Eastwood does less acting here
than ever before, falling back on two expres­
sions: Scowling and scowling hard. (His reac­
tion to being propositioned is identical to his
reaction to being shot at. A Freudian would
love to dissect this guy.)
Even Sondra Locke (“Any Which Way
But Loose,” “Bronco Billy”) does little or no
acting. She plays a female Dirty Harry picking
off the guys who gang-raped her. She doesn’t
appear to feel remorse, hatred or pity for the
culprits she mutilates. She kills them because,
well, it’s in the script.
One of the only stand-outs in this flick is
the chief antagonist played by Paul Drake (not
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the Paul Drake). He plays Mick, the utterly
psychopathic, utterly sleezy, utterly pure, bona
fide, 100 percent mean bad guy. Drake is a
stage actor from San Francisco with a string of
heavy, serious dramatic roles to his credit. He
must have loved playing a graduate of the Jab-
ba the Hutt School of Charm.
I’m not an Eastwood fan (simply because
he’s a fine actor who insists on doing garbage),
but I sort of liked “Dirty Harry” and “The En­
forcer.” I suppose I didn’t think “Impact”
would be very good, but I over-estimated it.
The best word to describe it, ironically, is
On the other hand, “Gorky Park” is
wonderful. It’s the story of a police officer in
Moscow played by William Hurt (“Body
Heat,” “The Big Chill”). Three bodies are
found in Gorky Park (roughly analogous to
New York’s Central Park). The three were
shot, and their faces and fingertips were remov­
ed. Chief Investigator Arkady Renko is assign­
ed to the case, but almost instantly runs into
opposition from the omnipresent KGB.
The rest of the cast includes Lee Marvin as
Jack Osborn, a rich American furrier who visits
Moscow frequently, Joanna Pacula as Irina, a
possible witness/possible suspect, and Brian
Dennehy as Kirkwell, the tough New York cop
who is prowling around the case.
These four, diverse characters seem swept
up in the plot. All four are forced, by the nature
of Soviet society, to lie to each other. It’s left to
Renko and the audience to figure out where the
lies end.
Hurt is quickly becoming one of my
favorite actors. Filming for “Gorky” began
about a month after work on “The Big Chill”
ended. In the latter, Hurt played an always-
stoned veteran and was truly funny. In
“Gorky,” he plays Renko, a brilliant military
man who’s in a no-win situation and sinking
fast. He’s absolutely believable.
Lee Marvin is also terrific to watch, but
then I’ve always been a fan of his work. Wat­
ching him as the rich, ruthless, charismatic
American is like watching a python: He’s
fascinating in his evil. But is he guilty? It’s hard
to tell until deep into the movie. As a drama
about humans in a foreign society, “Gorky
Park” works just fine. But as a whodunnit, it’s
even better.
So if action and adventure are your cup of
tea, “Gorky Park” (playing at the Eastgate and
Westgate theaters) is the best choice. If you
want mindless violence and comic-book action,
then you’ll probably want to try “Sudden Im­
pact” (at the Southgate and all over Portland),
but it may let you down. It’s simply not exciting
Clackamas Community College